Release Date: 4th December 2020
The latest drop on Sneaker Social Club comes from D&B standard-bearer Jasper Byrne, aka Sonic. While he’s been active in the scene for over 20 years, in many ways Byrne’s strong artistic identity and omnivorous spread of influences embodies the current rude health of creative D&B. In his refined, detailed and dynamic productions you can hear ideas that reach far beyond playbook genre totems to arrive at something genuinely fresh and unique.
Across his career Byrne has brushed up against some of the most important labels – Metalheadz, Reinforced, V Recordings, Infrared, Hospital, RAM and scores more, as well as operating his own Space Recordings. Finally dropping a debut album last year on the excellent Western Lore, Byrne demonstrated the depth and breadth of Sonic in jaw dropping fashion, and we’re thrilled to be presenting a swift follow-up with Eye of Jupiter.
Byrne’s confident grasp on melody comes to the fore throughout this album, but crucially these phrases, lead lines and hooks are delivered with a subversive slant that surprises and delights in equal measure. The swaying choral tones and MIDI strings on the lead in to “Prince Of Cambridge” land somewhere between Art Of Noise sample-a-delia and new age splendour, offset by the rugged, rolling break. There’s equally a grandiose quality to the organ breakdowns in “Accidental Junglist”, albeit one poured into a blender with echo chamber acrobatics and a generous dose of phaser-based manipulation (calling to mind A Guy Called Gerald’s pioneering work on Black Secret Technology).
Tracks like “The Bells” move into bolder territory still, swerving obvious structures for something altogether more experimental and expressive, all while grounded by harmonic principles and with space to welcome a break when required. The sound design on “20 Yr Riddim” equally reaches beyond the usual confines of D&B to reach a percussion-heavy peak of invention with the capacity to bang as hard as any straight-up track you care to think of.
Even with the space and skill to roam into intriguing pastures, Byrne’s art lies in his ability to make the wildest ideas accessible, and his most accessible tracks still brim with individuality. There’s an immediacy to opening track “Stranded 2019” which draws you in from the off, balancing emotive swoon and a perfectly pitched bleep lick with the rudest, roundest bass and some especially dexterous drum science. That it sounds so easy on the ears and yet so unlike any other tracks in current circulation is all the proof you need that Sonic represents a high watermark for modern drum & bass.
a1. Sonic - Stranded
a2. Sonic - Eastside
b1. Sonic - Prince of Cambridge
b2. Sonic - Accidental Junglist
b3. Sonic - The Bells 2018
c1. Sonic - 20 Yr Riddim
c2. Sonic - 357
d1. Sonic - No Rest (Stealing Voice)
d2. Sonic - Rolling Hills
d3. Sonic - Aila
Release Date: 20th November 2020
Following a jaw-dropping LP on Ghostly International in 2018, multifarious rave authority Tadd Mullinix reanimates his hi-tek junglist guise X-Altera for an EP on Sneaker Social Club. It’s a perfect fit between project and label, as Mullinix exercises his fearsome knowledge and grasp of foundational jungle and drum & bass on an imprint with strong form in the field (from seminal Foul Play works reissued to contemporary cut ups by Dead Man’s Chest, Etch and more).
Rather than straight-up revivalist sounds, as X-Altera Mullinix is more concerned with the original pioneering spirit of early jungle, hardcore and 90s techno. He absorbs and channels the sounds and processes of these influences with a razor-sharp attention to detail, but crucially he stitches his tracks together in a truly idiosyncratic way. Far from linear rollers, the pieces on New Harbinger EP play out more like suites that follow unpredictable paths and take in some stunning scenery en route. Doused in Detroit’s hi-tek soul, chiseled with the avant-garde angles of jungle’s breakbeat science and weaving a tangled narrative to rival a sci-fi epic, it’s a divine blend of rugged and raw rave music that can draw you deep inside and take you far away.
X-Altera is but the latest in a long line of crucial projects from Mullinix, who has been transmitting mind-boggling electronics from Ann Arbor since the late 90s. He’s previously delved into the ruffest ragga jungle with Todd Osborn as Soundmurderer & SK1, dropped devastating acid house bombs as James T Cotton (now steered towards a more focused strain of techno as JTC), delved into EBM and industrial as Charles Manier and helped set a blueprint for leftfield hip hop beats as Dabrye. With an unerring quality barometer matched by his studious knowledge and understanding of rave culture, his work is a continuous gift to many different strains of dance music.
