News

Soul:Motion Get Sentimental On Rush Records

Posted: March 30th, 2015

Embracing the refined and seductive side of drum & bass, liquid funk dynamos Alex Mos and Phil Barnes (aka Soul:Motion) are swiftly gaining notoriety for their collaborations on Leeds-based music house Rush Records.

Landing with new single and catalog number RUSH023, “Sentiment” explores ocean-deep bass frequencies with intricate percussion that creates a meditative atmosphere, while “Lonely Road” and its warm, low-end sub evokes summertime vibes. Preview the perfectly produced rollers below.

 

By Amanda Ross

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jPhelpz Releases New EP On Firepower

Posted: March 30th, 2015

Bassrush caught up with young gun jPhelpz to chat about his second EP, Mech Bounce, for esteemed dubstep label Firepower Records. As the title may suggest, the EP is littered with bone-crushing, rage-worthy bass. “I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and put together something that took elements from a variety of genres. Mech Bounce is a collection of music that shares a mechanical, robotic sound and bouncy vibe,” explains the artist.

The EP is comprised of four frenzied riddims: the experimental dubstep/bass-hop track “Armshouse” (featuring UK grime MC Merky Ace), “Money, Music, Fam,” “Shadow Sword” (filled with straight-forward drums and tear-out lazers), and the danceable “Trill.” Check out the robo-pressure below, available worldwide April 14.

 

By Amanda Ross

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Etherwood Delivers Once Again

Posted: March 29th, 2015

For most people it was Etherwood’s self-titled LP on Hospital Records in 2013 that made them sit up and take note of a new liquid superstar among us. Having since racked up the accolades and love from VIPs and the public alike, the songwriter and musician promises that the best is still to come in the form of his second LP, which is currently in production.

In the meantime, Etherwood has been teasing us with monster tunes here and there, most recently “Amen Roadtrip” released on the Hospitality 2015 compilation, and now “You’ll Always Be A Part of Me,” a haunting one-sided single on Med School, the sister imprint of Hospital.

It’s testament to Etherwood’s abilities as both a musician and vocalist as his signature voice brings on the goosebumps right from the beginning, easing the way for the melancholy pain still to follow. It’s an exercise in blending organic and electronic vibes in one setting and Etherwood pulls it off beautifully. The captivating lyrics, symphonic atmospheres, and ever-present emotion that Etherwood brings to the fore, make this one an instant classic sure to be on repeat for all those star-crossed lovers out there.

For an exclusive, one-sided 7-inch vinyl version of the tune, be sure to head over the Hospital Shop.

 

By Chris Muniz





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Brain Crisis Hits Hard With 'Camatcho'

Posted: March 28th, 2015

When TeeBee describes the sound of your tune “like aliens mining a colony out of metal,” you know you’re on the right track! Those are the words that Subtitles label boss TeeBee had for the new-school protégé straight out of Russia known to his mother as Pavel Khudyakov, but to the rest of us as Brian Crisis.

Already rumored to be hard at work on a full-length LP project for the label, this first salvo of the new year offers up a wicked glimpse into the kind of power and heat the young producer is bringing. It’s ice-cold minimal tech at its finest, with “Mad” (featuring Spline) a futuristic dancehall neurofunk mash up that rolls out like an unstoppable behemoth.

If you like your interstellar space travel with a bit more bump and groove, “Camatcho” is the one for you, as the lead vocal riff brings on the hypnotic bounce before the dark intensity explodes in an orgiastic display of face-melting prowess.

Unstoppable.

 

By Chris Muniz

 

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MC DRS: Entering A State Of Flow

Posted: March 27th, 2015

Athletes call it “entering the zone,” but for the Manchester-based MC DRS, it’s called “entering a state of flow.” We’re referring to those moments in life when time seems to stop, and the mind, body and creative soul seem to come together and flow effortlessly. Athletes have it, dancers feel it, and musicians and artists of all stripes seek to attain it in everything they do.

