Review: Man like Break returns to balance our souls with fresh new material on Symmetry. 'Don't You Worry' is classic Break. Understated, oozing soul and funk and underpinned with the bubbliest bassline this side of the Matey Bubble Bath factory, it's reminiscent of his work on his old album 'Resistance'. For his second track Break flips the vibe entirely for another classic example of his sonic footprint. This time on a much more tense and heavy late night vibe, 'Minimus' is all pneumatic steps and high voltage sizzles and utter carnage when dropped at the right time. Big up Break you absolute badman.
Review: Jungle Cakes shake us and bake us once again as label owners Deekline and Ed Solo lure long time friend Benny Page into their lair for this incredible 58 track collection. Created as a mix but all tunes available for your own persy armouries, as always with the 'Welcome To The Jungle' series, we're treated to sounds and styles across the entire dnb spectrum. Expected everything ranging from Benny's own bubblers to more dancefloor styles such as Blaine Stranger's 'Dragon' and Octo-Pi's 'This Sound' via rugged jump-up uppercuts such as Lockerz 'The Funk', crucial jungle licks like Exposure's remix of DeJay's 'St Paul's Jammin' and pure futurism like Filip Motovunski's 'Ninja'. And this isn't even the tip of the jungle iceberg here, there's so much to digest here. Huge.
Review: Break is back on his own Symmetry Recordings and it's the label where he's normally at his usual best, which, in this case, amounts to a storming two-tracker torn between a ritualistic sacrifice to the dancefloor on one hand a drilling, penetrating minimal cut on the other. The first, 'Never Say Never', is absolutely classic Break, with a pitch-perfect set of rolling drums that stretch out underneath a corker of a bassline, a call-and-response line which flips between jagged steps and twisting, bending tones. The flip is stripped back and based around percussion which tunnels into your consciousness, and Break has nailed the repetitive element. Classic Break - unmissable.
Review: There are few things as exciting as a new Break LP dropping into the inbox. That tangible feeling of excitement is made all the more intense by the knowledge that any new music from the Bristol-based master is 99.9% certain to be incredible. Dusty Demos is no different, and it says a lot about Break that even his discarded music from years gone by is still right up there with the best of it. The tracks in this album span 2003 to 2012, and one of the earliest is 'Super Blue' feat. Mark System, who gets involved in a luxurious, lounging piece of music that's at its best in its crisp percussive highs and swelling, summertime pads. 'All In' from 2006 is foreboding as hell and packed with movement, whilst 2007's 'Take Me There' is possibly the dirtiest tune on the whole EP, with a torn bassline that moves in furious gestures. It's classic Break that spans the whole stylistic and temporal spectrum - unmissable.
Review: Does it get more legendary than DLR and Break? Not really, to be honest, and the pair have honed their rough yet precise, energetic dancefloor sound over a decade plus of hard work. DLR's Sofa Sound label has carved out its stylistic niche with aplomb since it was launched and this single is bang on the money, with the man himself dropping a single that's just as good as you'd expect. Break features on the a-side - 'Hit The Target'- which layers deeply satisfying rolling percussion over a choppy, jump-up infused bassline which oozes character and funk, an extremely hard balance to pull off and one that's been perfected here. They've also managed to incorporate the sounds of the German Stuka dive bomber from WW2, the instantly recognisable siren from which injects that extra element of aggression and fear. The b-side is even more venomous, with a spiralling bassline that twists in the knife with every turn, angled in its sharp edges and moody in its attitude. Unbelievable, Geoff.
Review: The most recent tune to get online D&B heads' knickers in a twist... Break has taken his beautiful 2018 GQ collaboration 'Whispers In My Ear' and given it a big droney bass twist. Switching the slinkiness for pure greasiness, it's Break on his darkest flex. He's in good company, too as Break & Total Science's 'Dogs Dinner' gets a total tearing up from man like Mefjus. The results speak for themselves. Give the dogs a bone!
Review: You might have seen people in the scene expressing certain emotions during the last few months over a certain promo, and it's all down to this single from Dillinja's newly resurgent Valve Recordings. You'll already have see lots of commentary extolling the hype over Break's remix of 'Hard Noize' and so we won't repeat the spiel too much here, but let's just say it's a certain to be a highlight of 2020. The flipside -- 'Tubes' -- would be just as praised if it didn't have such a famous sibling to contend with, and it's another absolute spanker from Break. An unbelievable return single for Valve.
