Drum & Bass

After Dyzphazia’s Smiling Corpse mix, here’s another set that shows how a creative DJ can wring some quality out of the modern(ish) drum and bass scene, while meshing it nicely with freeform. Cyberdyne Seba has quite a dnb pedigree – and the selections here are as good as you’d expect – but it’s the transitions that make this a set to pay attention to.

The first third is solid, warming up with that nice little sequence of Nightmare on Base – Take Me Away – Hawaiian Snow, before things go up a level as more freeform is introduced. There are a few ambitious connections here and there, but the standout section of the set has to be from Something Sick to Dream Invader Network – very smooth, there’s a nice, consistently dark atmosphere that then goes psychedelic with DIN. That mix from Love 2 Death is top class, and it’s just a shame that Qygen’s track doesn’t have the bassy power to makes things as seamless as you might like. Unfortunately Pure Evil clashes a little too much with DIN and is jarring after the previous smooth blend, but the final two tracks do at least keep things dark and aggressive.

Lots to like here then, and if you’re a drum and bass head you’ll be merrily carried along towards the best sections of the set, while freeform-only DJs/listeners will really enjoy the progression into the darker second half.

1. Dylan – Intoxication (Outbreak Records)
2. Audio X – Hyväksyminen (Audio Reanimation Digital)
3. Le Dos-On – Mental Madness (2012 Regenerate) (free DL no longer available)
4. The Acolyte – Mind Control (Electronica Exposed)
5. Tom U4EA & James F – Nightmare On Base (Electronic Recordings)
6. Concord Dawn – Take Me Away (Commercial Suicide)
7. Crossfire – Hawaiian Snow (Crossfire Recordings)
8. Substanced – Jinpachi (Rebuild Music)
9. Vyral XIII – Librium (free DL no longer available)
10. Qygen – Kimura Kaoru No Densetsu (Tribute To Betwixt & Between) (Smiling Corpse)
11. Paul B & Subwave – Something Sick (DSCI4)
12. Cyrax & Transcend – Disruptor 2014 (Freeformatted -> free DL: Freeformatted – Transcend-cyrax-disruptor-2014 )
13. The Machinist & Rika – Love 2 Death (Electronica Exposed)
14. Qygen – Dream Invader Network (Smiling Corpse)
15. Re-Form – Pure Evil (Electronica Exposed)
16. Morita yuuhei – You (All) Have Eaten You (Freeformatted -> free DL: Freeformatted – Morita-yuuhei-you-all-have-eaten-you-ffmep004)

 

 

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Well, I just about managed my deadline, recording a first version of the non-freeform set earlier this week. It’s full of tricky connections though, and another try’s definitely needed. I’m still not sure what to do with the final version – it’s actually a set of 1994-1996 intelligent drum and bass, but the mixing’s turned out to be a combination of my current freeform style and other transitions that let the tunes roll a bit more.

I’ve enjoyed playing through it in practice though, and I’ve managed to fit in some all-time favourites, which was one of the main missions. Anyway, for now I’ve decided to play it live on ustream this weekend – if you remember the good old days of drum and bass, or just fancy an hour or so of deeper tunes, it’d be great to see you.

A little bit late with this recommendation, but anyone who hasn’t yet checked out Proteus and Dyzphazia’s SCDH podcast should definitely do so.

Something a little bit different from your standard freeform set, Proteus’ hour in particular is another great example of how to ease casual listeners into the freeform sound. I’d usually run a mile from the initial bpm, but with Proteus at the helm you’re pretty much guranteed a DJing lesson that’s worth taking in. So it proves here, with some ‘normal club’-friendly hard trance (?) and industrial leading into the Substanced-styled finale.

