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.
Review: We have been singing the praises of the 2TUF4U imprint for a fair few weeks now, but this latest release takes that to an entirely new level as they unveil a phenomenal 30 track selection featuring heavyweights such as Mad Tuff Project, Leanne Louise, Don Oliver, Kele Le Roc, Gary Esson, DIY and a tonne more. It's a pretty monumental project, showcasing the best of the combination between old and new UK garage in it's richest formats. Despite the tracklisting being super stacked, our highlights would have to include the dreamy landscapes of Undertone's Instant Mood Vocal mix of 'Let It Be' from Xavier, alongside Solution's Doctor dub mix of 'You', put together originally by the exceptional combo of Fully Loaded Project, Karl Brown & Todd Edwards. What a legendary compilation this really is.
Review: As ever with Project Allout releases, we couldn't wait to dive into this one and explore the new workings of one of their most recent signings: Lil Milly, who supplies us with three tracks of pure bassline fire. We begin with 'BumbaFunk' a worthy title track that became a viral twitter video, racking up over 100,000 views and gaining some serious traction, primarily due to it's classic niche-nature. From here we dive into the quirky percussive slaps and swirling LFOs of 'Break Down' before the minimal yet super effective structures of 'Big Bad Bass' see us out in style. It feels as if there has been a real injection of energy into the Project Allout brand across 2020 and we are absolutely loving it!
Review: Usually, when a new Soulserious drop pops up in the store we are likely to be in for a good time. They definitely don't disappoint this time around as Far From Perfect unleashes five experimental 4x4 creations for us all to enjoy. We begin with the unpredictable percussive fluctuations of the title track 'Lost Everything' before the techno-inspired drum work of 'Keep Tabs' alongside the growling bass stretches and eastern designs of 'Indie 333' follow up in quick succession. From here, 'Downfall' gives us a moody look into modern 4x4 with some sweeping atmospheric brilliance, finishing up with the super minimal rhythms of 'Decendo' for good measure.
Review: Following on from a very impactful debut release, the Undagrnd Freqz team of Matt Jam Lamont and Echelon are back at it again with two more summer-ready grooves. We begin with the nostalgic sample slicing and pulsating rhythmic designs of 'Freqz Groove', which conjures up images of early garage parties with it's sliding basslines and syncopated melodic inputs. On the flip, 'Wrapped Up' deploys more fabulous vocal manipulation with catchy string plucks to add a fantastic level of variation between this and the title track, making the pair a very interesting matchup indeed. Fabulous stuff from start to finish!
Review: There really aren't many things better than a classic, old school bassline wobbler, which is why we were thrilled to see this new rave-ready selection from Kegone land on the legendary Chip Butty Records this week. We kick off with 'Let You Get To Me', a vibrant singalong number, with a ticket festival season slapped right across the front of it with its bright LFO designs and uplifting melodic structures. To add some extra sauce to proceedings, Thorpey gets involved right off the bat with a high energy recreation of this one, before we dive into the super punchy 4x4 drum pattern ups of 'Classical Music', complete with more fabulous bass work. Finally, we round off with the more minimal breakdowns of 'Subzero Stylee', putting the finishing touches on a project we cannot wait to hear in the dance!
Review: Now is one the strongest periods in the history of UKG, at least over the last decade or so. The Time Is Now crew seem keen to get involved as they welcome Interplanetary Criminal inside for three wavy originals, kicking off with the nostalgic chord expressions and choppy breakbeat influxes of the wonderful 'Supreme Level'. Following this, we steer down a much more grunge route as 'Darkside' provides us with some sub-busting LFO warbles and classic 2-step rhythms, before the subtle yet potent subwork and minimal drum designs of 'The Way' rounds the EP off with a real dash of finesse for good measure.
Review: Whenever we see a new Bazza Ranks drop land in the store, we can't help but get excited, being such a consistent hitmaker across the course of 2020. This one takes the title 'Feel Good Factor', over which The Ragga Twins also feature with a classic 4x4 stepper, driven by the occasional vocal chant it's glistening organ chord designs. The original is a sunshine-ready heater, but the whole EP is elevated when we get into the remixes as Feel Good Factor firstly gives the track a punchy overhaul complete with gnarly arpeggios, alongside the lethal bassline structures of Rico Tubbs, who gives the track a shine up of his own!
Review: The Project Allout wave continues to gain in momentum as they welcome back the incredibly consistent Joedan across four tracks of highly energetic and flavoursome dancefloor beats. We kick off with the post-funky influences and niche-style bassline influxes of the title track 'Impending Doom', before 'Chest Plate' strips things back for a carnival-ready drum roller. The vibes then switch up into a more experimental display next as the unusual bass manoeuvres of 'Lift Off' arrive to add some serious differentiation, before rounding up on tribal-sounding percussive influxes and simple melodies of 'Turned My Back', making it the perfect sign off!
