Review: Parly B is a vocalist who doesn't need much introduction, his releases over nearly 10 years have done that for him. He's landing on Liondub for an album and blimey, it's a big one. He's roped in a wide range of artists on production credits and the results are predictably fearsome, especially 'Black Lives Matter' featuring Sikka, who stretches out Parly's vocals over a stepping, funky yet bad boy beat. FleCK knows how to lay things down, and Parly is at his best on 'Lyrics Spree'. Big stuff.
Review: Mikal is without a doubt one of the best purveyors of breaksy music around. It's slightly criminal that he doesn't get landed with this title more and hopefully his new album - Metalwork - changes things. It's a sensational album, a truly impressive tour-de-force of halftime and breakbeats, a showcase of just how raw and unfiltered drum & bass can be. It's exceedingly hard to pick out standouts because they all work so well, but 'Metalwork' itself is something special; a spacious, cutting edge track that rests on a monstrous kick-snare combination and just goes from there. The expansive bassline of 'Scrapyard Dub', the furious breaks of 'Breaks & Pads'...it doesn't get much better.
Review: Riddim Punks is dropping an album on Nice Up and the results are distinctly impressive. The features they've managed to bring in particular, as Rider Shafique, the Ragga Twins, Eva Lazarus, Chronixx and P Money all get in on the fun. There's a moody intro track from Rider Shafique which sets the tone, before a wickedly wobbling number - 'London Is Burning feat. King Ali Baba - gets things underway. For those who love things heavy, 'Calypso' feat. Navigator and Scorpio MC is a stepping jump up number, whilst the dream duo of Chronixx and P Money lay down the fire on 'Sell My Gun'. This album is tight, fuelled by the sounds of the U.K. underground and totally unmissable.
Review: The renowned label boss of Jungle Cakes - Deekline - a man with more releases under his belt than most people, is landing on the imprint with a brand-new album alongside Specimen A. The pair make a potent combo, and their devilish approach to dancefloor-friendly drum & bass makes this album full of jump -up bangers, junglist sounds and even stepping halftime badness. It's a proper rowdy album and 'Middle Finger' is the best example, as a stupidly cool angled bassline flutters into the distance with pitched-up angst and serious underground intent. The big bassline steps of the halftime monster that is 'Kill That Sound' blend the techy with the angry, and the legendary MC Det features on 'This Way'. Get Lucky stretches to a might 18 tracks, and all of them are absolute hoofers. Big, big stuff.
Review: The Dark Soldier continues to bite down on 2020 with force. With his album 'Prophecy' setting to the tone of this strange year, he continues to steadily unleash previously unreleased digital versions of his many, many bangers. All shades of the Dread controller are present and correct as we're whisked from blazing rave ('The One Armed Swordsman') to cosmic rollers ('You're Special') by way of nasty, dubby juggernauts ('Don Gorgon') and emotional space crusades ('Burning Me Up') Each cut fresh from the archives and never before available beyond those lucky to cut a plate at Music House back in the day, this is the sound of one of drum & bass jungle's most influential pioneers.
Review: One of Hospital's newest signings, Voltage has stepped out of the full Kings of the Rollers team and lands on the label with his first solo album since 2015's More Than Luck. It's by far his most diverse and mature work to date, as Voltage lays down the usual dancefloor pressure but intersperses it with fragrant 80s textures and deep, ambient soundscapes. It's a testament to his journey as a producer, as well as the cross-section of influences he's been exposed to as a part of the Hospital roster. That duality of sound is expressed best in 'Make Me Feel', a stripped back roller with finger click drums that's spacious and soulful yet punctuated through by a guttural, honking bass sound that's right in the KoTR tradition. 'So Close' kicks off proceedings with funk synthwave; 'Endless Dreaming' is a sumptuously deep, almost-liquid number with fantastic vocals from Bulgarian Goddess; and 'Moonshine' and 'Conscious' are ambient cuts that put on full show his newfound depth and breadth. Big album.
Review: Back in 2016, Crackazat launched the Period Works series as a vehicle for productions that explicitly paid tribute to his influences and inspirations, and in particular his love of glossy, musically rich 1990s US house and garage. Four years on, he's decided to gather together the tracks released so far in one place, adding a trio of previously unheard creations and a couple of bonus remixes to create Period Works - The Album. Highlights are plentiful, from the authentic 1970s disco rush of superb opener 'Waterfalls' and the classic Masters at Work shuffle of 'Fire Drift', to the 'Brazilian Rhyme'-goes-piano house rush of 'Fly Away' and the big room US garage bounce of 'I'll Be There'. The included squelchy, synth-laden rework of Sean McCabe's 'Holding On' is also superb.
