Category Archives: 2012

Tough Break – Ear & Drum Session 71

This is a quick mix of some recent tunes from the tougher edge of the D&B spectrum. We kick off with the epic Metalheadz 100th release Freedom by Goldie, roll into a classic remix of Klute’s We R the Ones by Ulterior Motive and finish up with the huge Muffler & Cat Knight collaboration Put Me Down. Special thanks to Fanu for the free track Desert Jubie for his generosity on The Take.

Tough Break – 1hr of Tough Beats

Goldie – Freedom
Fanu – Desert
Klute – We R The Ones (Ulterior Motive Remix)
Soul Culture – Stronger
Amit – Manic Miner
Commix – Tracking You
Enie & MC DRS – Obsession (Foreign Concept Remix)
Gridlock – Enemies of the State
Madcap – Our Love
Jubei – The Take
Die & Break – Grand Funk Hustle
Krusha – Need Your Loving
Break & Mikal – Just a Game
Muffler & Cat Knight – Put Me Down

The Soulution – Ear & Drum Session 70

So recently on a certain D&B forum a colleague of mine suggested that the problem with D&B was that it couldn’t be fun without being cheesy or chavvy. Obviously hearing is in the ear of the beholder and every body’s idea of ‘fun’ is different, but it did get me thinking about the more fun and accessible D&B I had been overlooking lately. For me the D&B with the widest audience accessibility (ie. stuff that not just the headz would listen to) is the vocal and soul fueled variety. It has the vocals to hook in the ladies and give that sense of fun, it has the soul to get the hips swaying and it still has the beats & b-lines to keep the floor moving. Best of all it doesn’t have to degenerate into the cheesy festival style D&B that is seen as commercially popular.

So in response to my good chum Ocelot Ed’s question I put together this mix to provide a solution to Ed’s problem with D&B. As I said, everyone’s idea of ‘fun’ is different, but for me these types of tunes offer up a good balance of fun without the fromage, and there is still enough D&B grunt to keep the headz happy too.

Props have to go to Komatic as he seems to be all over this sound that’s not quite liquid and not quite deep, but has loads of soul and a real pump to the bass and beats. Other notable exceptions are Young Ax who always brings it with a real live sound to his soulful productions and the usual suspects of Duo Science, Spectrasoul and Technicolour who seem to constantly pump out quality tracks on a monthly basis.

The Soulution – 1hr of Soul Fueled D&B

Komatic – The Open Choice
Mage & M25 – Savanna
Young Ax – High Rollers
Komatic – Earth Turns
Paperclip – Whom I Belong
Anile & Hybrid Minds – Old TImes
Madcap – Our Love
Duo Science Feat. Skyeyes – Let Me Know
Deeper Connection – Quiet Storm
Soulproof – Inna Dem Clothes
Villem & McLeod – Hush
Spectrasoul – In Profile
Technicolour – Winter Rose
High Contrast – The Stand
Technicolour & Komatic – We Were Always One
Soul Culture – Stronger

In A Round About Way – Ear & Drum Session 68

In a round about way this is a liquid mix. I say this because liquid seems to be morphing lately and is a hard genre to pin down these days. Originally melodic party music, liquid now encompasses a much wider range of directions then it used to. There’s the still the up for it dance tracks, but lately also a deeper and more mellow aspect that has drawn me back into a music I thought might have be in danger of becoming to formulaic for it’s own good. I’ve also noticed some tracks taking on a more live jazz based flavour, reminiscent of Reprazent’s classic Brown Paper Bag.

So in the spirit of diversity I’ve tried to cover a little bit of everything in this mix. It actually started out as a quick sound check on my new set up, which now includes an Allen & Heath mixer, until I got carried away and went into a full blown set. So let me know if you can tell a difference in sound quality. πŸ˜‰

In A Round About Way – 1hr of Chilled & Melodic Vibes from 2012

Phat Playaz & LM1 – Colour Of Time
Centik & Grimm – Don’t Wanna Do This
Phat Playaz & PFM – Time of Our Life
Sapphire – Snowdrop
Roygreen & Protone – Danube
Phat Playaz & MJT – Want You
Oscallist – The Silver Lining
Queensway – Darlin
Override – Take Your Time
Sato – Barn (Break Remix)
Break – They’re Wrong
Command Strange – Everything
Static & Scott Allen – Eastern Horizon
Smooth – Shifting Sands feat. Shaz Sparks (Part 2)
Crimson, Nizzo & Promenade – Stay
Roygreen & Protone – Tartagura
Plug – A Quick Plug For A New Slot
Command Strange & Dynamic – The Beautiful Things
Brother – Riverbank

Fluctuations – Ear & Drum Session 67

Coming in deep and hard on this mix of new tunes for 2012. Whilst not everyone has loved the minimal revolution, there is no doubt it’s influence has been felt across most genres and no more so than the harder end of D&B. Tracks like Dub Phizix & Skeptical – Marka have shown just how devastating the minimal sound can be when mixed in with some tough beats and a good vocal.

This stripped back sound has played right into the hands of producers like Loxy, & Ink and Jubei who already had quite a deep and minimal sound. Plus, it has allowed a few of the more chilled out minimalists such as June Miller and Need for Mirrors to step up and have a go at producing some harder edged music.

As the boundaries begin to blur across the D&B genres it’s the music that profits as people focus less on what the music is called and concentrate more on what it sounds like. Which means 2012 is looking like being a sweet year for D&B.

Fluctuations – 1hr of Hard & Deep D&B

Dabs & Amoss – Still There
Phobia – Clean Break
Mr Foul – Land of Look Behind
War – Rafale
Dom & Roland – Enforced VIP
Skeptical – Cold One (Jubei Remix)
Need for Mirrors – Columbia
Jubei – The Path
Subwave – Wheel of Time
Sunchase & Nickbee – Dawn Time
Dub Phizix & Skeptical – Marka (feat. Strategy)
June Miller – Walls of Jericho
Krakota – Tunnel Vision
NC-17 & Time Reaper – Burial Ground

Call The Ambience Part 3 – Ear & Drum Session 65

Ambient D&B continues to go from strength to strength in 2012 with a few artists clearly leading the way. Obviously ASC and dBridge are doing some great things through the Exit label and June Miller continues to release consistently strong tunes. But Sam KDC and Skeptical are also proving to be ones to watch with their own take on the laid back sound.

The good news is that there are more ambient releases coming out that any other time in D&B’s history which can only be a good thing for the lovers of chilled beats.

Call The Ambience Part 3 – 1hr of Ambient D&B

Sam KDC – Everything You Touch
dBridge – City of Lonely Runways
Skeptical – These Words
Dominic Ridgway – Digital Funk
Asphonic – Forest Lullaby
Naibu – Come In Slow
June Miller – Tundra
Blue Motion – Blueberry’s in Autumn
ASC – Ubik
Data – Overflow
MC FLava & Blue Motion – Hide Me
ASC – 3rd Eye
Sam KDC – Dote (A Tribute to Nostalia)
ASC – Error Code