Having just released his genre-bending Mid Mic Crisis LP for Soul:r (the album is available to buy exclusively via Soul:R for a week and will be on general sale next week), featuring the likes of Addison Groove, Calibre, Dub Phizix, Chimpo and Intalex, we thought it only proper to touch base with the MC, skater, illustrator and all-around artist known as DRS to take a closer look at his own creative process—in hopes of discovering some deeper truths we can use in our own pursuits of those moments of creative enlightenment.

 

You’re involved in so many different forms of creativity, from MCing to illustration to skateboarding—which is a great place to start! It’s a skill that not only requires a tremendous amount of mental and physical ability, but at its very best exemplifies this notion of flow that’s central to your work.

Skateboarding is and was the catalyst for everything good and creative in my life. Most people, including myself, who find a lifelong love affair with skating, are usually the kind of kids who are always out in the streets getting into trouble. But from the first time you stand on a board and just roll—it can be just for a few seconds—but if you catch it, your life will never be the same! Skating introduced me to so much music, art, culture, design and just a new way of thinking and looking at the world as a playground! This never changes, and it’s why skateboarders never grow old! I love you, skateboarding!

 

Your art is another great place where I imagine you achieve a state of flow in the midst of creation. What does it feel like to you when you sit down and are translating an idea or image in your head into something on the page?

My art is my sanity, my silence, my calm, my total freedom from everything! When I pick up a pencil, I never know what’s going to come out of it; I just start and see what happens. I can start drawing and lose 10 hours! Seriously, it’s like I black out and when I wake up, there’s a picture of some kind. Art is my freedom, and it’s the same with music.

 

With MCing, another element is added to the mix, so to speak, as other people are involved and a new kind of language has to develop between you, your ideas/voice/lyrics, and the producer and his beats.

When I get a beat, I know in the first few seconds of listening whether I like it. If I like it, I’m already getting words popping up in my head, so I just start jotting lines and lyrics in my phone memo pad.

Some beats are hook/chorus beats, like Enei ft. DRS “Obsession,” for example; or DRS ft. Enei “Count to Ten” was a verses/bars beat. I also establish that early on when listening. It’s usually the space the producer leaves in the music that determines that. Like I said, I work quite fast; so once I start writing, I will get a topic or angle worked out, and I’m away.

 

“The Puppeteer” seems like another one of those moments, as you and Jubei seem to just lock in on the same wavelengths! When you were putting the album together, did you give producers free reign to create whatever they wanted, or was it a more of a guided, collaborative process?

I never told or asked any of the producers to make any kind of tune or vibe for my album. I just wanted them to do them! That’s why I was asking them in the first place. Pretty much every single person I’ve worked with on both of my albums are people I respect, and real friends who I know personally. “The Puppeteer” was just another of those situations. I wanted Paul [Jubei] involved in the project, and I was lucky enough he said yes!

 

Everything we’ve been talking about takes place in the studio. When you’re MCing live, you having to enter yet another kind of creative space—one that I imagine is more related to skating, in that you have to be flexible, you don’t know what you or the DJ is going to do next, you’re just riding it out and staying in the moment.

Yeah, live is different again. It’s getting your point across, entertaining, being a tour guide, making the DJ look good, and emphasizing different layers and emotions in the music. I just try to move and adjust tone, vibe, style to what’s happening musically, or to the general vibe of the rave, festival or club I’m performing at. Both the DJ and MC should give each other the space to do this. When this happens, it goes OFF!

 

I imagine you work with a lot of artists who all have their own different ways of getting into a creative state. Give us a glimpse into the process of someone you’ve worked with that changed the way you look at the creative process.

Last year, Toddla T and me went to New York for a gig and a few days’ work in an amazing studio that we were borrowing from a Grammy Award-winning band while we were in town. Toddla had been trying to arrange sessions with various rappers, and all were out of town or locked down recording albums or projects for other people, etc., and being as we were in the city of hip-hop, we were both a little disappointed.

So we get a call from a well-known singer/songwriter’s manager saying she was in town and was down to come and jam. T and me are both a little nervous, as we don’t know what to expect; we’ve also heard stories about how the artist in question was a little quirky and eccentric. She arrived dressed head-to-toe in the purest white linen, these biblical-looking wrapped robes, with a matching headscarf. Toddla welcomed her and went to give her a hug.

