Released 26th May 2017
For over two decades, Dread Recordings have time and time again maintained their seminal output with every release. Managing to present a crossover of old school and more modern day techniques, they’ve given fresh life to the jungle riddims which made drum & bass so prominent during its inception. And for this subsequent release, label head honcho Ray Keith steps up to the plate, bringing with his a deliciously rolling selection of bass heavy proportions. With a massive back catalogue and an even more impressive roster, the figurehead’s addition goes on to expand the credibility heralded by both the artists and imprint. Dread Recordings continue to impress, with a history documented through their stellar releases.
Nothing less than a jungle tear-out, the Penny mix of ‘Feel Some’ cuts open Ray Keith’s production standard and opens its raw centre. ‘Feel Some’ is an example of what Ray Keith does best, striving to hit harder each time with sprawling, smashing drums and guttural bass sounds. Taking precedent are those all-important breaks, still standing as the most prominent feature from start to finish. Penny gives it an extra layer, drawing for a heavier flow and firing shot after sonic shot. Neither artist grabs for the brakes.
‘Do You Wanna Cook’ proves that both Dread Recordings and Ray Keith don’t adhere to any trend, instead they spearhead a subgenre which has run its own show for some time now. Rugged subs and rattling percussion help fill out the mix, whilst tinny kicks help to underpin its composition. Biting reese slips through between layers, giving a brooding, intimidating hook which stalks its bassline. Then comes ‘Zion Dred’, slightly more subdued in its rollout but still surging with every succession of pads. It begins to grow in its intensity, not presenting a full-frontal attack like its predecessors but still powerful with every relay. ‘Virus’ finishes the release, with a clanking set of breaks and punchy drums skittering amongst its clicking hi-hats and swathes of static bass. The track is a lesson through the roots of both Dread Recordings and its stalwart Ray Keith. It’s a gradual build, but one which highlights the ingenuity behind both artist and label.
a. Feel Some [Penny's Mix]
b. Do You Wanna Cook
c. Zion Dred
Released 21st October 2016
Electronic music producer and DJ Greg Sanders AKA Distance returns with his third long player ‘Dynamis’, set for release through Tectonic Recordings on 21st October. Alongside recording ‘Dynamis’ over the past four years, Distance has been writing and producing for other artists including Riz MC, Jeb Loy Nichols and Jon More of Coldcut. Working with these artists helped open his mind to other styles of music and led to him veering away from his 140bpm roots. The productions of A$AP Ferg, Drake, Schoolboy Q and earlier Arca and FKA Twigs were a big influence, alongside the soundtracks of Hans Zimmer and Cliff Martinez.
“I get inspiration from everywhere and deliberately try to ignore what is happening in the scene I'm most involved in. ‘Dynamis’ is influenced a lot by film scores, I have geeked out massively to create great dynamics in all of the tracks, sounds are heavily automated and processed to really give the music life.”
a1. Instruction to Survive
a2. Kingdoms Fall
b1. Badman (feat. Killa P)
c1. Sink or Swim
c2. Fear Change
d1. Betrayal (feat. Beezy)
d3. Talk to Me
Released 16th September 2016
Manchester’s Walton returns to Tectonic following last year’s explorations in grime flavoured house/techno offshoots on the killer “Bulldoze EP”. This time Walton leads with a dance floor crushing anthem that cruises a cool line between grime and tribal dubstep. Featuring a looping Riko Dan sample, “Gunman” sets a stone cold tone from the offset, hi-hats setting up the groove before a grime flavoured melody cuts in preparing you for the drop. When the bass and drums come crashing in they bounce off each other to produce a disorientating tribal rhythm that will set the dance floor alight! Flip for a slower, more gentle mood with “Caught In A Trip”. Rolling at 126bpm, “Caught In A Trip” builds around a de- veloping melody played on a glockenspiel-esque instrument, backed with tribal percussion and a driving kick pattern. Ethereal in mood throughout, this one provides a lighter moment for the dance floor.
b1. Caught In a Trip
Released 30th September 2016
A withstanding imprint amongst the veteran style riddims of drum & bass, Dread Recordings is back with another EP to whet your old-school appetite. Leading the charge is Digital, an unparalleled artist with a dignified reputation. With ‘Steady Eddie’ he reaffirms this position between every jungle break.
An atmospheric sonic soundscape emerges throughout opening track ‘Steady Eddie’, one littered with clanking breakdowns. Underpinned by shaking sub and pounding kick, you’re taken through a journey back in time; reminiscent of the earlier days, yet still etching out a contemporary flare. It serves as a signpost for what’s to come, highlighting Dread’s unbridled commitment to antiquity.
‘Moody Runt’ on the other hand comes at you with a lower frequency and floating samples. Introduced with blaring air horn, clinking hi-hats and a conveyor belt of drum patterns carry you forward. Cleverly cut up by stabbing beats, ethereal notes sift between its sheets. Rising and falling between each break, this adds to an even deeper feeling of unease. It’s a trippy time machine, one which perfectly epitomises Digital’s ingenuity.
a. Digital - Steady Eddie
b. Digital - Moody Runt
Release Date - 19th April 2019
Glume and Phossa have both solidified themselves in the dubstep in the past few years. Middle eastern samples, huge 808’s. Tusk is a tough tough tune, Pariah brings the creepy vibes, Hatchet brings in the bass long a rolling noisy track with some super nice strings.. The title track Buried is middle eastern business!
a1. Buried Feat. Ghidorah
Release Date - 5th April 2019
The next instalment in Banana Stand’s yellow label vinyl series features another three fresh sound system cuts. First tune is a heavyweight roller crafted by the Foundation Audio labelhead Chad Dubz, while the collaboration from the Japanese dubstep enthusiasts Karnage and Dayzero is quite a chaotic stomper.
Although the final track is the highly-anticipated “Persian Dub” from the Bristol-based Guesswerk through which dull flutes and weighty rumbling sub basses are blended smoothly. Great selection overall as in the end all three tracks are connected through bassweight energy.
a1. Chad Dubz - Pricks
b1. Karnage & Dayzero - No One
b2. Guesswerk - Persian Dub
Dark, dread-infused and ready to test even the toughest of sound-systems, here Compa delivers three twisted, distorted and deadly electronic experiments.
Removing all but the most crucial elements, Compa combines crushing sub-bass with skeletal percussion and chilling atmospheres to show yet again through his signature sound how less is always more.
Compa has received DJ support from the likes of Mala, Toddla T, Chase & Status, Mary-Anne Hobbs, Youngsta, MistaJam, David Rodigan, Shades (Alix Perez and Eprom) Hatcha, Om Unit and Plastician among others.
a1. Key Mans Car
b2. Buck Man At
Released 29th July 2016
Abstract Elements return to one of the founders of the Autonomic movement with two tracks that are a continuation of what shaped their stripped back, minimal approach to Autonomic and later what would be known as “Microfunk”.
Abstract Elements have released on labels such as Exit, ASC's Auxiliary and recently for Noisia's Invisible imprint.
Nedostatic and Right Way are what you would expect from such talented producers, with both attention to detail and precision execution in their dynamics.
Both tracks feature in dBridge and Kid Drama's “Heart Drive” podcast and followers of Exit Records and recent CNVX releases will find this to be right up their street!
a. Abstract Elements - Nedostatic
b. Abstract Elements - Right Way