31 Seconds Part 1 – Ear & Drum Session 14

Doc Scott’s 31 Records is a seminal label in D&B. It has released so many classics down the years with tunes like Shadow Boxing, Liquid Fingers, Mechanics and Deadline all becoming synonymous with defining their various genres. 31 is also the label that launched Pendulum onto the world with the almighty Vault, a track that has had more rewinds than you’ve had hot dinners.

When 31 Records first hit the scene I bought everything they put out. With artists like Dom & Roland, MIST, Optical, Digital, Nasty Habits and Klute on board it was pretty much impossible to pass up on a release. I unfortunately missed out on a lot of the later output on the label until A Bunch Of Cuts opened up its MP3 store and laid down the entire back catalogue of 31. I couldn’t resist, I had to down the credit card and start filling in all the holes in my collection.

This mix is the first in a 3 part series covering the early days of 31 Records. Part 2 & 3 will cover the middle and later part of the labels history. What you get in this mix are the choons that made 31 Records a must have label for every self respecting D&B DJ. Tracks like Chilling Out, Prototyped, Technology, The End Part I and Part II, Liquid Fingers, Deadline and of course Shadow Boxing stamped 31 Records as one of THE premier labels in the mid to late 90’s.

Even though these tracks cross all sorts of genres they all have a distinctive 31 sound. A futuristic and technological edginess that always made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and the dance floor go mental. This one goes out to Doc Scott and his merry men for leaving a legacy 99% of labels can only dream of creating.

 

31 Seconds Part 1 – 1hr of 31 Records early masterpieces

Deep Blue – Immersion
Optical – The End Part I
Octave One – Chillin’ Out (Deleted Mix)
Dom & Roland – Mechanics
Octave One – Chillin’ Out ’94
Nasty Habits – Liquid Fingers (Goldie Remix)
Fortran – The End Part II
Dom & Roland – Prisms
MIST – Dreamworld
Klute – Song Seller
Klute – Dawn of Reason
Nasty Habits – Shadow Boxing
Nasty Habits – Prototyped
Digital – Deadline
Octave One – Technology
Total Science – Get It On

In Too Deep – Ear & Drum Session 13

I did a mix years ago now called ‘Deep Seated’. It had all my favourite deep steppers on it all in one mix. I went to listen to it again recently only to find that that by some tragic accident it had never been backed up to DVD. Luckily I still had a full set list, so instead of letting it get me down I decided to remix the set and make some new additions to it. ūüôā The end result is ‘In Too Deep’.

I find this deep steppy sound usually sorts out the part time D&B listeners from the true heads, as it doesn’t rely on any fancy production techniques and tricks, or on a relentless firing Amen to keep you interested. Instead it sets up an almost hypnotic beat and just rolls out into a deep panorama of sound that locks you in. It takes some true production talent to pull this off and not sound boring and repetitive, so you know some serious amounts of talent and work have gone into making these tunes work.

This mix is comes in three parts with two half beat interludes provided by the genius of Russia’s Coldicus between each section. First up are all my favourite old deep steppers from labels like 31 Records and Creative Source. Minimal, stripped bare melody tracks that take you on a proper journey. Next up is the modern day legacy of this deep D&B provided by Commix and D-Bridge. And the third section is the harder & darker edge of the deep step sound. Atom One’s pioneering Trance and Bass stepper Imminent is massive and Doc Scott’s – Shadow Boxing puts the class in D&B classic.

 

In Too Deep – A Brief History of Deep Step D&B

Nasty Habits – Liquid Fingers
Kazimir – Memories
More Rockers – Saying
Carlito & Addiction – Make it Real
Marcus Intalex & ST File – How You Make Me Feel
Roar Deal – Roar Deal
Howard Huges – The Real
TeeBee – Lifeless
Coldicus – Dreamaboutgirlfromkndr
D-Bridge – Creatures of Habit
Commix – Bear Music
D-Bridge – The Question
Coldicus – My Dreams Are My Dolls
Preasure Drop – Legacy (Paul Daley Remix)
Atom One – Imminent
Splash Collective – It’s For Us
Doc Scott – Shadow Boxing

Prototypical – Jungletrain Session 191

Prototype recordings is one of those labels that chose quality over quantity. With artist like Photek, Dillinja, John B, Boymerang, Ed Rush & Optical and Bad Company on your books you are bound to making some pretty hot music. Add to this Grooverider selecting the tracks, running the label and producing under his Codename John alias and you’ve got one of the best D&B labels ever!

With derivative production becoming the norm, we need labels like Prototype. D&B needs labels who don’t imitate sounds or styles, but rather blaze their own trail of unique music. Prototype haven’t had a release for almost 5 years now, but I still hold out hope that one day Grooverider with blow the dust of his old label and start releasing some more groundbreaking tracks.

