Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Blackdub Podcast #5 feat. Mechanizm

Another month goes by and it's time for episode five in our podcast series. This month's show is hosted by myself, Enorme again and features the usual rash of quality Drum & Bass that you've hopefully come to expect from us by now. I was a bit ill when I recorded this one so didn't really have the energy to get into the mix. Instead I decided to play a load of tunes I've been feeling over the last month or two. 
No need to worry though as our guest mix has been more than ably handled by the man like Mechanizm, taking us through forty five minutes of rolling techstep that'll get your head nodding. Keep your eyes peeled for our Q&A but until then, enjoy the show. Let's go!

Dawn Day Night :: Alcoholic Dance Flow
Future Roots & Echonic :: Oak Tree
Foreign Concept :: Jaipur (Villem Remix)
M-Zine & Scepticz :: Alone
Raiden :: Dove From Above feat. Klose
Enei :: Trainchaser
SPKTRM & D-Struct :: C

Mechanizm In The Mix:
Verb & Nitri :: Fear Control
Manifest, Meth & 2Shy :: R.N.S
Matrix & InsideInfo :: Quattro
Calyx & Teebee :: Scavenger
Rene LaVice :: Brooklyn
Klute & Silent Witness :: Friendless
Foreign Concept & Anile :: True Enemies
Lethal & Able Danger :: HeadKnock
Prolix :: Sawhead
Prolix :: Funkhole
Dose :: Face Your Fears
Mechanizm :: Iconography
Zero T & Bailey :: Wasp Factory
Morphy & 2Shy :: Speakerbox
Verb :: Atlas
Verb :: Gully
Mechanizm :: The Unknown

Subtension & Minor Rain :: Sklep
Cursa, Subliminal & Alxr :: Camino
Zero T :: Rainha feat. Stamina MC
Sabre :: Injustice feat. Riya
Stray :: Contract
Escher :: Rugged

Friday, November 9, 2012

Introducing :: AutomAte

If you've been listening to our podcasts, you'll probably have heard a handful of forthcoming tunes from a couple of labels operating under the AutomAte umbrella. 

With a rock-solid concept under them, we feel they have a bright future ahead of them and believe us when we say they have some quality music coming out in the next year! 
We got hold of co-owner and AutomAte Deep curator, Deficit to find out a bit more about what they're all about. 

The AutomAte labels are nearly ready for launch. How long have you been involved in the Drum & Bass scene and how did the forming of AutomAte come about?

Long story! Depends what you mean by involved. I started bedroom DJing and going to Drum and Bass clubs and parties about ten years ago. I first played in a club six or seven years ago but I'd say it's only in the last three or four years that I've made a big effort to build something tangible and truly be a part of the scene.
AutomAte has existed in some form since late 2009. It started with a radio show on Intense Records' online station, jointly run by myself and my good friend Tracksuit Mafia. He and a few other mates had started producing their own music and we wanted to start exposing ourselves as artists to the rest of the world. We promoted the show on the forums and social networks each week and started to get a bit of interest but the format got very tired very quickly. We decided to get the audience more involved so we started advertising guest slots. People would send us a demo mix and if we were feeling it, we’d offer them the chance to either play a live show or provide a guest mix which we would air. We met loads of people this way because each DJ would bring their own circle of mates so it was a different crowd in the chatroom each week. The AutomAte Soundcloud page was originally a portal for downloading the radio shows and one of them, a Leon Switch/Defcom tribute mix from my man Nathan E, is still on there for the time being.

After about 18 months, we laid the radio show to rest. By that point we’d switched the format again and had about six DJs on regular rotation but it had become obvious that people wanted downloads, not live streams. A bit like Sky+, people want it on demand. Tracksuit Mafia went his own way to concentrate on production and I started the AutomAte Podcast. After about 9 months this started to really take off and, after 2 years, we've worked with Amoss, Phil Hustle, Nyx (Renegade Hardware), the other Nyx (from Seattle), Retraflex (Flexout Audio), Cursa and more. The next one will be Square (Mindtech Recordings). We're on iTunes, which is the best way to subscribe, and they’re downloadable from our Soundcloud page too.

In late 2010, my best friend (and now label partner) Esion convinced me to give production a try. He'd been doing it for a couple of years and was loving it. Long story short, I was bitten by the bug. Esion lives in Bristol and we started going to the Digital Labz production seminars, which are run by James Arclight. The three of us got chatting and James sent Esion a tune he'd just written. That tune was Pluroform. We were both blown away. We'd chatted about record labels before but Pluroform sealed the deal, if we could get music of that quality then it was game on! That was a year ago and a lot has happened since. We've been very busy but nothing has been rushed. We worked on the label for a year before releasing the first single, which came out on bonfire night.

How would you describe the sounds you're trying to represent across the two labels? What are you looking for when you sign a track?