Review: Part two of the Goldie remix album is yet more serene blending of light and dark sounds, with some of the scenes best - including Grey Code, Lenzman, Jubei and Calibre - all pitching in with some of the best music of their career. The Grey Code remix of 'The Mirrored River' has been a long time coming, its debut originally at Outlook Festival in 2018, and what a remix it is; the original's towering vocals being flung headfirst into a cacophony of knife-edge breaks and tumbling basslines. Lenzman ebbs and flows with a typically funky rendition of 'The Ballad Celeste', whilst Calibre has his second contribution with a remix of 'Run Run Run', an utterly brilliant rolller that builds to soaring vocal heights abed a string section from your dreams, before cutting off into quintissential Calibre goodness. The culminatory part to a 2020-defining album.
Review: One of the scene's most long-running liquid masters is back with a mini-LP, an eight-track exploration of his sound that is sure to be a future benchmark for just how perfect the lighter side of things can be. It's Alix Perez, of course, and Without End is a masterpiece in soulful soundscapes, a gentle, deft piece of music that rollicks and flows with touches of melancholic nonchalance. It's designed to be listened to as cohesive piece of music, and the first track - Wondering At A Loss - lays the tone perfectly; suble piano ripples, distant vocal shimmers and crisp, finger-click drums. The string-laden build-up of 'Someone Else' is unmissable, as are the funky steps of 'Moving On' featuring the utterly superb Liam Bailey. He also finishes up the EP on 'Lost & Proud', and the other features - Halogenix, Workforce - are similarly stunning. Spellbindingly good.
Review: If you can't pick up from his name that Wrekka loves to wreck dancefloors with grimey beats, then, well, he's going to make sure you know with this new EP on Dutty Bass Audio. It's a seven-track monster of a release and the scariness doesn't let up at any point throughout, as Wrekka lets loose with all barrels. 'Desert Skies' is especially sick, with a wonderfully heavy sub bass that flutters just as much as it wobbles, underpinning a whole arrangement of skipping drums and murderous synth touches. 'Arcadia' blends soulful sampling with diving sine waves, whilst Trojan is just relentlessly good. Bigups.
Star (feat Mono/Poly & Tanerelle) - (3:42) 141 BPM
Kane Train (feat Freddie Gibbs) - (2:16) 147 BPM
Wait 4 U (feat Jesse Boykins III) - (4:04) 87 BPM
Sleepy Pietro (feat Tigran Hamasyan) - (3:25) 113 BPM
Spin Blocks (feat Father) - (2:38) 94 BPM
Idea 36 (feat Chrome Sparks) - (2:59) 133 BPM
Believe In U - (3:31) 95 BPM
1000 Miles (feat Sub Focus) - (5:41) 85 BPM
Inner Eye - (3:38) 100 BPM
Ur2yung - (3:34) 100 BPM
Review: Machinedrum is back with his first album in four years! A View Of U sees the arrival of the LA-based producer's ninth LP overall putting him back on the map after teaming up with Holly to release the Berry Patch EP on Visions Recordings, and his J-E-T-S collaboration with Jimmy Edgar. Out of the 11 tracks on show here, eight are collaborations, featuring the likes of Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs ("Kain Train"), Canadian R&B singer Rochelle Jordan ("The Relic") to Awful Records boss Father ("Spin Blocks"). Find other dope collabs in Mono/Poly & Taner?lle's trip hop and steppy "Star" alongside something deep, cosmic and new age with Chrome Sparks in "Idea 36". A View Of U provides the follow up to Machinedrums last full-length, Human Energy (2016), which this time around is said to center around the idea of having an out-of-body experience. Double Vision.
