Ear & Drum: Session 269 – Call the Ambience 19: The Chikara Ward

I stumbled across The Chikara Project at the end of ’22, and fell down the rabbit hole in ’23. Pretty much every release of Mystic State’s has something to draw me in. As a production duo they are obviously talented, but as a label they incredible. Adding artists like HAIDA, Marenn Sukie, Deviant, Levrige and Brainwork to really up the ante.

There is something infectious in the The Chikara Project’s ability to be chill and ambient, but add enough grit to get you nodding your head and moving. The bass is warm but huge, the beats are tight and the vibe is there. There isn’t enough of this sound in D&B, but at least Mystic State are holding it down. Respect.

Call the Ambience 19: The Chikara Ward – 1hr of Chilled out D&B

Mystic State – One For You
Mystic State – Dreamscapes
Mystic State – Light Of Day feat. Marenn Sukle
Mystic State – Solva feat. Alicia Kiah
Mystic State & Marenn Sukie – This Time
Mystic State feat. Congi – Too Late (Captivate Remix)
HAIDA – Don’t Need A Title (Mystic State Remix)
Marenn Sukie – That Time
Mystic State & Marenn Sukie – Find Your Way
Mystic State – Retaliate
Deviant – Always
Marenn Sukie – Never Hurt U (Mystic State Remix)
Brainwork – Felt Your Touch
Mystic State – We Can Help Each Other
Mystic State – Right Here
Marenn Sukle – Never Hurt U
Brainwork & mriml – Grey
Mystic State – Expectations
Levrige & Mystic State – Undercurrent

The Down Low: Session 057

It’s been a long time between drinks for a Down Low Session, but Mystic State’s label The Chikara Project has brought me back into the chillout fold with their sublime take on Dubstep and Garage. Shouts out to Marenn Sukie who leads us in on this mix for the CHikara crew, but followed by Mystic State, SMBR, Jevon Ives, HAIDA and Therma.

Other stand outs are Calibre (when isn’t he a stand out) with Has to Happen from his LP Feeling Normal, the mighty Leftfield with Storms End, Fixate on Exit Records with the bottomless Dead End and a killer Remix of Lennie De Ice’s seminal We Are IE by Caspa & Rusko.

The Down Low: Session 057 – 1hr of Dubstep, Garage and Chillout

Marenn Sukie – In Love No More
Marenn Sukie – Need You Tonight
Mystic State & SMBR – Ruminate
Mystic State – Stutter
Mystic State & Jevon Ives – Hold
HAIDA – Don’t Need A Title
Sustance. – Inherent
Mystic State feat. Elana Montgomery – Fly (Sepia’s Lights Out Remix)
Mystic State – U Need It 2
Calibre – Has to Happen
Leftfield – Storms End
Marenn Sukie – Storms End
Mystic State & Elysia Grace – Telling Me Nothing
Therma – Introspect (Mystic State Remix)
Fixate – Dead End
Biome – Light
Lennie De Ice – We Are IE (Caspa & Rusko Remix)
Marenn Sukie – Do What You Want

Ear & Drum: Session 268 – Shmoove

It’s been a mighty year for smooth and soulful D&B so I thought I’d put together some of the tunes that have been slinking their way into my ear drums. You can’t talk smooth D&B without talking Calibre and here we have his colab single with ST Files and Carmelle Cox – Grow, plus More fool Me and No Stopping both from his second LP of the year Rudy.

Heron Flow is another artist who has had an immense 2023, this time with his 31 Recordings release Bones that features Be Forgotten, Blame Game and the titular track Bones. You know it is a strong release when you can find three tracks you have to play. Technimatic isn’t probably who you first think of in terms of smooth liquid, but his LP For All of Us really does have something for everyone and Risk Everything featuring Mr Smooth, DRS and Departure are good examples of what this guy can do when he steps away from his signature sound.

Other highlights include Ink & Sin with their sublime cuts Out of Sight and You Are, GLXY as always with Fear, Ego and Mystic State’s incredible track Right Here. Despite being a decent year for music, I will be glad to see the back of 2023 and hope you have a 2024 that see’s everything flow your way. Thanks for listening.

