What's a better cure for the February blues than a bit of Marcus Visionary and Interface rocking up with Jah Cure? There isn't one. First up is Interface's remix of "Never Find" and he's taken it to bits, revving up the tempo and adding a touch of pitch-shifting insanity to the lung-bursting chorus. Marcus Visionary takes a different path, reimagining Jah Cure's club favourite with a laid-back junglist twist. If you're not smiling by the end of this tune, you might need another Red Stripe.
Longstanding west coast jungle informer 6Blocc comes correct with an album of chunky edits. Complementing the lower-tempo "Gritty N Grimey" parallel release with whistle-stop 170 ruffage, each of the 21 cuts take the London template and bake it in classic Cali sunshine. Highlights include the super-freaky Adina Howard reference "Freak In The Jungle", a gun-toting Blackstreet cowboy cut "Diggity" and the Marky-esque soulful roller "Time Flies". Capturing ever deft move of 6Blocc's commitment to the US jungle movement, Cali Jungle is the ultimate document of where both he and his fellow 170BPM countrymen are at right now... And it's a great place to be.
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.
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.
Dispatch's funky filth purveyor DLR is finally releasing his LP chunk by chunk in the form of tantalising samplers. Well, consider us tantalised. "Empyreal" features Hydro and mixes fresh, light musicality with the dark, weighty bass he's most known. It's a bold step into a world of technical, beautiful production and we can't wait to hear more. "Control The Sound" features the legendary Total Science and brings back some dark tribalism to the mix. Sludgy and oozing, the bassline doesn't so much roll as slither, bringing a strange off-tempo, melted feel to the whole track. Counteracted by crisp percussion, it's a masterpiece only DLR could have dreamed.
Beautiful electronic explorations from the Ukranian producer, this time Sunchase is taking a chilled approach. "The Truth" sets out on a half time roll, lilting and pitching like a rowing boat out at sea and as the melody drifts away "Thing" takes over, stepping in hard and electronic, taking things to more of a surreal place. "Koto" brings back the beauty with soaring atmospheres and the type of bassline you could swim in before the producer gets back to business with a straight-up roller in the form of "Think Of". "All Of Us" dabbles in micro-funk and "Slowly" rounds up this beautiful release with more mini-precision and graceful melodies. He's upped his game for Med School and man, does it show.
Zen dub comes from the music heartland this is Glastonbury, a place not particularly known for its drum and bass heritage, but a place filled with creative types all the same. Filling vast soundscapes with influences ranging from the liquid greats to impressionist piano maestros, and even samples taken from the outside world, it's a breathless race from inspiration to inspiration. That's the lovely thing about this EP, it never stops flowing into Zen Dub's next stream of consciousness. Each track is a positive sounding roll through old and new sounds, giving a real sense of potential. It's a great EP but just imagine what this guy's going to be producing a few months/years down the line.
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.
When you hear the name Seba, you want to be blown away by technical agility and a swathe of electronically-charged emotion. "Inside Yourself" does not disappoint, taking dark, old school sounds to another level thanks to a ton of techno inspiration and relentless hypnotic beats. It's progressive in both style and form as it rolls on and on, taking shape slowly, unfurling into a monster of a late-night anthem. "Berberian Sound" takes tribal inspired drums and adds stabs of colour through synths and atmospherics, creating a nightmarish soundscape of twisting, writhing bass. Insomnia never sounded so good.
DLR is consistent, and for most, that's not a compliment. But when you start running with heavyweights from the very beginning thanks to being nurtured under the watchful gaze of Ant TC1 and crew, keeping up that standard can involve a trick or two. Luckily he's nailing it. Seeing Sounds is an LP worth getting your knickers in a twist about, and if you don't believe us, here's the first sampler to whet your appetite. It's got all the dark and filthy basslines you'd crave from the man, with added techy substance and even a bit of emotion. If you've not been introduced before, get ready to meet your new favourite artist.
Presenting two gorgeous liquid rollers reformed and remixed especially for you. From the lush tones of Tokalosh's remix of the soft "Blue Velvet" to the jazz-funk infused melodies of "Why Wake Me Up" remixed by Soul:Motion for Modu, these are two very different tracks borne out of the same love for musical, soulful drum and bass. Fresh sounding and full of life, both tracks manage to pull out of the liquid drum and bass circuit and move into a more sophisticated, individual sub genre of their own.
Soundbully Audio turn up with the goods once again with this hard-hitting EP from newcomer Fatality. Blending what's best in jump up and upfront drum and bass, there's no let up from the sound of crashed out snares and squeaking synths whirring almost to breaking point. Working with classic hardmen samples and a repertoire of early Skream and Caspa-esque dubstep influences, by the sounds of this, there's not much this guy is afraid of. If you like your tunes heavier, crazier and supercharged for the dancefloor you're going to love this.
"Wanderers" is an epic, natural history lesson of a tune featuring one of the best uses of a documentary sample in a long time. Swooping and soaring, there's something majestic about the simple bassline in this that plays out under a delicate riff and punched out beats. "Exodus Blue" swaps huge rolling sounds for a touch of trip-hop as a slow and scratchily-recorded drum kit etches out a hip hop beat, quickly swapping to a jungle rhythm once the beat kicks in. Odd in all the best ways, this is a standout release, and having been backed by the likes of Dub Phizix and Kenny Ken, you're going to hear more from this rather experimental chap in 2015.