Welcome to Planet VIP, an exclusive collection of brand new remixes, VIPs and classic unreleased reworks. This project includes contributions from the whole of the V family, with tracks from the full gamut of legendary producers V has to offer from Roni Size and Dillinja to Eveson, DJ Krust, MC Fats & Kabuki. On remix duties are some of the scene's finest producers including Nu:Tone, TC & Need For Mirrors, alongside some of the most exciting new artists to hit the scene in years like Unreal, Command Strange, DJ Chap, Dr Meaker and many more - this compilation fuses together the new and old with scintillating results! All mixed together by the Jumpin Jack Frost, this LP ventures into the full spectrum of D&B. No matter what you love, you'll find it here.
Three years on from his debut album Under The Ice, Dutchman Icicle commits another long player to the Shogun Audio cause in the shape of Entropy. Bass weight meets sound design on this ambitious 16-track set as Jeroen Snik offers a compelling argument for his personal development since Under The Ice. What sets Entropy apart from most D&B long players at the moment is Snik's willingness to weave different stylistic elements into his productions with genuinely thrilling results. See the relentless, grime flecked nastiness of "Isolation" and the downbeat "Superimposed" for evidence, though there is still plenty of science fiction indebted bass futurism to satisfy the heads.
Given the quality of Session Victim's 2012 debut album, Haunted House of House, expectations are naturally high for this follow-up. Like its predecessor, See You When You Get There takes a widescreen approach to deep house, with the German duo drawing on a myriad of influences, from jazz ("Hey Stranger"), soundtracks ("Crystal Maze") and evocative downtempo beats (the impeccable title track), to Atmosfear-ish jazz-funk ("The Most Beautiful Divorce In The World") and, most notably, classic Balearica (see the druggy pop of "Hyuwee" and deliciously slow "EOS Place". Best of all, though, is "Never Forget", a glorious blues-house epic laden with smoky vocal samples and thrilling piano motifs.
If your immediate reaction to the news that Horizons have released a 17-track behemoth to celebrate their tenth year in existence wasn't total joy and amazement, you might not have a pulse. As a heavyweight label at the centre of the darker end of the scene, this LP has attracted mainstay names to come and show support, resulting in the most enviable roll call of the year. Kicking off with Break, artists as diverse and as legendary as Mako & Hydro, DLR, Need For Mirrors, Skitty and NickBee all come forth to spread the deep, dark, and at times industrial, love.
Beard-touting, Vienna-based producer Dorian has been bothering clubs throughout 2014 with his unique brand of hellraising, high-energy D&B smackdowns. It's in this though, the Unknown EP, that we can really start to hear his sounds come together. A fan of big, brash bass and ripped-up samples, there's still elements of chopped and changed individuality throughout, but what's here in the finished product is a cohesive, highly impressive piece of work. Not bad for a sub-genre vastly underrated by the beard-stroking massive.
Having built up his reputation via a series of well-regarded re-edit releases, Australian producer Greg Packer has recently impressed with EPs of original music on Hotbox Boogie and Hot Digits. Here he returns to the latter with the expansive Diagnosis: Disco, a collection of tracks that expertly joins the dots between warm disco and slinky deep house. Highlights are plentiful, from the baggy, filter-heavy '80s soul shuffle of "Enuff Love" and the spiralling, near Balearic rush of "Hypnotizing", to the energetic throb of the gloriously synth-laden "Keep Doin' What You're Doin". Label boss Fingerman has a pop at remixing lead cut "Trip To The Galaxy", layering Packer's warm original elements with twinkling pianos, delay-laden vocal snippets and immersive deep house chords.
Back after an absence of well over a year, the deep and moody Proxima is back in bass business, this time courtesy of Rinse. The beats are still around the 140 mark and the mood is still deep: "Trapped" kicks things off with some dark alleyway vibes - all shifty beats and general eeriness, "Fate" soon picks up the pace with some seriously anxious drum patterns and sweaty-palms-synth-pads and lastly the EP's heaviest track, "Fallout", is full of taut, writhing mechanical snarls. Still sinister, still fresh!
It's been a good four months since the last EP from formidable disco/funk/soul twosome Ed Wizard and Disco Double Dee. Here they return to the Editorial label (their usual home) with five more chunks of party-starting scalpel action. Naturally, there's plenty to get the juices flowing, from the rubbery bass, rolling grooves and undulating strings of "Boogie Box", and the whistle-laden disco-funk heaviness of "Groove Catcher", to the unfettered, looped-up sweetness of "Givin' Ya Up". Best of all, though, is the party-in-an-MP3 release of opener "Up 2 Get Down", a horn-totin' slab of disco-funk that hits all the right notes.
The scarily prolific KS French - France's most productive maker of house-friendly disco re-edits - returns with the third instalment of his ongoing Super Groove series. As usual, there's plenty to tickle the fancy of those looking for tried-and-tested, club-friendly interpretations of classic and little-known cuts. "B Rappin" does an impressive job of tweaking Blondie's "Rapture" - working the groove hard and abandoning most of the vocals - while the standout "See My Baby" offers an addictive interpretation of a familiar, low-slung disco-funk groover. Elsewhere, check the celebratory horns, hustling groove and thrilling vocals of "My Music". While KS French has added his usual metronomic house beats, it's deftly done.
Jim Coles has previously spoken about this second Om Unit full length being "a nod to the sound" of his "teenage self". Given the fact that he's rediscovered his jungle and hip hop roots in recent years, it's an accurate description. The fact that he's also mined Goldie's sample archive to help create the sound of Inversion is also telling. While it's not a straightforward jungle set - there are plenty of wonky moments, skewed downtempo interludes, footwork influences and trips into expansive IDMterritory - the skittish breaks, foreboding noises and murky textures all scream classic D&B. It adds a little spice to an already excellent set, delivering a range forward-thinking tracks with their roots firmly in the past.
