When Japan’s premier name in Drum & Bass, Makoto Shimizu announced earlier this year that he had signed for what seemed like a natural home in Hospital Records the scene was itching for a fix of Mr Shimizu’s soul and jazz infused 170bpm goodness to lift us out of the gloom and doom that 2017 has been. Well fear no more friends, Salvation is here! Mr Shimizu and Hospital bring us crisp beats, uplifting vocals and cinematic soundscapes from on high in the form of Makoto’s 5th long player. We reached out to the main man from Japan and managed to bag some goodies for you, firstly we have a soul cleansing, spine tingling 30 minute mix exclusively recorded for Juno, we also have a bit of a banger for your weekend set – the surging yet soulful “Voyager” by Makoto & T-ak can be downloaded for free for a limited time only.
'Pussyhole' is just as filthy as the track title would suggest, the track consists Q&A style conversation between the dark gutter scrapping bass and the catchy melody that you point your fingers in time to, like some crazed dnb conductor, a very distinct LDD sound to this one. Weird and wonderful just how we like it, the sounds in 'Brain Map' are just so different, it's like a dozen differently pitched tiny springs are uncoiling and pinging all over the dance, and its trippy A.F
Bcee hits album number four and we have many people to thank for... The result of a crowd-funding mission (in order to save label funds for his artists), this was made under more pressure and motivation than any of his previous LPs put together. And you can really feel this energy and focus from the opening salvo of vocal soul cuts "Surfacing" and "Little Bird". Much deeper into the document we dive for the densely textured jazz flurries of "Had It All" (with Logistics), soulful song strength of the Riya-fronted title track and much darker sounds such as the knee-sweeping "Dead Reckoning" and the piano-slapping jungle homage "Keep Moving On". And these are just a small handful of highlights. Bcee has yet to deliver a bad album but this takes his repertoire, energy and sense of focus to a whole new level.
Having delivered their De-Evolution album over the course of three EPs over the last year, New Zealand's gnarliest bass slappers The Upbeats have now asked some of their mates for the all essential revisions. And they haven't gone in half measures as Malux, Rockwell, Annix, Agressor Bunx, Black Sun Empire, Memtrix and Emperor all deliver fresh chapters.... Empire's subversion of the depths of "Prism", the overwhelming emotional rush on Memtrix's take on "Say Go" and BSE's almighty thrashes and bashes on "DOOM" are just three examples of how epic these versions are.
He's back! One of Full Cycle's most high profile new family members returns with his largest EP to date. "The Grand Chapter" leads with an army of happy-slapping breaks and a bassline that taps deep into the Bristol psyche. Elsewhere "Mijushen Style" looks east for inspiration as an oriental intro hurls us face first into a low-end swamp, "Don't Tell Mom" rides bareback on a rolling drumset while a bassline switches in a manner so deviant it should come with an 18 certificate, "Cold Rock Stuff" is a loose-limbed heads-down roller while "Mushrooms" promises to trip you out with its wild drum science and technoid sense of space. Trust us, these jams are so fresh there's no chance of history repeating here (not sorry!)
Over a year in the making, Southampton's finest Gerra & Stone break their previous "Unbreakable" silence (not sorry) with this immaculate album. A proper body of work, the depth and detail at play here is instant thanks to the alluring ambient intro "Ambivalence" before the duo take us deeper and deeper down the drum & bass rabbit hole. Riddled with touching and gully moments alike, highlights include the lilting piano and breathy textures of "Time Not Wasted", the sunset soul of "On The Outside" and blunt-nosed grit of "When I Fall", the supreme Visionobi-front "Predator" and the melted steel funk of "Blank". 15 tracks deep; this isn't just a debut album, it's a serious statement of intent.
This entire EP is stunning, softly singing to the Shogun signature sound of rolling, liquid tech. Setting the tone for the release we start with 'Empire' and we just love Mr Porter's voice, it's just so effortlessly smooth, it nestles beautifully within this lulling track, gorgeous piano, echoing drips and warm sub. 'Forma' takes us to slightly darker planes, with a creepy manipulation on the vox and a low, slowing moving vortex of a b line. 'Some People' has a melancholy vibe, with classic samples and a deep sub, while 'Who's There' is all about the vocal, and it is just divine, juxtaposed light shimmers and dark twisted tones. Trust us, you need this release in your life.
This EP was always gonna be a winner for us, we were already big fans of the original tracks and the VIP's breath new life into them. The music floats in the dark and merky underground world where techy, nuero rollers meet noisey jump up bangers, it's a great place to be. 'Afterlife VIP' starts the EP with twisted basslines, a shuffling drum pattern and awakening risers. 'Let's Play' gets out the jump up classic pneumatic tool kit sample pack, with low drops and an onslaught of pounding drums. 'Smile VIP' is our highlight of this EP, it's itchy to the pointy of skin crawling and the bass deadly. 'Say What' is a high energy stepper, which centers around an uncommon glassy type of noise.
