Reviewed this week
Having let off some serious stinkers on Hybrid's Audio Addict earlier this year Agro returns to his own imprint with five more blunt-nosed scudders. Once again, it's an understated affair which hits best with its low-swung technique - more rolling than jumpy, more grumbling that shouty, it's the type of tunes you'd expect to hear Randall play at 3am. Highlights come in the form of every track but don't sleep on the elastic bass stretches and sultry vocal on "All The Time" (with Raz), the ludicrously flabby bass on the brilliantly titled "Big Food Mover" and the epic, not to mention sandpapery, collabo between Aggers, Greezey and Kumarachi "AZR". Score settled.



Snake killing: a highly dangerous occupation practiced only by the likes of Chuck Norris, Bear Grylls, Andre The Giant (ask your dad) and stone cold vibe-firing junglists like DJ Limited... A man who's not missed a trick lately. Following releases on Serial Killaz and Biological Beats he returns to Heist's Co-Lab with a six-pack that contains some of his best tracks to date... "Kill The Snake", an absolute blinder of a riff track that mixes with everything and sticks in your head like pure gorilla glue. Other crucial cuts include the flabby wobbles of "Famous On Earth", the stripped back theatrics of, switches and guitar glitches of "Right On Time" and the classic off-beat shake down of "The Purpose". Tl,dr: Absolute murderation (of snakes and soundboys)
Vital returns to Bournemouth bass HQ Unauthorised Audio with four supreme slicers. All tracks wholly focused on the bass riff, "Deadly Zone" cuts deep with rusty harmonic tones, "Heavyweight Sound" trims you down with a beautifully fat wobble on the bottom end, "Hot Of The Press" dices you to your bare bones with its blunt toxic bass while "Bruck It Up" carves you limb by limb with to the sound of a rubber ball bassline. Finally we have the stabber of the set: "Insane" where a freaky, ricochet bassline pings off the breaks and beneath a well-sculpted vocal sample. Cutty.
Talk about best man for the job. Charlie Break, while not Bristol by birth, represents the exciting sound and energy that still emanates from one of the UK's most exciting cities. Loose, rattling, rolling with a latent funk and jazziness - Break has consistently delivered the vibes Technimatic were celebrating with the original tune. Naturally he's done them proud with a switch in the lower end hook and a rugged set of drums. Precision reversion.
Fire in the hole! Jaydan continues his prolific cavalcade of crucialness with four more savage jams as he makes his long-overdue debut on Maji's Sweet Tooth. Big riff thunder pieces tailored for deep mix head-twisting, across the set we're kicked in the guts by the sandpaper riff on "Pagan Times", pushed into a deep hole with the anarchic atonal grit of "Snitch", our arms are ripped off as we salute too hard to the early Propaganda style "Tear It Down" and we skank ourselves to death with the ace jungle lash out "Run Da Riddim". Shots fired? Shots hired more like.
Get that radar of yours and whack Dutty Bass Audio on it. A brand new jungle label from Toronto who are launching with this serious statement of V/A intent. Featuring some of the most exciting names to come through in the last few years, K Jah vamps up the force with a brutal homage to the old school, RMS lets us loose with a groaning ode to the mid 90s (with added 22nd century bass groans) and Too Greezey slaps us silly with a widescreen break and expert reverse wobble sitting obesely underneath. Other highlights include Konz' stripped back slinker "Breathe", Brockout's breezy cosmic roller "The Note" and the savage neuro finale that is Skaylz & The Junk-e's "Off The Grid"
Usually when man hits road with a VIP it goes harder, right? Not in the case of this fugly roller from a true king among junglists T>I. Here he's taken the heavily supported and highly distinctive bassline of last year's banger "The Gorgon" and pressurised it into a much more physical sub bass sensation to subtle heads-down effect. The same can be said for his take on Damage Report's "Snooper" as he switches out the in-you-face weirdness of the OG bassline and teases us with the texture over a much more dense sub twist. Basically the bigger the systems you play this on, the better they sound.
The clue is in the title mate: Ruff Rollerz... Delivered by one of Manchester's most consistent and authentic jungle imprints since Sappo's Advisory. Epicentre grabs our crotch with an iced out riffer, Warhead gives us the finger with some heavily tribalized drum damage, Bou-affiliate Jamoh cooks up a low-swung waspy bassline-riddled Voltage-style shaker while newcomer Kovert Sounds juices up the rave machine and twists up the elements in quite an astonishing way. Finally Buckfast-swigging buccaneer Sl8r returns with another hardcore homage that switches so sexily into a percussive minimal drop you might need new trousers. Get on this now mate.
Shogun young bucks Pola and Bryson find their way back into our lives with their second EP of the year. Once again it's four tracks. Once again it's deep, restrained and covers a lot of bases. Once again you'll be hyping up crowds and wooing up your lover... "Delphic Underworld" is a heads-down hypnotiser, "Unsaid" is a soft-focus vocal cut that makes you feel all mushy inside, "Hyperborean" reveals a much darker underbelly to the UK duo with its groaning bass tones while "Mind Seasons" closes with a weave of drifting pianos and subtly sinister bass.
