Friday, 30 September 2011

Road Trip!!

It's been a while since my last update, as things have got rather hectic over the past couple of weeks. Leeds saw itself subject to a full on zombie invasion, and I should know as I was one of the zombies doing the invading! I suspect that my friends who didn't participate are not appreciating the zombie theme that my online presence has naturally taken over the last few days, so I am not going to wax lyrical about how much fun it was - check out the fb group and make your own mind up. Meanwhile, I'll get straight to the music!

There has been an awful lot of great music that I've listened to over the past couple of weeks - I'm just going to link you to some of my highlights, so that you can check them out for yourselves and then let you make your own mind up.

First up, we have Ghosts of Paraguay. He released his album at the end of August, and it is absolutely gorgeous - beautiful ambient dubstep at it's best! The video I have linked you to is quite a long one but it is definitely worth taking the time to listen to it, as it is a mix of the tracks from the new album which is called Silent Souls. Simply gorgeous!

Next up, the latest edition of one of my favourite podcast shows has been released - this is the Next Level podcast from State of Mind, a drum and bass duo from New Zealand who are always guaranteed to deliver! This latest edition is no disappointment, and has been a firm favourite on my mp3 player since it was first uploaded earlier this week. Click here to listen and download, and if you haven't come across these before, it's worth spending the time to catch up with them. The track above is one I found on the podcast, called 1987 Demons - this is the result of a French / German collaboration between Kantyze and Disphonia, and it's bloody lovely!

This next track, Distance, is from a firm favourite of mine, Seba, a stalwart of the Spearhead Records label. He has done so many gorgeous tunes, so imagine how happy I was when I noticed his set from Sun and Bass 2011 up for download! So many beautiful sounds on here, I've already fallen in love with it! Click here to get this on the download!

EDIT: I asked for the tracklist, and what do you know, here it is!! :)

1. Seba - Future sound - Spearhead
2. Seba - Nostalgia - Warm communications
3. Andyskopes & MrJoseph - Call for arms - Secret operations
4. Seba - Nightrider - Nu-directions
5. Vicious Circle & Fierce - Section - Quarantine
6. Amit - Doomed youth - Commercial suicide
7. Seba & Method one - Mr downstairs - Secret operations
8. Seba & Jinder - Too much too soon - dub
9. Seba - Pressure point - Metalheadz
10. John Dahlback & Adam Tensta - Next to the speakers (seba remix) - Seba
11. Seba - Keep me waiting - 31 records
12. Seba - this is our house - warm communications
13. Seba - Painted skies - Secret operations
14. Seba & Robert Manos - Trouble - Secret operations
15. War - Rafale - Dispatch
16. Seba & Robert Manos - Madness - Secret operations

Another DJ that I'm absolutely feeling at the moment is BCee, the man behind Spearhead Records. The studio mix that he released online in March still gets as much love from me now as it did the first time I heard it, and everyone I've played it to has thoroughly enjoyed it as well - so when I saw that a September studio mix was available, I was over the moon. Click here to check this out. As one of my good friends put it, romantic DnB at it's best! The track above is Chameleon, and it is from the forthcoming LP by BCee (one of the few tracks of his off this mix that I could actually find on youtube) - I can't wait to hear the full album.

Time for a dub now, not sure when we can expect this to be released but it is awesome! This is S.P.Y with Love and Hate - I absolutely cannot wait for him to play at Hospitality Leeds in two weeks time, it is going to be great! Everything he touches at the moment is incredible! Click here to download his DNBTV mix.

Well, this coming weekend promises to be lots of fun, with a road trip to London kicking off in approx 12 hours - the weather is on our side, we've been assured that the sun will be shining, and with all of the Drum and Bass madness ahead on Friday, and then some fab tech house at Toolroom Knights 5th Birthday at Brixton Academy, I don't know how I'm ever going to cope. I'm sure I'll find a way though - I usually do haha! :)

I'll be back next week, with some techno / tech house treats from the Toolroom Knights event (seeing as how today ended up being a tad DnB dominated) and I promise, there are more bands coming soon as well as loads of other stuff! In fact, have some Queens of the Stone Age to finish on just to keep you going until then! Variety is the spice of life after all!

Have a great weekend peeps!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Guest Blog - Katie Knows the Score!

