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03 Aug 09
24 Aug 12
Played by: The Others, Sharkslayer, Juno Recommends Drum & Bass, Juno Recommends Dubstep, The Golden Toyz, Fed Conti, Filth Collins
Review: In-demand outfit The Others bring their iconic sound to Caspa's Dub Police imprint once again and in doing so bring an array of talent to the table in the remix package. "The Way You Make Me" is a thought-provoking piece with mournful breakdowns, euphoric, trance-like builds and stabbing beats. It's a classic hands-in-the-air dancefloor dubstep cut. BeatauCue provide a stomping 4/4 remix with stripped back synths and a late night aurora of hedonism, while S.P.Y goes in deep and dark with his luxurious D&B mix before Playaz don Original Sin gets dirty with his grizzled jump up D&B interpretation. Brilliant from start to finish, this is a must for all bass heads.
01 Oct 12
Review: Following numerous successful releases of late, now Foreign Concept returns to the Critical spotlight. Bringing together the talents of Sabre and Riya alongside the man himself, "Injustice" is a gorgeous piece with Riya's iconic voice lending a ballad like quality, with Sabre and Foreign Concept's combined efforts on production the beats are crisp and on-point with murmuring piano keys and gentle waves of bass beneath. We then turn our attention to "Affliction" with Foreign Concept and Riya again succeeding in crafting a lovely slice of deepness with minimal beats. Classy D&B at its best - get involved.
22 Apr 13
Review: Bringing the experimental vibes has always been a strength of Ant TC1's Dispatch Recordings and this latest release doesn't bow to commercial pressure. "Degeneration" is a dark cacophony of deep atmospherics and shattered breaks, with lunging bass pushing forward and striking with Cern's trademark deadly accuracy. DBR UK and MTWN's inclusion "Shrapnel" is a fierce stepper with dubby bass vibes set firmly in after dark mentality. One for minimal tension, one to make you move, both from a label that's set itself in firm 'buy on sight' territory for years. An insta-bag.
25 Mar 13
Played by: Platform
Review: The Midnight Funk Association might have an influx of new members signing up after this EP hits home. Bringing his trademark bouncy basslines to a plethora of fresh, dancefloor-driven beats, the EP kicks off with its title track. Not wasting any time, Detail Records boss Lynx ramps up his sample-digging powers from the start. Following up with "Micro", firmer techy territory is explored, with industrial sounds and an irresistible dancehall beat that pounds like a jack-hammer until a dubby breakdown messes with your head. "Bobby Says" is a vintage horror movie soundtrack updated with jazzy breaks and Bobby Esmond's haunting rhymes tannoyed in from somewhere above the dry ice. Finally, "I Want You To Remember" is a straight-up frightfest, destined to spook late night ravers and scare the crap out of the headphone crew on the nightbus home. Lynx as you know him best, an original soundscaper.
11 Mar 13
11 Mar 13
Review: Kazakhstan might not be the first place that springs to mind when you mention dark, filthy beats, but that's exactly where bass master Command Strange resides. Working together with UK-born Malaky, this release sees them hitting new low frequencies in "Hyperbug", a frenzied darkstepper with instant dancefloor skank appeal. "Regrets" on the other hand is a cinematic spine-tingler, raising pulses and stepping hard to a lush, vocal-driven melody. With huge bass and technical drums this is a release for the darker-minded. Watch it take off in a club near you very soon.
22 Apr 13
Review: Dutty Audio's Brazilian drum & bass badman BTK takes no prisoners when he goes in. "Megahertz" is a full-on dancefloor destroyer, best heard on an 100ft system as the end of the world approaches. For those on a non-apocalyptic tip, fragmented breaks and a deep bass groove give the title track seriously addictive headphone appeal too. After an insane build-up, the rapidfire roll of "Be Yourself" smashes straight into neuro funk filth with the type of bassline that gets crowds of thousands screwfacing in harmony. It's a beautiful thing
11 Mar 13
Review: With previous releases on more prestigious drum and bass labels than you could shake a stick at, Nymfo has been cooking up a storm since his first producer outings with Icicle back in 2007. Already a highly-respected DJ, he's one of the few 'newer' producers the likes of Friction, Goldie and Teebee shower with praise year on year. This time Klute's got his hands on the man himself to release "Suddenly / Air Jacks" on Commercial Suicide and it doesn't disappoint. "Suddenly" seethes with tension, with big swollen bass and beautiful melodic piano brightening up the whole track. "Air Jacks" turns the flip into a tightly condensed stepper, with punchy kicks and nasty, nasty bass. Claustrophobic in the extreme, if you've not been to a club where this track tears it up, you're not frequenting the right establishments.
