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15 May 13
Review: Billed as 2013's biggest collection of reggae-fuelled party tracks, this madcap collaboration between New York's own reggae star Tuffist and newcomers Soul Rebel, DJ Tzinas and Bluntskull whips up new creations from some of reggae's finest tracks. From Toots and the Maytals to The Ethiopians, Soul Rebel, DJ Tzinas and Hammond Classics work together to bring a new flava, while Tuffist's jungle vibes and Bluntskull's breakbeat hype provide fresh new sounds to get the party skanking. Don't underestimate the power of reggae to get floors filled across the country, this series confronts non-dancers and shuns bad feelings. Embrace the party jams!
13 May 13
Review: Emperor began his journey not so long ago with his own brand of drum & bass that reaches beyond the depths. This EP sets out in stone his arrival into the inner circle. Starting off with the hauntingly savage "Begin" featuring the silken tones of Georgia Yates, there is no let up in the speed or accuracy with which tunes are flung forward. "She Said" is a double bass stepper Roni Size would be envious of, "Radar" rips through minimal synths at hyperspeed, "Precursor"'s strange, offset tape noise intro gives way to serious bass tremors and "Solar", featuring fellow English bass terroriser Centra blasts partway through the universe with huge neuro shockwaves. A serious contender for EP of the year so far.
20 May 13
Review: Been missing the hyperactive influence of Danny Byrd in your lives? Stop your whining and get your eardrums wrapped around this. The original party starter's latest collection of tunes has been designed to get glowsticks raised across the country. "4th Dimension" powerslams old school rave with high energy drum & bass to create an unmistakeable Hospitality soundtrack. "Bad Boy (Back Again)" adds some serious jungle vibing to proceedings, bubbling over with bassline bounce and a seriously sing-along-able vocal hit. With a hard-hitting remix from 303 as Flux Pavillion bring some swag with their "Bad boy" refix, get hoping for some good weather because these are going to blow the roof off clubs everywhere.
13 May 13
Review: Mixing upfront jump up with jungle has made the Jungle Assassins series of releases a total necessity for all fans of either genre. Vol 4 is no exception, starting off with Levela's hard-hitting remix of "Dangerous" featuring the unmistakeable vocals of Solo Banton. Bouncing hard but still keeping track of Benny Page's floorfilling original, it's a tune to suit every party. "Rumple Stinkslit" is another Benny Page jump up masterpiece, plus, who doesn't love a good anagram? Big, brash and ready to tear up your dancefloor, like Red Bull-fuelled raving in a china shop, don't expect to stop until everything's destroyed.
13 May 13
Review: London-based DJ and producer Philth has a lot on his plate. Aside from providing the beats for his weekly Origin FM show, teaching the youth how to produce and record for themselves and toying with the pressing matter of becoming potentially the most prolific drum & bass producer ever to have existed, he's also found the time to create each of the cracking soulful tracks on this little beauty. Working with Soul Deep for the first time, Philth chose to work outside of his comfort zone, crafting beautifully written D&B as a counterpoint to his usual ruff-and-tumble bass-heavy dancefloor smashers. The result is a gorgeous collection of heartfelt depth and smooth vibes. Check "Humbled", our favourite of the lot.
20 May 13
Played by: S Man
Review: Newcastle-based trio of drum & bass production masterminds Sato, Phobia and Tyrone have booted a spring up the bad parts with "Intermission", an immediately arresting delve into the murky jungle pasts of all three chaps. Bassy in all the right places and filled with the classic jangle of vintage amens, it's a star in its own right. "Knock Knock" is a more contemporary affair, in so much as it uses all the futuristic Carl Sagan-esque sound effects in its power to create the sensation of being hurtled through space to an ice cool jungle break soundtrack. Raw and heavy these tracks hopefully herald a new future of decent jungle-inspired D&B. We can only hope.
10 May 13
Review: Original breakbeat DJ and one of the founding fathers of drum and bass, Ray Keith's part in the early days of the scene can't be overstated. Match the man himself with Tenor Fly, one of the most distinctive voices in breakbeat and drum and bass and you've got a recipe for some seriously baking riddims. Renegade Live is Keith's dream - a fully live jungle setup that brings energy and soul back to those dark rooms filled with bass and nodding heads. Potentially the hottest ticket for the forthcoming festival season, Bladerunner's dub remix packs some serious punch, adding after dark attitude and ghostly keys. Hotly tipped for this summer, all eyes on Renegade - don't sleep.
