Category Archives: Amen

Ear & Drum: Sessions 245, 246 & 247 – New Year’s Special Selection

For a genre that is declared dead every couple of years, D&B is healthier than ever with a whole new generation discovering the 90s and the OGs still pushing limits of what music can do. To celebrate this, and the fact that 2023 is just around the corner, I’ve put together three mixes that sum up everything that I thought was great in D&B in 2022.

Mix one is dedicated to the Soulful side of things. DRS, LSB, Dogger & Mindstate, GLXY, Heron Flow, Calibre and many more made music this year that reached beyond the generic Liquid category and brought a soul and pathos to their music that is absolutely mesmerizing.

Soul Side ’22 – 1hr+ of Soulful D&B from 2022

DRS & Monroe – Kiss & Tell
LSB – Endless
Dogger & Mindstate feat. DRS – TMWFTE
Random Movement – How Many Ways
DuoScience – Edge
Issue Cross & Wilkinson – Used to This
Impartial – Flowstate
HEFT – Timeline
HEFT – Promise
LSB – Bell Tune
Muffler – Water Piano Ambient
GLXY – Dreamers
The Sauce – BST Vibes
A-Sides & MC Fats – Never Yesterday
Seba – Public Beauty
Intake – Closing
Dawn Wall – Judgement
Dawn Wall – Fears
DRS & Dogger feat. Mindstate – Wake You Up
Wilkinson & iiola – Close Your Eyes
Heron Flow – Serpentine
Dynamite MC feat. Bop x Subwave – Into
LSB – Renaissance Song
GLXY – New Day
DRS & Document One – Can’t Explain
Particle – Drivin’ Me Crazy
Alix Perez & Verbz – Stay the Same
Redeyes & Fox – Wait Ting
Bungle – Forms
Workforce – Forever
Lensman & Echo Brown – Nokia Days
Fox feat. Swing Ting – Day One (Lenzman Remix)
Alix Perez – Wairua
DRS & LSB – Sweet Love
High Contrast – Return of Forever (Came & Krooked & Mefjus Remix)
Dogger & Mindstate feat. Liam Bailey – Broken Home (Calibre Remix)

Mix two is all about the deep, the dark and the heavy. Blocks & Escher, T>I, Buunshin, Dub Phizix, Conrad Subs, NC-17, Acid_Lab and many more tore the absolute roof off this year with BIG tunes and even bigger basslines. Labels like Metalheadz and Critical Music continued to blazer a trail, but even better was all the smaller imprints that popped up and smacked it this year.

Dark Side ’22 – 1hr+ of Deep, Dark & Heavy D&B from 2022

Soul Intent – Infrared Shadow
Seba & Digital – Love Story
Seba & Oilskin – The Future
Latyn – Dust & Ages (Silence Groove Remix)
Mako – The Both of Us
Buunshin & Idle Days – I’m Okay
Voyager – Aurora (Remix)
Fishy & Freeboard – Cause I Miss You
NC-17 & Dunk – New Jack Hustler
Dub Phizix – Demon Seed
Calibre – Verstat
Slay feat. Chimpo & SL8R – Dis One
Heron Flow – Raging Sea
Foreign Concept – China Plate
Technimatic & Komatic – Make Me Feel
Heron Flow – Serpentine
Echo 1 – Shifting Sounds
Acid_Lab – Imagine the Future (Art Cubic Remix)
Beeson & Dynamite MC – ‘Til 4am
Advisory – End Credits
Grey Code – Illiad
Dub Phizix – Item
aBLe – Still There
Script – Set up the Set (DLR’s Clash VIP)
Conrad Subs – Temple
T>I – Outboard
Dub Phizix – Come On
NC-17 – State of Grace
Audioholic – Bottlerockets
Blocks & Escher – This One
FX909 – Now (Half Step Mix)
Emz & Sam Bingo – Don’t Stress
NC-17 – Ghost Song

Last, but no where near least is the 160bpm genre that took over in 2022. Slowing things down and bringing back that original rave sound was THE best musical surprise for me in ’22. Artists like J Majik, Chimpo and ASC have always been there, but it was Fracture who really brought the 160bpm sound alive with his incredible 0860 Mix Tape release. Capturing the 90s pirate radio vibe, this release proved you can look back and still keep a modern production ethic. And I only hope that this is the beginning of more music like this!

Vibez Side ’22 – 1hr+ of 160bpm Vibes from 2022

Grey Code – Primrose
Coco Bryce – Dial M for Mayor
Fracture – Telepathy
The Vanguard Project & Jemima Read – Stitches (Coco Bryce Remix)
J Majik – Hold You (Lemon D Remix)
Fracture feat. Eastman – 0860
Kid Chameleon – Open Soul
Chimpo – Rig Doctor
Cryogenics – Haunted
IMANU & The Caracal Project feat. Josh Pan – La Fournaise
Adred – Before Your Eyes
Fracture – From the Very Top
Conman, Evasion & Mod:co – Lifestyle
Kid Chameleon – Syrup
Moakz – Distant Waves
Antony G – Lockdown
ASC – Black Rain
Mineral – Old School 2022
Fracture – First Aid Kit
D’Cruze – Sublime State

No matter if you are staying home, hitting the parties or somewhere in between there should be a sound here for everyone. Thanks for all the support in 2022 and big ups to Blick and Will for joining the Ear & Drum and bringing even more great music to the people. Happy New Year everyone and may 2023 be bigger and better for y’all.

