Review: One of the regular labels we feature are Sub-Liminal, 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 Agro, who, across six tracks, spans various tones and styles, all of them rooted in a sense of dancefloor aggressiveness and all of them top-notch. 'Claap Up' 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. 'Data Entry' is also a wicked track, with a lovely, stripped back drum line that's full of moody sonics. Top stuff.
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: Agro is back on Sub-Liminal for a six-track EP that is Sofa Sound-esque in its emphasis on rough, vibrant percussion and rolling, dastardly basses. Every track on here is perfectly crafted for the dancefloor and it's all rooted in that wicked UK D&B sound that we know and love. The title track features Killa P on vocals, his tones wafting above a wobbly and pummelling back end which switches up into jungle for extra damage. 'The Cut' is similar but even heavier, with the obligatory Wu-Tang Clan sample that grounds it in a sense of history and nostalgia. Banging stuff.
Review: Agro is on Sub-Liminal with an EP that's full of, well, agro. He's roped in some of his friends for the release, including NV & Mentah, Leaf, Charlie Rotten and Toxinate in what is a full-throttle release from start to finish. This is clear from the off, as 'Don't Play' dives down deep into murky sonics and minimalist force for session that'll appeal to the real heads. 'Godfather' feat Lead has a unique percussive line that lends it an almost halftime quality; 'Gorgon Sound' is a naughty roller with a disturbingly scary sub bass & reece bass combination and 'Thinking Bout U' ties up the release with more dark atmospherics - quality stuff.
Settle The Score (Too Greezey remix) - (3:42) 175 BPM
Silver Lining (Guzi remix) - (4:30) 174 BPM
Step Back (Warhead remix) - (4:26) 178 BPM
Review: Agro goes under the knife from four heavyweight bass fiddlers and it's a not a pretty sight... Tyke gives "Tank" a whole new harmonic body of armour, Too Greezey pumps the dickens out of "Settle The Score", Guzi gets his sharpest sheet metal out and adds some shred aesthetics to "Silver Lining" while Warhead soups up "Step Back" with added variations on the bass riff and proper barbed wire drummage. Blood everywhere.
Review: First there was dark... Then Agro came along with some disgusting gully riddims and the light was so strong man invented shades. Seriously; this man has yet to release a duff tune and here are two more examples of his scorching illuminations. The title track is understated, low slung and weighted in rich treacle bass while "Crazy Game" (with young upstart Guzi) sheds more light on the darkest, dankest of corners with a vicious fog horn Q&A and a breakdown that opens the gates to Hades itself. Time to get lit.
Review: Agro returns to Sub-Liminal with his fattest EP stack since last summer's "Settle The Score" and the word murderation springs to mind. The stench of deadliness is high the moment the stripped back kicks leave room for blessed sub wobbles on "Step Back" and the stank remains thick throughout; the slimy bass melts on "Silver Lining", the pungent jungle rolls on "It Came From Under Me" and the neck-snap steps and harmonic grunts on "Tank" are just some of the many highlights. Stinking.
Review: Having let off some serious stinkers on Hybrid's Audio Addict earlier this year Agro returns to his own imprint with five more blunt-nosed scudders. Once again, it's an understated affair which hits best with its low-swung technique - more rolling than jumpy, more grumbling that shouty, it's the type of tunes you'd expect to hear Randall play at 3am. Highlights come in the form of every track but don't sleep on the elastic bass stretches and sultry vocal on "All The Time" (with Raz), the ludicrously flabby bass on the brilliantly titled "Big Food Mover" and the epic, not to mention sandpapery, collabo between Aggers, Greezey and Kumarachi "AZR". Score settled.
Review: Agro - or Mr Aggravation if we're going to be all formal - returns to DJ Hybrid's Audio Addict with a walloping all-style five-tracker. Ranging from deeper, classically informed jungle shock-outs like "Bust Dis Ting" to creepy, toxic groaning rollers such as the Serum-style "Teasin'" and the loose-pants Full Cyclist wobbler "Culture", once again Agro is cooking up some truly authentic flavours that will work across both the jungle and jumpier sides of the dance. And that's before we even get to the killer remixes. Addictive. As always.
