Label Favorites: Onyx Recordings & TFword 

In collaboration with TFword, award-winning drum & bass label Onyx Recordings pick their best tunes from the imprints’ diverse catalog.

Founded by Chris Wickens, and now led by Samuel Hue aka Muted Hue the Brighton-based high-impact drum & bass imprint is the epitome of how to steadily build a label and lead it to the top with the perfect balance of quality and quantity. Carrying a no-nonsense approach to their endeavors with vision, distinctiveness, and inclusivity, Onyx Recordings has brought some of the most prodigal talents along scene heavyweights, forming a catalog that represents the scene at large.

In conjunction with their eye for talent, their music also ranges from gushing face melters to calming soul soothers with releases coming from the likes of Jam Thieves, AC13, Lavance, and Trex, to name a few. Following the release of their ‘Balance’ EP last month, aimed to address the alarming gender imbalance in drum & bass and electronic music as a whole, we had the label on-board for a series of interactive features.

The next feature on this series comes as a collaboration between Onyx Recordings and TFword with members of the label and ourselves selecting our favorite tunes from the Onyx’s diverse catalog.

To begin, here are Onyx Recordings’ top 5 selections:

DJ GAW – FEELS WRONG (FEAT. A LITTLE SOUND) [Jake Hirst]

This is a really special tune. It was part of DJ Gaw’s debut album (which was also Onyx’s first artist album), and the moment I heard it I was blown away. It had a completely unexpected garage vibe but hit all the right notes. From the foley sounds of the rain to A Little Sound’s beautiful vocals – this one’s magical from start to finish.

OPERATE – IVORY (FEAT. T-MAN) [Jake Hirst]

When it comes to tunes representing the Onyx sound we love to push, this one is up there with the best we’ve put out. That blend of crisp, energetic production topped with MC vocals is a combination we’re always going to rep. Whether we’re playing it on a fat rig or on Spotify, it always hits the right notes.

INVERT ERA – HOLDING ME UNDER (FEAT. BECCA JANE GRAY) [Samuel Hue]

I was blown away when I heard this demo. The track perfectly encompasses all the best elements from the various facets of modern drum & bass, which is what we strive for here at Onyx. The track is deep, minimal and melodic, yet it carefully incorporates some heavier bass sounds and jungle-esque breaks without sacrificing the vibe. It’s one of my favorite D&B tunes.

KIPPO – SUN (FEAT. FREDDIE SKINZ) [Samuel Hue]

This tune echoes Onyx’s forward-thinking sensibilities, featuring artistic pieces of music that happen to be at D&B tempo. While the drop contains all the ingredients for a vibey, melodic roller, I’m particularly fond of the intro and the way KIPPO seamlessly transitions into the drop from Freddie’s digicore vocals on a half-time beat. I can’t say I’ve ever heard a D&B track like it and I hope it paves the way for other artists to explore this fusion of genres.

T95 – BREAK THE ICE (FEAT. DUSKEE) [Jose Mosse]

This tune is an important one for the label. At the time, it was the perfect time to get both artists involved as both them and Onyx have continued to evolve ever since that tune. It’s also one of Onyx’s most streamed tracks on Spotify.

…and here come the selections from The TFword team:

JAM THIEVES – DEXTER [Sagar]

Now operating as a solo artist, Jam Thieves’ name is synonymous to ‘just hits, no misses’. Making his debut on the label, the Brazilian producer brought his punchy, riddim-heavy sound to Onyx for a tune that has the perfect balance of funk, vocals and power.

AC13 – HEADLIGHTS [Aakanksha]

Since his debut, AC13 has only known one thing; and that is, supplying high-energy in-your-face drum & bass. Forming one of the label’s early release, ‘Headlights’ brought forth his dynamic sound, that combines pulsating vocal delivery, crunching bass noises. Proper party-starter.

CAITC – EVERYTHING YOU SAY [Pratika]

There is so much to love about this tune. Part of the ‘Balance’ EP which was released last month, Dutch producer CaitC brought her love for thrilling drum & bass music with a bright, enterprising and unapologetic number to mark her official debut.

DISRUPTA, WAEYS & SLAY – LOST SOULS [Lavanya]

When Disrupta and Waeys come together, anything they make simply cannot go wrong. Disrupta’s love for the adventurous coupled with Waeys’ dark and measured style of productions over Slay’s towering bars make this tune an unmissable number from Onyx’s catalogue.

REFRACTA – TOKYO [Ivanova]

The Scottish multi-genre producer made his debut on the label with the thought of making a long-lasting impact, and delivered what we believe is the label’s best tune. Soul, grit, and future-focused; we can go on about this tune.

Listen to Onyx Recordings’ full catalog here:

You May Also Like:
TF Spotlight: CaitC’s Thrilling Style Of Music
Know Your Artists: Onyx Recordings’ ‘Balance’ EP
Label Of The Month: Onyx Recordings
Spread the word

Comments are closed.