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: 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: 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: The one they call Shaun Dean is back at it again, this time delivering a sumptuous new garage single for us all to enjoy. He joins forces with the legendary pairing of Gemma Fox and Bomba B for a weighty bubbler by the name of 'Boxers 2020'. This one is the ultimate party starter, as Shaun provides us with a high energy 4x4 backdrop, complete with moogy pulses and breathy percussive drumlines, before Gemma and Bomma work their high energy vocal lines together, with Gemma's hook adding a real nostalgic feel to the overall arrangement. This one also comes complete with an official radio edit for good measure!
Review: Matthew Farrow takes a break from his Kepler alias to deliver this sure shot of garage rudeness to Burnski's Instinct label, and he's sounding absolutely on point. "Inside" has plenty of MC flava sprinkled over it, not to mention all the 4x4 rudeness you could wish for from the bassline upwards. "Steppa" is a more soulful cut with a crafty breakstep twist to it, while "Rouge Fader" brings it back to that naughty middle ground between uptempo house and proper swinging garage, DX7 organ and all. "Break" gets tricky with the drum licks again, completing a set of good time rabble rousing business.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: The Instinct label continues to champion contemporary garage, this time welcoming Holloway to drop four sure shots guaranteed to go down a storm whether you're at a minimal night or a main stage festival rave up. Logan is spitting deft bars over "Turn Up", a crisp and cool stepper laced with smooth chords. "Evanition" juggles different energies from the mellow to the nasty with a classy touch, while "Echo Tone" gets a little more melodic flex into the mix. "Out Of Town Foes" maintains the soulful mood, while keeping the synth lines snappy and slick for those who prefer a little quirkiness in their club tunage.
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: 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: 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: 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!