Review: The North Quarter is rounding out their 2020 with the first in a new Various Artists series: NQ State of Mind. We're assuming this name is a hat tip to Jay-z and Alicia Keys' NY State of Mind, and the focus on urban funk comes through clearly across this album's 10 tracks. It starts with the long-awaited Tokyo Prose remix of 'All My Life' by Satl, and Tokyo has stretched out Steo's incredible vocals over an elegantly simple piano riff and solid percussive basis, a timeless sound that gets right to the heart of what makes this label so good. Zero T gives his 2017 album cut 'Slightest Moment' the remix treatment, taking it up from hip-hop tempo to full drum & bass to form a rollicking, nonchalant roller which skips along with such purity of spirit you'll forget where you are. There's a superb original contribution from Redeyes with 'Original Soul', a stripped back remix of 'Late Night Jam' from Lenzman, and a dirty old school roller from Sam Binary. What an album.
Review: Lenzman's imprint serves up its first V/A right here with Quarter To Quarter. Featuring exclusive tracks from the likes of FD, LSB, Total Science, Kyrist, Tokyo Prose, Break, Zero T and so many more, it's a full spectrum representation of the label that ranges from sublime, sun-kissed soul such as Redeyes' "Lust", Atlantic Connection and Steo's "Night & Day" to bouncy, vocal high-vibe affairs such as Break's remix of "In My Mind". Along the way expect stunning strident, cosmic hypnotic workouts (Tokyo Prose - "Rescue"), dubby dreamers (Kyrist - "Untrue") unlikely rudeboy slappers (Total Science - "Killa") and every other authentic, genuinely crafted D&B sound you associate with the label. Quarter To Quarter ... No half measures.
Review: The latest release on LSB's label is finally here and it's worth the wait. Anile's famously stripped back, creative sounds are laid out over four tracks that span a characteristically wide range of speeds and styles. From the rolling soul of Constant Reminder to the guttural bass rattles of Riggers, this is a wicked EP that shows off exactly why Anile is considered one of the most talented producers in the game. It's the first release on Footnotes from an artist that isn't LSB, and it certainly doesn't disappoint.
The Vanguard Project - "Is This Love" (feat Lucy Kitchen - Dexcell remix) - (4:59) 172 BPM
Review: Spearhead Records - which was started by Bcee in an internet caf? - is hitting its 100th release and celebrating the fact with a huge compilation of brand new tracks, including contributions by Calibre, Technimatic, LSB and Bcee himself. Staying true to the label's origins, it's pretty much all gorgeous rolling liquid and we're very much into it. One of the highlights is the Bcee refix of his seminal 'Back to the Street', which has been given a revamped bassline and a fresh veneer of bassy purpose. It's not just the old on this album, though, and Walk:r lays down the gauntlet with 'Wallflower', a sublimely subtle, pacey piano tune that rolls out in delightful fashion. Wicked stuff here from one of the best in the game.
Review: The North Quarter has rapidly become the premier destination for 170 sonics which tickle the soul as much as the eardrums, music which aims to speak on a more substantial creative level than most. Lenzman has now brought in Anile for the next chapter in that journey and boy, it's a stunner, 7 tracks of carefully considered, deft music which rolls out with a tangible sense of wistfulness. 'Earth & Mars' is a perfect example, a deliciously deep track that swirls in the low ends and soothes in the high ends, each second gorgeously precise but also noticeable carefree. There are acid vibes, summer vibes and winter vibes; lots of highs and lots of lows. It's a journey in itself and we absolutely love it.
Review: Three words: "Police In Helicopter"... One of the biggest dubplates last year is finally here, and it's joined by 24 other exceptional bangers as the Hozzy team roll out another absurd stack of "Sick" freshness from across the board. Genuinely on point tune for tune highlights include Pete Cannon's outstanding drumfunk lash out "Ella", Flava D's first D&B tune (the breath taking "Return To Me"), a bone shaking duet from the next gen gems Unglued and Bou ("Ascendant Man"), both Fred V & Grafix's first solo tunes since they split and an absolute neck breaking gully snapper from Lakeway in the form of "War Dub". And that's just scratching the surface, this is a humungous V/A album. Hot enough to burn down a cane field or two...
Review: Importance Never Justifies Anything... Unless you're chatting Inja's debut album then it justifies an absolute shock out. Ranging from classic 92 flavoured hardcore breaks (opener "Intro") to sweeping hurricane rollers ("Flow") to serious home truth heaviness ("She Just Wanna Dance"), the rapidly accelerating MC has laid down a debut album of DRS proportions right here. Complete with beats from the likes of Serum, Whiney, Nu:Logic, Pete Cannon, Anile and None Decay, this is the sound of an MC who knows exactly how to articulate, entertain and work with some of the best producers in the game. No faking; this is a contender for D&B album of the year. Props to everyone involved.
Review: This is how you do Let It Roll in style... You roll out to Prague with four of Hospital's deepest, most respected technicians on soundtrack duties: Anile, Krakota, Keeno and S.P.Y. Naturally they all smash the mission to pieces, Anile's brilliantly titled "Caveman Neil" does weird and wonderful things with harmonics, Keeno goes all-out gospel to tremendous effect on "Empath", Krakota cooks up some bouldering, smouldering drums and showers them with disco sprinkles while S.P.Y serves up a Randall-level roller. Take us to Let It Roll already!
Review: 21 years old. How about that then? Some of us were barely out of nappies when London Elektricity first launched the imprint, some of us remember like it was yesterday. Either way, we are all united under the big flouro H and right now they're celebrating their coming of age with a humungous 70 track collection. Yes, 70! Each cut handpicked to represent the London imprint's constantly evolving but always soul-touched and groove-laden sound are 24 exclusives such as Urbandawn's insane version of Reso's "Taiga", Fred V & Grafix's titanium colab with Metrik "Tension", Serum & Inja's already-massive "Blow Dem" and Whiney's remix of TC's chop-slapping "Storm Brew". Massive. Happy birthday Hospital!