Sly's latest project has got every mandem and his dog talking. Releasing on the label he co-owns with Pacso and still under the superb guidance of Urban Agency (the guys who take care of none other than Original Sin, Taxman and Tyke no less), it's fair to say this is a big one. Bang in the middle of jump up and super-rhythmic drum and bass, there's a lot to shout about. Lead track "Hands Up" is an undeniable crowdpleaser, the heavier sounds rip out further along the tracklist. Get your hands on this as a late summer necessity.
Not just one of drum & bass's most iconic female vocalists, but also one of the most respected... Riya's work behind the scenes goes back around 15 years. As a result she's got serious reference points, a genuine understanding of proper drum & bass and a really impressive debut album that features some of the best names in D&B. Ranging from the sci-fi soars and twinkling synths of "Misunderstanding" to the out-and-out gutter slaps of "Piece Of Me" via the soul jazz jungle lushness of "Don't You Know" and the already massive lighter-raiser "As Soon As". Released at a time when a lot of female features are popping up in D&B for all the wrong reasons, Riya is the real deal... And so is this album.
Complete, unadulterated filth. Back with energy that can't be from this earth and showing off a full range of nasty bass-driven tunes, Hizzleguy returns to Biological Beats with an arsenal of relentless high energy drum and bass. You just can't beat it. Packed with tunes he produced alongside fellow destruction fanatics Riff Raff, Dub Berzerker, Kahlil and Stranger, there's no escaping this noise. And, with an entourage of supporters like Nicky Blackmarket, Hype and Majistrate, why would you want to?
Another week, another new set of high grade re-edits from the Midnight Riot label. This time round, label boss Yam Who hands a debut to Stafford-based Dave Gerrard and Rob Bairstow's Greyskooledits project. Predictably, they head straight for peaktime dancefloors with opener "Saving My Love In", a brilliantly cut-up, hustlin' rework of a well-known disco classic. They dip the tempo a little on "Hesitate", impeccably stretching out and tweaking Salsoul Orchestra's "Runaway" for modern dancefloors. Even better is "Definite Strangeness", a brilliantly dubbed-out, beatbox electro tweak of Barbara Mason's "Another Man", while "Who Do You Think You Are" sees the duo brilliantly chop-up funk classic "Mr Big Stuff" in a vintage hip-hop breaks style.
Not content with presenting us with the action-packed Gold Grooves compilation, the ever-generous Editorial are back with another meaty compilation. There are five new cuts to get to grips with here - Matt Hughes's luxurious tight-funk bass anthem "Solar Boogie", the lazy, lapping ocean beach disco of "Any Damn Time" by Danny Deluxe and the chuggin locomotive rhythms of I Gemin's "How Could It". Elsewhere Jay Airiness brings some Italo-space disco to the table with "Sunshine Grooves and "Public Transit" is slick cocktail-house at its finest.
In:Flux Audio open their first Get Fluxed compilation with the ludicrous bounce of Swedger's "Shellsuit Temptress", and it gets even sillier with the tinges of electro-swing in 1Point5's "Villian". There are more streamlined, deeper passages though, like Pavv's remix of "Hold Up" (neat vocal samples to boot) to Prude Lerude's "I Need Your Love". For beats more stripped and torn check Ramage's "Happy Days" and the Samphet's "Badman", but the best old school UKG flavours come through on Gammy and Mr LA productions. UK garage never sounded so 2015.
Long standing compadres Wickaman and Maverick show us how bootlegs are done properly... The Propellerheads' Shirley Bassey sampling "History Repeating" gets a sharp, muscular rusty drum flavour on "Beat Goes On" while "Strictly Roots" takes Althea & Donna's 1978 pop-reggae bubbler "Uptown Top Ranking" and gives it a pristine turbo flex. Sunshine skankers unite.
Powerful sonic slappage from Brighton badman Jook. Sitting somewhere between grime, dubstep and tech funk, all three cuts live to up the Certified Banger status. "Lean Back" is all about the tightly cut stabs that wrap themselves around the stop/start kicks and snares, "Alarmed" is all about the wobbles and is just waiting for a fiery flow of MC damage while "Lucy" shows us Jook's softer, star-gazing side thanks to velvet arpeggios and some really interesting sample textures buried deep among the beats.
Following hot on the heels from outings on 1978 Music Co, Logical and La Talacha, Lemon Mint transfers to Hotbox Recordings for his latest trip into hazy, disco-sampling deep house territory. He smartly explores different moods and tempos across the six original tracks, from the paring horns, woozy loops and head-nodding bump of opener "Just Like You", to the beachside bump and glistening guitars of "Maximino", the EP's most up-tempo moment. Highlights are pleasingly plentiful, with the '80s house-goes-Latin bliss of "Esmerelda" standing out. There's also a tasty bonus in the shape of a Funk District remix of "Just Like You", which somehow manages to make the groovy original even sunnier.
D Minus presents us with Hoes on Death By Bass recordings. Offended yet? If not; read on. Four nasty nasty darkside techsteppers on offer here. Obviously the affectionately titled title track with its vocoded vocals and tightly programmed beat that slaps you in the face. "West Side Grade" offers more of the same but its bassline is a right grating one! On "Sledgehammer" Traumatik proudly proclaims "I love my Cannabis/if you don't like me/drink a can of piss", right then. Finally "Another Planet" hammers the message home, a true stepper with attitude.
