Bringing new levels of heat to the nu-funk fire, Rise Above returns with three more surefire party ruckuses. WBBL kicks off with a pitch-perfect update of Bomb The Bass's "Bug Powder Dust" on "Buggin", Sammy Senior looks further back and taps into the deepest pool of classic jams with a savage bass-scorched "Sweet Funk", and finally X Ray Ted closes the show with a cool homage to Al Jarreau, complete with a cameo from Mr Biggie Smalls himself. New blood? Bloody great, more like.
The ever-rising star of 2010/11 and master of experimental beats brings us the follow up EP to his superlative Noir EP which landed on Critical around this time last year. In the title track "Aria", Rockwell blends glitchy, cinematic rhythms with sonorous, blissed out vocals and cooling instrumentals. Next, "Live For The Moment" adds a dash of funk, whilst talented duo Ulterior Motive's remix of the aforementioned "Noir" is nothing short of superlative, as they toughen it up with a super dark b-line smashing breaks and that iconic Virus-meets-Subtitles tenacity. A collab with Hemlock owner Untold backs this up in "Rehekou Sunrise", adding a shimmy of samples and soulful bliss as we reach the end of the EP.
When Johnny Pulse, bossman of Irish label Bulabeats, decided to step out from behind the desk and unveil his new live act, he meant business. Three-piece live band, The Storm Troopers, have quickly cut to the chase with a 'blast n bounce between hip-hop, funk and ska' over the course of just a few releases. Versions features the heavy party skank of the breaky "The Heatwave" accompanied by live versions of the atmospheric "Sunshine Skank" and the string laden DnB of "Redemption", as well as some pretty out there bonus efx and vocals to boot!
Superslam sonics from Ground Level veteran DJ Hero, each of these three cuts could power an electric car for well over 100,000 miles and still have charge left for more. "Candy Cruizin" is as sweet as it sounds; galvanised by rifling-like stabs that nod to the old school while remaining wholly futuristic, it's instant throw-down material. "Comfort Zone" takes a selection of big room (insistent riffs, razor-diced vocal stabs) and trap motifs (booming subs and naked kicks) and processes them through the breakbeat's industrial strength party machine. Finally we hit "Page 136" where we're instantly submersed in rich textures of mechanical gutter funk, lazer-reaching synths and alien screaming bass rips. Heavy.
General known for his silky smooth drum & bass, here we find Brazilian badman Marcio Mouse dropping the tempo for a five-strong collection of breakbeat rollers. Highlights include the LFO-style bleep techno ideals of the EP opener "Feels Good", the woozy synth waves and classic hype-call vocal sample on "Secret Love" and the starry eyed, spine-melting piano evangelism of the title track. Evidence of Mouse's ability and creativity (in case you needed it), "Crazy Day" is one of his most accomplished EPs to date.
Unique party flavours abound as Bristow and Silver reconnect from their "My Life" EP earlier this year. The pair complement each other well, with Bristow's crafty sample snatching and Silver's slick-tongue UK rhyme vibes an ideal match as the two dig deeper and deeper into the party spirit. From the swing-time jazz horns of "You Don't Know" to the Benny's philosophical positivity on "Don't Take It Serious" via the title track's instant shindig shout-out, the pair conjure a unique spirit between them. Imagine if Ugly Duckling were founded in Peckham and you're not far off. Lively vibes.