Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Drums And Bass IV: Back To The Future (Part 2)

You may have noticed that the last post kind of just finished. well that's because I looked at the pile of tracks I was gonna post and realised it wasn't gonna all fit in one. Continuing from where we left off, liquid funk is just about on the horizon.
First thing you'll notice about the tracks being produced around this time is they're a lot faster, both in terms of BPM and overall structure. Like in this track, it's only ten seconds before the first drop happens, and there's a breakdown just a little over a minute in, it's not that much shorter than the old school stuff at 5:44, but it's definitely geared more towards speed than jungle was.

Benny Page - Turn Down The Lights [click to download] |HTML5|

Still, even with this new and speedier framework, there are still a few tracks floating around that have elements of the old school in them. This one's probably more famous for the massive Caspa remix, but the original is pretty sweet too. Reminds me just a little bit of some of Calyx's work.

TC - Where's My Money [click to download] |HTML5|

Following suit is Commix, signed to Golide's Metalheadz label, they merge the old and new styles together and the result is pretty spectacular. The opening to their first LP, Call To Mind is nothing shot of amazing, mainly due to that stellar intro and the great sample work, but also because it nails everything I like about liquid funk and old school drum & bass in one track.

Commix - Be True [click to download] |HTML5|

Back to the reason we're here, the newer stuff. Netsky used to be an electro house producer, so he fits in nicely with the melodic slant a lot of liquid funk has, and he does it really really well. There's some absolute gold on his self titled debut, but they've been posted enough already. Instead, here's one of my favourite unsung cuts from the LP

Netsky - Rise And Shine [click to download] |HTML5|

And finally, Chase & Status. They may have gone on a more mainstream approach on their second album, but More Than Alot has some of the best examples I have of liquid funk. I've already posted my all time favourites from this LP, but here's another I really enjoy. It's similar to that one BSOD track in that it narrates itself throughout, those little dashes of humour are great and don't detract from the track like you'd expect.

Chase & Status - Music Club [click to download] |HTML5|

And there we have it, we've come full circle. We've seen new D&B, then the old, then back to new again. There probably won't be anymore of these as I've fallen out of touch with the scene again, regardless, Enjoy!

Can't Get Enough,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Drums And Bass IV: Back To The Future (Part I)

I recently came into a fair amount of real old school drum & bass. like even older than the stuff I've put up before, we're talkin 1993 up in here. Now, opinions are usually divided about what's better, the old school or the newer 'liquid funk' style. Me, I like 'em both, and I'm gonna whip up a nice mixture of the two, starting with the old.

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I can never escape Omni Trio, his production is always solid throughout his catalogue. My first introduction to his brand of drum & bass was the album Even Angels Cast Shadows, and because of that I was skeptical of how this was going to sound, being nearly 20 years old, how much had his style changed? A fair bit it turns out, but this track in particular still has that well produced feel,; everything from the samples to the breaks has a lot of love in it.

Omni Trio - Feel (Feel Good) [click to download] |HTML5|

And of course, I have to include the classic that is Renegade Snares. It's just one of those tracks that is quality through and through. Also it's kinda like a bit of foreshadowing, that piano hook that kicks off the tracks and swings back in every now and then is now what I'd consider Omni Trio's trademark, and he does it really, really well.

Omni Trio - Renegade Snares (Original Mix) [click to download] |HTML5|

I seem to have a thing for liking overlooked B-sides, the A-side to this EP Spiritual Aura is already another of those classics within the scene. But for me the highlight is the introduction to Rhythm. It's up there in my list of all time best intros ever, that effect is unlike anything I've ever heard before (it's apparently a unstretched pitch shifted drum loop) or since. The track as a whole is tidy but that little bit just steals the show, especially when it gets cut up and thrown in the mix throughout.

Engineers Without Fears - Rhythm [click to download] |HTML5|

Of course now we end up in the transitional period, the sound's changed alright, but it ain't quite the liquid funk of today. Leading the pack once again here is Goldie with a slice from the amazing Timeless. It's pretty good at demonstrating the evolution, the drum programming's got a little bit more complex but stuff like the samples and rumbling basslines are still there alright. Speaking of drums, get a load of that 808 about a minute in.