Esion and I share a mutual love of dark, techy, dancefloor Drum and Bass but over the years our tastes have diverged. Esion's love of tech has extended towards the heavy/hardcore end of the spectrum whereas I've gone the other way towards the more experimental, genre-bending stuff. I guess you could say the two labels represent Esion and I.
AutomAte Tech is all about dirty, gritty, hard-hitting dnb ranging from heavy tech-step and amen tracks to neuro and hardcore styles. If you want to get a track signed to AutomAte Tech, a good start would be to write something that makes Esion and I jump around the room. It needs to be dark and grimy with plenty of attitude and groove. Esion really has the final say on what goes out on AutomAte Tech but there’s nothing that he's signed to the label so far that I don’t play in my sets too. If you have us both running for the nearest nightclub, you're onto a winner.
AutomAte Deep is about warm, eclectic and experimental music. Drum and Bass has always been a bit of a bastard son, a mish-mash of everything from UK Techno to Jamaican Dub to Funk and Soul to US Hip-Hop. It's the speed, the drum breaks and the sub-bass that make Drum and Bass sound like Drum and Bass but the real flavour comes from literally every other kind of music there is and this is the kind of experimentation I’m encouraging with AutomAte Deep; I want to forget I'm sitting in my studio; I want you to take me on a journey to a windy mountain top, a South American carnival, a Japanese temple, the surface of Mars… That’s how to get a tune signed to AutomAte Deep.
We're looking for really well produced music. Professional quality. With our first release, I believe we've set the bar right where it needs to be. Anyone can send us demos and we listen to everything we're sent. We're musicians, we love listening to music. We've had demos from many talented up-and-coming artists and we encourage them, spur them on to keep developing and give them advice where we can. Keep coming back, keep sending us music, we love hearing people progress and we'd love to home-grow some artists.
Apart from that, all the music needs to come from the soul. Writing tunes for the sake of it and trying to emulate other people often results in music that sounds awkward, contrived and false. Be true to yourself and write what's in your heart, whether it's a hardcore face-melter, dancefloor dynamite or a trippy experimental soup. We're passionate about this music and we expect to hear the same from our artists. In fact, that's all we really ask of them.
I much prefer to hear demos that have not been mastered in any way. Many artists seem to feel that they need to squeeze their demos to commercial loudness to grab my attention. Not true! In my experience, most budding producers totally overcook this and I've heard many a demo ruined by poor mastering. All our music is professionally mastered at zero cost to the artist so, if in doubt, leave the master bus alone and just send us the final mixdown, we'll take it from there.

The first release on AutomAte Tech has just dropped, can you give us some information on that as well as what to expect in the near future?

We have plenty in the pipeline. The first release dropped on 5th November. That was Arclight – Pluroform/Surgikal. It's available now in all good digital stores including Beatport, TrackItDown, Juno, iTunes, Amazon, 7Digital and many more. Support for that release has been outstanding. The tunes have been picked up by the likes of Bailey, Raiden, EBK, Nyx, Gremlinz, NC-17, John Rolodex. The list goes on...
Next up, on 3rd December we'll be releasing another AutomAte Tech single. This one is by Fearful, a talented up-and-coming duo from Brighton. The A-side is a heavyweight grumpy slab of tech called Santura and the B-side is a punchy rolling stepper called Gorilla. These boys are a joy to work with and they're ones to watch, they're going to start turning some heads. Again, the release has already chalked up encouraging support from the likes of Optiv, Amoss, Nyx, Phil Hustle, Cursa, Philth and more.

In the new year we'll be putting out more music on AutomAte Tech. Call me old-fashioned but I like to keep an air of mystery, I don't believe in giving everything away all at once. Suffice to say, exciting times lie ahead and we're already working with artists on several releases for the first half of 2013. The best way to keep up with what's happening is, of course, online at SoundcloudFacebook or Twitter (or search for #automatednb)

Around March/April, we're planning to launch AutomAte Deep. The first release on there will be Peg Leg by Ortokore and Near East by ModeBlue. This is a perfect example of what I'm trying to achieve with the Deep label. One side has insanely infectious Latino beach vibes while the other takes you on a Dub-fuelled journey to the heart of a Medina. All from the comfort of your headphones.

We're working on further releases for AutomAte Deep, with artists from all over the place, including Chile, Holland and Italy as well as England and Scotland.

We've also realised what a massive gulf exists between AutomAte Deep and AutomAte Tech. We've been sent a number of tunes which haven't suited the vibe of either label but which we would have loved to sign. Chunky steppers, dark rollers and interesting minimal tracks that didn't have enough attitude for Tech or were too straight-up for Deep. So we're planning to launch a third imprint, simply called AutomAte, to cater for this. The same standards apply across the board, the music needs to be well-produced and engaging with a dark andtechy or an interesting, experimental edge to it. This label is still on the drawing board but if it would make it into our record bags, it stands a good chance of being signed.

Any final thoughts or shouts you’d like to add?

