Review: Sao Paulo's finest export Bungle has a long history of hitting the decks hard and "Alone" is his latest tribute to the old school. Mixing vintage sounds with fresh drums and bass, the title track "Alone" is a perfect set starter to get things moving in the dance. "Looking Back" is the ticket tune if industrial, heavyweight bangers that morph into beautiful, flowing rollers are your bag. "Arcadia" channels old school Dillinja down to the dark slamming bass and percussion that keeps pushing back against swirling synths. Final track "Fast Forward" offers a more minimal sound, stepping up with tribal drums before building into a whirlwind roller, tapping into an addictive old school sound. It's pretty much perfection and you need it.
Review: Brand new label alert! Lisbon's Dirty Hole crew level up with a killer launch release courtesy of one of Sao Paulo's most consistent shadow men. Bleak, blunt and laced with bass weight; both "Knocked Down" and "Under Threshold" tap into the original foundation aesthetic with powerful results. The former is a real growler with lashing drums, hurricane pads and an electrified bassline. The latter meanwhile is all about the spell binding drum evolution and caustic sheen of iciness. These wouldn't go amiss on Headz. What a launch.
Review: Bungle is one of the legends of the scene. He's got bangers going way back, but 2017's Cocooned really hammered home his talent to the ever-broadening D&B audience and showed off his ability to make pummelling industrial soundscapes sound incredibly tempting and serene. Half Way is another industrial release and its harsh tones might not be for everyone. We like it though, especially 'One Shot', a driving piece of low frequency construction that bends and warps as the tune progresses, turning it into a really hypnotic experience that'll certainly impress. Big release from man like Bungle.
Review: Kicking off with a VIP of one of the killer 90s jungle nostalgia anthems of 2010 - Bladerunner's "Back To The Jungle" - it's a great start to the next Critical compilation. Moving through the tough, percussive sounds of Break, soulful dub tinged efforts of Breakage, the blissed out Calibre in "Rockafella" to the sounds of man-of-the-moment, hotly tipped Enei with his fantastic "Forgive Me" around the halfway point, it's immediately apparent why Kasra's label has garnered such respect from his peers. Lomax - one half of Loadstar - provides a deeper incarnation to his Ram bangers in "Innocent X" and elsewhere, Rockwell's "Underpass" makes a re-emergence as does ubiquitous anthem "Redlines" which closes this utterly superb compilation.
Review: This is the original compilation from cult label Horizons and collects 13 killer cuts from a range of rising talent within the D&B community including Saburuku, Naibu, Mutt and Sinistarr. They've been known to describe the mood of their releases as "hoods-up and heads-down" but there's quite a lot of variety on here too: opener "In Control" is restrained and soulful, "Open Wide" features sumptuous female vocals, "The Beautiful Life" is shimmering poolside stuff, while "Rain Maker" is hauntingly raw, "Lynx Is Playing At My House" boasts the 80s soul influences suggested in the title and "Revolution" even boasts guitars!
Villem & McLeod - "The Sea" (feat Heidi Vogel - BCee remix) - (4:30) 174 BPM
Walk:r - "Wallflower" - (5:42) 174 BPM
The Vanguard Project - "Is This Love" (feat Lucy Kitchen - Dexcell remix) - (4:59) 172 BPM
Review: Spearhead Records - which was started by Bcee in an internet caf? - is hitting its 100th release and celebrating the fact with a huge compilation of brand new tracks, including contributions by Calibre, Technimatic, LSB and Bcee himself. Staying true to the label's origins, it's pretty much all gorgeous rolling liquid and we're very much into it. One of the highlights is the Bcee refix of his seminal 'Back to the Street', which has been given a revamped bassline and a fresh veneer of bassy purpose. It's not just the old on this album, though, and Walk:r lays down the gauntlet with 'Wallflower', a sublimely subtle, pacey piano tune that rolls out in delightful fashion. Wicked stuff here from one of the best in the game.
Review: We've been waiting for this since Doc Scott fired up his old ThirtyOne machine just over a year ago. A 24-track collection of stone cold exclusives, this bucks any expectations of the label and its remit and celebrates the very best creativity in all shades of drum & bass. Littered with the best names in the game (Calibre, Nucleus & Paradox, Bungle, Loxy & Resound, Scar, Marcus Intalex and many many more), each cut pushes the bass and riddim envelope with stark, uncompromised creativity and production muscle. The ultimate document of where the best D&B is at, this is nothing short of essential.