The 18th sees the release of a brand new mix cd on ministry of sound by Scratch Perverts. Featuring about every big dubstep tune you can think of thatts been out recently. Ranging from the over rewound sweet shop right through to Mala's level nine. Now that IS diverse. Theres even some 4x4 and dnb thrown in their as well. Definitely a party CD which doesnt fail to capture the sily fingered handiwork of the scratch perverts. check out the preview mix below...
Advisory Records, a label very familiar to most drum & bass fanatics, has been big in the game since it was first established in 1996. Through the years Advisory has seen the scene change and grow, with releases from many huge names including Mutated Forms, Cubist, Generator, DJ Daze, Iron Hands, Tripwire and the man behind the label Sappo.
Sappo, born and bread in Manchester, has been DJ'ing since the early age of 15. He is considered by many a true veteran of the dnb scene. He has sold over 250,000 records with releases on labels such as V Recordings, Emotive, World Dance, Flex and Formation, Rinse Out, Frontline and, of course, Advisory Records and hosted the only 4 hour national drum and bass show on the world famous 1Xtra.
After being a major influence in the scene for such a long time, it was only right that Sappo should release an LP showcasing some of the sounds of Advisory Records over the 11 successful years it's had so far and here it is; the hugely awaited Sound Advice LP.
We're treated to 11 tracks here, with some pretty tasty remixes by the likes of Serum, Dawn Raid and Rowney, as well as some old skool classics (Deception, Bristol Beat) and some liquid rollers (Bonita).
Sappo really shows his versatility as a dnb producer on this LP, starting off with his drumstep remix of the all time classic, and first release for Advisory back in 1999, Tickatock Bass. Featuring Trigga, a huge drop and an absolutely filthy bassline, this definitely a jump-up anthem. Skip towards the end of the LP though and we get to Sappo's new tune, Bonita. This is a really funky, liquid roller, completely the opposite to the sound we're usually used to from Sappo. This melodic tune still has enough weight to smash dancefloors across the country.
Checking out the remixes, Serum steps up first with his take on Tickatock Bass. Much like many other Serum tunes, he's kept this remix nice and simple, it's all about the bass really, with a fat 'wah' bass dominating the tracks complemented by Trigga's vocals.
Rowney takes over remix duties for Sappo's One More Try. This one's a bit of a skanker, with the cut up vocals being driven by some simple, but huge drums and a wobbly 'Rowney' bassline adding the weight.
Sound Advice displays the way the scene has progressed and grown, changing throughout the years. This 11 tracker has something for everyone in it, whether your into the old skool classics, jump-up wobblers, liquid rollers or newer styles such as drumstep.
DJSAPPO PRESENTS... "SOUND ADVICE" ADVISORY RECORDS 11 YEAR LP!!!
FEAT:DJSAPPO/ SERUM/ MC TRIGGA/ / ROWNEY/ CONNECTA+DNK/ DEVIZE,SHOOKZ+MCSPYDA/ DAWN RAID /K-JAH/ RAWTEE !
1) DJ Sappo Feat Mc Trigga - Tickatockbass Drumstep Remix
‘A circadian rhythm is a roughly 24-hour cycle in the biochemical, physiological, or behavioural processes of living entities.’
(I was tempted to try and listen to this in a 24 hour cycle but it wasn't practical)
Hailing from Leeds, Jack Sparrow brings us his long Player 'Circadian'. Following on from his previous ep's 'The Chase' and 'Terminal' this is a weighty album in more ways than one. It's mainly 4/4 but shifts it's influencest throughout Dubstep's vast areas, Triabally house regions and Techno related country. It does it's job both on the dancefloor and home listening in a convincing manner. For sport jungle is tossed in to see how the crotchty grandad of dance will do. It measures up well unsurprisingly. Since appearing around 2007 Jack has released some decent, varied fare. These tracks from him on this, his first album are generally of a darker nature. It may be vaguely familiar territory for fans of Skull Disco and perhaps may conjure up comparisons with Manchester's Cyrus, or the inevitable one with Kryptic minds. Upon listening to the album as a whole, however, it's clear to see a well thought out album that never falls into imitation of these well established types mentioned.
