Review: Spearhead bossman BCee celebrates 20 years of releases with this humungous album of new originals and remixes from talented kindred spirits across the board. There's a lot to unpack here with vibes flexing across the entire spectrum. Highlights include the dubwise vibe-out with DRS 'Let Go Of Love', the dreamy star-gazer 'Four Walls' with Ruth Royall and so many remixes it's hard to know where to start... Levela's take on 'Magic Words' (with Degs) balances the grit with the gold perfectly, LSB brings some wonderful new warmth to 'So Right' and Bop's futuristic funk flip on 'Computer Brains' is nothing short of inspired. And these are just a handful of the many highlights on offer. Dig deep and celebrate the consistent contributions of BCee. Here's to another 20 years!
Review: Last year Bcee and Charlotte Haining released a superbly soulful vocal album, and the time has come for it to get the remix treatment. The lineup for this album is immense, as LSB, Technimatic, S.P.Y, Mitekiss and loads more step up to put their own spin on things. The Shogun duo Technimatic kick of proceedings by shoving a rocket inside 'History', with one of their trademark euphoric buildups, a lead that moves delightfully into an explosively rolling exercise in soulfulness. Deadline nail their remix of 'Almost There', and S.P.Y's flips 'Remind Me' into a growling dancefloor number. There are too many corkers to list here - check em out.
Review: The Spearhead boss is back collaborating with Charlotte Haining after their superb joint album last year, and the motive on this one is in a similar vein: gorgeous rolling liquid that pulls on your heartstrings. Tempza is in the building for this particular cut, and him and Charlotte make an impressive team as they both sit above Bcee's luxurious beat with serious style. Lovely stuff.
Unknown Artist - "Just Vibe With It" - (5:21) 172 BPM
Untrue - "Your Face" - (5:19) 174 BPM
Motiv - "Walk With Me" - (4:54) 174 BPM
Review: Now in their 22nd year, Fokuz has to be one of the longest running - and certainly the most prolific - drum & bass labels to ever come out of The Netherlands. A prime spot for breaking new talent, and renowned for their glacial, atmospheric liquid sound, the label have that perfect balance of newcomers and established names which is reflected perfectly here on this reflective look-back over 2020. Highlights include Command Strange & Cnof's dusty soul delight 'Rainy Day', the twinkling cosmic funk of Maverick Soul's 'We In Here' and the shimmering soul of Askel & Elere's 'Honestly'.
Review: There are only a handful of producers in the scene who can match Bcee's output in terms of albums, and the Norfolk-based owner of Spearhead Records is landing on his own label with his eighth album, a ridiculous achievement by any stretch. This time it's a new formula, though, as Life As We Know It is a collaborative effort with Charlotte Haining, who forms an integral part of this albums soul and characteristic, her superb vocal talent providing the top layer to Bcee's production underbelly. As usual, the instrumentation is gorgeous and 'Almost There' has an introduction which is soulful in the extreme, as gentle piano touches collide with Charlotte's voice and slowly builds into a true drum & bass ballad. 'Little Bit Lighter' featuring Etherwood is beautifully bouncy, 'The Hills' rolls out amidst fluttering harmonies, and DRS joins on the melancholic 'Love For The Fallen'. The message of the album is matched for our current moment of flux, and it marks a massive achievement for both Bcee and Charlotte.
Review: Spearhead are coming out with a huge compilation that seeks to be a statement of intent for 2020, combining a load of new tracks with some of the choicest cuts from the Spearhead back catalogue. There is old school talent like Need For Mirrors, Bcee, Carlito & Addiction & Saikon, as well as recruits from the new school like Whiney, Black Barrel, Monrroe and Walk:r, all of whom have done a wicked job walking the Spearhead stylistic line between hard and soft. Need For Mirrors' 'Zxana' is the ideal example; it's stripped back and minimalist in its percussion but expansive in the low-frequencies, with a hypnotic feeling of movement and a seriously solid piece of sound design. The rest of the LP is typically epic as well, so shout out to the Norwich crew.
Review: BCee and Blu Mar Ten are pushing off into 2020 with their first ever collaborative EP, a fact which is a bit surprising but still very welcome. Grow is exactly what you'd expect, a soulful collection of tracks with a number of excellent vocal features from long-time collaborators Lucy Kitchen, Charlotte Haining, and DRS. There's an element of minimality to these tunes that's expertly offset with an equal serving of soul and funk, a combination bleeds sophistication across all areas of the music. DRS' feature -- Protected Secrets -- is our pick of the bunch, with Del's by now all-too-familiar blend of rapping and singing tying the knot on a superb instrumental.
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: Bcee is without a doubt one of D&B's all-time legends. From starting Spearhead Records with a laptop in an internet caf?, he's now releasing his fifth studio album on the imprint and honestly, his music has never sounded better. Full of clarity and engaged with itself, Shouting About Nothing is a diverse piece of work that represents Bcee's sound whilst tapping into the contours of the scene right now. 'Run For Cover' exemplifies that, its depth and precision reminiscent of Bcee's trademark style, the jungle influences and big bouncy basslines tapping into D&B's current trends. Leo Wood sounds incredible soaring over the top of 'Sincerely Yours', a deft, piano-laden number; and Degs is equally fitting on 'Magic Words'. A top, top album from one of the best in the game.
Your Body (feat Jemimah Read - Bladerunner remix) - (5:58) 174 BPM
Review: Remix klaxon: Bcee shares out the parts to his critically acclaimed fourth album Northpoint to an all-star cast of peers. LSB adds a little mystic haze to "Surfacing", Anile refixes our focus on the dreamy reverse tones of "Northpoint" while Seba provides the headiest moment of the collection as he hurls "More Then Words" into the darkest corners of the drumfunk cosmos. Elsewhere Lenzman brings his unique soul signature to "Black Sky", Monty brings the blustering breezes and barbed bass to "Had It All" before Bladerunner seals the deal with a typically sharp and sizzled twist on "Your Body".