Review: Agro a-go-go.. The Sub-liminal bossman breaks down the doors of 2017 with four absolute flatteners. The story starts with "The Music" where a crisp, warm skank and vocal are soon shoved into a murky pool of low-end riffage, jump-up with added funk in the groove, this will spark up any dance in any corner. "Vengeance" follows on a meaner tip as stern bass and sudden amen flurries lick upside your senses and "Cold Roads" has one of the coldest drops Agro's ever created - sinister, moody and tubular, it is 1997 all over again. "Crush" concludes this fearful tale with the help of equally rising Leaf. Slapping and buzzing with a mild nod towards the Bristol sound and Clipz in his early prime - there's mischief in the moodiness. We'll let the music do the talking from here on.
Review: Fresh from his super bad excursion with Too Greezey, Agro returns to Sub-Liminal with five more originals. "Ambush" compounds the dust of the wild west for a gun-toting shoot-out style banger, "That Time" is a stretched-bass jump-up affair where Too Greezey plays a cool cameo while "Deep Plot" does the stampy tripletty thing with the kicks over a 40-a-day chest-rattled bassline. Rounding up we have serious heads-down rolls on "Not Fools" and madcap Hazard-style riffage on "Watch Closely". Heavy.
Review: A lucky seventh release comes out of Random Concept Origins that follows music by the likes of Phadiz, NC-17 and RV. Introducing Brighton artist Agro to the frame, there's no questioning the producer's ethics here, delivering three unapologetic numbers of dubbed out, streetwise drum and bass. Find your more straight up percussion and drum tracks in "Hold Tight" with its siren synth alongside something more tea rout and dark rave in "Bassline Gang". Mutated metallic keys and two-step rhythms get their fair workout in "Slang" with a sweet RV collaboration, featuring Tony Montana samples, wrapped up in a gnarly jungle aesthetic. Agro and locked down.
Too Greezey - "Fled The Scene" (feat Thunda Banton) - (4:26) 58 BPM
Agro - "Shot To Bits" - (4:16) 180 BPM
Too Greezey - "Time Traveller" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Agro - "Dumpers" - (4:38) 179 BPM
Too Greezey - "The Chant" - (4:28) 58 BPM
Agro - "Simple" - (3:39) 175 BPM
Review: Representing the vibes and history of reggae culture except with a uniquely British urban twist, Agro & Too Greezey drop a five-track testament to his ability as producer here. We've featured his music in the past and every time we do it's a devilish concoction of force and finesse, an amalgamation of ability and acumen. 'Fled The Scene' is as big as it gets, both in terms of its steppy percussion and driving bassline; 'Shot To Bits' reminds of Kings of the Rollers with a bassline that roars out the stops; title tune 'Time Traveller' combines reggae atmospherics with a rolling finesse. Sick EP.
Review: Both Agro and Murky Digital share a common passion for making club-ready drum & bass and this five-tracker from the producer, featuring Guzi on a remix, is a no-holds barred display of why they're such a potent combo. The grime-influenced synths and halftime vibes of 'The Dirty South' make it an ideal title track, a gully u rban-edged track with serious crossover potential. 'Presence' is the other highlight, a down and dirty roller with a rough, mid-2000s vibe that takes this EP in an industrial direction but one that's also cut through with a jump-up aesthetic. Seriously cool.
Review: Smashing down the doors of 2018 with a cheeky multi-artist EP: Sub-Liminal start business for the year with two deadly amazement sessions. Firstly Subzero takes Agro's 2016 smasher "Dub Fi Dub" and tears it a new one with a whole new layer of diesel powered bass while Version runs point with "Plissken", a scuffed-knuckle sandpaper funk roller that's loaded with electrified sizzled bassline and rattled drums. Pure power jams.