Fresh from the eastern district, Adred adds another definitive label to his spotless discography. Now joining CIA, 31 and Soul:r, Metalheadz are also big fans of this New Yorker's work. The whole EP thunders with authentic dark stepper science with highlights firing from all corners; the barbed soul of long time friend Robert Manos on "Lazy Jungle", the relentless push and Detroitian textures on "160 Breaks", the blindsiding space ricochet funk of "Famished" and the soft hazy keys and delicate introspection of "You Know" are just a handful of incredible moments on offer here. Instant classics.
We are huge fans of Kenji, he's been producing some real jump up bangers, which still have a sense of musicality to them, which we all know is not a common theme. There's so much to love about 'Get Down' the background high pitched buzz, similar to something 'Tyke' would pull out of his hat is set against a sub which sounds like it is floating and decorated with wizzes and pops, the track is pure twisted magic. 'Al Capone' comes to us courtesy of Kenji & Bou, with a similar floating vibe to the bass accompanied by clicky and bleeping beats, this is another one for the floor.
Soul Deep founder and LA drum & bass lynchpin Scott Allen returns to his own label with two more groove delights. Riding in the momentum of this summer's heavily played "This Is Love" comes the soft lilting glimmers and ripples of "Soul Complex" and "Mixed Emotions". The former grows and mutates subtly as the track develops while the latter (a co-lab with Konfront Audio) adds a slightly darker underbelly with the bass and flexes around some seriously sensual sax work. Divine.
Starting the EP with ther hard hitting, bouncing dancefloor destroyer "Koodana", the melody and heavily mutated bass pleasingly echo each other, the track feels intense and captivating, the vocal is demanding us to 'jump' but we already are. 'Cowabunga' is a noisy, high pitched snap shot of exactly where jump up is today, the jabbing synths will smash the floors with no question. Our favourite track of the sampler has got to be 'Equinox', which showcases Levela's deeper side, using shinier, softer sounds which twinkle against the spiritual moans and the warm pulsating bassline. 'Tyrant' brings us back to the Levela we know with the twisting, bassline taking centre stage, decorated with aggressive and eerie elements and a horror show vox. We're looking forward to the full EP.
It may be Autumn but you can keep the summer alive with this remix release, working from the original 'Reggae Boom' we have a happy, sunshine track, reminiscent of the upbeat sound of SHY FX. Amens and horns create the relaxed vibe, while the vocal gives us something to grasp onto. The Dub version is as you'd expect, mellowed, slowed and coated in echoes.
Very fitting for today's darker jump up dance floors. 'Use The Force' is our favourite of the two tracks, with it fat oscillating sub and occasional, ticking drums. We expect to see some screwed up faces when this drops. 'Check This Out' uses a collection of familiar sounds to create a grotty dancefloor vibe.
For a new label, Audio Massacre are showing heaps of promise. 'Beginners Luck' is a dirty, squelching beast of a track, its quick firing, with hollowed, knocking shots and weird squirming amphibious sounds. 'Dedication' is our preferred release of the EP, the majority is built in the low end and on the right system it will have your bones rattling!
And so the Metalheadz remastering trip continues. This time we head back 21 years for a slice of absolute jazz perfection. Previously the B-side to his massive "Predator", it's now been updated with a little 2017 production muscle allowing the freeform soulful stepper to still sound wholly relevant and still years ahead of its time. From the lolloping bassline to those magical brushed snare breaks to the overall sunshine warmth, this record alone reminds us why Peshay had such a critical influence in the formative days of drum & bass jungle. No collection is complete without this.
Coming to us form Lativa is co-owner of Keep It Rolling Records, Kenji. Boy does this guy know how to make music, drawing influences from all areas of jungle, drum and bass and grime, this is an exciting EP. 'Jealous' is a big tune! To begin with we are stepping into a nostalgic nod to jungle past, with classic samples and a bright vibe, but at the drop bring with a mammoth and unexpected jolt into jump up dirtiness. 'In The Trap' would make a sick grime beat! With its winning formula of complex simplicity and high pitched flutes. So good!
Despite track title and the somewhat dirty bass, we think 'Misery and Suffering' is a fun, energetic track which will have the dance bouncing around. 'Musical Experience' follows the very over used noisy jump up formula with similar tones and samples, but there's something about this track that makes it stand out.
Since being exclusively signed to Futurebound's label the lad hailing from sunny South Wales has been showing us what he's made of. 'Passenger' is a track designed purely to set the dance alight. The drums are tough and heavy enough to get the floors pumping, but the catchy melodic main body of the track paired with the repetitive vocal gives it some crossover appeal for festival and freshers sets, keeping that delicate balance of authenticity.
Air piano hands at the ready! Ultima C returns with two epic ivory-slapping euphoria jams. "Forever" is powered by pure positivity, hitting hard like you've just been tickled by a hundred grand pianos. "Disconnected" takes a more a poignant twist with more orchestral fusion, blazing horns and even a twang or two of Latin guitar. Serious end of night rocket fuel, vibes like these live forever.