Review: The Blocster is on a roll right now! The next in his recent slew of concepts that's included homages to Biggie, Sade and Marked For Death is this bulldozer set of Stranger Things-inspired jungle translations. It's business from the off as "Contamination" and "Demigorgon" hit with Hardware-like brutality and don't hint at the more celestial 80s synth themes Stranger Things is more associated with. The darkness continues throughout whether it's the nail-biting tension of the electroid thumper "The Exit", the pranged-out pressure of the Dread-style "The Lab" or the barbed dream arpeggios of the title track itself. And this is just the first part!
Review: Sub-liminal Recordings are a regular presence on these pages, their music is precise and damaging and they're back this week with a single from Agro. Timbuk 4 is a two-tracker that relies on its wavey concoctions of low-frequency movement to impress, with hard percussive knocks resting nicely underneath. 'Fair Trade' is the B-side and probably our favourite, with Chats MC doing some serious work over a very creative back end. Lovely stuff.
Review: Sometimes the road gets too rough. Sometimes you just have to slap a senior member in your family due to the high levels of gully coming into your ears. Whatever you do when things get too stinky, however you deal with the body-blowing pressure of absolutely foul tracks, we know you're going to do it to this new EP from Perez who is on such a roll right now it's crazy. Following his dubstep EP "Last Rites" comes this awesome back-to-dnb-grit session. "Trinity" is just utter high voltage darkness, "Phantonym" takes things even deeper with some proper gruesome bass bubbles while "SWRV" takes us back to Alix's soulful side and "Vibrations" plays the perfect game of contrasts and shade. What an EP.
Review: Beat Merchants the name; soothing's the game... Conrad, Juiceman and Jubbz' project returns with another bounty of soulful bliss. Two originals, two remixes: the agenda is set by the simple understate soul of "Lockdown" with stripped back pianos, horns and some beautiful vocal pairing throughout while "Believe" takes us to the furthest of far-sides with a blissful (and well-loved) guitar lick, an elasticated double bassline and sharp bars. Elsewhere Command Strange flips "Hurricane" into more of a barbed beast while L Side turbo charges the title track with consummate soul. Keep this on lockdown...
Review: Liondub's 10 year anniversary celebrations continue with this savage slab of ragga jungle. This time the captain Liondub takes to the controls himself alongside fellow US jungle veteran Jah Boogs while vocal guidance comes from one of the most distinctive MCs in the game: Bristol's Blackout Ja. Here we find him in fiery form as "Touch Up The Key" (and its complimentary VIP version) brocks out in all directions over a precision-tuned subby bass wobble. "Dread" flips for a sunnier side of the stack as Blackout pays homage to his roots with more of a melodic flow to his signature gravel-toned bars. Loaded with instrumentals too, this is the full package.
Review: Oh gosh! Bladerunner touches down with an epic six-track collection on his own Hi Resolution. Running his gully gamut from emotional to electrical to energetical, everything you could possibly need from a Bladerunner EP is right here... The subtle euphoria and piano-touched emotion of "All My Love", the total skin melting sizzles and bassline burns of "Intensity" and the techno-like insistency and dynamism of "Breathe" are just three of many highlights here.
Review: If you like huge, rambunctious drums then this release will almost certainly be up your street. The 'drums' in D&B come first for a reason and that's because they're the most essential element to any 170 track, with all the energy and momentum being carried in the percussion. Bomber Man knows this, clearly, because both sides to this single absolutely stomp in this area. Both 'Deuce Crew' and 'Chuck' pair these drums with gnarly stabs and gargled, twisted low frequencies and it works brilliantly. Proper stuff this.