Review: Have a word... Youngsta's launched a brand new vinyl-only label and DBridge launches it. Need we say more? Both "Fashion Dread" and "Digital Dread" are Darren White at his darkest and most stately - elephantine production, moody and misty and ultimately soaked in beautifully warm bass, both cuts have been doing the rounds on dubs for almost two years and have been in demand since Youngsta debuted them. Simply massive.
Review: A considered highlight of recent Autonomic podcasts, D Bridge finally releases "So Lonely", a track notable for some heart wrenching vocals from the Exit Records boss himself. If the fragile and stripped down nature of the original is not for you (and the feline growls that intermittently appear throughout seem an odd accompaniment) then the commissioned remixes will certainly find favour; not least the effort from Hyperdub's Morgan Zarate which imbues proceedings with some shimmering future funk. Exit regular Consequence opts for the more familiar spacious D&B steppah vibe, flushing the nether regions of the crisp, electrofied 808 programming with plenty of menacing industrial atmosphere.
Review: The ever-unclassifiable Darren White opens the lid on what we hope to be a series of remixes from last year's long-awaited sophomore solo album A Love I Can't Explain. Naturally the remixes come from the most left of fields. The Fear Ratio (James Ruskin & Mark Broom's apocalyptic fractured downtempo alias) takes "Nauchtlus" to even starker, darker, spaced-out pastures than the original while Kahn wraps "They Loved" up in a thick carpet of emotional haze and sends it off to the furthest corners of the cosmos imaginable. Unexplainably awesome.
Review: In case last year's long-awaited sophomore solo album A Love I Can't Explain wasn't enough for dBridge fans, here's another mini album. Seven tracks deep, originally complete with his photobook capturing his closest friends and family in the game, once again it sets us off on a unique path that could only be paved by the uncompromised Exit founder. Highlights include the Detroitian dirge "Hidden Intention", the total synth theatre of "Tear Me Open" and the woozy outer-planetary wonk of "Echo Chamber". Beguiling.
Review: Fat City Record's recent Producer#2 compilation was a superlative assimilation of Transatlantic beat makers with established acts like Harmonic 313, Mike Slott and Dabrye next to rising talent such as Mono/Poly and Darkhouse Family. Dbridge's "ZX81" was one of that compilation's highlights, a staggeringly slo mo drum and bass track infused with downtrodden soul with the warmest of white noise basslines. It's no surprise Fat City picked that track for this remix EP with two very special treatments. Berlin's Shed reworks the track into a broody sub bass dub techno monster replete with the most glorious of soaring synth breakdowns. Next up is an equally consummate remix from Ramadanman. The Hessle Audio man gives "ZX81" a shot of energy, a rolling percussive rhythm cloaked in sublime bass drops and screaming keys.
Review: DBridge continues his consistently innovative vision with a whole stack of newness. We launch into his cosmos with the truly unique "Too Late", a deliciously slo-mo soul record that almost sounds like it's made to appear like it's on half speed. Pensive, gradual and measured with strings, lilting pianos and his own falsetto, it's total future soul complete with two equally forward-thinking remixes from staple label peers Stray and Spacek. Deeper again we hit "Gone Before Dawn" which steps, cautiously, with much more of a barbed tech aesthetic. We hit "Better Than The Pain", a languid sci-fi Heart Drive special and close with the woozy feels of "Coz My Love Is" a record that sounds like jazz, recorded underwater, somewhere near Detroit with Amp Fiddler. Beautiful.
Review: What a time to be a Dbridge fan... First his Cylon release (Trinity Ville), then Exit (Too Late) now this Pleasure District 12". Here we find him traversing the 170 universe frontier teasing the D&B boundaries with extra-curricular elements. "I'm Feeling Cold" skips on a palpitating heartbeat drum as manipulated vocals breathe heavily with the woozy pads. "Zerone" casually swaggers to a mildly jazzy halfbeat while "Evolvent" takes us much deeper down the detuned rabbit hole with woozy, almost seasick effects. Finally we hit "Simm-Pathy", the most club-focused cut of the pack with its rhythmic riff and slightly more traditional drum arrangement.
Review: Whenever we see the names Exit & DBridge attached to the same project, we know we are in for a hell of a ride, a theory that definitely rings true throughout this stunning new project entitled 'Inhibited'. The LP consists of jaw-dropping originals, showing off just how far ahead of the game DBridges drum construction and general sound design is at this point. From the melancholy clipping of percussion of 'Ether' and emotional atmospheric journeys of 'Climb Together' to the super techy metallic switch ups of 'The Frame', the project covers so much ground! Our initial highlights have to include the glorious harmonic structures and lo-fi percussion runs of 'December's Soul', alongside intense, alarm like synth design of 'Beg, Steal & Borrow'. Amazing work!
