Review: New York's Adred returns to Metalheadz with two outstanding cuts right here. Both of which feature some major league collaborations, too. The wonderfully deep "Valley Groove" takes the lead with Commix on board; dreamy, purring and laced with just a smidgeon of hazy jazzy undertones, it's a total lesson in restraint. "Stuck In Loop" (with Ant TC1) maintains the soulful tendencies but with much more of a barbed touch as DRS lays down his lyrical raw emotion. Both are absolutely stunning.
Review: Commix returns with the final part of his "Generation" trilogy. Two years have passed since the first two EPs but these four cuts more than make up for the wait with their beguiling, & and often foreboding charm. The supernatural punch and atmosphere of the heavy stepping opener "The Time", the deep Amazonian halftime odyssey that is "Fragile State", the lucid skips and vapour trails of "Cherry" and the sci fi grand finale "The Divide" that throws us deep into cyberpunk mode with no signs of escape. Generation bounding; Commix only crafts ageless music.
Review: One of 2016 many welcomed return stories (Bad Company, J Majik, Full Cycle, Pendulum...) Commix eased himself back into the game with two new super-deep originals and two long lost dubs. Now back with four originals, "Generation EP2" sees him reengaging with even broader, bolder brush strokes. "Freefall" is straight out of the "Music" era - spaced out, synthetic and sci-fi soul. "Honey" continues the deep dream feels but with a much harder, Photek-style super-chiselled drumset while "Behold" is an early morning run along a misty beach with big leaping kicks and a sense of unknowing ahead of you. Finally "Arplong" winds us down on a classic electro tip laced heavily with mild nuances of Underworld-style layering. No mucking around now .... Commix is back in the building.
Review: Commix returns: fresh from his Endian techno adventures, George Levings (now running solo ops) presents his first new D&B release in over four years. Has the wait been worth it? Immerse yourself into the deep rumbles, rolls and sound designs of "Generation" or the heavy meditative complexities of "Deepdubs" and the answer is clear... Yes, the wait has been worth it and it comes with the long awaited official release of Spectrasoul's remix of "Justified" to boot. Apparently there's a whole stack more in the Commix cannon too. Big yesses.
Review: Despite releasing enough singles to fill a small set of IKEA Expedit shelves, Cambridge D&B duo Commix have been pretty slow on the uptake when it comes to albums. So far, they've only released one original full-length, Call To Mind - a pleasing set that won many plaudits on its release in 2007. Curiously, this second full-length is not a new album per se, but rather a collection of previously unreleased cuts recorded between 2003 and 2008. It is, though, a superb set, perfectly showcasing their brand of melodic, musically inclined drum and bass. As ever, the beats are loose, organic and snare heavy, the basslines hooky and the melodies sparkling, offering a near perfect balance of dancefloor chops and home listening nous. Highly recommended.
Review: Featured on Marky's recent Fabriclive 55 mix, this solo single sees the ineffable Cambridge-based Commix duo on fine, fine form. Their recent forays into techno have garnered much attention of late, but this proves that the boys are not neglecting their D&B either. "Double Double" builds from an eerie intro, full of anticipation into the main tune, which is dominated by terse breaks, thudding drum kicks and echoing vocal snatches. There are tense, toying synths and enormous subs rumbling ominously below, making for a compelling listen from start to finish.
Review: What is there to say about Shogun Audio that hasn't already been said at length directly into your ear at 3am? Friction's brainchild has become one of the scene's biggest, most successful and perhaps most importantly one of the most highly-regarded labels in recent years. A decade might not be a long time in D&B talk, but 10 years has been long enough for Shogun to put its stamp on almost everything making its way from the underground and into the blinding light of day. From the experimental sounds of Alix Perez, Rockwell and Icicle to the spellbinding Technimatic, right through to the chart-bothering escapades of Camo & Krooked, this is a flip through the highlights of Shogun's life. In case you forgot, it's been a brilliant one so far. Roll on the next 10 years.
