Crate Diggin’
Murdock highlights Belgium’s current wave of D&B talent

Hans Machiels, the Belgian drum & bass artist known as Murdock, is one of Europe’s most prolific 170BPM specialists today, and for good reason. As a producer, DJ, label owner and promoter, Machiels has been living and breathing drum & bass for the best part of 25 years, steadily working his way to the forefront of the scene today (something he's most recently proven with the release of his deadly Stronger LP on Viper). Starting out as a DJ and small-scale event planner, he has since gone on to release a diverse array of productions, launched the acclaimed Radar Records imprint, and founded one of the outright strongholds of European drum & bass and dubstep music, Rampage. The indoor Antwerp festival holds legendary status, with 30,000 ravers from across the globe expected to attend the 2020 edition. They’re also currently prepping to take over our Farringdon home for a huge FABRICLIVE session on 22nd November, with Doctor P, Spor, Technique International Sound and more set to join Murdock across the space. He sent us over a list of destructive tunes he’s been playing ahead of the date, where he chose to celebrate the quality and scope of talent from his home country. With his track choices, he told us:

“I was thinking of a theme for this piece and even though I am the least patriotic guy you can find, I do love to shine a light on upcoming talent from back home. Before I kick off, I want to also shout out Bredren (Nina Dobrev! Backlash!), Used (Mistakes!), Nexus & Tight (Dark Matter!), James Marvel (Red Alert! Way of the Warrior!), Baz & Simplistix (All Ganja Man!) and Andromedik (Hyena!), but I’m going to stick with tracks that are currently in my sets that I feel people should be aware of.”

Basstripper – Rush [Low Down Deep]

This guy is one of those producers that has a true signature sound and he manages to create different moods with it. He’s got the steppy drums down to a tee, and he has a certain set of bass sounds that really define his music. Literally every track he does is a certified banger. They are not always up my alley per se, but tracks like Rush are among the best records I’ve heard in recent years. I actually really wanted to pick Woofer because he sent it to me first and then the project got corrupted and it will probably never see a release. Sadly (or fortunately) it’s not to be found on line so we couldn’t include a clip here. But I will play that one till the day I die!

Doctrine – The Grudge [Radar]

I love every track this man has ever done. Deckard was a masterpiece, Airlock was out of this world, Parabol, Hybrid… the list goes on. But The Grudge is the one that never seems to leave my sets. It’s such a brutal stomper, I cannot for the life of me understand why more people didn’t pick up on it. I play it almost every set, every time a video surfaces, people go “What the fuck is that track?” It was released five years ago on my label Radar Records. But it sounds like it was made yesterday, and it’s always the hardest tune of the night.

D-Nasty – Arsenic [Radar]

This guy is dead serious about his aspirations as a producer, and I love his determination. I heard his first releases that started to stray from that typical Belgian jump-up sound and I invited him to do an EP for Radar. He delivered four banging tunes that all sound very unique. Arsenic is kind of on that foghorn hype tip, and to me it’s the best track that was ever made in that style. It doesn’t necessarily get the crowd jumping and shouting but I can tell every time I play it that it really affects people on the dancefloor.

Danger – Enter [Radar]

Another guy that is coming up out of the Belgian jump-up scene. I have said on several occasions: purists shouldn’t be laughing at jump-up, because it’s the sub-genre that is delivering the next generation of talent. It’s showing more and more every day! Danger churns out the tunes like you won’t believe. I literally can’t keep up with what he is sending me. That’s probably also the reason why his EP for Radar has six tracks on it. Cycle of Life was the standout tune because of its vocal, but Enter is such a sick tool in my DJ sets. I double it with Grafix’ Acid Generation and it goes off every time. Danger is working on a VIP of this one, so fingers crossed we’ll have an ever-better version sometime soon.

Spaow – New Step [Radar]

I don’t know that much about this guy. He’s from Belgium but apparently he lives in Thailand, he seems quite elusive and he is somewhat of an anarchist. And he makes the most expertly produced jump-up on this planet. He sent me two positively quirky tunes a while ago, and for some reason I was smitten. I released them on Radar. Some people loved them, others despised them (one guy replied to the DJ mailout: “This sort of music is the reason I want to leave drum & bass.”) – but he is doing his own thing and I love that. In recent times he has mainly showed up on releases accompanied by Heist. Their joint track Black Knight is an absolute banger that I play out a lot. I dug up New Step a little while ago, and it now seems to creep its way into my set very often.

Wednesday 30th November

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