Review: Perez has always been ahead of the game but he is doing some serious bits right now. Following his Shades album (with Eprom), the bruising "Haunted" plus the consistent future shocks his label 1985 have been giving us comes this breath taking four tracker; "BXL" opens with high voltage textures that sizzle at 1.21 gigawatts while "Slink" closes on a subdued emotional tip with introspective vocals and a purring bassline. In between we have two absurd collaborations; Monty helps Alix turn bass into toxic treacle on "Caligo" while Icy joins the fray for a heavyweight droning roller laced with classic ravey vocal stab on "Live With It". Deal with it.
Review: Alix Perez's 1985 continues to build its own unique lane with the first V/A release of the year. Following Monty's "Hypnotise" comes this sleek, stark four-piece featuring a range of innovative kindred spirits. Perez takes the lead with "Haunted", a powerful techno-influenced slab of darkness while Cologne-based next-genner SubMarine follows with a 20,000 league deep sea wriggle fest on "Malibu 1973". Deeper into the Folio we forage to find barbed soul and heavy emotion on "Rollcage" (with Halogenix) and fly-by-night finger-clicking funk and subversive soulful vocals on "The Glow" (with Monty and singer Benabu)
Review: Alix Perez's mighty 1985 imprint has been taking the D&B world by storm for the past couple of years and it's thanks in part to a series of wicked compilations, some big and some small. This is the second outing in the mini VA series Folio/ and they've pulled out all the stops, roping in a who's-who of forward-thinking music that includes Perez himself, SubMarine, Hyroglifics and others. Perez's contribution is classic Perez: moody, murky basslines and soothing, haunting samples that balance each other out into an equilibrium of pure satisfaction. SubMarine's 'Grunge' is more pure energy, a rippling number that's as fluid as it is devastating - perfect for the dancefloor. Tracks 3 and 4 don't mess around as well, but we're not really very surprised because Scepticz, Lavance, Hyroglifics and Visages are all just so damn good. Pick this one up.
Review: We love the way Alix Perez has branched out in recent years. While we used to associate him to the minimal d&b wave that spawned in the late 00s, he's begun to venture onto into more diverse territories, as of late. He's up on his own 1985 Music here, and "Ghosts" is exactly the sort of glitchy, pseudo hip hop sketch that we now expect from the guy, but the real heat comes from "Hack & Slash", a total hybrid tune that goes from juke to dubstep, and back to something we're not really sure how to label. But, this is exactly how experimentation works and how new genres are created, something which is also very audible from his collaboration tune with Taso, "'Andromeda". "Tempest" is perhaps the weirdest and most daring of the lot, and the tune where Perez's d&b roots really come out, whereas "Crush" is a swinging, London bullet rhythm, for the heads. All in all, a much recommended affair.
DBridge/Skeptical - "No Discipline" - (6:24) 174 BPM
DBridge/Alix Perez - "Through My Eyes" - (6:17) 170 BPM
Review: Darren White aka Dbridge has been carrying out some wicked experiments in what circles have described as the 'grey area' between deconstructed/post Autonomic drum and bass and techno/house. The outsider journeys kind of continue (though don't get too outlandish, rest assured) on VS004, with White teaming up with Metalheadz' Skeptical for "No Discipline" featuring a dark sub bass pulse carrying its dystopian atmosphere; the subtlety works wonders on this effort. Next up the label head honcho teams up with Shogun Audio's Alix Perez on "Through My Eyes" a lush and liquid deep drum and bass journey with a nod to legends of the craft like Marcus Intalex or LTJ Bukem.
Review: Fire bun! Fracture continues spreading the most positive of vibrations with "Unite". Hot on the heels of his "Big Up The Ladies" EP on his own Astrophonica, he links up with the 1985 crew with four more absolute heaters. "Give Me Love" brings Fox into the fray to remind us why he's one of the UK's best melodic MCs over a freshly sharpened jungle riddim, "Feel 4 U" raises the spine-tingles with its rave pads while lowering your centre of gravity with its bashy beats and gutter-slopping bass shreds, "Realise" sees 1985 bossman Perez get mucky in the dark grumpy rolling mix while "Brothers & Sisters" taps back into the more techno-inspired aesthetics Fracture's been exploring lately. Imagine if Fracture was commentating a boxing match between Altern-8 and Rockwell down a dark alley and you're playing the right sport. Peace, love and "Unite"-y.
