News

Symbl Unleashes 'Serenade'

Posted: April 24th, 2015

The Onset Audio crew continues to impress with their ability to unleash the very finest new-school talent around. Since launching only five short years ago, the label has consistently pushed quality output from the likes of Psidream, Pacific, Red Army, Clima, Demo, and now the one called Symbl.

Keeping in line with the larger scope of the tech-driven imprint, the Indiana-based Symbl delivers three monster cuts that chart a course through the dark and twisted edges of the universe. “Serenade” brings on the stepping and stomping “Shadow Boxing” flashbacks before the grinding groove of “Contender” keeps it locked on top of a haunting otherworldly atmosphere.

Still, if you’re looking for something to get the kids banging their heads, “Calamity” is the one to turn to. Drawing on the classic vibes of techstep and neurofunk sensibilities, Symbl is definitely one to keep your eyes and ears on!

The tune drops today at digital outlets across the universe, or you can snag it direct from Onset Audio.

 

By Chris Muniz

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Mayan Audio Crushes It With 'Kalima'

Posted: April 23rd, 2015

Since launching late last year, the Mayan Audio imprint has gone from strength to strength with a series of heavy-hitting releases from homegrown talent like Kritix and Tuff Touch. While small, independent come and go, it’s becoming more and more obvious that Mayan Audio is here to stay, especially as they drop their hottest release to date in the form of the mysteriously titled Kalima EP.

Once again featuring a crew of relative newcomers, the five-track EP is an obvious labor of love that will have neuro fans bouncing off the walls. Tuff Touch hits the thrusters into overdrive on “Lazer Eye” before Traced unleashes a stomping technoid thriller in the form of “Phobia.”

Roklo keeps the steady pressure on “The Summons” as the grinding groove gives way to a lovely little VIP of “Traction” from Kritix with Coppa once again dashing some urban flavor on top of those strychnine beats.

White Room roll things out by easing off the pedal on “Fade to White” and letting the ethereal vibes rush through. It’s an epic closing to a massively impressive EP that is sure to have heads looking twice and locking it on Mayan Audio to see what’s coming up next.

This beast is a Beatport Exclusive starting April 27 with the full release to follow on May 11, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.

 

By Chris Muniz

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[Q&A] Pendulum, Punk Rock, And The Art Of DJing

Posted: April 22nd, 2015

As things heat up ahead of next week’s Pendulum takeover at Exchange, we sit down with none other than the bearded bad boy from the crew known as El Hornet, who promises to once again decimate the dancefloor with his infectious energy and inimitable style behind the decks.

Chatting up everything from D&B as “punk rock dance music” to his favorite food spots in Los Angeles on through to the lost art of DJing and the benefits of buying locally sourced organic foods, it’s a massive glimpse into the inner workings of one of the genre’s top selectors.

If you’re in need of a little jump-start to your week, be sure to stick around after the jump for a walk down memory lane in the form of Pendulum’s two-hour Essential Mix (circa-2005), rammed with now-classic tunes like “Blood Sugar,” “Vault,” “Hold Your Colour,” and “Slam.” Hold tight, massive—Pendulum is on the way!

 

Your musical taste spans so many genres, why drum & bass? Is this the electronic version of your punk rock dreams?

I think drum & bass was the missing link in my world, not just in terms of the music I liked, but my entire life.

I was playing in a punk band in the ‘90s and the rave scene was this alien thing to me. I was into the occasional jungle track but really only for its audacity. Artists like Squarepusher, who fused insanely frenetic breaks with slap bass, really blew my mind, but I didn't find myself initially as attracted to the main rave sounds of jungle as I was later on in life.

But somewhere around 1997 I started hearing artists like Ed Rush & Optical, Trace, Nico, Ryme Tyme, Matrix, and I started buying records, got some turntables and learned how to mix. Once that techstep sound got into my ears I was hooked.

To me it was definitely the punk rock of dance music, in both the sound and the general public’s perception of it. You had house music being all shiny and nice in the main room and then you had these D&B guys in the other room who danced differently and had an entirely different attitude to music; it was the underdog.

 

You’ve become something of a career DJ these days with the globe as your milieu. I don’t imagine you have much time to “practice” in the formal sense so give us a sense of how you prepare for each show.

For me, gig prep is pretty simple: a Jack and Coke, one last check of what new tunes I want to play, and hopefully the guy playing before is killing it so I can step up with the right vibe.

 

Speaking of DJing, what’s the key to programming a solid DJ set?

