Review: Shall Not Fade rounds off its busiest year to date with a sixth anniversary compilation that's packed to the rafters with previously unreleased tracks from its now sizable family of artists. Also reflective of the sounds showcased by Shall Not Fade's various sub-labels and offshoots, the 24-track set confidently strides between deep two-step (Black Loops), saucer-eyed ambient jungle (Kessler), colourful deep house (Lis Sarocca), lo-fi jack tracks (Cinthie), loopy disco-house (Adelphi Music Factory), jazz-funk flavoured house warmth (Felipe Gordon), analogue-rich broken beat (Yosh), post-UKG heaviness (DJ Crisps), jaunty and jazzy 4/4 garage (DJ Swagger) and the kind of smile-inducing, huggable dancefloor goodness that defies simple categorization (Tilman and Phonk D).
Review: The Gimme A Break squad are out in force for this one as they deliver 'The 0113 Enquiry', exploring breaks and garage flavour across four dope new creations from some of the scenes finest soundsmiths. First up, BAKEY takes it oldschool with a combination of well-recognized soul and funk samples, atop a bed of precisely processed breaksy drums. Next, Papa Nugs takes it down a moogy route as 'Honey' delivers a sub-busting experience, laced with just a tad of rhythmic expression, before ANSZA unleashes a viscous soundscape of horn-like reese synths and skippy garage drums. Finally, Phasmid gives us a UKG-laden finale as the warbling LFO pulses and lively 2-step drum jigs of 'Deadpan' provides one hell of a final dance.
Review: Next up from Breaka's own: Breaka Recordings imprint, we see something very special as he unveils four collaborations of the highest quality with the likes of both Frazer Ray and Bakey. We begin with Frazer's two contributions, kicking off with the charming moogy subs and scattered drum rhythms of 'The Loudest Woiioii Ever', combining funky rhythms and futuristic compositional designs. Next, 'Phone's Ringin' gives us a much more minimal yet euphoric style of experimental dance music, before we take the pace up a tad on Bakey's first collaborative input on 'Club Dynamics'. This track sees us explore the delicacies of new school breaks, before 'Pro Perc' unleashes choppy 2-step-style rhythms atop a heavily laden percussive field to give us the perfect send off.
Review: Time Is Now seem to have such a knack for finding releases that just breathe colour and originality, a theme that they adhere to once again as they unveil the second edition of their 'Time Is Now Allstars' series. We begin with the smooth chord sizzles of Bakey's 'Dismantle', with Interplanetary Criminal & Hypho's delicate garage-breaks hybrid 'Talbot Road' in hot pursuit. Next, DJ Crisps switches the rhythms for some post-funky excitement on 'Ready Salted', before Yosh takes it back to some old school garage flavour on 'Over & Out'. Finally, the soulful vocal-chord combos of 'Arms Around' from Ell Murphy & DJ Crisps are chased down by Main Phase with 'Special Occasion', another super precise roller, which sees the release out with a bang.
Review: The Time Is Now team are looking solid beyond belief at the moment as they unveil another killer drop, this time from the futuristic fusion-heavy sounds of Bakey, who lands three potent originals for us all to enjoy. The title track 'Take It Further' is a perfect blend of breakbeat and garage themes, combining crispy drum expressions with vibrant, pulsating subs to really get the party started. Following this, the nostalgic broken 2-steppy beats and unpredictable sub manoeuvres of 'Cobra' work some real magic before rounding off on the stripped back yet extremely potent arrangements of '1002', again utilizing powerful subs, but this one with an angelic sounding padded twist.