Ear & Drum: Session 241 – Far Out and Further

Swedish born Sebastian Ahrenberg AKA Seba has provided some of the juiciest D&B sounds since 96′ when he first debuted on Looking Good Records. Now running his own label, Secret Operations, Seba has crafted a rolling, bass heavy sound that has influenced the scene and made him one of D&B favourite artists.

One label that has taken the Seba sound and twisted it into its own unique form is Offworld Recordings, home of artists such as Nelver, Fishy and Airstrike. I’ve always thought that between Seba the artist and Offworld the label, there would be a killer mix. It turns out I was pretty spot on, this slaps. If I could hear it on a large system with a packed dance floor I’d die a happy man.

Far Out and Further – 1hr+ of Seba vs Offworld Recordings

Aleyum – Blow Hour (HumaNature Remix)
Seba & Digital – Love Story
Nelver – Our Time
Seba – Nobody Knows
Fishy & Freebird – Cause I Miss You
Seba & Manos – Evergreen
Intake – Closing
Seba – Nostalgia
Nuvertal – Faith
Seba & Paradox – Jupiterize
Kyhu – Time-Lapse
Seba feat. Jenna G – Sweet Magnolia
Shrust – Cocoon
Seba & Jnr Valo – Rotate
Airstrike & Biak – Karma
Seba & Robert Manos – Machine
Advisory – End Credits
Seba – Piemo for B
Airstrike – Radials

Ear & Drum: Session 230 – Doctor Who?: 3rd Regeneration

Take three of the Wax Doctor series moving into peak energy. Some of these are considered classics like Offshore Drift, Heat, Spectrum and Kid Caprice (Funk Mix), but there are still a few surprises in here with aliases like Clone Inc., Bounty Killaz and Fallen Angels making an appearance.

The sound everyone goes to when they think of Wax Doctor is atmospheric or intelligent D&B. But as the second part of this mix proves, the man could flex a dark Amen belter when he had to, and they don’t come much harder than Logical Progression and his remix of Sounds of Life – Release the Bells.

Doctor Who? 3rd Generation – 1hr of 95-97 Wax Doctor

Wax Doctor – Offshore Drift
Wax Doctor – Finer Things
Wax Doctor – Kid Caprice (Funk Mix)
Wax Doctor – Atmospheric Funk
Clone Inc. – Mood Swing
Wax Doctor – Heat
Wax Doctor – Spectrum
St Germain – Alabama Blues (Wax Doctor Mix)
Dave Angel – This is Disco (Wax Doctor Mix)
Bounty Killaz – Silent Voices (Tango Mix)
Fallen Angels – Frequency (Tango Remix)
Wax Doctor – Logical Progression
Sounds of Life – Release the Bells (Wax Doctor Remix)

Ear & Drum Session: 191 – Bring the Drums

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.

Bring the Drums – 1hr of Atmospheric D&B

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

Ear & Drum Session: 168 – Irie Fyah

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.

Irie Fyah – 1.5hrs of Jungle Mania

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)

Ear & Drum Session 157: Beats & Pieces

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.

If you like a good Amen then this is for you.

Beats & Pieces – 1.5hrs of Atmospheric D&B

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

Little Fish in a Big Ponder – Ear & Drum 142

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.

Little Fish in a Big Ponder – 1hr of Atmospheric D&B

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

The Big Chill – Ear & Drum Session 139

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.

The Big Chill – 2hrs of Intelligent Jungle & D&B

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)

The Drift – Ear & Drum Session 121

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.

The Drift – 1hr of Atmospheric D&B

Blok One & Rainforest – Delusional
Blok One & Rainforest – 6am
Entomb – Primeval Forest (Aural Imbalance Sub Tropical Remix)
Okie – Project 15
O’clock – Time Stops
Ash Walker – Thunder (feat. Lord Laville)
Entama – Facet
Aural Imbalance & Voyager – Transmission Control
Deep Stealth – Project 15
Deep Stealth – Mystic Realms (Aural Imbalance Remix)
Aural Imbalance – Project 15
Intersolar – Soulshatter (Aural Imbalance Remix)
Deskai – Rest In Peace
Cryogenics – Coalsack
Blok One & Rainforest – Balcony View
Rainforest – Scar(s)
JCB – Project 15
Rainforest – Over The Years
Mitekiss – Dustmites

One Tonne – Ear & Drum Session 113

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.

One Tonne – 1hr of Heavy Drum & Bass

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)