Need for Mirrors - Gunga-P EP (PLV040)
Need for Mirrors need no introduction. He has always been on the forefront of tech, upfront, and liquid Drum & Bass. His new 5 track Gunga-P EP is a welcome addition to his already impressive list of releases. The London-based producer doesn’t hold back on this one. It’s quite reminiscent of his old singles but with a more up to date production and sound.
The title track is Gunga P is big. It includes HLZ on the production and features DRS with the vocals. It’s a dark and heavy bass bin blasting roller that packs a hefty punch. Very much a throw back (like most of the EP) to the Need for Mirrors of old. HLZ is a welcome addition to the track and only adds his expertise to the production. Second we have Bubble Wrap, a lighter tune with a lovely warped and heavily modulated bass line. It’s a tech roller that can make you bounce and bob by just a short listen. Third is Pelican, which is a drum heavy tune that tends to only impress. Its use of multiple drums will have anyone intrigued from the get go and it only goes onto get bigger and better. The big bass and mid-range synths tie it all together perfectly to create a well-rounded powerful tune.
Fourth we have Rocks, which is another tune with HLZ on the production. This is a bass melody driven track. You really need something that has a big low end to fully appreciate this one. The beat is fairly persistent and is just there to keep the forward flow of the song going. This song is all about the bass and anyone would be hard-pressed to find a more fitting title for it. Last but not least is Salute. It kind of slows and tones everything down a little but is still a great closing track for this fantastic EP. The big bass element is very present and is what gives this tune its strength. Again we have a very forward moving rolling beat but it still is the right choice for what this song is trying to push forward. Its not in your face at all but at the same time would be tough to ignore because it does have some force to it.
It’s great to finally get a full EP out of this guy rather than just a single. It has been well worth the wait. This EP only shows off his strength and we here at InstaSound know that their talent holds no bounds.
by Mersen Howes
A/ Need for Mirrors & HLZ - Gunga P feat. DRS
B/ Need for Mirrors - Bubble Wrap
C/ Need for Mirrors - Pelican
D/ Need for Mirrors & HLZ - Rocks
E/ Need for Mirrors - Salute
(PLV040) Out November 25th on V Recordings.
Homemade Weapons & Gremlinz ft. Collinjah - After Dark EP (NZAFTERDARK)
Perhaps winning this month’s well deserved award for most likely-to-be-a-drum& bass-act moniker are Homemade Weapons & Gremlinz with the After Dark EP. I mean it even sounds cool just saying their names to your indie inclined mate, let alone even listening to the tunes.
Just as well the tunes are all bangers, (as in proper riddims, not Miley Cyrus-esque pop nonsense ‘bangerzzz’). The title track After Dark is brooding and dutty, with heavy, swaying throb bass under tight snare skittles and Collinjah’s ragga vocals sure to make many a badman spark up a lighter and the make the majority of females wind the batty down southwards. The J:Kenzo Remix has the spirit of the original but takes the tempo 170 wise, the bass for a walk and claps up the drums proper - a very suitable alternative.
Next up is Mu-Onna, a Gremlinz solo effortthat brings with it a serious punch. The intro is quiet and non-threatening, all before a gruesome tribal wardance sonically attacks the subs and tweeters. Rounding of the release nicely is Apache, a Gremlinz co-lab with Rumbleton & The Unctouchablesthat takes us further into the dancefloor jungle. Eerie bass harmonics, tribal patterns, flitting hi-hats, phasing vocal chops and dubbed out effects create a moody but still highly skankable soundscape.
Riddim up selecta! I would imagine these tunes will easily work their way into any forward-thinking beatsmith’s collection, and the likes of Breakage and Dub Phizix will surely give them a spin. Authentic jungle warrior weapons from the Samurai Music camp.
by Lawrence Arbus
A/ Homemade Weapons & Gremlinz ft. Collinjah - After Dark
B/ Homemade Weapons & Gremlinz - 11th Hour
C/ Homemade Weapons & Gremlinz ft. Collinjah - After Dark (J:Kenzo Remix)
D/ Gremlinz - Mu-Onna
E/ Gremlinz, Rumbleton & The Untouchables - Apache
(NZAFTERDARK) Out November 11th on Samurai Music.
