Review: As ever with Tuff Culture, he remains at the forefront of garage music, this time showcasing more goodness with the third edition of his 'Roots' series with the GS Dubs gang. This time around we're in for one hell of a ride with 'Attack Of The Retro Consoles', as we kick off with 'N64', a sumptuous roller, stuffed with a combination of colourful melodies and intricate breaksy action, followed by the sizzling subs and groovy drum skips of 'Mega Drive', this time focussing on bassy goodness and simple rhythms to kick start any dance. We then finish up with a dash of finesse as 'C64' delivers the most groovy arrangement of the lot, dripping in vibrant drum arrangements and crunchy textures all around. Lovely work!
Review: When you look across the full breadth of garage music in 2021, there really aren't many people who have been putting in the work as consistently as Soulecta, who finally delivers the long awaited debut album with Garage Shared, entitled 'Soulecta & Friends'. It's a magnificent homage to the rebirth of garage music in the UK over the last few years, with the features including the likes of MC Neat, Shosh, Tuff Culture, FooR, Dread MC & many more top quality names. You'll be hard pressed to find a higher quality 10 selection, with our highlights including the beautiful soundscaping and piano riffs of 'Whistler', alongside Sushi Ceej & Nate Fox, next to the high energy chord runs of 'Cloud Nine' with Prozak. This is a huge moment in Soulecta's flourishing career and it's clear to see that for him, the only way is up!
Review: There is always a high level of quality with Time Is Now releases, with this latest five track collaborative display from Ell Murphy paying testament to that. The first link up on the project sees DJ Crisps join the fun as the pair deliver a breaksy belter by the name of 'Freedom'. Next, Stones Taro gets involved on the beautiful arrangements of 'Hours', which again lands with a real level of finesse before the more bouncy garage pulses and groovy chord switches of 'Letting Go' take us somewhere different. The delicacy of the percussion and rhythmic expression within 'Blue' alongside Picasso is something truly special, followed by the jittering drum stutters and oldschool garage flavour of 'Close', which sees Tuff Trax deliver as always. A fantastically creative selection to say the least!
Review: Time Is Now have been making quite a lot of noise of late, with this spicy new five track drop from Main Phase proving to be another exciting edition to their carefully curated catalogue. The title track 'Buss It' is a fantastic showcase of Main Phase's production ability, as subtle bass pulses and stripped back 2-step rhythms drive the track forward, closely followed by both the high energy drum skips and warbling LFOs of 'Our Style' and sweeping sub drones of 'Creepin', showcasing the deeper ranges of UKG. Finally, we jump into two additional scorchers, with 'Freaky' firstly providing another sub-heavy experience, before the groovy drum skips and moogy bass pushes of 'Misdemeanour' round us off in style.
Review: The consistency levels of Downplay remain incredibly undersung in our eyes as they continue their fantastic run of new garage releases. This time around they welcome Phonetix across four tracks of high energy fire, kicking off with the hard hitting, moogy bass grooves of 'The Pay-Off', giving the EP a serious jump to start. We dive down a slightly more grimey route next as 'Lighting Fires' combines grizzly horns with super skippy drum arrangements and an eerie vocal for good measure, before 'Get On Down' delivers a very tidy display of percussive perfection and minimal melodic bliss. Finally, 'Alyssa' joins the party for her contributions on 'Goodbye', which through a stripped back fusion of sweet chord action and delicate vocal performance, puts the finishing touches on an excellent project.
Review: Since joining forces to form the now formidable Undagrnd Freqz imprint, Matt Jam Lamont & Echelon have been on absolute fire with the music they are releasing. This brand new two tracker is another great example of that enthusiasm for new garage music in action, kicking off with the wonderful 'So Good'. Following on from a stripped back introduction we are then gifted groovy chord progressions and shimmering vocal slices to really give us that throwback feeling. On the flip, 'Don't Be' takes us down a similar but slightly darker route path, this time pushing those vocal slices even further to round off with tasty two tracker with a bang!
Review: Next up from Breaka's own: Breaka Recordings imprint, we see something very special as he unveils four collaborations of the highest quality with the likes of both Frazer Ray and Bakey. We begin with Frazer's two contributions, kicking off with the charming moogy subs and scattered drum rhythms of 'The Loudest Woiioii Ever', combining funky rhythms and futuristic compositional designs. Next, 'Phone's Ringin' gives us a much more minimal yet euphoric style of experimental dance music, before we take the pace up a tad on Bakey's first collaborative input on 'Club Dynamics'. This track sees us explore the delicacies of new school breaks, before 'Pro Perc' unleashes choppy 2-step-style rhythms atop a heavily laden percussive field to give us the perfect send off.