First track 'Loveless' is a smooth opening, glossy in texture and very subdued actually putting me more in mind of some comforting Deep House. It contains an invariable subby twist and spacey vocal floating about the mix, a good starting point for what is to come. The second track morphs into 'Dread'(featuring Fellow Leeds man Ruckspin) which lifts the pace with it's swishing drums and techy percussive bites. There's also a good sense of paranoia to the track with its pitched down vocal and eerie samples. Two sides already shown, the album launches into 'The Chase VIP', an update on his previous tribal anthem released last year. The kick drums on this are some of the most solid I've heard for a good while and the relentless rhythm just has 'win' stamped all over it. It would probably go down really well in many a mix across the dancefloors providing you enjoy dancing to earthquake-like techno and enjoy mild sensations of dread. 'Salvation' opens this Tribal theme up, with a big voodoo sound to it, rudeboy samples and more relentless drums. I'm a fan of it.
A new take on 'Terminal' is then offered up for, again, a great techy/dub treat. By this point on listening it becomes apparent the strength and focus of the album is very much based around quality rhythms and interestingly structured developments within the music. 'Shoal' can then be found hovering around the midway point of the album, taking an expected shift to a more laid back position. In fact this track has some rugged subs hidden away and these come shuddering out as it progresses on a fully dubstep classic tip in structure and adding quality organic intrument dabbles when needed but never losing focus from the nice bass build and dub swing feel it has. It's almost bubblebath for the mind when the very chilled breakdowns make an appearance. It makes a convincing counterpoint against the previous tracks 4/4 punchiness. This in turn makes way for 'Subterranean' which continues the half-steppy rhythms and it also includes vocals from Indi Kaur (find her on Pinch 'Angels in the rain') who has an angelic lilt in her delivery and the further manipulation via Sparrow's brain helps the sound it is transformed into swirl around the track and infuse proceedings with muchos soulful goodness. 'Dune' plunges us back into a bit more darkness, subby whirlpools and plodding rhythms, a bit like being overpowered with the weight of a large angry bear full on salmon or honey. Probably honey.
That track ends the halfstep section as 'Relapse' appears and takes things down a completely different route via jungle fun. Jack cranks the bpm up to a healthy 160bpm and including a brilliant sample (possibly) from some kind of meditation tape, it is awash with ambience . The contrast between this woman's tone on the sample and the hectic nature of the beats clash gloriously. She couldn't get you more chilled out if she intravenously injected some mogodon into your face. The snippy beats build nicely and then slowly throw in some dope amen edits to jump about the place like a spoiled, shouty child and generally cause chaos. A sugar crash of more breakdown goodness takes over as we go into 'Regress', showing the more ambient side of the old school jungle styles, all subdued booming bass and skipping breaks. It's refreshing to throw in 2 tracks so much faster as it makes the listener sit up and take note or maybe just be reminded of some old school styles with new production skills. Having taken the album up in tempo we slide back down via the 'Exit', conveniently placed at the end of the album and fully in keeping with the theme in relation to the 'circadian' concept. It's a nice little nod to the idea that we have travelled full cycle without also openly ramming the idea down your throat. It's a quality downbeat throb, atmospherics aplenty and various instrumental touches appearing out of the subtle production mist. A goodly circular trip, if you will.
'Circadian' is a well rounded album. Plenty of musical skill and production prowess has gone into making it and the variety of genres help add depth without overreaching itself and becoming a confusing mess of ideas. It sticks to the structures of well known genres but produces a lot of decent takes on well worn paths. There's also plenty both for the dance floor or home perusal and tracks like 'The Chase VIP' are perfect for both. I highly recommend listening to it on headphones to get your ears as close to that kick-drum as possible! You're gonna like stuff on here if you're feeling the darker styles out there as I said at the beginning but equally there's plenty for everyone else with an open mind at the same time. Have a check anyway it's heading your way October 4th.
Our friends at ESP caught up with Boddika. One half of Instra : Mental to discuss his new solo tracks.
Q. The Boddika tracks that have surfaced so far have all enjoyed strong DJ support, regularly appearing in sets from selectors as diverse as 2562, Stingray313, Joy Orbison, Scuba, Untold, Martyn, Appleblim, Skream, Loefah, Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir and Benji B. Why do you think your sound has such wide-ranging appeal? A. Boddika tracks are DJ friendly and are built for a party. It’s great to hear people are playing them in different kinds of sets. Q. You've been producing music as one half of Instra:mental since 2000 - is this the first time you've recorded as a solo artist? A. I was left to my own devices in the studio throughout July whilst my partner was on tour in Australia, so took the chance to write some tracks on my own for the first time. I ended up working solidly for 12hrs a day and really got into it – when I’ve got music on my mind I just have to get it done and can’t focus on anything else until it’s finished.
