Review: Alphaze has the "Keyz" but does he have the secrets? Of course he does; you don't make stinkers like this without knowing a trick in the studio or two. Weighing in at five tracks, with some top shelf collaborations, this is one of his biggest EPs to date. Highlights include the wobbled out bass and cockney sample on "Raves" (with Sinu8), the raucous sandpaper funk frazzles of "Natural Habitat" and the sick balance of pure euphoria and utter grit on the title track with Purcell. Use these "Keyz" wisely and you'll go far...
Review: Banzai is launching a rock, or two, at your head with this fiery single on Breeze that'll appeal to anyone who likes their music rough and ready. In a subgenre that can be inconsistent, to put it mildly, this is jump-up as its meant to be done, over the top but to the exact right degree. 'Don't Stop' is the better of the two, with a sick vocal sample and an off-beat element to the arrangement that gives its punchy bass stabs that extra oomph a lot of tunes don't quite manage to hit. The foghorns are out on the flip in a KoTR-esque number, and 'Attitude' rounds off the single in style. Banging.
Review: Banzai can't sleep so why should we? Brand new to DS2B, the south east new gen artist lays down two powerful dancefloor pieces where the riff is chiselled to perfection and the textures are so toxic and hard hitting you'll feel all slimy inside. "Not Sleepy" grunts with rising high toned staccato laser bass over a sharp, swaggering drum arrangement while "Spacey" takes us on a slightly trippier departure with the basslines flop around like wet fish over more suitably pummelling beats. No sleep till Great Yarmouth!
Review: Banzai's got his grubby paws on a supercar. No one knows how he got it, no one knows where he's driving to but he's currently cruising at a speed of 170mph and ain't nobody stopping him. "Bugatti" leads with a real groaner, Benny L style harmonic moaning bassline that wheelspins into the distance, "Let Me Begin" takes us on a pranged out tribal halftime trip on the intro before dropping into a big swing drop and glitchy, frazzled riff with plenty of missing kicks and funk while "TF" is just a straight up sheet metal slapping drama galvanised in raw otherworldly tones. Complete with a feisty VIP of "Be Good", this is yet another powerful release from Purcell's promising new label. Time latch up!
Review: Every now and then, you just want a release that slams start to finish. No frills, no pretence of trying to be something that it isn't, just solidly banging D&B that gets your head nodding and your feet moving. Banzai has done that here and this single is a run of attitude-packed jump up, all of which would sound fat through a sound system. 'Menace' is a highlight, samples leading you in into a fluttering array of jagged synth-lines and boom-bap drum hits, a vibe that's quickly transferred across into 'Showtime' - snapping percussive hits, moody bass notes and melody that oozes power.
Review: When Eskimo Recordings approached Bill Brewster with the idea of putting together a compilation exploring his epic record collection, the acclaimed journalist and DJ decided to take a widescreen approach. While the CD and vinyl versions are split into multiple, themed editions ("Post-Punk", "Balearic" and "House"), this vast, 41-track digital edition gathers everything together in one place. Predictably, it's a hugely impressive and eye-opening set, with Brewster serving up largely obscure or long-forgotten cuts that range in scope from trippy, dubbed-out post-punk disco, jaunty jazz-funk, synth-heavy boogie and heavily percussive Afro-disco grooves, to saucer-eyed European synth-pop, the dub techno of Maurizio, Swag's early UK tech-house and the East Midlands deep house bump of Charles Webster's "A Love From San Francisco" project. In other words, it's a cracker from start to finish.
Review: Following up great releases by the likes of Distro, Affiliate and Negativ, Brighton bass and garage experts 877 return with local man of many talents: KXVU. He joins the team with his take on dark and minimal UK funky. He is co-founder of the renowned Southpoint label and is a prolific producer in his own right. From the bombastic bounce of lead track "Jaguar" ( which receives a killer rework by Italian Lorenzo BITW that lunges right for the jugular!) to the fierce and frantic bass attack of "Sukai" - we believe this talented young artist has found his truly comfort zone sonically.
Review: For the sixth instalment in Z Records impeccable "Under The Infliuence" series of crate-digging compilations, boss man Dave Lee (AKA Joey Negro) has turned to fellow London scene veterans Simon and Robin Lee, AKA Faze Action. Their selections are, as expected, superb, mixing their own edits of familiar favourites (Midway's ace "Set It Off" and Mikki's "Dance Lover" for starters) with material that's as obscure and over-looked as you'd expect. Standouts in the latter category include the smooth '80s boogie of Leston Paul's "All Nite Tonight", the sublime Afro-disco of Bebe Manga, the thrillingly up-tempo hustle of Oscar Perry's "Body Movements", some superb South American disco from Don Lurio and Michele Claire's lesser-known version of disco favourite "In The Bush".
Review: If you missed any of Z Records most potent releases this year, do not fear: boss man Joey Negro has brought together all of the label's best bits on one handy, plus-sized compilation. There's another chance to savour the Escort style Brooklyn disco revivalism of J Kriv and Adeline's "Vertigo", Sean McCabe's smooth and soulful rework of Detroit Rising and Ron Trent's impeccably musically rich remix of Joey Negro's "Distorting Space Time". Synth-fired boogie goodness is also provided via a superb "Unreleased Dub" of Janet Kay's 1980s gem "Eternally Grateful" and a brilliant Joey Negro rework of the APX, while soaring, string-laden disco hits are dotted throughout the compilation. If you dig disco, house and boogie, you need this in your life.
Review: Bou & Dutta's Diamond Audio cuts through the noise with laser like charm on their latest V/A collection. A signature since the label's launch last year, this is their most supersized batch to date as it includes more fresh names and a full spectrum of underground styles; the footwork pace of Aesthetics opener "Questions", Bou's barking groaner "Frequencies", Jeopardize's matchless trippy funk stepper "Contemporary", Leaf's wonky woodblock knocks and freaky funk on "Watch It" and MelloDrama's hospitalizing space stepper "Thrill" are just some of the many album highlights. Shiny shiny.