Review: Bassface Sascha and DJ Phlex are back on the fast-moving train that is jump-up and once more, they've proven adept at bringing to the fore some forward-thinking sounds in that regard. They're a name we know and the name of this release - Pioneers - hints at their long-standing role and is certainly a promising sign. Glitchy and with a satisfying sense of lagged out travel, 'Frozen Solid' starts strong and certainly bites hard, doing so in a fresh, unique manner. 'Burst a Bubble' is step-up in sophistication and nastiness, a snappy, stepping drum line pushing up into its metallic bottom line, this one is a proper creeper and it's such a shame that it won't be heard in the rave anytime soon.
Review: Link-up, look smart; we've connected with one of the most exciting labels in dnb for a collection of their biggest hitters, rising stars and highest sellers: Liondub International. Headed up by Eric Liondub in NYC, Liondub International have broken and nurtured more new talent than most put together, and these first few volumes showcase. First up come these 15 examples as the likes of Kumo, Bou, Jayline, DJ Hybrid, Saxxon and many more all deliver timeless heaters. Highlights include Sub Killaz' broadsword skank-up 'Murderah', Brian Brainstorm's junglised slash-up 'Kill A Drumpan' and Bladerunner & Johnny Osbourne's ever-sweet 'Night Fall Dub'. All this and plenty more; whether you've been following Liondub since day or you're new to their consistent onslaught, there's plenty to catch up on here. Selector!
Review: Founded by DJ Hybrid, one of the hardest working men in the last 10 years of jungle, Audio Addict has been a vital platform for many artists to breakthrough. Kumarachi, Agro, Scartip, RMS, Section, Jaybee and many more enjoyed early cuts on the label, who've always had an open remit that's stretched from heavier dancefloor cuts to deeper, more junglist tunes. Recently rebooted with a new plan and re-generated crew, the label now look back over many killer cuts from last decade. Highlights include the sample-smashing 'Back To Reality' (RMS) , the epic disco feels of 'All You Need To Know' (Bassface Sascha & Fiendsoul) and the bleepy, low-slung stepper 'My Days Are Cold' (Agro). Here's to another 10 years.
Review: Landing on the prolific Original Key this time around is a Veak and Bassface Sascha, with the former providing an original single and the latter coming in on remix duties. Veak's original draws upon the reggae aesthetic in its sampling and title, and the drums of babylon are throbbing hard in this moody, sub heavy escapade. Bassface Sascha ramps up the drums significantly and opens things up, with a louder mixdown and jump up stabs peppering the top of the range. Lovely.
Review: Can we get a 'wicked?' Jungle Cakes continue to team up with some of the biggest donnies in the game with this latest Welcome To The Jungle collection. This time curated and fronted by the General himself, as you'd expect this is a full-on jungle assault that covers every single angle and every single era. 47 tracks and one killer mix, hosted and toasted by Levy himself, this is one of Jungle Cakes most comprehensive collections to date: From the foundation-setting, historic vibes of "Incredible" through to contemporary bangers from the likes of Kursiva, DJ Hybrid, Jam Thieves, Benny Page and all things in between, everyone involved has delivered something special. Massive.
Review: This is a hell of a compilation from the Original Key crew, celebrating 3 years of being in the game. To do so, they've roped in some seriously big names including Sub Zero, T>I, Aries, Dutta and the one and only Bungle. Bungle's contribution is a powerful, rolling number with a solid drum break and swirling, hypnotic low frequency oscillation that'll have you nodding in agreement. Voltage & Nicky Blackmarket come correct on 'The Magnificent', DJ Sly and MC Det smash 'Jungle Drums, and there are many more huge tracks on here from equally huge artists. One to remember.
Review: Liondub are celebrating a decade of existence and they're doing a three-part compilation series covering the past, present and future of the label. By definition, then, these series' feature plenty of talent from all across the spectrum and time period of the genre. One of our favourite of the 26 cuts is Bou's VIP of Keep Away, a deliciously double-bass infused number that is both funky and heavy, the ideal combination, and he's flipped up the arrangement here with some precisely placed note changes. There are also features from Vital, Euphonique, Dutta, Marcus Visionary and more, with the overall vibe being one of toughness and power. Top stuff.
Review: 2018 was a certified vintage for Serial Killaz' self titled label as they dropped a stunning slew of singles, EPs, albums and mixtapes. In case you missed anything, these are just some of the many heavers, heaters and hurters that dropped throughout the year. Highlights include the toad-like bass and Spyda's iconic vocals on "Imitation Soundbwoy", the island charm and snaking rolls of Limited's "Sun", DJ Vapour's absolutely pummelling hardcore slap-about "Damage Your Sound" and Leaf's other-planetary freak-out "Night Time Vultures." Sing when you're killing.
