Total Science and DLR... Need we say any more? DLR sets the tone with his own "Thinking About Tomorrow" where a precision balanced warm tech groove carries jazz chords to unknown hypnotic pastures. "On The Edge", meanwhile, hurtles jauntily into funky town with a bassline that staggers dangerously behind the kicks creating a tripped out groove that really shouldn't work... But does. Innovative and true to the craft - Dispatch never disappoint.
It's a Bristol thing: Deep In The Jungle mainstay Audiomission rallies up the crew for four skank-packed jungle workouts. Together they lay down "Live & Let Live" and "Yeah Man" - the former hits with bouncy mid 90s jungle mischief, hurts with modern production and massages with a conscious vocal line while the latter whisks us back to the rushiest of rave meltdowns. Elsewhere Pull Up Collective go solo with the siren wailing jungle blazer "Big Up" a track that's transformed into a ragged edge amen war cry by Kartoon. Proper.
Chimpo on Exit. Is the world ready for this? Probably not. But since when did that stop guys like these? Especially with Trigga and Fox going toe-to-toe on the motorway-shredding rampage session "Ram Dance Man". Elsewhere "Bedsprings Riddim" warms up with sultry, jazzy come-to-bed tones before dropping into squeaky dancehall hanky-panky dopeness, "Suga Rush" has a touch of the old schools to its pads, breaks and pitched up vocal sample while "Stanna Stairlift" eases us into the groove with soft goosebump pads before dropping into some broad canvas stroke breaks which wouldn't have gone amiss on an old Big Bud record. Magnificent.
The honour of curating the 44th instalment of Katakana's Edits series has fallen on Disco Funk Spinner, a much respected re-edit guy whose work has appeared on the likes of Midnight Riot, Disco Fruit and Sound Exhibitions. Here though he only manages to provide two jams, but it's quality, not quantity, right? First up we get "Night Strangers" which takes loops from Candi Staton's Bee Gees cover (Nights On Broadway) and adds an accelerated disco house tempo and subtle but funky embellishments. On the digital flip is "On Fire", a clever rework of Peggy Lee's indestructible classic, Fever. Hot stuff!
Ben Sun made his debut back in 2013, delivering a chunk of life-affirming deep house for Quintessentials' Thanks You Freaks compilation. Three years on, Delusions of Grandeur has handed him the opportunity to showcase his talents over a three-track E.P. His style, which blends elements of electronic disco, deep house and glassy-eyed Balearica, is perfectly suited to the Freerange offshoot. Particularly enjoyable is "Star Ritual", where trippy, delay-laden boogie vocal samples ride a reverb-heavy, African-influenced drum rhythm and undulating, analogue bassline. Elsewhere, shirts may be removed for the bleep-heavy nu-disco/deep house fusion of "Full Moon", while the overwhelmingly tactile "Glass Waves" is little less than a piano-heavy chunk of early Italian deep house revivalism.
Joey Negro has ordained Scandi producer Opolopo to work his magic on this, the latest Z Records comp. This he does and then some, literally zig zagging his way through Z Records' back catalogue like a louche disco serpent. He eventually whittled things down to 35 tracks, all of which are contained here both as full tracks and within his DJ mix. Exclusives include new Opolopo reworks of "Staying Power" and his own "Sustain". Other highlights include the speedy smooth funk of "Midnight Sun" by Doug Willis and the sensual grooves of "Face The Face" by The Sunburst Band.
Most discerning D&B fans have been anticipating this one for years now but it's safe to say few of us had any idea just how soulful and widescreen Mutated Forms' debut album would be. From the soft-touch pianos and yearning vocal sample of opener "We Belong" it's clear the Estonian duo mean business. Highlights hang off every corner like casually baggy threads; the cosmic flutters of "Alright", the rising hype build and deep throat bass and halftime drums of "Amazonica", the overwhelming exuberance of the horns on "Revelations", the 22nd century R&B of "Heaven Sent", the list goes on. Both as singular tracks for DJs and as a whole body of work, this album really does confirm everything we've suspected of Mutated Forms for years. Exceptional.
