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Utah Jazz has just released his fourth full length, but the first on Spearhead Records, entitled Portfolio. I mentioned two of the tracks, January Silence and Endless, back in my May Beats & Pieces column, and even stated that those tunes were a taste of things to come from Portfolio. Well, after hearing the full album, Mr. Jazz has delivered in spades.

Several of the tracks on the album have a throwback and nostalgic feel to them. As someone that appreciates the history of drum & bass, I applaud the effort to capture the sounds from those by-gone days. Personal favorites: The opener, Clarity of Thought, for it’s straight ahead, classic, liquid funk style. Love Everlasting, which is quite reminiscent of a funky breaks track that was just time warped from the 90s. M.A.M (aka Mongo’s Ambient Masterpiece) for the ambient and soulful mood with surprise vocals from Stamina MC. And finally, Passage of Time would be at home on a Logical Progression compilation from Good Looking Records (have I mentioned that I love that classic atmo dnb sound? only 8 millions times). By the way, the ladies are going to love Roll That Blues featuring MC Fava…that’s a sexy joint.

Utah Jazz had a nice Q&A with Drum & Bass Arena last week that gives you some insight into the albums creation and it’s direction. Spoiler Alert! The recent birth of his daughter has had an incredible impact on his life and the way he rolls musically. He also shares that he may, or may not, end up hanging around the house in the buff during London’s currently extreme summer temps!

Utah Jazz – Portfolio – Spearhead Records – Out Now!

To sweeten the pot a bit, here’s Utah Jazz’s FabricLive promo mix for a set he was set to play at the Bukem-In-Session night last Friday.

The Outlook Festival, one of Europes’s biggest and baddest, has asked the original “crackhouse” don to knock together a mix for them. It’s a precision blend of tech house, classic reworks, some bass joints, a few deeper tunes, and (of course) the aforementioned crackhouse sound.

Another one in the Metalheadz theme…. this one comes from Lawson Benn’s show on NTS and contains “strictly tracks from the first 20 Metalheadz releases.”

Lawson Benn (Classic Metalheadz Special) – 18th July 2014 by Nts Radio on Mixcloud

Ulterior Motive are quickly establishing themselves as one of the names to look out for as they have unleashed some of the year’s biggest tunes which includes the just released behemoth, “M.I.R./Given Contact.”
There is a great interview and the mix is all killer.

Ant TC1 drops a set from June at Fabric. Lots of great tunes and some unforgettable classics. One of my favorite Krust tunes makes in appearance as well. See if you can find it.

I’m a big fan of Spearhead Records. Why? Because they simply produce top quality drum & bass from new and established producers without any fluff or pretense. So today we show our appreciation by highlighting two of their recent released and previewing a forthcoming album, plus for good measure, we’ll throw in a link to BCee’s July promo mix. Let’s go!

Seba – Cold Spring/Addicted – OUT NOW

Robert Manos vocals on “Cold Spring” are stunning. Seba packs in hair-raising synths and rousing keys to match the steppy drums and that vocal to stick a surface summer vibe into a cold winter heart. This is a sub-conscious break-up song that you put in a mix or play on repeat to make that girl you’re dating question why she’s with you. The, if “Cold Spring” is a break-up song, “Addicted” is the oh-shit-I-have-made-a-terrible-mistake-and-regret-everything tune. It offers the perfect bit of duality with a bigger dancefloor tempo and even bigger bassline coursing through it with an (uncredited) female vocal leading the charge.

BCee – Hit You Where You Live/Back To The Street (Nu:Tone Remix) – OUT NOW

Damn, BCee went straight for the throat and, figuratively speaking, “Hit You Where You Live!” I imagine this tune came about after a particularly rough day of traffic in the mighty metropolis of Diss, South Norfolk. Maybe he got stuck behind a tractor or argued with his neighbor over the direction of the village, then took it out on this techy smasher. “Back To The Street” originally appeared on BCee’s Lost and Found album from 2013. This time it gets an excellent re-working from Hospital Records artist Nu:Tune. They go to work with a more drum oriented version with (obviously) livelier drums, more prominent piano work, and exceptional work on Phillipa Hanna’s vocal.

Hybrid Minds – Mountains Remixed – Out September 2014

One of my top albums of 2014 is getting every single one of its tracks re-done by some of D&B’s heaviest hitters. dBridge, Total Science, DLR, Lenzman, Phil Tangent, Nymfo…fuck me. Just give the preview a listen and give it a pre-order. Worth it.

Here’s BCee’s July Promo Mix ahead of his Spearhead night at Plan B in Brixton on 25 July.

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Fierce went in on a 96-97 techstep set at a night in London called Rupture. Look at that tracklist and tell me you don’t want to bust some heads up!

