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.
A bona fide summer smash for every DJ lucky enough to get it before release, this is the result of Benny Page's recent Jamaican adventure. Teaming up with dancehall mic maestro Assassin, Benny lowers his tempo to a rifle-like 140 breakbeat riddim to create an instant sing-along smasher. Anthemic without being over-the-top. Dark without being too heavy, Benny has smashed this one to pieces, and now you can too.
Lower East co-founder Brinx flips the switch with "Pipe Dreams". Known more for his sumptuous deep house production model, for this EP's title track he's returned to a sound conjuring memories of mid '90s trip-hop and the seminal, agenda-setting sounds of Moving Shadow. All half tempo breaks, it's a great set opener or neat switch up for those moments when you need to calm the crowd. Elsewhere we find him back on his 4/4 flex with "Jouse" and "Losing Myself". Both primed with lavish piano slaps, the former goes for a more sedate garage groove while the latter is more of a pumping, unrelenting affair. Throw in a beautiful remix from Inxec and you've got yourself a perfect package.
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.
There's a strong whiff of techno in the air at Lot 49 HQ right now: Atix has imported some of his own special French stuff and it's stinking out the entire dance in the most delicious way. "Beats Rush" is more of a physical, classical breakbeat tech vibe as we're ricocheted from pillar to post with the visceral riddims. "Design Of Dance" takes the harder techno approach with nagging insistency and more pummel in the beat department. Both absolutely kill it.
More unique goodness from the Spanish soul boy Wardian, as "Super Fresh Step" lives up to its name. So fresh, in fact, there are many comparisons to be made here. Slick, bouncy and highly creative, it's a kindly reminder of breakbeat's original 'melting pot' attraction. "Adea" is similarly distinctive; very '80s in its design, the whole groove is super-charged with juicy slap bass, slow-moaning hoover tones and orchestral sweeps the likes of which wouldn't go amiss in a Ridley Scott flick. Stunning.