Review: Astronauts and astronomers alike have been searching for the paradise planet known as Planet V but only one man knows where it is. That man is V don Bryan Gee. Luckily he's happy to take us the planet, and right now he's charging up the rocket for our third trip on pure turbo charge VIP power. For this particular sampler Alibi & Command Strange's collabs from last year both get a variation twist. "Skyline" gets a whole turbine in the bass engine while "Ahead Of Me" is given a subtle twist in the groove department while maintaining that all important roll. V flickingly sublime.
Review: Bringing together the most talented young upstarts in soulful drum & bass right now, Celsius UK are really spoiling us. Smooth, rolling tunes are exactly what everyone needs to brighten up those dark mornings and tracks like "Still Blue" and "Knights Like These" with their deep grooving basslines do just that. Malaky's doomy effort "Soon" has the potential for some real dancefloor action too, with growling bass and a touch of dark and techy experimentation. A real mixed bag of tunes, get yourself a treat.
Review: Bryan Gee and V Recordings do not mess around. They never have in the past, they're certainly not right now in the present and judging by this highly anticipated Future album, they're going to mess around any time ahead. 25 tracks from some of the biggest, best and baddest names in D&B (Dillina, Serum, Benny L, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Roni Size, DJ Marky, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Bladerunner, Saxxon, the list goes on) this one's been a long, long, long time coming... And it's been well worth the wait. From L-Sides massive remixes of Dillinja and Krust to Need For Mirrors super-revved "Lambo" to Benny L's incredible remix of "Days", this sums up why Bryan and his label are as influential and respected in the game as they are today. Don't mess around.
Review: Prettily balanced and light on its feet, "Time For Miracles" dances on a knife-edge of razor-sharp beats and crisp, shimmering ambiance put in place by cirrus-high strings. With snares that run away with themselves at the slightest hint of a breakdown, and funky bass fit for a truly soulful cut Marky would be proud of, it's a triumph of a track. On the other side, "The First, The Last, The Everything" is a more sombre affair, pushing rainy-day atmosphere with dampened kicks and melancholy piano loops. Double bass adds more drama, bringing everything together into a seductive stepper. Perfect for D&B fans with a bit of soul.
Review: Command Strange has been a very busy man over the past few months. Producing some of the finest liquid rollers from one of the world's most misunderstood places, the Kazakhstan-based producer uses his idols as inspiration to create beautiful jazz-influenced D&B. With supporters like LTJ Bukem, DJ Marky, Random Movement, Fabio & Grooverider, Mutated Forms, Bailey and Big Bud all keen to back him up, Celsius had to say yes to a physical release. From the smooth lush tones of "Away From The Sun" to the deep bass groove of "Do Me Right", this is one liquid EP that pushes the boundaries.
Review: Kazakhstan-based producer Command Strange continues his prolific run with the debut release for the fledgling Antillectual Beats. Those familiar with his releases for labels like Fokuz and Celsius will know what to expect - jazz-flecked D&B with sunshine melodies abound. "Shine" kicks things off with a Baltic tinged banger which hits hard in the low-end department, while "Sunrise", featuring the vocal talents of Iriann Joyce offers a more laid back form of rolling groove. "When The Morning Comes" offers more harmonic orchestral smoothness pushed forward by powerful breaks, while "Summertime" offers the EP's quirkiest - and best - track, with a junglist bassline and FX combo that pushes the sun-dreched guitar into the stratosphere. Essential D&B for the summer.
Review: With his recent "Bingo" release on Integral still ripping up dancefloors with its catchy, infectious nature, Kazakhstan's favourite D&B son Command Strange keeps up appearances with this excellent release. As a precursor to Fokuz Recordings' forthcoming Episode 91 LP, lead track "True Love" perfectly encapsulates the label's sound and vision, a mesmerising slice of future soul music. Flipside "Carnival" flips the script with a growling bassline and menacing FX. Don't sleep on this.