NB Audio get fully into the halloween spirit with this, their 3rd release. Dark Shadow produced by Snap Shot is a homage to old skool wacked out 2 step, hard as nails kick and snare creeps in the darkness alongside scary growls and swooping cavernous fx, all while the unmistakable lyrical talent of Chimpo narrates a gruesome stoner’s tale.
On the flipside Snap Shot stays up all night under the light of the full moon to stir his digital cauldron of bat’s blood, cursed bones and amen breaks. Dooms VIP is my choice cut for a truly spooky junglist halloween; Chimpo again lays down some commanding bars over a fully fledged wobble fest and percussion that will leave you lost in the forest howling with the wolves. Sure to bring just the right amount of creepiness to the InstaSound HQ this halloween. Scarily good stuff.
by Lawrence Arbus
A/ Snap Shot - Dooms VIP ft. Chimpo
B/ Snap Shot - Dark Shadow ft. Tonn Piper
(NBA001) Out November 11th on NB Audio.
Marvel Cinema - Free Your Mind EP (SDRRLS106)
Achtung! Ze Germanz invade again! But this time around they are ripping up the InstaSound UK Command Base with some stealthy-smooth and tactically funky liquid vibes.
Marvel Cinema rolling straight out of Cologne gift the scene with the Free Your Mind EP on liquid stalwards, Soul Deep Recordings. Ego Trippin’ combines spliced soul vocals and a jumpin’ bass and break for a jazzy number that’s great for starting the party. Motion goes slightly deeper with similarly effected vocals, breathy synths, gentle arpeggiated spanish guitar and a sharp shuffle.
Sweetest Memories is a nostalgic reminder of summer love that seems oh so distant with reflective chords, jazz fiddlings and female vocal licks. The title track, Free Your Mind is again highly contemplative; chopping, changing US garage style vocal inflections sit over a harmonic sub oscillation that briskly pushes the rhythm track along.
There is a well thought out and consistent theme to this release and a depth of quality to the selection that leaves us hoping there will be more to come from these soulful bunch of Bavarian breakbeaters.
by Lawrence Arbus
A/ Marvel Cinema - Ego Trippin’
B/ Marvel Cinema - Motion
C/ Marvel Cinema - Sweetest Memories
D/ Marvel Cinema - Free Your Mind
(SDRRLS106) Out now on Sould Deep Recordings.
Mako - A Break From Ritual/What A Little Moonlight Can Do (WARM027)
Warm Communications bring us a little preview of their second official Mako release and its one to look forward to. On the A-side A Break From Ritual is just that. Reverb-heavy stabs and reese’s are bound to put your screw face on and with all sorts of breaks filling in the gaps between. I’m sure no one is gonna be sitting out in the dance for this one.
The flip is a bit more of a floaty, eyes closed type of tune, but keeping that sub bass firmly present underneath some nice pad business, Mako keeps us hooked with that darker flavour that he seems to be crafting into all his work at the minute. He tops it off with a great little Billie Holiday sample that instantly reminded me of Dynamic’s Drama Down In Harlem. Not so much for the similarities in the song but it definitely gives off that 1930’s feel that I think can be a real nice addition to any set and songs that do it effectively should be treasured.
by Flynn Stacey
A/ Mako - A Break From Ritual
B/ Mako - What A Little Moonlight Can Do
(WARM027) Out December 2nd on Warm Communications.
Silent Type & Sativa Dub – Substance EP (BBH027)
Straight from Chronic Records we have the Substance EP by Silent Type & Sativa Dub. Out on November 18th the duo does not pull any punches on this one. This four track EP is big. It has a good mix of sounds ranging from technical breaks all the way to deep and dark, full hardy rollers.
