With Jungle being a hot property in D&B again, it’s easy to forget that Atmospheric D&B has been flying the Amen flag this whole time. With producers like Seba’s Secret Operations label and Eshaton’s Omni Music keeping the sound alive, Atmospheric D&B is better than ever. So much so we’re starting to see older producers like J Majik and ASC who moved away from the sound returning to their roots.
Backed up by established producers such as Bop, Duoscience and Greekboy the sound of rinsing Amens, lush pads and melodies and deep sub-bass is one that never seems to get tired.
Blade – Unreleased Anile – Earth & Mars Seba – Nostalgia Jrumhand – Intuition ASC – Clear Skies Rainforest – Villalongin Bop – Memories Seba – This is Our House Circa96 – Cave Dweller J Majik – Serenity ASC – Moment of Truth Eschaton & Future Engineers – Ascension AwakenFM – Atlantis Antony G – Getting Lost in Prague Focus 2 – Nova Era (Alex DB Nu Old Skool Age Version) Duoscience – Good to Be With (Recap) Greekboy & Okee – Lands of the Unknown
There is no denying Jungle has made a huge comeback in the last few years, but I have deliberately steered away from New Jungle as a style I play for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I’ve played a tonne of 92-96 Jungle sets in my time and, secondly, I love the rough and ready nature of original Jungle and that seemed to be missing a little in the newer, cleaner tracks I was hearing.
That being said, there has been some serious fyah laid down recently and quite a few unreleased tracks appearing from back in the day. So I thought I’d dip my toe back in the Jungle waters by combining some of the newer tracks with some straight up classics and rarer tracks.
On the unreleased tip we have PFM’s superb Runaway. I can’t believe this didn’t get a full release back in 94/95, although I’m positive it would have been cut to dub plate and played. And of the new releases (that sound genuinely original) we have Unglued & MC Conrad – Born in ’94 (Pirate Radio Mix) and Breakage – Wicked. All the rest are classic Jungle tracks I’ve always loved and never get tired of mixing.
Desert Storm – Hit After Hit
Back2Basics Recordings – Fighting Vipers (Drum & Bass Mix)
Wots My Code – Dubplate
DJ Crystl – The Dark Crystl VIP
Remarc & Lewi – Shinobi X (Jungle Mix)
Blame & Justice – Night Vision
Bay B Kane – Addictive
PFM – Runaway
Fourth Dimension – Sun Vibes
Adam F – Apocalypse
The Root Project – Can’t Control
Unglued & MC Conrad – Born in ’94 (Pirate Radio Mix)
Noise Factory – The Future
Brainkillers – Screwface
DJ Rap – Spiritual Aura (DJ Rap’s Get Raw Remix)
Breakage – Wicked
Gin & Tonic – Right Bullet, Right Time
Kenny Ken – Athlete Kings (Jungle Mix)
Remarc – Soundmurderer
Foul Play – Being With You
Expressive Records – Nights (Drum & Bass Mix)
One for the lovers of the Good Looking / Looking Good sound, this mix is chock full of modern atmospheric masterpieces from producers old and new. You have tracks from such luminaries as Source Direct’s classic Black Rose and new pieces from Blame, Seba, Q Project and Peshay. Plus some solidly soulful releases from newer artists like Marvel Cinema, Cryogenics and the wonderfully talented Eschaton.
Q Project – Instrumental (Remix) Infest – Blue Nature Eschaton – Titan (Original Drum Thump Remix) Seba – Nobody Knows Silence Groove – Air Up There (Airstrike Remix) Marvel Cinema – Mechanical Dream Seba & Manos – Always Photo – Rings Around Saturn (2000&X Remix) Seba – War on Music (feat. MC Blackeye) Double O – Shuffling on Zion’s Bus Blame – Hindsight Cryogenics – Forbidden Souls Electrosoul System – Letyat Utki (Duck Are Flying) [Folk Version] Cryogenics – The Black Tempest Kella & Juha – Svalbard Alonism Source Direct – Black Rose Hobzee – Don’t Go Peshay – Capricorn The Blunt Needles – Don’t Say Anything Eschaton – I Walked Over Rainbows to My Ancestors
Keeping the 1996 Intelligent sound alive, this is a mix of contemporary Atmospheric D&B full of deep bass and lush melodies. The Atmospheric sound has had quite a comeback in recent years and the quality of the tunes on display here explains why.
Blame is the only old school trooper represented here with newer production talent such as Greekboy, Rainforest & the mighty Eschaton picking up the Atmospheric tourch and running with it. Shouts to Cryogenics too who has just release a new LP titled Preparation For Something That Will Never Happen that is full of this lush sound if you are looking for more music like this. Well worth a listen if you can track a copy down.