[h/t to In-Reach

Tracklist:
01. Unofficial Ghost – Doc Scott – Metalheadz
02. Threshold – Cybotron .feat – Dillinja – Prototype
03. Machines – Doc Scott
04. Mad Different Methods – Ed Rush, Trace, Nico – NNU Black
05. Deadly Deep Subs Remix – Dillinja – Razors Edge
06. Spacefunk – S.O.S – Timeless Recordings
07. Shadow Boxin’ Remix – Doc Scott – 31 Records
08. What’s Up? – Ed Rush, Nico – No U Turn
09. Prototyped – Doc Scott – 31 Records
10. Identity- Dead Calm (Dom & Roland Remix) – Moving Shadow
11. Acid- Dillinja – Pain
12. Break It Up – Lemon D – Reinforced
13. End of Line – Dillinja – Unreleased
14. Untitled – Dillinja – Unreleased
15. Still – Boymerang – Prototype
16. One Nation – Photek – Sanctuary Records
17. Tron – Dillinja – Unreleased
18. Killamanjaro – Ed Rush, Nico – Prototype
19. Locust – Ed Rush, Fierce, Nico – Prototype/Sony
20. Squadran – Trace, Nico – NNU Black
21. Fatneck – Black Grape (Goldie Remix) – Unreleased

I’m glad Fabric does what they do everyday. Big up.

Here’s JJ Frost’s FabricLive mix ahead of his appearance on August 22nd. Enjoy some sweet, sweet drum & bass.

Big up to Alex Eveson for taking the time to, candidly, answer some of our questions about life growing up in Glastonbury, how he got into drum & bass, and shooting down our request for a VIP version of his tune (ha!).

The Grey Dawn EP on Ingredients records is due out July 21st.

> As someone that only knows Glastonbury for the festival of the same name, can you give our readers a sense of what life was like growing up there?

it’s not your typical small english town, it’s a pretty leftfield place. for instance, to buy a pair of jeans or socks or something, you’d have to go to the next town over, but you could stroll down the high street and have no trouble buying a sword and a crystal buddah statue or something…

Bristol was only an hour away on the bus, and if you’re from Glastonbury, Bristol pretty much became your destination at the weekend for skating, raving etc, and with the festival on our doorstep and a lot of kids brought up by more hippy parents, a lot of us would be on the music thing from a really young age, i was raving at festivals from the age of about 12, often with backstage hookups linked through mates. one of the best memories of this was getting to stand/dance right up on the main stage 20ft away from Orbital as they played to 150,000 odd people while the sun went down in Glastonbury ’95 when i’d just turned 13.

> How’d you find your way to drum & bass?

i saw 2 Unlimited on Top of the Pops when i was around 10 and (as a kid) thought it was the coolest thing ever. within that year, i’d discovered the prodigy, and through them, stuff like SL2, Acen, Liquid, Sonz of da Loop da Loop Era etc… rave music was the new big thing so you could find compilation tapes with all these tunes at your local woolworths. after that it was all about tape packs (namely Fantazia), which me and a small group of mates would collect and trade. it was all just rave music to me back then but i was always drawn towards the breaks over the 4 to the floor stuff, so when the scene split, i naturally gravitated towards the jungle sound which led onto the dnb thing.

> “A Dystopian Romance” seems to indicate a bit of heartbreak, but I found it rather uplifting and soulful. Was that what you were aiming for with the track?

i had the name in my head before i wrote the tune. i’ve always been drawn to music which is both melancholic and euphoric at the same time. this was trying to capture that mood, a moment of beauty and light amidst a bleaker, darker landscape. i tried to recreate this mood throughout the entire 3 track 12.

> Speaking of that, and not to pigeon-hole your music, but it has always had a bit more soul to it than most other producers. Where does that soul influence come from?

when i discovered the Prodigy in 93, i also picked up Massive Attack’s ‘Protection’ on cassette (well my mum did and i quickly adopted it), so the trip hop sound kind of ran in parallel to the rave music thing throughout my teens, and i naturally went searching for the influences and samples the triphop/Ninja Tune/Mo Wax guys were drawing on and got into the original 70s funk/dub/jazz/soul stuff as well. when i started mixing d&b, i’d buy all styles and mix them up. i’ve got just as many dark side tech step records as i have deeper atmospheric/liquid stuff, and still like to go pretty hard/dark in dj sets when the time and crowd is right.

with production though, i get a lot more absorbed when i write stuff with a bit more musicality and soul, it’s more of a mix of all my influences, where if i were to write strictly dance floor stuff, i’d only be drawing on one part of myself. i’ve always seen the deeper side of dnb as a fusion of rave music and trip hop. there aren’t many other styles of music that can both bliss you out with the breakdown and tear your head off with the drop to such an extreme.

> You worked out “Grey Dawn” with Halogenix of Ivy Lab, which is a personal favorite. Any other collaborations in the pipeline?

we’ve got another collab called ‘Baby’ which we wrote soon after Grey Dawn. the latter was more my idea/vision that i brought to his studio and we worked on together to crate, whereas ‘Baby’ was me kinda bringing a bit of my soulful vibe to his style he’s rolling out at the moment, so that one’s on a more half step future soul kinda flex and will be dropping on his Critical ‘Systems’ EP in early July along with the sublime ‘Her Waves’ which is one of my favourite liquid tunes in a good while.

i’ve also got something i started with Mako that really needs to get finished on a deep but tribal tip, as soon as Glastonbury festival’s out of the way, i’ll be straight back on that.

