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: Serial Killaz is back with their latest EP, which is pretty impressive stuff and a welcome sight after their little break. The title track is wide, forceful and ceaselessly crazy, an arrangement of limit-breaking synths coming together in a surprisingly melodic arrangement - one for the raves. 'Jungle Lock', 'Hush', 'Harmonic Drones and 'Fully Armed' are all in a similar vein, just pure dancefloor killers with the energy to keep you going once the sun starts hitting your face. This is a non-stop EP from a crew who have been in the scene for a long time.
Review: This release is big. Not in a super fancy or sophisticated way but in the ways that matter, the ways that mean you'll be going hard on a dancefloor at 5am somewhere when one of these tracks comes on. Master Error is responsible and he's over on Young Guns Recordings this time around, Artillery is the name of the release and it's fitting. 'Braindead' is straight up roller business, with a towering intro that cuts away on the drop, leaving a pure line of energy and rattling percussion in its wake. 'Rush', 'Artillery' and 'Assault' step up the craziness even more and are where this extended EP really gets going. Top work.
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: High R8 are keeping up their streak of releases with this grating, gully monster from Metal Work, who has had a very prolific couple of years on a whole host of different labels. The title track to this release says it all really, with a fiery injection of energy at all levels alongside an all-encompassing sense of purpose and drive that lends the track a superb quality. 'Losing Myself' steps things up a notch, with a rambunctious foghorn that bends, twists and distorts throughout the whole tune, carrying the listener with them as it goes. Overall this release is industrial and not to be messed with - top work.
Review: Filthy Habits has been on a bit of a spree recently, with a slew of releases on labels like G13 and others. This time though he's on arguably the best dedicated jump-up label in the scene - Low Down Deep - and here's here with a wicked slew of pointed, angry tracks. The B-side 'Talk Too Much' is the standout tune, with a ragga jungle introduction that's flipped into a biting, jungle number that grates and grinds in all the right places. Absolutely wicked tune this and it's complimented by an almost equally cool A-side - definitely check this single out.
Review: Four months after the release of his fine debut album "What It Is", Toy Tonics founder Matthias Modias AKA Kapote offers up fresh versions of two of the set's most potent tracks. Of most interest to many will be the included "big name" remixes of "Jaas Func Haus". Art of Tones does a bang-up job recasting the cut as a dusty chunk of rubbery jazz-house/deep house fusion, while the Sworn Virgins remix is a delay-laden late night analogue-house wiggler from the Ron Hardy school of Chicago sleaze. Best of all, though, is Rahaan's rework, which is a wonky mid-tempo fusion of acid-style electronics and spiraling disco bliss. Elsewhere, there's another chance to enjoy Modias' funk-fuelled disco workout "Delirio Italiano", as well as a stripped back, extra-percussive "Dub" mix.
Review: Nick The Lot is definitely one of the most promising producers over on the jump-up side of the scene, with a load of releases on Grid that have been blowing people's socks off. This time though he's on Zombie Recordings with a deadly six-tracker, and if you love a good foghorn as much as we do, then this release will definitely tick your boxes. Final track 'Origin' is wicked just for its rhythmic diversity, with stuttering drum breaks all over the shop and grating, satisfying basses filling in the gaps. The title track is another highlight, as is 'Manners'. Overall, very sick stuff from Nick here.
Merchant Blessing (feat MC Conrad) - (4:38) 174 BPM
Review: His last album Salvation seems like it landed only yesterday - it's actually been exactly two years. And during this time he's been neck deep in collaborations for this remarkable follow-up. Each track a creation with a kindred spirits. Key Hospital faces include Degs, Bop, Urbandawn, Whiney, S.P.Y, fellow souls on other label orbits such as Pola & Bryson, Technimatic, DJ Marky and old friends (Danny Wheeler, MC Conrad) The result brings out the best of all Makoto's sides and styles from hazy disco ("Miles Ahead" with Marky) dreamy cosmic funk ("Dive" with Polaris) and total soul bliss ("Merchant Blessing" with Conrad) And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Review: Both of these artists and Deep In The Jungle have been excelling this past year and in some ways they've helped each other, the pairing of Kumarachi and Epicentre is a match made in heaven with their barebones jungle sound fitting the label perfectly. Patterns is no different with 'Murda' getting things off to a wonderfully wobbly start, with diving sub basses and funky, nonchalant drums. 'Evolve' touches on more classic jungle notes, a riotous break slams down the middle whilst ever-present bass stabs punctuate the arrangement and inject that junglist force every good breaksy track needs. The title tune is in the same vein, whilst 'Last Time' is a lovely little roller. More top work from this crew.