17 Mar 13
Review: It's been a long journey for James Edward Jacob, from young thrash metaller in Leicester to aspiring dubstep producer in college, and now hot future bass property. This EP of his own VIP mixes is premier grade stuff, expertly produced and cleverly tweaked for different moods. "Fade" gets three different interpretations here - a club mix that sees big crescendos drop into totally nasty 4/4 garage basslines, a different club mix that goes deeper with soft pads and a retro Enya-goes-RnB vibe, and finally the Etherwood version, all melancholic DnB, forlorn vocals and piano fused with low bass and urgent beats.
21 May 13
Review: Releasing on Focuz for some time now, UK-based Malaky has been bringing his own blend of harmonious liquid and breakbeat-inspired rhythms to the worldwide D&B scene. This two track EP explores his deeper side, starting with the lush textures and widescreen sound of "Vibrate", a true liquid stepper that should sit high on any D&B setlist. "Own World" features soulful vocals from Lyndsey Murray and launches straight into whimsical string sampling and hard stepping beats. Warm rolling bass smothers the low end in a deep, resonant glow, leaving a barely heard sax to echo into the sunset. A gorgeous way to finish your evening.
27 Apr 13
13 May 13
24 Sep 12
Review: Always one for a fun tune and catchy riff, Benny Page returns with another fine, fine riddim on the Cutterz Choice imprint as he teams up with Rhythm Beater for "That Girl" which heads up the single. Full of pattering jungle-laced drums, rumbling bass, chirruping SFX and reggae beats in abundance, "That Girl" is a lilting piece of sunshine filled loveliness. Get involved! Next up, Rhythm Beater goes solo for "What Goes Around" for another lush cut with chiming beats, murmuring vocal and gentle breaks which soothes the soul.
20 May 13
Review: Picked up swiftly last year by Playaz to release thoughtful stomper "Particles" alongside "Invasion", big bass duo Placid return to the fold with their second big ticket release on the label and it really was worth the wait. Old school vibes are crammed into every inch of this ambitious EP, piling techy soundscapes with hard driven basslines and fat, punchy percussion. Tracks like "Perception" show off the duo's talent for creating darker, techier tracks laden with atmospherics and even haunting musicality and "Light Year" takes them to the dancefloor. A seriously accomplished EP from two very exciting new producers.
20 May 13
Review: Big bad bass? Cockney gangster samples? Upfront riddims? "Take What You've Got" blasts every jump up construct going into their D&B hadron collider and the end result comes off sounding nastier than Vinnie Jones wielding a desert eagle down some local East-End boozer. Rowney doesn't make things any easier in b-side "Sludge" as he ditches the thuggery and heads lower into bassbin warrior territory. With Thunda Banton taking up the mic amongst blistering percussion this is one dancefloor smasher you won't be able to avoid thanks to its home on G13, one of the Playaz crew's sister labels. Hold on to your drinks, things are gonna get messy.
20 May 13
Review: Dark, dangerous jump up doesn't come more destructive than 19 year old newcomer Konichi's brand of noisemaking. Already fully supported by the likes of Hype, Friction, Dillinja and Hazard, he's been busy building up his repertoire to run with the big names at this summer's big events. As you'd expect, "What Can We Do" is a firestorm of bass, tearing up speakers with worrying ferocity. "Don't Start" picks up a more tech-stepper vibe as it gears up to launch yet another patented Konichi bassline. Definitely one to watch, Konichi is already one of the Real Playaz favourites for this year.
12 May 13
Review: Launching ProgRAM last year with his single "Pandorum", Frankee has become a flagship artist for the label. Returning once again with his first EP, he and ProgRAM hope to take the D&B world by storm with his unique take on dancefloor-ready, intelligent tunes. Each track shows a different side to the UK born producer, from the atmospheric-laden unearthliness "Harlequin"to the straight-up dancefloor destroying sounds of "Paranormal"; the intensely exotic vibes of "Saffron" permeating a perfectly rolling Reese and ends up with the comedy jungle influences of "Flintstone" where cartoon becomes reality. Don't believe us? Have a listen yourself - it's all there.
19 May 13
Review: Ram's new golden boy Chords provides the official start to the summer with "Biting Point", a fresh and energising roll through techy D&B influences past and present. Straight up and to the point, it smashes in and maintains that momentum producing what's surely been the most addictive floorfiller of the year so far. "Amygdala" takes a full u-turn from the party vibes and heads down a deeper path. '80s drums herald a sober approach, but are quickly overwhelmed by a darkly destructive bassline and heavy stepping beats. Expect big things from Chords, Ram aren't grinning about their recent signing for nowt.
