Review: Celebrating a year of killer underground releases, Metal Work and Amplify's Gradient label serve up 'Momentum', a collection of crisp cuts from some of their nearest, dearest and all-time sickest. Agro takes the lead with 'Blartoon', a bruisy, woozy cut with a real knuckle scuffing bassline. It's backed up by a whole host of fire riddims: Breakout & Steryx's 'Antidote' is all about the haunting grimey harmonics, Flint gets sexy with the off-beat happy-slappy wonkathon 'Lap Dance', Master Error & Natrix's 'Oblivion' makes those high-frequencies trills growl like lions on helium, Pengo's 'Don't Give Up The Fight' is all about the lazer blast one-note bassline riff while Stillz brings the fear and furore on the tense and creepy 'Area 41'. Keep the momentum going!
Review: Nuusic's MC-championing Dub Culture series heats up with two absolute donnies... Fresh from his debut album Bad From Morning, Sub-liminal bossman Agro tags in one of the UK's biggest and most respected MCs Riko Dan for this mean and murky tear-up 'Warlord'. Powered by a full-throttle turbine bassline and spacious, swinging breaks, there's plenty of room for Riko's war talk as the track gets heavier and heavier as it builds. Complete with an instrumental for added mixing creativity, Nuusic smash the jacksy off this once again.
Review: Agro's Sub-Liminal hit the big 100 with a series of power punch exclusives from label friends and family old and new. Raz's 'Control Tower' sets the flavour in an instant with its wild drums and almost jazz-like attitude. He's followed by a whole range of killers, all delivering high grade goods. DJ Hybrid goes turbo on the rubber ball subs, Georgia Phoenix brings some seriously savage funk, Oz wheels up more bloodclarts than money can buy and Warhead gets weird and wonderful with his snake-like bass wriggles and computer trills... Not to mention the Sub-liminal bossman's horn-heaving hip-swinger 'Hang Ten'. All this and plenty more bangers, Sub-liminal are celebrating their 100th in style right here.
Review: Sub-liminal Recordings chief Ben Carvin aka Agro is responsible for one of the best drum n' bass long-players this year in the form of Bad From Morning. In the last few months, there's been a steady stream of remixes being released and here's the latest installment of reinforced rollers. Kent's Teej does his best impression of a classic DJ Krust style minimal steppa on his rendition of "Thuggish", Xav remixes "Let's Get Frisky" (feat Mr Traumatik/Devilman) into a jump-up themed jam that's sure to get the lighters in the air, and Yatuza who surfaced on the label last week with an awesome EP returns here for a remix of "Eagle Clan".
Review: Following up a great release by Yatuza a few weeks ago, label staple DJ Agro returns to Sub-liminal Recordings to follow up last year's ripper "Thuggish", taken from his Bad From Morning LP which receives a couple of nice reworks here. Kent's Teej (Nuusic/Co-Lab Recordings/OCC) gets onboard to take the jump-up vibe of the original into emotive, intelligent drum 'n' bass territory, until Agro takes things back - this time into snarling and ominous techstep realms - with his new VIP mix.
Review: Man like Agro adds more fuel to his album fire with a whole collection of instrumentals for your creative pleasure. Already out as a largely vocal-led album, and received warmly as something of a celebration of MC culture, here come the flips as Agro lifts the bonnet for all to see. 'I Get Gully' is a brand new original while 'Bad From Morning' originally featured Flowdan but is now completely stripped back for the world to see. Elsewhere other highlights include the sexy bassline wriggles of 'Everybody Down', the tension and tearing fury of 'War' (with Dreadnaught) and the off-the-wall bassine bubbles of 'Hit You Like A Creeper'. Vibes from morning.
Review: Agro is Ben Carvin, a drum & bass DJ/producer from Brighton and founder of Sub-Liminal Recordings. After nine years in the game, he has decided it's high time to release a full length - culminating in Bad From Morning. It features 14 killer tracks, many of them in collaboration with some hot names in the UK underground. From the title track; a moody sci-fi roller featuring Flowdan's wicked vocal delivery, to the dark side jump-up throwdown of 'War' (Ft. Dreadnaught & MC Foxy), mad steppa "Head Top" featuring Devilman is reminiscent of that classic Full Cycle sound, while "Everybody Down" with Flirta D is sure to give your subwoofers a good shakedown, as will "The Prophecy" featuring Velocity.
