Category Archives: Hard D&B

Ear & Drum: Session 222 – 2021 Rolled Out

2021 was another strong year for D&B, but the one thing that stood out was the harder edge of the genre got a little less beard-stroking and lot more funky with rolling tunes aimed squarely at the floor becoming the flavour of the day. A lot of producers looked back to the sounds of the 2000s for a more stripped back, bass driven sound with less complicated beat work. But what the tunes lacked in complexity they gained in groove and that can never be a bad thing.

This is a compilation of all the tunes in 2021 that rinsed and rolled out across the year. Special shouts to the Bristol crews like DLR, The Sauce, Fox and labels such as Sofa Sounds, Dispatch and Metalheadz who all had a BIG year.

2021 Rolled Out – 1hr+ of the Best D&B of 2021

Ninja feat. Singing Fats – Soul Silhouette
Technimatic – Mirror Image (Phaction Remix)
John B – Up All Night (Data 3 Remix)
Universal Project – Lost In It
The Sauce & Fox – Everything Boss
DLR, Script & MC Fokus – Perception (Trail & Debby Remix)
Inja – Take Me Home
T>I – The Locksmith
BCee & Charlotte Haining – Reminds Me (S.P.Y Remix)
Monika & Akuratyde – Amber
Inja feat. Charlotte Haining – Reach Out
DLR – U.D.O
Came & Krooked, Mefjus & Sophie Lindinger – No Tomorrow (Tom Finster Remix)
Bop – Surfing the Anxiety Waves
PFM – For Caron (Are You Ready)
QZB & Rider Shafique – The Banker
S.P.Y – Is Anybody Out There (S.P.Y VIP)
Punctual & Nabiha – The Step (Pola & Bryson Remix)
Conrad Subs – Love 4 U
Inja – Stranger
L-Sides & MC Fats – High Times (Break Remix)
Shades of Rhythm – Sound of Eden (Benny Page Remix)
Payback – Inter-Connected
DLR – Make My Mind Go
DLR – Sufferation
Tony Anthem feat. Doctor – Tears Of Mine (Gunmen & Specimen A Remix)
Jubei – Slipstream
Akuratyde – Evergreen
Paul T & Edward Oberon feat. Cleveland Watkiss)
QZB & Gardna – Music’s Got Soul
Mystic State – Whole Half
Cosmology – Something Different

Ear & Drum Session: 219 – Rinse Cycle

A bit of the old and a lot of the new in this mix of tuffer D&B beats. S.P.Y. doing his own remix duties on Is Anybody Out There (S.P.Y VIP) and Sub Focus’s bass heavy Deep Space (Date 3 Remix) are just some of the new highlights. Nico’s rework of Bill Laswell early work Oscilations and Quadrant & Iris remix of Marcus Intalex & Future Cut classic Plastic are representing for the OG vibes.

Rinse Cycle – 1hr of D&B Rinsers

Inja & Singing Fats – Soul Silhouette
DLR, Script & MC Focus – Perception (Trail & Dibby Remix)
Inja – Take Me Home
DIsrupta & J Select – Tequila
Mikal – Resampled
DuoScience – Mismatched
Cauzer – Form One
S.P.Y. – Is Anybody Out There (S.P.Y VIP)
Bill Laswell – OScilations (Nico No U-Turn Mix)
Marcus Intalex & Future Cut – Plastic (Quadrant & Iris Remix)
Gest – Futurism
Particle – Nosedive
Payback – Inter-Connected
DLR – Make My Mind Go
Sub Focus – Deep Space (Date 3 Remix)
Jubei – Slipstream
Shades of Rhythm – Sound of Eden (Benny Page Remix)
DJ SS & Azpect – Feeling Blessed (DJ SS Remix)
Foreign Concept, Enei & Magugu – Sticks
Paul T & Edward Oberon feat. Cleveland Watkiss – Music’s Got Soul
QZB & Gardna – Landline

Ear & Drum Session: 218 – Marinade

Going a bit deeper and darker in this mix of new-ish tunes. 2021 has been a good year for harder styles, and even though there isn’t as much minimal techy stuff coming out there is still a decent selection of deep beats and darker cuts still being produced.

