The Unearthed Sounds crew members have compiled their weekly picks containing collectively, in no particular order, our favourite tracks/releases of the week. Check back every week for our in-house selections!
The next installment to the AKO10 collection and this is one of the reasons why we started this series. DJ Trax one of the oldskool dons from the legendary Moving Shadows label. This is DJ Trax debut on AKO and what a way to to start with two stunning and we mean stunning tracks.
The Truth is what we like call hypnotic soulful jungle and when you finally get a copy you will agree. This has been played in AKO HQ every day since we agreed to take it for the label. Stunning intro with a vocal and when the amen and subs come in it will gives you goosebumps. Words will do this track no justice it’s just simply BEAUTIFUL.
Love Lies (the soul) – This track is another incredible soulful track that compliments what this release is all about bringing back that deep soulful vibe in the music where you can just close your eye and let it take you away. Another track where words do it no justice.
At WNCL HQ, we’ve been hanging tough with new kid on the block, STAVROGIN (Stray Landings, 3BS, Last Drop) who has blown our mind this time
He provides 3 fresh original tracks in follow up to his recent debut appearance on We Are Family Vol 4. Remix duty is taken care of by fellow Cassette Librarian and breakbeat scientist, LMAJOR who comes through with the right stuff...
a1. Stavrogin - Echo Ins (Original Mix)
a2. Stavrogin - Swamped
b1. Stavrogin - Echo Ins (LMajor Remix)
b2. Stavrogin - Hylotherm
Various Artists - Shadows LP [3x12"] [Limited Edition of 200]
Function Records is one of the most well-respected imprints not just within jungle music, but also across drum & bass., having been spearheaded by Digital, a producer who’s garnered just as much of a reputation for his own cuts and crowd-moving DJ sets. One of the reasons why Digital has stood the test amongst his counterparts is because he’s stayed true to his heritage, something which can be seen throughout the catalogue of Function. For its fiftieth release he’s invited a host of producers to have their take on the label’s sound. To commemorate this compilation, names like Nomine, Calibre & Jet Li, Klute and Drumsound & Bassline Smith feature across its track listing, each delivering an exclusive addition to Function’s renowned history. The album shows the influence which Digital has built throughout his career and it’s one decorated with music, much like the type which is showcased on the ‘Shadows’ LP.
Calibre and Jet Li’s hard-driving sounds are showcased throughout beginning cut ‘Least Loved’, whilst A2 Kiat comes next with his delivery of ‘Stranger Tings’. Digital drops in for his own offering which comes in the rolling form of ‘Dub Conscious’. Nomine drops in alongside his alias Outrage for ‘Born Again’ and newcomer Kiljoy, formally known as part of Concord Dawn, comes with the tear out sonics of ‘Ghosts of Old’. Need for Mirrors then reworks Digital’s ‘Deadline’, followed by the lulling, immersive landscape of Seba and Jr Vallo’s ‘Wasabi’. Total Science and War prove they’re a force to be reckoned with on collaborative record ‘Second Wave’ and the legendary DJ Trace appears with ‘Spirits’. Resound takes Digital, the late Spirit and Flava & Dissect’s ‘Primal’, moulding it through his own lens. For a penultimate addition, Drumsound & Bassline Smith inject their dancefloor flavours on ‘Gods Never Die’. Then the cross-sub genre genius Klute closes the album with ‘Sick of it All’, drawing for his envy-stoking production standard.
Together, each track epitomises why Function have reigned supreme since they first began releasing music. With the host of producers Digital’s been able to pull in for ‘Shadows’, it highlights just how imperative the label has been for the genre’s definitive figures.
Steve Spacek aka Blackpocket is a relentless creative. It's truly woven into the fabric of his soul, create by any means necessary.
The debut Blackpocket project was also the Debut release on Exit Records, a truly family affair as Steve is the older brother of dBridge. The album acted as a signal of what was to come for the groundbreaking label & artist. Any expectation of tempos and sound pallets were treated with a respectful disregard in order to reach another place of design.
Blackpocket now gives us his second offering- ALAYLY, seven tracks that remind us who is the king of electronic soul music, comfortably existing in a space that is hard to deny or indeed replicate.
