Review: Following December's all-star launch, Original Key returns with two more slices of impeccable jungle fire. Once again it's a trusted crew: veteran and super-respected junglist Aries breaks the seal with a brilliantly bouncy roller that's not dissimilar to the classic Bingo sound 15 years ago. Sao Paulo's Critycal Dub maintains the heat with "Jungle War" - an incendiary halftime stepper with bass so gully it's grown oily wings and a bright orange beak, it's arguably one of Critycal Dub's heaviest and most demonstrative tunes to date. Seriously.
Review: Most frequently spotted on V, Liquid Drops and LuvDisaster, Sao Paulo's Critycal Dub makes a surprise appearance on the heavier-premised Clawhammer. Two tracks deep and the bassline message is clear: "Only Witness" goes straight for the jugular with two rasping bass textures fighting and vying for our attention while "Dirty Minds" gets a little more sinewy and twisted with its classic rave sample on the percussion and a subtly wonked reverse riff. Both cuts seriously bump. Or, to put it another way, the last time he got this rude was on Chronic. Nuff said.
Review: Critycal Dub are on a roll right now. Covering all bases with their trademark Sao Paulo barbed soul, they've been delivering some impeccable cuts of late. These four included: "Moment In Time" is built up around a simple, beautiful piano hook and softly textured dubwise vocal sample, "Reckless" takes us to a darker side with its subtle b-movie style textures and star-gazing rave vocal before "Losing Time" takes us down a minimal soul rabbit soul where a lilting piano line is the only thing keeping reality in check. Need more input? Jump on the soft jazzy spring riff of "Find Out" and realise you're actually 10 foot in the air. Happy landing.
Review: A Brazilian/British tag team tear-up of peaktime proportions, the pairing of Critycal Dub and Heist is a straight up classic jump up jungle homage. With Yush's sing-along toasting, it boasts and flexes every hallmark a cut needs to be filed under 'timeless D&B banger'. Dig deeper for the chewier "90% Rusk". All gristle and no thistle, the chubby subs ooze toxicity while rampant shakers and percussion do all the big man talk. Classic Heist.
Review: A various artist album from the Tripswitch camp should come with a health warning as there's serious levels of bassweight in this badboy. Kicking off with Annix - "Soundclash" this one is full of juddering subs and smashing drums. Elsewhere across the album we have some prime cuts from the likes of Critycal Dub - check "Terminator" in all its low-slung allure; Raz with his VIP mix of "Ten Tonne" and Hoogs. A variety of styles and flavours are covered, and Dub Motion's "Obsession" adds a nice dose of calm as we reach the end. Nice stuff.
Review: Celebrating half a decade in the game, MSdoS's Liquid Drops gets reflective and pours back over the last year of sounds, selecting soaking soulful highlights. There have been many... 2016 was the label's most prolific year with groove upon groove every month. Highlights include the daft samplecraft and subtle gully bass squidges on Clart & MSdoS's "Disco Inferno", the dusty jazz finesse of "Morning Vibes", the overwhelming bass sensation of NCamargo & Ghibli's "Astral Drift". And that's just the tip of the freshness fountain.
Review: Catch-up time! If you've yet to experience the vibes of OKey's Original Key imprint, now is the time to get acquainted... Launched in Germany this time last year, here they've put all their releases so far in one handy package. Ranging from Heist's percussion-flickering funk on "Seems Risky" to DJ Sly's horn-blazed skanky switch-up "98 Style" via Bassface Sascha & Feindsoul's badboy blaster "Sage" and Tomoyoshi's Clipz-style Q&A fireworks on "Killa Soundboy", this collection is testament to what a great year it's been for OKey... And drum & bass in general.