DnB

Review: Colourspace

Hugh Hardie’s debut album Colourspace has been out on Hospital Records for around a month now (about equally as long as this post has been sitting in my drafts). Hugh’s long awaited debut album perfectly showcases his talent, includes a wide range of styles, and features collaborations with Pola & Bryson and GLXY just to name a few (which also happen to be my favourites).

Throughout the entire album Hugh Hardie takes us on a journey of his progress and development as a producer. The first two tracks of the album, Love Troubles and Dusky Keys, have that disinct distinct Hardie-funk-and-soul-sound that made the City Soul EP so special.

The album is versatile and progresses to heavier basslines while continuing to have soulfulness to it. Transitioning from upbeat funk to nastier beats and bass with such ease, he reminds me of the sound of S.P.Y – who is a true chameleon in terms of style and who gives each sub-genre of DnB all the love it deserves. This, like S.P.Y., makes it very hard, if not near to impossible, to place Hugh Hardie into any specific box other than that of ‘amazing talent’.

Emerald City, featuring Pola & Bryson, is probably my favourite track of the whole album. It starts off with that distinct sound that is very similar to Love Troubles, but then swiftly moves into a soft, twinkling, and melodic roll until the darker bass kicks in – making it an absolute feel good song!

What I like most about the Colourspace album is that it gives you a listening experience that carries through throughout all tracks as well as taking you through sound that shape Hugh Hardie’s individual style.

Bottom line if you’re a fan of Technimatic or S.P.Y you will definitively enjoy giving Colourspace a spin.

 

Peace!

 

 

Friends

Exit Records presents: Aptitude

Dbridge rallied up the best of Exit Record talent and associated artists at the second session of the Aptitude series held, fittingly, at the Bridge last Friday 2nd June.

We got to the venue around 1 am and it was the first time we went there so we didn’t quite know what to expect. I’d say it was interesting. From the outside the place is very unassuming: no sign, no posters, no anything – all black. Once inside, you walk up some stairs and enter a rather small room, with sleek walls and shiny ceiling. It’s an odd little place, but the speakers are loud and have a good wobble to them.

Everyone that loves drum and bass knows that it was a sad week last week with the unexpected passing of Marcus Intalex. That’s why Exit records have decided to donate all proceeds from the night to Marcus’ family and help in this difficult time. Marcus Intalex was one of the great DnB producers, and a true pioneer. He has pretty much invented the sub-genre of liquid funk and his contributions to the world of music will live on.

Aptitude payed tribute to him and played his music. After some slow rollers, the night picked up pass with more experimental sets and more personality coming through the different tunes. Unfortunately we had to cut the night short as we had field day the next day and wanted to be as rested as we could have been given that we’ve just spent the last 3 or so hours on our feet taking in the music…

 

Peace.

Friends

Field Day 2017

Last Saturday, 3rd June 2017, was that time of year again! Field day, one of London’s now probably most popular and ever growing day festivals, graced us with its presence once again.

Field Day was also the very first day festival I’ve ever been to back in 2012… which is now 5 years ago! Back then I went with a friend as an end-of-exams-treat-yo-self gift to outselves, and I have very fond memories of that day! We saw Gold Panda, SBTRKT, Hudson Mowahk, possibly Flying Lotus, and maybe even Franz Ferdinand (just to give you an idea HOW LONG AGO 2012 is), as well as a bunch of other acts (which I cannot recall). But from what I can absolutely remember, you can trust me that 2012 was a good year for music! SBTRKT released his first album, everyone was loosing it when he played Wild Fire, Hudson Mohawk had also just released his first album, with Cbat and Thunderbay being the killer tracks of his set, and Gold Panda’s set had one of the best light shows I had seen at the time playing around with lights and smokes. Trust me when I say it was an epic day!

So you guys can probably understand that I jumped at the idea of returning to Field Day half a decade later when my friend suggested to go again this year. On the day of the event, my friend sent me our what we thought were e-Tickets only to realize that the email did not come with any attachments. Turns out RA actually sent out physical tickets and they got delivered to my friends’ home address in – wait for it – Scotland. After a bit of an initial panic period we cleared our heads over an epic breakfast and came up with an action plan: que será, será and we had all the documents and ticket purchase confirmations with us to prove our point. After a filling our tummies with some tasty poached eggs, avocado on toast, and heaps of bacon we walked over to Victoria park.