Today, I have a guest blog from a friend I have only gotten to know better over recent months - however we get on very well, as we both share the same passion for music, in particular Drum and Bass, and even more specifically, the darker / deeper side of this genre! So without further ado, here is what Katie has to say...

Guest Blog - Katie Knows the Score!

This recent mix for K-mag has been around for a couple of months now, but thanks to a combination of excellent track choices and freshly pressed dubplates, it still sounds as crisp and clean as it did on the day it showed up and blew me away. The track above is Terminology, by Clarity, and click here to listen to the full K-mag mix!

Momentum at Wire last Friday was one of Leeds’ rare opportunities to enjoy some non B&Q-style DnB from Lenzman and Dub Phizix. I’d already firmly established that Lenzman was going to kill it, but Dub Phizix calmly and assuredly tore the place down. Here’s why.

Eastcolors has, over the past few months, built up my love for him from a mild interest to complete adoration. First hearing To Fly, a collaboration with Enei from earlier this year, I must admit I was a bit late in staking a place in the Eastcolors fanclub, but I haven’t been disappointed since. His somewhat legendary live mix posted on Soundcloud two weeks ago has received acclaim from everyone who’s heard it – basically the only way you’re going to love him as much as I do is to listen to it from start to finish. (Before you ask, track four is an as-yet unprinted Enei and DRS track called Obsession. I’m struggling for a suitable adjective for it since I’m so averse to YouTube hyperbole, but one person simply described it as “war”, which I guess pretty much sums it up. Huge tune.) Click here to listen.

Sometimes the greatest thing about DnB is the subtleties that lie under the surface. Not everything has to either powerblast into your skull or lull you into a coma – Hybris tends to strike the right balance nearly every time, incorporating enough interest and deep bass to keep up the force you’d expect. This track in particular is a favourite of mine. I’m not saying is a club smasher, but you’d be hard pressed to find something more pleasant to crack on your headphones  in the middle of the night.

As part of the Eastcolors mix posted above this track, in my opinion, is incredible. Alone it seems to lose some of its spark somewhat, but perhaps that’s just due to the only example of it available (apart from dubplates) is a short clip of dubious quality. I like to think that it was uploaded specially for me after a desperate request – much better than it being a total coincidence. Teamed with my synaesthesia this tune is silver and gold and all-enveloping. Fingers crossed it actually gets a release. This is Ed:it & Geographix ft Grimm – Cold Air - click here to listen.

I often put this song on repeat because it’s the closest I feel I could get to listening to never-ending perfection. Khanage thinks that might be a bit of a bold statement, but I’m sticking by it. Mr Perez gave it out free recently, so check DnB Share for a copy.

Having heard this on the Alix Perez Rinse FM show a few months back, and it’s fair to say I was stunned. Driving beat, incredible bass sound (like black rushing water, or a distant rumble of thunder) and lush chopped lyrics. As anybody will tell you though, I’m a sucker for all those things, so perhaps I’m biased. Relatively unknown at the start of the year, Mortem’s showing up in a fair few mixes now, and so far I’ve not heard a track by him I wasn’t impressed with.

I’m going to leave you with this frankly evil tune by Skeptical. It’s the first track on the Clarity mix, so it might be familiar, but it deserves an airing of its own. Ingredients have been churning out consistently amazing stuff for months now, but I’m sure you were already aware of that. If not, go and check them out immediately – you won’t be disappointed.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

It's a Podcast Party!

I have to say, I absolutely LOVE podcasts - my favourite DJ's / Producers / Record Labels all releasing regular mixes, containing fab new releases? Yes Please!!

Today, I am going to link you to some of my favourites, as usual across a range of genres. If you listen to any other good ones that I haven't included, please get in touch with the details, as I am always looking for new sources of fresh sounds!

First up, it's the Hospital Records podcast. They always have new releases, and exclusives that haven't been heard yet anywhere else, and the live show that was broadcast on YouTube for the 150th podcast was lots of fun and highly enjoyable! These have been around for a while, so you've probably come across them already - however if you're not in the know go check them out! Click here for more info!

The State of Mind Next Level Podcast is another one of my favourites, some awesome tunes, nice rolling beats - definitely worth checking out! Click here for their soundcloud page!

Click here to check out the Subtitles Podcast, mixed by the likes of Teebee and Ulterior Motive. Again, these are fantastic, and have been played many times over the past few months - I am eagerly awaiting the next installment of this at the moment!