The first track on the bill is You Can’t Hide, this is a tune that’s on a full frontal attack. It contains reverberated high vocals that contrast perfectly with the dark chaotic breaks. Its twisted modulated bass roars really bring this tune some raw power. All around a great tune that gets that balance of light and the dark just right.
Next is Tears, which is a tune that accomplishes a very impressive feat. It is a technical break that derives a strong influence and sampling from Jazz. It has a lovely hook with the sax but doesn’t let up with its driving breaks and bass. The elements of this song come together seamlessly to create a chilled out tune that should be an essential to anyone’s mix.
Third we have Distance, which is a very stripped back song that’s more of a throw back if anything. It’s stripped down to pretty much just the drums and the bass. The hook melody derives strictly from the bass line. The beat its self contains some of the junglist vibes of old wile still staying current with a modern day break sound. With the accessional 90’s rave accent noise and heavily filtered vocals we know instantly where this song is routed. It’s just an absolute banger through and through.
Last but not least we have a heavy roller by the name of Rendition. It’s a monster of a track whilst keeping quite minimal as well. Its lead bass synth is just a powerful modulated growl that keeps the grind going but never lets up or dry’s out. I think you may need a sub to fully appreciate this one.
All together the four tracks keep to the already established sound of Silent Type & Sativa Dub. They have a powerful sound and they stick to it. This EP just adds to their already impressive list of bangers. I know we’re excited for the EP’s release and so should you be!
By Mersen Howes
A/ Silent Type & Sativa Dub - You Can’t Hide
B/ Silent Type & Sativa Dub - Tears
C/ Silent Type & Sativa Dub - Distance
D/ Silent Type & Sativa Dub - Rendition
Pre-order from the V Records site here.
(BBH027) Out November 18th on Chronic Records.
Blu Mar Ten - Somewhere/Half The Sky (BMT019)
When we heard that Blu Mar Ten were fronting their next release on the signature label ‘Blu Mar Ten Music’ we were over the moon! Having played a vital role in the early definition of that dreamlike ‘artcore’ sound the then trio, now duo, come to represent a more accessible style within the genre. Bringing with them an alternative to what has become a rapidly expanding musical journey.
Out on 4th November on both vinyl and digital, the release is certainly a reminder if not anything of how these blokes can run a track. This double A-side plate starts off with a Jazz influenced rhythmic collaboration featuring heartwarming vocals from Agné Genyté; providing a gentle sprinkle of yearning. ‘cos I mean we’re all looking for that special something somewhere right? This release gets policed off with a classy atmospheric roller Half the Sky in a style that only BMT can drop. Key notes harmonise and drift all over the sound with hints of some long gone vocals blending in and out of the arrangement with finesse.
If you like what you hear you’ll be pleased to know these two gems are up for pre order at the BMT shop, and if you’re grabbing the vinyl its a free mp3 for you son! What’s more, they are taken from a very hush-hush album project Famous Lost Words out later this year on the 18th November, quality.
By Andrew Aldridge
A/ Blu Mar Ten - Somewhere
B/ Blu Mar Ten - Half The Sky
(BMT019) out November 4th on Blu Mar Ten Music.
Ingredients Records serves up another delicious recipe from a very a distinguished artist going by the name of Dominic Petrie.
As some of you may already know Dominic hails from highlands of Scotland, holding a monthly residency playing the finest cuts drum and bass has to offer at the Xplicit night in the Bongo Club, Edinburgh. He also hosts and produces a radio show called Metropolis Sound on the Subcity Radio, Glasgow starting a few years back in 2010 to present day.
Back to the music, we’ve been fortunate enough at InstaSound to get a glimpse into Dominic’s exciting new musical venture in par-tide with the ever impressing Ingredients Records. As you would expect from this meeting of minds it has produced some of the more delicate & interesting sounds in the scene at the moment, definitely a breath of fresh air.