Goldie - Still Life [click to download] |HTML5|

One thing I didn't tell you about Weekend World the first time around is that there's plenty of conventional drum & bass strewn among the jazzy stuff I focused on last time. They're complete opposites in terms of sound to both the jazzy tracks from the album itself and the direction Goldie was taking things in, subscribing more to the old school style. But that's what you get from Moving Shadow, after all they did bring us the OT tracks from earlier.

E-Z Rollers - Soundclash [click to download] |HTML5|

As we head into the 2000s, things go quiet for a while. That is until Pudendum come along and bring D&B back to the mainstream. To their credit Hold Your Colour was a petty nice album but that's something for the next part to cover. Join me next time as we travel through the millennium to explore the depths of contemporary D&B.

Amen Brother,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday, 19 July 2012

48 Hours Of Electrics

I spent the last couple of days with a friend, and we spent a lot of that time waxing nostalgic about when we were beginning to explore Electro. We were lucky that it was around 2006-7, which is pretty much the time when every track out there was golden and new stuff was out every week or so. And after spinning them both on vinyl and from files I was feeling pretty inspired, so now I'm putting together another list of my Electro favourites, both old and new. An Electrospective if you will (sorry.)
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Vitalic's OK Cowboy is a stonking release, especially when you find out that three of the album's biggest tracks (Poney Part 1 & 2,La Rock 01) were originally recorded/released in 2001. They held up well enough not only to still be fresh when included on OK Cowboy in 2005, but like the whole album, is still bloody good even now.

Vitalic - Repair Machines [click to download] |HTML5|

I had a pretty terrible vinyl rip of Kavinsky's Teddy Boy EP for a long long time, it wasn't until I previewed it on JunoDownload that I realised what I'd been missing. I thought the rip I had sounded pretty good, so I was blown away by the DL, by far the highlights are the two Testarossa tracks. I love 'em both, but Nightdrive gets nowhere near as much press as Autodrive so that's my pick for this one.

Kavinsky - Testarossa Nightdrive [click to download] |HTML5|

I got turned on to Shinchi Osawa from his brilliant remix of Felix Da Housecat's Radio and never looked back. Pretty much all of The One is quality,and when I finally picked up the re-issue with a boatload of remixes on it, I was surprised to find this extended mix of The Golden on the tracklist. I was kinda disappointed at first 'cos I liked the original, but then I hit play.

Shinichi Osawa - The Golden 2 [click to download] |HTML5|

I'd heard of Siriusmo through remixes and that, but never paid much attention to his EPs and such. Then when Mosaik dropped I decided to check him out. I've commented on his unique brand of electro and posted a couple of my favourite cuts from it before, so I'm just gonna cut to the chase and leave you with another nice bit from Mosaik

Siriusmo - Nights Off [click to download] |HTML5|

Likewise, I knew of Modeselektor for a while, but outside of a couple tracks here and there I could never get into their releases too much. I gave them another go around when Monkeytown was coming out and I was sold. The intro track left such a good impression I could have gone out and bought it then and been happy, the progression throughout is solid and the album as a whole is top notch, definitely one to check out if you missed it the first time around.

Modeselektor - Blue Clouds [click to download] |HTML5|

And that'll be all for today, hope you enjoyed my less eclectic mix of tracks this time, I can't promise it'll stay that way for much longer though!

The World Over,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Friday, 13 July 2012

Weekend Randomness

Hey guys

I probably won't have time to post anything, so here are some good tunes that came out this week. No particular order or theme, sorry!

Let's start with Justin Faust's new gem.

Vanguard's remix for the Tekken Tag Tournament remix contest, anyone that owned a playstation probably played Tekken so there's no need to introduce it I guess.

An old guilty pleasure remixed by Cyril Hahn, it sounds really good, don't worry.

From Rusko's new EP : Thunder.

Directly from Australia, Moonchild's remix for Shelby Grey.

I'm not the hugest fan of The Bloody Beetroots, and I don't really know Gigi Barroco's stuff, but this was a pretty decent banger.


Thursday, 12 July 2012

Slow This Down

Today's been a quiet one, been tracking down some demo cassettes. It's been nice though, after the past couple days I was ready for a little bit of doing nothin'. And that meant what a day off usually means for me: a bit of catch up on things I meant to do resulting in an art and sound binge. And it's that that I'll be taking select pieces from today.