Recently I’ve been ranting to anyone who’ll listen about how depressing I find the drum and bass/dubstep sounds that seem to be infesting every other freeform track these days (actually my CODEX set last weekend was an attempted reaction to that). Perfect timing from Dyzphazia then, with this heavily dnb-infused set showing how to incorporate it into a quality hour of tunes. Crucially there’s plenty more going here though, with some psy-style sounds and darker tracks holding things together – the standout is surely Guld’s upcoming Gozenzeuna. I won’t pretend to be a fan of the stuff in between the darkness, but Dyzphazia has done a great job of forging an identity for the set and I can imagine it sparking off all kinds of inspiration among other DJs.

A unique and really interesting SC then, while the next one (this weekend) features Olly Addictive and Arkitech.

 

 

Talk about being worth the wait – Watchtower 3’s tracklist has just been announced, and there’s something for everyone in what could be one of the finest freeform releases ever. Although tracks from the likes of Alek Szahala, Grimsoul and Qygen will surely be highlights, it’s fantastic to see some NRG in the form of Hatral 2013 and Proteus’ superb Freedom – along with a very strong UK freeform contingent there really is something for everyone.

Vol.3 will surely keep up the excellent level of presentation that the series has managed so far, in a 3 CD release that’ll also feature a DJ mix. If ever a release was worth supporting it’s this one, so be sure to keep an eye on the Watchtower site and Facebook page in the coming months.

And so the tracklist:

FireFarm & AJ Myst – Carpe Diem Part 3
Alek Szahala – Avalanche
Proteus – Freedom
Eryk Orpheus – Day Off
Douglas- Not Everyone
Transcend & Hardform – Deliverance
Le Dos-on & Psycho Stalker – Chemical Wash
Endemic – Hurricane (Modulate Remix)
Rik Arkitech – Heart is a flutter
Pretty Addicted – Fear Myself (Lost Soul Remix)
Aryx – Helyx
Epyx & Cyrez Vs Tyranoid / Strongstream – What Lies Below
Transcend – Eons (Substanced Remix)
Psyence – Unique
Transcend – Odyssey
Substanced – Ghost Of The Future (Alchemiist Remix)
GULD Vs Betwixt & Between – Hatral (GULD 2013 mix)
Qygen – Soul Survivor
Grimsoul & Nailgun – Manchurian Kandidate
Transcend & Midas – Hide & Freq

The lineup for next year’s 12th anniversary FINRG spectacular is now public, and features just about every Finland-based FINRG artist plus UK freeform standard bearers Ephexis. This time around the event will be held at Helsinki’s Venue, meaning there’ll be plenty more room for dancing/enthusiastic stomping than at Senssi Lahti last year.

It’s already shaping up to be a fantastic event, but there’s also some very sad news – Epyx & Cyrez have announced that it will be their final Live PA. It’s hard to overstate what a loss to the scene their step away from freeform will be, but for now let’s look forward to their last couple of club appearances, as well as some unreleased tracks that are apparently on the way.

I’d love to be at 12 Years myself, but we’ll have to see – as is usual each February I’ll be getting out of Japan post-haste, but still not too sure how close to Finland I’ll be. Definitely not an event to be missed if at all possible..

Here’s the full lineup, for the rest of the event info check out the Facebook event page:

EPHEXIS (UK)
PROTEUS
ALEK SZÁHALA
PAIN ON CREATION
DJ RX
SUBSTANCED
NOMIC
EPYX & CYREZ (last live pa ever!)
TYRANOID/STRONGSTREAM
MACIO
MZA
ALCHEMIIST
HORZI
YEDIAH
YAYA
MASTATRON
ILLUVIAL
BIG MISTAKE
VJ MOVE

At first glance this looks like a well-above average Japanese gabber/hardcore compilation (released a couple of months ago), but lurking near the end of the tracklist you’ll also find two new freeform tracks from Le Dos-on. Zafkiel is the better of the two, featuring the emotional melodies mixed with demented filters that often mark out Le Dos-on’s finest tracks, while Benetnasch is a more typical dancefloor-friendly tune that would likely work well in some lighter sets. Unusually for this sort of compilation, the standard of tracks is impressively high all the way through, with some particularly quality stuff from 6th, Noizenecio and kenta.v.ez.