Q. What’s the inspiration behind Boddika? Did you have a specific sound or style in mind when writing the tracks? A. The name comes from one of my favourite 80s movie villains! but the main inspiration is classic electro really, like Drexciya and Underground Resistance. Electro has always been a big part of my life and I feel it’s been kind-of overlooked recently – there’s so much energy in those early productions compared to the modern stuff which is over-produced. I wanted to write music with the same kind of energy but with a more modern, updated sound. I started off each of the sessions with a classic drum kit - maybe the 808, 909 or LinnDrum - setting the tempo and just going for it. All the tracks were recorded through outboard gear which also helps keep some the raw edge you lose when everything’s done inside a computer.
Q. Your first release as Boddika is set for Naked Lunch in October (Boddika’s House b/w Syn Chron) and you’ve already got forthcoming material signed to Swamp81 and Darkestral – how did you get so many tracks signed so quickly!? A. Micky (Naked Lunch), Loefah (Swamp81) and Rico (Darkestral) are all close friends and I sent them each some of the tracks after the first couple of sessions. Their feedback really blew me away and inspired me to keep going plus I’ve worked with their labels before, so it was only natural to sign some of the tracks to them. With everything I make, I want to keep the quality high – if I’m not 100% into it, I won’t even finish it.
Q. What can we expect from a Boddika DJ set and how’s this different from what you play as Instra:mental? A. Boddika is all about upbeat, jackin’ electro reaching into house – around 130bpm and keeping the energy high on the dancefloor. With Instra:mental, we cover dubstep, drum & bass and other styles too so our sets can be a bit different but there’s definitely a crossover there.
Q. What’s next for Boddika and Instra:mental? A. For Boddika, there’s the Naked Lunch single plus a single for Swamp81 (2727 b/w Rubba) which will be followed by more on Darkestral and Swamp81 next year. For Instra:mental, we’ve got the album coming early next year so there’s a lot happening in the next few months!
In my humble/misguided/wrong opinion its one of the finest of the series, showcasing a lot of the new 120-130bpm bits that Loefah (among others) has been pushing of late, for reference check out his set from Outlook that was on Benji B’s 1Xtra show.
The influences are particularly brilliant, as always a superb insight into why D-Bridge and Instra:mental are the most relevant and innovative producers of recent years.
On a related note, the next offering from the offshoot label, also called Autonomic, is the sublime opener from the duo’s Fabric Live compilation, ‘Seems Like’ by Riya. A perfect representation of the Autonomic sound, soulful vocals steadily build beautiful melodies over a luscious beat. This sounds like a number one in a perfect world, and is one that even your Grandma could appreciate.
A classic stripped back effort from Skream on the flip offers Riya a superb platform to breathe life into the bare bones beat of ‘The Cycle’ and showcase her incredible vocal talent. This is one is one you might have heard on mixes a while back, and ensures that this release is as essential as the Podcasts. This will sell out, so don’t sleep!
Granted you’ve heard of Drumsound and Bassline Smith’s label ‘Technique’. Granted you’ve heard of Critical Music, And granted Im Writing this with 2 hours kip. You can be assured that Peter ‘Technicolour’ Rogers is a busy busy bee in the Drum and Bass community. Undoubtedly the man to put the soul into ‘Technique’ Pete’s been making some seriously skilled pieces of music. Sample fans will be shouting out the samples of each track as if it was some intense game of Charades! (Or catchphrase). After catching up with Soul:R’s Newest posse we thought here @ Example we’d get some Q&A’s from Technicolour.
EXAMPLE: Once again thanks for taking the time out to do some Questions. Firstly care to share a little bit about Technicolour?
TECHNICOLOUR: Erm, my real name is Peter, I live in south west London, I own a cat called Derek and my favourite typeface is ITC Avant Garde.
EXAMPLE: What style would you categorize yourself?
TECHNICOLOUR:I guess if you want to categorize it you could call it liquid funk. For me I just make musical drum & bass.
EXAMPLE: What are your main influences? And Do you have any Cheeky musical vices?