Loads. I can talk about music all day. And I don't want this to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech!
Shouts to my partner-in-crime, Esion. Tracksuit Mafia for his support, especially in the early days. My tech-man Nathan E, who’s like the third member of AutomAte and practically runs our forum, And my girlfriend Julie for putting up with my sub, my ranting and raving, my obsessive nature and for picking me up when it all gets too much.
A special mention to our mastering engineer, Chris Jarman (aka Raiden/Kamikaze Space Programme). I’ve been a big fan of his for a decade now and there's no-one I'd rather have finalising our releases than him. And a bloody nice bloke to boot.
Katie Taylor (aka Shiny Biscuit) for helping us on the PR and promo side of things.
Carla, Gabi, Fergus, Stuart and Andrew for their graphical input over the years. If anyone wants to be put in contact with our graphic designers, just ask.
Finally, all the artists that have worked with us, sent us music or shown an interest. And everyone who has supported us by buying our music, playing our music, spreading the word or just offering encouragement. You know who you are.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blackdub Podcast #4 feat. Spindall and Jammin J

It's that time again and Podcast #4 is upon us. This month's episode is hosted by Blackdub cohort, DJ Reevah, showcasing some deep, dubby darkness, perfect for these longer autumn evenings alongside a little Jammin J showcase featuring some exclusive unreleased dubs and his currently available tracks.
We also have Rude FM's Spindall coming correct with a rolling mix packed full of forthcoming dubs guaranteed to get your head nodding.
As if all that wasn't enough, Jammin J has kindly offered up an exclusive free tune in the shape of Nile. You can grab that from his Soundcloud page here.

Don't forget to check our Q&A with Spindall below and enjoy the show! 


DJ Reevah In The Mix

Thing :: Dub Fighter :: Dubthing Freebie
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs :: Household Goods (Enei Remix) :: Nice Age
Sunchase & Nickbee :: Zoned :: Horizons
Technicolour & Komatic :: Serendipity :: Integral
Unreal & Duo Science :: Back Of The Truth :: Chronic
Meth :: Ohm :: Proximity
Konflict :: Celestial :: Renegade Hardware
Sunchase :: Violet :: Drone Audio
Arclight :: Surgikal :: AutomAte Deep Dub
Thing :: Dub Wize :: Dubthing Freebie
Kalm & Spindall :: Streams :: Extent
Nemesis :: System :: Renegade Hardware
Madcap :: Consequence :: Uncertified Music

Spindall In The Mix
Kalm & Spindall :: Parameters :: Twisted Records Dub
Charli XCX :: You're The One (Dub Phizix Remix) :: Asylum
Ruffhouse :: Pellet :: Alignment
DBR UK & Displaced Paranormals :: Night Vision feat. 2Shy :: Cyclone
Kyrist - Delusions :: Broken Audio Dub
Tom Small :: Morphine :: Broken Audio Dub
DBR UK :: Antiseptic :: Extent VIP Dub
Antagonist :: Sonar :: Dub
Kyrist :: Revolt :: Syrenz Dub
Ruffhouse :: The Foot :: Ingredients
Tom Small :: Unreal Soul :: Broken Audio Dub
Kalm - Cabin Fever :: Directors Cut Dub
DBR UK & Displaced Paranormals :: The Wrath :: Cyclone
Kyrist :: Revolt (Genotype Mix) :: Syrenz Dub
Kalm :: Dr Flow :: Directors Cut Dub
Zero T & Script :: Level 43 :: Dispatch
Dubplate Exclusive 

Jammin J :: Melt :: Dub
Jammin J :: Vice :: Dub
Jammin J :: Tribe :: Extent
Jammin J :: Burial Rights :: Extent
Jammin J :: Remember :: Dub
Jammin J :: All Massive & Crew :: ABAGA
Jammin J :: Jungle Note :: Dub

Q&A :: Spindall [Nurtured Beatz/Twisted Records]

Pic: Stiina West

Our special guest mix this month comes from London based Spindall. An accomplished DJ and an upcoming producer alongside partners Kalm and Diamond Eye, we got hold of him to find out what makes him tick and what we can expect to hear from him in the near future.

Can you introduce yourself for the people who don’t know you?
My name is Craig and I go under the artist name of Spindall, catch me on every Saturday from 6 til 8PM playing the best in underground D&B.

What made you want to starting DJing and what got you into Drum & Bass? 
I got into it at the very start back in 1992 listening to pirate radio and tape packs etc. via older friends. Being a DJ culture genre it was what I wanted to do from the age of 10! My idols were Hype, Andy C and Randall. Listening to those guys made me want to do it myself. 

How would you describe your sound/ethos? 
Definitely on the deep side. I like the deeper side of the music and the darkside.

