State of Play - July: Drum & Bass
- Matt Clough
- On July 4, 2014
After a baron few months of releases following Record Store Day 2014 and the downsizing of ST Holdings which saw many of our favourite labels moving out of those familiar confines and onto pastures new; the next few months promise an onslaught of new aural delights to get heads nodding, feet tapping and, most importantly, to damage bank balances.
This week saw the launch of Exit Records‘ very own label store following the closure of their Surus store, be sure to check it out with all of the back catalogue available on MP3/WAV and a vast amount of the physical back catalogue also available (with an extremely generous offering of free WAV’s). If the juke/footwork movement that has been gathering a head of steam over the last twelve months is your thing, Fracture’s long anticipated Loving Touch EP hit the shelves this week. With its crispy, funky rhythms, earth shattering bass and addictive vocals this is one not to be missed and perfectly exemplifies the sound that dBridge has been pushing this year. This week also saw the return of the Aptitude Show hosted by the main man himself, dBridge, on Rinse FM; showcasing forthcoming Exit and Heartdrive material this is most definitely a welcome revival of one of the best shows on the airwaves.
Another label emerging following the post-break up blues sees Samurai Music again launch their very own web store early next week, 07/07/2014 to be precise. With this come pre-orders for the debut album from one of the hottest names in the scene right now, Tokyo Prose, with his Presence LP and the mysterious ‘Horo Vision’ project, where your guess is as good as mine as to what is coming with that one. After a brief hiatus, the launch of the new store should spell big things for the remainder of the year for Presha‘s heavyweight label; especially when looking at the mouth-watering, wallet-damaging list of releases lined up for the remainder of the year.
One label whose ruthless productivity hasn’t been affected through all of this is the omnipresent Metalheadz; after what seems like a release every other week the juggernaut is showing no signs of slowing down. First up is something of a dream come true for the duo Blocks & Escher with their first release on the label, ‘Moods’ b/w ‘Razor’. Both are raw, rough around the edges, dark, feisty numbers with sharp punching percussion and low, shuddering bass lines that encapsulate the signature Metalheadz sound, bottles it up and delivers the essence of Blue Note that not everyone got to experience the first time round. A worthy addition to an ever growing, ever impressive Metalheadz catalogue. Bravo Blocks and Escher, Bravo!
Last (but by no means least) sees the return of one of the darkest days of Vinyl Addicts Anonymous members everywhere (after RSD) with the Independent Label Market at Old Spitalfields Market on July 12th. Over 100 independent labels such as Ninja Tune, Brownswood, Hyperdub and Big Dada will be setting up shop for the day to sell their fresh vinyl produce in the most traditional manner as a market stall.
Perhaps most exciting for any music aficionado will be the exclusive products available in extremely limited quantities, and few are more OCD (Obsessive Collectors Disorder)-inducing than what will be available at the Exit Records stall. Miniscule presses of 30 each (that’s right, 30!) of three separate 12″s showcasing the best of the Heartdrive podcasts including ‘When Droids Cry’, ‘Aut0mated L0ve’ and ‘Empathy Reboot’ along with solo offerings from dBridge and Kid Drama themselves. If that isn’t enough, there are also 30 limited cassettes of Joe Seven‘s brand new Near / Far LP, limited edition Exit and Pleasure District T-Shits, various entries from dBridge’s back catalogue and personal collection of records and TP’s, and some ultra-rare, rage-inducingly expensive on Discogs, fully sold-out entries from the Exit back catalogues, namely Synkro & Indigo’s sublime EXIT031. And breathe. This really looks like one not to miss for any vinyl or music connoisseur.