Imagine you go 2 years back in time - what has happened?

Discussion in 'Drum & Bass' started by fuuz3r, Oct 31, 2015.

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  1. fuuz3r

    fuuz3r KRISTJAN V

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    Hi!

    For nearly 2 years I haven't really listened to DnB let alone be up do date with all the releases etc. Pretty much last thing I got was the Critical's Underground Sonics LP. It's been a busy 2 years for me - graduated school, got a job in a law firm and had a long term girlfriend. Listened to all kinds of different music, something around hundred or so albums of pop, rock, metal, hip-hop music - basically whatever Pitchfork recommended.

    Now it's back to Drum & Bass. Just yesterday I was listening to Current Value's Critical Podcast and I want to hop back on the train - maybe not start mixing again just yet, but to just have a general idea of what's been happening since I "left". I mean if CV is on Critical, things have really changed.

    So, it would be awesome if you could tell me some of the more important events/news in the dnb scene - Somebody hit someone? Somebody broke up? Something in this forum? Are there any awesome new dj-s/producers in the scene? New labels? Is vinyl STILL alive? Some other trends in mixing? I will check out stuff from main labels myself of course.

    Also this thread doesn't just have to be about me and my need for information, it would be also nice if you can post your opinion about e.g. in which direction is DnB going or what are the main checkpoints that have happened in couple of years. Is the scene rather strong or getting weaker?

    Please share your thoughts.
     
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  2. Evizon

    Evizon Acetate Avenger

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    - Diane Charlemagne actually passed away a few days ago (RIP)
    - Mefjus became the supreme overlord of neurofunk and now most neurofunk sounds the same since everyone's trying to mimic him
    - Netsky released his second album, decided it's better to sell out instead of release original music so he left Hospital for Sony
    - Renegade Hardware are closing up shop (albeit I'm not a huge Hardware fan except for 1 or 2 releases)
    - Ed Rush & Optical finally released their new album but it was a disappointment because of the frequent June Miller and Emperor & Centra sample pack usage (in my opinion)
    - That's actually another thing, lots of neuro producers got lazy and started using other people's sounds straight out of the box
    - Samurai Music start to delve into more experimental territories instead of just drum & bass, people start complaining that it's all just white noise
    - Loxy, Resound, Skeptical, dBridge & Kid Drama from Instra:mental made an album together under the moniker Module Eight, soon to be released on Exit
    - RAM finally release Culture Shock's 'City Lights' but most of their catalogue is sub-par commercial stuff nowadays (again, my opinion)
    - Critical continue being Critical
    - Stray, Halogenix & Sabre form Ivy Lab
    - Emperor becomes a big name in drum & bass
    - Emperor continues to post himself doing funny faces on Instagram
    - Billain is discovered to be an extra-terrestrial and releases 2 out of this world EPs
    - Some cheeky 16 year old called Signal releases a brilliant Binary EP on Critical
    - Newcomer Xanadu releases debut LP on Dom & Roland
    - Best labels right now are Samurai, Critical, Exit, Cylon, Auxiliary (not all of it is drum & bass but again, IMO)
    - Break releases 3rd LP on Symmetry
    - Everyone leaves Lifted except for Chris Renegade, Memtrix and Aeph
    - Technicolour & Komatic form Technimatic, release debut LP last year + EP this year
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
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  3. SteveR94

    SteveR94 RECORDING OMG STRONGLY

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    -Rockwell is finally releasing his LP, but it has none of the dark ticky ticky stuff he was most known for a few years ago
    -Hospital did a collaboration remix album with Enter Shikari which just released yesterday
    -Keeping to Hospital, London Elektricity is finally releasing an LP again and it's like Syncopated City (which I thought was his best)
    -John B has beef with Culture Shock because a CS song "Raindrops" apparently copies the riff of Up All Night
    -Mistabishi got into an argument online... again
    -Critical Modulations no longer exists, it's been replaced with Critical Systems and Critical Binary
    -People are pissed off that LPs are being pressed on vinyl 3 tracks a side
    -The DnB awards have got people on this forum annoyed as per usual
    -LSB & Rene LaVice have both had absolutely amazing years with releases that were pure fire
    -Viper continue to be sub-par (in my opinion, sorry Viper fans)
    -Ivy Lab are releasing a fully hip-hop LP which has got quite a few DnB purists pissed off
    -Soul:R are releasing what I think is the best series of EPs known as the Fourfit EPs
    -RAM signed some kid called Bensley despite him never releasing anything, causing a huge hype. His debut album released a year after (which seems to have been forgotten)
    -Calyx & Teebee still have the same sound


