Review: It's time to face the music... Alb is "Over You". But the second you hear those breathy vocals and gliding chords, you realise you'll never be over him. This situation compounds the deeper we dig into the EP. "Major Deep" in fact. A much grizzlier piece of rollage and barbed sermons from Siege MC, it's another remind why we fell for the UK artist all those years ago on Infuenza and Soul Deep. More reminders follow as "Epoch" soothes our soul with warm dubby flutters and "All Words" (which is actually all action) whips up the sonic equivalent of a freefall from the stars. Over and out.
Review: Melinki has been dishing out the goods on labels like Fokuz for a few years now, as well as running his own 'Four Corners' imprint, but he hasn't done many projects like this. The S.T.L project is a full, album length collection of collaborations with producers all over the scene. T>I is on remix duties for previous Melinki banger Dancehall Sound, flipping it into a spaciously destructive bit of work, whilst HLZ is present on the sub-heavy and drum-excellent 'Nemea'. Softer notes abound on 'It's Over' featuring Macca & Maverick Soul, a soft and deftly rolling vocal slice of liquid action, a trend repeated on 'What's Real' with Low:r. This is an expression of scene strength and an excellent one at that.
Review: Fokuz is without a doubt one of the best labels in the game, their diversity alone places them right at the top of the metaphorical leader board and nothing exemplifies this better than their Collaborations series. Featuring a litany of artists across almost as many styles, including Molecular, ALB, Critical Event and more, putting this third instalment up there with the others. Molecular's 'What Defines' is darker than what Fokuz is known for and it just absolutely slams the whole way, a proper minimal roller with tonnes of character and more than a little charm. The first track on the album, it sets the tone for the rest nicely.
Critical Event & Askel - "So In Love With You" - (4:27) 174 BPM
ALB - "Using Minds" - (5:29) 174 BPM
Calculon & Dave Owen - "Ben Carlos" (feat Christina Tamayo - Zero T remix) - (5:11) 58 BPM
Smote - "Just Come Back" - (5:20) 174 BPM
Joakuim - "8am Roller" - (4:30) 172 BPM
Drumcatcher - "Feelings" - (4:35) 172 BPM
Brainwork & Mnml - "Embrace" - (5:18) 172 BPM
Review: Fokuz Recordings consistently release some of the best compilation albums around. Their pool of artists is so diverse and so top quality that an assortment of their work is always going to be special, especially when they bring in outside talent like Break and Zero T. Collaborations 2 is what is says on the tin: remixes and other collaborative projects and blimey, it's good stuff. Joakuim's '8am Roller' is the perfect example, a deft piece of piano-based smoothness that rolls out to your heart's content with sultry results, an instant classic of liquid-sized proportions. The Break remix is a welcome addition, as is the steppy yet soulful Zero T remix of Ben Carlos. Another very, very good selection of cuts from the always sublime Fokuz crew.
Review: Test Press flexing, all-round deep soul man Basic Forces recruits a bench-press rollcall for his debut album. Featuring the likes of Philth, Soul Deep bosser Scott Allen, Marcus Tee, Monument Banks, the iconic vocalist Frank H Carter and many more, it's an all-star collabo fest where the focus is squared firmly on the groove. From the cosmic depths and velvet pads of "Evermore" to the gospel jazz vocal harmonies of "Mind, Body & Soul" and the elephantine sub-struck roller "Don't Want To Hurt You", not only is there some real magic weaved into each collaboration but slick consistency, too. A sublime snapshot of where Basic Forces, Soul Deep and all artists involved in this compendium are at right now.
Review: Soul Deep are firing serious shots this year. Proffering a consistent slew of beats with a quality control as high as their release rate, the label's ability to identify new talent and support it is unlike any other this year. Here are another 11 examples; the emotive piano work of Philadelphia's CitySkape, the earthy soul of Oscar Maya and floaty, Bcee-style rolls of Greenspoon are but three of many highlights. Another future-proofed document that supports the next generation.