Review: Hot Gossip business: man of the moment Bou returns to his label with two more blazing originals. So bubbly, funky and made to mix; 'Camels' goes toe-to-toe with some of the best Bristol bassline jams of all time. 'Overthinking', in the meantime, features Bou's main mic man Haribo with some purring provocative words of wisdom... Don't wait for someone to blow to show support, show some love.
Review: Who's got the hairiest toes in the scene? Which dnb DJ is a secret dogger? Which MC makes the best cup of tea? We don't know about that type of gossip but we do know about Gossip - Bou's brand new label. It kicks off with this cheek-slappingly cheeky track 'Cous Cous'. Classic Bou with its baggy funk and sense of mischief, the instrumental is straight up fire already but with Inja adding his smiley twist, it's a straight up volcano. Tasty. Tune in for more hot gossip very soon.
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: This compilation arrives with a rich heritage of V Recordings compilations behind it, and Planet V has for a number of years been the flagship series for Bryan Gee's label. Edition four comes to a whopping 73 tracks and includes a mix as well, and all the familiar V faces are present, from Alibi to Paul t & Edward Oberon. All of the tunes have already seen the light of day in a previous form, and Disrupta and Duskee's 'Deep Thoughts' is one of the standouts, as Disrupta lays down a minimal yet funky beat for Duskee to rap lyrical over, something he does with serious presence. New gun SL8r makes several appearances, including on the excellent 'What U Need', which bounces along in a synthscape of serious depth and texture, its funky nodes nodding to the beat of a vintage blend. Crossover outfit Think Tonk also shine with 'Tom & Heavy', an offering unique in its stepping, breaksy percussion and one which oozes soulful class. There are dozens more to have a gander at, so take your pick.
Review: Reload and come again: our 'Juno Download Selects' edition with the mighty US dnb HQ Liondub International continues for another session. Once again featuring an A-list rollcall of now household names, it's another reminder of how much heat Liondub International have cooked up over the years, supporting artists from their earliest moves. Highlights on this set include the turbo slammage and necksnap switches on Jayline's 'Anglo Saxxon', early hurly burly from the man like Macky on 'Black Widow' and the always-devilish bubbles of Motiv's 'Vultures'. And that's just three of 15 crucial example's of Liondub International future-focused benchmark. Get to know!
Review: Link-up, look smart; we've connected with one of the most exciting labels in dnb for a collection of their biggest hitters, rising stars and highest sellers: Liondub International. Headed up by Eric Liondub in NYC, Liondub International have broken and nurtured more new talent than most put together, and these first few volumes showcase. First up come these 15 examples as the likes of Kumo, Bou, Jayline, DJ Hybrid, Saxxon and many more all deliver timeless heaters. Highlights include Sub Killaz' broadsword skank-up 'Murderah', Brian Brainstorm's junglised slash-up 'Kill A Drumpan' and Bladerunner & Johnny Osbourne's ever-sweet 'Night Fall Dub'. All this and plenty more; whether you've been following Liondub since day or you're new to their consistent onslaught, there's plenty to catch up on here. Selector!
Review: Put some money in their hands! Bou and Trigga's already massive 'Veteran' gets the VIP treatment and it's finally ready for us mere mortals. Classic Bou roughhouse bassline funk, signature story telling from a true Manchester OG, delivered on one of the most on-point labels in the game right now; there's a reason 'Veteran' hit the spot so succinctly in the first place. This VIP makes sure the spot remains hit for a long time to come. Start with your lyrics, sing for your song.
Review: V Recordings sublabel Chronic has developed a reputation for putting out beats that are even more venomous than its big sister, and their long-standing rollers series is getting a beef up with the fourth instalment. Featuring a litany of acts from a range of eras and a diversity of styles, Chronic Rollers Vol. 4 is a perfect addition to the arsenal of any DJ. 'Blindspot' from Nectax blends a soulful sample with an oscillating warp of juddering bass energy; Mancunian upstart SL8R gets subby and rolling with 'Roundabout'; and Brazilian label long-timers Alibi roll things out tidily on 'Sentinel'. Banging.
