I probably didn’t talk enough at the time about what an influence Horzi was having on DJs and artists in Tokyo, but two or three years ago you were almost guaranteed to hear his tunes in any freeform event, while new producers like Le Dos-on and ikaruga_nex regularly cite him as an inspiration. Great to see some new material from the man himself then, and as it’s all to easy to miss something in the avalanche of free tunes that is the FINRG SoundCloud, it’s surely worth linking them all here.
Human Hateris a track well-known to most people these days, but those melodies are as good as ever and the style is something a bit different that can fit into all kinds of sets. Face the Destiny is a brilliant tune that maybe sets a new standard for his productions, both technically and in terms of atmosphere. Might there be a bit of Japanese influence in this one? Whatever it is, the melancholy of the breakdown and the energy of the drop make this a real highlight. Finally comes Over My Soul, a more experimental tune that breaks away from the drum and bass opening with a superb guitar-led breakdown and some awesome pacy synths in the second half.
I’m having a break from all-out freeform listening right now, so indulge me while we check out another wonderful Bukem set from the archives. Recorded live at Dance Paradise in (I think) 1994, this is right up there with his seminal Rebirth mix of 1996 as an example of structuring a set, creating new atmospheres inside the mix connections, and just flat-out technical excellence.
Bukem runs through a huge number of my all-time favourites here, and absolutely nails the contrast between deep, futuristic melancholy and aggressive amens that made 94-96 the era for intelligent drum and bass. Check out the final moments of the Drift to the Centre - The Western transition, as the drums stop and the ‘Drift…to the centre’ vocal plays over PFM’s trademark intro - just one example of the winning combination of Photek (in his various guises) and PFM that forms the backbone of the set. Another favourite moment might be Heavy Vibes into Horizons, a genuinely beautiful mix that sums up why Bukem is my main DJing inspiration.
In a perfect world Bukem’s older mixes would be required listening for anyone wondering how to incorporate deeper sounds into a high-bpm club set - get past the MCs (easier said than done, I know) and see what you think.
I’ve now had a chance to listen to both sets from last weekend’s SC podcast, and it’s a big recommend for anyone else who missed the live event. Wyrm’s set in particular is a fantastic hour that sets a new standard of mixing modern freeform with dark psy, obviously really well-considered with a nice consistent theme all the way through. This is helped by a couple of amazing Qygen tracks - 60Hz Power Rave has to be one of the most impressive tracks so far this year. As always, it’s hard to combine harder freeform with psy, but Wyrm does a fine job, and the trippy breakbeat of Funkin’ Jungle is a lovely selection.
Horzi’s set is more conventional, but maybe that’s no bad thing after the experimental sounds of Wyrm. Heavy on the brand-new FINRG releases, there’s also an interesting choice of the two Elementz Records releases towards the end, as well as a pitched up Fist of the North Star.
If you’re after a 30 minute burst of NRG and freeform, look no further than this great Dyzphazia set from last week. His finger’s on the pulse as usual with some brand new selections, but the second half also has some lovely, unexpected choices that flow very nicely towards the manic Night Prey.
Cyrez - Raver’s Legacy [Rebuild]
Ikaruga Nex - Black Hawk Down [CDr]
Le Dos-On - A (Cyrez Remix) [Splash Energy! Records]
Substanced & J-Mx - Flawless Victory [FiNRG]
Transcend - Eons [CDr]
Alf Bamford - Heartburn (Dark By Design Remix) [Hard Timez]
Kevin Energy & Proteus - London Helsinki Underground (Proteus Warcry Remix) [Nu Energy Collective]
Technical Itch & Kemal - The Calling (Evol Intent & Ewun Remix) [Moving Shadow]
A little bit late posting this up - Matt and Jamis of the good ship Watchtower were recently interviewed by CORE magazine, where they did a quality job of representing the scene and spreading the word re. the upcoming release of Volume 2.
