Review: Born On Road is one of the new-school of labels pushing the current moment's gritty, jump-up infused sound, the sound that has captured so many new fans to the genre in the past couple of years and which has catapulted the careers of Ben Snow, AC13 and others. This EP comes from the former and it's an excellent representation of where the sound is at right now, a massive, heavy piece of work that features David Boomah on a wicked vocal feature. The title track nails the sample, before rolling out with the foghorn sound on full display. It's top stuff and we're very much into it.
Review: Jam Thieves are the Brazilian duo who make simply sumptuous, minimal, rough and tumble rollers and they do so with an excessive amount of power and finesse. Love Forever is their latest EP and it's four more slices of sub heavy techy goodness, each individually packaged in an attempt to get your head moving in the dance. Title track 'Love Forever' is our favourite because it samples Marvin Gaye, but also because it's just proper minimal naughtiness, with in point drums and a chest-bashing sub bass. Excellent stuff.
Review: When operating under the V's Edits alias, re-edit maestro Valique can always be relied upon to bring the goods. It's little surprise, then, to find out that his latest collection of fresh cut-jobs - an epic affair featuring no less than 24 tracks - is packed to the rafters with high-grade fare. We don't have enough space to list all of the highlights, but we'd suggest checking out his rolling revision of Lee Dorsey's "Night People", the low-slung disco-funk heaviness of the Brass Construction rework ("Gotta Do It"), the intergalactic disco deepness of the Marvin Gaye revision ("Funky Space"), the lightly tooled-up, slowly unfurling take on Tom Browne's "Funkin For Jamaica" and the sweeping, string-laden disco brilliance of "Miracle (V's Edit)".
Review: Liondub are celebrating a decade of existence and they're doing a three-part compilation series covering the past, present and future of the label. By definition, then, these series' feature plenty of talent from all across the spectrum and time period of the genre. One of our favourite of the 26 cuts is Bou's VIP of Keep Away, a deliciously double-bass infused number that is both funky and heavy, the ideal combination, and he's flipped up the arrangement here with some precisely placed note changes. There are also features from Vital, Euphonique, Dutta, Marcus Visionary and more, with the overall vibe being one of toughness and power. Top stuff.
Kastro & Scudd - "Something About You" - (4:50) 175 BPM
Kastro - "Who We Are" - (5:35) 175 BPM
Scudd - "Forever" (feat JustJo) - (5:44) 175 BPM
Review: It's a Newcastle thing! Kastro and Scudd land on Serial Killaz with this massive five track collabo-fest. Each cut hits with the gruff rolling goodness both individuals (and their north eastern mates like Skantia, Stompz and Nectax) are known for. Highlights include the warm dubby horns and Die-style wobbles on the bass of "Ease Out", the dark abrasive horns of the title track "LDN Ting" and the dramatic staccato hook of "Who We Are". With both men shooting out original solo tracks on the EP too, this is a major step up for all concerned. There's something big bubbling in the north east right now. Pay attention.
Too Greezey - "Fled The Scene" (feat Thunda Banton) - (4:26) 58 BPM
Agro - "Shot To Bits" - (4:16) 180 BPM
Too Greezey - "Time Traveller" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Agro - "Dumpers" - (4:38) 179 BPM
Too Greezey - "The Chant" - (4:28) 58 BPM
Agro - "Simple" - (3:39) 175 BPM
Review: Representing the vibes and history of reggae culture except with a uniquely British urban twist, Agro & Too Greezey drop a five-track testament to his ability as producer here. We've featured his music in the past and every time we do it's a devilish concoction of force and finesse, an amalgamation of ability and acumen. 'Fled The Scene' is as big as it gets, both in terms of its steppy percussion and driving bassline; 'Shot To Bits' reminds of Kings of the Rollers with a bassline that roars out the stops; title tune 'Time Traveller' combines reggae atmospherics with a rolling finesse. Sick EP.