After my last post about old school dubstep, I picked up the latest free EP dropped by Suspect and Stenchman (Together appearing as Suspicious Stench) cleverly dubbed The Fr33 EP and the opener is pretty special. It almost, just almost tops my all time favourite chilled dub track: Pangaea's absolutely stellar Router

Suspicious Stench - Faith In The Future [click to download] |HTML5|

It's been a while since I've mentioned our Norwegian pals Röyksopp, this one's from The Understanding, which I initially thought was a lacklustre sequel to the now cult Melody A.M, but over time it grew on me. There's plenty of quality to pick from here, but this one's especially great for those do nothing at all kind of days

Röyksopp - Someone Like Me [click to download] |HTML5|

I can't quite make my mind up about Plaid, they have good songs but I can never listen to them one after another after another. That doesn't matter too much to me because I swear by the shuffle button, but regardless sometimes a track just grabs you you know? like Autechre's Nine before it, the spaced out echoes in this track meant that this jumped straight into my favourites list and will stay there for a very long time.

Plaid - Ralome [click to download] |HTML5|

An old track I found buried in my library but thanks to the magic of shuffle came up again one day. I didn't remember who it was by, so after about a minute I check and I was surprised. It's a little known bit from Zombie Nation's debut Leichenschmaus The beats are pretty great but the icing on the cake for me is that vocoder. I loves me a good vocoder.

Zombie Nation - Velcrosquat Light [click to download] |HTML5|

Last one is another from Pretty Lights. His debut album is very very sweet hip hop through and through that just hits the right spot for me, and the man himself is giving it out for free on his website so you can get it right now! It's a shame he moved away from it for the sophomore, but that's what second albums are for right? and there's still plenty of nice material in the fifteen tracks from Taking Up Your Precious Time anyway.

Pretty Lights - Samso [click to download] |HTML5|

Future Proof,
-Claude Van Foxabt

Monday, 9 July 2012

How to nicely start the week

Hey guys.

Some great tracks came out this weekend, here are those who really got on my mind.

I couldn't not start with this track. Frank Ocean gives us another track from his soon to be released album Channel Orange. A magnificient mix between poetry, hip hop, electro and jazz.

Louis La Roche is best known for his disco house skills, he diverges from his usual style here, going for something a bit more clubby/techno, still pretty strong though.

Pyramid decided to try his hand at Logic, he usually makes his tunes using FLstudio. For a first shot, that's pretty impressive! As usual, everything is about the atmosphere, the progression slowly getting to your guts...

Pilotpriest's back with some synths that'll keep your mind in the clouds for a few minutes, while slowly coming back to reality because well, it's monday.

Let's close this post with a catchy remix of Anoraak - Made-Up by the 3 guys officiating under the name of Les Loups.


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Dubs Gone By

A while ago I was sifting through my dubstep collection, it's mostly older stuff before the whole 'brostep' thing happened, and listening to them again I found they are still quality tracks. This was meant to be a mixtapey type deal, but it decided to crap out and delete half of itself right before I went to post it. That and I'd like to revisit the old type of posting for this one to talk more about the tracks themselves.
I've mentioned before how the 'step pays homage to its reggae roots, there's no shortage of it flying around within the genre. The couple I've posted before put a more modern spin on the Dub sound, like replacing the organ melodies with bass rumbles instead. This one however, stays fairly true to the source material and is all the better for it.

Matty G - War [click to download] |HTML5|

And with that out of the way I'm gonna give a rundown of some gems I found during the making of the ultimately failed mixtape, first up is Caspa with the charmingly named Custard Chucker with some lovely wobbles suiting that title. And it actually DOES have a reggae style organ in it!

Caspa - Custard Chucker [click to download] |HTML5|

More reggae stylings to come as we pay a trip to Benga's neck of the woods have a gander at the couple of fine examples he has for us for us on his album Newstep. That main hook is damn catchy, and it manages to stay fresh throughout, especially when it starts to get cut up around 1:50.