Review: St Petersburg's Sunner Soul invites us into his "Discotheque", a place where sweet disco strings, groovy basslines, swirling filter effects, bumping house beats and hazy electric piano chords join hands on the dancefloor. As usual, there's plenty to enjoy, from the breezy disco-house elasticity of "The Mystery of Loops" and hazy, rush-inducing positivity of "Way Back Time", to the jazzy deep house shuffle of "Broers Vergadering" and extra-percussive, dubbed-out disco brilliance of "Pleased With Oneself". The pick for peak-time plays is undoubtedly opener "Back To Loving", a spiraling disco-house romp that rises and falls in all the right places.
Review: Last month came "Calm"... Now comes the storm. Dub Phizix lets the dogs out with two more tracks out of the blue. "Item" is a proper heads down roller that seems to sizzle with high voltage buzzes while peppered with mystic pipe blasts and strange barking see-saws on the swing. "Blossom" is no fading wall flower either. It's more like a venus fly trap that lures you in with a sweet scented intro before biting down on you with crucial bashy drums and more switches than Carrington Power Station. Crispy.
Review: Get ready to boogie till you drop as Montenegro-based scalpel fiend Mitiko offers up a seven-track selection of lightly beefed-up re-edits. There's plenty of tried-and-tested fun to enjoy, from the chugging, synth-sporting disco-rock antics of "Boogie Till We Drop" and the surging K.I.D rework business of "I'll See It Again", to the low-slung swamp funk sleaziness of "Music Is Her Lover" and the rubbery boogie-soul goodness of slap-bass sporting workout "Won't You Blame Me". Wisely he's included a smattering of superb slow jams, too, with the '80s soul shuffle of "Out Of The Night Time" and slow disco groover "It's Over, It's Over" standing out.
Review: Cre8 DnB Music is another one of very prolific, very consistent jump up labels who are riding high the wave of fervour spreading through that side of the scene at the moment. For this week's instalment of their mission to madness, they've got Yoteii on board for this riotous four-tracker. 'Temple Run' leads you in with hypnotic, ancient instrumentation, before laying them out over a subby, rolling drum break, complete with some naughty stabs. 'Ducking Hell' takes things up a notch in terms of craziness, its squelching, grating bass notes hit all the spots and we're very, very into it. Top EP.
NiteRider & Warhead - "No Way In" - (4:23) 175 BPM
Review: One of the regular labels we feature are Sub-Division, a wicked little imprint that puts out a diverse sound ranging from techy rollers to jump-up steppers and even liquidy numbers. This week they've arrived with an EP from Niterider, who, across five tracks, spans various tones and styles, all of them rooted in a sense of dancefloor aggressiveness and all of them top-notch. 'Kush Puppy' is a highlight, its rolling percussive line isn't the paciest but is loping and satisfying, whilst a gargling bass and sweeping reeces sit just above and inject all the force. Top stuff.
Review: DLR is having an absolute tear this year, and Sofa Sound seems like it's certain to be one fo the genre-defining labels of the next several years. His own productions are the bedrock of its success and he's back on his own imprint with this delicious single, the A-side of which features Hybris. 'Terminal Madness' is glitchy, precise and futuristic with a stuttering drum pattern, whilst the flip is classic, rolling and murky DLR - a torn, ripping bassline and crispy drums. Unreal.
Review: This release combines the old and new school sounds in a deeply satisfying fashion. Courtesy of Rodeo and Dropzone Audio, Drop It is a six-tracker with the singular objective of giving you a bass face. 'Classisdead VIP' is our favourite, with a rippling, bouncy bassline that gives the tune so much character, underpinned the whole way by pacey, rustic drums. There's something similar to be said for 'Danger Time', which packs a saucy reece bass and yet more superb drums. Yes Rodeo!
