Review: When we saw the names "Royal Flush" and Downplay in the same sentence, we knew we were in for a treat as the two fabulous garage outfits combine for a saucy three track selection. We begin with the old school vocal snippets and pleasing organ chord structures of 'Need You' which supplies us with some seriously nostalgic sunshine flavours. Next, 'Somebody New' continues the good vibe with a much techier design, stripping back the melodies in favour of more potent drum textures and crunchy sub tones. On remix duty, the ever-dependable Kobe JT steps up for a fabulous recreation of 'Need You' adding an additional dash of spice to a fabulous body of work!
Review: When it comes to churning out sweat-soaked, rave-era revivalism, few producers are quite as adept as Chrissy, in part because he's genuinely studied the turn-of-the-90s styles he's emulating (and has the record collection to prove it). For proof, check the cut that kick-starts this EP, "Can't You Feel It". Built around bustling breakbeats, fizzing synth bass, simmering strings and sweaty female vocal samples, it's a thrill a minute ride - as is the stomping, acid-powered, bleep-laden track that follows it, "Depeche Moines". Soundbwoy Killah kick-starts the remix portion of the EP with a hybrid UK funky/UK garage revision of "Can't You Feel It" that boasts one of the weightiest sub-bass drops we've heard for yonks - seriously, it's massive - before Denham Audio re-casts "Depeche Moines" as a breakbeat hardcore-goes-tribal house smasher.
Review: It has got to the point where we are more likely to see a new Four40 drop each week than not and yet they somehow never seem to diminish the quality of their output. Here, they let loose the colourful designs of Tuff Culture for the sixth edition of 'Elements'. We kick off with the expert vocal inputs and stripped back bass tones of 'Away', followed closely by the bouncy designs and breaksy inputs of 'Babylon' and the unpredictable rhythmic manoeuvres of 'Letters' alongside Sampladelic. From here we dive into the smooth sub roles and groovy drum shakes of 'Polarity' before rounding everything off with 'Subtraction', a super choppy finale, alternating between different vocal slices, marinating amidst a warm, fuzzy sub-line below. Wicked work!
Review: As ever with Bass=Win, we are expecting a set of party starting anthems as Rico Tubbs lands for a wavy new release. The title track 'Circles' is a very tasty creation indeed, combining an unusual vocal layer with almost niche-like drum bubbles and pulsating bass textures below. This also comes complete with a vibrant MPH rethink, pitching up the vocal and allowing his jazz-ready chord structures to bring a whole different angle to the composition. Finally, 'Home Workout' links more bouncy bass tones with a more minimal drum arrangement, using the same vocal from the title track but in a completely different light.
Review: We really hope everyone out there is enjoying this new wave of UKG as much as we are here at Juno Download. The sunshine flavours are extremely prominent at the moment, especially within this wonderful new release from Matt Jam Lamont and Echelon, who deliver a fabulous four track selection to the newly launched Undagrnd Freqz imprint. With these two featuring on every track, we are also given four guest features, the first of which comes from Aki on the incredibly vibrant sub rolls and vocal slices of 'Every Step'. This is followed by the wonderful Shosh getting involved on the more mellow moogy bass rolls of 'Let U Know' before Yemi arrives with a bag of melodic punch with his inputs to 'Treat Ting Me'. Finally, the ever-ready Smokey Bubblin' B arrives with a typically colourful sack of energy, providing the perfect touches to round us off in style!
Review: Well, it seems to be every week that we welcome a brand new drop from the Four40 team this year, however this latest drop is something truly special as the veteran imprint celebrates nine years of activity with a scintillating selection, showcasing some of their most important roster members over the years. The tracklisting is vast, featuring a colossal 51 tracks from the likes of Vital Techniques, Mistakay, PVC, Enigma Dubz, Tuff Culture, Earthnut and more. With such a stacked release, picking highlights is pretty tough, but for us the two stand outs boil down to super spooky drum twists and moody textures of 'You Or Me' from ZeroFG, alongside the classic Skepsis remix of 'VIP', originally featuring Hybrid Theory and Trilla.