Review: Sub-liminal are one of those very prolific, very underground labels that tends to go unnoticed yet releases some absolute bangers. So, a tasty two-track VA single is only going to go one way - hard. The first tune - Mentah's remix of 'Eskiboy' - is an instant stand out, a wobbling riff of force and hurting energy, all tied up in a jump-up sized package. Guzi's remix of 'Mailout Moron' by Too Greezey is another top-level cut, a skippy drum line and menacing vocal samples sit above a fiercely minimal roller that clicks and clanks with satisfying precision. It's got a futuristic vibe and we're here for it, so you should be too.
Review: More fire from the south coast crew: two originals each and two collaborations, Agro and Too Greezey lay down the Sub-Liminal sermon. Highlights include the froggish wobbles on Agro's "The Genius", Greezey's Formation-style jungle roll-out "Lose Focus", the sun-kissed skank-packer "Don't Mek Me Get Dark" and the walloping classic early Playaz bass vibes on "It's Only Right". Bad to the bone.
Ironlung - "The Void" (Nu Elementz remix) - (4:23) 175 BPM
Review: The next instalment in the Iron Fist Audio remix series is here and it's four weighty cuts in the style the label has become well known for, with Nu Elementz, Jaydan, Ironlung and Total Recall coming through in style on this one. We especially love the Total Recall remix of Tsuki's 'Deranged', which packs a sweet flowing drum line (mate that snare though...), an addition that carries the whole tune forward and is complimented by a diving, swelling back end that takes no prisoners whatsoever. Jump up big gun Jaydan also performs well here, with a spinning take on synthetic force that inches and stabs its way into your ears. Proper moody this.
Charlie Rotten - "The Myriad Part 3" (continuous DJ mix) - (16:49) 181 BPM
Review: Sub-liminal are one of those very prolific, very underground labels that tends to go unnoticed yet releases some absolute bangers. So, getting a whole compilation full of them from a variety of up and coming producers is only going to go one way - hard. The first tune - 'Iggy' - from Garry K & RV is an instant stand out, a wobbling riff of force and hurting energy, all tied up in a jump-up sized package. 'Vultures' by Zapya and MC Karter is another top-level cut, a skippy drum-line and menacing vocals sit above a fiercely minimal roller that clicks and clanks with satisfying precision. There are a bunch more excellent tunes on this release, so go check them out.
Review: Damage Report is an appropriate name for this artist and, listening through his Monster EP, you can hear why. This release is a solid envelope of four tunes which demonstrate a serious understanding of jump-up's nastier end, the type of jump-up which some hate but which inspires a passionate love for the genre in others. The title track is the best example of this, its pointed, jagged-edged basslines are cutting and penetrating at the same time, snappy drums lie underneath and the whole tune is packaged with effortless finesse. Check out the others for some of the hardest-hitting D&B around.
Review: DJ Hybrid just won't let up. Consistently smashing 2016 to pieces with crusher after crusher, his sense of classic rudiments and contemporary dynamics is nothing short of precision. As proved once again on Sub-Liminal: "Murder Soundboy" rolls with the understated grit of a mid 90s 31 cut. "Kung Fu Masters" retains this foundation feel with a mid 90s grizzler vibe that Serum executes on the regular while "Know Your Enemy" is all reese bass and sirens with moody ominous results. Remix-wise Benny L plays the consummate edge lord with steroid drum twists. Murderation.
Review: One of the savviest axis-flexors in the D&B / jungle game, DJ Hybrid has an all seeing eye across the soundboy spectrum with his two labels and mixed-style signature. Here the full focus is on his flagship label Audio Addict with his first exclusive-powered mix album that covers all the crucial corners. Every track rattles and shakes with energy and subversion: the jungle chaos of his own "Mix & Blend", the iced-out atmos and toxic drop of Swerve's "Massive & Crew", the gunshot bass holes caused by Lost Dynamics "New Funk", the jaw-dropping ruthlessness of Ray Keith's take on "Badboy", the list goes on... DJ Hybrid levels up once more.