20 May 13
20 May 13
Review: This EP is a collaboration of work by some of Europe's finest intelligent liquid producers. A strange sub-genre term it might be, but Intelligent Manners' Intelligent Recordings has searched far and wide over the past couple of years to find music that fits the niche. Celsius have done much the same here, showcasing some of the finest intelligent drum & bass around that still holds the soul and emotive qualities of liquid. Featuring the likes of Intelligent Manners, Command Strange and Mage, it's a breezy look at what the future holds for one of the longest standing sub-genres in dance music. If you like Calibre, DJ Marky, S.P.Y or Bukem, you'll want to check this out pronto.
13 May 13
Review: Think of DJ Hazard and what do you see in your mind's eye? Put that hectic mayhem and those sweaty dancefloor shenanigans together into a two track release and you've got a good idea as to what BassBrothers are all about. "Royal Rumble" is a knockout blow from the very start, punching well above those jump up expectations and delivering some serious originality and a seriously stinking bassline to boot. "Jamaican Thug" puts dancehall vibes to work, smashing dancefloors and convincing crowds they can all do an adequate dutty wine, where destructively deep bass gives in to a ridiculous build up.
06 May 13
Played by: S Man
Review: A solid member of the D&B scene in the UK for almost a decade yet never seeming to pause above the surface for long, this latest release from Bladerunner could see him gain some well-deserved notoriety. Featuring the biggest, bounciest bass this side of summer and rolling vibes interspersed with soulful sampling, all three tracks offer something a little different. Whether it's the techy nuances of "Dragonfly", the deep growl of underwater bass in "Biological Mutations" or the swagger of perfect dancefloor stepper "The Vision", this is a perfect jump-off point into Bladerunner's solid solo back catalogue. Enjoy.
06 May 13
Played by: Slam Mode
Review: Seattle might be a city famous for grunge, rain and coffee, but Quadrant, Kid Hops and Iris are hoping to place it firmly on the map for chilling, glacial liquid funk too. Forgoing the usual sun 'n' sea atmospherics for an altogether more Baltic feel, "Solar Wind" tweaks electronic chimes and cirrus-light sampling into an icy cold roller Enei would be proud of. Newcomers Lukeino and Homemade Weapons collab with Quadrant on "Mayday", as light synths circle above a crevasse of deep, cavernous bass. Cinematic and fresh with unique elements of crisp production and breakbeat influences, its got our seal of approval.
20 May 13
Review: Renowned for their consistently dark, stark production power Amoss never cease to deliver. "Bumbaclart" pulverises from the off with its industrial strength kick drums and droning, warped riff. Rising with uncompromised menace, it's like an orchestra of steam-powered machines, slamming and drilling in perfect harmony. "Dilate" is a much more brooding affair. Lolloping on a slimy halfstep laced with a series of processed croaks and slurs, if you're looking to prang out your floor, this guarantees chaos.
05 Apr 13
Review: Destination "Afrika" via LA... Here we find Sub Slayer Skanx delving deep into jungle heritage with a muddy roller that packs the same foggy, radar-ridden breakbeat punch as the Meat Beat Manifesto's "Radio Babylon". For a more contemporary dub twist head for 6BLOCC's remix; stripping things back to a nagging 4/4 sub thump, it's the perfect blend of trad dub and stark future-minded bass music. Elsewhere we don the white gloves for the rave-tastic "Boom" while Eek-A-Mouse goes under the sample scalpel on the swashbuckling "Dub War". The junglist massive are on fine form right here.
28 Apr 13
Played by: Mooqee
Review: With the release of their album due next month, Loadstar hint at the broad church we can expect to be attending. The radio-ready "Refuse To Love" doffs a cap towards the likes of Chase & Status. Anthemic, vocal-led, lighter-thrusting business, if you enjoyed their earlier single "Space Between" you'll be all over this. "Flight" is the ideal accompaniment; deeper, rolling and focussed purely on the floor, it's quite similar to their previous underground nugget "BLVD". Loadstar are about to smash the D&B scene to pieces; refusal is impossible...
08 Apr 13
Played by: Nice Up! Soundsystem, Johnnypluse(Bulabeats Records), Gabriel, Juno Recommends Drum & Bass, Juno Recommends Dancehall/Ragga, Juno Recommends Dub, The Funk Hunters, Euphonique, Good News Boppers, Highgrademuzik Aka Don D Selectah, Mo' Matic
Review: Wrongtom Meets Deemas J's album In East London was met with some serious levels of hype when it arrived on the reggae scene last September. "The strongest modern reggae set to emerge from the UK for many years" said The Wire. High praise indeed. So "Superteng", the second single to be released from the roots-inspired LP, is a toned-down affair, groove-driven and minimal, letting the lyrics do the talking. Featuring a cool and collected remix by Scoop & Alter Ego & Rico and the bonus addition of jungle mashup "Jump + Move + Rock" remixed by the one and only Benny Page, you can't mistake the top quality of this release. If you're a fan, buy the LP too, it's a modern reggae masterpiece.
