Rob ‘Dogger’ Smith the London-based Mancunion delivering liquid drum & bass steeped in soul. Smith sat in front of a drum kit before he could walk and played in bands throughout his teens. His musical landscape has been shaped by where he grew up. Manchester’s foreboding skies and frequent rain clouds mean, like so many Mancunian musicians that have come before him, he connects to music with a melancholy undertone, that’s provocative and emotional Dogger got into DJing, and later producing, on discovering and falling in love with jungle, tracks of influence collide, specifically in drum & bass legends Calibre and the late, great, Marcus Intalex. Beyond these Smith’s influences span David Lynch, Joy Division and Björk, as well as Alix Perez, whose label has now released his music with collaborative partner Mindstate —2019’s Broken Home EP with a second, The Time Is Yours, due imminently. The pair like their music stripped back, allowing space for the vocal line to shine, and nowhere does this ring truer than on the title track of Broken Home. Across the four tracks, singer-songwriter Liam Bailey (Bailey laid down the vocal on Chase & Status’ 2011 classic ‘Blind Faith’), brings warmth and soul to Dogger & Mindstate’s crisp and atmospheric production — with watery pads and bright chord progressions, it’s liquid at its most emotive, and its most meditative.