Honestly I think the key is to not program it. I’ve never played a planned set in my life. I don’t have a clue what I’m going to play after the second tune. The first two I have worked out and it will depend totally on where I am playing and what the audience is like, but that’s only the intro. After that I’m completely winging it.

DJing is supposed to be about reading a room and having the ability to take a group of people on a trip with highs and lows and periods of reflection and periods of losing their shit. You can’t do that if you program a set. Very rarely do I even see DJs actually DJing now, if that makes sense. I see guys who want to promote their latest studio productions and do very little DJing. People are stopping tunes to get on the mic and say, “Hey guys I love you, this is my new song and you can get it on Beatport tomorrow. Please follow me on Twitter.”

How did we get here? This isn’t what I look up to. My advice is to be better than those guys. Learn the history of the music you claim to be passionate about. Look back through that history and incorporate it into your set. Find tunes nobody else knows about. If you’re entering the world of DJing and production right now, awesome! Your chosen genre will likely have 20 years of history you can learn about, draw from, and get your mind blown by.

 

Speaking of talent, any new-school heads we should be keeping an eye out for?

There’s been some killer stuff around lately: Mefjus, Bensley, Hamilton, Ulterior Motive, Reso, Neonlight, Frankee, Culture Shock, Prototypes, DC Breaks and Mind Vortex are all on fire.

 

What sort of non-D&B music is floating your boat these days?

I listen to an awful lot of band music. Lately I’ve had playlists full of La Dispute, Saddest Landscape, Pianos Become The Teeth, Braid, Jazz June, We Set Sail, Pity Sex, Tigers Jaw, Empire Empire, Prawn, Frameworks, Basement, Modern Baseball, Turnover, Caravels, Enemies, A Great Big Pile Of Leaves. I’ve listened to the new Eskmo record on every flight I’ve taken in the last two weeks. It’s incredible.

 

We’re excited to have you touching down at the Exchange in Los Angeles next week. What’s your favorite thing to do while you’re in L.A.?

L.A. is pretty much my favorite city on earth. I have so many spots I need to hit when I’m there and there’s never enough time. I always put in at least two hours at Amoeba Records. Minimum. It’s the best record store on earth. I used to do a lot of walking, taking photos of old sleazy motels and that kind of thing. I usually stay in Venice when I’m in town so I skate the boardwalk a lot, too.

As for food, I always try to hit Koreatown for some Korean BBQ. I need to get my fill of Mexican too so I will hit up old school spots like El Cholo or Tito’s, but there’s so many trucks and little taquerías everywhere that I want to eat at them all! Then there’s Roscoe’s for chicken and waffles, In-N-Out for burgers, and Menotti’s in Venice for the best coffee in L.A.

 

Speaking of which, you’ve just launched a new venture back home—hit us with the details so we can stop by when we’re in the neighborhood!

I love my street food, I really do. I can’t turn down a good burger any more than the next person, but I do believe that there’s ways to eat convenient food, even junk food, and it not be full of chemicals and sugar. Even more importantly, there are ways for it to be sustainable, responsibly sourced and beneficial to those who took the time to make it.

My family had a farm when I was growing up, so I’ve always had an interest in how the food chain works. I care about where food comes from and how the people who produced it made it, and so my wife and I opened a small organic supermarket in North London. It’s called Harringay Local Store. It’s a mix of locally-produced beers, organic and biodynamic wines, organic food and goods from small local producers. We have a great selection of vinyl too. I always wanted my own record store!

 

I wanted to close by asking a question directed towards your beard but I can’t think of one. What should I have asked it?

My beard asked me to ask you why you haven’t got a beard, too. Time to man up, esé!

 

By Chris Muniz

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It's A Bassrush North America Takeover

Posted: April 22nd, 2015

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 15 years since Bassrush first surfaced from the depths of the Los Angeles underground. Originally dedicated to showcasing a mix of futuristic drum & bass and old-school breakbeat vibes, Insomniac’s Bassrush family has since evolved into a world-class brand that continues to operate at the forefront of the ever-evolving bass music scene.

With the mantra “creating the future while not forgetting the past,” the inaugural Bassrush “Back to the Basics” party in 2002 attempted to bridge the old and new schools with giant walls of speakers, mind-melting loops, visuals, and the ubiquitous Intellabeam lighting, all centered around early-‘90s classics via selectors DJ Trance, R.A.W., Barry Weaver, Fester and Mindbender.

By the end of that summer, the writing was on the wall. Bassrush had ramped things up to an epic level, delivering lineups like the one over Labor Day weekend, which featured the likes of Roni Size, Adam F, Craze, Usual Suspects, Reid Speed and Deacon on the main stage (this was also the party where MixMaster Morris, of Ninja Tune fame, dropped his infamous four-hour session in the “chill lounge”).