Frequently flexing around A.M.C's signature Titan sound (but not afraid of a little liquid soul when the time is right) Dub Motion reminds us who's boss with two more muscular peaktimers. All riff and iron trousers, "It Can Hurt You" is a real barnstorm banger with jump-up energy but techy weight. "Into The Dark" takes a deeper route with evocative synth arpeggios, a breathy vocal but equal gravity in the drums and low end. Two sides to one very heavy coin, Dub Motion's currency is high right now.
Tel Aviv's Moscoman returns to the always reliable ESP Institute for more of his infectious oddball grooves which continually defy categorisation. Much like fellow homeboys Red Axes and Autarkic, his sound sits somewhere between disco, house, synth pop, punk-funk and even balearic; and indeed that's the spectrum of sounds explored on his new album titled A Shot In The Light. There's some lo-slung, latin infused disco deepness on the "Mexican Cola Bottle Baby", trippy cosmo/psychedelic shenanigans on the hilariously titled "Losing My Wedge", the moody and entrancing journey that is the title track (which pushes the same territory as Barnt or Marvin & Guy) and there's even some darkwave electro: like on the epic closer "Death At The Funreal".
It's been a year since Slime's second instalment of their leading compilation Future Sound Of Garage series. Now the follow-up has finally arrived boasting 28 examples of what they to be consider music of the future. There are too many to name, but highlights include the ethereal and sensual future-step opener "Return" by Monoblue, the seductive, delicate chimes of the shimmering "Ever Feel" by Just Breathe, the sparse and raw 2-step of Pavv's "Let It Go" and even the uber commercial Ibiza-friendly anthem "Stone" by Project X is a (guilty) pleasure.
As Tuff City Kids, Lauer and Gerd Janson are masters at delivering raw-as-sandpaper jackin' house-pop (just the way we like it). Here though with the help of Norwegian popette Annie they indulge their hidden campy side on the monumentally fun "Labyrinth". With a classic mid-80s arpeggiated energy, the track perfectly straddles the fine line between Italo Disco and early Jamie Principle (think Bad Boy) with a hint of the Smalltown Boys. Their own TCK rework steers things more towards the Ron Hardy side of town, and there's also some tasty reworks by Morgan Geist and DJ Oyster too.
Oh gosh. DJ Hybrid has been bang on point with every plate he's dropped in the last two years. Now the men who've benefited from his bullets in their sets return the favour with this first volume of remixes from last year's album Mixed Origins; Callide takes us right back to early 2000s Fresh-style savagery on "It's Murder", Ray Keith polishes up his amen knuckle dusters on "Run Away" while Benny L adds a whole new level of floating charm to "Bring It Back". Deeper into the collection Livewire and Samurai Breaks take us right back to 92 with new school techniques, DJ LAB lays down some superlative subs on "Boom In 93", Schematic twist "Beyond My Control" into a fuzzy distorted grizzler while finally Section busts up the drums in his faithful twist on "Lost In The Music". Album remix packages really don't come broader or badder than this.
The Danish may be all serious about design, but when it comes to partying the Breakbeat Paradise crew prove that they can be as frivolous as the rest of us. Here they've rustled up a bumper packed collection of cheeky if disposable mash-ups and edits of the kind that'll go down a storm in bars and house parties. There are six offerings some highlights of which include the squelchy retro funk breaks of "Walk In Place" by F-Block, the cut-up go-go boogie of "Free Wheelin Franklin" by Kibosh and the raw big beat swing hybrid "Hit Em Hard" by Blitzkrieger.