Review: Artificial Intelligence's Integral brings out our inner glow with their consistently-impressive new V/A series. Satl (who's appeared on every "Glow" so far) kicks off with a long-awaited remix of dBridge's classic lament "So Lonely" he debuted at Sun & Bass in 2018. He's backed up all the way by key label friends and affiliates: Facing Jinx and Soligen get all dreamy on the dark subby roller "So Much To Do" while Dexcell weave multiple instrument layers with sweeping waves of emotion above a pretty dark, foreboding bassline. Finally Macca & Vector wind down proceedings with the star-leaping intergalactic soul hurricane finale "All The Time". Unleash your inner glow...
Review: Another unique concept from two scene sages dBridge and Kabuki: New Forms was a series of nights in Berlin's legendary Watergate where the guest DJ would come over early and make a track especially for the show. Stray, V.I.V.E.K, Kid Drama, Cooly G, Addison Groove and Zed Bias all got involved, each with exceptional results; highlights include Bias's UKG influence on the string-led "Tune In", the harrowing choral rhythmic element and necksnap breaks on the Stray-related "With U" and the shadowy dub caverns of the V.I.V.E.K-vibed "Dem A Sleep". Each tune only made for the purpose of the New Forms night itself, these were never actually planned to be released. Count your blessings daily.
Review: dBridge & Skeptical: do we even need to say any more? Two natural bass innovators repping two separate generations colliding once again to create two singular slices of 170 rawness. "I've Seen" hits heavy from the off with a very Book Of Bad style heads-down gurgling bass roll and an ace sample about a whole other deadly type of material. "Poor & Poverty" flips a whole other CPU of switches as we're taken deep down the digidub rabbit hole. Rolling at halftime speed but punching with soundclash weight, in some ways it takes us back to their first collaboration "Move Way" from 2013 but with less bashment feels and more technoid paranoia. Kindred business.
DBridge/Skeptical - "No Discipline" - (6:24) 174 BPM
DBridge/Alix Perez - "Through My Eyes" - (6:17) 170 BPM
Review: Darren White aka Dbridge has been carrying out some wicked experiments in what circles have described as the 'grey area' between deconstructed/post Autonomic drum and bass and techno/house. The outsider journeys kind of continue (though don't get too outlandish, rest assured) on VS004, with White teaming up with Metalheadz' Skeptical for "No Discipline" featuring a dark sub bass pulse carrying its dystopian atmosphere; the subtlety works wonders on this effort. Next up the label head honcho teams up with Shogun Audio's Alix Perez on "Through My Eyes" a lush and liquid deep drum and bass journey with a nod to legends of the craft like Marcus Intalex or LTJ Bukem.
Review: Convex Industry's unruly little brother CNVX makes its first stance of the year with this all-star-cast EP. First up is dBridge's far-from-average "Average Echo". A neat contrast to his screwface adventures with the freshly reformed Bad Company, this track is a lesson in fine drum tuning and spacious bass placement. Loxy & Resound's "Heritage", meanwhile, lives up to its name (even down to its stately six minute length) as it taps into drum & bass jungle's deepest roots, digging up all manner of Headz references along the way.
Review: While it might be tricky in these open-minded times for Scuba to shatter preconceptions the way that he did with his Sub:Stance mix a few years ago, this compilation should be seen really as a celebration of the man himself as a DJ. After launching with a decidedly minimalist approach, the mix meanders between pacey techno, bluesy broken beat and rolling dubstep tempos. At times the flow feels unsteady, but then it just rings true that he put this mix together for himself. Without a dancefloor to look after, who knows where many of our favourite DJs might take us?
Review: Let's just list the amount of stone cold bass OGs on this collection: Krust, dBridge, Om Unit, Danny Scrilla, V.I.V.E.K, Von D, Moresounds, AU, Oris Jay & Chris Innersound and whole load more of soundsystem culture's most innovative craftsman working at the deepest levels of the low end coalface all feature on this immense and forward thinking document. Including the curator Amit himself. Every track is a highlight, each one and abyssal, immersive experience but essential highlights include the toxic bass bounces of Moresounds' "They Can't Handle It", the 23rd century UKG of Oris and Chris's "They Can't Handle It" and Krust's big screen masterpiece "Escape From Finland". Amit deserves a holiday. Or a massive trophy. Or both. Bass compilations don't get much bigger than this.