We arrived at the site around 4pm, thinking it would only take a few moments for us to get in. We ended up queuing for over an hour at ticket enquiries, only to be told that we should not have even bothered to queue there as there were loads of people who just like us made the honest mistake of not having a physical ticket on us and could have just walked in…  Sadly, that meant we missed Moderat for nothing (but from what I’ve been told, it was a great set).

Given that we only got in around five we missed have the festival, but luckily still managed to see everyone we wanted to see for most parts. One of the biggest downside of London festivals’ is that due to their location they will never be loud enough. the stage Kode9 was playing at was actually quite cool –  a pavilion rather than a tent – but that also meant it was even quieter than the other stages, and it’s a shame because Kode9 deserves a lot of bass! So we imagined the bass and had a good little skank before going to see Nico Jaar at the barn.

The barn was the main stage, and was a warehouse like looking construction that was mind blowing and reflects the scale at which Field Day has grown over the years to a whopping capacity of 25,000 people now.

To be completely honest, I was a little bit disappointed by both Nico Jaar and Nina Kraviz. Both their sets felt like a very long intro, with the progression not really kicking in and you were left in this build-up mood that you did not get to release. It also felt a bit as if they were not really that into it and who can blame them to be fair: If you’re used to headlining and playing at the greatest and grandest festivals, and are then also playing a little set at a minor London festival that is a bit of a catch-all for a wide range of genres, I’d imagine you base your set on the crowd and give them a catch-all, non-offensive, and quite-generic set. But then again what do I know; I’m a DnB head and it could have been a fantastic minimal tech set – I just didn’t feel it.

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The highlight of the day was without a doubt the closing show by Aphex  Twin. This set alone made the entire day worth it; it was mind-blowing to say the least. The light show was one of a kind and Aphex was keeping the intensity on high throughout the entire show. If you want to listen back to the set, this Reddit thread managed to get the entire track lists for his sets, and can all be listened back to via the Spotify playlist here – enojy!

 

Peace.

DnB

05_Monthly Mixes

Right guys, it’s coming to the end of the Month. This means I’ll be giving you a monthly run through of the top mixes I’ve been enjoying this month (in no particular order).

#1 Dimension – MIX FOR BBC RADIO 1

Dimension put this 30 minute mini mix together for Annie Nightingales’ BBC Radio1 show and I am absolutely in love with this mix! Where to begin… For starters, it being a 30 minute mix means that you can expect the best of the best from Dimension’s current repertoire. He opens the mix with ‘Generator’, putting me in an instant throwback to his set at the UKF event for the DnB inauguration at Printworks, which is then intertwined with ‘Rush Connection’ by Culture Shock and Wilkinson’s ‘Tonight’ all while Generator keeps rolling on in the background and is brought back for the chorus. The best part of the mix starts at the 10 minute mark, when Dimensions’ UK leads into the Skrillex Edit, which then transitions into Dub Phizix Buffalo – OH MY GOSH indeed! The levels of energy this combination of tracks emits is perfect for the dance floor. And I think Dimension agrees with me on this, seeing that he dropped this killer combo last Friday during his set at Fabric. He ends the mix with his bootleg of Eric Prydz ‘Generate’, which again throws me back to the first time I’ve heard this track at his UKF set, and ending the mix just how it has started: on a high and leaves you wanting more. All in all, if you’re looking for a short mix to get you pumped before a big night out, this is the one for you. Dimension is one of the great, and this mini mix proves it once again.

#2 Makoto Human Elements #44

I’m a big fan of Makoto’s podcasts. He usually does his podcasts in Japanese, but in this months’ podcast he’s got A-sides co-hosting the show with him and they switch to English. This is the first time I’ve heard a non-Japanese podcast by Makoto and to be completely honest I got so used to there being Japanese banter going on in the background that I actually missed it in this time around! For starters I find there’s something soothing about Japanese intonations (think I can track this back to my mild obsession/fascination with Japan as a whole), and the other cool thing about it was that you’d always got the track names even if you weren’t paying attention to the conversation. Music wise, the Human Elements podcasts can best be described as laid-back, melodic, a bit funky, and overall incredible DnB.

