Between the staff employed here we spend a whole bunch of our time seeking out, reacting to, recommending and playing each other new music. Understandably it’s an integral part of what we do. So, in simplistic terms, we wanted to create a place for us to share the things we share internally, with you, externally. But rather than have that be screenshots of hundreds of different and badly spelled Skype IMs we decided to make it a little bit more curated, so we asked Hanna Wiggins (@Wiiigz) to put together her take on the month just gone in drum & bass music...
Mid month via social media, Doc Scott floated the idea of a 31 Records club night, receiving some 1800 enthused interactions on that Facebook status alone. With a flourishing reputation for delivering high end experimentations via his celebrated record label and substantial following of the back of his Future Beats radio show on OriginFM, Doc Scott is largely hailed as a figurehead for the progressive gamut of 170 BPM music. Typing out loud, the tastemaker and original Metalheadz crew member got straight to the point in a frank disclosure addressing a felt lack of representation in the UK drum & bass club scene.
“I'm tired of having to explain to people, "yes I am playing drum and bass" […] I want to hear DJs that are pushing the sound, not just content with playing predictable cookie cutter dnb that we've all heard a million times but way better. I want to hear DJs that make me think 'WOW' during their set and DJs that don't give a flying fuck about what some asshole on the radio says is the 'hottest track of the week.’”
And so, the curator of all things Future Beats has assured an excited band of loyalists (comprising a fair portion of the community) to watch this space. Resolutely citing the motivation; “If you aren't prepared to do something about it, you can't keep complaining.” Preach!
So, whilst waiting with baited breath for that wish-list topping prospect to materialize, Doc Scott has served up an exclusive mix for FABRICLIVE this month that’ll provide a bonus to fans, and to those not in the know; a flawless introduction to what he’s all about.
As an awkward segway of sorts, Doc Scott tweeted a particularly interesting revelation shortly into September…
The rumour mill has had its stops and starts over the past few years regarding legendary drum & bass outfit Bad Company. Formed in 1998 and comprising of dBridge, Maldini, Vegas and Fresh, the formidable four-piece are known for penning ‘The Nine’ b/w ‘The Bridge’, one of the most widely favourited drum & bass 12”’s of all time and then dispersing some seven years later in 2005 to pursue varying personal projects. Slated to play a one-off reunion set with all four original members at dBridge’s highly memorable 10 Years of Exit party at Vauxhall’s Fire in 2013, Bad Company UK tore the place apart with swathes of revellers packed in like sardines to witness arguably the most hyped set of that year, albeit with the notable absence of DJ Fresh, who at the time was riding the success of high-flying chart topper, ‘Hot Right Now’.
Fresh spurred a flurry of retweets in 2014 when saying “Think it might be time to get bad company back together” [sic]. Yet until recently, all has been quiet of the western front except for the speculation of astute ravers having detected a return of Bad Company classics in dBridge’s DJ sets. This summer however, they have had a generous smattering of appearances over the festival season, including Renegade Hardware’s moat stage takeover at Outlook Festival. With positive confirmation of a long-awaited studio reunion and new material in the pipeline, here’s an unofficial video clip the purported Bad Company track from dBridge’s set at Sun & Bass 2015.
Recall & Reflect
Alix Perez made his exquisite return to soulful drum & bass with his Recall & Reflect EP which was out this month on Exit Records. As divisive as Perez’s experimentations may have been, the former Shogun Audio artist’s recent musical foray has taken place within a cross-Atlantic framework of contemporary bass music styles, from trap to hip-hop, footwork to grime. This month however, grateful purists have lauded the romantic renaissance of this ocean-deep four-tracker.
With renewed vigour and unparalleled finesse, this timely body of work is an affirmation that the versatile producer had never strayed too far from the unmistakable Perezian rollers that he arrived to pre-eminence upon. Taking departure from futuristic style of U EP released earlier this year on Exit once again, the introspective Recall & Reflect indulges the listener with the familiar, soul-drenched sentimentality of love and loss from ‘Losing You’ to ‘Revolve-Her’; plunging unapologetically into the depths of the rolling minimal tech of the title track, before returning once more to the sumptuous nostalgic merit of the aptly titled ‘Never Left’.
Ahoy, Album Season
Exit Records will be launching the Module Eight LP at FABRICLIVE on the 9th of October. The enigmatic super-collective, rumoured to be made up of dBridge, Skeptical, Kid Drama, Loxy and Resound, have kept things on the down low since first making waves with Episode 03 of dBridge and Kid Drama’s Heartdrive podcast last year. Without much else in terms of information on the forthcoming album yet, fans of these guys can catch the mouthwatering line-up coming to Room Two next month including all respective Module Eight artists, plus special guests Alix Perez and EPROM presents Shades and London’s NTS radio host, Tim Parker.
The Ivy Lab guys announced Ivy Lab Presents 20/20 Volume One, the inaugural release from their hyper-trendy experimental imprint, 20/20. Perfectly positioned to peddle their stylish wares off the back of a tremendously successful few years since they broke with ‘Oblique’ on Critical Music in 2012, the 20/20 machine has been steadily building steam over the past 12 months, with the school night club event fast becoming the place to be for any self-discerning future beats fangirl or boy. As a perfect storm gathers with the rise of a like-minded sensibility occurring across the Atlantic in the form of new school producers such as Mr Carmack, the forward thinking trio have, with single minded acuity, carved out a spectacular niche with their brand of mind-melting wonkiness. They broke the news last week with an audio preview of the cocky half-time swagger of ‘Shamrock’; one part of a collection of 16 Ivy Lab tunes comprising the album which is scheduled for release on a 2 x 12” LP and digital formats on the 6th November.
Another album announcement this month came from St Petersburg super-producer Enei. Slated for release in early December on Critical Music, his sophomore album project, Rituals, is the long-awaited follow up to 2012’s phenomenal Machines LP. The lead single from the album sampler, ’Just One Look’ ft. Charlie Brix, is doing the rounds right now, expertly balancing melodic sing-a-long drum & bass with Enei’s signature twisted, sub-heavy edge.
And lastly, but by no means least[ly], is production powerhouse, Break, with his third long player, Simpler Times. Dropping October the 9th via his own imprint, Symmetry Recordings, the 12 tracks comprise what is arguably the Bristol producer’s most musical and explorative album project to date. Having located the sweet spot between irresistible dance floor tear-out and the perfect headphones moment, Break’s holistic and expert approach to production knows no bounds as he continues to push the envelope as one of the finest artists drum & bass has to offer. Featuring the vocal talents of KYO, Celestine, Singing Fats and Mad Hed City, with a few collaboration spots with kindred spirits DLR and Xtrah, Simpler Times has a lot to offer; from the tech-step of ‘Confidential’ and ‘The Flux’, the signature funk-heavy rolling vibe of the title track and ‘Hope’, to the blissed out dub-feel of ‘Free Your Mind’ and so much more in between.