01 – Scarlet – Change The World
02 – IceCreamSandWitch – Makina
03 – Nizikawa – Akagi
04 – nnn – Basement
05 – Hard Harmonizer – Drop it
06 – 6th – Killing Weapon
07 – Noizenecio – Bass Stream
08 – QUIL – Knight of Carim
09 – kenta-v.ez. – cAtAstrophic sEquENcE
10 – Lechery – MAD KILLER
11 – DJ 490 – b347z cr4ck1n
12 – Le Dos-on – Benetnasch
13 – Le Dos-on & Psycho Stalker – Zafkiel
14 – XIO – Paradise

I’m doing my best to catch up on stuff these days, so next from the archives we have a wonderful set from Cyberdyne Seba. I get the impression from the SoundCloud comments that most Horsers have been on the case with this one for a good while, but anyone else who enjoys high-energy freeform with plenty of filters definitely needs to check this set out.

Reminiscent of an Alderz/Beezee set, this one doesn’t let up for a moment and gets the balance of melodies and nastiness just about spot on. Watch out too for some fantastic, energetic mixing – Surendrajit into Lush is a very ambitious combo that crashes through in fine style, but there are plenty of other nice selections and a perfectly timed use of Vyral XIII’s Auracite that deserves an honourable mention.

I obviously need to give a special thanks to Seba for the extensive use of the TYFTH SoundCloud, it’s great to see how well the tunes fit into a set of this standard, and equally nice to see DJs putting the tracks to good use – that’s the point of this little project, after all.

1. +12V – Read/Write (Free DL: www.happyhardcore.com/forums/topic.a…TOPIC_ID=60229)
2. Transcend – Spirit Of Hades (Stamina Slam)
3. Substanced – Damage Point (Relentless Digital)
4. Rob O.T.T. – New Direction (Free DL: soundcloud.com/thank-you-for-the-horse/rob-o-t-t-new-direction)
5. Vyral XIII – Auracite (2013 Edit) (Free DL: www.vyral13.bandcamp.com)
6. Substanced – Colombia (Free DL: soundcloud.com/thank-you-for-the-horse/substanced-colombia)
7. Invader & Nightforce – Auferstehung (Full Circle DJs Remix) (Free DL: soundcloud.com/invaderben/auferstehung-fullcircledjs-remix)
8. Bewtixt & Between – Surendrajit (2011 Refix)(Free DL no longer available?)
9. Pain On Creation – Lush (Epyx & Cyrez Remix) (Free DL: soundcloud.com/finrg-recordings/pain-on-creation-lush-epyx)
10. Twisted Freq – All 4 You (Free DL: soundcloud.com/thank-you-for-the-horse/twisted-freq-fall-4-you)
11. Betwixt & Between – Phaedra (Free DL: soundcloud.com/thank-you-for-the-horse/betwixt-between-phaedra)
12. Tazz vs. Solar State – Rhythm Flows (Electronic Recordings)
13. Olly Addictive – PH Machine (3form Records)
14. A.M.S. – Overload (Free DL no longer available)

Many thanks to everyone who tuned into last month’s Smiling Corpse podcast, and equally hearty thanks to Wyrm and the SC crew for the invitation to play – as always I’m hugely grateful for the support. The entire show has just been added to the Dead Happy archive, so let’s take the chance to look back at the two sets.

Putting my mix together was traumatic to say the least, as I did my very best to strike the balance between using sections from recent club events and not ending up with a structureless Frankenstein’s monster of a set. Personally I think I fell into that trap with Episode 7 of Munted! Monthly, but this time I considered how to use pre-existing stuff much more carefully and am far happier with the end result. Having said that, a few days before the deadline I hacked out 6 (!) tracks and had a proper (if manic) rethink, as it clearly didn’t have enough melancholy or relisten value.

