Review: Harry Reader aka BlckHry, who some of you may know for his killer remix of "That Girl", returns for his second project on London-based Bagged & Tagged,, this time around featuring a weighty collaboration with Magenta titled "Bring It Back". The title track is a gnarly stepper that means serious business, the deeper vibe of "Love" is a more evocative vocal led cut, while more techstep awaits on "Got Too" and closing it out with the grime-infused roller "Our World".
Jack Jackal & BlckHry - "My Ting Freestyle" - (1:53) 178 BPM
Review: Next up from the Bar:Rage Digital team, BlckHry is back in action with four sizzling new creations, exploring the more raucous side of the D&B spectrum. We begin with 'Hypnosis', a weighty title track driven by twisting melodic leaps and gnarly synth pulses, leading into the more roller-influenced arrangements of 'The Sun', focussing heavily on extended reese growls and haunting atmospherics. Next, the horns of war are sounded on 'Set Me Free' as heated synthesizer growls are let off the leash atop a bed of speaker-busting subs, before Jack Jackal joins the party for a wicked outro on 'My Ting Freestyle', adding a nice vocal touch over the top of 'Hypnosis' to push the EP's potential to it's full limit. Wicked work!
Review: The second part of Subway Soundz's Back to the Future album is here and ready to transport you to a different timezone by way of a sonic punch to the ears. They've brought in the entire crew for this one and the list is exhaustive, with artists from Puppetz to Tomoyoshi all digging deep into their jump-up filled Mary Poppins bags. Alphaze and Runnah's 'The Sound' is the album at its best, as a pounding percussive lead reaches into your soul and pulls it out your ears via a crashing, relentless concoction of bass stabs and skipping energy. Blackhry's 'Both' is scarred and torn in its approach, whilst Klay's 'Edo Tensei' is possibly the most creative on the album, with a clever use of space and a booming bassline. Wicked.
Review: Balls-out business from brand new southwest label 8Ball as they roll upwards and onwards from free downloads to proper official releases with this killer collection from Pyro, his nearest and dearest and remixers Mentah and Warhead. 'Grit' balances the rough with the smooth as a sizzling bassline rips through a beautiful trance-like arpeggio. Elsewhere Pick N Mix don Blckhry links up with the rubber ball bassline funk of 'Bad' and the remixers go all in... Warhead turbo charges the dancehall blazed 'System Corrupt' while Mentah brings some classic late 2000s jump up roughness into the mix. Bunch of ballers.
Review: Pick N Mix need no introduction. Sticky fingers, stinky bangers; TJ's imprint is at the very forefront of dnb's exciting new generation. Now they raise the game once again, amplifying their message with arguably the most important album in the genre this year: 'The Black Excellence' is 100% created by artists and creatives of colour from the artwork to activation and it slams down any question of lack of diversity in the game. Featuring the likes of Amplify, BLCKHRY, Dilligent Fingers, Kyst Cortez and so many more, it runs the entire range of sounds from deep and soulful ('Be Free') to dark and slinky ('Settle') to savage and rasping ('Legion') and reflects how exciting and wide-range the dnb sound is when it comes from a diverse place. More albums like this, please.
Review: How deep is your love for BLCKHRY right now? If the answer is anything but 'very' or 'as deep as the Mariana Trench, mate' then you need to do some serious soul searching. One of the most prolific and consistent members of the Pick N Mix family, he's defied the curse of 2020 with a continuous slew of gritty, stripped-back hitters. 'How Deep' is no exception as we're bumped and blasted from b-line to b-line across this massive six track EP. Highlights include the twisted riffcraft, classic vocal lick and harmonic suspense of 'Mine', the energy and dark vibrancy of 'How Deep' and the absolute gutter funk of 'Check'. And that's just half of this release. Time to dig deep!
Review: Pick N Mix: A place where full fat variety comes as standard and you're guaranteed to leave with a blazing sugar high and the stickiest fingers imaginable. Since launching last year they've been responsible for a whole barrage of on-point fire jams from the most exciting names in the new-gen D&B movement and for their 10th release they've levelled up the selection in a major way. 20 fresh tracks from 20 killer new talents, the vibes here are so palpable you could chew them. Highlights include the techno-like insistency and of Alex SLK's "Gorillaz", savage tear-out in the form of Vital's "The Game", Zoro's Dread-bass warp wonder session "Buss It", Magenta's MC-fronted bash-about "Purpose", the list goes on and on. Sweet!