This mix covers from 1994 through to 2000, but they did release up to 2004 with smash after smash. Tunes like One Nation, Subway, Still and Locust set the standards when first released, and other labels scrambled to get ‘that sound’. Grooverider toured relentlessly to bring the Prototype sound to the four corners of the globe, and for me it was his golden era.

 

Prototypical ‚ÄĘ‚ÄĘ 1hr of Prototype Recordings 1994-2000

Codename John – Deep Inside
Codename John – Dreams of Heaven
Photek – One Nation
Cybertron feat. Dillinja – Threshold
Ed Rush – Subway
John B – Secrets
Boymerang – Still
Dillinj – Silver Blade
Ed Rush, Optical & Fierce – Alien Girl
Ed Rush, Optical & Fierce – Cutslo (Locust Remix)
Ed Rush & Fierce – Locust
Codename John – Inta The Anthem (Special Forces Remix)
Bad Company – The Pulse

Forward Thinking – Ear & Drum Session 12

Another 2009 mix up this time. It’s been a good year so far for D&B with a lot of labels and artists getting more experimental with their beats and pushing their traditional sounds into uncharted territories. This mix reflects some of these more experimental bits and gets in some good old fashioned D&B grooves as well.

Implex & Enei are two Russian artsits who’s Sublife Lp impressed the hell out of me. I’ve put a lot of the good bits from this into the blend. There is a lot of Metalheadz tracks in here as well, but you might not pick them as they are definitely on the stripped back and spacious tip. Bop & Despot get a high five for their amazing Song About My Dog and Random Thoughts tracks out on Medschool, meanwhile Logistics and High Contrast on their sister label Hospital also feature.

This mix takes in all styles and sounds, and crosses a fair bit of ground. It’s main purpose is to highlight what is new and cutting edge out there in the underground.

 

Forward Thinking – 1.5hrs of the latest D&B for 2009

Bop – Song About My Dog
Data – Mutued
Alix Perez & Sabre – God Fearing
Implex & Enei – Snake Style
Sabaruko – Warped (Instra:mental Remix)
Implex & Enei – Iceberg
Implex & Enei – Spring Tune
Commander Strange – Time
Bachelors of Science – The Beautiful Life
Implex & Enei – Behind The Law
Invisible Landscape – First Is Forever
Atmospherix & Soultec – No Way Out
Pal SG & Eros – Ask Her
Human Factor – Diggin Deepa
Logistics – Toy Town
Total Science & Conrad – Soul Patrol (Lenzman Deep In Your Soul Remix)
2Key – New Beginnings
Naibu – Screens
High Contrast – Seven Notes in Black
Alix Perez & Sabre – Everglade
Subwave – Dreamcatcher
Bop & Despot – Random Thoughts

The Finest – Ear & Drum Session 11

1996-97 was the era when Drum & Bass was at it’s most popular in the broadest sense. From hardcore Hip-Hoppers to chart topping acts, everyone needed a D&B remix on their 12″ or album. Caf√©s, bars and¬†restaurants¬†were using it as muzac and every second advert on TV seemed to have a D&B backing track. It also happens to be the era when D&B as a music was at it’s most melodic and intricate, which is why I love the jazzy/intelligent D&B from around this time more than just about any other era.

This was a time when commercial success wasn’t such a dirty word (Sony and others were snapping up artists for their labels) and¬†accessibility¬†to the music didn’t seem like such a bad thing.¬†Artists like Wax Doctor, LTJ Bukem, EZ Rollers, Omni Trio, Aquasky and many others all put delicate floating melodies over tough chopped up Amens and beats to produce a sound that you could play on a dance floor, but also play to your Mum and still have her stay in the room. The best thing about this era is that it still sounds as fresh today as when it first came out. It never seems to age or become disposable like some of the genres that came after it.

So in this mix I’ve tried to put together what was great about the 1996-97 Jazzy D&B genre. Some tracks you will have heard and, hopefully, there are a few obscure¬†surprises¬†in there that you haven’t. Best listened to with a good drink in your hand and your feet up on the couch, I suggest you kick back and enjoy what is not only great D&B, but great music too.