Shmoove – 1hr of Smooth D&B

Zar & DRS – Like To Know feat. Dan Harris
Calibre & Cimone – More Fool Me
Carmelle Cox, ST Files & Calibre – Grow
Heron Flow – Be Forgotten
Sati &. Artificial Intelligence feat. Gigi Daai – Stronger
WUFO – Call Back
Heron Flow – Blame Game
Heron Flow – Bones
Rockwell &. Lameduza – Estranged
Ink & Sin – Out of Sight
London Elektricity feat. Liane Carroll – Fast Soul Music (Dogger & Mindstate Remix)
Technimatic – Departure
Mystic State – Right Here
Ink & Sin – You Are
Technimatic & DRS – Risk Everything
Calibre – No Stopping
Random Movement – Modelo Fumunda
GLXY – Fear, Ego
Degs feat. Nu:Tone & Duskee – Can We Talk (Imo-Lu Remic)
Brainwork & mnml – Grey

Ear & Drum: Session 267 – Obesity

Rolling with some phat beats from the harder end of the spectrum this time around with Metalheadz getting a special mention for a particularly strong year. With Tech Noir – Pitchwheel, Nookie – Over & Over, Goldie – Inner City Life (Break Remix) and Scar’s The Lane VIP, Count It Off VIP and his remix of Goldie – Angel all giving solid vibes though out the mix.

Other notables are Kid Drama & Garvo’s heavy Nitrosurge on CNVX doing bits, more goodness from Loxy & Resound’s Dub Pack Vol. 1 in the form of Metro VIP and DLR’s best tune this year Tryna Get This Money. Special shout out from me to the classic Sinthetix Remix of BSE’s Smoke which recently received a much appreciated remaster for 2023.

Obesity – 1hr of Phat D&B Beats

Goldie – Angel (SCAR Remix)
Amoss x Molecular – Effortless
Scar – The Lane VIP
Tech Noir – Pitchwheel
Total Science – Fallen Angel (Kolectiv & OB1 Remix)
Black Sun Empire – Smoke (Sinthetix Remix)
Kid Drama & Garvo – Nitrosurge
Loxy & Resound – Metro VIP
Chimpo – Domino Rally
Enel & Odddi – Other Side
A-Audio &. Unoaked – Dip Out
Myth & Black Barrel – The Woolen Man
Ink – Tell Me (feat. Collette Warren) (SIN Remix)
Aleyum – Glowing Memories (Silence Groove Remix)
Beeson & Dynamite MC – ‘Til 4am
Nookie – Over & Over
Goldie – Inner City Life (Break Remix)
Unglued – Tilted
Digital & Response – Traces
Scar – Count It Off VIP (ft. 2NickB)
DLR – Tryna Get This Money
Acuna & L-Side – Heavy Drop

Ear & Drum: Session 266 – Rolling in the Deep

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve dipped my toe into the deeper end of the D&B pool, but since I have I decided to dive right in. Ink’s Architecture Recordings has always been a source of deeper inspiration and his latest The Tree and the Wind LP with Sin is no exception. Loxy & Resound have also stepped up with their killer Dub Pack Vol.1 full of stripped back deep cuts of dark D&B. Last but not least, Mystic State has been releasing some absolute gold on his Bristol based label, The Chikara Project for years now. His LP Between these Moments has been one of the strongest release this year for me, and you can expect to be hearing a lot more Chikara Project stuff in future mixes.

Rolling in the Deep – 1hr of Deep D&B Rollers

Mystic State – Solva feat. Alicia Kiah
Seba & Paradox – I’II Wait
Loxy & Resound – Paradigms VIP
Ink & Sin – Black Lotus
Ed:it – Wikd Bad
A-Audio & Unoaked – Dip Out
Cnof & Macca – Like That
Minor Forms & Kublai – Lift Music
Calibre – Treason
Loxy & Resound – Fusion
Loomis & Blood Trust – Body Double
Aleyum – Glowing Memories (Silence Groove Remix)
Ink – Tell Me (feat. Collette Warren) (J. Robinson Remix)
Soul Connection – Longing
Mystic State – Retaliate
Amoss – Hydra
Soul Connection – Subvision
Hyroglifics – Albany Road
MSDos – Asteroids
Forgiven Soul & Offish – Inverse Element
Ink & Sin – Hydro