17 Dec 12
Played by: Satin
Review: Labels, artists and websites all tend to adopt a retrospective tone as the end of a year gets ever closer, so it's naturally quite timely for V Recordings head honcho Bryan Gee to crank out a third volume of his excellent Retrospect series. With it comes a wealth of old jungle riddims, influential classics and long forgotten favourites from the likes of DJ Die, Roni Size, Ray Keith, Krust, Lemon D and more. Gee opens in style with the Brizzle roller "Fashion" by the legendary Roni Size and maintains the pressure throughout, dropping gems such as DJ Die's "Something Special", Krust's iconic stepper "Check Dis Out" and the jazzy, liquid loveliness of Lemon D's "Get On Down" with its shimmying, sunshine filled vibes. For a trip down memory lane, this one's essential.
16 May 11
Played by: Lighterman
02 Apr 12
Review: We last saw Amit in 2011 with his critically acclaimed 9 Times LP on Commercial Suicide, which brought together a unique blend of sounds and concepts and united them into one. Here he returns, this time on D Bridge's Exit Records, with a four-track EP which is equally stunning. "You Look Better Dead (featuring Rani)" is a melancholic piece with booming bass, rattling breaks and mournful lyrics. "Manic Minor" switches things up with frenetic SFX bleeping in the background, booming subs and barely there percussion. "Stay With Me" is all about the instrumental swells and "Kritical" gets dark and menacing as the EP draws to a close.
15 Dec 08
10 Dec 12
Review: Next on the ever-reliable and consistently excellent Soul:R comes a couple of superb cuts from Phil Tangent who has been impressing us of late with his deep, minimal sounds. "Restitution" opens the single with sweeping atmospherics, gentle instrumentals, echoing vocal snatches and bleepy beats. It falls into the drop smoothly and switftly with a deep, throbbing b-line providing a heart beat like loveliness for the rest of the track. Accompanying this is "Squaring The Circle" - another beauty, but this time a more stripped back one with thudding drums, blissed out atmospherics and a sparse, haunted feeling which progresses as a vocal element comes into focus with humming subs below. Excellent from start to finish.
01 Oct 12
Review: Ulterior Motive head up this three-track EP on Critical, teaming up with three hot new talents along the way. First up is their collab with Hybris - "Bring Out". This one builds from a contemplative intro full of ticking beats and watery SFX into a nice little roller with quirky atmospherics and gently jittery rhythms. Next they join forces with FD in "Drum Circle", where, you've guessed it, it's all about the drums but also watch out for the tough, rough bass and warping sounds which add further bark to the bite. Last but not least, the boys team up with label boss Kasra for the epic "Minesweeper" which goes in deep with gnarly b-line, grouchy SFX and plenty of punch. Big things!
29 Oct 12
Played by: Fuzzbox Inc, DJ Stex, Actual Sounds, Juno Recommends Brokenbeat/Nu Jazz, Ez Icarus, Basement Freaks, Telephunken, Tosses & Varvez, Agroprom
Review: A bold and brilliant release here from B Side which brings in the talents of MC Kyla for a seriously sick couple of tracks on the Ghetto Funk imprint. First up is the eponymous track of the EP "Throwing It Wild" which blends a dubstep sensibility with live, urban lyrics adding a jovial patter and grouchy mid range bellows. The B Side D&B remix is a nice addition to the package; adding some 175bpm badness to the original and increasing the pace, whilst the Tonic remix is pure funked up sickness aimed squarely at the dancefloor.
04 Jun 12
10 Jan 13
Review: Soul Connection steps up for a truly marvelous release on Soul Deep Recordings. The Love For Sale EP is all about the soulful, liquid side of D&B and kicks off with the ever so gentle "Sweetness" which is jam packed with delicate, tripping rhythms and soulful whisperings. Next is "Street Lady" with its upbeat allure, pattering drums and shimmying sounds. "Forever More" continues the narrative until we stumble upon the blissed out "Love For Sale" and hark back to the early days of D&B with the nostalgic, glistening tones of "Blue Note". Finishing off the EP with some serious soul is "Soul Deep" which is laid back and full of good vibes. Sit back and enjoy folks!