Review: Hospital's newest dynamic duo finally have their long-awaited album coming next week, and with Playing In The Dark the pair have exceeded all expectations. This LP moves across dub-influenced bounce, breaksy hip-hop sounds, soulful liquid and straight dancefloor heat. It's a palette befitting the history of both MCs and the range of producers they've roped in is unsurprisingly impressive, with LSB, Calibre, Diemantle, S.P.Y, Chimpo and more all stepping up. Calibre has two contributions, including a vibrant junglist cut, but Villem & Bcee's 'Playing In The Dark' might be the most memorable and we challenge any of you not to bop to this absurdly infectious tune. 'Tectonic Plates' by Diemantle is another absolute stomper, as the breaks-focused duo bring their cross-genre appeal with full throttle and birth a concotion of pounding subs and stepping, inch-perfect drums. This is a truly sensational album.
Review: Goldie's 2017 magnum opus - The Journey Man - has gone under the surgeon's knife of some of the best artists in the Metalheadz roster and the result is a sensational two-part collection of sounds from across drum and bass and beyond. This is the first part, and it kicks off with a classic old-school remix from Digital & Spirit, two artists who have done so much to define the modern Metalheadz aesthetic. Their take on 'I Think Of You' is powerful, underground and fractious in equal measure, a turn-of-the-century roller with wonderfully sharp stabs and a creepy atmosphere courtesy of the original's whispered vocal sample. It contrasts with Zero T's gorgeously nonchalant take on 'Truth', which rests on sunny day guitar flicks, rolling out with abandon and driving away over the horizon on a swell of soul. There are more ambient takes from Mathew Jonson and Subjective, whilst Diemantle get funky with a superb 145bpm take on 'Castaway'. There are many others as well - unmissable.
Review: As ever, it looks like the legendary Shy FX is out to cause a ruckus in the raves as he unveils this brand new remix project, inviting some of the most talked about names in D&B to get involved with official remixes for for last year's 'Raggamuffin' project. From start to finish we are greeted with a pretty monumental roster, as we see the likes of The Sauce, SPY, Kings Of The Rollers, Breakage and more get involved. It's a mark of Shy FX's untouchable status within the scene to see just how well put together this project is, from the gnarly, rolling subs we find within Bou's remix of 'Warning' alongside Gappy Ranks, to the special acoustic version of Maverick Sabre's 'Call Me' collaboration. The whole selection just oozes class, with our highlight having to be Skeptical's on point remix of Balaclava, which see's him rework MC Spyda, D Double E and Frisco's catchy vocal runs into a dark & dangerous piece of dancefloor dynamite. Amazing work!
Review: Hospital's very own Austrian super duo hit back hard with their fourth full length LP releasing two years of hard work and studio time out into the open. No doubt made with packed dancefloors across the globe in mind, we of course all know and love the addictive keys and white static of "All Night" like it was our very own, but there's much more to see here. Featuring a whole host of fresh influences from French house, funk and indie-electronica, there's more to see here than your average smash-hit D&B album. Even if you think this isn't for you, trust us, "All Night" is. It so is.
Review: If you're in the mood for some lazy, languid, sofa and warm-up friendly grooves, we'd heartily recommend this second Razor N Tape outing from Los Angeles crew Pools. Utilsing their trusty MPC, a wealth of hazy disco and jazz-funk samples, and complimentary sun-baked instrumentation, the beat-making combo saunters between confirmed head-nodders, hypnotic mid-tempo grooves and seductive slow house - all crafted with one eye on musicality and the other on capturing a mellow vibe. It's a fine collection all told, with the pair's slow-motion dancefloor grooves sounding just as good at home as they do on a club soundsystem. Musical vitamin D for the lockdown generation: what's not to like?
Review: Greece's Timewarp delivers Croatian producer Vladimir Sivc aka Funky Destination his sixth studio album, and it burns! Combining live instrumentation with his sampled-based style, FD dials up some downbeat tempos and dubbed-out horns in tracks like "Deep Into Brasil" to some undeniable hand percussion and jazz funk in "B.Disco Express". On a western tip find cowboy ballads and sunsets themes in "The Last Cotton Field Song" (think Django Unchained) alongside the Chicagoan blues and Hendrix rock 'n' roll of "I Was A Rolling Stone". Some further streetsmart funk in "Mountain To Sing" next to the broken beats of "Back To Philly" and some sassy, disco flex in "Sistas Of Mercy". For that soulful, upbeat and hip hop vibe it's all about the title track: "Roots People".