    Can't think of any more. :teeth:
     
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  4. elspectro29

    elspectro29 Taking applications for European green card wife

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    -An anonymous group of established producers called Dawn Wall started releasing some good liquid this summer
    -Spor finally released his album on BitTorrent after it leaked
    -Audio went from Virus to RAM
     
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  5. tyranny

    tyranny Well-Known Member

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    Digital came out of nowhere and relaunched Phantom Audio with Spirit, and then in the space of a year had dozens of quality records out on labels like V, Ingredients, Headz, Function, Rupture, Mars, Horizons etc etc etc.

    Exit, Cylon, 31 and Samurai Horo all put out really really good compilations, all of which are well worth a listen if you need to catch up quick

    Rupture are nearly into the double figures now and are slowly turning into the best label in D&B, and still have the best radio show in D&B as well.

    Paradox and Nucleus are back in the studio together and have brought back Esoteric.

    Stretch from Reinforced is back on it in a big way.

    Ant TC1 from Dispatch is now the Headz label manager and it has been a really strong look for them organisation wise, releases are plentiful and pretty varied.

    Rider made a big comeback with a (dreadful) 12" on Headz.

    Narratives are going strong, Blocks & Escher are doing a n LP for Headz

    Calibre is still plugging away.

    Fierce is working with Zero T and Dom.

    Dom & Roland did two of the best records he has done since the 90s then released a really patchy album of remixes and then made up for it by discovering this 20 year old Welsh kid called Xanadu. Check his stuff out it is solid as fuck.
     
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  6. tyranny

    tyranny Well-Known Member

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    Oh and you need to check all the stuff Ruffhouse have done while you were away, they are killing it.
     
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  7. Vydx

    Vydx Asian Info Alliance

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    Lots of footwork/jungle crossover and experimentation by the likes of Om Unit, Sam Binga, Fracture, Stray etc. Check out Om Unit's LP on headz, and Sam Binga LP on Critical.

    Stray done 2 EPs one 4 track and 1 7 track both are quite varied. Fracture done an EP on Exit and is putting out some solid tunes on his Astrophonica label. Also check out Cosmic Bridge

    Clarity LP on Samurai is excellent if that's your kinda ting, CX Digital cranking out good tunes as well.

    31 are putting out different kinda stuff, signed a producer going by the name of Hidden Turn making some good beats, he's working on an album for them as we speak.

    Labels like Headz, Dispatch, Horizons, Soul:r, BMT, Sec Ops, Diffrent, Flexout, Translation, Vandal are mostly putting out fresh stuff.

    ASC & Sam KDC are doing weird stuff that is very new and not DnB but some people love to call anything 170 bpm dnb so I guess it counts?
     
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  8. Large Marge

    Large Marge garbage truck

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    - dillinja has released 0 tunes
     
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  9. SteveR94

    SteveR94 RECORDING OMG STRONGLY

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    Roni Size released an album fairly recently and to put it nicely...
    It's absolute garbage.
     
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  10. William Stutter

    William Stutter Active Member

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    lol that thread. i would be donnie darko again. he always asked the right questions.
     
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  11. Alegria

    Alegria Tune ID geek

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    Probably one of the most important things to happen to DNB since Autonomic changed the scene is the fact that Jon Convex came back to 170 bpm with his Kid Drama moniker. Now the Heart Drive project he's doing with dBridge is the perfect next step (just listen to the podcasts http://heartdrive.co.uk), and the Module Eight (dBridge + Drama + Skeptical + Loxy + Resound - the equivalent of Bad Company of deeper DNB in my opinion) and Binary Collective (dBridge + Drama + Consequence + Joe Seven) albums fit into this revival perfectly. Not to mention the Mikarma album Drama made, so emotional and beautiful.

