Review: Clawhammer let rip into 2016 with a deadly dail-turning cranking collection. As always with Jamah and Carl-Lee's imprint, it's an uncompromised affair with focus squared strictly on the darker side... First up, Aweminus & Danger pay homage where it counts on "Get Ya Respect" while Indiekai's "Monsta Skank" jumps wildly on some fine-tuned two-steps and a slippery alien bassline. Bou's "Bounty Bar" is the quirkiest jam of the set with its old school pads, sirens, JB-style soul cry, warhead shakers and off-beat squelcher bassline while Nightfang lays down a "Work For Nothing" style halftime workout. Finally Dub General provides the roller of the set with a bullet-busting groaner. Shots fired!
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: 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: 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: 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.
Review: Bou-Tanging, banger-flinging, vibe-smashing upstart Bou has amassed a serious body of work over the last two years. Now making his Wobble Infection debut with another comprehensive, widescreen EP, it showcases even more vibes and styles than he's previously shown. "Donut" and is a fine example - silky and restrained, it's a deeper side to the gully professor you might expect. Elsewhere we get perfect soul/savage counterpoint on "Purple" while "Pot Of Gold" is an exercise in bass designs and "Last Chance" lulls gently before a sneering but carefully tamed bass drone sweeps your feet. "Depth" brings us to a fitting end as Endo writes D&B the love letter we've all wanted to write but could never find the right words.
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: Across the full spectrum of bass music, you will be hard pressed to find a more dedicated and hard working MC and brand owner as Bru-C. Alongside the fantastic response to his new single with Charlie P, he teams up with CruCast here to unveil four fantastic rethinks of last year's summer smash: 'You & I'. First up, Bou arrives on the scene for an atmospheric roller-inspired rethink, before Notion steps up for rave-rejuvenating 4x4 overhaul. From here, Shapes gets involved with a seriously nostalgic organ-led garage incarnation, with a very unexpected acoustic version of the track seeing us out in time to tick all the boxes. Excellent work as per from the Nottingham native.
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: "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.
Dispoze & Bou - "Know What Ur Doing" - (4:26) 175 BPM
Dispoze - "Recording" - (4:23) 175 BPM
Dispoze - "Yeah" - (3:46) 180 BPM
Dispoze - "Like This" - (4:26) 175 BPM
Review: Self-styled Dirty Latvian Dispoze continues to deliver bass funk of ridiculous proportions. This time he's cashing in his Euros against the weak Brexit-bashed pound with serious added value on Fatman Dee's Young Guns. Ranging from the piano-laced "Recording" to the stranger bass harmonic bass manipulations of "Yeah" (which sound like a young Supreme Being) by way of the horn-tickled bass stepper "Like This", Dispoze ensures you won't be disposing of his tracks from your set any time soon.
Review: Clawhammer return for more madness with Manchester lad Dutta and the hard to pin down Bou, two fresh faces added to their growing repertoire. Mixing funky little melodic samplings with the filthiest bass he can get his hands on, Dutta rakes up the filth in "Optical". On the flip, Bou takes a rap-fuelled rampage around tweaked bass and jump-up stepping sensibilities. Two massive crowd pleasers from two up and coming producers.
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: 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: The Dirty Latvian strikes again! This time he's in major league collabo mode: Jack The Ripper brings out some stark contrasts as the rasping jump-up riff drops into an emotional breakdown. Basstripper brings out the lazer bass and gritty triplets and mild jazz tones while Bou brings out a reversed trippiness to Kenji's bass. Deeper again "Born In It" sees Kenji going solo with a pointed, punctuated bass cascase while the final collabo sees him getting all jagged and darked out with Dispoze. Total tag team terror.
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: Home is where the heat is: G13 rally up troops old and new for a straight up sesh of UK heaviness. Co-boss Rowney takes the lead with the savage "Still On It", setting the scene for the new breed to smash down. Bou, Leaf & Dutta go all jazzy and harmonic on "Waterfall", Niterider gets all low-swung and switchy with "Fire Emoji", Jammin brings the mystic pressure with "Marijuana", Salvage gets classic with the cymbal-crashing, bass-mashing grunter "Don't Stop" while newblood Tringy finishes on the spooked-out wobbler "Poltergeist". Stinking.
Review: It's about time drum & bass made a statement about dangers of drugs, and who'd have thought it would be a pair of killers to do it' "Dealerz" gets high on its own supply with uncut grit and danger while "Jitterbug" warns of the tragic after effects of narcotics as you won't stop shifting and skanking for weeks. Elsewhere they foretell the dangers of the herb with the menacing, staccato bassline bruising "Ganja Man", the perilous problems with euphoria and goosebumps on "Feeling You" and send us off to rehab with the savage organ-squeezing, robot pleasing twisted laser bass crescendo "Through The Clouds" Just say yes mate.
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: 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!
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: It's that time of year again! The scene's longest-standing platform Drum&BassArena step up with their annual flagship album and once again it's a fitting salute to all corners, all shades and all styles of the rich, wide scene. 60 tracks deep comprising absolute bangers and bliss-outs from the likes of Chase & Status, Noisia & Phace, K-Motionz, Rockwell, DJ Hybrid, GLXY and Seba, it's also home to exclusives from Kyrist, Brookes Brothers, Bou & Simula, Kanina, Kove and A.M.C & Turno. From jungle to jump-up, liquid to dancefloor and complete with three killer mixes for life when you're not practicing your double/triple/quadruple drops, Drum&BassArena continue to celebrate the widest possible scene.
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: Three words: "Police In Helicopter"... One of the biggest dubplates last year is finally here, and it's joined by 24 other exceptional bangers as the Hozzy team roll out another absurd stack of "Sick" freshness from across the board. Genuinely on point tune for tune highlights include Pete Cannon's outstanding drumfunk lash out "Ella", Flava D's first D&B tune (the breath taking "Return To Me"), a bone shaking duet from the next gen gems Unglued and Bou ("Ascendant Man"), both Fred V & Grafix's first solo tunes since they split and an absolute neck breaking gully snapper from Lakeway in the form of "War Dub". And that's just scratching the surface, this is a humungous V/A album. Hot enough to burn down a cane field or two...