18 Mar 13
Review: Mise En Place Pt. 2 is a showcase for some of the most innovative talents in drum and bass today. Ingredients Records certainly know how to stockpile an enviable portfolio of tracks, and some of these beauties have been on the backburner for a while. First track "Rainy City Music" by Dub Phizix has added lingering, hopeful ambiance to the end of sets for a good long while now, but with a proper release, headphones everywhere can experience its full cinematic glow. Villem's "Splinter In Your Mind" gets a fractious and bassy makeover by the elusive Break, puling switches and swapping rhythms like a mad professor in a thunderstorm. Skeptical, the go-to man for dark, minimal drum and bass provides a VIP version of cold-hearted killer "Blue Eyes", where beautiful samples are stamped and warped by high-pressure bass and intricate percussion, adding faster-moving tension to an already sterling track. Finally dRamatic & dbAudio's icy roller "No Return" is soaked in icy atmospherics, with bass that looms terrifyingly out of the mist. Four incredible tracks from producers punching well above the median.
13 May 13
Review: Samurai, the hugely respected drum & bass label that under the watchful eye of DJ Presha brings the world the finest in deep, dark beats from beyond the 170+ realm. This time they've hit up ASC once more for his own mashed up brand of techno-infused drum & bass straight from his own cold, calculating mind. Close, creeping and stunningly hard, although "Polemic" is softened slightly by a swirling sci-fi synth, there's no mistaking its clinical edge. "Oracle" takes off-beats and creates a master work of atmospherics with them. Minimal and clean, it builds to a shuffling crescendo amidst the smallest of pad interference. Unnervingly good.
13 May 13
20 Apr 13
Review: You don't get much more junglistic than Ed Solo and on this latest release from Jungle Cakes, you've guessed it, some sticky, sweet jungle is the order or the day. "Smoke The Weed" is a classic jungle mashup, and with Canadian bass master Stickybuds on hand to provide some serious breaks it quickly escalates to an all-out skanking session. Before you can pass it on, "Joker Smoker" adds retro brass and guitar to build the reggae funk as the track fragments into not one but two different breakdowns providing the basis for some serious dancefloor workouts. Don't sleep on this.
22 Feb 12
Played by: Bmd, DJ Stex, Manmade / Cmc-Silenta, Nick Hollywood, Minimatic, Voodoocuts, Gray, Juno Recommends Breakbeat, Juno Recommends Drum & Bass, Dastardly Kuts, DJ Twister Aka Vinyl Cat, Juno Best Sellers 2012, Miles Reverse
Review: Polish mash-up merchant DJ Twister can always be relied upon to deliver the kind of tight bootleg blends that send dancefloors into a flurry of flailing arms and instinctive, animal-like yelps and cheers. This latest release is no different, containing a slew of bangers. As the title suggests, there's a chunky, robust swing to each of the cuts. "Handclap Swing" offers a floor-bating 21st century re-boot of funk staple "The Handclap Song", while opener "Hip-Hop Swing" laces a familiar party rap vocal over a bumpin' rhythm that weighs in somewhere between breaks and D&B. "Swing Or Not", meanwhile, turns The Fugees "Ready Or Not" into a skittish junglist rinse-out.
29 Apr 13
Review: The king of lush, dancefloor-driven liquid returns with a sparkling example of what it means to be Lenzman. A lightfooted canter through a bright landscape of widescreen atmospherics and tight percussion, his classic electronic keys remain intact as "Empty Promise" rushes on, pushing towards making that dream of an endless summer a reality. Makoto proves himself as one of the scene's brightest talents once more with a flawless remix of Lenzman's club favourite "Broken Dreams". Expect thousands to be humming that chorus as soon as the sun comes out: "I choose you baby, I choose you."
22 Apr 13
Review: There is a slick bounce to "Rare Groove" that perhaps only Savage Rehab could get away with. Being so unashamedly funky in a game where straight-faced hardmen poses are rife can bring its own problems, but with vibes coming in thick and fast from co-conspirator Saxxon throught this unique EP, there's no time to worry about all that; everyone is just far too busy dancing. Add the emotively dark "Step Inside", the irrepressible flair and snap of "Neck Funk" and the nasty neuro-jungle madness that is "Rise Up" and you find yourself in possession of one of this year's most impressively unique releases. Big sounds, bigger grooves.