You are also developing a reputation as a producer. Would you consider yourself predominantly a DJ or beat maker? Can we expect to see any releases in the near future? 
Producing is still very new to me. I'm still learning & lucky to have a sick engineer in Kalm so I would say at present definitely very much a DJ who dabbles in production . Myself and Kalm have an up coming release on Twisted Records very soon called Parameters. We're also gonna be starting a label called Nurtured Beatz so we'll be releasing on there too. Grab the free single now by myself & Diamond Eye from

You’ve put a guest mix together for our latest podcast. Can you give us a little insight into it? 
The mix features forthcoming material from us, current bangers and also a few people to watch out for in the future. I like to feature new artists and you'll spot a few in the mix.

How do you feel about the general state of Drum & Bass at the moment? 
Musically it is pretty strong right now, so much good stuff around at the moment it's unreal. It's also more diverse now than ever and that can only be a good thing. It will open the door too newer listeners. 

Current top 5 tunes? 
Ooh I hate this question because there are so many! Haha!

1. Charli XCX :: You're The One (Dub Phizix Remix) :: Asylum Records
2. Genotype :: The Good Turned Ugly :: Nurtured Beatz
3. Kalm & Spindall :: Parameters :: Twisted Records
4. Kyrist :: Delusions :: Broken Audio Recordings
5. Kalm & Spindall :: Thorn :: Nurtured Beatz

Any final thoughts or shout outs you’d like to add? 
Yes, thanks for giving me the opportunity to do this . Big ups to Kalm, all @ RudeFM, Diamond Eye, DBR UK & all @ Broken Audio, Kolectiv, Donny & Robee @ Extent, Joe @ Twisted, Lucie @ The Drum & Bass Diaries, Ruffhouse, Codebreaker, Syrenz , Antagonist, Genotype, and anyone I missed (I could be here forever but big ups to all the peeps who've supported, you know who you are).

Friday, September 28, 2012

Blackdub Podcast #3 feat. Lethal

It's podcast time again and this month we've decided to upgrade things a little bit. The previous two episodes were in a straight-up DJ mix format but in the time these have been going we've been contacted by a few people wondering if we can play their music. Thus we thought it was high-time we started a more conventional radio-style show!
This month's episode is hosted by myself, Enorme and features a little showcase of some forthcoming tunes from what we feel is a very promising label going by the name of AutomAte, as well as a bunch of tunes I'm feeling at the moment and some awkward  continuity banter. 
As well as all that we have a special guest mix from Surround Sound Recordings' co-owner Lethal. A big thanks goes out to him for putting in the effort for his stomping mix. If you like your Drum and Bass with a hefty techno influence, you won't be disappointed.
You can also read our little Q&A with Lethal on the blog while you listen. Download the podcast here (right click and save link as) or stream it directly from our Soundcloud page. What are you waiting for?! Enjoy!


OrtoKore :: Peg Leg
Fearful :: Gorilla
Gerra & Stone :: Droneheads (Octane & DLR Remix)
Silent Witness :: Magnetize
Capone :: Friday

Lethal In The Mix
Lethal, Gancher & Ruin :: Rising
Dextems & C.A.2K :: Fury
Optiv & BTK :: Start It Again
Lethal :: Invader
Propaganda :: Hardcore Will Never Die
Lethal :: Rave In E Minor
Lethal :: Darkslider
Denix :: Spusk
Lethal feat. Hostile :: Surr8ted Edge
Raiden & Proket :: Skafandr
The Sect & Cooh :: Danger Nation
The Panacea :: Creatch (Lethal Remix)
Raiden :: Hubble
Proket :: Guta
Lethal :: Tech-No-Step
Ed Rush & Optical :: Check Out Time
Underhill :: Solace (The Sect Remix)
Lethal :: Eurocrash
Art Pathos & Prode :: El Nino

Fearful :: Santura
Arclight :: Pluroform

Enorme In The Mix
DRS :: Bun Ya feat. Dub Phizix, Strategy, Fox, Chimpo, Skittles, Konny Kon & T-Man
Ibunshi & Kodama :: Fragments
Nate Dogg :: Took Your Love (Teebee Bootleg)
Foreign Concept & Xtrah :: Harsh Reality
Octane, DLR & Cern :: Rawness
Icicle & Nymfo :: Franky Mountain
Dose :: Nine Lives
Optiv & BTK :: Cantilever
Ulterior Motive :: 2098


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Q&A :: Lethal [Surround Sound Recordings]

Lethal was kind enough to provide us with a guest mix for the third episode of our podcast series. To whet your appetite we caught up with the DJ/Producer and got a few words with him to find out a bit more about what drives him, what we can expect from his label Surround Sound Recordings and how he feels about the ever-present MP3 vs. Vinyl argument.

For the people who don’t know much about you, can you introduce yourself and give us a little background on the label?
My names Dan Franklin aka Lethal and I own the label Surround Sound which I run alongside my good friend Mike Rogers who is also one half of Able Danger. The labels been going since June 2009 and we’ve had 26 releases so far. We release predominantly Drum and Bass, but have also branched out into Dubstep with plans to move into other genres too.