Ear & Drum: Session 265 – Revival

Pulling the beat back to 160bpm on this mix of new tracks and remastered classics. Kicking things off we have Mystic State who’s One For You LP on their criminally under-rated The Chikara Project label is one of the best releases of the year for me. ASC seems to pop up every time I roll a 160bmp mix and this is no exception with his track Dreamcatcher from the Sea of Dreams EP on his Auxiliary label. And a big up to Neekeetone for his Anti-War Dubplates series, for his reworks of Gentleman’s Dub Club – High Grade and the Fat Freddy’s Drop’s classic Cay’s Crays.

One last shout for D.R.S recently re-releasing his classic Everyman in the form of the Spandangle Selection Volume 27: D.R.S – Everyman Remixes. I’ve waited almost 30 years to get my hands on the Everyman (2Bad Remix) ever since I heard Hype drop it back in 94-95. So to play it for you is a great, great pleasure.

Revival – 1.5hrs of 160bpm Drum & Bass

Mystic State – One For You
Ocean Dawn – Sanction
Mystic State – Light Of Day feat. Marenn Sukie
Nine Windows – Looking Back
Nine Windows – Galaxian
ASC – Dreamcatcher
Chimpo & Salo – Let Me Rise
Tommy The Cat – Running Wild
Haste – Forever
Gentleman’s Dub Club – High Grade (Neekeetone Jungle Rework)
Blame – Revival
Nookie – Kaeya [’96 Mix]
J:Kenzo – Broken Dreams (Specialist X Remix)
Philip D Kick – The Journey Home
Aural Imbalance – Solitude
Fat Freddy’s Drop – Cay’s Crays (Neekeetone 160 Rework)
R/K – Still Not Smoking
Astral Haze – Pushing Time
Subjects – Blissful Solace
Nebula – Sonic Waves
D.R.S – Everyman (2Bad Remix)
Fracture – First Aid Kit

Ear & Drum: Session 264 – Atmospheric Levels

Heading into the Atmospheric levels with this mix, and if you’re talking Atmospheric D&B you’re talking Omni Music. We’ve got tunes from NonRev’s – Secret Society EP, Mineral’s – Distant Life EP, Greekboy’s – Interaction EP, Bluefoot Jai’s – A New Chapter EP, Flipper’s excellent Ode and Spacetime EPs, K3bee’s – Blunted EP, Fortune and Coordinate’s – Semberance EP and last but not least Perhelia’s – Polar Coordinates EP all on Omni Music.

To say this label is holding it down for new Atmospheric music along with ASC’s Spatial is an absolute understatement. Respect to the one like Eschaton for keeping the atmos vibes alive.

Atmospheric Levels – 1hr of Atmospheric D&B

NonRev – Sense of Security
Mineral – Lightyears from Krypton
Greekboy – Sentimental
Bluefoot Jai – You’re Beautiful
Dub Philix – A Real Thing
Nemanoe – Civilizations
Flipper – Take it Off
Bluefoot Jai – Truth
Aquasion – Emotional Sounds (Aquasion Remix)
Coffee Shop Jungle – Flying Horse
Hidden Agenda – Rogue Soul (Remaster)
K3Bee – Smokey Room
Flipper – Miles Template
Alaska – Aerosoul (2023 Remaster)
Mikal – Space Age Dubbing
Flipper – Alsos
Fortune & Chance – Only in a Dream
Parhella – Fiordvann
Flipper – Malaren

Ear & Drum: Session 263 – Souldiers

The D&B Soul train keeps on rolling for 2023. This time around we have The North Quarter All Stars bringing the heat with their ridiculously good Balboa Square EP. Some sweet tunes from Shelflife 8 by Calibre, who has gone and dropped a second LP for the year, Rudy. And a special shout to Cnof who’s City Rhythm LP on Fokuz was a smooth and pleasant surprise.