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: Navi and Junior Dangerous on the same jam? This spells trouble in best body-bumping way possible. Versions galore, we kick off with the digidub dancehall swagger of the original before a crack squad of players all sign up to the bang gang... Label boss Deekline goes all tear-out with a bassline that's not dissimilar D*Minds around 10 years ago, Potential Bad Boy flips it into a purring subby jungle roller while Aries reminds us of his bashy side with a proper tropical shakedown. Finally we body bang all the way to New York state for a springy sci-fi skanker from Liondub and Jah Boogs. Banging.
Review: Complex returns to clear up the debris from his explosive "Back It Up" release with Decoy at the start of the year. First comes a brand new jam; the deep menacing cyborg rolling funk of "Dark World" where a techier edge prevails along with some exceptional detuned synth cascades on the fills. Next up is a VIP of "Back It Up". The vocals are still pretty dubious but with a new twist on the bass and extra grotty funk, it's still a cracking VIP. Soundz as a pound mate.
Review: Cor blimey, Ray Keith on 31. This is a release of biblical proportions. Both tapping into the Keith's signature Dread vibe but with all the modern tactics of the day (big drones, trippy basses, ominous clouds of pranged out funk), both cuts are schoolings from a genuine jungle OG. "Jungle Fi Dread" is all about the breaks and sirens, taking you right back to A.W.O.L 1993 while "What Time Dread" raises the pressure with some seriously danked out twists on the vocals and more woozy tones and textures than your local haberdashery. What an immense release.
Review: Liondub have been on an absolute tear recently, with a slew of top-class dancefloor-orientated releases, all of which straddle that urban-edged divide between jungle, jump-up and beyond. Vital has been around for a while now and has more than proven his production ability, this single adds to that and it does so in style. 'Animals' is packed full of dirty stabs, it's bouncy and infectious and carries you with it the whole way through. 'Take Me Home' is similar but even naughtier, with a squelchy back end and a constant sense of penetration and force. Wicked.
Review: Baker's dozen? Baker's buzzin' more like... UK newcomer Max follows releases on Monk and Incurzion with this seriously schwifty four-tracker. "Shake It" sets the pace with its jittering riff fizzing away like a young Serum joint, it's backed by the more drone-based groaner "Master Kush", the barking badass tear-out slapper "Wentworth" and the twisted, most warped bassline of the grand finale "Curious". All killer. No filler. Shake what your mother gave you...
Review: Featuring a flashy album cover laden with a 90s style face close-up (which we love), Metal Work is here to recharge your desire to get a bit nuts to some top-quality jump-up D&B. The wavering synth-line on the title track opens us up and leads into some filthy, filthy Macky Gee-esque bass synths that rumble all the way down. 'Multiverse' creeps in on the intro with some well-made synth lines, the riotous kick drum bringing us back to those gnarly basses and the whole tune has a wonderful, creeping sort of vibe. Dark and murky stuff.
Review: An 11-track compilation of modern day funk and disco here from Norway's Walking Disco stable. While Rayko and C Da Afro are both represented, the emphasis generally is on lesser-known names, but there's still plenty of quality on offer. Fingerman conjures the classier, jazzier end of 80s boogie nicely on 'Mind Fonk', while equally convincing are the mid-70s velvet-suited disco vibes of Disco Funk Spinner's 'Fascinating Strike'. Funk Hunk apes classic Moroder on 'After Dark', while label owner Saskin S bookends the collection with two slow-moving funk jams, 'Yes, You Know I'm Right' and 'My Pnoop'. Classy stuff.
Review: Exactly one month on from an acclaimed outing on Katakana Edits, RockNRolla Soundsystem pitches up on Danny Worrall's Masterworks Music imprint with a hot-to-trot trio of celebratory peak-time reworks. Our pick of the bunch is the surging disco-funk business that is "Got The Funk", where impassioned vocal snippets and disco orchestration take control after a gnarled, funk-fuelled build-up. That said, plenty will enjoy opener "Everybody Wants To Be", a house style tweak of one of the most commercially successful and well-known disco records of all time, while synth-powered disco-boogie workout "The Lovely Ones" is a cheery and thickset take on a Michael Jackson hit.