Blending the rough with the smooth; this is what Dominic does best and can be seen throughout his debut EP on Ingredients Tomorrow Now, with influences from the mighty Good Looking to the low fi sounds of Boards of Canada, this 7 track listing has certainly got a lot to offer the listener.
By Andrew Aldridge
A/ Dominic Petrie - Riverside Blues
B/ Dominic Petrie - Ephemerol Test
C/ Dominic Petrie - Exponent Of Escape
D/ Dominic Petrie - Soho
E/ Dominic Petrie - TMA1
F/ Dominic Petrie - Empire
G/ Dominic Petrie - Beyond The Wall Of Sleep
(RECIPE038) Out November 11th on Ingredients Records
One of our favourite labels at the moment, IM:Ltd brings us some proper winter warmer business. Stories Untold by Pennygiles is a soulful slice of rolling, Reece-pumped goodness. The short vocal sample really spices up the smooth bass and tight drum shuffle, while atmospheric suspended chords and percussion compliment the arrangement nicely.
On the flipside the baldy breakbeat badman who is Phil Tangent serves up his own jungle casserole to warm your cockles. We Don’t Talk Anymore is as emotional as the title suggests. His trademark shimmer runs along with a tastefully ruff bass that evolves into a full warping tech extravaganza. His clicktrack drums and snare-replacing claps carries with it the rhythm whilst both male and female vocal samples bring a tear to the eye. This release again proves why IM:Ltd are a bunch to keep your eye on.
By Lawrence Arbus
A/ Pennygiles - Stories Untold
B/ Phil Tangent - We Don’t Talk Anymore
(IMLTD1213) Out November 25th on IM:Ltd
Paul SG/Furney - Gangster Boogie/White Storm (JAZ015)
Rolling our way through the months we see the Jazzsticks crew coming out on top form this autumn so be sure to keep your eyes and ears open.
Serving up a steady flow of breaks and bass, head honcho Paul SG and brother Furney deliver an onslaught of solid percussion with a little number they like to call White Storm. Whilst at the same time Paul reminds us of that original, super slick Jazzstick formula in his latest track titled Gangster Boogie.
They may be small but Jazzsticks are pushing their sound like none other, with audiences across the globe and support from some of the scenes biggest DJs we at InstaSound are always looking forward to hear what they come up with next.
By Andrew Aldridge
A/ Paul SG - Gangster Boogie
B/ Furney - White Storm
(JAZ015) Out now on Jazzsticks
Response - Creep / Resistance (RECIPE036)
Two new fresh out the box tunes from Manchester drum and bass man, Response. Both tracks are bangers from the get go and each bring something a little different to the table. Creep being the first is a tune specifically built for the big room. It carries the sound well with its subtle reverb and hard hitting beat. The bass is almost a constant 4/4 metal guitar strum that gives it that dark and edgy sound. If one is given an opportunity to play this out to a big crowd, I edge thee to put this song near the top of the list.
On the flip, Resistance is just a large sound roller. With constant forward moving drums that will keep the dance floor packed with energy. A bass that aggressively enters and re-enters creating that dark and deep vibe. This song will get you moving guaranteed. Its great to see two strong tunes from this up-and-comer. I know we are keeping a close watch on him and you should be too.
by Mersen Howes
A/ Response - Creep
B/ Response - Resistance
(RECIPE036) Out today on Ingredients Records.
Everyone loves a good remix release, so with that in mind let’s have a butcher’s at this new release from purveyors of d&b quality, IM:Ltd. Gerwin & Nuage’s Lying Portraits gets a redesign in the Zero T Reprint. A short intro quickly gains momentum, the tap tap of bongos and sharp drums dissect a low slung hoover bassline, with the moody vocals of the original injecting some digital emotion.
On the B side, Gerwin’s Soul Truth comes out off the salon with a full Brazilian as Bungle rips up the system with a bumping, distortion inflicted banger. It’s all bouncy jungle subs and ramped up Reece b-line pressure, but it’s the smashed up, beat-along live drum fills which are the cherry on top of this cake.