Flash-forward to the present, and whether it’s intimate one-off events like the recent Hospital and Ram Records’ invasions at Los Globos, the monthly Bassrush takeover at Exchange LA (Pendulum on April 30!) or next month’s Bassrush Massive at the Hollywood Palladium—featuring an all-star lineup of Calyx & TeeBee, Camo & Krooked, Dubloadz, FuntCase, Kennedy Jones and LooKas—there is no doubt that Bassrush has become the premier platform when it comes to bass music culture.

Having stayed true to its underground roots in embracing artists from a broad range of genres, subgenres and tempos, Bassrush is also responsible for bringing its unique underground flavor to mind-blowing stages at some of the largest electronic music events in North America. From the multiple iterations of EDC (including those in Mexico and Puerto Rico) to Nocturnal Wonderland and Escape: All Hallows’ Eve, to hosting multi-date national tours for major artists like Skrillex, Excision and Datsik, the time has finally come for Bassrush to step it up once again and unleash the experience on masses across the continent.

That’s right, it’s a proper Bassrush North America Takeover, and none other than 12th Planet, Loudpvck and Kove will be leading the way on a 14-date, multi-city tour representing the holy trinity of bass that Bassrush has come to stand for: dubstep, trap, and drum & bass. 

Launching late next month in Detroit, the walls and windows are already shaking in anticipation for what promises to be the first salvo in a series of heavy-hitting national tours still to come from the Bassrush family.

Keep it locked on BassrushTakeover.com for more details, and prepare for the invasion!

 

Tour Dates

May 21 – Majestic (Detroit, MI)
May 22 – Tattoo (Toronto, ON)
May 23 – House of Blues (Boston, MA)
May 24 – EDC New York* (East Rutherford, NJ)
May 29 – The National (Richmond, VA)
May 30 – 9:30 Club (Washington, DC)
June 4 – Alamo City Music Hall (San Antonio, TX)
June 5 – Vulcan (Austin, TX)
June 6 – Lizard Lounge (Dallas, TX)
June 10 – Beta (Denver, CO)
June 11 – El Rey (Albuquerque, NM)
June 12 – Alamo Theater (El Paso, TX)
June 13 – Press Room (Phoenix, AZ)
June 18 – Bssmnt (San Diego, CA) 

* 12th Planet & Loudpvck only

 

By Chris Muniz

 

This article originally appeared on Insomniac.com.

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T>I Is Running On 'Phantom Power'

Posted: April 22nd, 2015

T>I has been on a rampage this past year, dropping mad heat on imprints like Calypso, Innerground, and Playaz. This time around he’s delivering his ever-impressive beats on the Austrian-based Switch! Recordings with a pair of deep and funky rollers aimed straight at the dancefloor.

“Phantom Power” is the lead track and eases up out of the shadows with a ghostly atmosphere before kicking in the doors with a bubbling bassline and crisp, breakbeat driven hook. Keeping in line with T>I’s signature sound, this one feels minimal but is deceptively powerful, built on a stripped down chassis forged from a classic heavyweight jump up sound.

For the flip, “Mugs Game,” fellow heavy-hitter Release joins in on the fun and brings on his own signature deep and techy vibes. Best known for his work on Proximity, DSCI4, and Viper, Release sprinkles some razor-tipped grit into the proceedings as the bassline grinds and kicks in all the right places for some serious groove. It’s a glimpse into a world where futuristic jump-up rolling tech bizness defies easy classification but is pure dancefloor fiyah through and through.

Keep it locked to the Switch! homepage for full details as this one’s due to drop in a few weeks!

 

By Chris Muniz

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2DB Make It Bounce!

Posted: April 21st, 2015

When the Technique label bosses Drumsound and Simon “Bassline” Smith suit up in their 2DB mode you know that some serious dancefloor damage is on the way. “Check Out the Bounce” leads the way with a catchy, synth-driven hook that makes for some perfect double-dropped stepping and stomping as the skanky bottom end slips and slides in all the right places.

“Quaalude” is the more seductive of the two, the dreamy atmosphere and epic intro giving way to an uplifting sweep of bass and synths. This is the one to roll out when you want to bring on the goosebumps and take the heads on a proper journey.

It’s a serious single hot on the heels of their massive 18-track 15 Years of Technique compilation that hit only a little over a month and a half ago that only goes to show just how much heat 2DB are packing as they chart a course for the massive festival season still to come.

Check out and purchase the tunes here.

 

By Chris Muniz

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