DJ Limited is a wanted man right now. Nicky Blackmarket, Sigma and Ed Rush all want a piece, but nobody even knows his true identity, yet. Teamed with Fatman D on "London Slums", Limited absolutely kills it with tune after tune of serious hurters. For total annihilation, look no further than "Biological Warfare", or the smooth-starting "Orders", however there is a more technical side to this production guru too, which is audible in both mixes of the immense "London Slums". Currently taking late night radio and dancefloors everywhere by storm, it's this year's biggest contender. Get in the know.
Forgoing drum and bass momentarily to give an electro-trance-fuelled introduction that could rattle Alan Braxe's cage, the rest of this Voltage LP gets straight down to sample-riddled business. Hard, fast and showing now mercy, there's a lot of power in this list of punchy set builders. Samples come from places you wouldn't expect either: "Step On Necks" sounds badass enough to have sections lifted from an original mafia movie when in fact it has dialogue from Robin Hood (not the Men In Tights version). Voltage might be grounded in jump-up drum and bass, but there are definite flashes of Break, Calibre and Optive & BTK too, creating a much bigger, much more interesting picture. Expect good things.
Of late, Dave Gerrard has been gallivanting around town, flirting with all the hottest re-edit labels going. His latest musical paramour is none other than Hot Digits, a freshly squeezed clinch of which the fruits are certainly not made from concentrate. Once again uplifting '70s party vibes are the order of the day, with "Use My Body" being a slow, twanging raunch-fest, while "Coming To You Live" is a hypnotic brassy disco pulsator. "Something That You Do To Me" sounds like the Jackson family at their glittery peak, and finally "Feel So Good" ends proceedings with a breaky, melodramatic mood-jam.
Antipodean disco dabbler, Dr Packer, will see you now. He's now reopened his surgery and this fifth volume is simply bursting with stuff that's good for you. There are eight new jams in total including the cheeky pop ragga of "Sensi", the well-oiled bass machine "Get Down" and electro-funk squelcher "One For Me". A fine remedy for any disco related ailment!
Having recently concentrated on handing debuts to little-known artists, Midnight Riot has decided to take a slightly different approach for this latest outing. It comes from Trujillo, a man whose Balearic inclined blends of deep house and nu-disco have previously impressed via Spain's Apersonal imprint. As usual, there's much to enjoy, from the sunny shuffle, soulful vocals (seemingly borrowed from an R&B record) and cute Balearic touches of "Makin' Me High", to the head-nodding, nu-disco-goes-hip-house loveliness of "Postin' High". Also worth a look is "Fur Hildegard Von Disco", a deliciously hazy, sun-kissed chugger built around sweet, delay-laden guitars, baggy grooves and Prince style vocal hooks (drenched, naturally, in plenty of delay).
Danish deep house talent Paxton Fettel unleashes three disco-infused house cuts through disco specialists Apersonal Music. Fettel joins the family of the label's fine roster of retro-tone music makers backed up with a Jimpster remix. Always in the search of timeless music pieces the Spanish imprint sure found a fine exponent of their unique trippy melodic universe with Fettel's offer on this EP. "She's All Right", "Sundown, as the Beat Gently Skips" and "Tripped Out" make a solid statement of nu-disco editing in a house fashion, new to the artist but with a solid experience on the label's trajectory. To push the boundaries of Fettel's sound no other than high-fi music creator Jimpster to remix "She's All Right", opening a special space for the track on any dance floor filled with raving house lovers.
Seriously - seriously - before any more words are said, just get your mitts on this LP. A seminal piece of work, it charts a decade in the life of Vision Recordings, the label at the foremost terrifying edge of neurofunk and beyond. Sharing the strobes with Black Sun Empire, Phace, Spor, The Upbeats and Calyx, and Teebee, it's hard to imagine what on earth drum and bass sounded like without these guys tearing a hole in the space time continuum every time they dropped a new EP. Black-hearted excitement from the darkest recesses of Europe. Don't pretend you don't need to hear "Diplodocus" one more time.
If you're into grumbling grooves, bass as thick as half-set concrete and drums that sound like no other dubstep producer's, then Biome's "Cypher" EP is so up your street it's built a granny annex upside your bedroom. The title-track is Biome at his grumpiest; all slug bass and anvil halfsteps. "Rumble" flips the switch with a genuinely unique beat that nods towards hip-hop or quarter-speed jungle much more than it does dubstep. "Sentinel" goes back to the deep dungeon lab with a swaggering half-step and a bassline seemingly made of a swarm of wheezing wasps, while "Stone Throw" maintains that deep, minimal technoid flavour but with more emphasis on some interestingly pitched drums. "Man Made" closes the show with yet more unique rhythmic arrangements and an eerie prayer call that's so cold it could summon the spirit of Cthulhu himself.
From a glorious rolling start to shimmering, euphoria-high end, this various artist EP exudes the sort of good time feelings that usually only come with hearing liquid drum and bass on a gorgeous beach somewhere. In lieu of that scenario, this release offers sunny sounds and vibes that are enough to fool you into being there. Which is just perfect. "Blue" kicks us off with beautiful piano and sax, Flowrian's remix of "Rarities" is a flowing, bass-driven romp around funky brass and Pulsaar's "Maximillian" remix takes an edgier detour through junglist bass and percussion. Finally Rhodesomes gets a Soul Structure overhaul complete with sexy brass and an even more sultry vibe. Liquid perfection.