    Meanwhile ASC started slowly progressing from Autonomic (his words, not mine) in 3 phases of his Auxiliary project and while the first two phases still had hints of the Autonomic sound there, phase three is apparently the Grey Area sound that him and Presha and Sam KDC are all into and pushing as a non-dnb thing, something in between genres and tempos.

    Oh and Bad Company are actually back in the studio, with Fresh! Heard two of their new tunes this year at Sun And Bass, made by all four of them (apparently) and while one was pretty nice, the other one is just FUCKING SICK. Cue dBridge rewinding the first drop 3 times and the second drop twice :D Pretty sure this is a sign of good things to come.

    One of my favourite artists in DNB ever - Naibu came back with his second LP (not counting the self-titled compilation and the Fall EP which was an 8-tracker) and it's so damn beautiful and brill.

    Fracture, Om Unit, Moresounds, Sam Binga, Sinistarr and a lot of other cats are doing all sorts of hybrids but the best one remains footwork jungle / jungle juke that fuses the awesomeness of both genres. Lots of futuristic stuff, but also touching on the ragga tip which was never my cuppa.

    Defo gotta mention how Doc Scott is back in love with DNB and in top form as a DJ and also as 31 Records A&R because the stuff he's released on there is pure vibes. The "Future Beats" title is one that pretty much sums it up. Scotty's still the man.

    Metalheadz have been on a roll as well now that Ant TC1 took over the organisational side of things. They seem to be pushing for a lot of artist LPs and I'm so damn excited about two which seem to be slated for 2016 (hopefully not later): Blocks & Escher and also the brand new collab project by Mako and DLR - OneMind. Already heard a lot of the OneMind stuff that Mako played for us at DrumObsession in March and I can already tell you - you need to watch out!

    Speaking of Mako -his production has become so damn sick, you need to check his releases all around. His Utopia Music label has grown into such a quality place with a family vibe amongst the artists. Be it himself, Villem, Fields, Break, Hydro, Mikal or any other artist on there. Not a single bad tune, and it doesn't look like they're about to stop.

    And speaking of Blocks & Escher, their Narratives Music label is probably one of the only buy-on-sight labels to have emerged in the past few years. Bought that Rhyming In Fives EP on wax even though I had the promo mp3s beforehand, that's how good it is.

    Loxy & Resound formed a wicked project with vocalist Alia Fresco - The Levels. It's another one of those things that I'm excited about and their collab with dBridge - "We Could Be" is one of my tunes of this year for sure (even though it's technically older).

    Soul:R is quality as ever, but Marcus Intalex has always been selecting the best (be it as DJ or A&R).

    Exit keep on blazing the trails, now more then ever exciting with fresh music. Never a dull moment there.

    Ivy Lab (Sabre, Stray & Halogenix) really went in on their 20/20 half-tempo hip-hop vibes, but their DNB output is really top notch as well, not to mention their Wedenesday nights, also called 20/20.

    Bailey and Mosus (Need For Mirrors) started a highly successful biweekly Wednesday cycle - Soul In Motion. Definitely one of London's highlights even though I've never been (but it's one of those things I'd try to time my flight into London around).

    When it comes to online radio - Bassdrive.com still remains the place to be.

    That's just off the top of my head. So many other things happening.
     
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  12. Exxcessivve

    Exxcessivve Dawn Wall

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    Congrats on your degree and career.

    Ivy Lab is the best thing happening in the genre for me.

    S.P.Y released two albums in one year and both were huge.

    Noisia have released at least three EPs and all are worth checking out.

    Halogenix - All Blue EP is the most unmissable release in the scene this year imo.

    Ram announced the signing of brand new artist Bensley and didn't release anything by him for like a year, claiming it would be groundbreaking (or something) when they did.

    In Culture Shock's absence, Dimension swooped in with some similar sounds and made some really good tracks.