> Can you release a VIP of “Deluge” that’s about three minutes longer just for me, please? ;)

nah, that’s all you’re getting, the fact that you want more, means it did it’s job properly, all about tunes that make you wanna hit the repeat button ;]

> Any thoughts on a full length LP? Maybe on your own label, Channel 82?

i’m still kinda recovering from my debut album which dropped on V back in 2012, which was a culmination of all my influences to date (for anyone that missed, you can check it out at www.thelastsummeroflove.com), and since then i’ve been playing around with all sorts of different styles, trying to find a new voice, as i now consider that chapter closed and i’m working on the next. i’ve actually been churning out a load of sub 160 bpm material that’s influenced by my old jungle/rave tapes, more of a nostalgia project that’s turning into a body of work quite naturally. that’d be under an alias though.

as for the Eveson stuff, i’m gonna stick with experimentation and singles for a while until i have something new i want to say with it. as far as Channel 82 goes, that took a back seat while i did the album and has been dormant for a while but i’m gonna be picking up the pace again this year as i was into the direction it was taking, and i’m gonna be leaning more towards a ‘deep jungle’ kinda flavour for the near future.

> I noticed that Kodama, a track you wrote in 2009 for Good Looking, was just released in April and in a very limited market. Does a label sitting on your music that long bother you as much it does people like me that want to buy it?

to be honest, for me it’s not such a bad thing. i got paid up front for that track and it dropped on a Fabric CD and gave me a nice amount of exposure. so it was already kind of out there, just not to the point of a full release which created a lot of hype about the tune over time, more so than if it’d just dropped straight away i imagine.

music fans seem to have a fascination with tunes they can’t get hold of to the point they sometimes get built up to be more than they are. for me having the tune in limbo for so long simply meant for years, i had a well known tune of mine i could drop in my sets for a great reaction, that was still exclusive to myself and a few others, so for me it worked out alright. that was more of a unique situation though, as i said, for me it was already kind of ‘out there’ via the Fabric series, when you have something wrapped up with a label that you’re really proud of, but is taking an eternity to see the light of day, it can be pretty frustrating of course.

most of the labels i work with these days are pretty on it as far as getting tunes out in good time though, so it’s not such a problem. in fact i’m the worst offender with my own label’s stuff, you don’t realise just how difficult it can be to get music out in a timely manner until you’ve tried running a label yourself…

> Thanks again and best of luck with the release!

Thanks a lot! – Alex

Keep track of Eveson on Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud.

Check out his Fizzy Beats 9th Birthday Promo Mix HERE.

Pulp 365 had Belgium R&B and trill DJ Dave Luxe put together their guest mix 21 days ago [h/t to the mighty Brad Slack for the link]. In Dave’s interview with Pulp 365 he describes his music thus….

…in two words, I would say “wavy” and “sexy”. I’m just trying to materialize these feelings, love, joy, sadness, and melancholy, sometimes everything mixed together. It has to touch your heart, your soul. You have to feel it mentally, with the melodies, but also physically with the heavy bass and drums. I really want each track to put you in a special type of mood…but I also want to keep it bouncy enough to be played in the club or at your house party!

Don’t be scared away by the R. Kelly’s and T-Pain’s in the tracklist. Most of the tunes have been reworked in an off-kilter bass-fueled vibe, that’s similar to The Weeknd‘s first album, House of Balloons.

Tracklist:
1) Dave Luxe – Move That Dope (Unreleased)
2) Denzel Curry – Threatz (Promnite Edition)
3) Ghostpoet feat. Lucy Rose – Dial Tones (Fear Club Remix)
4) Jeremih – 773 Love (IKAZ Rework)
5) Tinashe – Days In The West (Twenty9 Remix)
6) Rvdical The Kid – Rain Down On Me
7) Sevyn Streeter feat. Chris Brown – It Won’t Stop (Manila Killa x Hunt For The Breeze Remix)
8) Michael Jackson – Blue Gangster (Dave Luxe Hood Edit)
9) Tinashe – Vulnerable (Dave Luxe Remix)
10) T-Pain feat. Lil Wayne – Can’t Believe It (CYGN Remix)
11) Dugong Jr – Hello (CAPSUN Flip)
12) R.Kelly – Throw This Money On You (Ekho Edit)
13) Ciara – Sorry (Ekali Bootleg)
14) Masuka – Girls Say
15) Jacque Greene – No Excuse (Yung Gud Remix)
16) High Klassified – Hyrule Kastle
17) Cashmere Cat – Aurora (Rusty Hook Flip)
18) OLV – Close To Us
19) Camden Arc – I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love
20) Nadus – Nxwxrk
21) Lykke Li – No Rest For The Wicked (DJ Karaoke Remix)
22) Twista feat. Kanye West – Celebrity Overnight (Vices & Bigg Makk Remix)
23) T-Pain – Bartender (DJ Hoodboi Remix)
24) Juan Cristobal feat. Jeffrey Dè Soul – Summer In The Hamptons

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