Review: As always, it's a real pleasure to see the likes of Four40 hit back with yet another awesome compilation project. Over the years we have been treated to some absolute gems from these guys, a trend which continues as Kastle unveils his specially selected 'Get Right inside' compilation, complete with a full studio mix of the tracks involved. We look through the tracklisting on this one to find awesome pieces from the likes of Exit99, Opus, Duncan Powell and many more high profile names. For us the standouts of this project have to include the high energy collaboration between Jammz & Roska entitled 'Energy & Stamina', along with Witchdoctor's groovy spectacular in 'From The inside'.
Review: Over the years we feel that the 877 imprint has played a pretty crucial role in the overall evolution of bass music nationwide, holding some of the most talked about releases of the last ten years within their catalogue. This latest outing showcases their ability to advance with the times as Dan Miles lands firstly with the shuffling drum designs and haunted vocal processing of 'Chord'. The syncopated rhythms and skippy textures of the title track 'Sly' then combine eclectic soundscapes with intricate grooves for a wavy second feature, followed by the moogy arpeggios and stiff kicks of 'Lip Service'. Finally, the crunchy drum designs and warbling bass tones of 'Salt Riddim' see us out in style.
Review: We have a very tasty selection here to sink our teeth into as 2TUF4U continue a highly successful run of original UKG drops. This latest offering comes to us from garage heavyweights Groove Skool, a production outfit known for their incredibly vibrant arrangements and colourful melodic structures, always delivering a scrumptious final product. This collection sees them lay down twelve bumping originals, with guest features including DJ Shockwavz, Craig James, Carpenter Man, Gravy Groovers and more, all adding their own unique elements to the blend with some fantastic vocal sprinklings. For us, the highlights have to include the laid-back yet super catchy twists of 'Say Yeah', featuring the wonderful Ten Levels, along with the old school shuffling chops of 'Burning Up' alongside 2Fuddha and of course the dancefloor ready chord movements of 'Inner Groove', featuring additional work from DJPS. It's a wicked selection to say the least, as 2TUF4U deliver yet again!
Review: Within the release reviews we often discuss consistency and if there was ever a label that it applied to the most it is Strictly House And Garage. Since their inception as an imprint last year, they have barely put a foot wrong, with this latest six tracker from the ever-ready Daze Prism being a perfect example of that. We begin our journey into this one with a look at the smooth, warming chords within 'Burning' atop a colourful array of drums, before sliding into the futuristic percussive reverbs and winding sub structures of 'Header'. Next up we take in 'Just Get You' which combines nostalgic string notation with moderinzed crispy drum exploits, before 'Lazer' arrives with more catchy vocal chops to match. From here, 'Selekta' arrives with a lively set of drum moves and a catchy reese tone before we take in 'Shady', a slower groove that works perfectly to
round off the project with a bang.
Review: Next up from the Time Is Now team we dive into this stunning four track selection from Holloway, who delivers nothing short of a masterpiece. We begin our voyage into this one with 'Hold You Close', a super smooth garage hybrid driven by wavy guitar licks and a soulful vocal lead, followed by the more sub-orientated arrangement and bubbling percussive explosions of 'Bad Day's. From here, the vibes continue to expand as 'Homage 2 Claro' sees Holloway link up a selection of stuttered breakbeat inputs with swirling atmospheric pads and crunchy percussion, before 'MFCC' strips everything back for a good old fashioned 2-steppy roller, rounding this one off in style!
Review: What a link up we have here as the newly formed Billitfam, AKA: Smasher and Mighty Moe join forces for a brand new single by the name of 'Vibes And Wot Not'. The interesting thing about this with this one of course is that we are so used to hearing both Smasher and Mighty Moe rolling out over skippy garage instrumentals, however both of them deliver to the highest degree with their singalong-ready inputs. The whole release is then turned on its head as Smokey Bubblin' B arrives with a well thought out UKG relick, adding a fabulous level of variation for the dance. Fabulous stuff!
Review: Despite the varying states of difficulty the world seems to find itself in, the growth of bass music across the globe doesn't seem to have slowed down in any way, with Night Bass remaining one of the most talked about imprints in the game. This latest helping from Kendoll is a perfect example of how to stay ahead of the curve, kicking off with 'Fall Back' alongside the legendary AC Slater and rapidly rising Sophiegrophy. This one sets the tone perfectly with it's kuduro-sounding percussive syncopations and catchy vocal inputs, before the unpredictable soundscapes and quirky melodic influxes of 'Wasted Again' takes the EP somewhere completely different. Finally, the ever-ready Dread MC joins the party for some rave-ready vocal additions on the big room stomper named 'Never Sleep', which comes to us dripping in acidic expression and original texture.