    Bad Company are kinda back

    Sigma are rich from commercial dnb but are also making decent VIPs of these singles
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
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  13. fuuz3r

    fuuz3r KRISTJAN V

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    Oh fuck, truly an information overload. Thanks for the input so far, looks like I have tons of stuff to go through.


    Shit, that's really bad news about Diane, didn't know she was sick or anything, it wasn't that long ago when she made vocals for S.P.Y.'s What the Future Holds album e.g. Crazy, she was definitely one of the best vocalists in the DnB scene. Last time I heard Riya was quitting DnB too - but that was yeah...couple of years ago.

    Cylon is back? Allright! Also, when i was listening to the before mentioned Critical podcast, I was surprised by the sound of Emperor - pure fire.Sorry to hear about the Ed Rush & Optical LP - will definitely check the tunes out myself though. Xanadu is a totally new name for me, but i see people praising him - doesn't matter I'll check through Critical's catalogue anyway - my favorite label after all.

    Regarding samurai, I even got the Horo Scope compilation - is it pretty much the same or even less DnB?

    Overall it looks like good news - didn't really care about RAM before either, so it's no biggie for me, but sad to hear about RHW. What happened?

    ***************

    I loved Rockwell's ticky ticky stuff :(

    Whoa, I thought LE said that he's not going to release any more albums? Or do I mix something up?....hmmph...silly.

    Mistabishi my nigga - he hasn't done any DnB has he?

    I'm just curious...but why do you say "Rene Lavice & LSB..."? Are they on a same label or something? Couple of years ago LSB really started to raise my eyebrows, even got some of his stuff on vinyl - and then quit before I could even put his tune on a mix. There it is sitting on the shelf pretty much totally untouched for all this time :D

    Viper has been uninteresting for a long time now.

    Good to hear Soul:R is going strong - absolutely amazing label.

    ***************

    Audio on RAM? Allright. I remember I really liked some Audio's stuff, but is his sound still the same or more RAM-ish now? Alltough even I remember when he released his Neo remix on RAM.


    ***************

    Function, Rupture and Mars are new labels for me. Will check them out - thanx!


    ***************

    Will do - I remember people had mixed feelings regarding the Ruffhouse 10" on Modules/Critical and I myself also felt that they've had better tunes.

    ***************

    Clarity is definitely up to my sleeve, he made some of the darkest sounding tunes. I had goosebumps listening to his 2013 Fabric promo mix. Argh...

    Will check out the labels too. Thanx!

    ***************

    But Lemon D?

    ***************

    Okay, I better not listen to it then...especially if it's as bad as Adam F's "comeback" was.

    ***************

    Haven't seen the film unfortunately.

    ***************

    Holy shiiiit dude, really appreciate for the input. I do. I remember just when I left, Doc Scott came back - good to hear he and his label is going strong.

    And would you look at that - DLR found himself a new partner - super great :)

    The fact that BC is back is amazing news. Thought it would never happen.

    Thanx again for the post. I really have massive amounts of stuff to dig through.

    ***************

    Yeah, heard the tunes like Nobody to Love and Glitterball and such on my hiatus. Oh well I guess it actually suits them.

    Took a quick browse on that Bensley guy tunes...and I wasn't impressed at all.

    Anyway, thanx for the input :)

    ***************
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
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  14. Evizon

    Evizon Acetate Avenger

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    Yeah, ever since Audio signed to RAM he's gotten worse. His Virus stuff was legendary.

    Personally I loved the Ruffhouse & Clarity Modulations 10", one of the best in the series.

    No idea about why Hardware are closing up, I don't follow them

    Cylon are back and they've released a great VA LP called Illustrations. Some really nice tunes there :)

    As for Samurai, yeah that's basically it. They're still pushing that experimental sound.

    If you like Emperor, his debut EP 'Begin' is a keeper. He's released an EP earlier this year called Into Black, good EP but not as good as his first. Emperor will be releasing his debut LP on Critical early 2016!

    Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but Mefjus released an LP last year
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  15. Lorre

    Lorre Active Member

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    I follow this forum & releases really close, but this topic is a really interesting summary.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
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  16. SteveR94

    SteveR94 RECORDING OMG STRONGLY

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    Oh I only said that because both of those artists had releases throughout the year and loads of remixes which were really good! Rene is still on RAM and LSB is still unsigned but working quite a bit with Spearhead and Soul:R
    Sorry for the confusion! :)
     
  17. The Watcha

    The Watcha Well-Known Member

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    Skeptical put out his first solo release on Exit after what seemed like him being on the label for years and a shit tonne of people got excited about Alix Perez releasing some more rolling liquidy stuff again, but still doesn't come close to 1984 for me. Original Sin had enough of Playaz a little while back and who knows what he's doing at the moment
     
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  18. elspectro29

    elspectro29 Taking applications for European green card wife

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    You mentioned Riya...she actually had a dnb LP come out this summer, with tracks by several different producers, mostly on the liquid side. It's the album of the year for me so far
     
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  19. WhoSayReload?

    WhoSayReload? Well-Known Member

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    2015 is about the best year dnb's had whilst I've been a fan.

    Headz catalogue has been stellar this year, Halogenix EP is probably the best I've heard this year, Chimpo & Fracture's "From Early" is a favourite too.

    The Mark System LP is a beast, as is the Phace album, DLR LP, Riya LP, DRS LP, Breakage LP, Zero T LP, Break LP, forthcoming A.I LP on Headz, Ivy Lab - Twenty Questions ep, Skeptical - Imperial EP, Dawn Wall, anything released on Exit, Current Value's had a hell of a year and there's loads of gnarly neuro about at the moment, Invisible and Noisia have great years, Loads of quality liquid about at the moment, anything on Soul:R, Integral Recordings or from LSB, Tokyo Prose, Perez EP, Marky - Silly, FD - Change Please, Pennygiles - Sorry are all standouts. Serum has had a sick year too if you're in to your jump up rollers and belters. Calibre is still smashing it
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
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  20. Fallen.GeMiNi

    Fallen.GeMiNi 3rd rate banger merchant

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    Whoa, where to even begin... I'll try to break it down somehow, let's see, sorting by the imprint might work the best I guess:

    RAM - not really much has changed, they still continue to push the dancefloor-orientated sound...they've signed Audio, Teddy Killerz, Bensley, June Miller, Stealth and Legion & Logam since the end of 2013, with most of the signings not really standing up to the possible expectations (personally I only really enjoy Bensley's and Legion & Logam's output, Stealth's a hit & miss and the rest is just dissapointing). Again, based on the personal preferences, I actually like Bensley's album very much, granted, it's nothing really groundbreaking as claimed, but musically speaking it's by far the best album to come out of RAM camp since Sub Focus' debut. Andy C did Nightlife 6 by the end of 2013 and it's worth a listen, especially the Green/Blue Mixes. Culture Shock may put out his third release in 12 months which is, quite frankly, a miracle if you ask me. Probably the only producer on RAM keeping the bar high is Rene LaVice.

    Hospital - a tough one. Lately they've been putting out more and more quality material, especially the stuff from Krakota is great. Med School releases are on point as always, I'd suggest Anile's LP as the first release to check out there.

    Shogun Audio - basically the first major outlet that has stopped pressing vinyl for some of their releases, albums are usually pressed 3 or more tunes a side. They've signed Fourward, Technimatic & Joe Ford, while getting rid of The Prototypes. Technimatic has released splendid Desire Paths LP in summer 2014. Icicle has released his Entropy LP a few months later and as much as I like some of the tunes, it's nowhere near Under The Ice or even better, his previous works. SpectraSoul has put out The Mistress LP this year which is probably worth a listen if you liked their previous one. What is really worth checking out though is the Friction Vs series of singles/EPs as there are some great tunes featured so far.