Review: Developing its roster over the last few years DEXT Recordings has curated a discography worth talking about with a bend of artists ranging from Special Request, Nightwave and Jerome Hill to Mark Broom and Dead Man's Chest collaborations. For DEXT's first release in 2020 it does the same, pitching legends of the scene like Commix and Appleblim alongside new school mates like Pugilist and Otik. Raw beats find themselves eventually masked by swathes of delay and melody in Appleblims' 'Hydrothermal Vents" with Commixx turning in a staccato loop hovering somewhere in that grey zone between drum and bass and techno. Deep, reverberating two-step and jungle vibes outta Pugilist with "Eclipse" (tip!) with some colourful dub and melodic beat scene loops oozing between the dubstep of "Apollon".
Alix Perez - "Down The Line" (feat MC Fats) - (6:27) 172 BPM
JO - "R-Type" - (5:51) 174 BPM
Subwave - "Think" - (5:58) 175 BPM
Shogun Audio Presents: The Classics (2004-2017) (continuous DJ mix) - (57:08) 174 BPM
Review: When a label as consistent and as well rounded as Shogun Audio announce a 'Classics' release it obviously sends shivers around the drum & bass community. It's hard to imagine condensing thirteen years of dominance into a minimized box of thirty classics, but just looking at the tracklisting is awe-inspiring. We see classic reappearances from the likes of Friction, Spor, Break, Icicle, Rockwell, Spectrasoul, Alix Perez, Camo & Krooked and that's not even half of the names involved. To break it down simply, this compilation summarizes why Shogun hold such a legendary status within the scene, through incredible consistency and magnificent diversity of sound.
Review: 21 years old. How about that then? Some of us were barely out of nappies when London Elektricity first launched the imprint, some of us remember like it was yesterday. Either way, we are all united under the big flouro H and right now they're celebrating their coming of age with a humungous 70 track collection. Yes, 70! Each cut handpicked to represent the London imprint's constantly evolving but always soul-touched and groove-laden sound are 24 exclusives such as Urbandawn's insane version of Reso's "Taiga", Fred V & Grafix's titanium colab with Metrik "Tension", Serum & Inja's already-massive "Blow Dem" and Whiney's remix of TC's chop-slapping "Storm Brew". Massive. Happy birthday Hospital!
Review: Drum&Bass Arena: The longest-standing, and one of the most respected, platforms for all things jungle D&B celebrates an impressive 20 years in the game with this ridiculously hefty document that pays respect to the genre's every twist and turn. From scene-shattering megahits ("Tarantula", "Feel The Love", "Rock It", "Afterglow") to unarguable historical underground scene-smashing megabangers ("Machete", "Aztec", "Nasty Ways", "The View", "Champion Sound", "Turbulence", "Up All Night", "Deadline", Ram Trilogy's remix of "Pacman") by way of tracks that may have slipped under the radar ("Defcom 69", "What's Wrong", "Song For Lovers") the whole album is loaded to the lips with some of the most important records the genre's enjoyed in the last 20 years. Time to get nostalgic, time to fill those holes in your collection, time to educate your dancefloor. Here's to another 20 years!
Review: Following their Fast Soul and Fast Jungle compendiums, Hospital plunder their vaults for the darkest, most physical rave sounds in their repertoire. The result is a 46-strong collection of heads-down, dark room tracks designed solely for those 3am moments when the lights are either blue, green or not on at all and someone's busted the smoke machine button so it's set on permanent blast. Going right back to the early zeroes with tracks such as Photek's remix of London Elekricity and High Contrast's "Yesterday's Colours" the collection is a reminder of how vast Hospital's sounds and artist roster is. From Dub Phizix's remix of Netsky to a rare D&B outing from DJ Madd plus Enei, Commix, Stray and many more, this is the best collection in Hospital's fast serious so far.
Review: Ever the bastion of modern drum & bass from the smooth and liquid to the rough and ready, Hospital have decided to take stock with a bumper pack of classics, some of which have been remastered for the occasion. Logistics spells it out by kicking things off with the hyped up energy of "Jungle Music", while Danny Byrd brings a cosmic effervescence with "Amen Alley". All the label regulars are here with some bona fide gems from the vaults, whether it be London Elektricity or High Contrast on the buttons. Whatever the case, for newcomers to the label or those needing a refresher, this is a perfect one-stop hit of uptempo breakbeat mayhem from a British institution.