Review: The Kazakhstani liquid funk king, Command Strange, steps up for the 19th release on Integral for a couple of sterling bassline rollers that will light up dancefloors across Europe and beyond. First up "Bingo" pairs ticking breaks with disarming chirrups with a punchy, growling b-line. A slick breakdown adds some atmospheric magic to the proceedings before the rolling riddim returns. Accompanying this, "Mr Lonely" adds some melodic mystique with sweeping SFX and yearning, pattering drums that have a touch of High Contrast circa "Tough Guys Don't Dance" about them. A lovely release for the liquid man dem.
Review: Command Strange brings us the epic Episode 91 on Fokuz. A nine-track album of pure quality, this one kicks off with the sumptuous "Miracles" - a heavy, purring bassline underpins crisp, crunching drums and a trance-like synthline. He gets experimental and deep in cuts like "Sweet Nightmare" and the ethereal counterpart "Dreams". Tracks like "Song For You" are exercises in unrestrained yearning, with delicate beats, repressed vocal and a sense of pained beauty. Liquid loveliness comes courtesy of "Days Are Cold" and concluding, piano-chiming finale "Give It To Me". Utterly sublime from start to finish.
Review: With a string of releases for the likes of Integral, Fokuz and Liquid Brilliants already under his belt, Kazakhstan based producer Command Strange steps up on Grid and delivers the goods. This is no throwaway wobble for the kids, "Drunk On Beauty" is a serious bassline rumbler with Full Cycle pretensions, a sharp stepper for the 2012 generation. Flipside "On The Way" is a shade nastier in its execution, with a nagging bass pattern and spaced out fx, the sort of lick Roni Size used to knock out for fun. A bright future awaits.
Review: Command Strange's next release comes to us via the Fokuz imprint with two solid tracks plus a further two digital exclusives - you just can't say no to this! First up is the title track "Rock Steady" with its raw, metallic sounds, pattering drums and quirky SFX. Next is "Open Your Eyes" which is underpinned by booming bass and dominated by chiming beats and echoing snippets of female vocal. "Sugar", the first of the two digital exclusives, is a deep and meditative cut with swirling synth work, whilst "All That Heaven Allows" is all choral elements with booming atmospheric sweeps.
Review: Yet another bullseye for the V camp: Command Strange returns with two straight up slabs of fire that are so hot Bryan Gee has been issues a health and safety warning. "Can't Stop" vibes with a real twist, as what begins as a classic subby roller suddenly switches into a reese and vocal fuelled stamp session. "The Gang", meanwhile, takes a few leaves from the books of neuro, Ram and Bad with its early 2000s gritty, fuzzy distorted funk. Undiluted... Handle with care.
Review: Longstanding Russian roustabout Command Strange returns to V with two more contrasting soul slicers. "Black & White" is a hundred shades of foggy misty grey as the drama is all in the ominous bassline that never gets above its savage station and rolls into the never-ending mist. "Desire" flips the jazz switch with big horns, keys and a demonstrative dulcet delivery from the best MC in the game: The singing Fats. Desirable.
Review: Command Strange is back for his first EP in quite a while and the Kazakh producer is taking any prisoners, with a return to form in his rolling, pacey style that focuses on swaying basslines and pummelling drums. The title track is vintage V, with a combination of funky stabs and a bouncing, stabby bassline that is wicked at getting the head nodding. He teams up with Dr Meaker on the heavier tones of 'Fruity', before ending things with a bang on 'Loco'. Crazy stuff indeed.
Review: A perfect collection of future-bound drum & bass from one of the scene's most prolific upstarts. Based in Kazakhstan, his sound is part way between the cold, technical beats often heard from the Balkan producers and the type of warmer liquid rollers the likes of Calibre and Break have been known to make should the mood take them. Each tune has its own story, from the darker methodology of "Future Perfect" to the fresh, blissed-up sounds of glassy, picture-perfect "Love Sessions". A stunner of a collection.