What made you want to set up a new label?
Mainly it was to have that creative control over my music and output, although it was always a goal of mine to have my own label and one that I was very happy to achieve. I had been working with Raiden helping to manage Offkey and the connection to ST Holdings got made, so I took the opportunity to put my concept for a label forward. Things went from there and here we are today.

How would you describe the ethos behind Surround Sound? What are you looking for when you sign a track?
It’s hard to say, a well thought out arrangement and balanced production is always good for me. I like tracks that have some substance to them, where you can tell the producer has put some thought into it and not just slapped a bunch of loops from a sample CD together. Surround Sound is about a variety of styles and genres that can all work together in context. Techno is a big influence for me personally; however I don't let it dictate the label.

The MP3 vs. Vinyl argument continues to rumble on. As you run a digital release focused label, do you feel D&B is a little unyielding in its refusal to embrace technology more?
I don’t really feel there’s much of an argument anymore... you can only argue with the numbers so much. The reality is vinyl doesn’t sell like it did, especially not for smaller labels. Many who put out vinyl do it at a loss, which is a real shame. I would love to do some more vinyl releases but the numbers just don’t add up. Who knows what the future holds, but I can’t see things moving back.

What’s up next for you and Surround Sound?
I have a 5 track EP out now on Surround Sound that features some tracks originally scheduled for Position Chrome. Then we have a 3 track EP from Able Danger with more to come. We’re still finalising the schedule but details will be up on the as soon as their ready. Other than that I’m currently working on solo and collab projects, as well as a techno project too.

Can you give us a little insight into the mix you’ve put together for us?
I wish I could say there was some deep thought that went into it, but I'd be lying. I just wanted to pull some old bits and throw them in the pot with some new tracks. It’s very easy to get caught up in the latest tunes all the time so it was good to dig through the old CDs and pull out some old personals.

Any final thoughts you’d like to add?
Follow me on Twitter, @DanLethal and Soundcloud for up to date info on what’s going on with me and keep posted to and @SurroundSoundUK on Twitter for all label and associates news. A big thanks to the Blackdub crew for asking for the mix, big ups to you guys. A shout goes out to Mike (MR2) and the Surround Sound family, expanding by the day. Big ups and respect to all those that support what we do. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Introducing :: Protect Audio

Drum and Bass is flourishing at the moment and with that, there is a consistent rash of labels popping up here and there. 
It's difficult in times like this to stand out from the crowd and keep the quality control high. Worcester based label Protect Audio seems to have both of these factors locked down. They already have a solid debut release out now in the shape of Marukumo's Visions/Ganymede so we thought we'd catch up with head-honcho Pete to find out what's up next.

For the people who don’t know much about you, can you give us a little background on yourself and Protect Audio?
I’m Pete, I’m 26 and I own Protect Audio (sounds like blind date haha). I’ve always had a massive interest in music and I’ve played different instruments for the last 15 or so years.  I started off playing drums at age eleven and soon moved onto bass and guitar. I still play guitar now. 
Around the age of sixteen I started playing around with FL studio, making some weird Aphex Twin inspired music as I was really into that trippy genre back then. At age eighteen I thought about going to guitar school and getting a degree in technical guitar playing as I wanted to teach/session etc. Instead I got a job and worked for a couple of years then went to SAE Institute London to study audio engineering. I ended up quitting my course after a year and I started a small label named Tongue Flap. This is where I learnt the foundations of music business and music management etc. 
2012 came along and it was time to start Protect Audio and really focus it on nineties influenced Drum and Bass. I've been building up my contacts and knowledge over the past three to four years so starting the label and getting people aware of it was a bit easier. We’re now just waiting for PA002 to land on September 17th.

How would you describe the ethos behind the label? What do you feel sets you apart from everyone else?
Protect Audio's ethos is to release Drum and Bass that has a nineties inspiration but with a 2012 feel. We’re not aiming for the commercial sounds and not trying to follow a trend. We just release music that we love which has enough firepower to compete with the big boys and it appears to be working. We’ve had some amazing DJ feedback & support so far. Watch out!

What’s up next release-wise for Protect Audio?
On September 17th we have The Protection EP dropping worldwide. It’s a four track various artists EP featuring Congress, Mono, Homemade Weapons and Marukomu. There is something for everyone in this release and we’re very proud of it. As for forthcoming music, we have a release from Homemade Weapons, Cursa and Hyroglifics. I’ve already said too much so you’ll have to wait to find out more info!!!

Any shouts or final thoughts you’d like to add?
Thanks to everyone that is supporting Protect Audio and cheers to all the guys who work very hard for me. You can hear our forthcoming release by playing the Soundcloud set below.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rise Of The MC

The MC is the Marmite of Drum & Bass culture. Revered by some and hated by others, this argument has been going on for as long as the music has and we're not going to get into it here.