As always, a massive thanks to the artists and labels who provided tunes – these sets couldn’t happen at all without your help. This time I was sold on Gestaltzerfall as an intro track the moment I heard it, and either by DJing sixth sense or blind luck (I know which one’s more likely) Prelude was the first tune I tried as a mix. Happily, Prelude has been a backup connection for the Freedom – Rise – Dilapidated section for a good few months now, and that really inspired me for the rest of the set. Fatal Flashback and Afraid was a recent find, while I’ve been playing around with the Neon Circuitboards – Gravity’s Rainbow – Darkstar section since Munted! in London. After much back and forth, I finally decided on Helix – Mohicans as the finale after playing the preceding 50mins a few times in practice. There’s just enough nastiness to link them both to the rest of the set, before heading off into that magical, melancholy direction.

Of course the set’s far from perfect, but given my time restrictions these days I was really glad to see how some of the Krafty listeners enjoyed it on the night – it made all the hair-tearing and kickdrum-induced headaches worthwhile. By the way, a couple of the ‘CDR’ tracks here are headed for release (or at least, announcement of a release) very soon indeed, and will likely sound even nicer as here I used unmastered/older versions.

01) Guld – Gestaltzerfall [CDR]
02) Epyx & Cyrez – Prelude [Electronica Exposed]
03) Proteus – Freedom [CDR]
04) Thanatos – Rise (Render Regalia remix) [Allkore]
05) ikaruga_nex – Dilapidated [Fukyagaku Hardcore] / ikaruga_nex – Dilapidated 2013 [Freeformatted]
06) Carbon Based – Fatal Flashback [FINRG]
07) Nomic – Afraid [CDR]
08) Twisted Freq – Alien [Electronica Exposed]
09) Qygen – Neon Circuit Boards [CDR]
10) Betwixt & Between – Gravity’s Rainbow [Hardcore Tano*C]
11) Alek Szahala – Darkstar [Electronica Exposed]
12) Betwixt & Between – Ultra World 6 [CDR]
13) Blender & Nomic – Battle of Dawn [CDR]
14) Twisted Freq – Saturn Atmosfear [Volatile Digital]
15) Aryx – Helix [CDR]
16) Alek Szahala – Last of the Mohicans (Remix) [CDR]

Download here

Let’s not forget Wyrm’s fantastic second hour though – his set was full of unexpected twists, from hard techno to psy via plenty of unreleased SC material. After a timely Happy Birthday, Wyrm went heavy on the harder tracks (Rhythmic Tool being a standout for me), followed by some quality new freeform. I hadn’t heard Custom Built DJs’ Pneumatic or Qygen’s superb remix of Tendrils of Reality before, while it was lovely to hear Qygen’s tribute to Betwixt & Between – Kimura Kaoru no Densetsu – being used so effectively in a set. Add Dodomeki to the list and you really see the strength in depth of Smiling Corpse’s upcoming releases. Some typically nutty psy has also been very skilfully woven into the set, making this a genuine must-listen if you didn’t catch it at the time.

01) Flute Guy – Happy Birthday
02) Mechanical Brothers vs. Instigator – Frozen Hell [Cannibal Society]
03) Wyrm & Surtr – Tesseract [Electrode]
04) Greg Notill & Slugos – Rhythmic Tool [Cannibal Society]
05) Tyranoid & Strongstream – Stalingrad (Osmo Remix) [FiNRG]
06) Greg Notill – Conscient but Denied (Instigator Remix) [Kube Records]
07) Custom Built DJ’s – Pneumatic [F/C Smiling Corpse]
08) Anon – Manix#1 [F/C Buzzin’ Bootlegs]
09) Cosmic Lizard vs. Metahuman – K-Jah! [Lunatic Alien Records]
10) Ikaruga_Nex – Dodomeki [F/C Smiling Corpse]
11) Qygen – Kimura Kaoru no Densetsu [F/C Smiling Corpse]
12) Oxidaksi – White Weirdo [Cryptic Symmetry Records]
13) Substanced – Reptile Zoo [FiNRG]
14) Wyrm – Tendrils of Reality (Qygen Remix) [F/C Smiling Corpse]

Download here

Recently I caught up on all the recent Smiling Corpse podcasts – four sets of excellent quality that no Horser should miss out on.