#3 Camo & Krooked – Essential Mix

Coinciding with the album launch of their new Mosaik album, C&K’s 2 hour essential mix provides the perfect bridge until the album finally drops on the 23rd June 2017. Their intro game is strong, using snippets of some of their songs while Ember is rolling in the background. The mix starts off fast, with frequent track changes, and settles into tracks being played a little bit longer than at the beginning, but either way the track list is still very impressive in length. The mix contains lots of new tracks, making me very thankful that C&K took the time to provide a track list – taking a lot of guesswork out of the game and making it easier to know what to look out for in future releases.

#4 Metalheadz Podcast 57 – Om Unit

In this months’ Metalheadz podcast Om Unit steps up to the decks to give us just under an hour and a half of progressive minimal DnB goodness. What I like about this podcast is the slow progression, so you could actually think of the first 30 minutes as sorts of an introduction, after which Om Unit starts adding several more layers of sound complexity, depth, as well as turning slightly darker – giving it that distinct Om Unit sound. But the last half hour of the mix is really where Om Unit is showcasing his skills, speeding up the tempo and dropping some 2012 classics.

# 5 XLR8R Podcast – Goldie mix

A very laid-back melodic hour-long mix courtesy of the one and only Mr Goldie. It sounds surprisingly mellow for a Goldie mix, but in this case that is not necessarily a bad thing!

#6 Pola & Bryson – Influences Mix

Pola and Bryson have consistently upped their mixing game since I first saw them live at their album launch last August. No wonder Friction moved in quickly to get them to join his Samurai Squad at Shogun. The mix is the perfect soundscape for a summery evening of rooftop chilling. The mix starts off strong with Technimatic’s ‘Looking for Diversions’, a top track in my books, and that already sets the scene nicely for great things to happen during this mix. Throughout the entire mix you will hear a lot of Technimatic, so it probably comes as no surprise that P&B signed to Shogun seeing that one of their top influencers is signed there too – hopefully making it only a matter of time until we get to hear an epic collaboration between them!). One of my favourite parts of the mix starts at 21:15 with the Calibre remix of Garden, which I absolutely adore, and the transition to Forsaken which flows like water. Another mention worthy transition is Icicle’s ‘Dreadnaught’ to Commix’ ‘Be True’ – they work together so nicely, and I’m a big fan of the percussions, the piano, the soft vocals and the ‘true-true-true-true-true’ that stand out in the track and make ‘Be True’ a one of a kind. That being said, the entire mix is a pleasure to listen to and I have already lost track of the times I gave it a listen.

 

#7 SPY DNB60

I couldn’t find a good link for this one, so listen back to the entire show or fast forward to the 2hrs mark for the DNB60

You can always count on S.P.Y to deliver above and beyond and his DNB60 for Frictions’ Drum and Bass show on Radio 1 is no exception. He is one of the most diverse artists in the Hospital camp – in my opinion at least – and is a true chameleon in terms of versatility of styles. Ranging from uplifting liquid, to minimal, and jungle or increasingly darker and more aggressive basslines, S.P.Y’s selections will always combine the best of the best as he switches between the styles in the most natural ways, making it sound easy and effortless. I would definitively say he has found his distinct sound, with a dark roaring, even saw-like sounding, bass.

And this concludes this months’ monthly mixes. To be fair this is more of a 2nd half of May mixes, as I only started writing down what I was listening to once I’ve decided to start the blog in mid-ish May… More next month!

Peace.

 

DnB

0001_#FridayFilth – Tantrum Desire

This weeks’ summery #FridayFilth is ‘Gravitate’ by Tantrum Desire, taken from the forthcoming Summer LP on Technique Records. While the track does not fall into the ‘dark and filthy’ category per say, it is on the dark-er side of things for a summery track, making it the perfect choice for a hot start to a bank holiday #FilthyFriday!

Give it a spin here

 

Peace