One thing you may have noticed though, is the recent predominance of MC led tracks particularly in the more 'minimal' techstep influenced side of Drum & Bass. Granted, these tracks have always been around over the years. A little hook here, a sampled phrase there and even full vocal tracks. Just dig out Reprazent's classic Brown Paper Bag or Technical Itch's Soldiers with Jakes' menacing vocals driving the tune forward.

Something's different this time round though. Last year you could seldom go out to a bass oriented night without hearing Strategy's indecipherable lyrics on Dub Phizix & Skeptical's smash, Marka. Now everyone's doing it. And it's bloody good.

So why now?
A few corners of the scene have been raising concerns that modern day techstep is "too minimal" and samey. This is perhaps a reaction to such complaints, a compromise as it were; the track retains its essence whilst at the same time filled out with the addition of a few bars of vocals.
Simultaneously serving to keep the mind engaged, fans who quickly tire of droney bass and sparse soundscapes may find their appetites for that something more satiated. This also lends itself well to the ever more popular ethos of tracks standing up to home listening as well as working on the dancefloor.

What about commercial viability?
Is Drum & Bass moving into a new era of mainstream acceptance? This is a question for another time but it can certainly be argued that electronic music and DJ culture has exploded into mainstream media of late. The UK even had a Drum & Bass single chart at number one recently. Coupled with a whole host of tunes making it onto daytime radio playlists, the future is looking pretty bright.
This is all very exciting but it has to be said: no one starts making Drum & Bass to get famous and make a big pile of cash.

As much as it sounds like a cop out, it seems more likely that simply the right minds are around at the right time.
This is simply another step in the ever evolving experiments of its pioneers, let's enjoy it!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Blackdub Podcast #2: DJ Reevah

We've been away for a while but we're back with a new podcast guaranteed to shake the cobwebs out! 
Step forward DJ Reevah, a fellow Scotsman we've been in contact with since Blackdub's inception. We thought it was high time we got a mix from him and he's delivered 90 minutes of  deep, dark rollers and classic techstep with a few dubs thrown in for good measure. 

Read on for the interview and you can find the podcast player at the bottom of this post along with a link to download the mix. Enjoy!

For the people who don't know much about you, can you give us a little background on yourself?
I'm Lewis, 29 and a married dad of one. I'm a self-employed joiner, originally from Peebles but been in Edinburgh for a good 10 years now.
I've been buying all kinds of music since I was 9, got into Jungle/Rave when I was 15 along with Hip-Hop and never looked back. I originally wanted to be a promoter/DJ but ended up starting a family quite young and put down the vinyl!
I got a set of CD decks in 2010 after eight years of not mixing and thought "fuck it"! I started putting up mixes which received support from a host of DJs, MCs and producers via connections I'd made on Twitter.
I've been a lifelong mixtape fan and try to put my mixes into this format as well as trying to balance selection with mixing! I'm yet to play out at a venue but would love to. Twitter @djreevah
You can catch Jammin J and myself on on rotation with Aesthetics and Renegade every Thursday from 8.30-10.30, the full spectrum of D&B! Guests, features, dubs and dodgy Scottish accents!

What was it that brought you back to the scene?
I went right off Drum and Bass in the mid 2000s. The scene had become very boring and the darker/deeper stuff was too fast. I still had my ear to the ground on some bits but generally my love was (and still is) with Ninja Tune.
It wasn't until 2009 when I caught a Raiden podcast which introduced me to DBR, Skeptical and Amoss to name a few. I was blown away with how stripped back and phat their beats sounded, so that was me straight back into D&B!

2012 has, in our humble opinion, been a great year for Drum and Bass already. What's your favourite tune so far?
Quite a few things! Spindall & Calm - Streams, DBR & Overlook - Stasis, Mechanizm's Dimensions EP on Vampire Records and Able Danger - Asteria come to mind.

How do you feel about the current state of D&B?
Too many things sadly! From the state of raves to the use of the 'Junglist' tag as a fashion accessory! The biggest piss-off for me though is the total lack of knowledge from a lot of people 'involved' in D&B: no knowledge of places, people, venues, tunes, labels or any of the other stuff that has shaped D&B over the years.

Are there any other genres you're feeling at the moment?
I mix Techno, Dubstep, Hip-Hop and anything else I fancy. I like many genres, really feeling a lot of Techno bits at the moment!

Can you give us a little insight into the mix you've done for us?
I always try to maintain a deep rolling vibe, a 'journey' mix if you will. Hope people enjoy listening to this on the commute as much as they do chilling on a Friday or walking the dog. 

Finally, any shout outs or anything else you'd like to add?
Shout outs to DJ EC, Jammin J, Aesthetics, Renegade (Nexus Kru), Deficit, Able Danger, DBR UK, Inside Corrosion, Dissect, Boba, Broken Audio, Spindall, Dave Lowe, Melodie Wu, Salex, Mechanizm, Surround Sound Recordings, 2ShyMC, AutomAte, Nathan DNB Movement, Rude FM... Big ups!
Thank you to all who've checked out my mixes! 

