New Zealand drum and bass legends State Of Mind return to the dance with their groundbreaking new LP on Blackout Music. Kicking over the fence between old school sounds and brand new ideas, they've taken inspiration from around the world and thrown it into one of the most accomplished D&B albums released in recent memory. Sharing the spotlight with collaborating artists like Black Sun Empire, Nymfo and Codebreaker hasn't hurt them either, helping to push their sounds further into orbit. Each track is fresh but with a nod to the past that grounds it deep in D&B, making it worthy of the hall of fame. It's already a classic. Do not miss this.
Run Tingz Digital tear a hole into the new season with their first release of 2014. Living up to its name, "Road Block" is a party-packed skanker that's set to become a summer anthem , courtesy of the label's very own J.Man. Signed exclusively in 2013, his agenda-setting remixes of undisputed Run Tingz classics has cemented his name as one of the best in the business. This is his debut original project with the label, building on his already impressive profile. Complete with his signature jungle drumming and instantly recognisable horn riffs (taken from The Aggravators' "Rockers Almighty" no less) it's the perfect complement to the impeccable lyrical talent of Parly B. One firing original, three vibing versions; Run Tingz Digital are tearing up the dance with promise. Jump on this now!
Yes! Dominic Angas returns with his first Dom & Roland transmission of 2014 and many will be glad to hear it contains the monumental exercise in Amen murder known as "Remember Your Roots". Slammed in the club by the likes of Goldie, Audio, Break, and Klute, there's been the usual online clamour for "Remember Your Roots" since it first appeared on the Metalheadz Rinse show in December. And rightly so, as it kicks like a farmyard full of mules wearing steel toe capped footwear, but amidst the Amen filled onslaught, rumbling bass lines and that staccato riff, it's Dom's implementation of classic samples that rams home where his roots are! Don't sleep on the B-side either as "Freeze" is every bit as potent a dancefloor cut, a classic arrangement of strings and breakbeats that's befitting of spinnage at the iconic Metalheadz residency at Blue Note.
Vienna-based D&B outfit Fourward aren't about to sit back and let their good name carry itself through the ranks. Releasing on Shogun Audio this high-octane mix of neuro and hard stepping floor fillers takes the group to the next level, pushing their influences from Noisia and Ed Rush & Optical to Icicle and Alix Perez through each finely tuned track. From the dark lyrics of "Countdown" featuring Kyza on vocals to the neurofunk masterpiece that is "Phase Align", this is a bad little EP that blows up first, asks questions later. Get your crash helmets ready.
Dancehall don Sizzla presents a deep, emphatic sermon on meekness over a sharp steppy beat and crisp oriental strings. Shooting wide on a remix flex, Muti Music have curated a full spectrum selection: from Benny Page's reggae skanks to Son Of Kick's stampy bass hype via the deep tribal drum dynamics of I Said No's rub and Andreilien's tropical snaps and slams, each and every take adds a whole new chapter to Sizzla's captivating narrative.
Another newcomer for talent-scouting, freshness-addicted Celsius Recordings UK sees a producer from small town Russia get his well-deserved turn in the limelight. He makes the most of it too, with two stunning tunes cut straight from the heart. There's something about first track "Hold You" that sounds endlessly melancholy; despite that washed-out, summery sound there's a feeling of deep contemplation, maybe brought about by deep, reverberating bass and wistful guitars playing around live drums. "Rise On Me" picks jungle breaks as a base, playing impressionist piano around a playful bassline. A soulful liquid release with technical intelligence and a fresh outlook. More of this, please.
Breaks veteran Jay Cunning (a former resident at Kiss FM) started Sub Slayers in back in 2009 and ever since he has seen the label's popularity go through the roof. He reckons it's due to the imprint's militant manifesto of 140bpm+ bass and who can argue? Here label regulars Gold Dubs are entrusted to take us through a 50-minute mix of the best jungle orientated releases in the Sub Slayers back catalogue. It's a typically explosive release featuring reggae vibes on "Back 2 Hackney", hyper urgent breaks "Separation" and the laser infused old skool attack of "Unreal".
Break heads get ready, because this EP is going to knock your socks off. Fusing jungle with future breakbeat, Vinyl Junkie and London's own Sanxion whip two genres into a tasty frenzy, adding Kingston warmth to calculated beats and tight bass. First track "Talk Too Much" also gets the Gold Dubs treatment, exaggerating a big dub sound. "Attitude" is a firestorm of blistering rhythms and old-school mentality, while "Poison Me" adds soulful vocals courtesy of Maria Milewska. "Radiate" looks forward to summer with hot breaks and ravey vamps and the classic "Wages Of Sin" gets a release and remix thanks to Strange Rollers. Finally, "Tear Down The Place" and "Rhythmic Vibration" plunge through ever-changing scenes of breakbeat perfection. Made for happy dancefloors everywhere.