In many ways X-Altera feels like the logical summation of all Mullinix’s prior investigations; unrepentantly futuristic music sporting the best qualities of the past, clad in proudly ‘ardcore body armour and thus ticking every box going for Sneaker Social Club.
a1. X-Altera - Maximum (Love Eachother)
b1. X-Altera - New Harbinger
b2. X-Altera - Ribbon on a Bomb
-Release Date: 30th October 2020
Scuffed Recordings line up their second vinyl sampler, featuring four heavy-hitting club tracks spanning the last year of the label’s output. The release sees tracks from Dubrunner, Heritage, Stones Taro, and Joe Craven pressed to vinyl for the first time, in a limited run of white labels.
Kicking off the release is Dubrunner’s ‘Zoya’s Trip’, originally released in December 2019 on the Scuffed Presents 003 release. Zoya’s Trip has become one of the most popular tracks in the Scuffed catalogue, spending six months in Beatport’s Leftfield House & Techno top 10, and seeing DJ support from the likes of Anja Schneider, Moxie, and Oneman.
Up next is ‘The Revelation’ from Brighton-based duo Heritage, taken from their EP of the same name. With its bass-heavy, breaks-driven beat, The Revelation picked up plays on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Boiler Room, and saw coverage in Mixmag and DJ Mag.
On the B-side Scuffed veteran Stones Taro steps up with the weighty ‘To Rave’. As one of the most long-standing members of the label’s roster, Kyoto-based Stones Taro has become a firm fan favourite with his idiosyncratic take on UK rave music.
Closing out the release is Joe Craven’s ‘Staring At Your Feet Or Mine’, a percussive UK techno stepper originally taken from the Bristol-based producer’s debut release.
a1. Dubrunner - Zoya’s Trip
a2. Heritage - The Revelation
b1. Stones Taro - To Rave
b2. Joe Craven - Staring At Your Feet Or Mine
Release Date: 6th November 2020
Hardcore has survived three decades. Will it never die? Mutate to survive, as the saying goes. There were outliers back then who remain misfits now, and it’s hard to tell whether what they’re making now is so different to what they were making then. Maybe the machines are slightly smarter, but they just find ways to rough the sound up elsewhere in the signal chain. What rings true is the sound hasn’t aged – in the right hands it still jabs at the frontal lobe and tickles the pleasure receptors with ferocious precision.
If anything the passing of time has only helped filter out the filler. True ‘ardcore evangelists have had longer to ruminate on the sound – what maximises the potency, what dulls the impact. Tempo and aggression are not the only tools to devastate a dancer – they rushed in an upward curve for years, to dubious ends. Now you might as likely be rolling at a sedantry 130 as tearing your face off at 180.
The clattering of breaks remain an imperfect vessel for these weird juxtapositions. There’s no standard backbone, no unanimous groove. Depending on the angle of the edit, the same two boom-baps can come out looking so different as to be unrelated. There might not even be any original breaks left in there. An amen begat a tramen begat the sound of a chair being thrown down the stairs. The pool of cultural codes remains open and accessible though – the call of the loom bird is not off limits, and neither are any of the unlicensed licks that hit the streets on the first sample CDs. Make the tune hot enough, you can use what you like.
Of course tired snobbery prevails amongst revivalists who would sneer at anything made after 1996 (or 1994, or 1992 – choose your flavour), but as a cultural movement hardcore (and its many wayward offspring) is as inclusive as it’s ever been. It’s about the joy of splicing, bricolage, the cheeky punt that leads to something profound. But more importantly, it’s about the culture of those who made it – an honest expression of the times, which go in cycles outside the sound not dissimilar to the ones within it.