 

The Finest – 1.5hrs of 1996-97 Jazz & Bass

Nuyorcian Soul – I Am the Black Gold of the Sun (4 Hero Remix)
JMJ & Flytronix – In Too Deep
Flytronix – The Rhodes Tune
EZ Rollers – Dropping Science (EZ Remix)
Dr. S. Gachet – Remember the Rollers (The Meaningful Mix)
Omni Trio – Tripping on Broken Beats (Carlito Mix)
Statik Sound System – Revolutionary Pilot (Rob Smith Mix)
EZ Rollers – Sub Tropic
EZ Rollers – Believe
Photek – The Hidden Camera (Static Remix)
Aquasky – Opaque
Olive – You’re Not Alone (Roni Size Remix)
Alex Banks – Control
DJ Krush – Only the Strong Survive (Dillinja Remix)
LTJ Bukem – The James Bond Theme
Intense – Careless Minds
St. Germain – Alabama Blues (Wax Doctor Remix)
Ken Ishii – Stretch (Shogun Remix)
Wax Doctor – Finer Things
Adam F – Aromatherapy

Box Fresh – Ear & Drum Session 10

A new mix full of fresh tracks for the second quarter of 2009.

Starts off mellow with some great tracks from Command Strange, Dirrrty B and Lenzman (the man of the moment). I start winding it up about mid-way through with Spirits mighty ‘Connected’ and some new stuff from Silent Witness and Submorphics. My man in Brisbane, Operon provides an amazing dub step & bass number ‘Lorien’ with some help from LM1 and Serum & Bladerunner do some old school style damage with their killer track ‘Snakefist’. I finish it off with some weirdness in the form of the purely atmospheric ‘Boundless Wonder’ by Entharsis (a new name on the block) and then hit the pure funk finish button with the help of Atlantic Connection and his sublime track ‘Retro’.

I had great fun mixing this one, so I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did piecing it together.

 

Box Fresh Р1hr of tracks fresh from the box 

Command Strange – Don’t Touch
Dirrty B – Time to Change
Er.ic – Aware
Trisector – Morning Rain
Lenzman – Vale of Tears
Command Strange – Don’t Move Down
Lenzman – Mesmerized
Spirit – Connected
Silent Witness – Poster Girl
Radiohead – Bodysnatchers (Submorphics Bootleg)
Operon & LM1 – Lorien
Ulterior Motive – Link Down
Serum & Bladerunner – Snakefist
Entharsis – Boundless Wonder
Atlantic Connection – Retro

Commercially Suicidal – Phuturefreq Session 47

Another old mix from the vaults, this time from 2005. 

Commercial Suicide is Klute’s label (if you didn’t already know) and hence something special. Klute’s production is always of a ridiculously high quality, and he brings this ear for quality to his label’s output too. With artists such as AI, Break, Ill Skills, Silent Witness, Bullet Proof and the mighty Amit on his books you just know that almost every Commercial Suicide release is going to be worth buying on sight.

At the time when this mix came out there was some contention about whether doing an all label mix was ‘good for the label’, with some saying that people wouldn’t buy the tracks if they could just download them for free in a mix such as this. However Klute, being the old punk that he is, weighed into the debate to say that he basically didn’t give a fuck.

Seeing as he was so kind as to back me up on this can I just say that if you like what you hear in this mix then do go and buy the latest stuff and even the older albums that are still available. I don’t cover half the great music that has been released on the label in this mix and it is only by supporting them that they can stay afloat to keep providing us with more great music in the future.

 

Commercially Suicidal – 2hrs or Commercial Suicide Recordings

Klute – Now Always Forever (Calibre RMX)
AI – Soul Good
Klute – Galaxian
Klute – Ether
Klute – Now Always Forever
Klute – Oshima
Klute & Marcus Intalex – Make a Stand
Klute – Crosby
Klute – Saviour
AI – Switched On
Klute – Lost Connection
Ill Skills & Bullet Proof – Shadowplay
Klute – Hell Hath no Fury
Klute – Traffico
Klute – Tacky
Klute – Take a Breath
Klute – Time for a Change
Amit – Sound Warrior
Klute – Silently
Amit – Roots
Silent Witness & Break – Flipped Out
Klute – Learning Curve
Amit – Village Folk
Klute – Ferrox
Ill Skills & Bullet Proof – Hardwired
DJ Trace & Tactile – Body Move
Klute – Junk
Klute – Jam the Box
Amit – Re-Order
Silent Witness & Break – Trippy
Amit – MK Ultra

Los Trio Omnios – Phuturefreq Session 7

I’ll be the first to admit that Omni Trio is like no other D&B producer in the game. His sense of melody and gentle touch in production makes his stuff far more than D&B and pushes it into the realms of ‘proper music’.

Ever since he started up with Rob Playford, Omni Trio has consistently released hit after hit and has provided some of THE anthems for the genre. His Albums Volume One РThe Deepest Cut, The Haunted Science, Skeleton Keys, Byte Sized Life and Even Angels Cast Shadows are all classics.

I did this mix back in 2004, but still get requests for it today and so I thought it is well overdue for a re-hosting. It doesn’t cover every great track he has ever done, but you never could in just 2 hours. Even though a lot of the stuff in the mix is over 10 years old, I never get sick of listening to it and I hope you don’t either. Mr Robert Haigh, to you I say respect.