Acid_Lab – Interstellar
Jazz Juice – Detroit (DJ Lee ’97 Remix)
Dub Phizix – Rotate
Marvel Cinema – Mechanical Dream
Furney – Time Again
Rainforest – Black Ocean Temple
Cryogenics – Where I Shine
Okee – Planet Blue
Static – The Grans (Orange & Blue White Light Remix)
Blame – Hindsight
Nemy – Broken Heart
Urban Trip & Thankee – Vi
Greekboy – Bring Memories Back
Eschaton – Between Nowhere and Everywhere (Zebedee Remix)
Greekboy – Crystals
MS.Dos & Greekboy – Stratosphere
Recently I’ve been scouring 90s CD compilations for rare tracks and tunes I haven’t heard before and been coming up with some pure gold. Not every track in this mix is rare or unheard, but all of them are Intelligent jungle & D&B gold. I have so many memories of good times had to these tunes that I just had to share.
These are the true pioneers of today’s D&B sound. And these are the tunes that made the world stop and pay attention to the weird fast soul music being created by a small scene in the UK. These tunes make me think of the first time I played Logical Progression or the first time I heard LTJ Bukem live in 95′. They shimmer and they sparkle with a real essence of inspiration and freshness lacking in lots of today’s D&B and music in general.
I had a real blast discovering this music all over again to put together this mix and I hope you have a blast listening to it. Happy holidays.
Ellis Dee – Atmosphere
Secret Motion – Lose Her (Cloud Nine Remix)
Bill Riley – In at the Deep End
Complex State – Revival
Fifth Element – Call on Me
Rogue Unit – Memphis Bliss
Ellis Dee feat. MC Fats – Ninety Seven Style
Nookie – Storm Before the Calm
The JB – Back 2 Life (The Dedication)
The Collective – Pressure
EZ Rollers – Subtropic
Rogue Unit – Horn Section
Macka Brown feat. R. Craig – Slow Down (VIP Exclusive)
Futurebound – The Right Way
Dr. S. Gachet – Calling
Dr. S. Gachet – It’s All Gone Sideways
Big Bud – Temptation
Point Blank + FX – Jazz Style
Nookie – Funk Be the Flavour (Dirty Di Mix)
Nookie – The World is a Ghetto (Nookie Remix)
Underwolves – The Crossing
Dr. S. Gachet – Remember the Roller (Remix)
Bug Kann & Plastic Jam – Made in 2 Minutes (Origin Unknown Remix)
DJ Dubplate – Futuristic Style
Shogun – Just For You
Victor Romeo – The Italian Job (Cloud Nine Remix)
Mystic Moods – The Sense of Summer
Rogue Unit – Black Gold
Forces of Nature – Cool Spot (PFM Remix)
If you asked people to name their favourite D&B albums invariably LTJ Bukem’s Logical Progression pops up. The heavily melodic atmospheric sound is as endearing today as it was when it first came out, and it lives on though labels such as Omni Music and Candence Recordings.
This mix focuses on THAT sound and, in particular, the artists Rainforest and Aural Imbalance. I stumbled upon Rainforest by complete accident, but one listen and I had to track down everything he had written. He’s simply that good.
Aural Imbalance has been producing atmospheric D&B since 1998 and runs Cadence Recordings which is an off shoot of Deep Space Recordings. Both labels focus their sound on the original 1996 Good Looking / Looking Good sound. And it is no surprise he has an early release on 720º, an offshoot of Bukem’s main labels.
If you want to know where atmospheric D&B is today, or just miss the Logical Progression sound, then you could do a lot worse than giving this a listen. Enjoy.
One of my rarer forays into hard and heavy D&B these days, this is strictly for the headstrong. You have been warned.
Part of the reason I don’t roll these set so much any more (other than I’m getting too old for this sound) is that it takes me a long time to find quality heavy tracks to make up a set I consider worth playing. That being said, when I finally get enough together for a decent throw down it is usual quality all the way through.
This set kicks off dub wise with Break & MC Fats – Free Your Mind, but doesn’t take long to get serious with tracks like the incredible Bro Safari x UFO! x Beauty Brain’s – No Control (Deiselboy x Mark The Beat Remix) and Digital & Spirit’s – Creeper. From here on it it just rolls out the heavies one after another with notable highlights for me being Total Science & S.P.Y’s – Whoonga (Chroma Remix), Digital & Spirit’s – Mosquito and total unknown Verb’s insanely good Total Control.
Probably not a set you’ll chill out to on the couch I suggest you turn it up load, annoy the neighbours and jump around the lounge room like a mad bastard.