Review: Following the slabs of drum and bass Dreadnaught has released in "Rig Killer" and tracks that made their way to compilations for labels like BYTHEPRODUCER, Virtuous and Within The Woods - Nasty Piece Of Work marks the producer's full debut. Issued by Sub-liminal Recordings out of the UK, Dreadnaught weighs in on the bass, inflicting numbers like "Villian" with murderous dubs vibes that hit the spot alongside subtle tips of UKG buried within the dub of "No Love" and bass of ""Syndicate". Crackly ambient and textural atmospheres float like a dream underneath the jungle rhythms of "Drugs" with stepping rhythms and razor distortion tearing at the tweeters in "Overtime". Straight up street poetry in Dreadnaught's "Blazing The Fire" remix too.
Review: Barrelling around the corner and into deep town is Ghxsty, whose newest EP on Sub-liminal Recordings excels in a gnarly, minimal and over the top fashion. The first cut - Isolate - smacks of the recent scene takeover by the likes of Serum and Benny L, it's rambunctious bassline swirling round in huge, naughty sub-bass pulses that'll leave you delighted by their length and scope. 'Simmer' is even more in your face and arguably the better of the two, a delicate balance being struck between percussive weight and the sensitive delineation of its elements. A proper smasher that will give you a naughty bass face and will definitely get your head nodding, a pattern carried across to the other four tunes here.
Review: If you're looking for twisted brass-textured bass designs then look no further than Guzi and this walloping four-track chop-slap sesh for Sub-liminal. "Stamp" goes all-in with the widescreen bassline that licks up and down the spectrum with mischief while "Game" takes a similar bass texture and thrusts its into a deeper rolling groove and "Take Your Time" jumps sideways for more of a hornets nest style buzzing bassline, all sinewy and electrified. Finally "Crazy" lives up to its name with groaning fog horn bass and a tripped-out cascading riff. Watch out for the key-change!
Hizzleguy & Agro - "Back To The Future" - (4:26) 175 BPM
Buddha Cheese - (4:25) 175 BPM
Pussyhole - (4:26) 175 BPM
The Virus - (4:26) 175 BPM
Whoopsi - (4:26) 175 BPM
Yoga Flame - (4:26) 175 BPM
Review: One word to describe this guy? Filthy. As you'd expect from an EP with a warning as a title, this isn't for the faint hearted. Weighty, battered bass thumps down into the foundations, packing serious dancefloor appeal into these snappy, quickfire releases. With nods to both the jungle and the North European neuro sounds, there's an enticing mish-mash of destruction whichever way you turn. There's a fair bit of experimentation too, like in "Whoopsi" where retro gaming takes a wrong turn somewhere and ends up deep in jump-up country. If you're looking for screwface opportunities, you've found them here.
Review: Danger danger danger: Kumarachi returns to Hybrid's Audio Addict with his largest body of work since his debut album Flashback released exactly a year ago, it's clear the young talent is still on serious rampage. Five firing originals deep, each cut is anchored with deep groaning bass weight and superb drum arrangements and clarity with highlights blurring your senses on every track... The filthy swing of "Flow Drop" with Octo-Pi, the electroid sizzles of "Straight Up", the tripped-out bass textures and subtle jazzy stabs of "Open Door" with Agro, the pure positivity and breezy soul of "Played Out" and the murkier, dark-dream shaker "Return To You" with US G Jaybee. Primed with an outstanding Section remix of last year's successful Liam Bailey-fronted banger "4am", this really is an exceptional package. Sleeping on this is a mug's game.
Review: Don't be misled by the title: this is no thrown-together 'greatest hits' package but rather a 40-track label showcase from DJ Hybrid's Audio Addict label, coming complete (if you opt to buy the whole album) with a fast and furious, 52-minute mixed version by Canada's RMS, aka Paul Currie. Tracks come a mixture of relatively new names (Martyn Nytram, Saffire Dubz, Confusious) and more established players (LJ High, Scartip and of course Hybrid himself), while stylistically the album touches on various different D&B sub-genres, but with the emphasis always firmly on cuts that are built to tear up the rave.