The Captain aka Fab Samperi is one of the hottest names in Ghetto Funk right now. What's ghetto funk? Take one listen to these funky as f*** tracks and you won't be stood there all gormless for long. With the help of Italian producers PhonoMatt & Tommyboy for something a little more D&B than your average wobble forays. Snapping jungle breaks and ragga sounds into place over funky bass, it's a naughty little splash of sunshine. With a heavy moombahton remix from BadboE rounding off the proceedings, even if you weren't sure how to classify it, we bet you were dancing.
Having sold out his debut Horo single ("Reaching The Source") and appearing on the mindblowing Scope LP, Mindset boss Indigo continues to develop his relationship with the ever-essential Samurai crew. Manchester's master tempo flexer, with a pedigree in techno, dubstep and autonomic, here he showcases his widest abilities that stretch from jittering subby jungle-tech ("Volta") to somnambulant, sludgy slo-mo 4/4 ("Condition"), elsewhere we get iced out by deep synth cosmosis ("Spirit Of The Winds") and get all slinky to the stripped back, naked mechanical funk of "Storm". Spotless.
The title says it all - each of the talented producers behind the 16 exclusives on this album are hardworking residents and D&B disciples who've earned their stripes in their local clubs and are making the all-important transition to the production realm. Highlights can be found across the collection, but jaw-droppingly stunning moments can be found in the dreamy chords and lush horn motifs of "Deepest Blue", the spell-binding layers of organic instrumentation on "Always Lost" and the fine balance between dub elements and jazzy funk on "Poised". Unsung, but not for long - Soul Deep have unearthed some incredible talent here.
Are you ready for some Serial Killaz-style soundboy madness? Taking their hyped-up sound to another level with the help of Upgrade, "Killa Klash" takes a huge bass vibration, whacks it through years of reggae stylings and winds up the hybrid monster of jungle, jump-up and ragga. Don't ask us how, don't ask us why, it just works, dammit. It just works! On the flip, "Gunshots" has the bouncing swagger of a tune that knows it's owning the dancefloor. Both are massive, don't sleep.
Legendary soulful label Focuz lets out some of their secret weapons in this latest release. LA-based liquid hero Scott Allen teams up with Cornish bass fanatic Deeper Connection for a pair of sizzling ragga-inspired dancefloor igniters. The A-side rolls sweet and deep, dipping into the tasty sounds of dub and jungle, while "Zion Dub" brings out a techier side in the pair, as rapidfire percussion mingles with breezy atmospherics and a distant sniff of reggae bolsh. A pair of intelligent rollers hot enough to get folk moving. Get involved.
Classically-trained producer Kasper knows a thing or two about musicality, so trust us when we say this release is topped off with plenty of warm musical influences and intelligent breaks. Taking his lead from the jazzy D&B masters down in Brazil, this release showcases his love for a big, dirty bassline in the context of flowing funk and hard stepping beats. Looking for inspirating from the original masters, there's a lot of old school sound in this tightly-produced EP. A bit of old and new. Nice.
Liondub International have greeted the unrepentant winter chills with their brand new $treet $eries, which they say gives rise to a host of new styles and names. Taking a look at this first release, it's going to be a ride and a half. Leicester-based Hoogs has travelled the spectrum of jungle, ragga, reggae and dancehall to get where he is now, and this release shows his diversity to full effect. From the choppy beats of opener "Murda", through jump-up stabs and samples of "Outcast" and hectic roller "Mountain People", there's no doubt he loves the heavier things in life. Picking up the pace once again in "Pussy", he experiments with percussion and bass with a seriously tweaked low-end and frenetic beats ending up on final track "Haunted", a treacherous stepper with a drop fit to crumble the mightiest soundsystems. A series to watch.
Essex lad Brother and Sydney-bound Severity Zero have put mere miles aside to create this soulful EP, and everyone should be glad they did. The title track is a deeply soulful ride through lush liquid grooves and funky stepping beats perfect for getting the crowd moving. Also included is Malaky's sparkling remix of "Corners", which pieces together a heartbeat of a ticking clock with soul vibes and a laid-back attitude. More chilled than your average Malaky track, it's a beautiful slow burner made for cosy winter nights. One for the dreamers.
Bringing their Zoltar sound back to Horizons alongside ex-partner in crime HLZ for this particularly dark slice of D&B, NFM continue to step up. Starting as they mean to go on, "Rotor" is a cold techy stepper that pushes minimal to breaking point with humming basic bass and the whirr of a lonely hi-hat. "Pantheon" plays far more to the dancefloor, with a heavy stomping beat and addictive-as-hell bassline. "Actress" is a deep and raging old-school roller that plunges through creepy atmospherics and final track "Broadwalk" is the payoff for all the upfront skanking crew junkies who will forever lust after a classic NFM bassline. Don't worry - it's all here for you. Take a hit.
Subculture Records boss Matteo Cavo returns to Renegade Hardware with another quartet of intense, tech-tinged D&B smashers. The Italian doesn't do things by halves, so expect full-throttle rhythms, murky bass, intoxicating electro noises and distortion aplenty. On the title track, he channels the energy and attitude of Krust's "Warhead" into a fierce atmospheric stepper, while "Slinky" delivers a rolling exercise in the joys of dense percussion. MC Nuclear adds his slick raps to the near-anthemic "Crank It Up" - the EP's most hedonistic cut by some distance - while "iMaz" is a jumpy tribute to intergalactic jungle of times past. Tasty.
