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Exit Records: Pushing Boundaries, Celebrating Record Stores and a Meeting of Titans


A lot has and will be going on for dBridge’s Exit Records recently, a lot which has continued to prove it’s place as one of the flagship labels of exciting new uptempo styles of late.

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First Alix Perez made his debut appearance on the label with the “U” EP, which continues in the darker, more argueably “underground” pure beats and bass aesthetic of his sound, as opposed to the slick liquid drum n bass he has also made waves with. Featuring collaborations with Stray, and also with Chicago footwork producers DJ’s Rashad and Spinn, the melodic aspects may be stripped back, but the bass comes in rich and powerful, and the rhythms intricate and punctuating, with half step elements surrounded by a multitude of fast paced percussion, that leaves the attention jumping dynamically between elements, perfect for getting lost in on the dancefloor.

Following on quickly, next Monday (or likely in many record stores for Record Store Day this Saturday 19th April) see’s the release of Stray's second EP for the label, the “Chatterbox” EP. Chatterbox bounces around between jazzy jungle, glistening and joyous such as in track “Award Tour” and title tune “Chatterbox”, through the seething mass of sound punctuated by skittish elements reminiscent if jazz improvisation in “Fragile” to the schizoid and slightly unsettling effects of “Eazy Boy” in which roomy, almost industrial sounding drums, and crazed chopped up non-sensical vocal cries dance wildy over sliding pads, at once elating and eery.

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These two great releases have come at an ideal time, in which celebrations for the long bank holiday, and international Record Store Day, collide in one weekend, and Exit have more than taken the chance to celebrate with their fans. This Saturday, as part of Record Store Day celebrations, the first ever collaboration release between the two mammoth drum n bass labels Metalheadz and Exit Records, the mysterious HEADEX001, will be released in those record stores that have placed an order, an exciting prospect for the many fans of both long standing labels. The release was announced by both labels yesterday with little information, except that 200 copies with stickers will be available especially for Record Store Day, with copies without stickers following after this on surus, preorder links to be announced first on both labels Facebook pages as above. However avid fans can find further clues in the last Metalheadz podcast (number 45). BM Soho will have a larger number of copies with Exit Records doing an instore showcase for them on the day, free to all, with free coctails, and a chance to catch dBridge, Fracture and Stray in the mix, among many others, details here.

Exit fans who can’t make it down to London this weekend don’t have to miss all the action either, as the label will be taking over the DJ Mag offices tomorrow for a live streaming back to back showcase to kick off the holiday, from 4pm GMT, featuring dBridge, Alix Perez, Stray, Fracture, Skeptical, and Mark System with SP:MC as host. We have a feeling it’s going to be a good weekend!

Alix Perez - “U”

Stray - “Chatterbox” EP

Buy/preorder Exit releases at their Surus store here.

 

INFLECTMIX 006 -Thing


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We first mentioned Estonian producer Thing when we covered his recent "Future Roots" EP, released through Doc Scott’s newly returned 31 Recordings. Following on from the re-release and Om Unit remix of the dark drum n bass classic Shadow Boxing, you could say Thing’s productions were well placed stylistically, continuing the theme with broody, sparce, dub-like drum n bass, complete with fresh, uptempo rhythms.

These aren’t new paths for Thing however, as besides releasing on Blu Mar Ten’s label last year, he has infact been releasing on his own imprint Dubthing Records since 2012, to date totalling 37 releases in his signature style. We particularly recommending listening to his last LP “Footworks" if you haven’t already, which see’s Thing really flexing his style as he fuses a host of suspense-filled atmospherics, and warm, deep basslines with intricate, percussion laced drum work, bringing rhythms and styles from drum n bass, dub and, (though not as much as the name might suggest to some) footwork.

With all this in mind we are excited to have him on board, bringing us a deep, drum n bass guest mix and answering a few questions about his influences and music.

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Otherworldly Machine Girl WLFGRL Gets the Remix Treatment


London’s Dred Collective, a label that continues to surprise with their ability to hunt out quality music influenced by footwork, jungle, drum n bass and more, giving away a large majority of it for free for their regular “Free Track Thursday” (now at number 78), released the Machine Girl LP “WLFGRL” back in February, and have now released a two part collection of remixes to join it.

