This epic release comes just in time for jungle's optimum time of year. We're talking, of course, about midsummer raves, outdoor parties and general naughtiness in the sun and "Rise of the Soldiers" has got all that nastiness and more. Packed with vintage samples from the golden days of ragga, reggae and soundsystem culture, and perked up with fast-paced drum and bass riddims and bass heavier than Jabba the Hutt's mama, you can't afford to sleep on this. Featuring Saxxon, Bladerunner, Supreme Being and Coda to name just some, there's enough talent here to get any self-respecting VIP BBQ off to a flyer. Get a shuffle on.
Valique's decision to shift his emphasis from funk breaks to disco edits a few years back now seems a wise one. His popular V's Edits series is now on its 17th volume, and as usual there's plenty of tried-and-tested dancefloor fodder on offer. While the EP's most outstanding track is a winding, decidedly Balearic, downtempo remix of Bryan Ferry's "Slave To Love", the rest of the EP is a funky and forthright as you'd expect. Highlights include a bouncy rework of Michael Jackson ("Heart B"), and an oh-so-smooth cut-up of Billy Paul (the sumptuous strings and eyes-closed guitar solos of "Sooner or Later"), but to be honest it's all pretty darn tasty.
Last year, Melbourne's Harvey Sutherland signaled his arrival in emphatic fashion with the acclaimed Brothers EP for Voyage Recordings - a sumptuous, soul-flecked EP of boogie-influenced deep house. Here, he continues to impress with a superb tracks for Dani Plessow's MCDE imprint. "Bermuda" is deliciously warm and summery, with jaunty boogie synths and cascading chords riding a smooth, shuffling deep house groove. "New Paradise" works the same formula hard, with dreamy, held-note chords and bubbly synthesizer melodies wrapping themselves around loose, analogue-sounding percussion and a rich bassline. If there were any doubts about his talents moving forward, this should dispel them. Clearly, Sutherland is here to stay.
Jubei writing about his true form gets everyone nervous, because if the stuff he was pushing out before wasn't raw enough, how much darker can it get? True to form, this extended EP is a gold ticket to all that's good in the world of drum and bass here in the middle of the 2010s. From start to finish those bottomless basslines roll out into huge caverns of sound, where empty space plays with constricted percussion and tight, original song writing and stunning musical ideas from like-minded producers. Jubei is killing it and if you're in his way, prepare to be converted.
Given the sheer amount of material released by KS French's FKR label, their occasional Le Creme Edits compilations - a kind of 'greatest hits of re-edits' - are a godsend for those who haven't got the time to trawl through the imprint's vast back catalogue. There's naturally plenty of much-played fare on this second volume, with French Touch and deep house-influenced disco-house cut-ups from the likes of P Sol, Soultronic, Mastercue and KS French. In terms of highlights, look out for some typically loopy and soulful material from LTJ, a delicious electrofunk scalpel job from Jay-Ru, and a delicious chunk of pitched-down disco-funk bliss from Bab Barbie vs Evil Smarty.
Aroop delivers the third instalment of his "Brazil Breakdown" series with three of his floor-fired reworks to date. "Brilhantina" is a percussion-heavy slice of four-to-the-floor soul with synths straight out of the Detroit playbook. "Quem Vai Querer" ups the ante with a juicy bottom end (think mid 00's Yam Who), feel-good chants and a conga roll so hypnotic you'll be shaking your hips for hours. Finally we hit "O Mestre"; rich in warm reverbed synths and coated with a pristine-polished 80s soul vocal, this will work well on both sides of the night. Honey coated warm up or an emotional finale.
Ah, it's finally the summer and where would we be without a DJ Koze record to accompany those long, open-air parties? The title track is a lush, string-filled affair that chugs along slowly. It's made all the more trippy by a female vocal whose narrative begins with the claim that 'everyone is experimenting with ecstasy' and who goes on to talk about lies and meditation. If that sounds too cosmic for you, then we recommend that you check out "Knee on Belly". It could be the German artist's version of '90s disco house, but realized against a gentle minimal house backdrop.
Well over a year has passed since Deep Heads' inaugural Deep Heads Dubstep collection so the London label are making up for lost time by recruiting Bristol's ever-awesome Phaeleh for selection and blending duties. The result is a sprawling 32 track saga that digs deep into both the label and the genre's psyche. Ranging from classics such as Submo's 2010 vocal gem "Sunshine" to Phaeleh's own universally uniting remix of Hatti Vatti's "You" by way of show-stopping burners such as N Dread's kick-heavy two-step shimmy-shaker "Wonderful" and Reso's star-gazing mechanical roller "Hemisphere", it's yet another essential compendium from one bass music's most reliable, forward-thinking labels.
Moonshine's manoeuvres in the deep continue to impress with this highly accomplished collaborative remix album. A throwback to their original Steppin' Forward album - released March 2014 - the Jamaican label have given each contributor the parts to a fellow label mate's tune and asked them to get creative. The results are as consistent and progressive as the original. Every track is a highlight but stand-out essentials include the bubblesome digidub of Bukkha's juicy switch on Tuff & Powa's "Outlaw Music", Adam Prescott's sinewy shakedown of RSD's "Know U 2" and the foamy subs and wriggling melodica on Roommate's version of Alpha Steppa's "Shinkansen".
With Neon Disco, Italian producer Dimitri Ferrari welcomes a new name to his Sound Exhibitions label. Disco/house fusionist Dee-Licious hails from Leeds, and makes the kind of baggy, sun-kissed, groovy reworks that gleefully blend the boundaries between the humble re-edit and more ambitious original productions. The five tracks here all seemed designed to work well at summer festivals, from the breezy beats and spiralling strings of "Easy Lover" and hazy, filter-heavy pulse of "Goody Goody", to the sensual '80s soul/Jam & Lewis style goodness of "Dreams". Best of all, though, is the low-slung, stripped-back disco-funk meets-house bump of "We Beg Your Pardon".
