Here at dbe we pride ourselves on supplying you with lineups that span every genre and every sound, whilst maintaining our dance music edge. But it’s not just through powerful sound systems and talented DJs that we can get access your musical cerebrals. We believe that music can be just as an important personal experience than feeling the vibes with hundreds of others. So combine those two statements together and you have us personally sharing with you our favourite 10 releases out today so you can choose for yourself which musical current you wish to wash your cares away.
Dark Sky – Confunktion (Tectonic)
Dbe favourites Dark Sky have been fairly quiet of late but have come up trumps today with a fresh new 2tracker out on the ever-sturdy Tectonic label. First track ‘Confunktion’ is fresh itself but it’s the other side which catches our attention. Double U. Starting off minimalistic in it’s template, water droplets intersperse spacious timp hits which grow in frequency before taking over as the main hypnotic lead. The arrangement of sounds absolutely astounds and every bar is completely different. As we move further, what sounds like teddy bear sounds are introduced before a menacing break. After we think it’s died down the arrangement takes on a whole new form in what I can only refer to the YouTube comments as a ‘coco pop’ drop. I haven’t heard such a mysterious yet what I hope will be universally lauded record such as this since Mosca’s ‘Tilt Shift’, and a welcome return to near 140bpm tunes from these guys and other Bass artists might become a welcoming surprise in the near future. Watch this space.
DJ Rashad – Rollin’ (Hyperdub)
Hyperdub snap up Rashad for a footwork come RNB future thinking four-track workout just when everyone thinks that it was a fad that came and went. Kode 9 obviously knows his stuff, and it’s no surprise this is not just another footwork record. ‘Rollin’ continues Rashad’s fixation with smooth vocals and synths yet his drum palette has clearly matured. ‘Let It Go’ completely flips the script as he ventures into Jungle territory which to me is completely bonkers considering where Footwork came from, but understandable listening to how Machinedrum has recently utilized and edited it within his sets. ‘Broken Hearted’ sounds more familiar as he teams up with Spinn but it’s ‘Drums Please’ which gets our vote this time. Insane cut up drum hits interspersed with Rashad’s and Manny’s persistent hi-hats and synth cuts send us dizzy in a good way, but the record smooth’s out with a g-funk lead which lets us groove on out until all the elements come together to lead us out. Gangster.
Les Sins – Grind / Prelims (Jiaolong)
It says a lot about our weather when I say as soon as I heard this I felt like it wasn’t snowing outside and sunshine was beaming through my window. In truth it was the new sepia glow I had installed on my mac, but for a moment the music took me sun-soaked beaches, filled with surfers, ice cream vans and slow motion bikini babes waking past me. Les Sins aka Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundwick has crafted possibly one of the most smile-inducing tunes since last years ‘Inspector Norse’ which became a dbe anthem of sorts. Although much more chill in comparison, who’s to say that this wont became as big. After all we have journeyed from dark dubstep to deep house within the past few years without too much drama! Anyway, sophistication is abound within ‘Grind’, with pitched up and down smooth vocals, paired with a bouncing bassline and a loose and funky synth line which switches and swirls it’s way magically through the track’s duration. If this doesn’t put a smile on your face then the weather really must be getting to you!
Martyn – Newspeak EP (Dolly Dubs)
NEW MARTYN EP! Surely that should be enough!? But if you need some words to help you decide then so be it! ‘Oceania’ is a welcome return to his well-known breakbeat/steppers style that we grew up on back in the day and title cut ‘Newspeak’ may be the pick for all you fans of his darker housier stuff. But for us it’s ‘What Is Room 101’ which thrills us from the start. Kicking off with a mysterious vocal that could take us anywhere, the record builds and builds through our man’s genius use of those increasing in volume pads. With a truly deep house template, the sound is also rooted in the past with bleeps and bloops making us reminisce about ‘Pacific State’ and ‘Can You Feel It’ all over again! We can’t wait for another album if it’s gonna be this nice!