Just weeks have passed since he treated us to volume one, NY P-Sol editor returns with another varied selection of disco funk versions. "On A Trip" adds a little contemporary production magic to the Garden Of Eden's long-lost classic. "Good Years" is a full fuelled funk bluster with an empowering spoken word sample, "Body Language" slaps hard with squidgy synth bass boogie punches, while "This Must Be Home" takes Eno & Byrne on a whimsical funk mission in a Cadillac made of pure post-disco magic.
Sophomore session heaviness: Joker returns with his long-awaited second album The Mainframe, and it's clear his purple shades are still hooked on tight. Developing his distinctive brew of bass and rich synth funk, Joker's unique signature is scribbled across the whole piece of work; from the epic, orchestral dubstep drama of "Boss Mode" to the gritty, widescreen R&B of "Wise Enough" via the Swindle-style jazz of "An Intervening Episode" and the concept-style three-piece "Scene" narrative where the real tale of album unfolds. Second album cliches are ten a penny... The Mainframe sees Joker shoving his purple-gloved finger up at them all. Essential.
Polish premier league dubster RG takes us on one of his best version excursions to date. The YT-fronted "Stay Calm" is one of the many highlights from his second album Subconscious and here it comes complete with three brand new reflexes: the "Digitalizer Dub" is a straight up digi-dub instrumental twist, "Sound System" sees him teaming up with Irish don Cian Finn once again for a raw, club-focused repurpose while El Fata adds a softer, more soulful vocal polish that's not dissimilar to that of Horace Andy.
Midland murker Holy Goof has already created some neat momentum as a DJ with appearances at the likes of Butterz and Jamz. Now he makes his EP debut with two defiantly gritty bassline house scud missiles. "Telling You" thunders with industrial strength 4/4 beats and a bitter bassline that worms with detuned grit. "Need You" flips the vibe with a little more organ action, more focus on the vocal while retaining the toxic darkness he's becoming known. Heavy.
Golden soul and a fresh take on jungle sets the pace on "Just Can't Give You Up", a fast-rolling rendition of a motown classic revisited for the dancefloor craving folks of 2015. On any normal day this would be good enough to get any set off to a flyer, but the deep down bassline gets under the skin making it shine out as an instant classic. "Don't Want Me Now" is melancholy and expressive without ruining the dancefloor vibe, which is always a pleasant surprise. Rolling along smooth and deep, Furney can't help it - he just loves creating liquid rollers for Soul Deep, and who are we to tell him otherwise? Hopefully there's much more to come from this talented new producer.
M-1 synth sounds, thick bass, beats so sturdy you could hang a truck off them and sugar-sweet vocals sprinkled over the top. This timeless slice of foundation house has potential to tickle as many airwaves as it does dancefloors. Remix-wise we're in for a treat as Champion murks up the hook with a muddy rainbow of dark basses, Chris DS gets his organic D&B drum swing on and PVC looks back to the late '90s garage rudiments a la Matt Jam Lamont. TG Groove completes the set with a widescreen cosmic chugger that will suit house, garage and disco DJs. "All Mine"? All yours!
Rinse FM favourite A Motion is back delivering a unique, forward-looking fusion of classic speed garage and two-step. The You Know EP features four new bangers in this ilk, all peppered with further sonic elements. The spartan title-track mixes melodic wobble bass and floaty female vocals, "Close Your Eyes" features mean bass growls under hypnotic vocals melodies, "Locked" introduces spacey rave pads and "What You Do" integrates '90s house organs with raw tw-step friskiness. Fierce!
Fifteen years. Can you believe it? Actually, the question we should be asking is; can you remember what the world was like without before Technique was championing the darker end of high energy drum and bass? Featuring absolute classics from the likes of Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Crissy Criss and Technique's own intelligent production scientist, it also features music from Trei, whose recent EP took is a must-check! There are also bone shaking tracks from brand new and up and coming artists like MaxNRG and Kronology whose productions sit perfectly alongside the greats.
For the latest ChopShop missive, label boss DJ butcher has taken a back seat in order to let his roster shine. This third installment in the Summer Is Early series pits four re-edit heroes against each other for a disco bloodbath with no losers. First up Situation tackles the immortal Betty Davis Eyes riff on "Kim Sun", while Carrot Green ventures down Mexico-way for the Latino acid disco of "Me Recuso". Fingerman channels some vintage Larry Levan vibes on "Boogie Beatdown" before The Silver Rider wraps things up the funky guitar and slap bass frenzy that is "George Gio Metro".
Two originals, two remixes, two co-labs: "Dualities" is a more than handsome collection of sounds that expresses the skillish signatures of the individuals and their strength in numbers. Both the title track and B-Ju's "Kids On Fire" are a defiant homage to jungle's robust roots and its intrinsic relationship with juke music. Deeper into the set we're stunned by smoky Slohmo-style bass swings ("Red Vines") and skippy, jazzed-out D&B drama on Ticklish's "Jealousy". Dualities? Quadruplicities more like.
Iron Curtis delivers his second 4 track EP for Hudd Traxx following up the huge 'Stansfield EP' in 2010. The opening track 'Care' demonstrates IC's diversity as a producer as he lays down a killer bassline with melodic keys which will find it's way into many big hitters bags. 'Sing Along With Your Friends' has deep laid keys and an MCDE esk feel to it accompanied by some heavy snares for good measure. 'Shouting & Screaming' is a dark driving track that even Spencer Kinsey would be proud of, whilst the EP is rounded off with a solid groovy little number entitled 'Lasga's Return' .