Review: Sota has developed a reputation for tough, urban-edged sonics over several years now of cultivation and curation and, a fairly substantial number of tunes later, he's landing hereon Low Down Deep. He's diverse in his capabilities and Frontin / One sees him returning to his jump up-ier side, something we're definitely very keen on, especially when it's on a label like Low Down Deep. This release is wicked and 'Frontin'' is a highlight, with a snapping percussive line forming around its inching, creeping basses and eerie background ambience, all of which builds up to a ridiculously heavy top synth line, which is as choppy as they come. Top stuff right here.
Review: From Cologne with badness, man-of-the-moment Submarine comes correct on label-of-the-moment 1985 with his best release to date. Four tracks deep, each one reflecting just how exciting drum & bass is right now. "Fate" takes the lead with its crunchy groove and gruff 40-a-day bass grunts, "No Sleep" is a barbed drifter with an air so solemn it'll have you wearing black for the rest of your living days and "Return Of Enel" gets all snake-like in the bass department while the drum sounds flicker and morph on every 32. Finally "Pastell" closes with its purring subs and glacial pads. Coming on strong like a homage to the sound and attitude of Perez's label, it leaves you hungry for more...
Murder Most Foul - "Can You Stand The Rain" - (4:43) 164 BPM
Hmr - "Curfew" - (6:42) 162 BPM
DJ Hybrid - "Boom In 93" - (4:14) 168 BPM
Daffy - "Bottle Shape" - (5:08) 174 BPM
Xian Juan - "Deep In Tha Jungle" - (4:34) 175 BPM
Review: Deep In The Jungle Records is a UK jungle imprint that have been making bigger and bigger waves over the past several years, a big part of which is their affinity for fat compilations that straddle numerous sub-genre boundaries and which represent lots of different artists. This next one is about classics and it features artists like Conrad Subs, Kumarachi, DJ Hybrid, Kartoon and more. Conrad Subs is a favourite of ours and his cut, Takeover, is a wicked, deep rolling piece of work that packs a sick bassline, one which makes you think of late-night raving at its finest. This is a top compilation from a star label of the new wave.
Review: Second albums are meant to be difficult but you tell that to Survival and Script and they'll laugh in your prudy little face: Scar's follow up to The Orkyd Project is another remarkable body of work. The first of a three album deal the London duo have with Metalheadz (the first ever deal the label have ever offered any artist) High Fives & Devil Eyes is a powerful jolt of timeless D&B that dig deep into every corner of the genre. From the alluring intro of "Circle Of Trust" to the deep, introspection of the finale "Eternal" via the wonky-assed "Pauline", the scuzzy gritty bass of "First Sound" and trippy funk of the album title track, the only difficult thing about this second album is working out which tune you want to play in your sets first. High fives all round!
Dub Sense - "Hood Flow" (feat MC Mel) - (5:23) 175 BPM
Krom & System - "Crackpot" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Review: Logikz Audio are building up a name for themselves as a label who never fail to bring out the big guns with their music. It's always heavy, hard-hitting and built on soundscapes and vibes which are deeply urban. The first track on this VP is no different and it kicks off with 'How We Do', a punchy roller with a bassline that stretches out over the horizon, the only constant being its grinding, coarse nature and the manner in which it constantly mutates and evolves. 'Twisted' is equally as rough but less rolling and more stepping, its structure and nature constantly changes, and it keeps the tune sounding consistently fresh. The rest of the EP is absolute vibes too.
Review: After first impressing on Hot Digits with 2018's "Gettin' Loose EP", Steve Cooper once more dons the Down Under Disco alias with a rock solid sequel. He begins in confident fashion via "Turn Away", a warm and groovy cut that sits somewhere between deep house and loopy disco-house, before offering up the bold and bass-heavy "Sonny Jim", where woozy organ chords and glistening disco guitar licks rise above a pleasingly saucer-eyed groove. "Get Down" is an energetic, trippy and low-slung chunk of peak-time disco-house headiness, "Everybody Lose Control" cleverly combines stargazing synth lines with UK funky style bass and bouncy house beats, and PickleJam's "Party Line" remix of "Turn Away" is a sparkling fusion of bouncy electro beats and slick nu-disco musicality.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a brand new album from sometime Classic Music Co contributor Eli Escobar, a producer who has proved to be one of the most distinctive and consistent in house music over the last few years. "Last Summer" contains a mixture of short interludes and inspired, almost uniformly dancefloor-friendly workouts that bring together a range of complimentary influences. Our picks include the atmospheric and acid-fired deep house warmth of "Flashing Lights", the muscular peak-time Moroder-isms of "(All Night) Rhythm", the melodious, sun-kissed Balearic house brilliance of "Blu" and the woozy warmth of "Last Night".