This is a project fully created via iOS apps. It's here where we will remind you of the relentless creative, one who creates by any means necessary. These iOS tools serve a very direct purpose- they enable Steve to create where ever he is and in turn, he is able to bring life & soul to the digital landscape.
ALALY is another triumph for Blackpocket AKA Steve Spacek and Exit Records.
Lucid Dreams is the self-titled, new project from Jason Luxton aka Overlook, which also features close friends Dean Warburton, Joe Theobald & the vocal talents of Manuela Marchis. With Shades of post-punk, trip-hop and film score dynamics, The Lucid Dreams EP is an immersive multi-genre listening experience that travels through murky underworlds and dream-like hazes.
From 'Stone's Throw' to 'Hallucinogenics' the ‘Lucid Dreams’ EP plays more like an LP, with a narrative amalgamating the different moods created by Luxton to present something that feels clear and complete in its vision.
Breaka presents ‘Breaka 001’, the first release on his own self-titled label.
“This record is a special project for me. Releasing myself has allowed me to collect four tracks reflecting different sides of my musical world. ‘Breaka 001’ opens with ‘Icy Grills’, a classic Breaka style track based on Breaks, 808s and euphoric melodies. ‘Stretch 130’ is a portal into the world of Stretchy Dance Supply, a workout-based club night I co-created. It’s one to limber up and get down to. The B-side starts with ‘Apricot Cocktails’, a track inspired by the classic Broken Beat sound. I made the instrumental in 2018, but the track got a new lease of life when paired with vocals written and performed by soul diva Lydia Kotsirea. The EP comes to a close with another collaboration, this time working with producer and session guitarist Bradley Hutchings (Guava). I often open my sets with this one. I think you’re going to love it.”
Back with a vengeance, Cimm returns to the imprint with a highly anticipated succession to his Sentry debut from last year, stamped on a irresistible 2 x 12" vinyl release. Infernal halftime beats and top-notch Dubstep shells, firmly entrenched at the frontier of sound system music and its invaluable heritage. The London-based producer and DJ rose to swift and significant acclaim in the last few years with releases on institutions like Tempa, J:Kenzo's Artikal and Wheel & Deal as well as notable residencies at Rinse FM and the renowned Fabric night club, among other recent achievements. Now coming to a turntable near you, Cimm delivers four bespoke cuts, primed for the dance and your enjoyment, battle-tested by the scene's foremost tastemakers.
Diving into unidentified transmissions, 'Unknown Caller!!' sets the pace with eerie reverberations and filtered resonance. Amid the faint hiss of machinery, larger-than-life drums set up shop alongside subterranean pressure emissions. Hefty breaks, hold tight! Retro synth melodies keep us on track within the monstrous switch-ups and unquestionably meticulous arrangement, sure to shut down any dance in style. Cutting no corners with the B-Side, Cimm teams up with veteran vocalist Rider Shafique for a dystopian sub-bass onslaught, swaggering militant chants and the apocalyptic ambience to go with it. Steaming low-frequency oscillations bubble and hurl their weight, stripped of all restraints, coveted in freezing harmonies and ethereal atmosphere. Vibrating in a more uplifting spirit, the dedication to the Jamaican roots of sound system culture unfolds in the Londoner's signature style - dubbed out soundscapes ahead. 'Tosh Dub' keeps it a laid back, with vintage instrumentation, scattered skanks and swirling organ chimes. Taking an ultimate trip through unremitted grit and off-kilter grooves, 'I Am Jack Travis' lures us in with rainy undertones and hypnotic foley sampling. Promptly revealing its true nature with plenty of pressure and scrupulous syncopation, a ghostly heavyweight ensues and closes the deal.
Elektron Digitakt Mode Machines ADX1 Roland Juno 106 Dreadbox Abyss Korg Minilogue Korg Monologue Korg Volca Keys Roland RE-201 Boss RE20 Strymon Blue Sky EHX Small Stone FMR RNLA Soundcraft LX7II Cymatic Audio Utrack24
Bluematter is an atmospheric, darkside jungle project. The duo, a.k.a. long time electronic producers Jozef K & Thomas Ragsdale, also experiment with incorporating sci-fi and futurist elements into their soundscape.