By Lawrence Arbus
A/ Gerwin & Nuage ft. 2Shy - Lying Portraits (Zero T Reprint)
B/ Gerwin - Soul Truth (Bungle Remix)
(IMLTD1212) Out October 21st on IM:Ltd
L-Side - Brainstorm EP (BBH026)
Brazil’s Leonardo J. Silva aka L-Side returns to Chronic Records once again in perfect style - this time in the shape of his Brainstorm EP. An amalgamation of deep, chest-piercing bass waves and shifted syncopated drum lines.
This 5 track EP brings with it repeatedly gut-wrenching bass, whilst still maintaining a seamless shuffle throughout. With each track showing the different stances of Chronic Records, it’s without a doubt that you’ll soon (if not already) be hearing these rollers tear up the dance floor. A personal favourite for myself would be Wheelin’ Machine - with its rough digitised bass line giving way to warm spills of sub-sounds on top of drums reminiscent of some of G13 Records’ roster. Definitely one for my record bag!
Taking the InstaSound office’s speakers by storm, this EP will definitely be one to listen out for in the coming weeks and is another addition to L-Side’s ever growing talent and collection of dirty bass lines. Keep ‘em coming I say.
by Louis InstaSound
A/ L-Side - Brainstorm
B/ L-Side - Dubmonster
C/ L-Side - Reach Out
D/ L-Side - Get Away
E/ L-Side - Wheelin’ Machine
(BBH026) Out October 21st on Chronic Records
Duoscience & Dave Shichman - I’m A Saviour EP (DSK-D020)
Brazil’s man of the moment, Duoscience brings the junglistic flavours, this time with his mate, Dave Shichman (on a side note he does actually rock a Dave Seaman style ponytail which I was most impressed with.) Anywho onto the actual meat and two veg of the tunes themselves.
All the tunes on the EP have a eerie, discordant vibe, that brings to mind free-jazz influences and even the Bladerunner soundtrack. The drums shuffle along nicely with all the loose shakers and the crisp, acoustic snap of a tasty break. Plucked upright basslines rumble against the contrasting techy effects fizzles, with philosophical voiceovers and spacey, melancholy synths winding up the nervous atmosphere.
The standout track for me was Para Levar, which sounds like a Brazilian party melody run over, and mangled by a London Underground train. All in all solid stuff from this duo bringing some proper breakin’ science to the scene.
by Lawrence Arbus
A) Duoscience & Dave Shichman - Fall 3
B) Duoscience & Dave Shichman - Flake Diskool
C) Duoscience & Dave Shichman - I’m A Saviour
D) Duoscience & Dave Shichman - Para Levar
(DSK-D020) Out October 7th on Diskool Records
Straight from Utopia Music we have two new tunes by Fields (aka Mute) that will undoubtedly give you your daily fix of bass. Due to be released late September, the two tracks are Colours and On your own. Fields has yet to disappoint, with both tracks taking a different approach but fitting in nicely with his already well established sound.
First up is Colours, a very hard stepper that doesn’t mess about with large builds or rises. As soon as it starts it establishes its self as a hard 2 stepper. It’s only until a minute in when it reaches its full groove and vicious bass line. Fields has an excellent use of accent sounds and vocals that help tie the tune together and keep it fresh from becoming stagnant. All around the tune is fantastic and great addition to any DJ’s set if they are trying to keep those deep tech vibes going.
On the flip we have On your Own. It starts off with ambient intro, building hi hats and some dark choir vocals to help establish the theme of the tune. As soon as the Hip-Hop vocals drop is, the tune reveals its true nature. It’s a deep and dark bass ridden roller that is bound to give your speakers and bit of a workout. Drums have a heavy presents and are a slight departure from the average 2 step break. Its all tied together by its bouncy and relentless baseline thats bound to devastate any dance floor.
by Mersen Howes
A/ Fields - Colours
B/ Fields - On Your Own
(UM014) Out late September on Utopia Music.