Review: The way Audaz has been churning out these Lolita collections lately, you'd think "possession of an unreleased re-edit" had just been made a crime under German law! But the quality standard shows no sign of slipping, so that's hardly cause for complaint. Standouts of this fourth volume include '038', which revisits Kim And Rasa's obscure 1982 Ghanaian funk/rap jam 'Love Me For Real', '035' with its fusion of country rock guitar and sweet female disco vox, and '037', which reworks Brass Construction's 'Changin' from 1975. Dead Or Alive get the Lolita treament, too, on '032'.
Review: We've come accustomed to the Helliker-Hales brothers delivering dusty, musically intricate deep house that tends towards the jazzier and more dub-flecked end of the spectrum. It's therefore something of a surprise to find that their latest two-tracker is an altogether bolder and more warehouse-ready affair. Title track "Come Together" features distinctive, alien-sounding lead lines, trance-like female vocal snippets and stabbing, warehouse-ready riffs rising over forthright drums and a chunky, retro-futurist bassline. If anything, "Digital Sound" is even heavier, with dub-wise vocal snippets, bleeping electronics and foreboding chords dancing around heavy tribal drums and the kind of muscular riffs that were once a hallmark of Junior Vasquez and Danny Tenaglia's mid-90s productions. In other words, it's a suitably sizable "big room" record.
Bomber Man - "Chuck" (Stillz remix) - (3:47) 175 BPM
Bomber Man - "Deuce Crew" - (3:00) 175 BPM
DJ Direkt - "Drop" - (4:13) 174 BPM
DJ Direkt - "Make Moves" - (4:01) 175 BPM
Radical - "Orbit" - (5:31) 175 BPM
Stillz - "Ready To Hang" - (4:29) 175 BPM
Stillz - "Ready To Hang" (Bomber Man remix) - (4:24) 175 BPM
Radical - "Sound Killah" - (4:29) 58 BPM
DJ Direkt - "Take A While" - (4:06) 175 BPM
Stillz - "War Machine" - (3:51) 175 BPM
Review: Within The Woods always try their best to replicate the no-holds-barred, anarchic nature of
music that's properly dancefloor and they do so via the aggressive tones of modern D&B. This is a best-of compilation of tracks that have come out through the label and it puts that ethos on good display, featuring some seriously weighty acts like DJ Direkt and Radical. The former's several contributions are especially potent, a gargling display of production intensity and a lesson to all budding artists out there in how to create a knockout jump-up track, with biting bass stabs teaching you all you need to know. Radical's Sound Killah is equally as naughty and rests on a potent set of drum hits, giving it an extra oomph that you can certainly hear. The others are just as good - check them.
Worth The Pain (feat Alia Fresco) - (4:00) 170 BPM
Acidize (feat DBridge) - (6:25) 170 BPM
Triangle - (4:55) 57 BPM
No Team (feat Lorn) - (4:40) 191 BPM
Review: It's always exciting to see a new Exit release drop into this store, especially when they are as beautiful as this latest collection from Lewis James, under the EP name 'The Death Of Habit'. From start to finish, this one is a glittering display of soundscaping genius, combining the gentle harmonic bliss of 'The Sorrow In Ronan' with the outstanding vocal displays of Alia Fresco on 'Worth The Pain' and gnarly tech flavours of 'Acidize' alongside DBridge to kick us off in style. Next, 'Triangle' provides more experimental drum work and epic spacey pads, before Lorn's exceptional input on 'No Team' ties us up nicely.
