As 2012 progresses, it seems with every new month is another incredible list of drum & bass releases. Stay connected and informed, as we keep you in the know with our Essential DnB releases for the first half of May.
S.P.Y. - Love & Hate EP [Hospital]
Had to start this May's Essential DnB list with one of drum & bass's most diverse and talented producers in recent history, none other than S.P.Y.! With his debut EP on Hospital Records, the Brazilian badman delivers an exceptional 4 track EP entitled 'Love & Hate. Cracking all the charts within the first week, this EP is an absolute class piece of work featuring a well balanced and diverse trackilist from the growling and heavy flex of title track 'Love & Hate', to the cinematic and uplifting remix of Submotion Orchestra's 'All Yours'. Loving this EP from back to front, and absolute must have.
Evolution EP Series 3 [Shogun Audio]
The mighty Shogun Audio imprint continues their dominance in 2012 with this brand new EP featuring some of the biggest names in drum & bass. 'Evolution Series 3' dropped first week of May and delivered five tracks of absolute drum & bass bliss, with something for everyone in the tracklist. Standouts for me were dBridge's 'Not What You Want', serving up a chilled tempos and euphoric melodies like only the legend can present. Another winner on the EP is the deep and deadly remix of Alix Perez's 'Myriads' courtesy of Jubei. Rounded out with tunes by Total Science, The Prototypes and Rockwell, the Evolution Series 3 EP delivers the goods, no matter what your dnb flavour may be, absolutely essential purchase here!
Phil Tangent - Forgiveness / The Hardest Part
Creating a buzz for himself straight away with his smash hit 'Lunar' on Soul:R in 2010, Phil Tangent has quietly become a household name among drum & bass fans across the globe. His brand new single 'Forgiveness' b/w 'The Hardest Part' is a double a-side of absolute vibes and has once again set Phil up as a name to watch. Out now on the up and coming Rubik Digital imprint, the release is well balanced with tracks like 'Forgiveness', which shows the deeper side for Phil, sultry samples, lush basslines, and top class drum work. The flip-side 'The Hardest Part' is no slouch either, delivering a more dancefloor friendly vibe, deep and brooding bass, and an overall clean sound. Highly recommended release here!
Seba - Nightrider / Sharkskin [Nu Directions]
The mighty Seba drops a huge EP featuring 2 amazing original tunes with top quality remixes from Technicolour & Komatic and Survival to boot! The title track 'Nightrider' is a glorious piece of deep drum & bass goodness, with angelic harmonies, flowing basslines, and an overall uplifting vibe only he can create. Now, for the darker side of the spectrum, Seba comes correct with a smasher in 'Sharkskin', delivering rough and rugged beats, smacking amens, and basslines armed and ready for any dancefloor. Not to be outdone by the original tune, this release also features super solid remixes from the dynamic duo of Technicolour & Komatic, along with d&b veteran Survival. Incredible release here, something for everyone!
Mikal - The Chant / Headbanger [Utopia Music]
Back with yet another massive single, this time on the Utopia imprint, standout producer Mikal serves up another heavy dose of darkness with 'Headbanger' b/w 'The Chant'. Standout for me would be 'Headbanger' , as it lives up it's namesake dropping in nice and heavy, aggressive drum patterns and strong basslines create quite a bizz with this one. The a-side 'The Chant' brings a deeper undertone, with hints of neurofunk, all wrapped up into a tidy package. Both tunes bring the heavyweight, techy, deep and dark vibes we've come to expect from this very talented producer, top pick right here!
Submotion Orchestra - It's Not Me It's You (Alix Perez Remix) [Exceptional Records]
A name we're starting to hear a lot about in the drum & bass community, Submotion Orchestra has two remixes in my Essential list for May, and totally caught me off guard with this one. Commissioning a personal favourite of mine on this remix, Alix Perez delivers a perfect re-work to a really smooth original of 'It's Not You It's Me', but this time veering away from his recent darkside and bringing back that smooth and soulful sound we knew him for towards the beginning of his career. The remix is just spot on, showcasing his original vibes, with a subtle dark undertone that fits just right. Top quality!
Dub Phizix ft. Fox - Never Been / Codec [ Critical Music]
Half of the creative minds behind the smash hit 'Marka', Dub Phizix is back, this time on Critical and featuring Fox on vocals. 'Never Been' drops in heavy with a signature half-time d&b flavour, rude beats and basslines, with Fox adding a proper jungle vibe with his original vocal work on the tune. Adding a nice diversity to the release, the b-side 'Codec' features a grimey and dark sound, with eerie synths and samples adding a nice touch to round out the release. If that wasn't enough, as a digital exclusive, Critical offers up 'Handmade' as a added bonus to deliver a super safe release on one of drum & bass's best and brightest imprints.