Take a look at the CORE site for the full interview, where you’ll also find a really interesting mix from the Endemic guys. Obviously featuring the UK side of the label’s sound, it’s an ambitious set that combines some fairly angry drum and bass with the freeform. It’s all excellently mixed, and well worth a listen even if you usually lean more towards the Finnish side of things.
Last weekend I made it to Lunatic Sabbath’s Halloween special, probably the biggest event so far from ac-key and the rest of the Sabbath crew. Headlining was Zardonic, Venezuela’s drum and bass/dubstep/industrial maestro, who put on a fantastic high bpm set that was quite heavy on hardcore/gabber sections too. Although most people these days dance to drum and bass at ‘half speed’, the structure of the set also worked really well for the more energetic folk, with the occasional dubstep section giving them a rest.
There was also dnb from ac-key and a superb dark psy set from Siki, definitely one of her best. As well as two great suspension perfomances, another highlight of the night was JURI’s short-but-intense drumming set. She seems to make the occasional appearance at Decadance and other alternative events, but this was first time for me to see her live and luckily I didn’t miss the chance for a video.
Endless commutes and 6-day workweeks are back again, meaning lots of time to check out the latest cluster of freeform sets. My favourite so far has to be Dyzphazia’s newest effort for the evergreen Freeformaniacs show, a wonderful selection of melodic, twisty freeform. This time around my pick of the connections is the early Bass Dust - The Dome transition that does a superb job of switching up the atmosphere, but the whole set is top quality and easily one of Dyzphazia’s best this year. A must-listen, then.
1 ) Re-Form - Silver Cube (Extended Mix) [CDr] 2 ) Noisia - Dustup [Vision Recordings] 3 ) Blokhe4d & Receptor - Bass Dust [Bad Taste] 4 ) Alchemiist - The Dome [CDr] 5 ) Pain On Creation - Lush (Fatal Error Edit) [FiNRG] 6 ) Nomic - Mekhanika Child [CDr] 7 ) Carbon Based - Dark Side [FiNRG] 8 ) Douglas & Lost Soul - False Sense Of Security [NuEnergy] 9 ) Nightforce - Symphony For The Devil [Electronica Exposed] 10 ) Wyrm & Surtr - Yggdrasil [Ruffbeatz/Freeformaniacs] 11 ) Helical & Oli G - Days Of Thunder [Camel Records] 12 ) Helikaon vs. Ephexis - Illiad [NuEnergy] 13 ) Aryx - Aurora (Substanced Unfinished Forever Remix) [CDr] 14 ) Le Dos-On - Sena [SPLASH! Energy Records]
For the past week or so I’ve been back at the intelligent drum and bass, but also some classic jungle tracks from the early-mid 90s. It’s been a long while since the last drum and bass post, so here are a few of the heavier tunes that I’ve been giving a good old rinse.
The first is hardly an undiscovered gem, but Origin Unknown’s version of Johnny ‘94 is easily my favourite. A fantastically dark track this, really doing justice to the original voice samples.
For one reason or another this post was interrupted last week, so before I get completely left behind here’s a brief-ish roundup of Munted! Monthly! Episode 7.
Le Dos-on started things off with an excellent set of his own productions. As is common with one-artist-only mixes, the focus was on the selection rather than transitions, but this was the perfect showcase of Le Dos-on’s style for those who might not be too familiar with his newer tunes.
With influences ranging from Alek Szahala to Hybridize via UK and Japanese freeform, he’s successfully forging a very distinctive sound - starting this time with one of my tunes of the year, the fabulous Intro (epatoivo). The second half of the set leans towards the lighter side of things (the wonderful Le and Sena aside), but his melancholy/darker tracks are just about a match for anything you’ll hear these days.
Right then, Munted! is all over (and what a great night/morning it was), so it’s about time I caught up on some of the stuff that’s been happening lately. If I’ve missed anything, feel free to let us know in the comments down below.