Review: If you like your D&B somewhere in the middle of "unleashed" and "have I lost my mind" territory, this latest brainwarper from Critical's latest acquisition from Bad Taste, Billain, is highly recommended. "Macula" is deliciously clean thanks to obsessively tweaked and balanced production, but it's those cranked samples that just set that bar out of reach. "Subduction" rages on with more technical breaks and looming, electrical storm synths and final track round off the release with a half time demolition machine pounding out industrial drums and skip-a-beat top end percussion. Combined with tons of sinister effects this is definitely one for the darkside crew.
Review: Inspected boot up the genetic life form machine for some artificial funk and fury courtesy of a rollcall that should have any self-respecting tech-bass head salivating. First up is Bristol free-thinker Culprate who flips his successful "Diablo" into a crafty halftime stamper. Skope dons his Mallux cap for a BSE-level neuro romp that's home to around ten different bass textures that all work in harmony. Deeper again we hit the real leftfield sages: Billain's "Specialist" tips a nod to the rave foundations before dropping into a raffish groove that gets subtly weirder and weirder as we progress while Posij gets animated with a zoo of rising tones and textures that seem to run out control before being reigned in again. 23rd century funk.
Review: Bad Company is in the habit of releasing some of the scene's best high energy, heavy drum & bass. From this LP's epic opening statement by the label's owner himself, a brain-blistering stepper of monstrous proportions, it's fair to say that this has not set out to be a gentle introduction to the label and all it stands for. From the erratic neuro of Zooi's "Detail" to the minimal start and thousand MPH drop of "Minerva"; Soul Synthetic's cinematic nightmare stylings of "Goose Bumps" and the icy emptiness of "Headslide", this release has everything a twisted drum & bass fan from the darker side of the tracks needs to be happy.
Mindscape & Chris SU - "Timerider" - (5:19) 174 BPM
Review: Launched as part of their highly prized Black Box series and featuring some of the best-regarded producers in the game, Black Box Three is a masterpiece. Populated by heavy, intelligent tracks from the likes of Royalston, Teddy Killerz & Nfonix, Loki, Bad Company UK, Optiv, Prolix, Blokhe4d and tons more, it's definitely an LP that'll see you through to the other side of Christmas. Get the survival cupboard packed and hunker down - you're gonna be in this for a while.
Filip Motovunski - "Check Out The Vibe" - (4:24) 176 BPM
Gydra - "Megapolis" - (5:14) 174 BPM
Agressor Bunx - "Total Destroy" - (5:39) 172 BPM
Cod3x - "Obey" - (4:55) 174 BPM
Heamy - "Backbone" - (5:01) 172 BPM
Nakwan - "Turn On The Light" - (4:01) 175 BPM
Tobax & Gydra - "Progressive" - (5:13) 172 BPM
Bl4ck Owlz - "Geddo Fonk" - (4:47) 174 BPM
Billain & Vegas - "Shinde" - (7:21) 174 BPM
Review: Black Box Six is a big compilation with 23 tracks on it, all of which fit ideally into the neurofunk-shaped hole that Bad Taste have carved out for themselves within the D&B scene over the past few years. The label has become a reliable, known quantity for purveying dark beats so this release has been excitedly awaited. There's too much to talk about, really. Og particular note is the Teddy Killerz remix of Malux's 'Turbine', a dirty halftime remake of an already filthy original. Agressor Bunx bring the goods with 'Total Destroy', and Matys & Trilo's 'Undertaker' has so much force that it's arguably the best track on the LP. If you like your dirty D&B this isn't to be missed.