 

Los Trios Omnios Р2hrs of Omni Trio  

Through the Vibe (2 on 1 Mix)
Nu Birth Of Cool (Rogue Unit Mix)
The Elemental
Rhythm Methods
Serpent Navigators
Astral Phase 
Who Are You? (Aquasky Remix)
Sanctuary
Twin Town Karaoke (Guardians of Dalience Mix)
Fire Island 
Red Rain
Skeleton Keys
Meltdown
Breakbeat Etiquette
Secret Life (Silent Storm Remix) 
Higher Ground
Nu Birth
Lucid
Higher Ground (Breakbeat Etiquette London Steppas Mix)
Artificial Life (Harp Tune)
First Contact (1.25)
Diffusion Loops
Rogue Satellite (Extended Mix)
Lucid (London Steppers Remix)
Less Than Zero
Who Are You (EZ Rollers RMX)
Renegade Snares (High Contrast Remix)
Thru The Vibe (John B Remix)

Rolled Gold – Ear & Drum Session 9

This is just as much a review as a mix, as I focus on the amazing label Golden Orb. This label has been up and running for about a year now and already they are up to release number nine. The fact that I could find an hours worth of quality music to fill a mix is a real testimony to the quality control set down by those at Golden Orb.

Operon, the labels manager, pricked up my ears with release one which had the madly funky Inside Man on it and from there the label has never looked back. The artist roster has some better know producers such as DJ Clart and Melbourne’s ATP, but the label isn’t shy with breaking new talent. They have a string of producers I’d never heard of, but who I will be keeping a serious ear out for in the future.

The best way I can describe their sound is a cross between the golden age of the ‘intelligent’ Moving Shadow releases (think Storm From The East), Good Looking and Fokus recordings. Even though Golden Orb has all these similar elements, they still manage to have a distinct and unique sound which is both lush and deep all at the same time.

Their last two releases, the Eastern Promises EPs, sees them toughening up their sound quite substantially with Invisible Landscape’s – First is Forever and Shebuzzz’ – In Infinity clear standouts. In Infinity is what can only be described as an out and out Amen spanker and is a dead cert for making the floor go mad.

If you like what you hear in this mix please give them your support by buying their stuff from .

 

Rolled Gold – 1hr mix of Golden Orb Digital

D-Fect – The Dayz
Cutworks – Alone in the Silence
ATP – Montego Funk
ATP – Struggle
Koritsa – Mine (Infuzoria Mix)
ATP – Soho Lament
DJ Clart – So Selfish
Intelligent Manners – Showtime
Command Strange – Goa
Flirt with Dirt – Taken to Reverie
D-Fect & Crix – All I Ever
Operon – Inside Man
Invisible Landscape – First is Forever
Shebuzzz – In Infinity

Jungle Survival: Lesson 2 – Ear & Drum Session 8

Part 2 of the Jungle Survival series and we are still in 1994. Listening to this set, it amazes me that some of the tracks are 15 years old. Obviously the overall production quality is down, but when you consider most of this stuff was pieced together on an AKAI s2000 sampler and an Atari ST computer it really does hold up remarkably well and a lot of todays producers could take a leaf out of the collective books of the artists on this roster.

D’Cruse’s – Lonely is still as hauntingly beautiful as the day it was made, Fusion’s – Love for the World Pt. II still makes you wanna brock out and Noise Factory’s – The Future still sounds darker than most tracks today. It is the ideas and the intricate sequencing that really makes these tracks, and as always with ragga jungle the dub and sound system influences are never too far away.

I had a damn good time mixing all this stuff up, so I hope you get as much pleasure listening to it as I did making it. Big up ya chest in a bullet proof vest.

 

Jungle Survival Lesson 2 ‚Äď 1hr of the ruff and the ragga

4 Hero – Shadow Run
Entity – Dubwise
D’Cruse – Lonely
Radical Sound – What is Love (Exclusive VIP Mix)
Ibizia – Brockwild
D Note feat Navigator – Iniquity Worker (Number Of The Beast Mix)
M Beat feat. General Levi – Incredible
House Crew – Super Hero
DJ SS – Rollers Convention (Original Intro Mix)
Fusion – Love for the World Pt. II
Jungle Warrior – No Surrender (Exclusive VIP Mix)
Booyaka Crew & Tippa Irie – Hustling
Amazon II – Booyaa! (Open Your Mind)
L Double – Little Roller Vol 1 (Nah Ease up Mix)
3 Disciples – Gwaan
DJ Hype – Rrrol The Beats
DJ Krome & Mr Time – Ganja Man (Original Mix)
Noise Factory – The Future