Halogenix - Tender Chain
Ortokore - Peg Leg (AutomAte Dub)
Sabre - Halo Danger
Anile - Oldsoul
Arclight - Surgikal (AutomAte Dub)
Loxy & Ink - Artical
Darqwan - Warrior Stance (Amit Remix)
dBridge - Creatures Of Habit
Future Forces - Dead By Dawn
Mosus & S.P.Y - 1999
Phace - Non Human
NPhonix & Enei - Transparent
SpectraSoul - In Profile
Amit - Motherland
Enei - One Chance 
Ray Keith - Chopper (Serum Remix)
Dave Owen - Heaven Scent
Cause4Concern & Fierce - Moonbreaker
Fierce & Vicious Circle - Spectre
Calibre - 2 Drop
Jubei - The Take
Aesthetics - ? (Dub)
Arclight - Pluroform (AutomAte Dub)
DBR UK - Policies
DBR UK - Anaconda
DBR UK - Agents
DBR UK - Charged
DBR UK - Fortress
DBR UK - Fighting The Storm
Jammin - Tribe 
Able Danger - Asteria
Fearful - Gorilla (AutomAte Dub) 

Direct Download (Right Click + Save As):
Thanks to Dark Skies for the webspace!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Free: Everybody's Favourite Price!

There have been a rash of quality free tunes given away recently so we thought we'd compile a short list of our favourites in case you missed them. Enjoy!

SpectraSoul have been unusually but understandably quiet over the last year as they prepare for the release of their debut long player this summer. The first single from the album, 'Light In The Dark' feat. Terri Walker/'Shackles' feat. Fox is out now on Shogun Audio and we suggest you pick it up ASAP.
To celebrate the release, Shogun gave away the VIP version of SpectraSoul's classic 'The Tube'. Click the link above and 'Like' SpectraSoul's fan page to download. Dare we say it's better than the original?

Critical Music are offering a free WAV of Enei's One Chance VIP to mark his reaching 10,000 fans on Facebook. Just click the link above and sign up to the Critical mailing list, you'll then be presented with a download link.

Enei has also just secured a handful of dates around the UK, click here to see if he's playing in your area. Given how long it took to have a visa arranged, you don't want to miss him if you get the chance!

Kmag recently offered up Blu Mar Ten's 'All Or Nothing' for an exclusive remix competition in association with Finyl Tweek, Loopmasters, Soundcloud and Surus.
This was Krakota's effort which he put up for free download a few weeks ago, an uplifting little roller perfect for bringing it down a notch in the wee hours.
Click through to Krakota's Soundcloud page to download, where you can also find an amen driven VIP version of 'Be Myself', his first release on Ingredients Records.

The Funktion, one half of Mob Tactics and an accomplished solo artist in his own right, celebrated reaching 1000 Soundcloud followers by giving away 'Straitjacket' this week. This one's a crisp, funky stepper with some nice drum edits thrown in.

Head over to The Funktion's Soundcloud page to download.

Granted, this was given away almost a year ago but it's still one of our favourites. Originally penned for his excellent long player Béton Armé which was released on Offkey last year, Raiden gave this rolling stomper away as part of the promotional effort for the album.
You can grab it from his Soundcloud page by clicking the link above. Check the percussion!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blackdub Podcast #1: DJ Haze

For our inaugural edition of the Blackdub Podcast we asked Red Mist Recordings' label owner DJ Haze to throw it down. He went in deep on this one, carving out a 70 minute slice of tough, uplifting Drum & Bass and we can't thank him enough for his efforts! 

Expect Red Mist tracks past and present, remixes of some of his all time favourites and a few unreleased gems.

Read on for the interview and you can find the podcast player at the bottom of this post along with a link to download the file in glorious 256kbps. Enjoy!

For the people who don't know much about you or the label, can you give us a little background on yourself and Red Mist?
Sure. I started out in the scene MCing for my mate Danny Ethics, that soon sparked an interest in DJing and eventually hosting radio shows, and of course the label.

Red Mist was started by label partner Paul Moody and myself simply because we got tired of being the fans who sat moaning on the sidelines about how we wanted things doing differently. We were alumni of the classic Good Looking era and there were so few labels back then pushing the sounds we were into. It's so easy to sit and criticise when artists or labels change direction but what if you could contribute yourself? It really isn't that hard. We weren't names, we didn't have a lot of money, we just had the will to give it a go. So we got in touch with people in the scene, labels, artists, and took it from there, before we knew it we had enough material for a CD album which felt was the best entry point, soon things had snowballed and we were lucky enough to release music on vinyl as well as CD, which was the ultimate aim.