Review: Monk Audio always unleash some of the naughtiest D&B around, it always has that tinge of old-school flavour and usually packs an aggressive punch to the finale. The best thing about Fullstep Phil's Generation Kill single is the rough-edged manner in which it toes both the old-school and new-school lines. 'No Signal feels wonky and old yet sits within the current wave of dark rollers so popular at the moment and it's reminiscent of Serum's recent releases. 'Hollows' also has that lovely old-school feel, this time packaged up with a set of stunning rolling breaks and tinged with hard-act vibes - absolutely banging tune.
Review: Om Unit takes it to the bridge once again. His label's first V/A collection since its evergreen Cosmology Sessions in 2017, it's another vast plane ripe in sonic depths and textures from some of the most left-minded, boundary-fusing captains in the bass game. Featuring two crucial link-ups from the bossman himself with two kindred spirits Djrum and Synkro plus a whole cosmic cornucopia of voyages from the likes of Danny Scrilla, J:Kenzo, Vromm and stacks more, every track is a highlight in its own beguiling way. No label flares with the same levels of dark vitality, there's more than enough for our brains to chew on right here.
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: Sometime Escort members JKriv and Adeline have already notched up one of the disco records of 2019 - the fantastic "Vertigo" on Z Records - and we'd not bet against "Yo Love" being similarly as successful. In its original and extended "Club Mix" forms, "Yo Love" sounds like a heartfelt tribute to Chic, with Adeline's headline-grabbing vocal rising above an insatiable backing track rich in unfussy disco drums, Bernard Edwards style bass, Nile Rodgers-esque guitars, subtle electric piano stabs and, on the longer version, Roy Ayers style vibraphone solos. In other words, it's a revivalist NYC disco treat. The accompanying instrumental Dub naturally is far more groove based and delay-laden, with extra percussion hits and plenty of selected vocal snippets echoing across the sound space.
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: West coast bass house heroes Dirtybird are back, and showing ya'll exactly hows it's done - with none other than label head honcho Claude Vonstroke doin' the biz. After a year filled with lots of collaborations and remixes, he drops his new boompty thriller "Slink". The track is a typically funky, bass-driven minimal tech house jam highlighted by a catchy original vocal that sounds like it could have come from an '80s female rapper. While "Please Oh Please Oh Please" goes deep into the morning hours on this druggy and hypnotic serving of tunnel vision, powered by its weirdo monologue reminiscent of classics such as "Deep Throat".
Review: This is a single from an artist we're not overly familiar with, on a label we're also not massively familiar with. Neither of those things matter though when the music is as good as it is here. 'Wild Style' packs a fantastic set of well-layered drums which carry all the energy through the tune, energy which seeps into its creative low-frequency blend of wobbles and pulses which are literally dying to be played out through a sound system. 'Blasted Sound' is steppier, less fluid but more broken and sharper, with Benny L-esque bass stabs that ricochet from its hard-hitting drum line. Top tunes.
Review: Loggy is back in the building with his first substantial release since his 2018 album Hologram! Four tracks deep, each one repping the shades of his sonic palette we know and love best, the vibe kicks off with the bright and bubbly "Waveforms" where an old school bassline pings back and forth under a syrupy soulful vocal. It's joined by the darker, more dramatic technoid-influenced stepper "Ancestors" and the scorching dubwise roller "Rhythm Track". Likely to be the DJ's pick on this EP, it fires up with a sweet ragga vocal, dubby horns and a booming reese / break combo. Finally "Oslo" brings us to a touching ending as subdued chords float back and forth over a dreamy groove. Classic Loggy.
