Review: To celebrate its 100th release, long-established label My Best Friend has put together a mammoth compilation. Featuring classic MBF releases like Cosmic Sandwich's "Man in a Box" and Dirt Crew's "Rock Da House", 100 is also notable for unearthing some lesser-known killers. There's Crowdkillers' "Miss Jones", an awesome stripped back house track powered by lithe Latin vocals and a disturbed female vocal, and the deep, haunting synths of Florian Meindl's "La Nuit". Even when My Best Friend follows more conventional sounds, as it does on "Get Down" by Filthy Rich and Danny Serrano's "Likenobody", the tribal drums are loose and organic, the filtering subtle and the vocal samples atypical.
Review: This German label has a reputation for putting out tribal house-based party music, and as contributions from Oliver Klein and Jay Lumen to this compilation show, it is not without some merit. That said, the most interesting moments here occur when the artists go off script. Thomas Schumacher and Martin Eyerer's "Jigo" is a tripped out, spluttering acid house affair, its filtered vocal and noisy riffs creating an oddly engaging tone, while Namito's "Flaming Youth" sees shimmering trance elements combined with heavy tribal rhythms. However, the standout cut comes from the label boss and Rainer Weichold's "No Sleep till Kling Klong" is a wiry, jacking techno workout, like Kling Klong's tribute to classic Dan Bell and Cajmere.
Review: The title track on Olivetti's latest release lives up to its claim. Supported by a dark, wobbly bass, it focuses on the interplay between an epic synth and a vocal loop that speeds up, slows down then does so ad infinitum. In the absence of any synthetic help, it's sure to get you to that special place. The same could be said about the other tracks; the Amir remix of the title track accentuates the splurging bass even further and makes the synths sound more eerie, while Alli Borem's take on "Essa Hei" provides a vision for a more lithe, stripped back take on Chicago jack. Only the drummy "U Tune" fits the modern day tool house narrative.
Review: The beast has landed! Ram Records' most important releases in recent times, the pioneering label celebrate quarter of a century with this insane collection of 25 seminal cuts and 17 selected reversions. Roots and future all in check, every cut reminds why Ram and its founder Andy C have the status they do in drum & bass. Total Science's tasteful jazz touches on "Cool Down", Metrik's growling Aston Martin style rebuild of "X-Ray", Bladerunner's precision update on "Quest", Shimon's personal update on his and Andy's "Night Flight", Chase & Status's elephantine shake-up of "Valley Of The Shadows". We're just listing perfect remixes for the sake of it now... You already know how big a deal this is.