Review: Signature drop Calibre's best work to date with "Steptoe." A deft halfstepper that displays rigid programming and sumptuous bass weight, this is a subtle killer from Calibre. It has hint of jungalism and the peaceful melodies set it apart from the rest of his work. B-side "Silence" is less refined but rolls out a worthy number in itself.
Review: The Irish master of D&B / jungle returns with this release on his own Signature imprint and wow, are we in for a treat! Continuing in the classic Calibre vein, these are dutifully considered, well refined and beautifully polished tunes, forthcoming from his next album due out later this year. "Foreign Bodies" is a super smooth roller with lilting b-line, whispering echoes of vocal, delicate SFX and crisp, clapping breaks. "Ugly Duckling", it's ruder, nastier and downright dirtier brother, contains rambunctious, late 90s style jump up drums and a rough b-line to please the crowds. A huge release; we eagerly await the album.
Review: Ah Calibre, will you ever cease to make interesting, pigeonhole slamming tunes that intrigue as much as they sparkle? We sincerely hope not. "Temple Step" is yet another class example of his experimental adventures; following a similar path to his 2009 hit "Steptoe" it's loosely halfstep drum & bass with traditional dub tendencies, but a mere description will never suffice - the proof, as always, is in the listening. Or mixing; with stripped back principals like "Temple Step" it'll roll with anything you choose to mix it with. A genuine DJ delight. "Simple Emotion" takes things up a gear and into D&B territory, but it's carried with the same 'less is more' approach. Yet another fine Calibre release.
Review: Given his status as one of drum and bass's true heavyweights; you'd expect this eighth Calibre full-length to be one of the most hotly anticipated jungle sets of the year. Certainly, it's a fine effort, packed with emotion-rich atmospherics, fizzing rhythms and intricate, occasional beautiful, musical touches. He seems to be at his best when concentrating on musicality, as the delightful "Close To Me', soulful "Wilderness" and summery "Do Not Turn On" prove. There are, of course, rawer moments (see the tech-tinged "Simple Things" and dubstep flex of "Start Again"), but these don't hit nearly as hard as his effortlessly soulful compositions.
Review: Fresh Calibre - is there a finer thing? And in this disappointing summer of damp barbeques and dead beer gardens, there's nothing we all needed more right now than this, a quadruple helping of thick-bassed freakiness. Kicking off with "Bogeyman Bullshit" for some deep bass wobbling, "Smother" gathers the techy nuances of Marcus Intalex and Bricktop and "Multi-Tasking" bangs and whomps its way through hard stepping kicks and rolling snares. Final tune "Dream Of You" brings in vintage dub heaviness alongside retro synths for a seriously deep slice of originality. Serious banger!
Review: No other artist in the game could pull a stunt like this off: Such is his proliferation, Calibre's Shelflife series are his way of gathering ideas that he felt weren't right for single releases, or dubs that he just never got round to putting out. As with previous editions, the whole collection rolls like an album due to his consistent, spacious signature. Highlights: How about every track? You need specifics? The piano-slapping sunny-side opener "Latin Way", the big jazzy washes and lolloping rolls on "Model Way", the pushy, gritty breaks on "Spirit Catcher", the wriggling drums, stark minimalism and mid 2000s techno feel to the hook on "Underfire". We could go on and on. It's Calibre - you know what to do.
Review: 11 years deep and still sounding crisp, soulful and unique: The second of what's now an album count of 10 (12 if you count his folky Dominick Martin albums) Second Sun is largely recognised as Calibre's strongest statement of intent (pre-Even If). While Musique Concrete showcased his skills, it's here where he really brought them together in a way that pleased both DJs and music lovers. From the car chase wah wahs of "Is It U" to the slower mood switcher "Don't Watch This" via the bold brass licks of the title track, this captures a golden moment in both the career of Calibre and drum & bass at large. If, for some bizarre reason, this isn't already in your collection now is most certainly the time rectify this matter.
Review: Classic reissue: Calibre takes us right back to where it all began with Signature's very first release. As you'd expect, both cuts still rattle and hum with the same vigour and unicity as they did 13 years ago. "Peso" shows off Dominick Martin's most musical side with flamenco fire while the Marley-sampling "My Chances" reminds us that his versatility and love for spacious, cosmic designs has always been a key signature. Timeless.
Review: More solid soul gold from the man like Dominick Martin: "Another" spins on the axis of two really well chiselled vocal samples and a bassline that hums so heavily you think a tank is following you where you go. "Posh Boy" reminds us of Calibre's darker side with its teeth-baring bassline and mean minimal attitude. "Dreamz Dub" starts as a sub-soaked minimal monster before subtle strings emerge mid-mix with emotional effect. "Believe It" plays the consummate show stopper with light-to-moderate pads and another precision placed vocal. In a nutshell: lush. But we wouldn't expect anything less from Calibre.
Review: It's by Calibre and it has balls in the title.... Does any more need to be said? Not really, but credit where it's due - no artist comes close in consistency, proliferation and out-and-out distinctive style than Calibre. Here he is in "Posh Boy" mode - all sizzling in the bass and hazy in the chords - "Iron Balls" is nasty but restrained, cruel but kind, furious but funk. "Angel Breach" takes us even deeper into Calibre's darker side with a ricochet drum set and bassline that ploughs deeper and deeper into the abyss. There's no mucking around here - just up dark style Calibre.
Review: Calibre's been dealing out non drum & bass excursions pretty much since the start of his career. But not on the level he has right now. Following the album Grow comes this superlative broken beat soulful roller that was too big for the album it gave a title to. Layered with his own ranges of vocal and barbed with some pretty pained lyrics, it was actually written well over a decade ago but still sounds beautiful and relevant (musically and technically). It's backed by the desert-roaming, sandstorm fog of "Lost" and the deliciously disparate twangs and chimes of "Strange Are The Days". Every Calibre release is worth paying attention to but this is a whole new level.
Review: Calibre continues to digitize his Signature output with one of his label's most iconic, scene-uniting releases during its earliest chapters. 2004 was the year. Rolling sub funk was the vibe. Singing Fats was the MC du jour (and still is now to be fair)... "Drop It Down" was the delicious roller that brought us all together. "Bleep" echoes the originality of the main A-side attraction with its squelchy, slightly barbed but fun sense of character and funk. Timeless... But then you knew that already, right?
Review: Drum & bass's most unique gentleman Calibre plunders his vaults to compile a new collection of unreleased gems through the ages. As you'd expect, the end result is a timeless assault of lush grooves, soulful sonics and sweet skippy riddims. From the soft jazz insistency of "Honey Dew" to the hollowed harrowed bass tones of "Bellamee" via the harder, rave-referencing "Sagan" and the deep bass gurgles and DRS's reggae-style vocals on "Eschaton", the only issue here is the fact Calibre hasn't released them sooner. Unarguably incredible.