Review: With some massive Metalheadz dubs causing hype this year, Phaction super-charges his golden vein of form with this powerful package on Bcee's Spearhead. It's an all-star cast, too; the equally unstoppable Bristolite Charli Brix links in for the dreamy title track, Riya adds her gilded tones to two tracks - the subdued waves of "The Fall" and the skippier sunshine charms of "Obsession" with Hugh Hardie. Elsewhere we go deep on "Cherished One" and sign out with an exceedingly naughty take on Technimatic's 2013 Spearhead jam "Mirror Image". Premium dude, premium.
Review: Sustance, without a doubt one of the most exciting new producers on the minimal end of the spectrum, has his first ever EP on the Shogun main label. Blood Money is an exceptionally good outing, one drenched in a coating of reddish hedonism, the sound and the feel of the underground encapsulated. Its title tune says the most with the fewest words, a deeply rhythmic track that bubbles with its bongos and bangs with its basslines, a stripped back yet forward looking item of fearsome proportions. The ever-present Charli Brix features on the rolling 'Break The Habit', whilst Monty's feature on 'Lapis' leads to the creation of a jump-up infused number with attitude at its core. 'Be Forgiven' isn't the most outspoken but might just be the best, as tender piano notes flutter above its penetrating underbelly. Top, top class.
Review: Shogun have a forthcoming compilation and it's one which shows just how good a year they had, all things notwithstanding. It features music from GLXY, Sustance, Koherent and more, and what's notable is just how many are from producers relatively new to the Shogun camp, evidence that the Brighton team are doing the best they can at nurturing the next generation. GLXY are at the forefront of that generation and they have several tracks featured from their Spring album, Research & Development. 'Conclusions' feat. Steo is one of the best, a feathery light liquid number with a dusting of harp and a dash of vocal magic, a sultry approach mirrored on their critically acclaimed single 'She Sings For Me' feat DRS. Koherent's recent, infectiously funky number 'Bliss' makes an appearance, as does several tunes from Gerra & Stone's rebirth as GEST. Big.
Review: Scotch Bonnet's Puffer's Choice 3 is a celebration of both the label's Scottish heritage and its global connection to soundsystem cultures worldwide and that collective dubwise spirit. At 12-tracks large Volume 3 is a buffet of dub treats galore that's ready to consume; be your tastes the heavy bass and killer distortion of Flying Fox's "Weak Hearts" to the Afro-rhythms and chiptune melodies of Shokryme & RTKal's "Bbs". Find some sweet lover's rock in Stalawa & Nazizi's "Rather Be Alone" alongside the subby dubs of UK pop and reggae touches in Somah & Nem's "Sailor". Parly B chips in with a veterans cut of the righteous reggaeton number "Lyrics Spree" alongside the easy-now dancehall of Bony Fly & JonnyGo Figure's "Crucial" or the woozy, snapping dubstep & rap in Mungo's Hi Fi hook up with Gardna & Charli Brix. For the Pure dub reggae vibe head straight to Jeb Loy Nichols' "To Be Rich (Should Be A Crime)" and don't forget to Puff Puff give.