e1. Horsepower Productions - DREAMWITHINADREAM Pt.2
e2. Ashford Knights - Sinkhole
f1. SHD - Drop
f2. Interplanetary Criminal - Loss of Self Identity
f3. Soundbwoy Killah - Something Special
g1. Konx-om-Pax - Shibuya Sunset (Hardcore Mix)
g2. Appleblim - Limbic Riddim
g3. Coco Bryce - One
h1. Dead Man's Chest x Sonic - Sneaker Rhythm
h2. Hooverian Blur ft. Slarta John - Highgrade Music
h3. Anz - Rave Casual
Release Date: 23rd October 2020
Paris based Vitess dons his Vytamin alias for 4 tracks for sub-aquatic deep-breakbeat-house for UTTU - backed with a Nemo Vachez remix. Tip!”
a1. Vytamin - Bi-Polar
a2. Vytamin - Bi-Polar (Nemo Vachez Remix)
b1. Vytamin - Intervilles
b2. Vytamin - Chasse Taupe
b3. Vytamin - Uzy Jet
Release Date: 6th November 2020
Childsplay presents The debut EP from mod-r. A 4track summary of the emotional state of youth 2day. equal parts breaks, acid, electro and angst. If you don't like it JUST FUCK OFF
a1. mod-r - Shegz
a2. mod-r - Thegeneralpublic
b1. mod-r - Unemployed
b2. mod-r - Shottaz
Release Date: 9th October 2020
Is this the sound of the future or fragments of the past coming back to haunt us? Is a remix of a classic thirty years after the fact an exercise in hauntology or a time loop closing? When hardcore came bowling out of the UK underground, it was sci-fi postulating rendered on wax, but it also reflected an inescapable reality at street level. Idealist, escapologist music that said as much about decades of inner city pressure as it did about outer space fantasies. A sweet refrain underpinned by a necessary ruffness, the elegant ballet of a break dissected 16 different ways over 16 bars, the protest pulse of the subs carrying the torch from one soundsystem culture to another.
What hardcore successfully struck on was so definably alien it set a new paradigm which has been cast back and forth in dialogue ever since. Whole scenes have risen and receded around these principles, and the constant remains – masses of bass carrying angular rhythms, unnerving echo chambers of disembodied voices and moments of staggering beauty and masterful ugliness. These principles have a universal appeal that burns bright generation to generation, never seemingly diminishing but rather fortifying with time. Sometimes a surge of inspiration finds the principles reinterpreted in head-spinning new ways, but the ethic remains the same.
Those shaky, intrepid years of lo-fi samplers and narrow band broadcasts were defined by their lack of definition. Take a punt on a rare groove lick and work out how to get the low end louder. Then everything got organised – in the face of mass appeal scenes started splintering and preferences catered to. It may not have been a force for unity, but it engendered more intensive investigation. Years of scenes, styles, subgenres, niches, furrows, corridors, avenues, detours, each more hyper-specific than the last. Eventually though, everything breaks down so much it all becomes one mass again – a constant cross-contamination between these intensely cultivated strains, creating ever more potent hybrids that simply feed back into the temporal swirl.
a1. SK-1 - Shockout Fass (X-Altera remix)
a2. Etch - Monoxide
b1. ZULI - 3ankaboot
b2. Manix - Special Request (DJ Guy version)
b3. ELLLL - Sooty Tern
c1. Peder Mannerfelt - Small Faces
c2. Christoph De Babalon - Where Are You Going?
c3. DJ Butterfly - Shorty
d1. Clouds - Can't Anticipate
d2. Forest Drive West - Para
d3. Dream Cycle - ESP
Release Date: 2nd October 2020
No messing around with this one folks. I guess I must have been feeling some pent up intense emotions from the lock down because when I went to write this EP four steam rollers came flying out of me. These tracks are definitely up there with some of the peakiest peak timers I’ve written so strap on your seat belt and get ready for the turbo thrusters to kick in.
OK enough of my blather. Go and listen to the damn things yourself and decide if you like them, rather than trying to work it out from reading a bloody press release you weirdos.
All four tracks are produced and sculpted for the club. They want big sound systems and dark rooms.
Close your eyes, hold hands and experience transcendental space flight...
a1. Desert Sound Colony - The Darker The Room The Bigger The Tune
a2. Desert Sound Colony - Pulled Through The Wormhole
b1. Desert Sound Colony - Echo Shaper
b2. Desert Sound Colony - The Gobbler
Released 9th October.