14 Apr 13
Review: Drumsound & Bassline Smith reinvent themselves as 2DB for opening track "Oxygen" and fans of the mighty trio will not be disappointing. Appearing on their own label they bolster up an EP filled with retro influences and heavy bass drops. Hashtag's "Don't You Want Me?" drops its 90s rave persona into place alongside paranoid retro synths and acid bass while Slovakian D&B obsessive L Plus' old-school gaming credentials come into play with some serious chiptune insanity. MaxNRG hangs on a junglist/dubstep hybrid flex as he maxes out his compression bonuses and smashes that "drop" button until his controller explodes. Rounding off the EP with two more blistering tracks from L Plus and 2DB, if you like your dance music hard, fast and SNES-inspired, you're onto a winner.
18 Mar 13
Marcia Griffiths - "No No No (Marcus Visionary Jungle Refix)" (Marcus Visionary Jungle refix) - (5:03) 175 BPM
Review: Established Jamaican super-producer Di Genius has spent the best part of a year compiling this bumper release of jungle refixes alongside the hugely respected jungle badman Liondub. As the beats remain the same throughout (hence the "Moving Riddim Jungle Refixes" portion of the title) they feature a massive array of classic and contemporary reggae and dancehall names, from Anthony B's "Give Praises" and Freddie McGregor's "Be Alright" to the undeniable vocals of Queen of Reggae Marcia Griffiths in her strong, uplifting track "No No No". Plenty of ammo for jungle and brighter jump-up sets (summer's on it's way after all).
31 Oct 11
Played by: Liondub
Review: Dub Force teams up with longtime Ray Keith cohort Bladerunner on this latest slice of junglist action from the Liondub crew. No surprises here as we are taken deep in with the familiar "Jah Jah is coming" sample offset with some seriously hefty bass pressure and liberally sprinkled hectic amens on "Jah Jah Dub". "Give Me Your Love" slows the pace with hammond organ, reggae chops and dubwise samples all framing a Lover's Rock style yearning vocal and oscillating bass. One for the jungle soldiers.
17 Sep 12
Review: Liquid V do what they do best and provide us with a good dose of liquid D&B from Critycal Dub plus a couple of collabs with DJ Chap and Level 2 thrown in for good measure. First up is "Thing Past" which is all nostalgic tones, rose tinted notes and rattling breaks in abundance. Next is the DJ Chap collab "Sunshine" which strips thing back and focuses on the drums and rhythms with an iconic sample adding the inspiration for the title. "My Feeling" shakes things up with some heartfelt melodies and clapping beats before Critycal Dub & Level 2's "Watershell" brings the EP to a soaring close.
18 Feb 13
Review: Straight from the tropical climes of Benny Page's studio and featuring the unmistakeable vocals of TopCat, you'd never guess Benny was a Reading boy through and through listening to "Sound Fi Dead". This badboy rhythm has been given four makeovers that couldn't be any different. Cabbie's take is strictly jungle, taking little bits here and there from the old school and adding the nastiest bass and the hottest brass, while DJ Oder laughs in the face of tradition and smashes everything up good and proper with drops all over the place; with bass enough to wake the dead, it's set to light up dancefloors everywhere. Ricky Tuff adds some classic soundsystem vibes to create his own little taste of dub heaven, and Aries & Tuffist lay down a seriously devastating jungle bassline to round it all off. Mooooooove!
01 Apr 13
Review: Furious percussion and smooth vocals pinpoints Andrezz's Brazilian roots while showcasing his talent for reaching out beyond his liquid funk dossier. Creating sounds from the full spectrum of commercial D&B, he channels rolling drum and bass gods Lenzman and S.P.Y in "Resistance", Nu:Tone and Logistics in "Senzala", DJ Marky and Doc Scott in "Like The Real Thing" and working alongside DJ Chap for "So Many Days", old school vibes are blended with cracking deep, bassy breakdowns that seriously flip this release into experimental territory. Get one for your crate and one for your morning commute.
25 Oct 10
11 Oct 10
22 Apr 13
Review: Liquid Brilliants' quest to find the best in drum & bass and liquid funk with a light, soulful touch has led them to release DJ Skill's first solo EP and sweet merciful modulation was it worth the wait. Touching upon the retro sound of late '90s liquid funk while driving forward with intense top-end percussion, "Heavenly Calm" is a wide open soundscape of glittering ocean and endless blue skies. "L Music" switches up the dancefloor appeal with bouncing bass and cheeky electro-esque claps and even a verse comprised of whistling. Definitely a holiday tune. "Spring Jazz" finishes off the selection with dancefloor-driven beats and a swinging jazzy feel. A unique liquid record - not often you can say that.