Review: The Garage Shared team continue to do a fantastic job of showcasing both the best in UKG right now, whilst also platforming an exciting wave of newcomers, the latter of which this spicy new compilation takes a primary focus on. We begin with a sumptuous UKG summer anthem as Deja unveils 'Give It To Me', featuring Sydney Jane', kickstarting the project with a high ceiling as Sydney's beautiful vocals grace a delightful 2-step backdrop. We then move into Howden's 'Obsession' next, forming a tidy fusion of garage and bassline themes with its groovy melodic design, all before Green Deep ups the tempo on 'It's Alright', linking up smart horn riffs and a packed out rhythm section in style. To round off, we take it even more old school as Lewis Taylor delivers a skippy vocal chop extravaganza with 'Temperature', chased up by a top notch outro track in SOULSTATE's 'I Wanna', again using a stunning vocal & rhythm combo to seal the deal.
Review: The Dansu Discs team have assembled a killer selection for our enjoyment here, from the one and only Bailey Ibbs, unleashing six tracks of UKG flavour. We begin with the softened chord maneuvers and crunchy drum processing of 'Gurl', a worthy title track, which is closely followed by the much more breaks-driven influences of 'We Run' and luscious, bubbling soundscapes of 'What's My Chance?', giving us a super-wide sounding selection of originals. On remix duty, we see three parties give 'Gurl' the once over, with Groovy D giving us a throwback 2-step rethink, Denham Audio sending the stems to the junglist chop shop and AK Sports combining gnarly, acidic basslines and hardcore drums to take it somewhere completely different.
Review: Following on from the fantastic reaction to their original collaboration 'Freak', both Skepsis & TS7 have once again joined forces on an exclusive remix pack for 'Freak'. We begin our journey through Crucast's latest brainwave with Flava D's UKG inspired rethink, combining groovy chord progressions with tidy melodies for a summer-ready vibe. Next, Gentlemens Club take us down the darker recesses of bass music as their remix smashes together gnarly bass synths with that super catchy vocal melody. From here, we then move into the lovely sounds of Used who delivers a catchy liquid rethink, before the pair combine for the official dub mix. Tidy stuff!
Review: The reign of Four40 continues to roll out as they make a drift back towards a more grime-influenced sound on this weighty new threetracker from Doc Zee & Griz-O. We begin with the thumping, dancefloor ready drum dives of 'Eski Flava', which takes hypnotic pads and groovy 2-step percussion and fuses it with Griz-O's catchy lyricism with fantastic results. From here 'Troublesome' sees Doc Zee ride out solo, upping the pace with a much quicker garage-style composition, pushed forward by a lethal sub-bass and clinky drum slides. Finally, we take in the raucous breakbeat VIP energy of 'Eski Flava', rounding us off with a bang!
Review: It's always an exciting thing to see legends of the game drop new music, which is exactly why this brand new single from the immortalized My Nu Leng alongside Dismantle is such an intriguing one. Both known for their energetic and precise approach to electronic dance music, the pair combine with some real party starting power on 'The Flight' firstly, combining old school bassline warbles with lively drum work to kick us off in style. Next, we jump into two previously released singles, with 'Ascendance' alongside Flava D providing some spacey dancefloor flavour and the techy synth work of 'Crystal Clear' adding something very spicy indeed. Awesome work!
Review: As always with The Wub Club, Forca has gone out of his way to unleash some beautiful garage originality for us, inviting the super-potent sounds of Hans Glader in for some international gloss across three spicy originals. We begin with 'You Can Dance', which takes a couple of tidy vocal samples and Georgie's wicked inputs to create another groovy roller for the Glader catalogue. Next, the shimmering drum skips and high ended percussive plucks of 'Mad 4 U' ups the tempo of the project with some groovy maneuvers, followed by the stunning soundscaping and general musicality of 'Olvidado' which breathes a final blow of life into an already awesome drop!
Review: The subtle team have gone and delivered a bit of a summertime saphie with this new drop from Acid Kids, who have put together a very groovy three track selection, perfect for the BBQ season. We begin with 'Tell You', which combines electronic synthy leads and vibrant organ chord progressions to get us in the mood for good times. The grooviness then intensifies dramatically with 'Inside The Ride', which works together some fantastic percussive work, jam-packed with minimal shaker action and organic, crunchy snare lines for maximum dancefloor impact. On remix duty for this one, Ollie Rant provides a slightly more heads down rethink of 'Tell You' to put the finishing touches on a wicked overall selection.
Review: Across the full spectrum of bass music, you will be hard pressed to find a more dedicated and hard working MC and brand owner as Bru-C. Alongside the fantastic response to his new single with Charlie P, he teams up with CruCast here to unveil four fantastic rethinks of last year's summer smash: 'You & I'. First up, Bou arrives on the scene for an atmospheric roller-inspired rethink, before Notion steps up for rave-rejuvenating 4x4 overhaul. From here, Shapes gets involved with a seriously nostalgic organ-led garage incarnation, with a very unexpected acoustic version of the track seeing us out in time to tick all the boxes. Excellent work as per from the Nottingham native.