Review: Bites have absolutely bloody killed it with this one. Featuring 4 cuts from Blckhry, Kendrick, Dispute and Spyraxx, New Generation is a collection of pure, gully rollers that all sit comfortably within the scene trends at the moment and which aim to show off the new talent on the label. All four of these could be talked about it in detail, but 'Bite' by Blckhry stands out for the sheer audacity of its bass, a wobbling, pulsating wall of energy that pushes out into all corners of the range. 'Filthy Animal' by Dispute is also top stuff, with a wonderfully solid percussive line and a grungy, gargling back end that'll have any head screwing their face up. Bangers!
Review: With some cool, dark, artwork, Blckhry has landed on On Point Audio with a hard-hitting five-tracker which combines a penetrating sense of attitude with a non-nonsense approach to musical arrangements. 'Method' has an warped-out, Souped Up vibe in its arrangement that feels powerful to the extreme and is perfect for a crowded dancefloor, especially with its underpinning in some weighty percussion. 'Don't Know' is the roller of the EP and grounded in wobbly atmospherics and a sense of space which makes it a pleasure to listen to, its snapping drum line providing the ground rock underneath. Yes boys.
Review: Liondub International's 10 year celebrations continue with a sense-shocking body slam into the future of the label and its ever-growing family of talented artists. Hitting hard like the label's ever-on-point Street Series, the rollcall reads like a who's who in gully talent: Dutta, Bou, Jayline, Vital, BlckHry and loads more. Whether you want to be completely twisted and spat back out by a brass section (Pharoah's "Fire In The Hole") you'd prefer to be hoovered by a jet engine then shot up into the stars (Jayline's "1408") or you're more into the idea of being rattled around in a big tin bassline can (Danny The WildChild's "Body Moves") this future shock has every physical experience contemporary (but heavily rooted) drum & bass can offer. And there's even more to come. Big up Liondub!
Dub Sense - "Hood Flow" (feat MC Mel) - (5:23) 175 BPM
Krom & System - "Crackpot" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Review: Logikz Audio are building up a name for themselves as a label who never fail to bring out the big guns with their music. It's always heavy, hard-hitting and built on soundscapes and vibes which are deeply urban. The first track on this VP is no different and it kicks off with 'How We Do', a punchy roller with a bassline that stretches out over the horizon, the only constant being its grinding, coarse nature and the manner in which it constantly mutates and evolves. 'Twisted' is equally as rough but less rolling and more stepping, its structure and nature constantly changes, and it keeps the tune sounding consistently fresh. The rest of the EP is absolute vibes too.
Review: BLCKHRY is one of those artists with a low-key fantastic back-catalogue and after a bit of a slow-down in terms of output, he's back on Pick N Mix with a fierce EP that shows off some serious production skills. 'BOP' is one of the stronger tracks, an expansive, growing number that starts in small pieces and gradually puts itself together, each synth sounds wicked and the combination of all of them is next level. 'Cream' is very creative and has a unique rhythmic structure that some won't like but that others will love and regardless, it's a top-level cut to round out the release. Yes mate!
Review: Latch Recordings have sensibly opted to put out a compilation to kick off the new year. Why's this sensible? Because everyone bloody loves compilations, even the small ones like New School Collection. This collection of some of the talents in the emerging jump up new school is big (obviously), exemplified best by Tribal's 'Movements', a rip-roaring display of the novel styles emerging in this strand of the scene. The other three also do the movement justice - big stuff from the Latch crew.
Review: Hyrdrated Audio have clearly decided that they're going to grab 2019 by the horns and do everything they can to make this year the year that their imprint makes it. You can tell the extent of their determination from the precision with which they've curated this various artists compilation and the mix of vibes and quality is top notch. The opening tune from Metal Work says it all, a rolling grater of chopped-up bass synths that'll pace out its competitors. A favourite of ours is Skeng by Raptcha, another lovely rolling number that flips your expectations on its head with a flow of creativity - big tune. Make sure to check out the full comp - wicked stuff.
Review: Any release that starts with a drum-line as solid as Ain't Playin does is an instant win in our books. It's the pounding monotony of those opening drums that defines this EP; relentless, forceful; constant; dirty. 'Charlie Hustle' has a lovely feel of movement to it, its synths are rock-solid and the sample is a nice tough. 'Let's Go' manages to cram an even wider snare into the mix, a heavy underpinning that carries its gasping bass synths all the way through. 'Ain't Playing' has an air of Bou about it, a tight little melody wraps around the drums in a purely satisfying manner whilst another top-notch sample provides the suspense. 'Do You Think' ties up the release in an angular, pointed fashion, it's jagged synths perhaps not the kindest on your ears but no doubt smashing in the rave.