Review: It's always an exciting start to the day to see a new 81 drop hit the shelves, especially when they sound as potent as this one as Chunky returns for a vibrant four track experience. The title track 'Novella' is a perfect example of delicacy in dance music being used well as smooth chords play out over shuffling drum beats, before the broken-beat textures of 'Her' give us something very different to enjoy. From here 'Chava' then explores an alien soundscape made of extended shaker stretches and bubbly synthesizer plucks, before 'Baah' delivers a bouncy, sub heavy composition, driven by the catchy vocal singalong and the overall gloomy nature of the tune, giving this EP the perfect round up.
Review: Next up from Al Wootton, we see him unveil his latest LP, showcasing his eccentric yet delicate approach to bass music down to an absolute t. We kick off with a look at 'Come Close', which gives the classic dancehall triplet rhythm an electronic update, before the warbling synthesizer throws and minimal drum clicks of the title track 'Witness' arrive in style. Next, 'Gloamer' combines bouncy drum patterns with reverberated atmospheric pressure to deliver a spacey experience, followed by the sub-busting basslines and nostalgic chord flexes of 'Over' alongside the high tempo drum expressions of 'Sema'. From here we then take in the meditative delays and pounding rhythms of 'A Clean Heart' followed by the darkened breakbeat rolls of 'Starlite Xpress' before finishing up with the groovy rhythmic twists of 'Cephas'. What a project this is!
Review: Well well, we do have something special here as Soul Mass Transit System deliver a pair of old school rollers, perfect for a refreshing dancefloor dip. We begin with the title track 'Tryna Take My Man Away' which combines a catchy, almost seductive sounding vocal sample with pleasing bass warbles and crispy drum structures with fantastic results. On the flipside to this, we then take in the sounds of 'Slapcrack' a proper throwback of a garage roller, again employing subtle LFO structures to a groovy bassline alongside well processed drums for an instant dance floor-ready slap.
Review: The consistency being shown by Leicester's own Wang Records has been nothing short of spectacular over the past few years, with this brand new link up with the rapidly rising sounds of Tenshu being a fantastic example of their ambition. The track takes the title 'Stones' and plays off a very notable violin sample, which when layered over smoothly processed drum beats and subtle sub-lines appears in a completely different light. It's a fantastic example of how to rework a memorable melody into something completely new and we simply can't get enough of it!
Review: As a label, Crucast have gone from strength to strength, rapidly establishing themselves as one of the premiere platforms for bass music in the UK. This complication marks that out perfectly with an astonishing selection of over 30 original creations, featuring high profile appearances from the likes of Jaguar Skills, Brent Kilner, Pavv, TC4, Inkline, Deadbeat UK and a tonne more. For us the EP highlights the strength in the current UK bass scene, with favourites being Bushbaby & Hadean's long-awaited collaboration release 'Clean Up', the monstrous swinging synths of Tengu's 'Weapon' and of course the wonky wonderings of SaidWho's 'Voices', a truly original compositional idea, focussing on rawcus bass sounds and scattered drum selections.
Review: We thought it was going to be the case that Four40 kicked up another storm before the year was out, and we have been proven right as we jump into this top notch compilation project, primarily assembled by the UKG legend that is Smokey Bubblin B. We can see this one's quality just by perusing the tracklist, as we see top names such as Mistakay, Kastle, Mind Of A Dragon, Royal Flush and more all make their way onto the project. It in fact covers such a wide range of garage music it is difficult to define simply, from the minimal, skippy designs of Perception's 'You Make', to the more futuristic bass instrumentation and design of Tuff Culture's 'Carbon', with Doctor Nick's inspired remix of 'Mind Slip' by SMOAD being a particular stand out.
Review: It's been a very exciting start to the new decade for the Four40 crew, who were a truly unstoppable force last year, cheffing up over 25 incredible releases. Next up from them, they join forces with the wonderful Deadly Habitz, who supplies us with five potent UKG heaters. First up, 'Are You Dumb', sampling a classic Jammz vocal with smooth percussive slices, alongside the sweeping bass LFO's of 'Falling 4 U' and nostalgic chord expressions of 'So High'. Following that, 'Stay True' deploys some incredible vocal stutters and hard hitting horn stabs, before we round up on the sweeping subs and electronic vocal lines of 'Your Love'. Awesome work.