Always committed to providing a platform to the boundary pushers in the London bassweight continuum, Keysound serves up another choice collection that draws on regular contributors and fresh faces for a range of styles that all hang together neatly under the Keysound banner. Logos provides a little ambient reflection, while label bosses Dusk + Blackdown head into stripped down malice on "Wot Do You Mean?! (Dub)". Wen is even more minimalistic on "It's A Lot", while Facta eschews his usual punchy fare for a lilting melodic piece entitled "Quince". Ballistiq Beats gets a tidy garage re-rub from Sully, and Etch drifts off into dreamlike breakbeat. At every turn this compilation oozes class, showing there's much more to all these artists than straight up sub-busters.
Thanks to his BBC 6Music show, self-styled "complete package" - comic, actor, radio presenter, DJ and stand-up poet - Craig Charles has become the UK's best-known funk and soul enthusiast. It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that his annual Funk & Soul Club compilations are extremely popular. This third collection is every bit as potent as predecessors, featuring as it does a riotous mix of heavy funk, horn-totin' soul revivalism, dancefloor-friendly funk breaks (Skeewiff and Stephen Gray), cheeky brass band workouts (Hot 8 Brass Band's famous cover of "Sexual Healing") and a dash of smooth soul (the effortless Omar). With all bases covered and some killer material, it should be essential listening for all those of a soul and funk persuasion.
On his first release for Deep Medi Musik this year, Commodo taps up JME for a mean lyrical flow over the top of a typically monstrous production, making a perfect dubstep / grime crossover track in the process. JME has a blast pointing back to classic reference points from Kano and Wiley and many more in his conscious MC turn, while Commodo's beat prowls in the background with that exotic charm that has always marked out his style from the rest of the pack. There's a hooky chorus and plenty of grand stabs, and for those who just want the tune the instrumental is bundled in as well. The fact that the beat stands up on its own without any trouble says a lot about Commodo's studio prowess, which is no doubt why he continues to be a mainstay on Mala's label.
The time for upfront D&B to adapt is now and Jam Thieves know where to take up their weapons. Adding a deep edge to their mix of influences was a stroke of genius, ramping up the intensity with a new wave of minimalism, tech soundboards and an influx of fresh production values. Keeping things bleak and sharp in the minimal "Africa" and "Tarantino" with its darkly demure bassy demeanour, this is a new side to the Serial Killaz label, an almost seductively mature sound from some serious talents. Get yourself immersed in this.
Having recently impressed with the superb "Flash" on Craig Bratley's admirable Magic Feet label, Rich Lane returns to his Cotton Bud imprint with "New Best Friend", a bubbling chunk of new beat-inspired nu-disco. The original version laces a wonky, pitched-down spoken word vocal over sharp synths, bubbly electronics and a bassline that's reminiscent of some of Chicken Lips' classic productions on Kingsize. It's a kind of hymn to the joys of dancing with strangers, which is no bad thing. There's an alternative Instrumental included, too, which sounds even more like Chicken Lips jamming with the Confettis in Ghent, circa 1989.
Do you want to hear a German producer get things so right you might never need to hear another liquid release in your life? Step right this way. Amaning has joined the Fokuz ranks for his first full-length LP, and within its 11 tracks are some incredible moments of pure D&B escapism. Opting to steer clear of the classic liquid route, his tunes each have a sense of his own individual sound creeping in at the corners, twisting things to another level. The "Time Warp" aspect comes from the seamless blend of faithful old school sampling and reproduction and brand new experimentations - it works and you know that it does.
The latest signings to Erol Alkan's label are Cowboy Rhythmbox aka edit king Nathan Gregory Wilkins and remixer, producer and mash-up expert Richard X. Given their past adventures and exploits, it's no surprise that Box is such a raucous affair. "We Got The Box" is based on a jacking, filtered groove with a woman intoning on repeat something to do with the title (although it sounds closer to "we got the pox"). However, it's not as impressive as "Rattle". Percussive and laced with acid, its Latino chants and insistent rhythm are sure to cause mayhem whenever they are dropped.
We're not sure where DJ Butcher keeps finding these rare and juicy joints to carve up for his Chopshop, but find them he does! His latest missive is "We Feeling Good" and totally upbeat beat slice of late '70s block rockin' disco-rap from the era of Sugarhill Records. Instrumentals and acapella versions are also supplied for maximum fun.
Solid Fool is one of those pesky "mystery artists" that are so prevalent these days - a well-regarded Austrian producer who wishes to remain nameless. Here Comes The Sun marks his debut for Yam Who's Midnight Riot imprint. His style neatly sidesteps easy categorization, utilising classic (and obscure) disco, funk, soul and electrofunk samples alongside nu-disco synths and weighty deep house grooves. It's a formula that guarantees fun-times and funk aplenty. Opener "Here Comes The Sun" is particularly good - a bumpy, thrill-a-minute fusion of P-funk bottom end, shimmering synths and vocals lifted from a classic cover of the well-known Beatles record. Elsewhere, "Lone Gone" is a delicious, toe-tapping head-nodder that adds a reggae swing to a killer disco groove, while the epic "Lovechild" is a 12-minute exercise in slowly building disco release.
UK beat maverick Mr Dubz touches down once again on the Project Allout imprint with four new slices of penetrating speed garage. "Losing It", as the name suggests, is a nutty blend of shuffling percussion and raucous, twisted basslines, while "Sekkle" is tough little grime monster for the head-nodders. "Bwoi Fi Dead" is another heavy half-time monster complete with all sorts of dread vocal shops, while "Ready Fi War" takes us back to the early-to-mid noughties when grime and hard-hitting wobble-step were being mashed up left, right and centre.