Review: Having established themselves over the last year with killer free downloads from some of the most exciting names in the new-generation movement of artists, Timeless Audio continue to develop their brand with this crucial collection from Secret Sound and friends on their second full paid release. Four massive collaborations deep, across the EP we find Secret Sound tagging in the likes of Jando on the growling stepper 'Code Red', we see Drowzee jumping on board to turn on all the lights on the grotty bass jammer 'Home Alone' while Lockerz join the fray with Secret Sound on the roughhouse tear-up 'Embrace'. Last but not least Magenta opts-in on the bouncy title track 'Vibrations'. Vibes.
Review: Visages has been one of the big A&R success stories of Perez's 1985 Music, and this four-track EP is the next evolution of his techy, hybrid sound. Dark Guru is titled with an absolute gem of a dubstep track, a loping 140 monster which oozes force and sophistication through waves of undulating low frequencies; a true class act that simply deserves to be heard in a club. The rest of the EP is 170, and the highlight is 'Egotrip', a devilishly sharp minimal roller that stays clear of boring tropes and instead blends guttural bassline sweeps with jagged synth stabs and biting percussive touches. 'Yalda' is also obscenely good, as a crunchy groove beds down amongst soulful vocal notes and shuddering basslines. Best in class.
Review: Following releases from the label founder Nooch and a VA featuring a whole host of new-gen talent, Ransaked present their first artist EP in the form of 'The Funk' from young Bristol producer RISE. Four tracks heavy, complete with a remix from Dunk, it's RISE's most comprehensive release to date and it ranges from the subtly bumpy funk of 'Steady Blazin' to the outright grizzly behaviour of the jungle-flavoured 'Feel It'. Both the original and Dunk's remix of 'The Funk' more than live up to their name, too. An exceptional release from a very promising new label.
Review: These two cuts are taken from a forthcoming various artists album on DJ Hybrid's Deep In The Jungle imprint, and the boss himself is joined by Mrs Magoo and Conrad Subs for a single that gets right to the core of the label's ethos. 'Back To 96' is a time travel machine that takes you back to the days of rolling reece basses and frantic percussive work, simpler times when all you needed was the barebones to create a vibe. Conrad Subs goes in a funkier direction, with brash brass notes that lead into a wobbling concoction of bouncing basslines and innocent clubland notes. Cracking.
Review: Have Serial Killaz just dropped an essential summer anthem? Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: Yes and here's why... The legendary MC Spyda leads with a classic dubwise vocal that instantly hits the soul, the euphoric bassline is reminiscent of those big Brookes Brothers tracks around 15 years ago and the whole flow just has summer festivals written all over it. And if that's not enough of a massive summer anthem for you, check the deeper UKG style soul of 'Mind Games'. Not always known for their deeper tracks, Serial Killaz once again remind us of their talents with something very special here.
Review: With some funky cartoon artwork, Bruk has landed on Pick N Mix with a hard-hitting four-tracker which combines a penetrating sense of attitude with a non-nonsense approach to musical arrangements. 'Trekker' has an 8-bit, Souped Up vibe in its arrangement that feels carefree and no nonsense and is perfect for a crowded dancefloor, especially with its underpinning in some weighty percussion. 'Take Me Down is the heavier of the four and grounded in glitchy atmospherics and a sense of space which makes it a pleasure to listen to, its snapping drum line providing the ground rock underneath. Yes boys.
Review: Enei's evolution over the last year or two has immense and the Russian producer has combined the techy side of things with the jumpier bits better than anyone else, a stylistic blend that he puts to perfect use in this five-tracker. Regular partner in crime Jakes steps up for 'Master Key', and his typically menacing vocal work adds edge to an already jagged instrumental, one which rattles through double bass notes and withering, stabbing percussive touches. It's a proper dancefloor cut constructed for the reopening of gigs, and this attitude spreads across the entire release; from the moody steps of 'Ignit', to the bouncing shards of 'Dirty' and the jump-up infused murderation of 'Lucid' The master is back.
Review: The Sauce & Fox: One of the most flavoursome trios in D&B right now link up with one of the most respected and versatile MCs in the game for 'Everything Boss'. With its jiggy bassline, Fox's smoky vocals, aggy hoover tones and killer drums, it's already developed big bubbler status with those lucky enough to have a copy over the last few months. Loaded with full vocal and dub version that doesn't include the full bars and ready for a hopeful summer of the rave's return, 'Everything Boss' is a candidate for one of the tunes of the year so far. Woi.