Probably the deepest and darkest of them in this selection is the Missive triple play close to the beginning. Cavernous bass and stripped back beats characterised Missives top quality Lithos EP which came out around the middle of this year. Other tunes to keep an ear out for are T>I’s The Locksmith and Let it Go which both shred, Foriegn Concepts ragga tinged Kultja and Zero T’s killer VIP reworking of Goldie feat. Jose James – Truth.

Extra big shout to Offish for providing the opener on this mix, his LP Garden of Eyes is full of deep, dark beats and well worth a listen over at his Bandcamp page. https://offish.bandcamp.com/album/garden-of-eyes

Marinade – 1hr of Deep & Dark D&B

Offish – Pareidolia [Intro]
Disrupta & J Select – Tequila
T>I – The Locksmith
Missive – 9Test
Missive – Denoument
Missive – Stadius
Last Life – Trial
DuoSciemce – Mismatched
Foriegn Concept – Kultja
Mystic State feat. Congi – Too Late (Captivate Remix)
Cynical Gene – Nucleus
Bop – Surfing the Anxiety Waves
Goldie vs J:Kenzo – Official Jah Roller
QZB & Rider Shafique – The Banker
Goldie feat. Jose James – Truth (Zero T VIP Remix)
VROMM feat. Rider Shafique – Level Up
Loma – Watches
Foreign Concept, Enei & Magugu – Sticks
T>I – Let It Go
Minimalist & Heklur – The Titan
QZB & Gardna – Landline
Mystic State – Whole Half
Enei – Ignit

Ear & Drum Session: 212 – Urbane

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve hit up the rougher side of D&B, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some excellent heavy hitters out there at the moment.

Workforce continue to kill it with their giant roller Back Up. The ever reliable Muffler has smashed it again with the suitably titled Super Heavy. And ever the usually laid back and atmospheric Rain Forrest has come out swinging with his shot at hard and heavy, Shadow Work.

With a good mix of of old and new producers, this mix is one worth turning the volume and sub up on.

Urbane – 1hr of Heavy D&B

Q Project & Myth – Demonz
John B – Up All Night (Data 3 Remix)
Workforce – Back Up
Blood Trust – Transparent Blue (feat. Kid Drama)
Hexa – No More
Mikal – Resampled
Muffler – Super Heavy
Physics – Cultivator
Conrad Subs – Love 4 U
Jem One – Sunday Rain
Malign – Tearaway
Jubei – Slipstream
MKD – Krill
Rainforest – Shadow Work
Airstrike – Radials
Doctor feat. Tony Anthem – Tears of Mine (Gunmen & Specimen A Remix)
Paul T & Edward Oberon – Music’s Got Soul (feat. Cleaveland Watkiss)

Ear & Drum Session: 201 – Rollin’ Dirty

We’re back to some contemporary beats after the 200th Anniversary sets with a mix of rollers from 2020-21. These tracks are almost a genre on their own with their tuff but rolling beats and dirty basslines. They feel a bit more accessible and floor friendly that the usual hardcore D&B tracks and give a bit of a nod to the older Jump Up sound of the early 2000s.

Artists like Buunshin, Mikal and Was a Be are definitely leading the pack along with players like Workforce and Breakage in this sound. This set features work from Mikal’s amazing Metalworks LP which was packed full of tuff rollers and definitely a highlight for Metalheadz late last year.

As hard as some of these tracks are, it is almost impossible not to nod your head and have a smile while you’re at it.