Review: Belgian techno heroine Charlotte de Witte presents the first of a new double EP here. On the subject of the release, De Witte says that this duality is essential to explore her interests, both as a producer and DJ, and it was only natural to release them simultaneously for release on her ever reliable KNTXT imprint. The Selected EP features three stark and austere expressions in main room, peak time techno such as "Form" and "Time" - all featuring the signature grunt of the Roland TB-303 throughout, while final cut "Amar" is a sublime and soothing ambient cut that's perfect to close the EP out.
Just One (feat Lady Soul & Diligent Fingers) - (5:07) 58 BPM
Review: Young Manchester groove weavers Channell & Zar lay down a seriously soulful sermon on Liquid Lab in the form of "Rare Groove Volume One". Four tracks in total, each one is laced with restraint yet high in vibe. "Breathe" opens with a big dreamy salvo, "Let You Know" is more subdued and heads-down while "Black Eye" is so packed with jazzy flourishes it wouldn't go amiss on Liquid V back in the day. Finally "Just One" rounds off the set with a mood that you could imagine Lenzman getting behind. Featuring feat Lady Soul & Diligent Fingers, there's a far-reaching sense of thoughtfulness and emphatic soul running throughout. Rare.
Review: It's been a while since we heard the once much-sampled vocal from Raze's 'Bass Power', but here it comes again courtesy of Wolverhampton lad Lee Perry, AKA Peza, who marries it to glacial, bleepy Italo synths and hard-hitting 80s electronic drums to create the title track 'Bass Doctor'. Elsewhere on the EP, squelchy electro-disco workout 'Aeiou' borrows from Freeez classic 'IOU', albeit not as heavily as you might expect, while 'Planet Cars' is a heavyweight electro jam that, as the title suggests, lifts from both Gary Numan's 'Cars' and Afrika Bambaataa's 'Planet Rock'. Three solid cuts whose familiar samples should ensure maximum floor appeal.
Review: Since first pitching up on Running Back a year or two back, Dec Lennon AKA Krystal Klear has delivered some of his strongest music to date, including a string of peak-time anthems ("Neutron Dance, "Euphoric Dreams" etc). His latest EP for Gerd Janson's label is similarly strong. Check first the trance-influenced, synth-laden throb of "Entre Nous", where big room piano riffs help raise the track to hands-in-the-air anthem status, before admiring the new beat and EBM influenced neo-trance workout "Autobahn". "I'll Be There When You Need Me" is one of Lennon's most saucer-eyed and loved-up tunes to date - all warm waves of synthesizer bliss and decidedly Balearic melodies - while "Gambino" is a cheery skip through 1980s NYC freestyle territory with added Mylo style riffs.
Review: Under the Ponty Mython alias, experienced producer Alexander Pletnev can usually be relied upon to hit the spot. Happily, we can confirm that his latest EP - his second for Bristol's Futureboogie Recordings - is another strong effort. He begins by wrapping some alien sounding synthesizer lead lines and quirky electronic ticks around a swinging, breakbeat influenced groove on "Speak For Yourself", before repeating the trick on the more bass-heavy and tropical tinged "Barocco". EP highlight "Jealous Lover" is a wonderfully bleeping, analogue-rich chunk of intergalactic deep house, while Jonny Rock's remix of the same track is a sweaty, out-of-this-world party jam laden with dub delay, analogue dub bass and trippy effects.
Review: If you're gonna give your EP a title like that, you'd damn well better HAVE 'da funk' to back it up. Thankfully, Mexican producer Van Pratt most assuredly does. 'Nothing But Funk' itself kicks off the EP, opening with a full-phat bassline before ushering in an 80s boogie-style vocal and some VERY 80s-sounding synth chords. That sets the tone for the rest of the EP, with 'Groove It' marrying white-socked 80s soul vibes to a liquid-y funk geetar line while 'All Night Long' is a straight-up boogie number built for cruising along Ocean Drive with the top pulled down and your Wayfarers on, baby...
Review: Jungle Cakes emerged as a true player within jungle corners quite a while ago, and their talent for purveying high quality beats is encompassed within their latest offering from Kombat (Uk). He doesn't mess around on this and if you like your music packed with rolling fdrums and basses, this one is for you. 'Tempest Dub' epitomises his approach, with a huge, vibrating bass patch providing the backdrop to what is an absolutely banging cut. 'Brunch' is equally good, and there's even a moment of reprieve in the more liquid introduction that is definitely a highlight of the release.
