With the seemingly never-ending stream of quality drum and bass seeping out of our download store each week, it can be difficult for even the most die-hard of fans to keep up with the best tunes. Often, the bigger, well-established names tend to hog the limelight, habitually making it into the top 20 and often for good reason, but at Drum&Bass Arena we have decided that it’s time to fly a tad under the radar.
Each week we will be serving up a choice selection of some of the biggest and baddest tunes crying out for attention amongst the hoards of weekly releases. Need a new track to drop in a mix? Want to impress your mates with a tune you know they won’t have heard?
Look no further than Drum&BassArena’s newest release round up: Under the Radar.
Kicking things off with a slice of quality Drum & Bass from across the pond, a trend that appears to be catching on in a big way as our American friends ever so slightly begin to turn their ear toward the speakers on this side of the Atlantic. ‘Step in the Spot’ has been floating around the radio airwaves for quite some time, gaining support from Fabio and Bailey especially. A tune evidently crafted from a West-Coast hip-hop record and moulded into a summertime roller, with up and coming Detroit based MC SelfSays providing a lovely flowing vocal. Released on American based label Westbay with an instrumental version of the tune on the flip.
When talking about summertime music you can’t really beat a nice bit of piano, mixed with some emotional strings and a deep bassline, and that is exactly the recipe that Intelligent Manners has used to concoct this wondrous slice of rolling relaxation. Hailing from St. Petersburg, Russia, Intelligent Manners is one of the standout members on the conveyor belt of talent hailing from Eastern Europe and Russia. Back 2 Love is featured on the My Sweet Love EP, the latest high quality release from the Fokuz Recordings imprint, is backed up by two more tunes that scream summer love with the addition of a deep bassline. The perfect way to pretend that summer is still here.
Sometimes Drum & Bass tunes can be criticised for being a bit too long, anything over 7 minutes could be seen as a bit excessive but that certainly isn’t the case with this 7 minute wonder from DJ Furney. You Must Stand Still demonstrates the beauty of simplicity as the simple yet dark bassline rolls alongside ethereal instrumentals and the echoing vocal. A real under-rated gem from Bryan Gee’s Liquid V imprint. Found amongst a host of other lovely tunes on the Liquid V Club Sessions Volume 3. Look out for a Furney album late in 2011.
Tyler Straub – Drawn Faces (Levitated Recordings)
Keeping up the pressure on behalf of our American crew we have another West Coast release from California based Tyler Straub. Amongst a host of high quality releases from Straub, Drawn Faces stands head and shoulders above the rest, with an intro that that promises so much and a drop that does not fail to deliver. A real piece of deep purity from Tyler Straub that blends that summery liquid vibe with a deep, progressive bassline. Find Drawn Faces hidden in compilation land amongst the Supersonic release from Levitated Recordings.
Basis – Architect of Resistance (The Extent Group)
Moving away from the summery day time vibes and diving straight into the deep, dark, night time we end this week’s Under the Radar with a track from Basis. Blending dark tones with a smooth and infinitely progressive bassline that feels as though it could roll on all night and never lose its sense of motion. Architect of Resistance comes as part of a large compilation courtesy of the Extent Group, The Stacking Units LP features some other hidden gems that are well worth a listen.
Words by Andre Jackson
For a podcast drawing only from the finest underground tunes that have made it to release, check out the monthly DNBTactics podcast curated by Andre.