Episode 11 features a really interesting, experimental set from Dyzphazia that very skilfully switches between different subgenres to make something very fresh. Making the most of the schranzy-style tracks to bring in new sections, this is one of the best Dyzphazia mixes for a while and a great set to check out if you’re in the mood for something different.

01) zkillbang3r – Loberta Ingrata (Original Mix) [Fiume Beat]
02) Sulima – On Mars (Original Mix) [Goamagnetic]
03) Hypix – Criminal [Sounds Diabolic]
04) Faradize – Psycho Therapy (Original Mix) [Goamagnetic]
05) Buchecha – Revolution (Original Mix) [Fiume Beat]
06) ETC – Helpless (2012 Remaster) [Phantasm Records]
07) zkillbang3r – La Huerfana [Sounds Diabolic]
08) Epyx & Cyrez ft. Jarno H – Continuum of the Ordeal [Watchtower]
09) Hellboy – The Nightmare Begins [Infractive Digital]
10) Alek Szahala – Unicorn Grove [Electroplates]
11) Qygen – Supersonic Speed 2013 [F/C Freeformatted Vol 2]
12) Einhander – Fourbeast [CDr]
13) Betwixt & Between – Tankobu Heso Tarou no Hourou (Proteus Remix) [Hardcore Tano*C]
14) Ayrx – Morokai (Le Dos-On Remix) [F/C Smiling Corpse]
15) Brothers In Techno & ASIN vs. Qygen – Arkhatek Temple (Dyzphazia Bootleg) [CDr]

Alchemiist’s set from the same podcast is exactly what I hoped for – twisty, solidly mixed and with plenty of older darkness. It’s not always easy to find freeform sets that go for all-out aggression, and with the sprinkling of promos livening things up this is a must-listen.

01) Pantera – By Demons Be Driven (Alchemiist & Decion Rework) [CDr]
02) Alchemiist – Terrible Times [Orrible Noize]
03) Horzi – Human Hater (Substanced Remix) [FiNRG]
04) Alek Száhala – Maruuk [FiNRG]
05) Endemic – Hurricane [Watchtower]
06) Substanced – Reptile Zoo [FiNRG]
07) Twisted Freq – Unleashed [Electronica Exposed]
08) Twisted Freq – Hanuman Visits Lanka [Electronica Exposed]
09) Twisted Freq & Cyrez – The Edge Of Extinction [Electronica Exposed]
10) Alchemiist – Neurotic [CDr]
11) Lost Soul feat. Dark Angel – Sacrifice (Endemic Remix) [Watchtower]
12) Substanced & Alchemiist – Skullcrush [FiNRG]

Episode 12 keeps things dark with a great set from Olly Addictive that introduces some variety around the basic TYFTH-friendly sound. I often think that mixing other tunes with Alek Szahala tracks is a very risky business, as very little else can match his unique atmosphere and it ends up feeling like a waste (eg. my Lucky Lotus set – Let the Funeral Begin works a treat, but Last Glimmer of Hope cancels out Sunray’s atmosphere and things head off in a different, lighter direction). Anyway, Olly puts the lie to all that with a blinder of a connection, moving straight from Pastor Skinstrom into Solar Hive. Brilliant stuff, and the rest of the set is melodic but twisted, and definitely recommended.

01) Unnatural Selection & Cik – Day of Judgement (Ophidian Remix) [Industrial Strength]
02) Carbon Based – Painkiller [Electroplates]
03) Epyx & Cyrez – Unohdetut 2011 [Electrode]
04) Shanty – Cerebral Cortex (Wyrm Remix) [Electrode]
05) Transcend – Eons [F/C Watchtower]
06) Qygen & Olly Addictive – Vapaamuoto [F/C Smiling Corpse]
07) The Sauna Boys – Pastor Skinstrom [FiNRG]
08) Alek Száhala – Solar Hive [FiNRG]
09) Alchemiist – Empire [FiNRG]
10) Evolutionize – Pain [F/C Freeformatted Vol.2]
11) Transcend & Neptune – The Spirit Molecule [F/C Strictly for the Purist]
12) AC Slater – Overdose [Kaotik]
13) Tommyknocker – Twist [Traxtorm Records]

