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Kontra / FXHE affiliate Jason Fine returns to DBA following a tasty remix of Typesun. "Amalthea" kicks us off here, glowing with a gentle throb, cerebral yet driving. Not a million miles away from Deepchord's vibe, equally hypnotic but with a totally different sound palette and with a bit of Fit Siegel thrown in to boot. "Dione" is a dark, cavernous, acid growler beamed from deep inside the cave and surely witness to a late night gremlin ritual. "Elara" is up next, a crisp, delicate track that floats on soft subs while the scintillating textures swirl overhead. Finally, "Larissa" possesses a spectral, star-bound sound; textural reduced and occupying a sparse but nonetheless welcoming space. Like you've landed on an uninhabited planet but one that looks like it could well support an abundance of life. 

Karen Gwyer returns with 'Rembo', her first full LP for Don't Be Afraid. Reflecting the sheer energy of Gwyer's improvised, undulating and unpredictable live shows, 'Rembo' captures Gwyer in her element as a techno producer not afraid to smudge both the physical and emotional edges of what we may have come to expect in the club.

Growing up in Michigan, with Detroit on the nearby horizon, the city's time-honoured musical heritage slowly sank under her skin. First through public radio, late night transmissions and endless cassette recordings, then on the life-changing local dance scene.

"Before the internet came along, you were listening to the radio, and you knew who the DJ was, but you had no earthly idea who the records were by", recalls Gwyer. "You just listened to the music, and you didn't listen to the people. And because you didn't ponder their personalities, you weren't engaged in the process. And I loved it, it was pivotal to me. I still have records on tape, and I have no idea who made them. I lie awake at night thinking about how am I ever going to find out what that track is? I have a snippet of it in my mind, but how will I ever know?"

'Rembo' then, is in some way a tribute to those transformative moments caught on tape. Rembo is a record that calls firmly to the night; an album to transport both artist and listener to dark, sweaty rooms, to shared escapism and unexpected moments of electronic transcendence.

The DBA DUBS series returns with a fresh tropical house roller from Samrai backed by a remix from Michigan resident James T. Cotton. Khadi brings together Samrai's tough drums and ethereal sun-kissed fx with a helping of keys from an anonymous local collaborator. On the flip JTC, the artist behind Dabrye, Sound Murderer and a host of other cult catalogues reinvents Khadi as a Detroit house stepper.

Manchester resident via the Midlands, Samrai makes up 50% of the Swing Ting production unit. He's released with distinguished labels such as Keysound, Niche & Bump and UTTU as well as collaborating with Ruf Dug, Murlo, Brackles & Hyperdub's Okzharp. His DJ sets take in x-amount of styles, always system-friendly with an emphasis on the soulful side of things.


Matt says: Excellent work from Swing Ting main man Samrai. The MCR stalwart cooks up some simmering UK house music on side A. While James Cotton drops by with an iconic JTC remix - technofying the track and taking it into lazer guided territory. Don't sleep!

MGUN returns to DBA for a tough and arresting third release, showing off his diverse tastes and talents. The melodic and relaxing "Assumptions" sets a tranquil mood, which is smashed to bits on the murky electro-tech of "Funkshun", which emerges from the Drexciyan ocean to menace the inner city shadows. A skulking bassline and tight 808 programming add a dancefloor dimension to proceedings, but this is a post peak number for sure. MGUN closes the A-side with the super intense "Migraine", an electric shock of distorted drones and malfunctioning synths at about 150 BPM. If you saw the recent Drexciya "diy boiler room" set from the top of a Detroit high rise, then you know what to expect. "Flutter" is a beatless soundscape for the analogue warriors, while "In The Road" is a topsy turvy hit of slo mo techno that comes on like a bad trip. Completely mental but impossible to stay still to, this is real leftfield shit for those that dare. MGUN ends this dispatch with the sleek and minimal machine funk of "90 Sumtin" which takes aim at the heart and head with that gorgeous melody. A mixed bag, but well worth going in for the lucky dip. 

Mr. Beatnick

The Synthetes Trilogy

    Don't Be Afraid are proud to present Mr. Beatnick's Synthetes Trilogy, collected for the first time digitally and on CD alongside four new bonus tracks. Since 2011's Synthetes EP, Mr. Beatnick has been widely acknowledged as one of the most inventive producers to emerge from London in recent years. This CD collects eight of the high points from his first three DBA releases, alongside four new jams which, considered as a whole, shed light on the past, present and future of the Mr. Beatnick project. The artwork for the CD comes courtesy of illustrator Emily Evans, who lends some clues as to the themes and ideas behind the tracks via her depictions.

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