The Technique Recordings podcast is my next pick, and again, this has been played by myself and shared to my friends many times over the past few months. The Tantrum Desire one is probably my favourite, but they are all really good! Click here to check this out.

It is only earlier this week that the NeoSignal podcast released their latest edition, and although I did share it on my blog, I can't really do a podcast edition without mentioning it, as it is one of the best out there. Perfect deep Drum and Bass vibes, I love it! Click here to enjoy this one - mixed by the likes of Phace and Misanthrop, great stuff!

Time for something a bit harder now, with the Barcode Filthcasts - mixed by the likes of The Teknoist, DJ Hidden, Counterstrike and BKey, these should certainly wake you up! Click here for this podcast archive.

Next up, we have the Bad Taste Recordings podcasts, mixed by Blokhe4d - click here to listen to these. (You will need to browse through the soundcloud page to find them all, worth the effort though!)

Next for your listening pleasure, we have the Critical Music podcasts - again, definitely worth checking these out! Click here to explore these more! 

The last Drum and Bass one for today is the Lifted Music podcast, with Spor and Chris Renegade - epic! Click here to listen to this one! 

There are many more excellent Drum and Bass podcasts, but I am going to leave it there for today, otherwise there won't be room for the rest of the ones I have to share with you!

Toolroom Records is a record label at the forefront of the House and Tech House music scene, and their monthly podcasts brought to us by Mark Knight are all definitely worth subscribing to! Click here to listen and subscribe.

Now I have two fantastic Techno podcasts for you, both from the Umek stable, both really really good! First up is the 1605 podcast, which brings you the sounds of the 1605 Music Therapy record label started by Umek a few years ago now - a particular favourite of mine from this is the Spektre edition. Click here to give these a listen. Then next up, we have the Behind the Iron Curtain series, which is an hour long radio show mixed by Umek himself. Click here to enjoy these bad boys!

One of the best and most groundbreaking podcast series I've come across is the Electronic Explorations series, mixed by Rob Booth. These cover a whole range of genres, and give air time to some of the more underground and experimental cutting edge producers out there. It may take you a long time to get through all of these, but if you're open minded, and into giving new sounds a try, then this site is definitely worth a look! Click here for the podcast archive.

There are many more that are worth checking out, notably the Knowledge magazine podcast series, the FACT magazine series, the Sigma Life Recordings podcast (again, for which I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment!), the Respekt podcast, and the Med School Data Transmission amongst many many more! However I'm not going to inundate you with any more links, as the ones I have already linked you to should keep you going for many many hours of music listening!

Remember, please send me details of any other podcasts you enjoy that I haven't mentioned, and if you enjoy the links I've given you, please share these with like minded friends - music is all about sharing those beats after all! Happy listening people!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Bank Holidays - Living the Dream!

This bank holiday weekend for me has been a mix of ace drum and bass, lots of band music, some nice relaxation courtesy of Massive Attack and Primal Scream, some gorgeous breakbeat, and lots and lots of dancing around the living room!

I've cobbled together the best bits of the weekend, and put it in one place for you to enjoy!

First up, we have a fab little remix from Lenzman that was out earlier this year on Demand Records - this is Xiphactinus, and the original was by Heavy1. I saw Lenzman on Friday night, at a great little night in Leeds called Momentum. Stone and Dub Phizix were both epic as well, there were some great tunes played and had myself a nice little boogie to start the weekend! Momentum is definitely worth checking out if you're local to Leeds.

Next up, check out this EP forthcoming on Immuir Records in October, by Digital Mafia. The first track of these EP, Hooked On (So in Love) is absolutely stunning, the other tracks are great as well, and I can't wait to see what else Digital Mafia has in store in the future!

Next up, this is a recent release from Chaney, who continues to produce stunning tracks across a range of genres. This track, Dub and Bass, is part of the second EP released on his new label Pressure Digital. Check out the rest of the tracks and spread the word!

Another new label promising good things is the Insomniacz Digital label. Insomniacz is a well established brand within the hard dance scene, and it is about time they branched out into releasing their trademark sounds in addition to the great events they put on. The first release on this label includes a track by Jon BW, called Oh Yeah - click here to listen. I can't wait to see what else they have in store for us!