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: Liondub are celebrating a decade of existence and they're doing a three-part compilation series covering the past, present and future of the label. By definition, then, these series' feature plenty of talent from all across the spectrum and time period of the genre. One of our favourite of the 26 cuts is Bou's VIP of Keep Away, a deliciously double-bass infused number that is both funky and heavy, the ideal combination, and he's flipped up the arrangement here with some precisely placed note changes. There are also features from Vital, Euphonique, Dutta, Marcus Visionary and more, with the overall vibe being one of toughness and power. Top stuff.
Review: Lion Dub have reached a decade of activity. A decade! To put it in perspective, if someone was born the year Liondub started, they're about to enter high school/secondary school. It's a crazy achievement and one matched by the craziness of the music they have on offer to celebrate, a four-part journey through their past, present and future. This instalment is all about their past and it's exemplified best by Serum's VIP of Sound The Alarm, a Liondub classic, which Serum has flipped into a characteristically badboy, stabbing little roller. The vocals float above in a haze of reggae smoke, whilst the beat pulsates below. Awesome stuff.
Review: There's no stopping Manchester's Bou right now. If he's not slapping us silly on the likes of Critical, or whipping us with one-offs on Hospital he's, drenching us in thick gloopy gully on Serum and Benny V's Souped Up. Following the heat of his "Habibi" EP last year, "Scorpion" comes with the sting its name suggests. It's backed up by the devilishly cheeky Trigga-fronted "Veteran" before he links up with Serum for "Superstar", a warm bouncy riffy cut that's crying for an Inja-style MC topline. Finally we hit "Spook". Recently spotted in the sets of both Noisia and Skrillex, need we say more? All say 'woo' for Bou
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: 2018 is the second year in a row that Critical Music dropped a surprise release for us on Christmas Day, 2017 seeing the Modified Sonics album full of VIPs and exclusive remixes. New Energy Vol.1, however, is a totally different deal and that's because it's 18 brand new, exclusive tunes from those deep inside the Critical camp and those just entering it. The whole roster is represented: Kasra, Enei, Mefjus, Emperor, Foreign Concept, The Upbeats - and so on. But, excitingly, there's new talent in the form of Bou, Synth Ethics, Simula, Kanine and more. Mefjus' remix of 'Projections' arguably takes the cake as the best tune on here - absolute murderation. This is Critical's statement of intent for 2019.
Sub Killaz X Bou X Dutta - "Jitterbug" - (4:49) 175 BPM
Review: Digital Terror galvanise their vaults with this absolute stormer of a collection. Bulging with some of the biggest names flexing in the fertile badlands between jump up / rollers, the whole album smacks of premium, uncut timeless D&B from the likes of Hoogs, Bou, Dutta, T>I, Taxman, Macky Gee, Rawtee and many many more. If you've been following Digital Terror you'll already know that every track is a highlight but stand out thumpers include the sinewy metallic ripples on Danger & Nightfang's "Turbulence", the blistered breaks and flabby bass wallops on Dutta & Raz's "Spectacular" and T>I's super slimy shakedown of Hoogs' "Jungle Bad". Stinking!
Review: Quick quick call a doctor, Bou's been so busy rinsing the year out with some of the finest stinkers and rollers he's gone and caught himself a cheeky flu. Hotter than a set of twin ladies, "Fever" licks and tickles with a warm purring harmonic bass texture that's not dissimilar to a young Clipz and some wafting jazz pianos. "Only One" continues the rolling funk feels with a tubular bassline, subtle jazz samples and even more space around the elements. Rinse and repeat for a clean bill of health.
Review: American bass label Digital Terror is back, after impressive releases by Pish Posh, Sub Killaz and Dutta. 2018 has proven to be a landmark year for the NYC/LA joint venture - pushing a slew of hard hitting tunes from the drum'n'bass landscape, while supporting both new and established artists alike. Always one to combine forces and create its own identity beyond the average, the collaborative projects in DTR's back catalogue sport some heavyweight combinations and the latest pairing of Eazy and Bou leaves no warning. From the wonky "The Shimada Clan" which is reminiscent of classic DJ Zinc, the gnarly techstep shenanigans of "Snakes & Blaggers" or "Karate" (Eazy Remix) featuring the most razor sharp sub-bass we've heard all year - all killer, no filler.
