Dirty Dubster's popular Ragga Party Jams series continues, with another quartet of dubwise mash-ups and reggae/hip-hop futures. Larry SKG kicks things off with "Hypocrites", an expertly crafted fusion of a classic soulful reggae riddim and well-chosen hip-hop samples. DJ Maars' "Just Like Music" blends a familiar rap vocal and sunshine reggae jam with vocal cuts from a classic Marvin Gaye slow jam, while DJ Rebel's "Here Comes The Mashupper" layers a skanking riddim with all manner of familiar vocal samples. Best of all, though, is "I Shot Big L", in which Bob Marley takes a trip into scratchy reggae hip-hop territory. It shouldn't work, but it's sympathetically produced and sounds like a sunshine anthem in the making.
Polish producer Warson has been providing funk-minded breakbeat heads with formidable dancefloor fare since 2011. Here, he pops up on his own Tru Funk imprint with another trio of tried-and-tested floorfillers. "Louder" kicks things off in style, lacing cut-up horns, funk vocal samples and bubbling electronics over a bass-heavy midtempo breakbeat-funk groove. "Love Theme" ups the tempo, basing the action around a classic loose-but-tight breakbeat rhythm. Musically, it has a richer and more expansive feel, with bouncy pianos, sharp strings and fluid funk guitars perfectly accompanying the two prominent vocal samples. He really lets loose on "Happy Song", a jump-up drum and bass roller built around samples from a heavyweight '70s funk rock jam.
Fledgling label Funk Fusion have quickly hit the ground running - pushing their nu-funk agenda with joyous abandon. From the Sesame Street vibes of their promo pic, it's clear from the start that this label is all about having fun and their latest mash-up compilation "Fused Funk Vol 02" delivers it big time. There's 12 tough party tracks packed on here including the electro-hip-house of "Get Your Boogie On", the bleepy jump-up funk of "Hold On, I'm Comin" and the smooth retro closer "Danceflaw".
Breaks veteran Jay Cunning (a former resident at Kiss FM) started Sub Slayers in back in 2009 and ever since he has seen the label's popularity go through the roof. He reckons it's due to the imprint's militant manifesto of 140bpm+ bass and who can argue? Here label regulars Gold Dubs are entrusted to take us through a 50-minute mix of the best jungle orientated releases in the Sub Slayers back catalogue. It's a typically explosive release featuring reggae vibes on "Back 2 Hackney", hyper urgent breaks "Separation" and the laser infused old skool attack of "Unreal".
If this was any more disco it would come complete with a personal love letter from David Mancuso himself. Lavish strings, feelgood chord progressions, emphatic vocals - this perky breakbeat jam spins the shiniest disco balls possible. Powered by tightly edited live drum breakbeats, it's an instant summer smash. Remix-wise BadboE throws down a warped bass flex and fatter drums, Robinson Grooves slows down the vibe and injects a bolder soul vocal and Jimi Needles presses the mellow button with washed out filtered guitars and a slower, steady rhythm. Get it indeed.
Super-skanks abound as Johnny Pluse gets lively with The Storm Troopers Of Love. "Stuck To The Roof" opens with a classic toaster sample before leaping deep into a series of heaving skanks and a bass-bolstered groove. "Two Tone" ups the ante with an uptempo take on a well-known ska groove. With added amen action, and a few well positioned rave horns, this one guarantees party damage.
Skimming the purist, fullest fat cream from the nu-funk crop, Scour's behaviour at the forefront of the party-minded movement is nothing short of commendable. Their most extensive compendium to date, vibes range of the Little Walter-sampling "Ain't No Coolin" to the filtered jazz funk chops and slaps of "The Program". Between these two disparate-yet-wholly-consistent flavours you'll find subverted swing (Father Funk & Howla's "Got Swing?"), stark Jackson Five string struts ("Soul Rocka") and classic rap ("Two For The Crates"). Whipped and unashamedly fresh, Scour really are the cream of the crop right now.
Solar One Music founder Robert Witschakowski joining the Clone West Coast series for a triptych of releases as The Exaltics makes perfect sense in the context of his music and the labels he's previously featured on. The Jena-based producer has racked up a healthy discography of albums and 12? releases for a wide variety of underground labels including Bunker, Creme Organization, Panzerkreuz, Abstract Forms, Modal Analysis and Last Known Trajectory. The first six-track installment of the Some Other Place series finds The Exaltics in a more introspective mood than some of his recent dank squat party electro. Cuts such as "It Still Remains" and "Walking Through The Stratosphere" are filled with a sense of hope, though there is still plenty of dancefloor material here - see the delightfully bouncy "Places".
Dom and Mark Stanton fire up their rhythm machine and deliver one of their funkiest jams to date. Slippery, shaking, ultimately speaker quaking, the tight breakbeat groove is adorned by the slick spits of Eboi and given charming rubs from Dustin Hulton (industrial strength, drum-heavy vibes) and the currently unstoppable Mafia Kiss (a stripped back fusion of trap, garage and classic breakbeats). Each version is 100 per cent killer: the Stanton flame continues to burn bright.
Break heads get ready, because this EP is going to knock your socks off. Fusing jungle with future breakbeat, Vinyl Junkie and London's own Sanxion whip two genres into a tasty frenzy, adding Kingston warmth to calculated beats and tight bass. First track "Talk Too Much" also gets the Gold Dubs treatment, exaggerating a big dub sound. "Attitude" is a firestorm of blistering rhythms and old-school mentality, while "Poison Me" adds soulful vocals courtesy of Maria Milewska. "Radiate" looks forward to summer with hot breaks and ravey vamps and the classic "Wages Of Sin" gets a release and remix thanks to Strange Rollers. Finally, "Tear Down The Place" and "Rhythmic Vibration" plunge through ever-changing scenes of breakbeat perfection. Made for happy dancefloors everywhere.