Review: 25 years in the game! The world's longest-standing D&B platform continues to represent drum & bass culture in the best and most upfront way possible with this incredible collection of tracks from right across the whole scene. Loaded with legends and new generation cats alike, with all ages and styles in between, the album ranges from the likes of Bukem's first release in many years - 'Flip The Narrative' to J Majik's hardcore-heaving 'Blake' by way of Bcee & Dynamite's 'Run', A.M.C's carnivalesque 'Brazil' and Visages & Kyrist's squelchy, dark funk piece 'Mirai'. These are just some of the many, many highlights on offer. With names like Particle, Digital & Charla Green, Ben Snow, Athena, Trex and so many more, this is a fantastic way to celebrate a quarter of a century in the game. Here's to the next 25 years.
Review: The original pioneer MC Navigator returns to last summer's beautiful reggae lick 'Ghetto Strugglaz Lullaby' with two rubs from a fellow don and jungle wizard Bladerunner. Ramping up the original's warm but poignant feels and maintaining Navi's instantly distinctive voice, the Kings Of The Rollers member brings his signature honeyed subs and those brisk, super-clean breaks to the mix and turns it into the perfect summertime D&B weapon. The struggles are real.
Review: BREAKING: Platinum Breaks will do everything for your love. This is great news to be honest, because we'll do anything for his love. An absolute beast on the bangers in recent times, this Artful Dodger alias is doing bits right now. Bits like this classic emotional hurricane that taps deep into the timeless breakbeat sound and hits with a huge vocal from Eden. And if that's not enough Bladerunner has provided not one but two remixes; a slippery and sweet sizzling vocal version and an absolute damager of a dirty mix. This means everything to us right now.
Review: Bladerunner presents some high fidelity drum 'n' bass in the tradition of Goldie's Metalheadz sound on his new offering "Take Me Away" where angelic female vocals contrast the most fierce and rolling amens and the gnarliest bassline you'll hear this year. Courtesy of his imprint Hi Resolution, where 2020 was a banner year for the UK artist, with anthems such as "Bassline Terror", "Don't Break It" and "The Fall" (with Nectax) cemented his status within the d 'n' b scene.
Review: Jungle Cakes always tend to put out music that rests on the foundations of UK underground, the cross-over influences of soul, reggae, jungle and D&B. it's always a fresh sound and it always brings up connotations of Boomtown, free parties and sunny afternoons. This is a monster album curated by Aries and Kelvin 373, who have taken tracks both old and new to form a banging compilation. Bou nails it on 'Music Takes Me Higher', a rustic revisit to classic jungle sounds; Aries and Nicky Blackmarket roll things out in a tight way on 'Champion'; and Chimpo slams the brakes on 'DidDieDoThat'. We don't know the answer to that, but we do know this is fat. Big ups.
Review: Boom: new UK singer/songwriter Kaia Vieira follows her early summer-released debut EP with this powerful remix from Kings Of The Rollers' Bladerunner. Switching the smoky, sultry trip-hop flavours of the original into a purring sub-soaked rolling beast, Bladerunner keeps things crisp and roomy allowing more than enough space for Kaia's vocals to soar through as if she wrote the lyrics to D&B in the first place. Don't nobody go nowhere.
Review: Bryan Gee and V Recordings do not mess around. They never have in the past, they're certainly not right now in the present and judging by this highly anticipated Future album, they're going to mess around any time ahead. 25 tracks from some of the biggest, best and baddest names in D&B (Dillina, Serum, Benny L, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Roni Size, DJ Marky, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Bladerunner, Saxxon, the list goes on) this one's been a long, long, long time coming... And it's been well worth the wait. From L-Sides massive remixes of Dillinja and Krust to Need For Mirrors super-revved "Lambo" to Benny L's incredible remix of "Days", this sums up why Bryan and his label are as influential and respected in the game as they are today. Don't mess around.
Review: Following the likes of Ray Keith, Nicky Blackmarket, General Levy and many artists of high don calibre, Dope Ammo and DJ Hybrid are the next to take the controls as Jungle Cakes' Welcome To The Jungle series. As always, the selection digs deep across the board to include classics, absolute bangers that have been criminally forgotten and no less than 10 exclusives made strictly for this album. From the sun-kissed soul and key-tickling evangelist jam "Salvation" to the absolute rave carnage of "What's Going Down", the boys have gone in on this collection maintaining its still spotless reputation as one of the most consistent and prolific mix series available in the genre. Pay close attention to the Jukebox Jungle track, too. This needs your loving.
Review: What a combo: roller king Bladerunner co-signs Newcastle newcomer Nectax with these two crucial collabos on his label Hi Resolution. Both tracks flexing both individual artists sounds, there's a big sweeping sci-fi edge to the basslines; "The Fall" is a little deeper with its soulful vocal, bashy fills and dynamic drops into soaring metallic bass tones while "Badlands" doesn't just blow the doors off, it fells the trees, treats the wood, builds the doors then blows them off again. Savagery of the high collabo order. If Nectax isn't on your radar yet, he ruddy well should be now. Badness.