Review: Bou & Dutta's Diamond Audio cuts through the noise with laser like charm on their latest V/A collection. A signature since the label's launch last year, this is their most supersized batch to date as it includes more fresh names and a full spectrum of underground styles; the footwork pace of Aesthetics opener "Questions", Bou's barking groaner "Frequencies", Jeopardize's matchless trippy funk stepper "Contemporary", Leaf's wonky woodblock knocks and freaky funk on "Watch It" and MelloDrama's hospitalizing space stepper "Thrill" are just some of the many album highlights. Shiny shiny.
Review: Manchester is fizzing with new-gen bassmiths right about now, and Niterider is leading from the front. Joining him on his first Cre8 EP is fellow Manny mandem Bou who kicks off with the wild reggae fusion on "Tumble Weed", elsewhere we see the 'Rider get mean with a waspy Q&A on "Fame" then pure savage with the rattling techy jumpy hybrid "The Niterider". Finally we head south to Kettering for a grimey alien shockout with Meladee. Watch the ride.
Review: Badman Bou is in the house! Making his debut on Serum's impeccable label Souped Up label, it's nothing but four tracks of absolute sonic lava. "Mankind" is all drone and no moan as a metallic bass textures scrapes itself over some slinked-out rolling breaks, "Higher" sees him teaming up with Current Value (who he actually inspired to write a whole album without realising) for a technoid pumper with venomous springy stabs, "It's A Trap" is all about the rubber ball bass shots and flagrant cheekiness before "No Love" bids us adieu with another powerful tunnelling metallic bass drone. Lovely stuff.
Review: "Rejected" is a banging, nu-era d&b melter that's taken Audio Massacre onto the map for good. The tune has been swimming around our charts and, as expected, is now being mashed up by all of the label's top signings and new recruits! "Colluda" strips down the bass and fires off some sharp angles on his mix, Bou goes for the minimalistic digi-jungle flex, Nightfang spins the rhythm into a half-step lurker, Magness is all about the liquid vibes on his version, and Illament provides some much needed wobble to the equation. For fans of modern Playaz sounds, and the foundational work by DJ Hazard.
Review: Launched at the end of 2015, Kent based Profound Beats is still very much in its infancy as an imprint, but this five track EP from Bou featuring his regular collaborator Dutta shows they're ready to play with the big kids. This EP is massive! 'Ganster Whistle' will have you pulling all types of bass faces while bussin' the one foot skank, trust us it's not optional the low end is just magnetic. 'Landscape' is one of those tracks that really stands out in a set, its distinguishing feature is it's high pitch, modern jump up melodic pattern, but the metalic, gritting grind between the bars brings something fresh. "New Beginnings' is our favourite track of the release, it's all about that pulsating low end. 'For The Moment' is stripped back dancefloor, cowbells, train horns and a dirty sub. 'Midnight' builds with a head bobbing, clapping and tapping drum pattern, but the glory of this track comes with melody, it's fun and party ready.
Review: If you only buy one drum and bass EP this week, it should 100% be this one. There is something for everyone, we tried to pick highlight but we just can't, each track is so different and so good it would be nigh on impossible to come up with a fair comparison. 'Back 2 Basics' is like nothing we've ever heard the little piano section is amazing and completely juxtaposed to the rest of the dancefloor track. While 'Freeze' is a creepy techy roller with sharp highs and waves off metallic sounding subs. 'Not Going Down' is just, for want of a better word, an absolute banger. The vocal paired with the almost vertical drop is breathtakingly good.
Review: Here's the 411... Say some gangster is dissing your taste in drum & bass, just give them one of these bangers. Yes, the ever-creative (and hugely prolific) Bou has shown us that drum & bass truly has Moe limits if you're coming from the right place. Other highlights across the epic six-track spread include the necksnap breaks and death frog bass texures on "Blame It", the percussive-focussed riff on "Time & Place" and the hornets' nest bassline that buzzes murderously on "Clash". Arguably one of Bou's best EPs to date.