Review: Possibly the hardest-working producer in drum & bass right now, Actraiser returns to Focuz with a double track EP stashed with retro goodies and fresh ideas. "You Don't Know" is a fast-paced roller crammed with vocal snippets, percussive samples and big synth pads. Working out the madness is half the fun. Following up is "Planetary Systems", a cosmic tinged offering packing huge old school flavours swooning high over the wobble of a deep subby bassline. Gorgeous stuff here, each release from this guy just gets better.
Review: Celsius mainstay Actraiser gets busy with four more prime examples of liquid perfection. "Inner Beauty" comes complete with outer beauty too, all cascading keys and Logistics style sub pressure, it's rich, warm and full bodied. "Get It On" oozes more of a classic Good Looking feel with mild ice pads, deep space laced around each drum element and a honeyed vocal sample. Dig deeper again and you'll find a cinematic quality in the choral textures of "Road To Enlightenment" and fine balance of star-gazing and roof raising on the spine-melting "Cosmic Shift". Beautiful...
Review: Bristol's Actraiser drops a big, brash and bouncy set of deep funky riddims on this latest EP for Car Crash Set. Lead tune "Kong Riddim" is a dark, cavernous gem with an infectious set of UKF drums anchoring floating pads and subtle, echoed synth leads. "Adventure Island" on the other hand is heavier on the congas and the stacked snares, while "Bubblun" brings a joyous 2-step rhythm out to play and nestles it around spacey pads and female vocals shots. Quality modern funky to be ignored at your peril.
Review: This EP is screaming out to be the soundtrack to some summertime roadtrips, and with every tune the sounds get smoother. Showstoppingly beautiful moments shine throughout, with first track "Midnight Wanderers" especially shimmering brightly over deep rolling bass. The rolling Reeces of "Without You" are goosebump-raisingly good and title track "A Long Way From Home" brings jungle breaks into a crisp, intriguing new light, focusing on mood-altering samples and a close, dampened atmosphere. Finally, "A Beautiful Place" comes back to the lighthearted soaring nature of this producer, feeling spacious and breezy, bathed in light and propped up by tight percussion. Gorgeous stuff.
Review: He's come to Soul Deep a few times before and now Actraiser is back with a sleek and soulful take on liquid rollers. If you're expecting an easy ride, you might be in for a shock, as second track "Divine Inspiration" takes a big swing for cinematic sounds and heart-racing drums that hit spot on. "Forest Of Illusion" takes it darker, adding old school influences to the mix for a late-night, underground feel. Title-track "Soul Priestess" gets an instrumental release as well as with full vocals too, offering waves of positivity and glowing major chords to shine through with or without lyrical persuasion. A solid release from a producer on the up!
Review: On Memories we find the Bristolian producer Actraiser letting loose on the evergreen Soul Deep imprint. Both "End Of Us" and "Memories" are trembling servings of vocal soul, polished with a wistful air of somnambulant sonic weight. "Juice Joint" flips the switch for a more rugged, jazzier flex. Not dissimilar to his Bristol forefathers, there's a touch of Full Cycle to the chop-slapping breakbeats and rich warm chords. "69 Sling" shows yet another side to Actraiser with beefier breaks and a cosmic blend of organic instrumental elements. Guaranteed to take you to another place.
Review: Bristol-based gamer Actraiser returns to Celsius with four more slices of rolling dynamite. Deep, soulful but entrenched in dark texture, he peddles the same sophisticated grooves you'd usually find on Bukem's seminal Good Looking imprint or Utah Jazz's Vintage label. Highlights include the icy, paranoid "Espionage" and the bulbous sub-soaked hook on "Voyager", the dreamy, sky-staring synth whooshes on "Missing Paradise" and the soaring, yearning soulful vocal on "Away From Me".
Review: UK-based producer Actraiser blends his frenetic, complex style to beautiful liquid backdrops in this stunning EP for Fokuz. Luckily, he's perfectly adept at blending both his high-energy beat-chopping and glorious, otherworldly harmonies, so the result throughout each track is pretty amazing. Sparkling with fresh, spritzy production and underpinned by deep rumbles of soft, velvety bass, there's textures upon textures upon textures, all waiting for listeners to diver right in.
Review: Cambridge-based drum & bass producer Actraiser has been chipping away at the liquid scene for the past couple of years now, but it's releases like this that put him ahead of his peers. While a number of others fluctuate between soul samples, his is a subtle combo of techy breaks and intricate little additions. It's hard to stand out in a saturated sub-genre, but he's managing it. With a strange lazy wistfulness filtering in over his basslines, there's a unique chilled atmosphere to tracks like"Sultan's Promise" and "Season's Changing". Pick this up and see for yourself.
Review: Three Fokuz originals take their places for a sunkissed journey through the skies. Without any more cheesy plays on words, title track "Cloud Surfing" lines itself up to bring one of the Reeces of the year. Add to that stunningly light harmonies and vocals, and it's a beautiful feel good track. The rest of the EP follows suit with a host of gorgeous tunes made for serious chill sessions. "Hardest Thing" brings in some harder drums, "The One That Got Away" gets melancholy and a little edgier with electro pads and finally "Morning Sun" steps it up for a lighthearted leap through sunnier times. Gorgeous stuff.
Review: What a cool way to celebrate half a decade of dark dance dynamics. Not just a cool reminder of Paradise Lost's contribution and dedication to the scene, but a subtle way of showing that their b-sides are just as important, timeless and essential as their A-sides. Highlights can be found in every direction across the 26 tracks but here are a few for starters: the demonic guitar chugs on "Titanium" (which actually sound like they could be from the metal band Paradise Lost!), the thick dream-weaving atmospheres and trippiness of "Elephant Walk", the jugular-slicing riff of "Cuttin" and the loopy vocal insanity of "Guardian"... we could go on all day here. Dig deep and you'll find many more highlights. Here's to another five years!
Review: Liquicity Records is a Dutch drum & bass label run by Maris Goudzwaard that deals specifically in deep and ethereal jungle with a commercial edge. The label is also renowned for its mix series, the latest of which is the present Alchemy. There's twelve diverse and wonderful tunes on here, the kind of d&b you hear on being played on the radio these days. "Regrets" by Fliwo is particularly alluring thanks to its luscious, seductive vocals.