See di hit man ah come! This has to be the most definitive collection of one of the most rewound jungle bangers of all time, "Hit Man" has been sampled / remixed / bootlegged and refixed more than most tunes and there's a good reason... Cutty's cult vocals were sampled and processed to perfection by Cain in the first place. Iconic, whichever era it's been re-imagined, from Benny L's insane new flex or DJ Hype's classic amen-rattler, it always bangs. There's a remix for every occasion right here. Quintessential.
It's a good time to be an Artificial Intelligence fan. Hot on the heels of their "Reprisal" EP on Headz they return to their Integral mothership for four more understated slices of golden drum & bass. "Ask Yourself" teases with shades of cut up vocal soul over a heavily textured groove and loose percussive elements while "True Colours" goes all-out dreamy with a string hook and vocal to die for. Deeper into the EP we chow for the barbed banquet of futurist soul that is "Waiting For" followed by the soothing stepper palette of "Holding Out". Truth.
Toulouse representing! Young Monty steps out for his debut 1985 release... And it's a bit of an occasion; he's the first artist to have their own EP on the label beyond Perez and his and Eprom's Shades project. Naturally he's delivered; "Hold Me Back" is deliciously space age and soulful, "The Underground Fable" is all about the highly-sprung steps and stark minimal shivers, "Spongy Conversation" continues the stark vocal theme over a grimy riddim that's not too far away from Commix at their finest while "The Savage Chase" takes us right down the roller rabbit hole with moody pressure and deep fog horn bass sweeps. Killer.
Mind Of A Dragon quietly slips in another fine album here, this time through the Red Balloon Dubs imprint, and we finally have to say that this producer is underrated among the world of riding garage talents. Moreover, Keep Cracking On is a pure LP, with all its tunes working for each other rather than next to each other; subtle garage infusions grow and shrink with total balance, starting off with docile drum swings that slowly develop into jazzier, more melodic frameworks, and finally into veritable club steppers with a vintage frame of mind that still sounds fresh and unchallenged. Don't sleep!
The phantom badman menace returns... Coventry vibe king Hybrid hands over the parts of last year's Jungle War track "What Else" to a host of label mates and newcomers and the results are so sick you'll need a shower once you've heard them. Those after hard-hitting early 2000s style sci-fi savagery should look no further than RMS while those in need of a heads-down soul roll-out will be pleased with Swerve's twist. Elsewhere we have Epicentre and MSdoS junglising your life inside out, Audiomission sandpapering your baby-soft face and the absolutely stinking VIP from the man himself. Proper jungle dynamite. What else is there to say?
Take the sound of a million rifles firing in your face. That's the level of power and ferociousness we're dealing with from this St Petersburg pact: Multi Function regular Ozma and Claypso Muzak affiliate Lowriderz. "Assassins" is the million gun facial salute, "Burr Bwoy" is a concentrated can of mosh whoop-ass while "Bone Crunching" lives up to its name with its multi-textured basses and creeped out arpeggio. Finally we're taken to the theatre for all the fun of the orchestral fair on the gully galloping "Break Your Move". You want more? You got it... A neck breaking remix from Klay. Knock out.
Building on his Subway cameo on last month's "New Wave" EP with Silent Storm, Certified returns with an entire four track EP. File under: Absolute stinkers, each cut slaps and scraps with gully riff energy and twists along each tale. "The Dark" is all horror and groaning bass, "Begging For More" rips up a classic hardcore-style piano/vocal hook before belching out a bassline swampy enough to poison your own personal water supply while "Impress The Audience" takes the prize of the most subversive track on the pack with its tripped-out riff and swinging percussion. "Allow It" closes on an old school laser blazing shred up. Vibes.
Riffs alive! Macky Gee flexes hard right here as "Aftershock" flips between a heavenly euphoric feel good vocal hook and one of the most infectious basslines he's ever conjured. Dig deeper into this bassline treasure chest for tin-can kicking scrappage on "Make Me Feel", tongue in cheek hedonism on "Rave To The Grave", darker techier twists on "Suspicious" and a whole load more. All stacked up with big sing-along bottom ends, this is one of Macky's biggest EPs in a very long time.
Lick you up, lick you down: Jedi's back on NWS with yet another raunchy portfolio of party pieces. The title track teases with a sexy R&B message of bedtime freakery before dropping into a bassline so fat it needs medical assistance. What follows is a string of chaotic scenes with highlights including the pure agro-punk of "Man A Bad Man", the depth plunge bassline stretches of "Now Drop" and the blunt funk Q&A sass of "Supreme Being". A homage to one of Leicester's finest jump up operators or just a statement of status? He's bang on the money either way.
With Tel Aviv duo Red Axes' ode to the sun still running strong; one and a half years after its release: here comes the heavyweight remix package. German wunderkind Konstantin Sibold takes the original into afro rave territory with voodoo percussion and a haunting bassline that will be hard to escape from. Fango from the Italian label Degustibis continues his string of strong remixes as he turns the original into a rough beat version: just drop the melody in the break for maximum dancefloor mayhem. And last but not least the Axes themselves come up with a tropical house version that works any time any place. And thus the sun continues to shine.
Bingo Beats head honcho DJ Zinc teams up with 2-step legend MJ Cole here, on its sub label Bingo Bass. The man behind the legendary Mercury Prize winning Sincere LP has gone on to produce for everyone from Dizzee Rascal and Wiley to Mary J Blige over the years. Here he makes a tremendous return to form with "Interbass", this tough and bouncy bassline track will shake the walls and have the crowd shaking their behinds too, no doubt!