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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: They might hail from Israel, but much of Rabo & Snob's music is not influenced by Middle Eastern musical culture, but rather the rhythms, vocals and instrumentation of the African continent. The pair continue this approach on their first Razor 'N' Tape outing, with opener 'Yom Yom' cannily combining squelchy synth bass, fizzing electronics and slick Afro-synth drums with Ghanaian vocals and distinctively West African melodic phrasing. Later in the EP you'll also find a more hypnotic, percussion-rich Dub Mix of the same track that's also well worth checking. Elsewhere, 'Have You Seen My Lady' is darker and sleazier, with low-slung bass, creepy chords and warehouse-ready stabs, while the similarly weighty and locked-in 'Adjinu' makes great use of Acid Arab style electronics and a very 'LFO'-esque analogue bassline.
Vincenzo & Language - "Merry Go Round" - (7:15) 108 BPM
Review: It's not giving much away to state that Dessous' latest compilation, a third instalment in their occasional We Like The Deep series, is piled high with house music that combines tried-and-tested dancefloor grooves with melody-rich musical elements that tend towards the warm and atmospheric. Because of this, each and every one of the collection's 11 tracks sound just as good at home as they do on a meaty club soundsystem. Our picks of the multitude of highlights include the hypnotic, locked-in haziness of James Dexter's 'Get To This', the afternoon-fresh jazziness of Mihai Popoviciu's 'Left Hand Thought', the ultra-deep shuffle of 'Soul Alive' by Chocky, and the opaque deep house soul of Langenberg's Blakkat hook-up, 'Shadows'.
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: Permanent Vacation co-founder Benjamin Frohlich is enjoying a productive year so far, with The Joy of Repetition following hot on the heels of rock-solid outings on Live at Robert Johnson and Optimo Music's Digital Danceforce offshoot. Frohlich has previously proved to be a master at blurring the boundaries between genres, and much of the material on show here follows a similar blueprint. Opener 'One More Time' sits somewhere between hypnotic tech-house, stirring deep house and lilting nu-disco, while 'Repeat After Me' fixes hazy, dub techno style riffs and chords to a rolling, peak-time house beat. Elsewhere, 'Again and Again' joins the dots between dub house and dub techno, while 'Acid Routine' combines attractive musical features with jacking drums and mind-bending TB-303 motifs.
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: As always with the Breakbeat Paradise team, we are in for one hell of a ride with this spicy new selection, exploring a selection of high intensity remixes for the latest Mined & Forrest project. We begin with a raucous intro from Jack Lemmon, who gives 'Funk Toxic' a lick of paint, followed by BadboE's funkadelic rethink of 'Gimme The Best'. Next, Beat Le Juice sends 'Rock It' to the blender with a bass heavy sizzler of an overhaul, followed closely by both B-Side's oldschool chop of 'There It Is' and Mr Bristow's, post D&B recreation of 'Fire Back'. Finally, Mined & Forrest get busy themselves with an explosive VIP mix of 'Coming Through', putting a final glisten on a fantastic body of work.
Review: To our ears, the re-edits, reworks and 'disco adjustments' released by DJ Kaos's Jolly Jams label are some of the most impressive around, in part because there's little in the way of cheap 21st century studio tricks and the imrpint's source material always tends towards the eccentric, interesting and obscure. Predictably, the label's latest eight-track collection is full of corkers, from DJ Kaos's own mini album-opening early house style revision of AOR disco classic 'Long Train Running' (here renamed 'Proton Edit 1') and the surging, Clavinet-heavy disco-funk sleaziness of Conor's 'Proton Edit 3', to the flash-friend, Talking Heads-go-Latino no-wave funk of Pete Herbert's 'Candy 8', and the 10-minute swamp funk brilliance of Spring Break Edit's 'Candy Edit 2'.
Review: What a combo we have here as Holding Hands invite the ever-ready sounds of Yosh into the mix and blend for a four track showcase, exploring the more delicate side of modern UKG. The title track 'The Hype' is an excellent way to kick us off, as layer upon layer of glittering percussive brilliance provide this one with a spectacular sense of groove, followed by the syncopated chord delays and breaksy style sampling of 'Jah Said', swinging the EP down a completely different avenue. From here, 'Warp Speed' takes us down a bit of a nostalgic avenue as pleasing organ plucks and skippy rhythms give the track a real dancefloor energy, followed closely by the stunning soundscaping and general harmonic structuring of 'Pull Up', to put the finishing touches on this absolute gem of an EP.