Souldiers – 1hr of Soulful D&B

The North Quarter All Stars – I Got You
The North Quarter All Stars – The Way You’ve Been
The North Quarter All Stars – Everything Nice
Matec – Hold Me Close
Calibre – No Sense
Chimpo & Sato – Let Me Rise
Halogenix – Satisfy My Soul (ft. Liam Bailey
Cnof – You The One
Cnof &. Macca
Calibre – Chantilly
Duoscience – Small Field
Furney – World Troubles
London Elektricity feat. Liane Carroll – Fast Soul Music (Dogger & Mindstate Remix)
The North Quarter All Stars – Schizm
Du Marky – Colours Of My Mind
Seba & Bior Berglund – Skogsräet
DRS & Tyler Daley feat. LSB – Too Late
Workforce – Forever (LSB Remix
Alix Perez – Walrua
GLXY – Fear, Ego
Degs feat. Nu:Tone & Duskee – Can We Talk (lmo-Lu Remix)

Ear & Drum: Session 262 – Camouflage

Jungle is massive. In terms of a comeback, I don’t think I remember a bigger bounce back from the dead than Jungle has made in the last five years. That being said, I still find the original sound often isn’t matched by the newer releases. But that doesn’t stop me from finding the odd pearl amongst the 100s of Jungle tunes being dropped every month, and I really appreciate the re-mastering of some of those classics I never had a chance to play back in the day.

Speaking of classics, you won’t find much better than the silky smooth sounds of Cool Hand Flex & MC Singing Fats – Anytime (Quality Controller), the rugged and raw Rude & Deadly – Give Me A Dubplate or the anthemic remixes of The Dream Team feat. Daddy Freddy – Stamina. Representing the new school Acid Lab’s – Soundboy is all killer no filler, Conrad Subs is constantly bringing the goods with tunes like Turmoil and On This Flex and Andy Skopes & Madcap hit a solid vibe with Empty Soul.

Camouflage – 1hr of New and Classic Jungle

Roni Size – Sweet Water
Cool Hand Flex & MC Singing Fats – Anytime (Quality Controller)
Acid Lab – Soundboy
Next Chapter – Nowhere Fast
The Dream Team feat. Daddy Freddy – Stamina (Arles ,Stivs & Kelvin 373 Remix)
Fusion – Love For The World (Drama1 2020 Retake)
Drama 1 – Whats Going On
Andy Skopes & Madcap – Empty Soul
DJ Rap & Dope Ammo feat. Jasmine Knight – Divine Rhythm (Ravers Remix)
Conrad Subs – Turmoil
Conrad Subs – On This Flex
Slay × Stef Smith x Rolla x Rem Luca x C 170 – Summer Breeze (Jungle Mix)
Voyager – Shields Down
Rude & Deadly – Give Me A Dubplate
The Dream Team – Stamina (feat. Ricky Tuffy) (1996 VIP)

The Down Low: Session 056

Rolling our with some lower 130bpm business on this Dow Low featuring mainly Breaks, Garage and a little bit of broken beat Electronica. As always I’m highlighting D&B producers who like to roll back the BPMs such as Bop & Subwave, Dub Phizix, Redeyes, GLXY and Fox.

I’d also like to put a big shout out to the Breaks masters, Stanton Warriors on this one as their recent Unreleased Dubs series has been nothing short of spectacular. A lot of the bootlegs and dubs I brocked out too back when I lived in Brighton, UK 20 years ago are finally available to play and it is a seriously good time.

The Down Low: Session 056 – 1hr of Breaks, Garage and Electronica.

Holly – DARKNESS EDGE
Bombo Rosa Vs Stanton Warriors – This Is America
Stanton Warriors – Voodoo Magic Man
Xeonz – Away From U
Bop & Subwave – Closer 2 U
Dub Phizix – Whispers
Bonobo – Sapien
Stanton Warriors – PNG
Redeyes – Autumn
Bop & Subwave – Addicted To Space
Rameses B – Fade Away
Scuba – In Yr Dreams
Bioritm – Baikal
GLXY – Stamina Creux
Fox feat. Coco – Rebel Souljah (Sam Binga Remix)
MindOfaDragon – Hype M8