Veteran Italian DJ/producer Kiu D has enjoyed an eclectic career, producing D&B, nu-jazz, house and dubstep before turning to funk and disco re-edits. Here, he delivers more of the latter for Hotbox Boogie, building on the success of previous releases for Masterworks Music and Special Edition. He kicks things off with "Looking Good", a sparkling chunk of straightened out '70s funk madness, before the World of boogie-era proto house on "Don't Mind" and "Splendid Idea" (the latter boasting delicious jazz guitar and vibraphone solos). Elsewhere, check the rolling disco-funk warmth of "Bad Idea" and the bass-heavy romp of Groovemarket hook-up "House Party".
Amsterdam-based producer Olivier Boogie doesn't put out many EPs, but what he does release is usually superb. Certainly, his previous edit-heavy 12" singles on Whiskey Disco and Lumberjacks in Hell were top notch. This debut for Fingerman's Hot Digits imprint is white hot, too. Opener "Switch" delivers chunky, loop-heavy thrills in his usual disco/house fusion style, with hooky piano lines and choice vocal samples riding a sturdy, cut-up groove. There's a looser, more reverential tone about the humid, horn-heavy South American disco vibes of "Funky Tropical", while "Cyclops" and "Ooh La La" explore deeper - if not less floor-friendly - territory. Fingerman offers his own take on two of the tracks, with the eyes-close slow house flex of his "Slo-Grind" rework of "Cyclops" standing out.
Disco/house fusionist P-Sol has long since established himself amongst the higher echelons of the re-edit community, with releases to his name on such labels as Hot Digits, FKR, Editorial, DiscoDat, and Masterworks Music. Here he pops up on Rebel Hearts with another trio of tried-and-tested reworks. The Brooklyn-based producer begins with "Take It Off", a smooth, low-slung disco-funk bumper that sounds like a blazed take on Soundstream. There's more of a celebratory feel to the filter-heavy bounce of "Going Way Back", an impressive re-imagining of Odyssey's "Going Back To My Roots" that focuses on short, lesser-known excerpts of the 12" version. Finally, he returns to disco-funk for a heavyweight re-interpretation of "Bus Stop" - entitled "Don't Stop" - that makes great use of the original organ solos.
Current darlings of the deep house Wolf Music continue on with what they do best on these three reliable dancefloor fillers courtesy of Bristol's Thrilogy. First up "Heaven" and its uplifting piano roll complete with jazz vocals and a pumping swing fuelled beat does the business quite well. Next we've got "Hold Me In Your Arms" which takes things deeper, with sultry female backing vocals and rolling bassline.. But the uplifting piano roll remains; don't worry! Lastly the K 98 remix of "heaven" injects some serious stomp and tempo into the track that tears through the speakers with its hard house intensity.
Kompakt's annual label sampler returns for a 15th year, gathering together another 24 highlights from the long running Cologne imprint's ever growing back catalogue. As usual, there are numerous styles represented - from the spiraling dancefloor synth-pop of Kolsch and punk-influenced techno of Audion, to the soft focus melodies and hypnotic beats of Gui Boratto, and the intoxicating global electronics of Jurgen Paap - as well as much-played tracks from some of the imprint's most notable talents (see the contributions from Rex The Dog, Superpitcher, Matias Aguayo and John Tejada, whose "Two O One" is a tuneful techno delight).
With its' live-sounding disco beats, killer bass guitar parts and nagging clavinet hooks, Joey Negro's Funk Equation mix of new single "Free Bass" sounds a little like the retro-futurist brilliance of forgotten French producer Blackjoy. While tight and rolling enough for house sets, it's effectively a "proper" disco record - albeit one with more than a hint of delay-heavy psychedelia amongst the cheery clav lines and killer bass. Shield and Corrado Bucci provide a tasty "re-edit" on the virtual flipside, adding long, drawn out chords and additional percussion for neat deep house-meets-classic disco feel. Both tracks are tailor-made for peak time sets.
Break's third album Simpler Times is rapidly en route. And here's another sampler to stop us all from getting on a train to Bristol and camping outside his house until the full deal is released. "Free Your Mind" opens with a lush reggae feel, very much like his "Love So True" anthem a few years back. Complete with the unfailing dulcets of Fats, it's totally spotless and highly soulful. Looking for some new dirty? Look no further; "Brand New" is another textbook slab from Break's darker pantry; a waspy bassline, interesting rhythm sounds and a groove so thick and deep you could stash an elephant in it... No one does D&B quite like Break.
Oh boy... Last time these two roustabouts collided in the studio "Mythos" happened... And became one of the biggest D&B tracks of 2013. Expectations have been set high since both parties teased us earlier this year. And thankfully we've not been let down; "Footpath" (which also features the perennial Kiwis The Upbeats) is a savage roller that sounds like live electricity lashing out of your speakers. "Leibniz" takes us deeper into the neuro badlands with full emphasis on the undulating bassline and strange textured loop. One for the build-up, one for the pay-off... Insideinfo and Mefjus never disappoint.
The latest curator of the esteemed series of groovy re-edits is none other than rising star, Ree Keen. There's four reworks featured here, all of which perfectly capture the noted diversity of his influences. Opener "Blue Devils" is all bluesy looped nonchalance, "Smooth Changes" is a party ragtime jaunt through Annie-style musical swing. "Horny Me Swing" is a mash-up of Mousse T and big band jive that's as improbable as it sounds and "Paper Bossa Loser" fuses vintage Beck with chiming, sunkissed bossa nova. It shouldn't work, but it does!
Bristol's Futureboogie return with some sure fire nu-disco grooves to get any party started. London's Jay Shepheard is on board with "Henry's Theme" sporting an early nineties house vibe. Next up is PBR Streetgang from Leeds doing their thing with a nice journey via a progressive house sound on "Suel Baril". There's also local Bristolian Lukas doing more of his low slung slo mo disco business and Phil Gerus with "Never Coming Back".