Audioporn turn out a behemoth remix compilation in honour of Dub FX's 2013 album Theory Of Harmony, and there's more here than what you'll probably be able to get through. At 19 tracks in total there's a variety of styles to experience, which begins with the filter dub of James Marvel and Hypoxis'a remix to "Back To Basics", and equally tear out is Benny L's deconstruction of "Concord". Dancehall vibes abound on Champion's interpretation to "Don't Give Up", while if you look a little further down the compilation you'll find some progressive vocal house in Gaudi's take on "Concord", and then there's album highlight, Krafty Kuts's hip hop rejig to "Back To Basics".
Fast Soul Music has pretty much been the Hospital Records modus operandi since the labels conception and their latest compilation offering is a high intensity course in the fast paced, soul fuelled sound, that they had such a large hand in moulding. Classic cuts from Hospital veterans such as London Electricity and High Contrast are thoughtfully fused with the works of the most talented new members to their team; Keeno, Sinistarr, Etherwood et al are all perfecting that polished liquid sound. The blending of old and new on the album really demonstrates how forward thinking the Hospital family were in the label's formative years. Highlights include Calibre's off key remix of High Contrasts "Everything Different", LSB's emotional speaker shaker "If You're Here" and Netsky's anthemic "Memory Lane". A label that sets the bar as high as Hospital make sure that there all of their output is high quality and this retrospective 46 tracker is testament to that. A must have for any DJ with a taste for the more musical and uplifting side of Drum & Bass. Every single track is worthy of a place in your set and with two studio mixes from Hospital mainstay Nu:Tone thrown in as part of the bargain, this is an offering too good to be passed up.
The "Bug Crusher" has been a bone-shattering club favourite since 2011 but since then nothing has quite met the mark for many. To end the agonising wait for a rival tune to step forward, Majistrate returns with four almighty remixes to reignite the dance, all of which have stepped forth from the hotly contested Bug Crusher Remix competition. First up, Hedex (named after the migraine medication we presume) pulls the floor from underneath, stripping back the mayhem to reveal a weighty minimal bassline. Dominator follows with a straight-up teeth gnasher, Silent Storm rolls out hard with destructive consequences and Dub Motion gets his teeth into stomping techy beats to match blasts of vintage sampling. It's finally here, so get your dancing shoes on.
The concept behind Friction's Vs series is simple: hook up with as many mates in the studio as possible and write straight-up floor-flatteners. No theme, no pretention, just talented producers working together and playing off each other's strengths. Following epic co-labs with the likes of Icicle, Technimatic and Total Science comes the fattest edition yet as the BBC broadcaster teams up with Dimension (hooky and euphoric), Prolix (outrageously nasty and techy), Metrik (unabashed evangelism with a very well-known vocal hook) and Ulterior Motive (old school references wearing new school armour). Each one repping all player's finest attributes, Friction has brought out the best in his peers... And his own work. Essential.
Drum and bass aficionado Harvest springs up on the unstoppable Gun Audio after a pair of recent killers on the Co-Lab imprint. This time it's an extended six-tracker and Harvest has brought "The Dark Crystal" with him, a nutty, off-the-wall d&b joint for the next millennium...this one really is going to cause some damage on the floors. "Firefight" and "Clash" also come out all guns blazing thanks to their menacing beat structures, while "Anvers" is smoother around the edges and just that lil' bit jazzy.
Paul SG, Flowrian, Pulsaar and Decon's super-troupe finally deliver their first full lengther. And it's a bit special. Written in the Swiss mountains with no distractions and two studios worth out kit, it's an instant assault of D&B's warmest dynamics and textures. Simple grooves, subtle instrumentation and concrete drums ensure each one will work on the dancefloor but the real prize comes from repeat home listens as cuts such as piano-sprinkled "Tigerstyle" and the early V-style "Flooded" reveal more and more on every experience. Smoky, bluesy and ultimately timeless, this will resonate with all flavours and fields of D&B fan.
MC General Levy has been involved in countless projects spanning the UK ragga landscape and his instantly recognisable touch on the mic is always a pleasure to hear. This time, however, he lands on Jungle Cakes and his "The General" tune is reworked by Ed Solo into a nu-skool jungle workout with a filthy bassline running underneath Levy's intricate vocal twists. The second remix comes from the Mir Crew and this one is all about the beat work: stop-start jungle breaks slowing down and speeding up to drop into one hell of a groove knot.
Vibes be high and summery - and those horns - on this remix package for Benny Page's Party With You. VIP angles a darker slant in their remix while dubby Lily Allen vibes are out in full shine on Mr Benn's remix (featuring Blackout JA). For some glitchy, tear out bass information check Banx & Ranx remix, while Swindles remix is stripped back, but not quite as much as 808charmers. Baseline house be banging on Rico Tubbs remix too, the most linear production on this package.
Deadly Dispatch duo Survival & Silent Witness buddy up for the first time in a minute or two for this superb doublet. Title track "Trust No One" is actually funkier than its name suggests... With a fluid feel to the bass and rolling rhythm, it's reminiscent of an angry Lynx. "Cutter", meanwhile, is a concentrated slab of grunting nasty a la early zeroes Thirty One. Dig deeper for three twists on their 2012 album cut "Fletcher". Minor Rain adjusts the dub factor, Depth Mode get crisp and switchy on the steppy beats while Diecast adds a 140 halftime swag. Trustworthy.