Review: Originally released last year as a free download, 4K & ALR's heavily supported 'Brukshot' gets the remix treatment now Bredrin Recordings have elevated to a full paid label. All forms and flavours under the D&B umbrella; Toby Ross adds a big groaning bassline, Budden flips it into a stripped-back elastic riddim, GLM brings up the aggy factor with a swift, futuristic steppy style while Addicted & Cramz bring the EP to a close with some of the naughtiest bass textures of the collection. Brukshots fired; Bredrin are shaping up to be a very promising new label.
Review: Bunkers are so last year. Right now it's all about the cellar... Wine cellar to be precise. And tonight your sommelier will be Oram. Fresh from his cameo on Deep In The Jungle, here comes his first tasting session on Audio Addict. 'Baddest Sound' is a Chilean Merlot; spicy and heady with its rough bassline grit. The stripped-back Lynx-like 'Double A' is more like a Australian Chardonnay; fruity and full of zest. The junglised groaner 'Fine Wine' is more comparable to an Italian Rioja - heavy, jammy and like rocket fuel for the senses. Finally we have 'Hide & Seek' which is the soundtrack to you running down offy because you've run out of wine. Bottoms up!
Review: The Garage Shared team continue to do a fantastic job of showcasing both the best in UKG right now, whilst also platforming an exciting wave of newcomers, the latter of which this spicy new compilation takes a primary focus on. We begin with a sumptuous UKG summer anthem as Deja unveils 'Give It To Me', featuring Sydney Jane', kickstarting the project with a high ceiling as Sydney's beautiful vocals grace a delightful 2-step backdrop. We then move into Howden's 'Obsession' next, forming a tidy fusion of garage and bassline themes with its groovy melodic design, all before Green Deep ups the tempo on 'It's Alright', linking up smart horn riffs and a packed out rhythm section in style. To round off, we take it even more old school as Lewis Taylor delivers a skippy vocal chop extravaganza with 'Temperature', chased up by a top notch outro track in SOULSTATE's 'I Wanna', again using a stunning vocal & rhythm combo to seal the deal.
Review: Pipe down, zip it, shut-up-a-your-face: whichever way you want to say it, Alex SLK is right behind you with 'No More Talking' - A six-track vibe attack strong enough to glue your lips together. A gruff, ruff, collection of rollers and bumpers, highlights include the trippy, elasticated 'Trust Issues', the wonderfully weird and warped 'Zerg' and the mischievous murkery of 'Bombaclaat'. And that's the tip of the iceberg. No talk, all action.
Review: Sub-liminal bossman Agro's remix project continues with this monstrous take on 'Tweeter Box' by Sub-Division artist Sinexia. The original (released last year) is a pretty stripped-back affair with a high voltage bassline and generous levels of sub. In true Agro form, the bigger the rig, the better it sounds. Meanwhile the remix from young Belgian Sinexia throws in a whole new layer of steamroller bass textures and pummelling drums for more of a straight up dancefloor dnb style. Box fresh.
Review: Speaker Louis and Epicentre team up and barge down the doors of Nuusic HQ with four absolutely blazing releases. Each track hand-raised with large amounts of studio venom and sonic ruffage, highlights include the skin-scorching bassline and breaks and sunny-side skanks of 'Dead Sound' and the horn-heaved blasts, stuttering savageness and rave nostalgia of the EP title track 'Unity'. Elsewhere our souls are nourished by the vocal-led 'Out Here' and the soundsystem slapping tear-up 'The Gorgon Stare'. Peace, bangers and 'Unity'.
Review: This debut EP from Response goes back to the classic Headz formula; honest drums, basslines that won't quit and stripped back sense of purity. It's more barebones and relaxed than the label's recent work and it's a flip that works extremely well, as Response rolls things out with a feeling of careless abandon. That's not to say there isn't toughness on here, however, as 'Manhunter' pushes growling bass barks underneath an outer layer of crisp hi-hats and back alley snare hits. 'Betrayal' is space-age, Bukem-style luxury, a panoramic journey through celestial tones that makes you feel lighter than air; this is proper liquid. An all-round masterclass!
Could Have Been Us (Winslow remix) - (5:08) 174 BPM
BCee & Charlotte Haining & Etherwood - "Little Bit Lighter" (Pola & Bryson remix) - (3:54) 58 BPM
Walking On Water - (4:13) 58 BPM
Almost There (Deadline remix) - (3:50) 172 BPM
The Hills (Krakota remix) - (4:26) 174 BPM
Remind Me (S.P.Y remix) - (4:36) 172 BPM
Give Me A Break (Emba remix) - (5:04) 174 BPM
BCee & Charlotte Haining & DRS - "Love For The Fallen" (Satl remix) - (5:17) 174 BPM
BCee & Charlotte Haining & Tempza - "In The Moment" (Monrroe remix) - (6:01) 174 BPM
Endlessly Unlimited (LSB remix) - (5:03) 172 BPM
BCee & Charlotte Haining & Emba - "Home For Good" (Villem remix) - (5:12) 174 BPM
Review: Last year Bcee and Charlotte Haining released a superbly soulful vocal album, and the time has come for it to get the remix treatment. The lineup for this album is immense, as LSB, Technimatic, S.P.Y, Mitekiss and loads more step up to put their own spin on things. The Shogun duo Technimatic kick of proceedings by shoving a rocket inside 'History', with one of their trademark euphoric buildups, a lead that moves delightfully into an explosively rolling exercise in soulfulness. Deadline nail their remix of 'Almost There', and S.P.Y's flips 'Remind Me' into a growling dancefloor number. There are too many corkers to list here - check em out.