Time for a couple of mixes for you now that have literally had me dancing round the living room today!

First up, some ace breakbeat / dubstep / bass music from Afghan Headspin - thoroughly enjoyable! This is a live DJ set that was recorded in July, and after listening to this I'm crossing my fingers that I can check him out in person real soon! Click here to listen to the mix and download! The track above is from this mix, and is Foreign Beggars - Still Gettin It, featuring Skrillex.

The NeoSignal podcasts are among my favourite, and I have been eagerly awaiting the next installation of this. So imagine my delight when I saw this in my incoming tracks this afternoon - this is definitely worth the wait, with some great new tracks from the talented guys over at NeoSignal. Click here to listen and get your bass face at the ready! The track above is Basic Memory by Phace, out now on NeoSignal Records. Enjoy!

In a few weeks, Firefarm will be returning to Leeds to play at a new breakbeat night called Disorder. If you haven't seen these guys yet, then make sure you get tickets and get yourself down there! Click here to check out what they're all about, and make sure that you don't miss out.

I'm finishing today on a totally chilled out vibe, with an absolute all time classic from Massive Attack. This is Unfinished Sympathy, and I'm sure you will agree that it is a perfect note on which to end the last bank holiday weekend of the summer!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Guest Blog: Music From Adz

 This weeks guest blog is brought to you by my friend Adz - today, we have a selection of tracks for you today in a slightly different vein to those I tend to post myself. However, that is the whole point of this guest blog series - I'm giving other people a chance to share the music that they are passionate about, to give a more well rounded overview rather than just my own opinions. I hope that you enjoy this, and tune in next week for the next in the guest blog series!

Guest Blog: Music From Adz

Any one that knows me at all will be able to tell you about my love of hard house - I discovered this when I went to uni, and studied in Birmingham, and soon became a weekly regular at nights like Sundissential and Insomniacz. Although I don’t go out anywhere near as regularly these, I still have the same passion and love for it twelve years later that I had at the start!
I’ve been lucky enough to have collected some amazing memories during this time - one that I remember as if it was just yesterday is walking into Sundissential North in Leeds as the breakdown for the following song started… I knew instantly that it was going to be an amazing night, and if asked what my all time favourite hard house tune is, this will always be my answer.
This is the greatest hard house tune of all time… Tony de Vit – I don’t care

This next track is a more recent example of what I love about hard house - this is a song that just makes me smile and want to dance… all you can ask of a tune really!
This is Munkjack – Often imitated, never duplicated

 My favourite DJ and biggest influence in hard house has always been Paul Glazby… to pick one song by him would be impossible, so instead, I’m going to cheat and give you a link to a live set recorded at Insomniacz. I would also recommend listening to his cd from the One from the hardbox album - this is possibly the greatest hard house mix ever made.

Click here to listen.

My next choice is by my good friend Robbie Muir, who has been on fire lately - so much so in fact, that I've nicknamed him Mr Midas - the man with the golden touch!... I'm a sucker for a decent piano loop, and this tune certainly has that and more... Another song that makes me smile and want to dance.

Click here to listen.

I have also been listening to a lot more drum and bass recently, and this following song was probably the first dnb song to catch my attention properly, and inspire me to start learning about different artists and labels. It takes an incredible voice from a pop song and makes it into something so much more - sit back and enjoy Adele – Hometown Glory (High Contrast remix).

Since my initial experience of drum and bass, I have discovered the DJ’s on the Hospitality label; my personal favourite of these is at the moment is Netsky. This tune not only is an amazing song, but the video is quality as well, I have watched it countless times so far and not got bored of it. I would also highly recommend Netsky’s album out on Hospitality records, I’ve had it on repeat in my car since I got it… and I rarely keep any CD’s in my car for long, so that’s testimony enough. This is Netsky with Iron Heart.

My final choice is also by Netsky, and probably my favourite tune of the moment… Essex has been inflicted with this very loudly of late… Here I’ll leave you with Netsky – Moving with you featuring Jenna G

Thanks for reading, Hope you’ve enjoyed reading and listening as much as I enjoyed doing.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Replace Stress with Beauty...