I'd count Good Looking Records, 720, Covert Operations, Temple, Timeless, Renegade and Purified Audio as influences for Red Mist, in terms of artists we've always loved ASC who has been a big part of Red Mist from the early days to now, and of course other stalwarts of the label including Antibreak, Electrosoul System, Greenfly, FX909 and ICR amongst many others, without them none of it would have been possible.

How would you describe the Red Mist sound/ethos?
I guess deep, danceable atmospheric music, not necessarily sticking to one specific style but each track we sign is always something Paul & I immediately feel is simply Red Mist somehow, when that happens we do everything we can to sign it and the rest usually falls into place. We ignore the trends of the rest of the scene to a large extent which is probably to the detriment of wider success in the market, but we both firmly believe that doing our own thing and sticking to our tastes 100% is the best way to stay interested and retain our integrity. I can honestly say we've never signed a track because we thought it would do well as opposed to simply loving the music. As soon as you cross that line, you lose your identity and when your label isn't a career or an avenue to make you money which Red Mist certainly has never been to us, why release with anything other than the heart?

The last release on Red Mist was the excellent Eleven Shades of Night LP by Antibreak. It's been pretty quiet since then. Any news on what's happening in the future?
It has been quiet, to be honest life has got in the way of things since the Antibreak album, Paul & I have both had our minds on our careers amongst other things with D&B taking a bit of a back seat, but the door hasn't been closed. Our most recent vinyl distributor went bust recently, and the market for CDs is waning but we refuse to take the easy way out and become another digital label. Neither of us see any reason to be involved in this scene as label owners simply putting files on a website, we want to give people something they can hold in ten years and have some memories, you just don't get that from an mp3, and I have great concerns about quality control too. The same tracks you might like but aren't quite good enough to put your money behind can now come out, this can be a good thing but it also brings with it the danger of watering doon the scene, the huge slew of digital content available is a detriment in my opinion as it's just getting too hard for fans to filter the wheat from the chaff, and when you reward mediocre music with a digital release it sends out entirely the wrong message to both the artist and the buying public. But going back to our situation, as soon as we feel we're ready to release again we will, but only when we have full confidence in the music, the format of the release and our ability to dedicate enough time to do it right. 

Are there any artists out there that you're particularly feeling at the moment?
Antibreak still surprises me on a regular basis with his ideas, guys like Yorke, Soultec, Silent Dust, Freebird, Bulb, Mage, Edward Oberon, Shebuzz and East of Oceans are highlights at the moment, and of course ASC just keeps on bringing the quality.

What are your feelings on the general state of D&B and electronic music as a whole right now?
In terms of D&B, the quality of music being released has noticably dropped in recent times in my opinion, partly thanks to the saturation of the scene by there being far too many labels with little genuine identity and it being too easy for artists not quite ready for releases to get tunes out there before they've had the time to perfect their craft, but that could just be me and my ageing ears, who knows! I'd love to see more of a 'quality not quantity' approach, I mean there are digital labels out there churning out 30 releases in the space of a year without the fear of failure that comes with physical releases, and it can be tough to keep up as a listener when that's just one label out of a whole bunch you're following. One of my biggest problems with D&B at the moment is how forgettable a lot of it is, many tracks I hear I think 'yeah this is great', but I can barely remember it the next day, which seems to be a more recent thing to me but again that could just be me and my own changing tastes. I do still occasionally hear tracks which allay my fears I've heard it all though, and the faith is still there that there's life in this music yet. As for other genres I'm enjoying progressive house and trance, both of which are taking up a lot of my time, and have a lot to offer D&B in terms of influences and how they're coping with the changes in market trends I think.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Not much really, I've waffled on enough! I'd just like to say thank you for having me on the podcast and for taking the time to ask these questions, it's been a pleasure answering them and to contribute to what I'm sure will be a great project going forward for Blackdub.
Also, you can check out the Red Mist Recordings website where you can shop for Red Mist releases, download mixes from Paul & myself etc, and Red Mist Radio hosted by myself is every 1st Monday of the month, 7-9pm GMT on Bassdrive.

Scroll down for the podcast player!

Smote - Moonlight [Red Mist]
Native - At My Side [Red Mist]
Atmospherixz - Daytona Dreamz [Red Mist] 
Kyro - Dark Devotion [Red Mist] 
Laroque - Goldfinger (Unreleased Mix) [Hospital] 
Artificial Intelligence & D Bridge - Better Days [Liquid V] 
Mav & Implex - Chasm (Future Engineers Remix) [Covert Operations] 
Method One & Besk One - Between Two Worlds [Levitated] 
Blame - Alpha 7 (ASC VIP) [Unreleased] 
J-Laze - Stratosphere (Remix) [Unreleased] 
Arje - Over Clouds [Red Mist] 
Funky Technicians - Airtight (Furney Remix) [CIA] 
PFM - The Western (Mike's Ricochet Remix) [Good Looking] 

Direct Download (Right Click + Save As):
Thanks to Dark Skies for the webspace!