Coming at you with a couple of massive, massive tunes this week. These are definitely get up and dance tracks, in a couple of different genres that you’re definitely not expecting. Get your hazmat suits on and get sweaty! Hybrid Minds brings out the smooth, rolling delicious liquid drum & bass, care of UKF. The meditative, leisurely build meshes with GRIMM‘s vocal perfectly, creating a lush, silky track that never rushes or gets in your face. It’s most certainly a dance track, but without the buzzsaws or aggro-feel that so much D&B presents. Dance in the sunlight to this. Your feet will thank you. The Aston Shuffle has been making an excellent name for themselves over the last couple of years. This tune has “Better Than Disclosure” written all over it. The UK Garage/House fusion Disclosure made famous has attempted by many as of late, but very few artists can stick the landing. The Aston Shuffle is a rare exception, as Make A Wrong Thing Right proves. Micah Powell’s excellent vocals add to a track that’s damn near dazzling. The wobbly house feels great, keeps you grooving, and never lets you down.
I discovered this Sim Gretina over the weekend and it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Electroswing infused with Aladdin samples need to be an entire genre of music. Can we please start dropping Robin Williams samples into as much music as possible? Because he makes everything better. Throw this on and I bet your entire family will be grooving to it. Life is your restaurant indeed. Just A Tune came out of nowhere with this track. It’s got some of the most forward thinking sound design I’ve heard in years. The drop seems to fuse elements of electro, moombahton, worldbeat and future bass. The entire track is more massive in a way that definitely needs some attention. Frankly, I need to hear more of this and have no idea where to find the stuff. Hey You Let’s Fight threw something at me I did not see coming, a Drum & Bass remix of the Unsolved Mysteries theme. And it’s a good one! It’s ominous and totally generates the chills that the 90’s show evoked. A fun tune, over way too soon, but I had to make sure you heard this.
Liquid so good you’ll slap yo mama. When Strife II said Flite was one of his heroes, this is why. This kind of stuff would probably reduce aggravated assault rates if we played it on public transportation. If you’ve got a dope bass system engaged while listening to this, you’d appreciate that it’s as gentle of a stone massage as you can get from the genre. This isn’t done by accident, so appreciate how perfect his choices are. And don’t forget to give it up to Liquicity for giving Flite the stage he deserves.
(I was honored to speak to Strife II, one of my favorite liquid drum & bass producers, over in the UK. Show the guy some love!)1. What is on tap for Strife II for NYE 2014 & 2015? Any live shows or new releases? I hope that one day there will be some sort of live show, but I don’t know if I will ever DJ. Maybe it would be a film like Hammock and Sigur Ros do, or a live band thing. I think what I write is all about escapism rather than dancing, so who knows.
2. Are you currently a full-time performer/DJ/producer, or do you have a day job? Your music is so incredible this needs to be paying your light bill. I’ve got a really bog standard boring day job with some of the most awesome people I’m ever likely to meet. I don’t hate it because a lot of people there bring a lot of positivity to my life – I get to watch the sun rise every morning and take a few minutes to watch the world wake up
Strife II has returned, rejoice & be glad! The crown prince of liquid (in my eyes anyway) released an opus clocking in well over seven minutes. This kind of sound is totally rare, but Strife II proves once again that he can do it like no other. The soulful, melodic chords & quiet piano progression are at the core of my favorite sub-genre in dnb. The smooth, emotional vibe glides across your awareness, packing a punch without jarring one’s senses. I am at a loss as to why this kid isn’t one of the biggest sounds coming out of the UK, but I’m going to keep yelling about him as long as I’m able. This is the future, or at least, I hope it is. I think it would lead to a better world, Wyld Stallions-style, but what do I know. Take a listen and tell me what you think.
Hybrid Minds does wonderful, wonderful things when it comes to drum & bass. They consistently kill it in the liquid space, in a triumphant, symphonic way over and over. This track is no exception. The meditative kick drums & the bassline melt into the vocals that shine through the darkness. Summer Rain is another proof that Liquid can be bursting with feels as it were. It’s hard to describe how different this sounds comparable to what most people think of in their heads when you say “drum & bass” and I think that’s to the genre’s detriment. This is the stuff that people should be introducing the genre to their friends using, maybe saving the gas mask & camouflage hoodie music for a little later in their listening career. If you want to patronize the Hybrid Minds soundcloud instead of the Liquicity YouTube, that’s below as well. I’m all into this track, and since it’s from 2012, this officially counts as throwback thursday. Happy Turkey Day y’all, groove in your gluttony to this 😀
The idea that I’ve yelled into the internet so much about how awesome liquid drum & bass is that it has started getting emailed to me, blows me away. This two-piece from A FREAKING SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD named Ownglow out of Bournemouth blew me away this week. The vibes are effortless, but gorgeous. It really reinforces my belief that liquid D&B is proof that the universe loves us. Gold was actually featured on Friction’s BBC Radio 1 show and the UKF YouTube channel, which, speaks to my point. This kid is banging. I didn’t even know the music existed at his age, much less make Hospitality quality tunes. Someone needs to sign this kid ASAP, because if this is what we’re seeing at this stage, the sky is the limit. If you don’t believe me, just ask Keeno or Etherwood. Grab it Sunday off Pilot Records.
The last time I mentioned Collin on this blog was for his stupefyingly good deep house mix. Before that I was ranting on twitter about his vocal dubstep tracks that blew us all out of the water. Last week he dropped a liquid drum & bass remix of White Flag by Dido. Yes, that Dido. Di Freaking “Dear Slim, I wrote you but you still ain’t calling” do. Not only did he provide his own vocal recording for the remix, but the production is on point. The potent drum and bass chops that none of us new he had, shine through. There’s a sensibility about what to take away and what to keep, the mark of an artist who can’t help but go places. The build around 2:15 is silky smooth, and there’s a dude singing Dido. Because fuck your gender roles bro. The tune is dancey without being overbearing or at all harsh. So much to like here, and this continues to prove that Collin McLoughlin isn’t actually human, but just some Jedi producer sent back in time to usher in the era of the Wyld Stallions or something.
Rameses B is one of the most talented producer I’ve ever seen actually succeed at IndieGogo. The Galaxy of Dreams 2 compilation by Liquicity is incredible, and there’s a tremendous amount of sick new Drum & Bass that I’ll be covering in the coming days & weeks. But tonight, sit back, relax and vibe on one of the most delicious liquid tracks you’ve ever heard. He builds sonic worlds and then invites you to lay on the grass. This is some excellent stuff, so don’t sleep on it or the compilation it’s on.
I am going to keep banging on the Hospital Records drum until every single D&B fan in the United States knows of the astonishing work coming from the UK. For those of you paying attention, this is the second track I’m shoving into your faces from the “We Are 18” compilation released last year. Hospital Records not only throws some of the best parties anywhere in the world (that I hope to attend one day). The combination of smooth vocal work, extensive synth work & Etherwood’s liquid touch create a potent remix that eclipses even Camo & Krooked’s exceptional track. This tune is rocked daily for me, and I assume you will too.
I think there’s a lot of potential in the liquid drum & bass genre even with how old it is. Hospital Records continues to break new ground, using both seemingly identical & totally novel pieces together in radically different ways. Nu:Logic’s absolutely stunning remix of Wings by Birdy has been on daily rotation during my commute. It’s a perfect example of what can be done today to create something really special in a high BPM but low-impact way. The energy never drops, the amen break marches on, but the chorus & shimmering vocals glide above and are used respectfully & correctly. So glad I bought the physical copy of the We Are 18 compilation. Much love to Hospital from the other side of the pond.