Finally we have a headline set from Alek Szahala that is hopefully getting the listeners it deserves. The tracklist alone is fantastic, with a few oldies alongside the wonderful Succubus, Raingun and Mageslayer, but this one also deserves special attention for the mixing style. Maybe the most complex Alek set I’ve heard so far, there’s plenty of mixing before the traditional outro section and a couple of tunes that leap straight into the breakdown, keeping even hardcore Alek fans guessing until the end. A top quality hour then, and the perfect warm up for Alek’s 10th Anniversary set in Helsinki tonight.

01) Alek Száhala – Intro
02) Alek Száhala – Succubus [CDr]
03) Alek Száhala – Deimos [FiNRG]
04) Alek Száhala – Supriya [FiNRG]
05) Alek Száhala – Astraia [ReBuild Music]
06) Alek Száhala – Dryad Machine [FiNRG]
07) Alek Száhala – Aurinko [CDr]
08) Alek Száhala – Alanamra (Arkitech Remix) [Nu Energy]
09) Alek Száhala – Iron Squid [FiNRG]
10) Alek Száhala – Maruuk [FiNRG]
11) Alek Száhala – Railgun [CDr]
12) Alek Száhala – Mageslayer [FiNRG]
13) Alek Száhala – Barber’s Adagio for Strings [FiNRG]
14) Alek Száhala – Vengeance
15) Alek Száhala – Anmitzcuacah

Check out all the sets here

Here’s that post I’ve been trying to find the time for – an inspired contribution to the Freeformaniacs show that’s hands down the best freeform set I’ve heard this year. It’s clear right from the start how much effort Cuedy put into this mix, and it flows brilliantly through a lovely selection of TYFTH-friendly melodic freeform and some fantastic, creative connections. For the first time in a long time I found myself enjoying the transitions themselves (very rare, but the way it should be, surely) and really being drawn into the set’s atmosphere. Just when I thought the set might be fading away, the Morokai – Quantum Epiphany combination energises the finale in fine style, while the earlier Chaos Maker – Leadbeater is another real standout.

No time for further comment (and forgive the possibly confusing copy/paste tracklist down below), but hopefully the scene will give this excellent set the praise it deserves – creative, thoughtful and a proper inspiration.

1. Explosive Tendencies Penguin Conspiracy [Freeform Exposed 2/Electrode] 
2. Sound Of The Golden Clarion Epyx & Cyrez [Two Against The Void/Watchtower Records] 
3. The Gatekeeper Eryk Orpheus & Flip [Freeformania/Rebuild Music] 
4. Dilapidated Ikaruga_Nex [Subaru Shu ~Subaru no Tama~/Hukagyaku Hardcore] 
5. 28 Day Later Audio Warfare & Audio Impulse [Free Release/ Soundcloud] 
6. Chaos Maker Nomic [Free Release/ Soundcloud] 
7. Leadbeater Alchemiist & J-Mx [TYFH][Free Release/ Soundcloud] 
8. Sadness & Sorrow (Epyx & Cyrez Remix) Nightforce [Electronic Exclusives 11: Plundered Vaults/Electronica Exposed] 
9. Yabarekabare Suge [Freeformania/Rebuild Music] 
10. Verzweiflung Hommarju [Relentless Digital][Subaru Shu ~Subaru no Tama~/Hukagyaku Hardcore] 
11. Human Hater Horzi [FiNRG][Free Release/ Soundcloud] 
12. Sarcomite Alabaster [Hardcore Syndrome 3/Hardcore Tano*C] 
13. Morokai Aryx [Smiling Corpse CD1/Smiling Corpse] 
14. Quantium Epiphany Qygen [Freeform Exposed 2/Electrode] 
15. Ja Tri Fu Le Dos-On [核-Core-/Solidbox Records]