Review: Four40's recent run of releases has been something very special indeed and this latest six track selection from MKII is a real look into how forward thinking the label has become. 'Roads' is a stunning three track journey, exploring the moodiest arenas of UKG through haunted pad textures and introspective harmonic layering, with MKII's ethereal production style being highlighted within this extended track format. It's a quite phenomenal body of work and when coupled with three fabulous remixes from MMEE, Earthnut and himself, it forms up into one of the strongest garage drops to grace 2020 so far!
Review: As this month's special guests on the Juno Download podcast, it's only right we say a few words about the infamous Project Allout, who in their tenth year of activity are still going as strong as ever. This latest collection of dancefloor dynamite from DJ Airmax is a perfect example of their vibe, kicking off with the skippy 2-step rhythms of 'Bass Blaster' and post-bassline synth licks of 'Ergh Riddim'. Next, the vibe takes a moody twist as 'EsDoubleVeez' unleashes a wave of low warbling bass designs, alongside a super catchy vocal, before the haunted yet niche flavours of 'My Bae' and jumpy structures of 'Pop Off' round off the project with a dash of dancefloor finesse.
Review: Following on from a killer release last week from Inkline, the Southpoint team are at it again, this time introducing an absolutely killer to their main roster as MPH deploys four deadly delights. We kick off with the UKG inspired drum flips and rolling bass LFO's of 'You', which leads kindly into rawcus synth textures and dance-ready drum designs of the mighty 'M25'. Next, we are welcomed into the swirling atmospheric bliss and smooth percussive layouts of 'Afraid' before Hamdi joins the party on 'Welcome' for an out and out UKG smasher!
Review: An iconic and heavyweight garage label from the mid to late '90s, Ice Cream dropped a fair few classics in their heyday - as proved by this first volume of re-releases out this week. Songs don't get any mightier than Double 99's seminal bass-anthem "Rip Groove", which lead off this collection, while other forgotten greats like Stephen Emmanuel's choppy 2-step beauty "Hold On" and RIP Productions' huge house/garage hybrids "Work It" and "Love Is What We Need" simply put half of garage's new-jacks to shame.
Review: What a fantastic selection we have for you here as we witness four of the most creative producers working within the underground dance music scene come together for a top notch project, courtesy of the 3024 team! We kick off course with the stunning yet minimal production stylings of Martyn, with his memorable original 'Frozen Bread Snaps', which is followed in hot pursuit by Sin/Grezlins & Jesta's tasty junglist roller: 'Door Of Guf'. Next up, Noire dives into the driver's seat for a helping of original funky with some delicious percussive power and chiming leads, followed up by Parris and the super delicate 'Dusty Glass Bubbles', a fantastic way to round this one up!
Review: Having recently celebrated their tenth release, Sheffield's Chip Butty have now rounded up the cream of their roster for Chip Shop Vol 1. There are nine bangers featured here, all promising 'hard 4x4 beats mashed with twisted basslines'. They're not wrong either: highlights include label stalwart Dr Cryptic's pounding garage-step sing-a-long "Dirty Dot", the doomily orchestrated wobbler "Marching Powder" by Sekt 87 and the menacing speed garage of "Rude" by Little Mesters.
Henry Hyde - "Every Day's A Good Day For A Swim" - (6:19) 135 BPM
Review: While the ethos behind Bobby Pleasure's Needs (Not For Profit) label is admirable - all proceeds go to carefully chosen charities - the imprint's greatest calling card is the exceptionally high quality of its releases. That's evident once again on EP number six, which begins with a stellar slab of fizzing, synth-sporting peak-time breakbeat house from fast-rising DJ/producer Eris Drew. Her bustling, pleasingly positive "See You In Snow" is quickly followed by the low-slung dub disco/deep house heaviness of Edward's "Mind Loop" and the rave era deep house/proto hardcore fusion of D Tiffany's typically dreamy sunrise workout "Sun Trip". Best of all, though, is the liquid warmth of Henry Hyde's "Every Day's a Good Day", where lucid ambient electronics swim around bold, bass-heavy two-step beats.