Dom & Roland returned earlier this month with his first new production since his evergreen soul tornado album for Metalheadz: Last Refuge Of A Scoundrel
Now back on his own DRP imprint, his new track A Broken Heart marks the start of a new flow of beats from himself and his own label mates. In keeping with the most evocative, explicitly emotional textures from his last body of work, it’s another stop–you-in-your-tracks affair that set the spine-shudders to stun and send goosebump levels into overdrive. Spoiler: don’t listen to this if you’ve had a heavy weekend and expect to get away lightly… Dom’s got a tight grip on the heartstrings and he’s not letting go.
He’s also got a tight grip on the future as DRP is about to drop new releases every 3-4 weeks. Many will be from Dom and his trusty machines themselves, but we can also expect material from the likes of newcomer/old school friend of Dom’s Mando and Dom’s long-standing protégé Xanadu. For the first time in his label’s history they’ll be digital only and then released on vinyl, with bonus tracks, for collectors a little later in the year.
“I’ve got too much stuff to release to rely on vinyl pressing delays,” explains Dom. “I’m a bit old school so I’m finding it strange not releasing on vinyl but I need a steady release schedule because there’s a lot music coming.”
If it’s anything like A Broken Heart, it will be worth waiting for. We asked Dom for his essential examples of how touching and emotional drum & bass can be. He didn’t disappoint…
Marcus Intalex – Astro Dance (Soul:r, 2008)
There’s always been something about this that has touched me and now it breaks my heart that Marcus is no longer with us. I was on tour in America when he passed away and I went through all my Marcus tunes to find something out of respect that summed up how I felt about him and his music. It’s not one of his biggest ones, but there’s something about the arrangement of the strings and the simplicity of it. It has everything I want in a drum & bass track; the right drums, perfect bass, strings, it was perfection in its stripped-backness with lots of little moments that surprise you. It’s an enigma in itself and really touched me.
Bungle – Distance (31 Records, 2017)
My favourite release of last year. Once again, there’s something about those strings. I know a lot of other DJs went to the other side for Cocooned but, for me, this it was about the way the strings crept in and the way it sounded in a club. Those strings and pads cut through you like a futuristic laser beam. I’m not a big follower of Bungle, I don’t know much about his music, but Scotty’s label has always pushed music of a special nature and this is the perfect example.
Calibre – No One Gets You (Signature, 2017)
The haunting vocal, the strings, the arrangement, the simplicity… All the tunes I’ve picked have been very simple and it’s a sound I’m really getting back into. The whole idea of slamming a whole load of sounds into your tune is pointless; if you’ve got your core, you don’t need much else. I haven’t listened to all of Calibre’s stuff and I know he’s massive in his corner of the scene, but we’ve met a few times and chatted and shared moments at Sun & Bass but he occasionally pulls one or two of these things that make my jaw absolutely drop.
He played an amazing set at Sun & Bass and dropped this tune. It was on a beach full of people, many of them not drum & bass people at all… Italians on holidays with their kids, German families etc. Most the time they would be complaining about the noise but when this dropped you could see people stopping and looking up and putting their books down being like ‘hang on a minute this is really good’ It’s beautiful to see how drum & bass, which is usually seen as this fast and noisy music, can touch people in that way. It’s amazing actually.