Benga - Dubstep Dreams [click to download] |HTML5|

Joker has gotten more popular in recent years, I have a spattering of his tracks here and there, and this is one f my favourites along with his remix of Snake Eater from MGS3. Following a similar path to Dubstep Dreams, this track is centered around a single hook and variations upon it, and like Dubstep Dreams it's incredibly catchy and overall just good dub

Joker - Zariak [click to download] |HTML5|

Rusko was one of my favourite producers way back in '08. That all changed around the release of his first album, and now the tracks he makes these days are geared towards the mainstream and just don't have that same vibe that his early productions had, and they remain quality examples even to this day. The evolution from Garage (the UK Garage that is, stuff like this track) is clear on this one, which is the kinda tunes I grew up with, and is something I'd like to see the scene revisit one day.

Rusko - Love Is Real [click to download] |HTML5|

I can't really jive with much of the new dubstep scene, it's so far gone from the original sound that it's not even the same anymore. Saying that there are a few producers who stick to the old sound and do it well, or have evolved their sound in a way that makes it more modern, but also y'know, good. You can find quality in dubstep, you just have to look, or sometimes go backwards.

A Rainy Day,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Friday, 6 July 2012

Zedd - Spectrum (Magna remix)

Hi there

Magna just released his entry for the remix contest Zedd started for his track Spectrum.

I'm happy to finally be able to post it, it's a terrific remix, very different from the original. Magna embraces dubstep with talent here, creating two very impressive drops, using that death vocoder I love, keeping his original sound while adding those sweet "madeonesque" harp notes that add so much to the whole thing.

Be sure to vote for him if you enjoy his work!


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Arcade High - The Art Of Youth

Good afternoon internet, I just stumbled across an album that I think you're gonna dig. It's by a one Arcade High and is summed up by the man himself as: "It's been described as a cross between the kinda of SynthWave we are used to, influenced by ‘80’s TV and Movie themes, and the adrenaline chaos of video game arcades a couple of decades ago." that got me thinking of Kavinsky. And Miss Kittin & The Hacker to a lesser extent, so I went and scooped myself a copy.

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Ok, so the cover art may have had a bit of an influence on me too, you know I love a good cover. After the chiptune-y and new wave melding of the intro, I was treated to this. It's more 80's than Kavinsky, a whoooole lot more. Whereas the K man is sort of a mash between New Wave and Electro this is a straight up love letter to the 1980's, as the first airy synth hits told me.

Arcade High - Miami Nights [click to download] |HTML5|

Speaking of lighthearted synths, I love me some good lines, and this track has them in spades. And this just happened to scratch my itch that I didn't know I had, as those keys twinkled away I just couldn't help but smile. And the break at 3:35 is pretty special those are some excellent pads right there in that little break. And the arpeggio that leads it back into the main mix is pretty stellar too.

Arcade High - Sunset Drag [click to download] |HTML5|

Adding to my list of tracks called 1980 something (coincidentally featuring both Kavinsky and Kittin & The Hacker) is this little number. The beat kinda reminds me of Calvin Harris' Flashback but with the plasticy drums and synthesizer working that we've come to expect from Miami Nights. I honestly don't own anything else like this in my collection.

Arcade High - 1987 [click to download] |HTML5|

It's just not an album without a downtempo interlude to break things up. And this is The Art Of Youth's answer to that. it's like if Washed Out started working with synths instead of sampling old disco records, at least that's the vibe I got from it. Anyway, it's very, very nice. You know I love me a good chilled number and this also has the bonus of featuring everything about the album I've come to love so far.

Arcade High - High School Fantasy [click to download] |HTML5|

I'll leave you with this, a more upbeat number that was the track that initially sold me. I was drawn in by that title, which is damn sweet. The synths hit, and that made the deal sweeter. But the deal maker? that has to be hands-down (no pun intended) the claps. When that first one hits at 0:44 you know this ain't nothing but a good time.

Arcade High - Electric City [click to download] |HTML5|

So that's a quick rundown of Arcade High, I gotta say it pretty much fits the description he gave out with the info for it, and it is pretty damn special. I highly suggest you check it out, or even buy the album! I'll hit you up with the links now.

As We Were In '82,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Find Arcade High at:
Arcade High's Bandcamp
Arcade High's Soundcloud
Aphasia Records' Soundcloud