You don't get any more NYC than Manhattan disco/deep house hero Eli Escobar who presents his debut album on Luke Solomon's Classic Music Company. Starting out with the soulful feel good opener that is the title track, there's more quality on offer on the pure disco inferno "Phreeky" featuring Hercules & Love Affair's Nomi Ruiz on vocals (who appears on several tracks throughout the albums duration) and the cheeky "Chaka Khan" which is a bouncy after-hours jam for freaks and the deep low-slung groover "Next To Me". But that's just scraping the surface. The album is full of quality grooves from start to finish, inspired by one of the Big Apple's finest talents and we highly recommend it!
It's safe to say that Kry Wolf now has a rather impressive catalogue behind him, and nothing but quality under his belt. The man behind the Sounds Of Sumo label drops his latest release for Night Bass and it seems like the perfect place for his wondrous bass cuts. "Temper" is a slow, shape-shifting beast with a rattling percussion hook that wraps perfectly around the tune's knotted swarms of swamp bass, whereas "Flashlight" unleashes a bit of four-to-the-floor beneath a sea of rave sirens and purring bass tones. "Wavvves" feels like the last piece of hardcore continuum, a break-heavy, pseudo jungle killer to tie this man's bass experimentalism in the best possible way. Hot!
Here JD Twitch, head honcho Glasgow institution Optimo, proudly presents a rarity from the unique artist Dennis Bovell. Described as being a 'musical polymath, top flight producer, dub legend and one of the finest artists the UK has ever produced', Bovell released an album in 1981 called Brain Damage which was an absolutely bonkers fusion of Afrobeat, funk, dub, jazz, blues and more. Everybody bought Duran Duran's record instead of course, but justice prevails here as both "Heaven" and "Smouche" are rescued and re-released from the LP. Also featured is the awesome Garland Jeffreys experiment "Escape Goat Dub". Absolutely essential.
Steve Huerta's first single for Amadeus, 2014's Apotheke, was widely praised for its' fusion of bumpin' deep house grooves and trippy, tech-tinged sounds. In contrast, Apache Line begins with "Mandala", a breezy, warm and lightly melodious deep house cut that benefits greatly from some intricate synth-work throughout. The deep and musically rich vibe continues on the Kaidi Tatham style broken beat-meets-jazz-funk flex of "EisTee", before Youandewan lends a hand on the bumpin', late night shuffle of "Apache Line". Youandewan gets a chance to go solo, too, completing a fine EP with the deliciously hypnotic, ocean-deep throb of "Yo Endlos".
This is some big dog business, a new Butterz special that'll please the bass and grime crews alike. Swindle is the producer, a UK badman who has appeared on labels like Mala's Deep Medi Musik, and he's accompanied by the creme de la creme of grime vocalism. "Lemon Trees" is a fast, choppy bass swinger powered by funky synth melodies and D Double E's inimitable swagger, while UK hip-hop rapper Ghetts spills some truth over "Works Haffi Run". Flava D and JME go for a head-to-head battle on the house-driven dubstep hybrid that is "Mad Ting", and to cap it all of you got an instrumental each of "Lemon Trees" and Works Haffi Run". BAD.
The clue is in the title here as Brighton-based funk label Jalepeno have rounded up fifteen of the best soul sister cuts from their mighty catalogue. Boasting a mix of old and new, and spanning quite a few different styles too, this compilation couldn't have come soon enough. Some of the many highlights featured include the powerful and bluesy soul-bearing opener, "Reckoning" by Iro FitzRoy, the candy floss tones of Berenice Van Leer on the 80s-tastic "My Mind' Made Up" by Kraak & Smaak and the muscular harmonies of Farina Miss on Featurecast's "Ego Tripping".
They just keep on coming... Zero T and Fierce are smashing out some of the most concentrated, thoroughbred drum & bass this year. But then what did you expect from two legends of this calibre? Both bringing out contrasting sides to each other (Zero T highlights Fierce's funk while Fierce encourages Zero T's darker side) each track has been a guaranteed killer. "Scatter" punches with sky-scraping drums, classic FX and a stretched MC vocal. "Inhibitor" plays the perfect foil as the wasp nest bass takes the lead role and the drums roll gently in the background. Timeless.