Ninja Crew members Lapo and T.Kay join forces on this three-track blast of revivalist jungle goodness for Erba. Their formula - snappy old skool jungle riddims, good, old-fashioned reggae samples and booming, bowel-bothering basslines - is as familiar as a favourite old jumper, but it never fails to deliver smile-inducing goodtime grooves. "Princess" sets the tone, pleasingly getting its skank on before dropping into blistering grooves and pulsating sub. T.Kay's "Treatment Yard" is similarly inclined but just a little tighter, working the breaks around head-nodding reggae horn stabs. Best of all, though, is Lapo's "Freedom Dub", a pleasingly dubwise chunk of dub step that's a lot more dub than step, if you get our drift.
An EP packed with intricacies and nods towards both the old school and the new era of drum and bass, Flame's latest is an ambitious collection of tracks. Kicking off with a swooning roller courtesy of his liquid soul credentials, he quickly moves into deeper territory with "Lover", a techy, experimental reaction to a jazzy piano riff and sweet female vocals. Rounding things off nicely with a jazzy stepper loaded with bassline bounce. A tasty little release from an innovative new producer. Get involved.
The UK's own Deeper Connection heads over to Liquid Drops for a collaborative release with FlashbackFM. Released as a compilation, Deep Souls is a look at some of the pair's harder tracks. Pushing into deep, rolling territory with "Deadly Sound", Deeper Connection plays with familiar sounds from the old school, while FlashbackFM gets techy and bright with "Last Hope". Then it's Deeper Connection's turn once more with some soulful vibes in "Rolling Deep". Finally Western Sea joins FlashbackFM for "Do It Right", a sparkling, jazzy roller touched with light harmonies and a deep bassline made for the dancefloor. One for the liquid heads.
Naming a tune after a world destroying comet collision is a bold statement of intent. But if anyone can back up such deadly connotations, it's Gremlinz and Ahmad. Stepping back to the '95 era jungle recipe - all industrial amens and harrowing FX - it really is as destructive as the name suggests. With this theory in mind, you'd expect "The Orchid" to be delicate and beautiful. No chance; while much of the groove is more stripped back than the A-side, the rusted breakbeats and abyss plunging subs are just as explosive. If this is the sound to the end of the world, bring it on.
Two sub-soaked gems from Coleco on Runtime, two more reasons why you should be keeping a firm focus on the Bristol artist in the future. "Focus 10" takes elements of trap and garnishes them rich juicy bass and haunted eastern cries. "Ambivalence", meanwhile, operates on a superbly spaced out groove where weaves of cosmic texture and star-gazing FX build with mesmerising effect. Remix-wise Adam Elemental does a funky stop/start stutter jam on "Ambivalence" while Om Unit continues his rich vein of form by subverting "Focus 10" into a slower, more menacing groove. Stay focussed.
Taken from Swindle's incredible, truly unique album Long Live The Jazz album, "Running Cold" sits somewhere between Parliament and Bugz In The Attic. Soulful, cheeky, funky, it ticks every single box. Fittingly, Deep Medi have turned to a pioneering producer for the remix: Roni Size. Naturally the genre-shaping Bristolian has delivered with a mindblowing rub. Boasting about four different grooves, he switches from classic Full Cycle bass thumps to full vocal sexiness via contemporary glitches with ease and mischievous creativity. A non-stop riot presented with class, as you'd expect from Deep Medi, Size or Swindle.
We all know what we want from Misanthrop, and it's not a neck massage. Smashing the place up from minute one, this is a return to form from the Neosignal legend, and crikey is it good. Shapeshifting snares and techno-charged are the order of the day for lead track "Deadlock" but then we get into the delicate business of have our faces ripped off by title track "Greed Of Gain" straight afterwards. The onslaught continues through the neuro madness of "Catch-22" and the dark horror of "System Crash"; basically, if you love neurofunk or you're just a bit of a sadist, get your hands on this immediately.
What do you expect when you're cracking open something fresh from Junglord? If it's on Sub-Woofah, you'd better be looking forward to some huge breaks, devastating bass and a lot of cheeky extras thrown into the mix. "Jungle Ingredients" contains all you need to create your very own jungle masterpiece, complete with helpful hints from a rather well-spoken gentleman. On the flip is a cheeky little number filled with bounce, bass and plenty more of those delicious breaks. More please.
A recent signing to Celsius, Nelver is from the sleepy Russian town of Bryansk, which until recently was not on any sort of drum & bass map. Now, thanks to his melodic style of rolling liquid D&B, he's starting to make an impact on the wider world. From mournful atmospherics to lively dancefloor fillers, he's got his sound down already, and he's only just started. Keep your eyes on this one, he's going to be trouble.
Newcomers to Celsius NClear and Eugenics Eight are joined by Vospi for this hybrid mashup of genres masked as straight-up liquid rollers. Intriguing enough to stop you in your tracks but weighty enough to keep those vibes rolling, "LA Nights" is the perfect opener. Packing in jazz, soul and jangly guitar as well as the type of funky bassline usually reserved for a London Elektricity breakdown, it's a roller of a different breed. "So Strong, So Crazy" is bubbling over with romance. Jazzed up and ready for the floor, it's a D&B love song with all the heat of a Brazillian summer. If you love drum and bass with soul, bag this now.