11 Feb 13
Review: Liquid Brilliants have a knack for finding the oddballs amongst the D&B masses, and they've outdone themselves this time. Combining a sample from 1930s swing ditty and jungle-lite, Serbian drum and bass nutcases Euphorics sew together "Moonshine", a strangely bleak yet also confusingly upbeat little number. "Snowflake" is somewhat less mentally concerning, with refreshingly musical piano loops and soulful vocals readily deployed within lovely warm liquid breaks. "Gambling With Hearts", it's fair to say, is the drum and bass equivalent of losing your mind at an 80s high school reunion (just you wait for that sample) but with less hairspray and more questions about mortality. The Spanish flavours of sunny "So Real" is welcomingly sunkissed after all the madness; soothingly rolling and with some beautiful little instrumental inflections. A quirky pick-n-mix EP well worth the moments of disorientation.
28 Jan 13
Played by: Jebar
Review: Isaac Maya heads up the sixth volume of "Dubwise Brilliants" on the ever-prolific Liquid Brilliants series with the crooning and shimmying "You Make Me Cry" with its lilting, enticing lyrics and shuffling jungle-tastic breaks. It's a sumptuous slice of summer sunshine in musical form that will have you moving and shaking in no time at all. Accompanying this is the aptly entitled "Vibes" which sees Maya team up with Jebar for another rambunctious, hip-shaking tune full of punchy drums, raunchy bass and plenty of musical mayhem.
20 Jul 09
07 Jan 13
04 Mar 13
07 Apr 13
Friction & Skream - "Kingpin" (feat Scrufizzer & P Money & Riko Dan - Calyx & Teebee remix) - (4:48) 172 BPM
Played by: Divine Elements
Review: Drum & Bass Arena has ruled on high for nearly 20 years, and in that time has helped to forge the careers of every drum & bass artist worth their salt. It's impossible to downplay the influence the site has had on the scene, as a club brand and an online resource, and this year their official compilation is a doozie. Featuring some of the largest tracks around right now from Friction & Skream, J Majik & Wickaman, DJ Hazard, Rene LaVice, Calyx & TeeBee, Original Sin and Optiv & BTK as well as bangers from fresh artists like Heist, Zen & Nitri, this is an essential purchase for any D&B fan. Focussing on the heavier end of the spectrum this 35 track behemoth is basically your 2013 compendium of bass. Don't leave home without it.
07 Apr 13
Friction & Skream - "Kingpin" (feat Scrufizzer P Money & Riko Dan - Calyx & Teebee remix) - (4:48) 172 BPM
28 May 12
24 Apr 12
Review: One of jungle's most distinctive micsmiths, Top Cat's succinct smoky politics are declared loud and clear on both Pankik and M Rode's 2009 version and a brand new rub from jump-up supremo Heist. The former is undiluted skank bounce garnished with vibrant party vibes on every farting bass bump. The latter, however, couldn't be filthier. Heist's saw-toothed abilities seemingly know no bounds at present - droning, hollow tones hold hands with rasping, waspy growls to form yet another marriage in floor-fuelling shock out harmony. Quintessential drum and bass jungle.
29 Jul 12
Review: Far Too Loud bring the ruckus once again with this exuberant rip-roaring electro house EP on Funkatech. Big, bold and boisterous, the Firestorm EP kicks off with title track "Firestorm" - a vocal sample is paired with sweeping synths, enticing melody and falls into a dramatic drop, full of Skrillex style electro-house wobbes and squeaks and pounding beats. "Lightbringer" continues the mayhem with even more drawn out mid-range squeals and then "600 Years" brings things to a close with smashing snares, razor sharp beats and grinding bass. This is super fun - get involved!
25 Feb 13
Review: Moving Shadow legend Paradox serves up his 147th release and to celebrate he's gone back to the old school and pulled out some of the most influential, creatively potential breakbeats ever sampled by man. The clue's in the title and the records he's sampled are actually part of the artwork. Shucks, on "Scorpius" it actually ends with the source break, all beefed up and ready for you to sample. Heavy in heritage, this is a lesson for any budding producer/D&B fan... and a must for all DJs!
22 Apr 13