Break & MC Fats – Free Your Mind
B-Complex – You Better Run (feat. MC Fava)
Skyway – Moving Like a Train
Bro Safari x UFO! x Beauty Brain – No Control (Deiselboy x Mark The Beat Remix)
Chromatic – Open Your Mind
Digital & Spirit – Creeper
Fanu x Coleco – Triple X
Lenseman – My Tearz feat Steo (Ulterior Motive Remix)
Skeptical – Square Breathing
Total Science & S.P.Y – Whoonga (Chroma Remix)
ArQer & Realtime – Derpetroid
Klute – Westernized
Actuaries – Vision Quest
Digital & Spirit – Mosquito
Randal & DJ Vapour – Angels Warning (C.A.B.L.E. Remix)
Spirit – Dial VIP
Verb – Total Control
Icicle & SP:MC – Dreadnaught (Phace Remix)
Ah the 90s – electronic music’s golden era and definitely D&B’s original hey-day. Around ’96 D&B was everywhere and everyone wanted a piece, from movie soundtracks to TV advertising to mainstream music labels, they all wanted what D&B had. And what D&B had was some of the planet’s hottest production talent exploring electronic musics most diverse musical genre.
Photek was in his prime, dropping must have tune after must have tune. LTJ Bukem and his label, Good Looking, were killing it with an incredible artist roster including legends such as Blame and PFM. And Jonny L was on the verge of greatness and flexing some seriously beautiful music.
It was a gentler time, when D&B didn’t feel like it had to be dark or underground and it was an era I still love coming back to so I can lay down sets like this.
Photek – Into the 90s
Madalay – Flowers Bloom (Secret Lovers Mix)
Therapy – Loose (Photek Remix)
Fallen Angels – Frequency (Tango Remix)
Big Youth – Jim Screechy (Smith & Mighty Remix)
Everything But The Girl – Before Today (Adam F Remix)
Lil Louis & The Party – Clap Your Hands (PFM Remix)
Arkatuba – Josimar (Fila Brazillia Remix)
JMJ & Ritchie – Universal Horn
Jonny L – This Time (Cool Dub)
LTJ Bukem – Music
Sneaker Pimps – 6 Underground (In The Jungle Mix)
Everything But The Girl – Before Today (Dave Wallace Remix)
Photek – The Rain
Blame – Overhead Projections
PFM – One & Only
Everything But The Girl – Blame (Fabio Remix)
Neil Trix & Danny Mills – Pearls
PFM – Western (Words 2 B Heard Vocal Mix)
Jonny L – Nightlife
LTJ Bukem – Horizons
Eugenix – Sunshine
Percussive Drum & Bass has come a long way since the pots and pans style abstraction pioneered by the likes of Polar, Paradox and Equinox. These days some serious polish is going into the production plus the addition of some groove that makes it, dare I say it, almost danceable.
For me OM Unit is blazing this trail and his Inversion LP on Metalheadz was one of THE albums of the year across any genre. But there are many others following hot on his heels including some giant names such as Calibre, S.P.Y and Marcus Intalex all pushing their sound into territories unknown.
This mix may not be for all tastes, but if you are up for some challenging listening then dive right in.
OM Unit – Parallel
S.P.Y – Twilight Zone
Calibre – Eschaton feat. MC DRS
Nebula – Blackout
Digital, Spirit & Response – Different Style
Dub Phizix – Bounce
Liz-E – Need You
S.P.Y – Lost Orbit
Ulterior Motive – Inta-National
Marcus Intalex – These Days
Ulterior Motive – Stay
ArQer & Realtime – Derpetroid
OM Unit – Touching Down
The Invaders – Burning Book
Vromm – F Plex
Goldie – My Little India
Icicle & Mefjus – Isolation
S.P.Y – Frozen
Back in 1996 LTJ Bukem was king. His brand of atmospheric (some called it Intelligent) D&B was uplifting dance floors everywhere and his Logical Progression LP was on rotation in almost every pub, cafe and bar. The combination of rapid fire syncopated beats couples with melody and atmospheric pads was pure magic.
Fast forward to 2014 and the atmospheric sound is starting to have a resurgence. I’m not sure it’s a deliberate movement the way it was in 96′, as I’m not finding EPs or LPs dedicated to it, but single tracks are popping up everywhere in amongst the amen heavy drumfunk and melodic liquid on labels like Celsius, Subtle Audio and Offworld Recordings.
I’ve spent most of the year keeping a folder aside just for these types of tracks. Knowing that eventually I’ll have enough to throw down a decent set of uplifting beats and swelling rhythms. And that time is now.
Nebula – Encounter (VIP)
Actraiser – Strange New World
S.P.Y & Total Science – Double Trouble
Will Miles – Falling
Tim Cant – Fusion Chillout
Calibre & Marcus Intalex Feat. Fox – Something Heavy
Tremah – Trouble Shooter
Dave Webber – Drifter
Enjoy – Safe for a Mistake
Parhelia – Moon Machine
Roygreen & Protone Feat. Monologue & Lameduza – Through The Alps (Survival Remix)
Airstrike & Blak – Karma
L-Side – Tomorrow Never Dies
Anile – Voidrants
Anile – To Live Without
Eveson – Tempest
Tim Cant – Ultra Generic
Blade – Universal Rhythm
Furney – Tear in the Rain
Jam Theives – Distant Lover