Review: It goes without saying at this point, but screw it, we will repeat ourselves with a good old uttering of 'It looks like Chad Dubz has done it again'. Landing on his home imprint of Foundation Audio, the 'Foundations' LP is an excellent showcasing of futuristic dubstep brilliance. Made up of twelve swampy stunners, Chad Dubz once again confirms his spot among the best in the game, with the tracklisting varying dramatically between the more 'Anti-Social' inspired spaciness of 'Space Cadet' to the electronic mastery of 'System'. The whole project is a delight, with highlights including the moody LFO expressions of 'Anxious', alongside the exceptional soundscaping work behind 'Life', which links up unorthodox percussive lines with a hypnotic sense of rhythm throughout. Top stuff as per!
How's It Gonna Be? (feat Tim Fuller) - (6:10) 130 BPM
Late Night Business - (7:06) 128 BPM
London Road (feat Arla Tait) - (6:19) 132 BPM
Under The Skin (feat Lil Mark) - (7:53) 130 BPM
Feel The Same - (6:06) 131 BPM
Stranger Danger - (6:58) 129 BPM
Fantasy (feat Shaun J. Wright) - (7:09) 130 BPM
Jus' Get Down (feat Beau May) - (6:56) 125 BPM
Review: This time last year saw Leftroom boss Matt Tolfrey return with his second full length artist album 'All Shapes And Different Sizes' which now gets a much needed issue on digital. Seven years after his debut, it finds the Nottingham stalwart returning to his roots, exploring the minimal sounds he first made his mark with and drawing on his early years as an after hours DJ. Highlights include: the glacial and cavernous off-kilter bounce of "We Are The Same", the sensual and evocative deepness of "How's It Gonna Be?" featuring legendary Vancouver vocalist Tim Fuller, to the microhouse funk of "Under The Skin" featuring stalwart Lil Mark (Music For Freaks) and the druggy "Fantasy" featuring Chicagoan Shaun J. Wright.
Review: There was a sense of inevitability when Mark Barrott's International Feel label revealed plans to issue a new album from Ibizan legend Jose Padilla, the pair go together like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. What makes So Many Colours particularly special is the fact Padilla got the chance to work with Barrott, Running Back affiliate Telephones, Australian producer Tornado Wallace and Jan 'Wolf Muller' Schulte, a list of artists that share a common approach to the idea and concept of being Balearic. As you would expect, copious amounts of fluttering beats, Spanish guitar strumming and deep throbbing arpeggiated basslines feature throughout So Many Colours and it's really a pleasure from beginning to end!
Review: With an extensive repertoire that includes breaks, house and techno, Sam Binga's switch to future jungle rhythms has spawned some of his honest, his most exciting and his heaviest tracks to date. Sitting in the same unclassifiable field as Om Unit and Fracture, his productions wobble, writhe and punch sweetly around the 160/80 axis and feature a wealth of killer vocalists such as Warrior Queen, Rider Shafique and Romaine. Part dancehall, part jungle, part mongrel bass, Sam's skills are showcased succinctly across Wasted Days with a consistency that ensures the album experience is just as hard hitting as the individual tracks hit the floor. Get wasted.
Review: First released on wax almost three years ago, Hade's first edits EP for Razor 'N' Tape has finally made it to digital download. This is undoubtedly a great thing, because it's arguably one of the Brooklyn imprint's strongest collections of cuts to date (and that's saying something). He opens via the sweaty, occasionally dubbed-out disco-funk goodness of "Say What You Wanna Say", whose combination of killer grooves and slowly building heaviness guarantees good times. He flips the script entirely on "Jeep Cherokee XJ", crafting a killer hip-hop jam out of dusty jazz samples and boom-bap beats, before dancing his way through an early slab of harmonica-laden disco-rap ("My Thang"). To round things off, Hade once more joins the dots between hip-hop and jazz on hazy closing cut "Range Rover HSE".
Review: This may be MRD's debut release, but it's still an unforgettable EP. The title track is a pumping, pulsating affair that resounds to a lean electronic bass and hushed vocal samples - the overall track sounds like a pumped up, techno take on electroclash. On "Oslo", this emerging producer channels the spirit of classic trance, overlaying dreamy melodies against the backdrop of pounding kicks, while on "Lost Friends" he utilises a different proposition and drops pounding tribal drums as the basis for tranced out hooks. "Full Clip" sees an even darker approach, as a breakneck rhythm underpins dark riffs that burn with dark intent.