Calibre – Fabriclive 68 (Fabric)
Personally, being a drum and bass head back in the day when I first started DJing, I was always drawn to the softer liquid styles of Calibre rather than say the tear out styles of Hazard or Pleasure. That may be down to the man’s interpretation of the genre in his own melodic and one of a kind sound. His back catalogue is huge and nothing is below par. I’m surprised it’s taken this long for him to get on a Fabric mix, but never the less I will always have time to take in his stylistic take on one of the defining genres of my youth. And he doesn’t disappoint. Blending in seamless mix after mix of beautiful up tempo rhythms and blissful vocals and melodies, Calibre has crafted a near-perfect example of his own style and by using 14 of his own productions or remixes shows us the quality of his material. On hand on the mix are drum and bass classics in my opinion, including DBridge’s amazing ‘Inner Disbelief’, the perfect remix of Zero T’s ‘Refusal’ and the newer fantastic remix of TEED’s ‘Garden’. Rolling.
Krystal Klear – Addiction (Rinse)
Rinse have once again smashed it and possibly created the next London anthem which should be blasting out of car windows by this summer. Krystal Klear’s joyous DJ sets and productions have vastly impressed us over the last year or so and every time we see him love it puts a smile on our face. Here though we’re treated to something in between his housier original productions and the 80s boogie funk he often plays out in his sets. Re-creating the vibes of the 80s is no easy matter though, and through the record we hear wonderful pastiches such as ringing bells, flange synths and bouncy bass that encompassed the vibe back then. Along with a spectacular and different vocal performance from Jenna G, this track ticks all the boxes for the revival of the 80s which seems to be gathering pace as of late. Smooooooth.
Midland – Trace EP (AUS)
Well here we go. You should all know this one by now. Dark, deep and nasty in the subtlest of ways. Our man of the moment should be fresh in your mind after a stonking performance at last week’s dbe. ‘Trace’ is definitely one of the most strangest anthems we’ve encompassed to date, but that’s what is happening thankfully nowadays, with wonder and craft taking over straight forward song writing. FACT Mag said it best when they described the track as ‘Isaac Hayes singing with a mouth full of bees’, but it’s the other elements which create the tension, the pounding and insistent bass, the skipping drum elements and the punching timps. Our producing residents think this is impossible to recreate and I don’t disagree. Masterful.
Tessela – Hackney Parrot (Poly Kicks)
Well this is absolute madness. Looks like breaks are back in fashion! From the start you have breakbeat/jungle hallmarks all over this. The pounding drums, the cut up vocals, the dreamy pads. Then without warning all hell breaks loose. Getting proper hardcore the vocal becomes insistent, the breaks beef up and the bass runs riot over it all. This is bound to cause mass body movement in the dance whenever anyone drops it, and I mean everyone cause it has that universal appeal. My head went mad when I first heard this and still does, and I mainly listen to Jazz, so lord helpa you all!
Semedo – Love Illusion (Bodywork Music)
We’re looking at another dancefloor killa here. Although the whole thing is worth checking, the Capracara Remix is the one for us. With a jacking groove and a hardcore mentality, the bass is bound to play havoc on a full dancefloor. The vocal reminds us strangely reminds of ‘Rhythm of The Night’ which it could possibly be, but that only lends to the track’s mystical feel and subtle hints of the past. We could be in a warehouse in Sheffield or in Ibiza so it’s universal appeal is clear. Worth a chance this one!
Lockah – Only Built 4 Neon Nites (Donky Pitch)
Okay, let’s have a little fun with this last one. Lockah is a little unknown to us, but the label Donky Pitch isn’t. Responsible for some of the most mental tunes of the past few years, they keep it gangster through and through and have a certain ‘’don’t give a fuck’ air about them which we love. The brilliantly titled ‘Only Built 4 Neon Nites’ reminds us of the days that Kavsrave was massive for like a week and Rustie and Hud Mo were still bubbling under. ‘Guards Red Carrarra’ takes this on and cements it in the present with added footwork style beats. Our pick ‘Platinum Blonde’ sounds like we’re crusing through GTA 3 ready to pick up some broads armed with only our baseball bat and a pack of explosives from 8-Ball, which is obviously a great thing. Pure ridin’ material.