    Critical - personally the greatest letdown of a label in the last few years. The only 2 releases I really liked and would vouch for are Foreign Concept's Make Meals EP and Kasra & Enei's Inside The Box EP. Mefjus' album was one dimensional as expected, Emperor's output has been nothing but a dissapointment after promising Begin EP and Liberation, Ivy Lab's output is hit & miss (their best tune in the last 2 years being Baby Grey featured on Underground Sonics). What has been great though is the Systems series, both Halogenix' and Fre4knc's EPs are immaculate. Binary series is nowhere near that good I'm afraid. Anyways, I'm sure many would beg to differ on topic of Critical's output. That all being said, I really look forward to Enei's forthcoming LP as it's shaping to be great so far, so fingers crossed.

    Viper - not really even worth a comment sadly. One kinda good tune is surrounded by another 20 which are not even remotely interesting. Even signing multiple acts including Brookes Brothers, TREi and The Prototypes didn't help.

    Metalheadz - arguably the best imprint in the last 2 years, definitely out of the big names anyway. Since Ant TC1 has took over the managing duties, their output got really solid (with maybe the only exception which was the dreadful Grooverider single earlier this year). I strongly advise to check out every single release since META013, especially The Platinum Breakz 4 compilation and Ulterior Motive's The Fourth Wall LP are not to be missed.

    Dispatch - definitely a go-to imprint in terms of keeping the high standard of releases, apart from a tasty range of singles and EPs they've also put out 3 incredible albums by Cern (my personal favourite), DLR and Zero T. They've also started their DISDUB series featuring some sought after alternative/VIP mixes pressed in limited amounts, the only "fault" in their release schedule was not pressing Hyroglifics' Terra off their Limited sub-imprint and a few of their latest releases on the main imprint (Philth, Ed:It, Survival & Silent Witness / SCAR single).

    Exit - after a rather (and arguably) strange array of 2014 releases they've been killing it in 2015, be it absolutely spot on Imperial EP by Skeptical, great EPs by Calibre and Alix Perez or splendid LP from Mark System.

    Samurai - as mentioned, they have shifted towards a more experimental music in general, all of the releases on the main imprint since the "re-launch" are worth checking out, you definitely can not miss Tokyo Prose's output on Red Seal, be it his immaculate Presence LP from last year or this year's Dawn Chorus EP. I'd also strongly suggest to check Djrum's single and Theme's EP on Red Seal as well.

    Horizons - absolutely nailed 2014, every single release is worth a buy. They've gone silent for almost a year after the latest EP from Digital and are now coming back with killer EPs from Release and Amoss.
    They are still pushing vinyl and even dared to release their Ten LP compilation from last year in form of 2 2x12" EPs plus sampler single.

    Spearhead - another imprint which keeps the quality high as ever. A strong chain of releases over the past 2 years, I'm sure you'll find a lot of stuff there to please your ears.

    Integral - that one needs to be mentioned as it's finally back on track with loads of great EPs being released lately. Lovely stuff.

    Soul:R - as mentioned, FourFit series are THE SHIT. As is DRS' Mid Mic Crisis LP from this spring and everything else in between. Intalex still knows his shit :)

    Basically any of the neurofunk labels isn't even worthy of checking out as the sound itself got almost unbearable. Everything you'd loved about the sound some 5-10 years ago is now completely gone thanks to the rise of Mefjus and Neosignal'ish stuff in general, backed by the releases from Noisia, The Upbeats, Black Sun Empire and such. Blackout is boring, Eatbrain has sadly lost it, too, Bad Taste and Lifted being virtually dead, Virus isn't interesting anymore either. Optiv & BTK's Blackjack LP was ok'ish, Ed Rush & Optical's new album is mostly meh and their FabricLive mix CD from this year is basically a showcase of everything what went wrong over the last 2 or 3 years.

    Luckily, there's a lot of smaller imprints usually aiming for the deeper sounds which make up for the falls of the great, namely Flexout Audio (really one of the most consistent labels around with an amazing series of releases over the last 2 years), Utopia Music, Warm Communications, Secret Operations (obviously, duh), Tempo Records, Intrigue Music, Prestige Music, Demand, Blu Mar Ten Music (check out Kimyan Law!), etc. Loads of great music is coming out every weekend.

    Nothing else is really worth mentioning I guess.
     
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