Review: Natty Dub Recordings always deliver tough, urban-edged sounds that don't prance around or act fancy, they just get down and dirty. K Jah has delivered exactly that here, with a two-track single of moody tones and no-nonsense drum lines. 'Life Support feat.Vytol' is a perfect example of said drums, with impossibly clean hits and a clear sense of space and progression, its bass stabs are almost shadowed out. 'Ominous' is the most futuristic, with a deep back end and seriously cool synth spasms that lend it a techier feel than the other cuts on the EP but one which is still grounded in roughness. Another unreal piece of work.
Review: This two-track single from Stillz is packed full of twisted sounds for you wrap your noggins around, and there's a sick blend of aesthetics and styles amongst all the filth. 'Outside' is wobbly and rolling, it packs all of its energy into the sub-bass and just flows out with style. 'Dubplate Beater' is a monstrosity of energy, with a superb drum section that packs more character into the arrangement than you can wag a finger at, whilst Grafta MC edges in over the top with all the menace that a good MC can bring to the beat. Big.
Review: Who's this zooming round the corner? It's Manchester's Niterider, here to cruise upside your selections and collections with a range of ridiculously addictive work-outs. 'Henry's Finest' starts the journey with a fun and sludgy bassline that's kinda reminiscent of Moving Fusion when they could no wrong. Elsewhere 'My Deliveries' is a game of quirky, riffy harmonics, 'Kracken' roars with trippy bass textures, while 'Family Ties' is so disgusting it will have you ringing up all your siblings and telling them to wheel up the bloodclart. Last but not least 'You Asked' closes the EP with a big old burp of a foghorn damage. Top gear.
Review: One of drum & bass' hardest working servants is back in the Dispatch kitchen with this EP, as M-Zine takes his penchant for dirtiness and cooks up a storm across four delightful cuts. This particular incarnation of his sound is rough, with an old-school tonality that leans into the sounds of dBridge and others. 'Devise' is possibly the most unique, with a repetitive structure that bores a hole into your brain and lays the most gorgeous of eggs, a soulful yet devastatingly sharp concoction that is simply the definition of cross-genre goodness. 'Permeate' does just that, with a devilish, gruff bassline that spreads its tentacles throughout the whole track in super fashion. What an EP.
Review: For us, there aren't many people doing it bigger than Cartridge in the UK dubstep scene right now. He returns to Subaltern for a fiery four track display here, kickstarting with the grizzly bass drives and shuffling, almost drill-like drum work of 'Stone Cold', a powerful title track indeed. Next, the charming, bitcrushed bass pulses and super clean hi-hat work of 'Choker' lands with some real oomf, before the horror-influenced synth twists and shimmering soundscaping of 'Sweet Doughs' takes the project somewhere completely different. For our round off, we find ourselves travelling through a much more eastern-inspired style of instrumentation as lightly plucked string arpeggios lead the way in 'Balance', adding one final twist to the tale.
Review: Liquid Lab are coming into your ears once again with more lovely music, this time it's with Motiv, who has been in the game to know how to craft a proper liquid number. All five tracks on this EP rest comfortably within the funkier, more atmospheric end of the liquid spectrum, and they make ideal late night or early morning listening. The title tune is quintessential, with bubbling celestial synth lines that rest gingerly alongside a wonderfully subtle, rolling bassline that strolls along with the serious grace and decorum. 'On the Verge' features up and comer Charla Green on vocals and it has a main piano riff that's just superb in its soulfulness, a common and tangible theme throughout this release. Lovely stuff.
Review: Last spotted learning to fly, Hugh Hardie touches down once again with more new material: 'Dream In Green', another four track delight on Hospital. 'No Compromise' takes the lead and hits with a vibe that's reminiscent of early Nu:Tone. It's in good company as three more double-H nuggets bounce our way... 'Dream In Green' is stunning sunset soul with filters and strings in all the right places, 'Overture' brings a little jazz into the mix while d.e.o.n lays down introspective lyrical gold while 'Repeater' closes the show on steppy, switchy juke vibe that's not dissimilar to Sinistarr or Thys. Dream big.