Rollin’ Dirty – 1hr of Dirty Rollers

Degs feat. Pola & Bryson – Sleepless (Bladerunner Version)
Buunshin – Descended
Kidsonic & Swift – Follow Me
Substance – Be Forgiven
Mikal – Resampled
Mikal – Doesn’t Matter
Mikal – Journey into the Reverb
Was A Be – The Walk (Radiax Remix)
Mikal – Turn it Around
Goldie feat. Natalie Williams – I Adore You (Total Science Remix)
Mikal – Strident
Breakage – Valhalla
Was A Be & Radiax – Beijing Banger (Was A Be Remix)
Soul Intent & Ms Tempz – 2 Bad
Breakage – As We Enter (Break Remix)
OAKK, Rider SHafique & Radiax – Growning (Radiax Remix)
Duoscience – Shallow
Kidsonic – Deeper Love
John B – up All Night (Data 3 Remix)

Ear & Drum: Session 197 – Dead Set

The final in the silly season mixes is all about tough beats and booming b-lines. Rough D&B never really goes out of style, but it does eveolve and this year saw artists like Dom & Roland, Conrad Subs and Bungle bring back an original jungle vibe with a heaping serve of heaviness.

Metalheadz had a stellar 2020 with so many great LPs dropping it felt like every month there was something worth dropping from Goldie’s stable of production talent. But they weren’t alone with Dom & Roland’s self titled label, Doc Scott’s 31 Recordings and a whole host of other bringing the absolute heat.

Dead Set – 1hr of Ruff and Rowdy Beats

Goldie – The Mirrored River (Grey Code Remix)
Goldie – Prism (Dom & Roland Remix)
Heitor Leal Farnese – E näo foi à lápis (Thermal’s Black Dog Remix)
T95 & DRS – On Site
Soul Intent & Acid Lab – Clash of Headz
High Contrast – If We Ever VIP
Conrad Sub – Bump & Grind
Conrad Subs – Love Me Tender
Goldie feat. José James – Truth (Zero T VIP)
Hyroglifics – God Given
Bungle – Runaway
Polaris – Eternal Conflicts
DJ Marky & Pola & Bryson – Run the Streets
Myth – Long Time
Muffler – Super Heavy
DJ Marky – Parlet
Total Science – Lightweight (Break Remix)
Goldie – I Think of You (Digital & Spirit Remix)

Ear & Drum Session: 189 – Out of Step

Some of the first Tech Step tunes I got into were on compilations such as Sound of the Underground Record’s – Nu Skool Flava and Emotif Recordings’ – Tech Steppin. These were dark moody tunes full of Hip Hop samples and hard beats. While they weren’t the best tunes in terms of sound production, for raw energy and intent they still hold up today as some of the most upfront D&B tunes ever written.

This mix is dedication to SOUR, Emotif, Prototype and all the other labels who pushed the sounds of Elementz of Noize, Ed Rush, Trace, Ray Keith and all the other pioneers of the Tech Step sound that went on to influence D&B for decades afterwards.

Out of Step – 1.5hrs of classic Tech Step

DJ Trace – Mutant Revisited
Elementz of Noize – Hit The Deck
Dylan – Witchcraft
Shapeshifter – Talkin’ Mad Shit
Skyscraper – Liberty One
DJ Kane – The Way It Goes Down
Elementz of Noize – Mars Needs Women
DJ Trace – Jeamland ’96
Ray Keith – D4 Toxic Waste (Elementz of Noize Remix)
Skyscraper – The Difference
Click N’ Cycle – Trippin’ Tonic Remix (Tonic’s Re-Animated Mix)
TC Islam & The Alien 3 – Let The Bass Boom
T.Power – Amber (Shy FX Extended Version)
DJ Trace – Mid Town (Level II)
Ray Keith – D4 Toxic Waste
B.L.I.M. – Onza
Shapeshifter – Communicate With The World
Shapeshifter – Mass Hysteria
Freq Nasty -The Shadow
Microburst – Punkmutha

Ear & Drum Session: 183 – Beast

I don’t often dip into the heavier side of D&B, but always enjoy it when I do. With old classics being remixed like Benny L’s remix of Dark Soldier and T>I’s Minimal VIP of Ray Kieth’s – Renegade, plus new drops from the likes of Adred on Metalheadz, A-Sides and Amon Tobin and Double Click’s – Two Fingers project there is plenty in here to be happy about.

Special shout out to Thermal for his Black Dog Remix of Heitor Leal Farnese – E näo foi à lápis. Remixes don’t come much more obscure, or tougher than this. Thanks for thinking of me.