Review: What is there to say about Shogun Audio that hasn't already been said at length directly into your ear at 3am? Friction's brainchild has become one of the scene's biggest, most successful and perhaps most importantly one of the most highly-regarded labels in recent years. A decade might not be a long time in D&B talk, but 10 years has been long enough for Shogun to put its stamp on almost everything making its way from the underground and into the blinding light of day. From the experimental sounds of Alix Perez, Rockwell and Icicle to the spellbinding Technimatic, right through to the chart-bothering escapades of Camo & Krooked, this is a flip through the highlights of Shogun's life. In case you forgot, it's been a brilliant one so far. Roll on the next 10 years.
Review: There's absolutely no debate to be had about whether Monty is one of the breakout producers from the past couple of years. The man is an absolute genius and the ease with which he fits in at 1985 Music doesn't need to be said again, all that does need to be said is how bloody good this new release is. The title track is characteristically Monty, a sub bass wave of minimalist energy that just rolls and rolls, each small detail accounted for and each hit perfectly placed. 'Virgo' featuring label boss Alix Perez is another astoundingly good track and the way in which these two manage to carve an attractive melody out of dystopic soundscapes never fails to impress. The final two? Yeah, you guessed it - incredible.
Review: The future's so bright for Monty he has to wear shades. So will you too when you drop fithlets like these and see the carnage that follows. Some of the young Frenchman's best work to date, across the full EP we're treated to the full Monty and a few cheeky cameo collabos. Expect nothing but absolute brawlers ("STK", "Blinded"), slinky emotional ones ("Black Shield" with Visages) creepy, sewer-bound funk loaded with surprises and twists and turns ("Cursive" with the label bossman Alix Perez) and totally uncategorizable firing future funk ("Quest") Blinding.
Review: Having been on somewhat of hiatus of late, Alix Perez pokes his head above the water with this ever so slightly unexpected release on Horizons. Most closely affiliated with the deeper side of D+B and the Shogun Audio camp to whom he is signed, Perez comes up with some rose-tinted dubbed out, jungle flavours here in the appropriately entitled "Dubrock". Fun, funky rhythms dance around one another with chirpy lyrics and pattering drums with warm, undulating basslines below. For the second track on this single Perez teams up with Specific for "Lovebug" - another equally as charming vocal-driven track with punchy breaks, lilting atmospherics and mellifluous SFX. Dreamy and delicious, get your teeth into this one.
Review: We're up to Part 3 of the Neosignal X EP series, a set of original tracks that aim to celebrate 10 years of the label doing some of the dirtiest bits with the dirtiest artists in the game. Phace, Mefjus, Black Sun Empire - you get the picture. All of the EPs so far have tended to have one standout tune and this release is no different. Proxima has been handed the keys to the legendary 'MPD' and he's absolutely smashed it, retaining the melody and grunge of the original but flipping it into a fresh, modernised stepper. Properly good stuff from the Dutch crew.
Review: Belgian producer Alex Perez steps aside from his long-standing association with Shogun Audio to launch his own label, 1985 Records. Described by the man himself as a "platform rooted primarily in the 85 / 170 BPM bracket but also going beyond with no rules applied," the label sets a high bar in the quality stakes with this Elephant Dreams 12" from Perez himself. Taut moody rolling ruffage is the order of the day on the title cut, one of two collaborations with Skeptical, whilst "Had I Known" offers a more hopeful vibe before a dank mood descends on "STNKR". This broken slab of bass science is the highlight here, though the closing brittle jungle of Skeptical co-production "Room 667" isn't far behind!
Review: What a year it's been for Shogun Audio: albums from Spectrasoul and Rockwell, new signing Karma, the epic Point Of Origin collection and killer singles from every artist on the roster. Here they wrap up the year with 34 bangers, blissers and blunderbusses. If you've been following the label you'll know just how heavy this weights in bass gold. If not, it's the best possible place to play catch up. From the Jenna G-fronted Submorphics chiller "The Divine" and the gospel-level heaven of Spectrasoul's "Shelter" to the much darker, thunderous slammers such as Friction and Icicle's "Crucifix", Fourward's "Exile" and Calyx & TeeBee's gamechanging remix of Spor's "Aztec", this is a spotless sonic calling card for the label and its many multifaceted talents.