Fre4knc And Nickbee - "Recursive Function" - (4:33) 172 BPM
Fre4knc - "Red Shadow" - (4:35) 174 BPM
MRSA - "Push Me Down The Stairs" - (4:40) 171 BPM
LWK - "Derivative" - (4:22) 172 BPM
Abstract Elements - "Join Us" - (4:55) 170 BPM
Abstract Elements - "Magnitogorsk" - (4:14) 170 BPM
Abstract Elements - "Lost Signal" - (5:13) 172 BPM
Proxima - "Wubba Lubba" - (4:33) 172 BPM
Proxima - "Localize" - (3:50) 173 BPM
Proxima - "Descending" - (4:47) 172 BPM
Nickbee - "Ritual" - (4:19) 170 BPM
Nickbee And Subtension - "Burnout" - (4:08) 174 BPM
Signal - "Move Me" - (4:14) 172 BPM
Signal And Synergy - "Duster" - (3:24) 174 BPM
Signal - "Pixilate" - (3:49) 172 BPM
Signal - "Unsure" - (3:23) 172 BPM
Signal - "You Do You" - (4:12) 172 BPM
Hybris - "Unpleasant Pheasant" - (4:08) 172 BPM
The Outsiders - "Dial Tones" - (3:46) 172 BPM
GROUND - "Swindle" - (4:30) 174 BPM
Host - "The Rapture" - (4:08) 172 BPM
Missin - "Constant Movement" - (4:27) 172 BPM
Arclight - "Byzantium" - (5:01) 57 BPM
Review: Invisible has been one of Noisia's best labels for quite a while now and whilst it's sad to see this as the last release, the sadness is ameliorated somewhat by how damn good this compilation is, featuring some of the best artists and tracks to have graced the label over the past couple of years. MRSA's "Push me Down the Stairs' has been a favourite ever since it saw a release on Solids_2 last year, in one of the most creative displays of funky, glitched up techy D&B in a long time. Ground's 'Swindle's is also unstoppably good and endlessly creative, with spacious, atmospheric attempts at dancefloor grit. With other legends like Fre4knc and Hybris on here, this isn't one to miss.
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!
Memory FM (Panthera Krause remix) - (6:33) 122 BPM
Secret Alphabet (Cornelius Doctor remix) - (5:58) 108 BPM
Review: As you'd expect from the co-founder of the on-point Permanent Vacation label, Benjamin Froehlich has assembled a stellar cast of producers to remix tracks from his recent debut album "Amiata". Massimiliano Pagliara's "Telephone Call" mix of "The Big Sun" is a wonderfully cheery chunk of thrusting Italo-disco/nu-disco fusion, while Rhode & Brown's take on "Tivoli" pushes the track further towards hypnotic tech-house/nu-disco-fusion. Pantera Krause channels the spirit of the Pet Shop Boys circa 1987 album "Actually" on a triumphant version of "Memory FM" and Cornelius Doctor fuses Italo, acid and freestyle on a killer revision of "Secret Alphabet". Best of the bunch though is Jex Opolis's remix of the same track, which cannily joins the dots between acid-funk, proto-house and mid 80s New York disco dubs.
Review: The latest must-have compilation from crate-digging label Spacetalk comes courtesy of little-known record collector and DJ Ilan Pdahtzur, a man who enjoys nothing more than strolling around the City of London at night listening to obscure Italo-disco, synth-heavy Balearic beats and dusty, hard-to-find synth-pop cuts. The tracks on "Night City Life" are some of his night-stroll favourites and, as you'd expect, are uniformly superb. Our highlights - and you may have others - include the rubbery instrumental boogie business of 1 Plus 1's "Coming Up For Air", the late night NYC freestyle brilliance of Jarmaz's "Night City Life (Dub)", the low-slung boogie-funk/synth-pop fusion of Mac & Monica's "You're So Good To Me" and the insanely intergalactic, synth-laden thrills of Brian Tatcher's "Hot Love (Instrumental Dub Mix)".
Review: Funky grooves and swanky drums and heavy bass, what more could you want from a new school breakbeat original eh? That's exactly what you are in store for here as Slynk and Mr Stabalina join forces with powerful aftershocks on their brand new weekend-ready original 'Keep The Party Jumping'. We are greeted with a barrage of bolshy drum punches, kickstarting the vibrant rhythms that lay within, and when layered with ferocious reese bass up-risings and catchy synth melodies, cause quite the ruckus in the dance!
Review: It's time to take the acid-breaks fusion to a whole new level here as DAWL lands on Craigie Knowes for four tracks of electronic mastery, kicking off with the moogy arpeggios and crunchy breakbeat drumwork of 'Let's Go'. Following this we then move into the more nostalgic padwork and rolling percussive switchups of 'Drop It', before we head down a super old-school road on the bubbling bass tones of 'Heavyweight'. Finally we finish this one up with a dash of additional spice as 'Overdub' wades into view, slowing the tempo into a more timedancey episode, driven by it's unusual percussive expanses and acidic synth patterns.