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Machine Girl is quite an enigma, with a mysterious persona based around an anime like story, and music featuring samples from horror and sci-fi films, the WLFGRL LP seemed to play well upon this saga. The Machine Girl world is depicted as an alternation of urgency through acid lines, alarms, glitched noise and buzzing bass, with soundscapes conjuring images of dark, industrial futures ruled by machines or, on the flip side, joyous spacey synth work alluding to interstellar journeys and fantastical lands. All this is driven along via powering hardcore, footwork, juke and jungle influenced breakbeat and drum machine rhythms.

A big success for the new releases for us is that the producers on remix duty have almost amplified the fantasy-like aesthetics of the original release, both sinister and utopian, taking the picture given and repainting it in their own unique colour pallettes. ZSonic, for example, has taken the original “Ionic Funk“‘s forboding technological feel and emphasised it with drums like stomping machinery in an angry waltz, sounds as if of pistons firing and chains rattling, and a wailing “get down” sample that is simultaneously fearful and ecstastic. Footmerc takes the fluttered vocal pads of “Ghost”, draws them out, chops them up, and combines them with skeletal 808 hits, accentuating the ethereal but energetic qualities of the original, whilst Nonfuture's remix, beginning with a warning about the dangers of technology, proceeds in theme like a great machine awaking from slumber, jump starting with synth growls, warm, deep bass dives and computerised blips, finally leaping into smart, snappy breaks. Other highlights of these releases include Sinistarr's hyperactive juke take on “Ghost”, DJ Earls remix of “Ginger Snap” with strong dancefloor footwork and jungle rhythms overlaid by futuristic synth bleeps, The Renegades take on the feel-good “Hidden Power”, an urgent, frantic track complete with a chaotic Amen break and stabbing acid lines and Crown's remix of “Out by 16, Dead on the Scene”, taking the drifting dreamy synths of the original and bringing in bubbly footwork rhythms with a swaying half step emphasis.

Both the original and the remix release are available now on Dred Collective’s Soundcloud below, or via their Bandcamp, free or pay what you like, a good deal for sonic journeys as original and varied as these.

Machine Girl - WLFGRL Remixes A

Machine Girl - WLFGRL Remixes B

Buy the Machine Girl WLFGRL LP and Remixes A and B via the Dred Collective Bandcamp here.

 

K-AZE aka Lemon D Talks All Roads, Grass Roots Music, Working Creatively and More


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All Roads, as mentioned here previously, is a collective of music producers, DJ’s, visual artists, videographers, photographers and a record label, brought together by the creative vision of K-AZE, aka Kevin King, aka Lemon D, long standing jungle and drum n bass bad man, co-owner of Valve Recordings with Dillinja, who helped build the mighty Valve soundsystem, and who has been shaping jungle and drum n bass since the early 90’s. 

Their launch night, true to their underground, grass roots aesthetic, takes place in a secret warehouse location in London this Saturday (5th April), featuring an all star lineup including Om Unit, DJ Earl, K-AZE, N-Type, Bailey, the “Gutterfunk Experience”, the mysterious “Mr VLV”.. and more. With only 100 of the 350 capacity going out as public ticket sales it’s certainly not one to sleep on, with the few tickets left available here. There’s also a string of releases on the horizon, influenced by Footwork, Jungle, House, RnB and more, such as the “Country Livin” EP, a collaboration between Shawn T and K-AZE, due out this week (6th April), a 3 track EP from footwork’s DJ Earl and Heavee and a various artists compilation in footwork/160bpm territory. It’s true to be said that there’s already alot to be getting excited about from the All Roads camp.

This week has also seen K-AZE release two brilliant multigenre fusions of tracks on DJ Die’s Gutterfunk imprint, the alternation of dark, sparce half-step with pacey breaks, percussion and vocal stabs of “Warrior Groove” and the frenetic footwork rhythms, deep low end, and urgent yet glistening melodies of “Future Primitives”, available to buy now.