Review: Oh gosh! Bladerunner touches down with an epic six-track collection on his own Hi Resolution. Running his gully gamut from emotional to electrical to energetical, everything you could possibly need from a Bladerunner EP is right here... The subtle euphoria and piano-touched emotion of "All My Love", the total skin melting sizzles and bassline burns of "Intensity" and the techno-like insistency and dynamism of "Breathe" are just three of many highlights here.
Review: Bladerunner - one of the members of 2018's breakout act Kings of the Rollers - is back on his very own Hi Resolution imprint for a slammer of a four-tracker. His wicked single 'Rolling Fire' is given the VIP treatment in spectacular fashion with a modulating, expansive bass that just flows and flows. The title track is another absolute hitter, those classic Bladerunner head-nodding drums underpinning a viciously long bassline that curls round to hit you in the face. 'Driving Force' is more bass excellence except its drawn out over a stuttering jungle break, while 'Energy Weapon' is exactly that, a reverberating mash of low-frequency energy - what a weapon. Bladerunner is back.
Review: Run Tingz are a Bristol based imprint that seek to project the Bristolian sound all across the U.K. That sound is a hypnotic blend of ragga influences, jungle vibes and rolling, bassy tones of the type that blow up Bristol dancefloors on an almost daily basis. For their Best of 2018 album they've rolled out the big guns for a fat compilation featuring the likes of Bladerunner, Kursiva, Dossa and Brian Brainstorm so you know it's going to be good. 'Sound Killer' by Bladerunner is typical of this; funky, upbeat ragga sampling and sick vocals from Fuchaman with an underpinning of junglist vibes and pulsing basslines. The rest of the album is just as good - go cop it.
Review: Roller King and all-round G Bladerunner returns on his own Hi Resolution imprint with four more fat slammers. "Power Up" is as close to neuro as you'll find the London artist. All rasping and waspish, it's a high voltage scenario from the slippery breaks to the sinewy reese. "The Crazy Dragon" flips the coin for a riffier jam where the bassline provides a strong melodic bullishness to the blend. "Electric Dreams" is the naughtiest monster of the set with its savage distorted reverse bass warps and wry 2000s-era BC stabs. Last but not least "Bulldozer" brings the curtains down with more of a junglised break and a no-nonsense 1.21 gigawatt bass sizzle. Power moves by name, killer moves by nature.
Review: Unofficially the baddest hombre of the KOTR cartel, Bladerunner steps over to his mate Serum's souper imprint for two understated stinker sessions. "48K Soundboy" huffs and heaves with a nicely distorted bassline that's almost guitar-like in its natural strokes and drums that have a live rattled feel (and some ace pitching on the fills) Multiverse, meanwhile, takes us back with a BC style sci-fi aesthetics and a Charge-style stab in the main riff. Impeccable, as always.
Review: DJ SS's Formation Records needs no introduction: the longest standing drum & bass imprint of all time, it's been responsible for early releases from so many artists - Nero, Camo & Krooked, John B, G-Dub, The Prototypes and so many more have all come through its ranks. Now preparing us for its landmark 200th release, Bladerunner's "Flying Technique" follows Drumsound & Bassline Smith's "The World Ain't Ready" with some serious ninja naughtiness; a sizzling bassline, barbed wire beats and some deft spoken word samples, it's classic understated Bladerunner.
Review: Selector! Jungle Cakes' Welcome To The Jungle series welcomes a bonafide legend to the controls: Ray Keith. Digging deep across the board he's put together over 40 killer tracks from an obscene rollcall: Serum, Vital, Dillinja, Bladerunner, Margaman, T>I, DJ Hybrid, Turno, Filthy Habits, Ed Solo, Deekline and many many more artists are responsible for the savage soul and badman bounce on offer as we're rattled and shaken from pillar to post. From the naughty ragga skanks and turbo reverse bass lashes of Deekline & Ed Solo's "Hot This Year" to Ray's very own seminal "Chopper" via Bladerunner's evergreen breezer "Jungle Jungle" via two mixes and 10 FX tools, this is one of Jungle Cakes' tastiest ever projects to date. Big up the Dark Soldier
Review: Well well well... What a way to kick off a new year: Modified Sonics sees the entire Critical troop go to town on each other's work and celebrate the label's 15+ year contribution to the game. No stone unturned, no shoe unthrown; from long-demanded VIPs such as Emperor's sharp update on "Infrasound" and Mefjus's VIP of "Disrupted" come well-deserved re-ups of classics such as Binga's fuzzy take on Serum & Bladerunner's "Who Jah Bless", Benny L's gut-troubling twist of Enei's "Mosquito" and a crucial twist of Rockwell's breakthrough gamechanger "Underpass" from none other than Perez. With loads more dopeness from the likes of QZB, Hyroglifics, Klax and many more, this is one of the best V/A albums Critical have ever put together. Essential.
Review: Roller King and all round jungle don, Bladerunner returns to his Hi Resolution imprint with four more blinding slices of timelessness. "Forever" sets the pace with the classic rolling breaks and psychedelic synth tendrils wafting through the soundscape, "Sub Lo" strips things right back to the bare bones with clapping snares and a grainy one-note bass wobbles while "High Pressure" scorches with a high voltage space-bound bassline and a heads-down tunnelling groove. Finally "Turbo Boost" closes the EP with a vibe that more than lives up to its name... Absolutely savage. Bladerunner doesn't mess around mate.