Review: There's nothing better than a wicked collaborative EP, as a bunch of artists bang their heads together and get the most of out each other. That's what's happened here, as Agro, Lowlife, Too Greezey and others are on point for a stripped back, barebones EP. 'Tell Me' rests on a solid percussive foundation, whilst an ambient soundscape is penetrated through by massive basses that feel like zeppelins in the foggy night sky. 'Fight Back' is similar and is moves with a fluency which is simply infectious, whilst things get breaksy on 'The Magic' and tough on 'Funk Doc'. Cool work.
Review: Bang! 30 Sub-liminal tracks deeply dug from every corner of the Brighton label's vaults, all packaged up in a new VA concept album: On Air. Perfect for filling a few gaps in your collection, or new ears who've only just experienced the power and gritty funk of Agro's label, every cut is a highlight or a heavyweight. Warhead & Dutta's grizzly 2018 slap-about 'Don't Test' still melts your skin, Leaf's 2020 wonk-out 'Erby' still hit with high grade 23rd century funk, Pyro's 2020 'Tick Yes' will still blackmail you and your family with its sinister undertones. And that's just a mere tenth of this solid collection. Cop it.
Review: Sub-liminal bossman Agro's remix project continues with this monstrous take on 'Tweeter Box' by Sub-Division artist Sinexia. The original (released last year) is a pretty stripped-back affair with a high voltage bassline and generous levels of sub. In true Agro form, the bigger the rig, the better it sounds. Meanwhile the remix from young Belgian Sinexia throws in a whole new layer of steamroller bass textures and pummelling drums for more of a straight up dancefloor dnb style. Box fresh.
Review: Sub-liminal sergeant major Agro continues his remix series with this very naughty twist from Mentah. Taking those big one-note drones and harmonic flutters of the 2020 original - which is also provided on this release - Mentah takes the track apart and rebuilds it with a supersized turbine blast basslines and a new drum kit that switches between crisp neck-snap two-step and bone rattling breaks. Comparable to a track like 'Dirty Chopper' in its relentlessness and bullnosed drive, once again both the remix and the original are 10/10 scenarios for any discerning dnb DJ right now.
Review: Sub-liminal bossman Agro commences a series of remixes of his work and it starts with a biggie; 'Let's Get Frisky' from 2015, now rebooted by rising star Xav who spaces out the elements, whips up a warm, harmonic bassline grunt and weaves in a stunning ravey breakbown. Complete with an instrumental if you find Mr Traumatik & Devilman's pervy bars a little risqu?.
Review: Sub-liminal take a moment to look back over almost six years of hard graft at the future talent coal face. Having been responsible for so many bangers from so many now household names, it's a mean feat boiling it down to this mere 50 heavyweight highlights. All the label's key names are on board; Guzi, Dreadnaught, Nick The Lot, Too Greezy, Kumo, Version, Vital, Pyro, Motiv and many more dust off their past heavers, hurters and head-slappers to reflect on everything Sub-liminal has stood for and encouraged so far. From the deeper, more subtle bubblers (Sam Harris - 'Coffee Machine') to the most outrageous funk-ups (Warhead - 'Cranked') this EP has everything. When the Riddim hits you, you can't say no...
Review: The epic decade celebrations continue as DJ Hybrid's Audio Addict continue to reflect over the last 10 years at the forefront of the dnb game. Like the previous classics collection, once again we dive deep into the label's rich history to find career-shaping tunes from some of the best in the game such as Kumarachi, Warhead, Euphonique, Replicant, Nectax and many many more. A perfect chance to get up to speed on the last 10 years, or fill a few gaps in your collection, highlights include the forthright rudeness of Nectax's flutter-bass roll-up 'Labyrinth', Gravit-E's twisted growler 'Side Bitch', Scudd & Crinnion's skank-happy 'My Town' and the massive 'Takeover' VIP from the bossman himself. Massive.