The recent data dump from DJ house get the remix treatment from Coco Bryce & Desert Sound Colony - "breaks-jungle-house" in the mix! Pressed on limited 12" vinyl [300 copies Worldwide].
a1. DJ Haus - Bleep Bots (Desert Sound Colony Remix)
b1. DJ Haus - Catch Your Breath (Coco Bryce Remix)
Release Date: 16th October 2020
First a party, now a record label, Off Beat tap into a rich vein of British sonic history. Their inaugural release is an embodiment of their love of UK Bass culture and promises a productive future.
London-based Breaka has been making waves since 2018 and shows no sign of slowing down. From his releases on Desert Sound Colony's Holding Hands imprint and the impressive work of his own label, to his contributions to the rambunctious Leeds party Stretchy Dance Supply.
Breaka initiates the label's catalogue with the aptly named 'The Startup'. The track is lathered in distorted bass modulations and a warm, undulating sub that sits under a snappy UK bass groove peppered with pitched vocal samples.
On the flip, 'The Ambush' is full of jungle-inspired sound design. With its 130 bpm think-break drums, drifting birdsong samples and snarling 808s, the track is reminiscent of early Good Looking Records 12"s.
With support already from the likes of Addision Groove in his Ilian Tape Podcast, these cuts establish a strong foundation for an already reputable outfit seeking a fresh venture.
a1. Breaka - The Startup
b1. Breaka - The Ambush
Release Date: 28th February 2020
A short story soundtracked by Consulate:
Track 1 - skipping into the rave, reefer on the go, and you're just about to hit a tab...!
Track 2 - you stumble into the blue room, gun shots going off!!! locking and loading all over the place..? f*!!
Track 3 - huh? sounds like the DJ is playing a lost Photek production at half speed - oh wait...I'm tripping, good sh*t though!
Track 4 - you're out the other side, pure rave/ euphoria..."I love my m8's, now where did I leave them?!"
A short description:
4 dubbed-out cuts in deep rave mode...
a1. Consulate - In the Throne Room
a2. Consulate - Heraldry
b1. Consulate - Serpentrising
b2. Consulate - RZ Canin
Repress Release Date: 3rd April 2020
Nathan Micay is pleased to present the next re-issue on Eternal Schvitz: Aaron Palmquist - Cohesion EP. As a mainstay of the Canadian underground rave scene during the 90’s, Aaron (aka Chameleon) performed live at legendary Toronto parties such as Exodus, Chemistry and Pleasure Force. Using an assortment of gear including two TB303’s, a TR909 and 808 drum machine, he was able to road test a number of originals, eventually leading to an EP in 1997 on Solo Recoridings. Now, 22 years later, these amazing tunes can live again, completely re-mastred from previously lost DAT tapes along with a brand new 2019 remix of ‘Dreamtime’. As always, Schvitz gives back. To fight the evil no-ID-DJ forces currently at work, every Eternal Schvitz release will be providing 60% of the cut to the artists and ensuring their credits are front and centre. The remaining 40% of profits will go to aequa, a Berlin-based collective with a focus on empowerment of women, trans and non- binary folks through gatherings for interpersonal exchange. Schvitz is Love. Schvitz is Communal.
a1. Aaron Palmquist - Beautiful
a2. Aaron Palmquist - Dreamtime
b1. Aaron Palmquist - House People (Chameleon Remix)
b2. Aaron Palmquist - Dreamtime 2019
Release Date: 27th September 2019
Kicking off the EP we have a Jungle Techno track from 2007 ‘Revolution’ made by Persian & DJ Staf, ‘Kool London’s finest DJ’...
‘D dub retwist’, see’s a minimal Break Heavy Dub amidst a Trippy background soundscape from a Japanese Movie.
‘Rumbling interlude’ There’s some interesting Organ at play over modern D&B being played here, al be it with the room vibrating (hence the title) this short segment is a nice escape!
‘Milton 21’ This track dates from 2001, this is a rare glimpse of what Jungle Techno may have become, a direction of futurist sound play amidst Bone Crunching Heavy Bass! Again, Genre pioneering stuff, from True Underground Artists.
