Calculon, Chu Hi & Lil Kevo 303 - "Mango Hi" (Digital remix) - (4:54) 57 BPM
Review: This is a monster of a remix album, as Calculon has roped in an all-star cast of names from the world of slower, breaksy music: Om Unit, Deft, Survival, Lewis James, Fanu and more. Lewis James, of Exit Records vintage, especially impresses, as his remix of 'Get Murked' makes its way through analogue soundscapes via a vessel of bouncy junglist breaks, a truly funky yet hard-hitting arrangement that rolls out to your heart's content. Deft's remix of 'Get Murked' takes a different direction, with oodles of space for his halftime approach to reap dividends amidst a serious commitment to soul and funk. Top album.
Review: Classic heritage label Rubiks enjoys a timely rewind from Fokuz as some of its many starlit soul shakers get dusted off to remind us how timeless and classy so much of the label's output was. Instantly charming from the moment Lenzman's remix of Calculon & Dave Owen's "Ben Carlos" shimmies its way into the mix. Other highlights include the timeless space funk and gully bounce of Random Movement's "Your Dancing Feat", the woozy spellbinding jazz of Mutt & Calculon's "Easy On The Motion" and Phil Tangent's evocative space age soul joint "Giving Up The Ghost". Bring on the second volume...
Review: Shoot Recordings comes through with a new pair of artists on its roster, after having put out a series of killers by the likes of Chrissy Murderbot and Pawn. There's more juke-driven house music on this latest outing by Calculon and Austin Speed, backed with by a serious team of remixers. The original is a raved-out footwork monster with some of the nastiest piano stabs and break samples we've heard in a long time. Lewis James transforms the original into a full-blown monster, where the beats are totally screwed up along with everything else, while Deft adds another wild and trippy dubstep remix.
Review: The Dreamers Recording, based out in Italy, always come out with creative fusions of drum & bass, jungle and halftime, and this EP from a collection of acts doesn't break that mould. It's a sonic feast of creativity and the trio responsible really hit their raving stride on 'Grape Hi', which steps with giant movements and lands with massive force on its halftime heels; big tune. 'Yuzu Hi' is just as good, with a hypnotic drum line and whispery, magical atmospherics courtesy of some well-placed pads and a strong attention to detail. One of the heads, this.
Review: If you love jungle this will be the release for you, as Rainforest and Calculon take a deep dive into the fractious world of 160 and 170 jungle, blending floating sample work with crisp percussion of the type which makes or breaks releases like this. They've nailed it, and it's especially apparent on 'Homebwoy Jungle', which makes full use of the added groove possible when you dip down 10bpm and focus on core aspects - sensational.
Review: US dwelling D&B-ster Random Movement provides the first cut for this new release on Rubik - kicking off with gentle, rattling breaks and shimmering atmospherics, we are eased into "Risk" slowly, with a slowly building sonic palette leading into the main tune. With an inherent musicality present throughout, the echoing vocal snatches serve to emphasize the mood of the piece. Deep bass bellows add further depth and structure. Up next, it's over to Mutt, Calculon and Kevin King for "Easy On The Motion" - a vocal-led, smoky, jazz-influenced liquid roller, which is preceded by a stripped back intro and bobs along beautifully until the end.
Review: Shoot Recordings are coming in to play with this single from Stunna & Calculon, the B-side of which is a remix from Stunna. This one is stripped back and clear, there are no over the top synths or cheesy vocals, instead it's all about the roots of the genre: drums, bass and the rawness which has made the genre such a mainstay. 'Dime Piece' features Lailah Reich on haunting vocal duty over a subby yet melancholic rolling number, the perfect exemplification of what makes this release so solid.
Review: The Dreamcatcher Recordings team have a real reputation for unveiling forward thinking and exciting drum and bass music, especially within this fabulous self titled compilation series which today lands it's fifth official edition. The tracklisting is stacked up highly with top quality names, with HABIT, Samurai Breaks, Neve & DNN leading the way. There are of course some notable highlights from the project, which in itself covers quite a wide spectrum of where drum & bass is at in 2020, including the hardcore chord progressions and jittering drum slices of Harka's 'Body Talkin'. As well as this, we couldn't help but notice the super smooth synth lines 'Agua Viva' from Qua Rush, alongside the glittering soundscapes of Levrige's 'Full Circle' original.
Cybass - "It's A New Life For Me" (Big Bud remix) - (6:01) 171 BPM
Kubiks & Lomax - "Find A Way" (Blu Mar Ten remix) - (6:04) 172 BPM
June Miller & Heavy1 - "Judge" - (4:09) 174 BPM
Rene Lavice - "Just Words" - (4:35) 174 BPM
Heavy1 - "Fear The Satellites" - (5:23) 172 BPM
Review: Celsius is one of the most beloved liquid labels in the scene, a stalwart of many years which has released music from virtually every name around. Quite a few of those are represented on thus album, including Bcee & Saxxon, Blu Mar Ten and Rene LaVice, all of whom are on top form here. Bcee & Saxxon's remix of 'Always Dancing' by Random Movement is brilliant, a deftly put together jungle stepper that's full of liquid vibes and vibrant, fluttering synth lines. 'Rooftop Romance' by Flaco & Calculon is our other favourite, a soulful, rolling number that has a wicked vocal sample and beautifully punchy drums. Yes boys!
Critical Event & Askel - "So In Love With You" - (4:27) 174 BPM
ALB - "Using Minds" - (5:29) 174 BPM
Calculon & Dave Owen - "Ben Carlos" (feat Christina Tamayo - Zero T remix) - (5:11) 58 BPM
Smote - "Just Come Back" - (5:20) 174 BPM
Joakuim - "8am Roller" - (4:30) 172 BPM
Drumcatcher - "Feelings" - (4:35) 172 BPM
Brainwork & Mnml - "Embrace" - (5:18) 172 BPM
Review: Fokuz Recordings consistently release some of the best compilation albums around. Their pool of artists is so diverse and so top quality that an assortment of their work is always going to be special, especially when they bring in outside talent like Break and Zero T. Collaborations 2 is what is says on the tin: remixes and other collaborative projects and blimey, it's good stuff. Joakuim's '8am Roller' is the perfect example, a deft piece of piano-based smoothness that rolls out to your heart's content with sultry results, an instant classic of liquid-sized proportions. The Break remix is a welcome addition, as is the steppy yet soulful Zero T remix of Ben Carlos. Another very, very good selection of cuts from the always sublime Fokuz crew.