Review: Founded by DJ Hybrid, one of the hardest working men in the last 10 years of jungle, Audio Addict has been a vital platform for many artists to breakthrough. Kumarachi, Agro, Scartip, RMS, Section, Jaybee and many more enjoyed early cuts on the label, who've always had an open remit that's stretched from heavier dancefloor cuts to deeper, more junglist tunes. Recently rebooted with a new plan and re-generated crew, the label now look back over many killer cuts from last decade. Highlights include the sample-smashing 'Back To Reality' (RMS) , the epic disco feels of 'All You Need To Know' (Bassface Sascha & Fiendsoul) and the bleepy, low-slung stepper 'My Days Are Cold' (Agro). Here's to another 10 years.
Review: So it doesn't feel like we've had much of a summer this year. It also feels like the arts are being hung-up to dry right now. But at least the good folk at Sub-liminal care for us.... To mark the (albeit raveless) sunny season, they've put together a 50 (yes, fifty) track collection from some of the most exciting names in the game. From Dunk to Xav, RV to Warhead, Agro, Guzi, Shayper, Damage Report and so many more, this is the 'Summer Selection' we all totally need and deserve right now. Highlights include the Remarc levels of badness on Guzi's 'Area 51', the tension and staggered creepiness of Yatuza's 'Clich?' and the broadsword swathes of Motiv's buzzy bumper 'Necroplasm'. And that's just three out of 50. Thank you Sub-liminal. We need this more than ever right now.
Review: Few labels are as on-point as Sub-liminal when it comes to new talent. Home to some the sharpest new gen minds to emerge in the last few years, their Myriad collections have always been a succinct snapshot of forefront D&B. The fourth annual collection is no exception as we're treated to smash-ups and stinkers from the likes of Guzi & Dreadnaught, Yatuza, Shayper, Agro and many more. Highlights include the techno rasps of Guzi & Dreadnaught's "All Units", RV's bulldozing rattler "Tell You 1 Thing", Shayper's ghostly rave groaner "Work It Out" and Agro & RV's chest-melting finale "Impact"... And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Myriad by name, myriad madness by nature.
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: 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.
Review: Everyone likes a good compilation, right? What's better than having as big a range of artists as possible in one condensed place? It's essentially an album with the ease of listening of a single, so we're all for it. Subliminal have come out with the 2020 edition in their Riddim Return series and it's packed full of bangers, across a range of styles, and it's one of those albums which doesn't try to be cool or sophisticated by chucking in a few fillers for the sake of diversity - it's just hard stuff here. It works great, with Sam Harris' tendency for muscular minimosity coming on loud and clear on Boom Ting, a wickedly devilish and driving roller.
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 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: Killaz by name, killer by nature; Vital Elements and Tobie Scopes' continue to set the agenda as DJs, artists and as label owners. This third annual mix-up is certainly no exception as they plough through 59 tracks - many of which are brand new exclusives - to paint a picture of exactly where drum & bass is at right now. A thick smelly melting pot, everything is thrown into the mix: Upgrade's spine-trembling harmonics on "The Voice", ruded-out bassline badness from Voltage ("My DJ"), various jump-up hybrid creepers from Russian newcomer Ozma, brand new dark wobble lava from Serial Killaz themselves ("Rudebwoyz") the list goes on and on. This is a huge package and it comes with a superb mix too. Treat yourselves or defeat yourselves.
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.
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: 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: Forget your daft screechy dubstep variant of the same name, Sub-liminal deal strictly in proper riddims. Wobbly riddims, fat riddims, stinking riddims, gully riddims. They have done for almost five years now, and this new Riddim Return collection is a reminder of just how much ground they cover, how many super talented darksmiths they work with and how much skin of yours their releases will melt. Highlights on this 50 track strong collection (yes, 50!) come from every angle but you'd be mad not to lick a shot from Agro & Raz on their melted bass weird-out "Ah Like It", do air trumpet to Warhead's "Cop Killa" or get wonked the heck out by Leaf's concrete steps on "Hold Up". Dig hard and take a deep breath... You're in riddim country.
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.
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: 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.
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.