Stunna & DFunk - Lost In The Rain / Losing You [Soundtrax]
More liquid gold here courtesy of veteran Stunna and his newest collaborator DFunk, for a two track single on Big Bud's Soundtrax imprint. The A-side 'Lost In The Rain' is a perfect late spring/early summer tune, laying down smooth beats and vibes, ready for any Summer playlist. My stand-out tune would have to be the flip 'Losing You', as it borders on the deep and rolling side of things, with wonderful keys, clean samples, and a bassline that is spot on. Great release here!
Bladerunner - Love Is Gone / Run For Cover [Philly Blunt]
One trend we've noticed in 2012 is the rapid insurgence of that original Jungle sound that helped develop drum & bass to what is it today, and this release is a prime example of where the music started and where it has gone. Bladerunner, holding it down for the original Junglists, drops the classic vibes in 'Run For Cover', with fantastic amen work, rolling basslines, and an overall classic jungle rhythm. The flipside 'Love Is Gone' delivers the goods as well, infusing a more jumpy and fun vibe, creating a throwback sound, but with a new school flex. Great release here for any true jungle fan!
Dramatic & dbAudio ft. Grimm - Far Away / Take My Hand [MARS Recordings]
Great collaboration here for some of drum & bass's rising stars, dRamatic & dbAudio are joined by Hybrid Mind's very own Grimm for a two track single of liquid drum & bass bliss. The a-side 'Far Away' is the standout for me, with a solid vibe from start to finish, and with Grimm's vocals adding the right touch to help round out a really strong tune. The flipside 'Take My Hand' features Grimm on vocal duties again, delivering a great track here ready for every summer playlist. Strong release here from this trio!
Words: Jon Methodus
Kmag Presents Soul Flex Digital
Our next Kmag Presents session at Cafe 1001 is on August 8 with Soul Flex Digital to launch their new 'Vintage' LP. We caught up with Dubsta to find out what's in store from the night and the album.
In The Studio: Break
Break is giving other producers the chance to add a bit of his magic to their music with his Symmetry Drum & Bass sample pack. Here Break reveals how he works in the studio.
KG Gives Away Massive Preset Bank
Drum & bass producer KG is giving away his Drum N Bass Preset Pack For Massive, find out how to get your hands on it...
Since we last spoke to Technicolour & Komatic they've become Technimatic, signed to Shogun Audio and have written the 'Desire Paths', which is about to drop. High time for another chat then...
Top 10 Free Tracks
It's Tuesday so time for ten more tracks you can download for free. This week's list includes Spirit, Evol Intent, Makoto, Digital Niyabingh, Indivision, Dawn Raid & Jungle Drummer and more.
Bop Previews Punk's Not Dead On Spotify
Kmag checks in with the genre-bending minimalist Bop as he unleashes a Spotify preview of his highly anticipated Punk's Not Dead LP on Med School.
Top 5 Free Mixes
Our list of favourite mixes from the past week includes sets from Randall, Reso, Elite Force, Hatcha and Mindscape.
Novation Announce Launch Control XL
Novation have announced a new mixer controller called Launch Control XL.
Calyx and TeeBee Interview
As they prepare to unleash their highly anticipated FABRICLIVE 76 mix on the masses, Kmag snags a peek behind the decks of the stalwart dons of d&b best known as Calyx & TeeBee.
Pioneer Launches The PLX-1000 Turntable
Pioneer marks 20 years in the DJ industry with the launch the PLX-1000 turntable.
Atlantic Connection Gives Away The Archives
Atlantic Connection is giving away nearly 80 tracks from 2001 – 2010 so we tracked him down to find out why and how his new album is coming along.
Top 10 Free Tracks
Normally each week we bring you our five favourite free tracks we've found but there are so many around just now we've upped it to ten this time.
DJ Monita Brings Back Skeleton Recs
DJ Monita is bringing back Skeleton Recordings with a remix package of The Razors Edge featuring reworks by Soul Intent, mSdoS and Blade. We spoke to Monita to find out what to expect.
Top 5 Free Mixes
Our selection of the best DJ mixes from the last seven days includes Jumping Jack Frost, Utah Jazz, King Yoof, Jurassik and PBK.
Ivy Lab Introduce 20/20 LDN
Sabre, Stray and Halogenix of Ivy Lab have just launched 20/20 LDN, a free midweek event in London, get all the details right here.