The mysterious Labor of Love crew has quietly been building a reputation online for some time now, via a combination of free edit giveaways and occasional contributions to compilations from Hot Digits and Deep Sense. Here, they present their debut EP for Hotbox Boogie, a collection of tried-and-tested reworks that offer the perfect balance between house-friendly chunkiness and original disco/boogie flavours. There's much to admire throughout, from the extended saxophone breaks and rubbery disco-funk shuffle of "The Time Is Now", to the hypnotic, Italo-influenced drug-chug of "Ah Suki Suki", seemingly a rework of Fern Kinney's "Groove Me". Best of all, though, is "Sing All Night", a delay-heavy dub disco re-cut of Gaz's "Sing" that wisely emphasizes the classic drum breaks and killer bassline.
On his first outing on DJ Butcher's Chop Shop imprint, Edinburgh-based producer Le Visiteur has clearly got his sights set on outdoor parties. The Sunshine EP is nothing less than a celebration of the kind of dusty, down-low disco that sounds great blasting out of sound systems on Adriatic boat parties, Ibizan terraces and impromptu pub garden rave-ups. All three tracks are killer, from the sinewy, string-drenched, hands-in-the-air disco of "Groove", to the gospel disco brilliance of "Let The Sunshine". "My Gang", a suitably heavy rearrangement of Hamilton Bohannon's "Me & My Gang", is pretty hot, too.
Riya gets her own release. It's about freaking time. The soulful siren of the underground for ten years, there aren't many people who are better connected or more respected amongst the 'good guys' of UK, European and Brazilian drum and bass than this lady. She's a force to be reckoned with. Working with Dynamite MC, Villem, McLeod and Break on this stunner of a two-track, the beats drop hard and the bass rolls deep. But really, what did you expect? If you call yourself a drum and bass fan, pick this up as soon as your fingers stop tapping to the sample of "I Don't Need".
Blimey! London's Mike Delinquent steps out of his usual Champion home and he's brought along the legendary MC Neat with him on the ones and twos, for the newly founded Zeus Sound. The two have conjured four cuts of their new "Hype Ting" cut, the club and radio mixes being the two floor-fillers, a pair of UK garage steppers that take us back to the early noughties when the likes of Oxide & Neutrino were churning out tunes. You also get a deeper dub mix of the original, leaving room for the percussion to flex, and an instrumental, for the DJs.
For all the success of his re-edits, original Greg Wilson compositions have been few and far between since the veteran DJ's return to action in the early 2000s. "Summer Came My Way" - designed as a vehicle for Merseyside sisters Katherine and Carmel Reynolds - is his first production of note since 2008's Yolanta Sy collaboration with Ilija Rudman. Reworked into a midtempo chunk of hazy, Balearic disco by L.A's Luxxury, it seems destined to become something of an anthem at sun-baked summer festivals. Luxxury's versions - available in radio-friendly and full-on 10 minute variants - are joined by a brilliantly deep, electronic, downtempo revision from Walter Ego that gives due prominence to Katherine Reynolds' brilliant lead vocals.
A rallying cry for the junglists out in the place who never got to truly experience the raw ferocity of '90s rave culture in all its finery, "Junglist Fever" is as close to the feeling of those renegade times as we've heard of late. Wildly patterned drums and pads facing off with unravelled vocals; horns and soundboy samples blowing up all over the breaks; stressy synth stabs lighting up the breakdowns: this is the sound of all the nights you'll never remember. But they always say, you'll never sit back one day and congratulate yourself on the nights you stayed in with a milky brew.
If you're left scratching your head after reading the title of this release, nothing we say here can help you. Saxxon has become Liquid V's leading authority on jazz and all its sexy nuances. This EP has been tailored to suit those of a more soulful persuasion - and that's not to say there's nothing here for the bass heads - the level of low weightiness is off the scale. Let the jazz and the bass melt together into a perfect world of deep, funky relaxation.
Here's something of a pleasant surprise: Studio Barnhus co-founder Kornel Kovacs turning up on Glasgow's masters of all things dancefloor-friendly, Numbers. While there's a little more of a garage swing to opener "Lighthouse" - think darting string samples, booming sub-bass and energetic deep house drums - the Swede doesn't seem to have wandered that far off-piste. So, we get some undeniably classy, jazz-flecked deep house (the rubbery and flexible "Gangsta"), a surging, saucer-eyed dose of piano revivalism ("Malon", featuring Marcus Price, and some suitably jumpy drums), and, best of all, the late '80s Paradise Garage Latin house brilliance of "Pantalon". Stellar stuff, all told.
Since his previous installment of his Serious Edits series in May, Serbia's Loshmi (aka Tonbe) has clearly had a purple patch, having already rustled up another six disco-house bombs for Volume 7. Highlights include thumping new wave groover "Be With Me", the teched-up Chic-style slinker "Coming With You" and the catchy '80s pop vibes of "Honest With Me".
Marseille's finest DJ Steef steps up to the plate for the next Foto release, supplying three hefty house tracks of varying tempo's and moods. Main jam 'Shaking' kicks off proceedings with a chopped-up break and kicking groove before a piano-laden mid-section sends the temperature rising. Next up Freeters hits heavy on the pitch-down vibe with some wonky electronics underpinned by a solid 4/4 low end. Over on the flip big bossman The Revenge hits back with a trademark stripped-out mix of Shaking which is heavy on the machine funk. Rounding things off Mojica Tribe is an altogether deeper number with smooth pads and an ethereal atmosphere.