Review: Paul SG's Jazzsticks returns to their irregularly regular Hidden Tunes series with a second instalment of restrained rollers from understated up-and-comers and friends of the label alike. If you know the Jazzsticks sound, you'll already know the sterling vibe: dusty, soulful, warm and organic from some of the sharpest talents in the game. Highlights include the big jazz whirlwind of Soul Deep founder Scott Allen's "Soul Desire", a 97-style horn-melting stepper from Decon ("Cool Breeze") and Pulsaar's dreamweaving shakedown "Room For Two". What once was hidden is now found... And will remain in your playlist until the next instalment lands in years to come.
Review: It has been a brief minute since we heard from the Maraki team, who have clearly been keeping busy, plotting away for their next compilation project behind closed doors. Here we see just what they have building up to as they unveil a monumental second edition of their 'Spaces' series. This kicks of with Axel Boy's hard hitting original in 'Feel It Deep' which fuses potent bass synths with stunning vocal lines perfectly. Next up, Zero bring his unique sound design into full flow on 'Broken' before Document One get busy with a highly sought after D&B rethink of Bushbaby's 'Sonder'. Finally, we see the introduction of Greed & BTW who team up with the legendary vocals of Dread MC for their crunchy roller 'Enemy'.
Review: Benny Page seems to be on a bit of a roll at the moment. Here he teams up with old partner in crime Zero G, Solo Banton, Topcat, Mr Williamz and Ms Bratt across the first volume of the "High Culture Compilation". Lo and behold, there are 21st century jungle vibes in abundance with an upbeat and infectious vibe, as well as some dubstep and much more. Kicking off with Benny Page & Solo Banton's "Dangerous" its all pattering beats, sing-a-long ragga jungle lyrics and dancefloor directed energy. Elsewhere check out the aggressive swagger of "Sound Fi Dead (feat. Topcat)" as well as "Body Pumpin" and the wicked Zero G remix of "Tear Down" which concludes the album.
Review: Benny Page and Zero G have been churning out some sterling work on High Culture recently, and this EP, featuring Tenor Fly, saw them turn in possibly their best collaboration to date. Easily one of the most distinctive, inimitable MCs to ever hold a mic, Tenor's rapid tongue works wonder over Benny and Zero's rave-tinged slice of grime. Peak time heads down rolls at play, you can file this under savage. Zero G goes solo for the remainder of the package; "Murda In The Dancehall" is tonked up electro dancehall while "What Must I Do" takes a slippery segue into the whirling retro futurisms of nu-jungle. Hefty gear, may their sterling work continue.
Review: Bryan Gee and V Recordings do not mess around. They never have in the past, they're certainly not right now in the present and judging by this highly anticipated Future album, they're going to mess around any time ahead. 25 tracks from some of the biggest, best and baddest names in D&B (Dillina, Serum, Benny L, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Roni Size, DJ Marky, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Bladerunner, Saxxon, the list goes on) this one's been a long, long, long time coming... And it's been well worth the wait. From L-Sides massive remixes of Dillinja and Krust to Need For Mirrors super-revved "Lambo" to Benny L's incredible remix of "Days", this sums up why Bryan and his label are as influential and respected in the game as they are today. Don't mess around.
Review: It's refreshing to see Disco Cakes add a little something different into the mix of their mash-ups: bass! So in a bold fusion of old and new we get the likes of Deekline & Hotline Zero's "Pump Up The Volume" which takes M/A/R/R/S' 80s hit and marries it to a fizzy Drop It Like It's Hot hip-hop jam. Slynk also has a stab at "Top Rankin" which takes Althea & Donna's perennial 70s party anthem and successfully welds it to some steely big beat sounds and finally Hotline Zero's remix of "All Gravy" gets all tropical bass on our case.