Review: Germany's Daniel Klein is a scene veteran whose career dates back to the early 90s, and who's DJ'd everywhere from Manumission to Tresor. Latterly, in his SIRS guise, he's been exploring retro disco and funk territory, which is where we find him on this, the project's debut long-player. The album as a whole can safely be filed under the 'nu disco' umbrella but there's enough variety on offer to ensure things never get dull, from soul- and boogie-infused nuggets like 'Night Wind' and 'All Night Long', to a Stee Downes-vocalled electro-disco cover of Tony Di Bart's 90s club fave 'The Real Thing'.
Review: Vital's Big and Fat You is coming out on Walking Dead Recordings, and considering how naughty it is there's a definitive chance that it lives up to its name. This is a jump-up influenced release but it's also minimal and stripped back with a noticeable element of industrial sonics, especially in the title tune, which is both eerie and rolling in all the right ways. 'Destroy The Evidence' is the B-side and it's a gargled, chopped up construction of bruising synth lines and stabbing percussive hits. Ohh yes, this one absolutely bangs.
Review: There is no getting away from the fact that Coki is a living legend within the dubstep scene. Therefore, when we see him return for another release, this time linking up with the super consistent Hatched imprint, we couldn't help but jump for joy. We kick this one off with the widened LFO flutters of 'Close Up', which in typical Coki fashion provides us with an earth shatteringly unpredictable bass textures, followed by the more dubwise inspired vibes of 'Imperial'. This is then followed in style by the creeping melodies and scattered snare patterns of 'Rahtid', with 'Sea Moss' then providing us with some real nostalgic dubstep flavour.
Review: Golden Dawn Arkestra, an Austin, Texas-based collective led by Ethiopian-American Zapot Mgwana, come to Razor-N-Tape touting a couple of tracks taken from their 2018 long-player of the same name, complete with a bunch of new remixes. In their original form, both 'Children Of The Sun' and 'Cosmic Dancer' are authentic-sounding homages to 70s Afro-funk, with the latter adding a little Theremin-fuelled lounge-y flavour. Austin Ato's remix takes the title track into deep, dreamy house territory, while JKriv and Dicky Trisco rework 'Cosmic Dancer' into a psychedelic nu-disco jam ? la The Phenomenal Handclap Band and a midtempo disco-Balearic roller respectively.
Review: Wow, what a run it has been for the Night Bass team who hear touch down with their one hundredth official release, celebrating one of the most exceptional catalogues within the entire bass music spectrum. They have pulled together an exquisite line up for this one, featuring a tonne of high end names, including founder AC Slater alongside Chris Lorenzo, Flava D, Shift K3y, Jack Beats and more. For us there are a couple of clear stand outs on this one, the first of which has to be the long awaited release of Taiki Nulight and Dread Mc's bassy roller: 'Kush'. We also love the smooth subby bops of Sinden's 'Work That', along with the incredibly unique drum work of 'Ugly' from Petey Clicks.
Review: Dec James has developed a bit of a reputation over the past couple of years for his outlandish approach to making jump-up that sounds, well, bloody insane. He never holds back and this release on Ten Ton Beats is definitely not close to being more restrained, with Dec James experimenting with across several different styles and textures. 'Skyline' is interesting, with hypnotic stabs making up the main arrangement in a stripped back roller. Check these out to hear something properly wicked.
This Is For You (feat Maurissa Rose) - (10:26) 120 BPM
This Is For You (instrumental) - (11:40) 120 BPM
Review: Back from Fancy Footwork the almighty Theo Parrish is still blazing a trail into instrumental house and live jazz workouts or be they listening sessions. Flipped up alongside the recent What You Gonna Ask For EP, This Is For Your projects the beauty of live elements at play within house music. Whether they be machines or human beings, everything is alive in these two tracks; snappy snare shine through on the instrumental version alongside free keys that shimmy on top analogue kicks done in Detroit. Maurissa Rose gives voice to a fuller mix on the original for something warmer over a charming instrumental workout.