Review: USA representing! Long-time Stateside operator Atlantic Connection steps up to Heist's Co-Lab Recordings with a homage to his new home - Colombia. 'El Dorado' weigh in at four tracks heavy and there's a wonderful breeziness of sense of space running throughout the EP as he celebrates his new location. Highlights include the crisp drum work and jazzy vibes of 'Fidget', the Zinc-like bongo bubbles and infectious bassline of 'Robust' and the dubwise heat of 'Colombia'. Bring on the next chapter!
Review: Atlantic Connection has been releasing liquid drum & bass for a very long time and has built up a concurrently extensive reputation for excellence. This is his first EP for a little while and its coming on Liquid Lab, and instead of the usually sample focused sound it's a tad deeper, a just that bit more on the electronic side of things. That's expressed in the title tune 'Hey Jenny Hey', which drops off into a bouncing array of low frequency energy in lovely style. We're also fans of the slightly heavier touches of 'Gravity' and the rolling funk of 'Something In My Soul'. Banging.
Review: Someone call the fire brigade please, Bryan Gee's V camp is literally on fire right now. If it's not the massive tracks coming from the now 26 year old V flagship imprint, it's this stunning collection of remixes from the collective's soulful arm of operations Liquid V. Digging deep into the vaults, there's some immaculate refixes on display... L-Side's midas touch continues to sparkle with his rumbling switch-up of "Try To Understand", Need For Mirrors' own wobbly-bottomed relick of "Son Of Sorrow" does absolute damage and the VIP of Cater & Paul SG's "Jazz Cigarette" will blast your wig off with its crisp horns and cosmic vibraphone flurries. And that's just the tip of liquid iceberg. Get in shape yo!
Donovan 'Bad Boy' Smith - "After Party Vol 2" (continuous mix By Donovan 'Bad Boy' Smith) - (1:13:40) 178 BPM
Review: The compilations that come out of the V Recordings camp are as legendary as they come. A whole host of different ideas and concepts such as Planet V, Liquid V Club Sessions and V.I.P - I could go on - have landed on the label and brought us happiness. This time around it's instalment #2 for the Afterparty series and it's an LP with more soul than God, honestly. The sultry piano riff of 'No One Can Hear You Read' will have you tingling with excitement; the dulcet American tones of T.R.A.C go perfectly with Macca & Loz Contreras' iconic sampling on 'Leaps & Bounds'; and 'Summer Dayz' by L-Side and Addiction is a pure funk roll out. Another impeccable V Recordings compilation out the way, then. Smashing stuff.
Review: With a back cat that seeps boundary-smelting creativity, Atlantic Connection dons his D&B hat and returns to Fokuz with two stunning rollers. Subtle, understated and sprung with soul, both "One Moment" and "Nothing Can Separate Us" tingle with emotive attention to detail. The former shimmers with soft synth sounds, classic jungle breaks and a heartfelt vocal while the latter swings with an outrageously dreamy bending synth sound that warps with true warmth while a delicate vocal whispers in the background. Stunning.
Rose Hart - "Gonna Be Alright" (Atlantic Connection remix) - (4:58) 174 BPM
Unknown Artist - "The Other Side Of The D&B Game" - (4:48) 174 BPM
Review: And now for a stepper and a roller of a different type, Focuz dip into their fresh artists roster to pick up two tasty soul-influenced beauties. "Gonna Be Alright" is equal parts stompin' and groovin' with funky guitar and beautiful vocals from Rose Hart. Second track "The Other Side of the D&B Game" takes a smooth, soulful approach, with rich brass and an R&B feel. Velvety. Take a chance if you've not heard of these guy before and pick this up - both tunes are stunning.
Review: Bryan Gee's bumper Club Sessions series continues like the drum & bass juggernaut it is with volume five. Since appearing on the scene back in 2005 with an album packed with exclusives from Roni Size, Fresh, Calibre and dBridge, the label have come back stronger than ever with their latest instalment. Featuring modern heroes Need For Mirrors, Peshay and Eveson alongside fresh talent from the likes of Pennygiles, Duoscience, Atlantic Connection and Flaco, each track is a reassurance that drum & bass from the Liquid V corner of the scene is still going strong. At 28 tracks plus two mixes featuring MCs Stamina and TRAC, how could you say no?
Review: Emphatic radio-friendly, live set-ready, woozy, emo-dubstep. Think Gemini. Think Nero. Think 'get your ruddy lighters up'. With vocal duties delivered by well known D&B songstress MC Tali this is authentic as it gets. And has potential to be a massive end of night finale. Elsewhere on the release we find another Tali-plated platter as "My Love" gets remixed by Bro Safari to great effect. It starts all deep and pristine - somewhere between Hed Kandi and NRK - before befilthing itself with a disgusting bassline. A great transitional tune for house DJs who want to switch up to the rude stuff in true style.
Review: As long serving standard bearers for the drum and bass scene in the Netherlands, the Fokuz label have always carried that touch of quality that sets them apart. On Fokuz & Friends Vol 1 they dig into the archives and draw for an overtly liquid influenced selection with the likes of Eveson, Random Movement and Basic Operations all making contributions. The standouts here are from Icicle & Switch who offer up the surprisingly soulful "These Golden Days" from 2007 and Lenzman & Submorphics' terrific "Respiration", a reminder of the true sound of musical D&B.