Beast – 1hr of Heavy D&B

Dark Soldier – Dark Soldier (Benny L Remix)
Symplex & Camel – Twilight
A-Sides – Tower
T>I – Foot Drop
Duoscience – Magido
Ray Kieth – Renegade (T>I Minimal VIP)
TeeBee – Blue Rose (Chrisp & TeeBee’s Lynch’ed Remix)
Halogenix & IMANU – Technoid
Adred feat. Commix – Interface 01
A-Sides – Edge VIP
FX909 – The Call
Next Chapter – Nowhere Fast
Kings of the Rollers – Somebody Else (feat. Lydia Plain)
Survival & Script – Chant (Survival VIP)
Rohaan – Burner
Artificial Intelligence – Uprising (Revisited)
Adred – Amenity
Mayhem, Logam & Gridlock – All I Do (Gridlock VIP)
Two Fingers – Fight! Fight! Fight!
Heitor Leal Farnese – E näo foi à lápis (Thermal’s Black Dog Remix)

Ear & Drum Session: 173 – True Sound

Hard times call for hard tunes and this mix is full of new heavy hitters designed to make you pogo around your lounge room.

Shouts to Kings of the Rollers, Work Force and all the other producers keeping me sane during the lock down. Special shout out to Thermal and Boredome from DOA for the free tunes. keep up the great work.

True Sound – 1hr of Hard & Heavy Hitting D&B

Naibu – Use of Weapons (Fracture & Neptune Astrophonica Remix)
Rene LeVive & Future Cut – Deeandbee
L Plus – The Planet
Boredome – Rush Hour
Survey – Far Gone
Seba & Jr Vallo – Wasabi
DLR feat. M-zine & Scepticz – Still Alive
Madcap – B-Boy
Klute – Broadside
Rene LeVive & Future Cut – Eyes
Jaybee, Dave Owen & D-Lo – SXSW (VIP)
Ed:it – Generally Speaking
Hybrid Minds feat. Charlotte Haining – Higher Love (Particle Remix)
Kings of the Rollers – You Got Me (S.P.Y. Remix)
Acid_Lab – Life
FD – Blue Sky Research
Ed:it – the Limit
Digital & Need for Mirrors – Deadline (Need for Mirrors Remix)
Work Force – So Good

Ear & Drum Session 163: Blue Rinse

Inspired by the tougher sounds of Blue Note era Metalheadz, this mix proves that not all hard D&B needs to be mid-range bass lines, high pitched snares and screeching synths to make an impact.

The classic heavy sound seems to be making a serious comeback lately and is moving forward by looking back to the golden era of the sound. Fixate’s – Ripgroove remix being a perfect example of a classic reworked for modern day sound systems and listening. Other’s such as Brazilian producer Bungle, D&B super group Kings of the Rollers and new kid on the block Pasha Solecci are following suit bringing a new production techniques to the OG sound with devastating effect.

Blue Rinse – 1hr+ of Hard D&B

ANAPA – Damager
Pasha Solecci – Jacobs Ladder
Document One – Holy Moly
Bungle – Infinite
Calibre – Eschaton feat. DRS
Amit – Knuckle Duster
Goldie – Demonz (Gremlinz & Jesta Remix)
Bione – Orcas
Alibi – Shurikan
Dub Elements & Coppa – Massai
Macca & Melinki – Ok
Mefjus – If I Could (Loadstar Remix)
Fixate vs Double 99 – Ripgroove (Fixate Remix)
Sikey & Speedwagon – Conquer
King of the Rollers – You Got Me
Mefjus – Volition (Former Remix)
Bungle – Physical Dub
Bungle – Inner Mask
Muffler – Half Light
Humanature & Induktiv – Paroxysm
Pasha Solecci – Coke & Tea
Skeptical – Charge
S.P.Y – Dreamcatcher
Alix Perez – Slink
Dub Elements & Gyrda – Firing Pin
Pola & Bryson – Hyperborean feat. Data 3
Phaction – Aviatrix feat. Riya