Review: In terms of legendary status for labels over on the jungle/jump-up side of the scene, it's pretty hard to beat Serial Killaz. Run by the duo of the same name, the imprint has arrived with the second instalment of their mixtape series and it's unsurprisingly good. Full of big tunes from guys like Serial Killaz themselves, Vital Elements and Upgrade, it's the latter of these guys that takes the cake with 'Steel Drum'. You've probably heard this one doing the rounds and it's actually already been released, but oh boy what a tune this is: a screaming, siren-lake mash of grating metallic synths and punching drums all come together to make an unstoppably good piece of music. Don't sleep on the rest of these tunes though, and a special mention goes to DJ Hybrid's 'Beatbox' - naught jungle vibes.
Substance - "Belong To The Night" (feat Susie Ledge - Dazee remix) - (4:53) 175 BPM
Review: Level up! Not content with flinging out one 15 track jungle arsenal this season, Dazee's Ruffneck Ting power up with another hench collection less than a month later. Serious business as always, vibes fire fast and loose from the moment Jinx & The Force welcome us to the new echelon on "Next Level" with a classic sample subversion to the very last shimmering echoes Dazee's remix of Substance "Belong To The Night". Highlights include Jinx's grumpy grumbling subs on "Sound Killer", Verdikt's springy jungle roller shakedown "Party People" and The Force's alien landing serenade "Article 50". Another level.
Review: Don't be misled by the title: this is no thrown-together 'greatest hits' package but rather a 40-track label showcase from DJ Hybrid's Audio Addict label, coming complete (if you opt to buy the whole album) with a fast and furious, 52-minute mixed version by Canada's RMS, aka Paul Currie. Tracks come a mixture of relatively new names (Martyn Nytram, Saffire Dubz, Confusious) and more established players (LJ High, Scartip and of course Hybrid himself), while stylistically the album touches on various different D&B sub-genres, but with the emphasis always firmly on cuts that are built to tear up the rave.
DJ Phlex & Bassface Sascha - "New Dawn" - (4:45) 175 BPM
Review: Junglist superheroes Ruffneck Ting return with the second sampler from their extraordinary new edition to their on-point album series. As always it's pure foundation business with some exceptional examples of contemporary roughage and choppage. Genetix twists up a fat riff and prods it from every corner on "Something's Brewing", Bristol OGs and label founders Substance & Dazee get serious busy with a shattering dubbed out roller while Jinx & The Force get deep, dark and dangerous with a purring, deep-breath bass that suddenly rises from nowhere in a techno-informed style. Need a little vocal pressure? Jump on Bassface Sascha and Phlex's "New Dawn" and trust us, you'll be feeling good...
Review: Catch-up time! If you've yet to experience the vibes of OKey's Original Key imprint, now is the time to get acquainted... Launched in Germany this time last year, here they've put all their releases so far in one handy package. Ranging from Heist's percussion-flickering funk on "Seems Risky" to DJ Sly's horn-blazed skanky switch-up "98 Style" via Bassface Sascha & Feindsoul's badboy blaster "Sage" and Tomoyoshi's Clipz-style Q&A fireworks on "Killa Soundboy", this collection is testament to what a great year it's been for OKey... And drum & bass in general.
Review: German OG Bassface Sascha returns to the sound he made the biggest noise in back in the mid 2000s; balls-out, riff-heavy jump up. With its savage metallic textures and nose-breaking energy, there's a wily ruthlessness buzzing and sizzling throughout. "Klonk", meanwhile, pays homage to the legacy of Clipz with its sweet, simple but seriously savage harmonic Q&A. No nonsense, plenty of drama; Bassface is gunning for the dance right here.
Review: New German label Original Key continue to fire the big guns on their third release: DJ Sly continues to chow down on the quarter pounders with another epic plunging bassline on "98 Style" that just tears through everything else in the mix (including the cheeky string sample on the fills) For the second track OKey invites fellow German titans Bassface Sascha and Feindsoul on board for a grunting, jumpy bassline-focused b-boy session. Die saga geht weiter...
Review: Germany representing! Jump-up representing! Shrust's PDD gathers friends old and new for a riotous kick-start to 2017. It's fire from the off as OG Bassface Sascha lets rip with "Superhuman" which tips a nod to the Supreme Being/Taxman style of late 2000s jumpery before Lustral lays down his nastiest tones on the insanely uncompromising "Z2A". Elsewhere Koznik & Khavy adds a little amen twist on "Killer", Manga scratches our hinds raw as he riddles us with glitches on "Dragon's Claw" and Machines threw a little 90s west coast hip-hop feels before ripping our faces off on "Ears Still Blastin" With more caustic bumpers from Mech, Substainless, Connecta and Cue, this is one seriously explosive package.
Review: Make no mistakes: Ruffneck Ting are smashing it on a whole new level this year! Bombarding the game with beat after beat, barely a month has gone by with a Ruffneck roll-out session. The Xtraordinary League Of Junglists takes this proliferation to a whole new level with 20 killer cuts from some of the label's firmest friends and family. Every cut is a highlight but you'd be off your nut not to check the clinically obese classical mid-90s jump up bass of "War", the sprung-out Bingo bounces of "All 2 Myself", the piano-slapping feel good rave workout "All Through The Night" or the dubbed-out trickery of "Hazey Dub". Need we go on? Ruffneck Ting have been on this ting since dot and they're rolling out some of their finest right here. Essential.