After the most stressful period I've had since starting my current job, I haven't had the energy outside of work to actually compile a list of tracks for my blog for a few days, and most of the stuff on my ongoing list that I build up has already been shared via the wonders of social networking. However, after a very long day followed by a couple of glasses of wine this evening, I made the conscious decision to replace stress with beauty - at least for a few hours, until work strikes again!

I hope today's selection helps to relax you as much as it has myself this evening! I've found a few tracks by some relatively unknown producers, however I hope you agree that they are all great.

First up we have some down tempo dubstep - this is absolutely beautiful! If this gorgeous vocal, and these melodic beats can't help you unwind then you need more help than I can provide I'm afraid! Stunning! This is Mechanical Pressure, with a track called Laid Other Humans.

Next up we have a new progressive house number from Matt Lange, called Sixty Six, that is out at the moment. I love this track, it twists and turns perfectly and is just great to float away to.

This next track is a Pále bootleg remix of Nightime by The XX - again, this is absolutely stunning! Perfect music to float away to on a hot sunny day, when you're nicely relaxed in good company. Fantastic!

Time to switch it up a notch now with some of the beautiful new drum and bass that is out there at the moment. First, this lovely liquid number is by Grafix, and was given away by him recently in return for reaching 6000 likes on facebook. Click here to download the track - this is called Rebuild.

This next track is a remix by Cosmistic - the original is by Siedah Garrett, and the track is called Rain Down Love. This is a beautiful, and energetic track, that managed to chill me out and make me feel energised at the same time! Lovely stuff!

I have two tracks for you now that were the winner and runner up in the recent Feint - Clockwork Hearts remix competition.

This first track was the runner up in this competition, and is by a 17 year old from Wakefield, who goes by the name of Bustrexx - this is a phenonemonal piece of production from someone so young, and I can't wait to see what he has in store for us over the coming years!

The next track was the winner of this competition - this is a progressive house remix of Clockwork Hearts, and I'm sure you will agree that it is epic - this is by Hivemynd, and again, I can't wait to hear more from this guy!

The last track that I have for you today is by a producer called Inkarv; the track is called "If I", and it's a fabulous piece of glitchy slow tempo bass music that manages to strike a chord in my soul. This just seemed to be the perfect piece of music to finish today's blog entry on - gorgeous, chilled out, relaxing summer sounds. Love it! Throw out that stress, and embrace beautiful sounds like this!

I have something a bit different for you on Friday, with a special guest blog showcasing a totally different type of music! Keep your eyes (and more importantly, your ears!!) peeled and I'll see you then! :)

Friday, 12 August 2011

Guest Blog - It's a Gem!

Today's guest blog is from another one of my friends, Gemma, who has a strong appreciation for music, and very varied and wide ranging influences. She has picked some right tunes for us today, hope you enjoy them!

Guest Blog - It's a Gem!

From a very young age, my Dad has influenced my music tastes. Heavy Rock, Prog Rock…. The occasional textbook ‘Dadrock’ (Dire Straits….literally!) . When all the other kids were listening to Take That (the first time) I was mainly rocking out with my metaphorical cock out, to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Aerosmith and Metallica.
This lust for filthy bass playing, meaty drum fills and face-melting lead guitars has led me to some awesome music…some Rock, some Industrial and a lot of flipping cool. Some of which I’m going to share with you now!

The first track is ‘Nightmare’ by Avenged Sevenfold. It’s becoming a bit of a classic in the rock genre…. Mysterious creepy start, absolutely pounding drums and a gorgeous raw vocal. My absolute drum hero Mike Portnoy of Dream Theatre is the drummer on this track. His prog rock roots really come through.

Moving on to some electronic sounds now. Because of the aforementioned addiction to a bit of pounding…. The following covers this in a musical and lyrical sense!  German Industrial outfit Miss Construction with Fuck Me Too

Let the pounding continue. The next track is Polygon Window (Also known as Aphex Twin)… It’s mainly percussive based and very old now but makes me wanna move!

 This is a random one I found whilst in night shift mode...and he’s my new music crush. I like the sharp electric blippy bits (wow I’m great with words!) This is Blawan with Bohla.

Last one from me. An oldie but a goodie…. From the Matrix soundtrack. Hive with Ultrasonic Sound. For me this opened the pathways into me exploring more electronic music. It has some D’n’B influence with a dirty phat bass drive. I don’t have a clue what genre it is…. It makes me drive fast though!

Hope you enjoyed the heavy …