Release Date: 20th August 2021
Long time friends and collaborators DLR & Break finally give dub-plate classic 'Hit the Target' the nod to see the light of day, there isn't much we can say about 'Hit the Target' that hasn't been said already so we'll move onto NADS.
It's a rare treat seeing a DLR solo track on the label (fear not, there is already a plan at hand to remedy this) and when they arrive- they do not disappoint. Listening to NADS it's not difficult to see why James DLR has become so popular across the sub-genres of Drum & Bass, a rare artist whose ability to achieve sonic perfection does not compromise the funk aesthetic that is so important for the label and indeed himself.
a1. DLR & Break - Hit The Target
b1. DLR - NADS
Release Date - 7th June 2019
Sofa Sound Bristol returns with a double A-side collaborative single after the runaway success of the label's debut various artists compilation 'Sofa King Sick'. This time label boss DLR teams up with two huge talents in Abis and Signal. Abis is no stranger to drum n bass having been one half of the very successful act June Miller and Signal has cemented himself as one the most exciting artists to emerge in recent years.
The fourth single on Sofa Sound once again shows the label's versatility and is another step in label going from strength to strength.
a1. Signal, DLR & Abis - Artworld
b1. Abis & DLR - Deeper Understanding
Release Date - 19th October 2018
Sofa Sound is one of the pioneering labels who are breaking out of more commercial constraints and building a stronghold for independents within dance music. Spearheaded by head honcho DLR, they’ve brought forward both well-known talent and producers who are only just beginning to make a name for themselves, which is why they’ve become such a widely respected name since its creation in 2017. From Black Barrel, through to the combined force of Break, Randall and DLR himself, their continuous string of releases has already etched their place within drum & bass.
For their forthcoming record, DLR, Hydro & War add together their sonic expertise on ‘Not too Late’, whilst DLR and Hydro join forces on ‘Trick’. It’s easy to see why both tracks have garnered support from the scene’s major tastemakers, including Break, Noisia and Ant TC1; receiving spins in sets throughout the festival circuit and most notably at Sun & Bass, Outlook and Dimensions. And with residencies stretching from Bristol to Seoul, Hydro has spent his career proving his skills in both the studio and behind the decks. Whether it’s his collaborations with the likes of Break, or his airplay on stations such as BBC Radio 1, 1xtra and Rinse FM, he’s also an established force. Similarly, French producer War, whose range of childhood musical influences lead to a debut in Breakage’s Essential mix in 2010 at just seventeen, has formed a reputation which is just as formidable as his Sofa Sound counterparts. Having released on respected labels Dispatch Recordings, Utopia Music, Horizons Music and Blendits, he’s a welcome addition to the roster.
‘Not too Late’ and ‘Trick’ are another monumental follow up from DLR, bringing yet another set of groundbreaking artists into the mix – another reason why Sofa Sound are still staying ahead of the game.
a1. Hydro, DLR & War - Not Too Late
b1. DLR & Hydro - Trick
Release Date: 25th May 2018
Next up from Sofa Sound is the forthcoming collaborations from drum & bass heavyweights DLR, Break, Randall and Ulterior Motive, a collective who’ve all helped to pioneer the genre whilst staying inherently underground. Whilst Break and Randall have laid its foundations, producers like DLR and Ulterior Motive have shaped the more contemporary scene, although both tracks signify the colossal engineering standards of each featuring artist. The established names also bring their weight to Sofa Sound’s back catalogue, which has expanded since its creation by DLR in 2017.
DLR, Break and Randall come together for lead track ‘Song & Dance’, an old-school reminiscent roller with snipped up, mc-lead vocal samples and jazzy instrumentals. The energy between all three artists is instantly recognisable, with Randall’s old-school approach shining through each layer. On top of strung guitar notes and a hook which nods to its namesake, ‘Song & Dance’ blends a mixture of styles to present a versatile addition to Sofa Sound.
Next comes ‘Modules’, featuring a combination of sonics recorded through Ulterior Motive’s modular set up. The ruminating drums and basses brought from the collections of their collaborators deliver its funkier elements, with the bassline fluctuating between notes and twisting its way through a melodic undertow. Alongside its unusual structure, the track’s organic approach and frequent switches grab its listener unaware. Another imperative release on Sofa Sound, the imprint has shown its commitment to artists from across the spectrum, through both its digital releases and physical discography additions.
a. DLR, Break & Randall - Song & Dance
b. DLR & Ulterior Motive - Modules
Release Date: 27th October 2017
DLR needs little introduction; his name has become synonymous with underground drum & bass and from the beginning he’s stayed true to his roots – he’s never watered down his sound for a more commercial appeal. This stance has seen DLR rise to notoriety, even after his very first output. And following his releases on Metalheadz, Dispatch, Utopia, Shogun Audio and Break’s prolific Symmetry imprint, he’s embarked on a journey which will now see him set up his own imprint Sofa Sound, continuing the ethos which has made him so revered.
Sofa Sound was inspired by the creative arts community which flourishes throughout Bristol. It embodies the DIY spirit which has sprung up across its many art spaces, helping to nurture the drum & bass scene there which has continued to grow since it first came to the city’s venues. For their first release, they’ve brought together a three-track EP which gives a taster into what Sofa Sound has planned for the coming months. Featuring label head DLR, as well as collaborator Quadrant and even a free download, ‘Sofa Sound 001’ will stand as a monumental part of the imprint’s back catalogue.
DLR and Quadrant’s ‘Ghostfish’ rolls out on a heavyweight bassline which quickly switches to subterranean levels, drawing you deeper with every pulsing sub. Its percussive elements cut through the mix, shaking the composition and giving an edge with every successive drum beat. ‘Ghostfish’ is heavyweight business... Neither DLR nor Quadrant pulls the breaks following each tide of sonic.
Up next is DLR’s standalone offering ‘Don’t Make Sense’, a crushing, unforgiving roller with moody atmospherics and stabs of distortion. The track rattles amongst snipped up vocal samples and keyed note patterns, creating an unfamiliar soundscape for you to immerse your aural synapses. And finally, you’re introduced to free download ‘Throwback’, living up to its namesake with metallic kicks and snares which add to the track’s punch. DLR nods to his roots throughout ‘Throwback’, proving his longevity in the game. This history will be brought into the soul of Sofa Sound... A label which will become a staple within drum & basses discography.
a1. DLR & Quadrant - Ghostfish
b1. DLR - Don't Make Sense