‘Not nuff time’, feature’s Lauryn’s freshly sounding Tone, over one of Persian’s Breakbeat projects...
This has variations of electronic shades of what a deejay would love! These tracks were found & lovingly remastered for this ‘ Collector’s Breaks’ EP.
The cross over has been kept!
a1. Persian & DJ Staf - Revolution
a2. Persian - D Dub Retwist
a3. Rumbling Interlude
b1. Persian & Nick Dunton - Milton 21
b2. Persian Ft Lauryn - Not Nuff Time
Release Date: 23rd August 2019
Following on from “Present Versions Of The Past” (QPR 001) is the long awaited second release from the Quantum Projects vaults titled “The Concept EP” (QPR 002) in which 3 of the tracks are Jack Smooth-inspired productions and a very special 4th track with a Mental Cube (FSOL) style concept.
Worldwide Epidemic – The Concept EP delivering that classic synthesized Jungle Techno/Techno sound.
Mastered and cut by Beau Thomas at Ten Eight Seven Ltd.
a1. Mind Quad
Release Date - 16th August 2019
The 6th vinyl release on BTG sees a newcomer to the label and a relative newcomer to the scene taking the reins. In his short time on the electronic radar J-Shadow has already had releases on Nous Disques, Car Crash Set, PRIME, The Collection Artaud, eatmybeat, Dissident Sound and Dream Eater.
BTG006 sees a full showcase of his sonic array driven by rough bass, ghostly pads, acute percussion and influences from the entire electronic spectrum. Embers is a grimey monster that drives with purpose and energy from the very top, J-Shadows signature sounds instantly invade your ears as the track builds into a weapon capable of destroying any dance floor. The release then swoops down to a grizzly techno-esque stomper, with a slower build than title track “ Embers, The Awakening serves to show off this producers more subtle techniques that allow for an almost 7 minute journey into the belly of a Berlin beast. As if that wasn’t enough the final original on this EP “No Gravity”pays homage to the higher tempo sounds that BTG have been trail-blazing for some time now, a 160BPM pile-driver with murky bass, knifelike breaks and a wonky build that will keep the listener on their toes.
BTG006’s B-Side sticks to the remixing ethos of the label with two legends taking the helm. B1 is a Danny Scrilla flip of the title track Embers which needs no explanation, pure energy from the top and then Etch fly kicks The Awakening into a 123bpm air pumping foot stomping techno track designed to sub bass to destroy tower blocks.
a1. J-Shadow - Embers
a2. J-Shadow - The Awakening
a3. J-Shadow - No Gravity
b1. J-Shadow - Embers (Danny Scrilla Remix)
b2. J-Shadow - The Awakening (Etch Remix)
Release Date - 16th August 2019
Killer Smile return with four fresh mutations of the "Catchy Schisms EP" by Skeleton Army (John Morrow), including a drum and bass mix of the Foul Play influenced "Touch" reworked by Dutch jungle Don Coco Bryce.
Coco's version of "Touch" builds on John's legendary work in the 90s drum and bass scene as a member of Foul Play. The gentle piano keys and soft vocal samples shine over a backdrop of tight amen chops and uplifting Reese bass fit for any early morning rave epiphany.
Etch delivers a heavyweight slice of breakbeat science with his take on "Catchy Schisms", mixing up the tempos, dismantling then reconstructing drums and adding plummeting deep bass in a dark sci-fi voyage.
Lowering the tempo Army Of Ghosts craft their own unique version of "Bedlam Jennie" with their twisted techno mix, using multiple layers of abstract samples, thuggish four-fours and swirling FX designed to disorientate and surprise.
The final track on the EP is a breakbeat driven mix of "Bedlam Jennie", revisited by Skeleton Army himself. Maintaining the themes of the original EP, this version is melodic yet firmly rooted in leftfield territory, a fresh excursion into an abstract vision of house music.
a1. Skeleton Army - Touch (Coco Bryce Rewerk)
a2. Skeleton Army - Catchy Schisms (Etch Slow-Fast Remix)
b1. Skeleton Army - Bedlam Jennie (Army of Ghosts Remix)
b2. Skeleton Army - Bedlam Jennie (Skeleton Army Remix)