“NOOOOOOOO!!!” she screamed. We looked at each other, shocked! She said, “I’m sorry, nobody has touched me for six months,” and then went on to explain how it was part of a yearlong cleansing process. Obviously, this has set the session off to a weird start.

She proceeded to ask T how many beats he had. T had around six beats prepared. “You’re gonna need at least 20!” We both laughed. “No, I am not joking, you’re gonna need at least 20 beats!” Oof! T proceeded to frantically flick through his hard drive for loops, beats, instrumentals, anything we could use. He came up with around 12–15 beats in the end.

Toddla pressed play, but before a single bar of music could play: “NOOOOOOOO!” she screamed! T pressed stop. “I don't listen to the music until I go in the booth and start recording.” So Toddla laid all the beats out on the screen in one continuous line, and the whole time, this is mind-blowing for me! This Biblical-looking woman is about to record and write 12–15 songs without ever hearing them before now! Live!

She went down the corridor through the kitchen and into the mic booth. Toddla and me were looking at each other like, WTF IS GOING ON!? But by this time, we both knew something AMAZING was about to happen. We weren’t wrong! The best way I can describe it is: MAGIC!

Each beat was around three minutes long, and from the second he pressed record, she began to hum, shriek, and sing noises frantically! One of the weirdest sounds I've ever heard in my life; like the sound of a wild animal falling into a trap and it scrambling to grab a branch or find some kind of grip or some kind of Tibetan shaman or something.

This went on for the first minute of each song; by the second minute, she had the melody and a few words; by the end of each three-minute beat, she had a full song written—and not just “a song,” an absolute banger! She did this 15 times, and I swear it’s one of the most magical things I’ve ever experienced musically and just in life in general. Madness!

 

Even with the madness, it seems the perfect example of how creative expression—whether through skating, illustration, MCing, music making, etc.—all seem connected at some deeper, life- and soul-affirming level.

It’s just all ART and different ways of expressing my emotions. I’m just lucky I found a few ways to do it. Without art, skating and music, I hate to think where I would be, as life growing up in the northern [Manchester, UK] inner-city of the ‘80s and ‘90s didn’t hold many options, did it?

 

I imagine there are a number of young bloods out there who were just like you: filled with ideas, energy and creative impulses but not sure how to shape them into something concrete and meaningful. What sort of wisdom can you share with them now that you’ve come out on the other side?

Just live life. Experience things! Listen to the language around you in your local area—words, slang and sayings unique to where you live and come from. Think about what the things are that all people share no matter what race, sex, sexuality, background or education they have. Connect with them. Make statements with purpose, hope or some kind of point. Don’t just repeat stereotypes and templates that keep young people and lower classes locked in a cycle. And finally: SPEAK THE TRUTH AND BE YOURSELF!

 

By Chris Muniz

 

This article originally appeared on Insomniac.com.

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Bungle Hypnotizes With 'Alone'

Posted: March 27th, 2015

The Brazil/UK connection is strong on this one as André Sobota (aka Bungle) unloads an awe-inspiring exploration into future beats in the form of this massive four-track EP for the ever-essential 31 Recordings.

Interstellar vibes form the backbone of the title track and the EP as a whole. Centered on mesmerizing alien atmospheres, Bungle takes his time in letting the melodic layers and breaks accumulate into a cohesive narrative worth listening to all the way through to the end. “Looking Back” takes things into deeper territory, the hypnotic vibes unravelling over trembling drums and warm pads.

Rounding out the EP, Bungle stomps and steps over an epic, sweeping soundscape he calls “Arcadia.” It’s one of those tunes to drop when you want to hit them hard and then pull back just a touch for comfort before hammering those heads in once again. “Fast Forward,” on the other hand, is where you close it out or transition between vibes, allowing the textures to reveal themselves gently yet ever-so-powerfully.

Prepare for your flight now as the EP drops April 13 via the 31 Recordings store.

 

By Chris Muniz

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