TECHNICOLOUR: Main influences are mostly your old jazz and funk guys - Herbie Hancock, Lonnie Liston Smith, Freddie Hubbard etc. But to be honest I’m a complete vinyl junkie so I’ll gladly reference stuff from folk, early 80s electronica and anything else that turns up on my regular vinyl hunting trips. My current fascination is with privately issued New Age LPs from the 70s. Stuff like Michael Stearns, JD Emmanuel, Bill Reddie. Really cool proto-ambient stuff… If you’re looking for guilty pleasures, I truly believe that ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears is one of the greatest songs ever written.
EXAMPLE: Your notoriously known for putting the soul into Technique recordings. How did that relationship come about?
TECHNICOLOUR: I spend too much time on Drum & Bass Arena in the production forum - it’s how I waste time at work. Simon ‘Bassline’ Smith posted a thread on there saying he was looking for demos. I sent him a couple of tracks - ‘Good News Green’ and ‘Empty. Knowing the style Technique is generally known for, I wasn’t expecting to hear anything, but Simon got back to me really quickly and things just went from there, really.
EXAMPLE: How long have you been at the production game? And what setup do you work on?
TECHNICOLOUR: I have been trying to make drum & bass since 2002 - that was when I got some money together and finally bought a computer. I use Reason 3.0 almost exclusively, with just a basic version of Cubase to samples records with.
EXAMPLE: Where can you see Drum and bass in the future?
TECHNICOLOUR: Good question! I think it’s in pretty good shape at the moment, with Sub Focus and Chase & Status showing you can take it into the mainstream, and at the other end of the spectrum the likes of Instra:mental and Stray questioning exactly what constitutes d&b. There’s something for everyone, really. I’d like to hear a bit more creative sampling again - synths have taken over quite recently, and the era around 2004-2005 when High Contrast was doing ‘High Society’ and Calibre was flinging out a 12” every month was an amazing time for sample-based music. Apart from that, I’m sure it will morph into something we can’t possibly imagine right now. The naysayers always seem to think there’s nowhere else for d&b to go, but it always finds a way to develop somehow…
EXAMPLE: You’ve just had a massive release with Komatic. Any other Colab’s happening?
TECHNICOLOUR: Andy Komatic and I are working on lots of other material. We’ve struck up a good working, and alcohol-based releationship, so you can expect to see many more tracks from us in the future.
EXAMPLE: Whats set for you in the forthcoming months?
TECHNICOLOUR: I have just put the finishing touches to my debut album, which will be released on Technique at the end of the year. There’s be a single sampler from that around November I think, and me and Andy have a couple of exciting things in the pipeline which people will learn about in due course! I have also just started a radio show on the leading online d&b station Bassdrive, and that’s really exciting. You can catch the ‘Stolen Hours’ show every fourth Monday of the month at 6-8pm GMT. Plenty of Technicolour exclusives to be heard…
EXAMPLE: would you rather have no eyes or no ears?
TECHNICOLOUR: This is a question that has regularly come up, post-club, with mates. Obviously being a producer, losing your ears would be a bit of a drawback, and Stevie Wonder has done pretty well for himself over the years. Have you seen the women he’s dated? Ears are inherantly ugly, though, so are you saying I could lose my ears, but still hear through the little hole that would be left on the side of your head? I need clarification. If you had no eyes, you could wear sunglasses all day and get away with it, which immediately increases your cool-as-fuck credentials, or you could even rock a double eye-patch like some crazed pirate. I think I’m erring on the side of keeping my ears…
Something thats kept me in a a dreamy state of suspended animation, with an idiotic smile on my mush this entire dismal non-summer is the Soft Vision E.P - the debut release from Londoner Chris Ward, aka Tropics.
This three track work of absolute genius sounds to me like the soundtrack to a sweltering hot day sometime in the mid 80’s. Waking up after making love all night to a Debbie Harry lookalike who looks even better in the sunlight streaming through the thin curtains, getting kicked out by her knobhead posh housemates into a day so bright you have to squint to see, walking on air around the city until you find yourself miles from home with no money and it starts to cloud over and your fucking knackered and starving, and you have to call on at your grandprents and ask to stay there until your mum can get the Reliant going, which is lame, but then she makes a spot on sunday roast, and everything is more than all good.
Apologies if you were looking for a serious review, but this release truly evokes certain feelings which I think (hopefully) convey better the quality of music than a short, wordy description of ‘dreamy synths’ or a casual smattering of descriptions such as ‘lo-fi/new wave. ’
When I listen to this music I feel a sense of nostalgia so strong that I can imagine the Eighties vividly, despite being born in 1991. This really is the best music I have heard for a long time, and I expect very very big things from Tropics.
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