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.
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: 25 years and seven albums deep: Blu Mar Ten still have something important to say. With a barbed dystopian feel laced throughout the atmospheres, here we find the trio stepping back and contemplating on some of their finest motifs: the rough, slightly unfinished edge of tracks like "Rollcage", "Titans" and "Empire State"; their silkier, star-gazing introspective stance on tracks like "Forest Fire" and "Fall From Grace" and their widescreen, filmic narratives such as "Immortal Beloved" and "Delirium". Stunning, rolling and laced in soul; you could easily argue this to be Blu Mar Ten's best album so far. Yes, it's that good.
Review: Hospital Records do compilations better than most, partly because there's always something for them to celebrate. This time around it's the second year of Hospitality in the Beach, their new 4 day exercise in beach-based beats, featuring some of the best artists in the game. A huge album, the LP has 33 tracks - 25 of which are brand spanking new. Whiney's remix of Etherwood's 'Begin By Letting Go' is a highlight, the original's smoothness roughly transformed into a pummelling display of techy force. With Bou, Kasra, BOP and others making an appearance, this LP has all bases covered.
Review: 21 years old. How about that then? Some of us were barely out of nappies when London Elektricity first launched the imprint, some of us remember like it was yesterday. Either way, we are all united under the big flouro H and right now they're celebrating their coming of age with a humungous 70 track collection. Yes, 70! Each cut handpicked to represent the London imprint's constantly evolving but always soul-touched and groove-laden sound are 24 exclusives such as Urbandawn's insane version of Reso's "Taiga", Fred V & Grafix's titanium colab with Metrik "Tension", Serum & Inja's already-massive "Blow Dem" and Whiney's remix of TC's chop-slapping "Storm Brew". Massive. Happy birthday Hospital!