Big moves from two of the biggest! Grooverider reactivates his Codename John project for this stealth release through Metalheadz. Active intermittently since 1994, the Codename John pseudonym has been an outlet for Grooverider to explore a darker style of steppy DnB that is filled with breakdowns and we are happy to see Metalheadz have coaxed some new material out of him. Fierce and unrelenting jump up vibes run through the title track, whilst "John & Tony" is a constantly mutating barrage through unpredictable bass movements and jagged, steppy drums. Grooverider saves the real screwface material for last though with "Saviour Selector" gleefully spilling with distorted bass and vintage junglist vibes.
Emerging beat-conjurer Fixate joins the Exit family with an arresting quad of cuts. "Throwback Thursday" (which has been heavily supported by the likes of Friction) gives us an Outlander-style detuned synth hook that's hard to its very core. "Percussive Aggressive" plays with time signatures like they're play-doh while "N2O" does that awesome techy/steppy minimal thing that seems to be a prerequisite for all Exit artists. Finally "Alive" is awash with immersive vocal harmonised synths and driven by snake-like percussive momentum. A really impressive label debut, Fixate ain't no quick-fix situation; he's here for the long one.
Ah yes! More smoked-out drum and bass runnings from the one like Kursiva, and this time he's brought along Jahba and Clasiko to take care of the vocal front. As per usual, "High Vibes" combines the heart of both jungle and reggae, where seductive lyrics meet choppy jungle breaks and waves of blazing delay on the melodies. The remix duties are picked up by Terrahawk who focuses more on speeding up the beat twists in something of a dub version. Gnarly.
LA-based 6BLOCC is really the only dude making some straight up jungle mayhem in the Greater Los Angeles area these days and his Cali Jungle compilations are just about the only class d&b edits out there! This time he's back with round two of the series and it's another thrilling 25 cuts of break-ridden goodness for your Saturday night ruffage! Think Members Only but for old-school UK rave anthems and you're almost there...this is for anyone who is in love with the genre but requires that little extra diversity, that additional touch of funk. What a package!
If old school Prodigy basslines and Wu Tang samples is something that will light up your night, then don't look past K Motionz's "Tang Clan". Konvict Dee combines liquid drum and bass with growling synths in "Badman", while DJ Masta's remix to Pest's "DROP IT" is gnarly. Distortion, syncopation, but most importantly - groove - dominates Rd's "Ku Yung Fi", and last is the futuristic laser fighting off Pest's "The Room".
Manchester's Future Cut duo have been making hard-edged drum and bass for over fifteen years now, and with a catalogue that spans the likes of Renegade Hardware and Metalheadz, it's only natural that they should also pop up on the legendary V Recordings now and again! "Prophecy" is a nu-school kinda cut, one of those stepping neo-jungle works that sits somewhere between jump-up and liquid. "Out There", as the name suggests, is a whole lot wilder and more daring thanks mainly to its warped hook and circling beat structure...it makes us think of the good old days of drum and bass. Recommended!
Hardworking midlands DJ Conspire comes correct with this collab-heavy Soul Deep debut. Highlights include the swooning chords and rattling drums of "Deeper High", the skippy, breezy "If We Ever" vibe to "Dreams", the wafting, oceanic '80s synths on "Haze" and the tight relationship between the snare and sub on "Take It Back". Clearly working well as solo operator or in partnership, Conspire's pressing all the right buttons here.
Basement Phil's Basement imprints proudly drop their first release in the form of a remix compilation - a rather unexpected format but nonetheless enticing! This is a 26-track monster release by Phillip Wells aka Basement Phil who put out some of the most forward-thinking hardcore and jungle back in the early 90's when all of this fuss began! As the title implies, the compilation is a retrospective of sorts, where tracks from the golden era of UK rave are reworked and rebooted, placed next to contemporary sounds form the hardcore continuum. If you're a love rof the jungle variety then this is definitely worth a listen - essential!
Essex roller Vigorous is throwing some rather defiant jazz hands right here. And if the weight and space of the drums is anything to go by, there's a few cheeky middle fingers in the mix, too. Each cut on this quartet comes complete with its own quirky, hooky piano riff taken straight from a smoky bygone corner of last century. It's not hard to see why he's enjoying plays from the likes of Bukem and Technimatic. Really well executed jazz-licked soul rollers... Especially the subtle gospel ghosts on "True Love".
Jay Cunning's Sub Slayers get busy with a brand Bass Selection compendium. Giving the artist full artistic duties without compromise, King Yoof has taken the opportunity to amass some of his best soundsystem-tuned rolling skank-up bangers. From breaks to dubstep to D&B, the whole breakbeat spectrum is covered with special attention paid to dubwise and dancehall vocals. Highlights include a mid-zeros style electro-bass twist on Barrington Levy ("Murderer"), the stabby steppy paranoia of "Big Belly Riddim" and the evergreen harmoniousness of Aswad on Rhythm Riders' "Give Me A Sign". That's just three of 20 unmixed bullets ready for your playlist consumption. Get busy.
They might share the same title, but each of these four versions is an individual tune in its own right... The original riddim mix is a warm-skank packer, the jungle mix is all about the classic rifle amens and sneaky drop into "Under Me Sleng Teng", Leygo's remix takes the riddim and fits it snugly in bright coloured tropical swimming trunks while Frankee More gets busy on a treacle-thick glitch fix. Serious monkey business.