Review: Break's Another Way album set the bar once more, as his albums always do, and now we're in the throes of its long-awaited remix project. The first single is courtesy of Workforce and Skeptical, two of the hottest producers in the game, who have both remixed Edge of Time and City Slickers respectively. The former has been spaced up from its original raw self into something much more celestial, more synthetic. It's still organic sounding but now packs much more of a punch. Skeptical has done what he does best and rolled out the original across a techy canvas of monotony and sheer grit, his penchant for simplicity shining through in spectacular fashion. Unreal.
Review: Total Science's CIA take a moment for reflection as they look back over the decades of hard service they've done and cherry pick a few old gold favourites. As with previous Select Files collections, the range is widescreen and full of authentic, timeless, honest D&B. You want highlights? You best start going through every track... Everything from Calibre's 2009 snarling bongo-buster "Understand" to some of S.P.Y's earliest cuts such as "Dark Age" and "Magic Hour" and the VIP of Total Science's evergreen ballistic rave weapon "Defcom 69" still hits the spot like they did the first time round. Get selective.
Review: What a release this is. Coming from the vaults of Break, it's unsurprising that Symmetry's summer compilation has turned out to be such a standout collection of tracks, I mean just look at that tracklist: Lenzman, LSB, Break and more. Break's 'I Need You' has been doing the rounds in mixes and sets for a little while now and it's great to see it released, the simplicity of the sample and structure is shows that less can often be more and Break is the king of finding that balance. Lenzman's remix of Ill Truth's In My Soul is a well-made rework of an already fantastic original, its revamped drums injecting the Amsterdam flavour. Again, simple is best and this release proves that.
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: I don't think there's anyone in the world who is a good enough person to deserve the music Break gives us. We're all bad people compared to his tunes and his newest album - Another Way - is arguably his best work to date, a rip-roaring adventure through rolling beats, funk influences and UK dub culture. Featuring vocals from Cleveland Watkiss and Kyo and production features from Total Science and DLR, it's a whos-who of D&B as well as a masterclass in how to make it. 'Last Goodbye' with Celestine kicks off the LP with funk-based energy; 'Keepin It Raw' does just that; MC GQ whispers in your ear on 'Whispers in You Ear'; Total Science collab on possibly the highlight of the whole album with 'Dogs Dinner'; and 'Take Me Away' injects some lighter, liquid-based sanity. An absolutely stunning voyage through the best that D&B has to offer - Break has done it again.
Alix Perez - "Down The Line" (feat MC Fats) - (6:27) 172 BPM
JO - "R-Type" - (5:51) 174 BPM
Subwave - "Think" - (5:58) 175 BPM
Shogun Audio Presents: The Classics (2004-2017) (continuous DJ mix) - (57:08) 174 BPM
Review: When a label as consistent and as well rounded as Shogun Audio announce a 'Classics' release it obviously sends shivers around the drum & bass community. It's hard to imagine condensing thirteen years of dominance into a minimized box of thirty classics, but just looking at the tracklisting is awe-inspiring. We see classic reappearances from the likes of Friction, Spor, Break, Icicle, Rockwell, Spectrasoul, Alix Perez, Camo & Krooked and that's not even half of the names involved. To break it down simply, this compilation summarizes why Shogun hold such a legendary status within the scene, through incredible consistency and magnificent diversity of sound.
Randall & Ben Soundscape - "Nightfall" - (6:21) 175 BPM
Superior Selectionz - "Halcyon" (VIP mix) - (5:08) 174 BPM
Ben Soundscape - "Focus On You" - (5:38) 174 BPM
Joakuim - "Pale Ale Citizens" - (4:53) 173 BPM
Larigold - "Don't Wanna Stay" - (5:16) 170 BPM
Review: Happy birthday Intrigue! They're celebrating 14 years of their Bristol club night (and nine years of the label) in style with this beautiful collection of 14 exclusives that sum up the collective's vibe, spirit and energy perfectly. Deep, soulful but not afraid to slap you silly with grit or funk across the set we're treated to triplet-teasing elastic double bass freakery from Raw Q, total soul magic by Philth, SolidFrame and Collette Warren, cloud-leaping amen bliss from Ill Truth and white knuckle space funk from the daddy Randall and label bossman Ben Soundscape. With more from the likes of Phase, Random Movement, Break and loads more, this really is a special collection. Don't sleep!
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!
Review: A time for reflection: Total Science closes down their 20th year of C.I.A case files with another precision reflection over past conquests and gully accomplishments from their collection of labels. Ranging from one of Calibre's first ever cuts (the raffish, wonderfully unkempt "Tempo Dub") and Bad Company's stupendous grime-funk twist on "Champion Sound" to Break's 2012 gritty slapper "Rare Earth" and Digital's life-changing, amen-smashing bassline slammer "No Reality", Spinback and Quiff have dug deep through the ages for some absolute gold here.