With all this in mind we got together with Kevin King himself to discuss All Roads, Drum n Bass and other genres today, grass roots music movements, creative working and more…

You talk of how you’ve been phasing yourself out of DnB over the past 5 years and about fusing genres as was done in early Jungle. We’ve seen various artists making the link between Jungle and Footwork, including yourself, Om Unit with his Phillip D. Kick project, Machinedrum and DJ Rashad. What do you think pulls the two genres together so much, and what has prompted your move from DnB back to an earlier Jungle aesthetic?

For starters it’s one of the golden tempos for me. It’s so universal and can bring together a plethora of genres. I found the more you sped up a track or produced material in higher bpms certain instrumentation no longer sounded good. Attempting to be more open even alternative within your music was limiting. The fact there are no rules governed by a monopoly of labels or dj’s makes this music or its hybrids fresh, crispy and not predictable in sound or structure. I think yes the BPM’s help but for me it’s the fusion of both where DNB [for me] has become all too predicable. I don’t get excited about hearing a new track because I feel it’s either going to be a clone of something done 100 times before or a clone of a Dillinja track rehashed and still not even coming close 15yrs later. You become defaulted and unenthusiastic about it all.

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Past Week Round-up


Whilst we’ve been busy with the Inflect x Soundwave launch in Bristol, and launching our label Inflect Audio (more on that to follow!), there has been some brilliant music released into the world to do a round up on.

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Firstly Machinedrum has followed up on his “Vapor City" LP on Ninja Tune with the “Fenris District” EP. Coming after a string of free music released via the Vapor City mailing list, this EP has had it’s fair share of drama with Chicago’s DJ Clent contesting the use of the vocal sample, full coverage found via Fact Mag here. Drama aside, this is still a killer release as expected, with the warm underwater feel of “Back Seat Ho”, punctuated by snappy, well timed vocals, and the Rustie remix coming in with powerful epic drums, followed on by, among other tracks, a dubby, evolving remix of “Eyesdontlie” by Pinch and Sherwood, returning the favour from the brilliant Machinedrum remix of their “Music Killer" track previously.

Bristol local Neuropol has released the “Warning” EP via SGN:LTD, with cinematic, deep, swelling synth work, emotive vocals and driving steppy drums being the center piece to a stunning debut. Deft has also returned with his “Always Greener” EP on Wot Not Music. Fusing Defts warm and deep synth work with bubbling 808s, powerful industrial styled percussion and well timed vocal shouts, it’s a mixture of mellow house in tracks such as “Octavia” and faster paced half step and footwork inspired peices such as “Emeralds” and “Perky”, showcasing the Deft’s multifaceted talents.

The ever forward thinking Ground Mass has continued to excite with a new EP from a newcomer to the label, Metafloor, with his ”Lean” EP. Title track “Lean” is a beautifully minimal dubby footwork outing, featuring deep bass, echoing percussion and dub like bleeping sirens, with the rest of the EP following in the theme of sparcity and a driving low end, with the occasional emotive synth line.

For fans of the darker, more two-step side of things, Wen has followed on from the hit “Strings Hoe” Refix with his debut album “Signals” on Keysound. A murky, otherwordly release, with the feel of dubsteps spaciousness, whilst harking back to the early garage and grime like shuffling, steppers groove.

There have also been a couple of great freebies to mention. London based future rhythm pioneers Diffrent Music have released Dexta and Bredren “Get Stupid” for free via their Soundcloud here. A great playful track following in the footwork theme of chopped vocals, 808s and dotted rhythms, with the addition of varied percussion, whilst TMSV and Danny Scrilla have released the bold, marching electro stylings of Tread Lighter as a free track for joining TMSV’s mailing list, a pretty fair trade in our opinion. Finally not to be missed is the Alix Perez x Rashad x Spinn free track “Don’t This Ish”, given out free via Mixmag here in the lead up the the Alix Perez “U” EP, due out next month on Exit Records.

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Mixes

006: Thing

005: Moresounds

004: Chrissy Murderbot

003: Deft (Inflect Live)

002: Fanu

001: Adam Elemental