Review: Easy Records founder DJ Phantasy's 1995 cut "44 Mag" is something of a jungle classic - a roughneck chunk of abrasive drum & bass built around warped Amen breaks, powerful sub and choice vocal samples. Here it gets a welcome reissue, along with a pair of fine reworks from contemporary jump-up king Sub Zero (formerly of G-Dub, fact fans). His mixes retain the balls-out spirit of the original, updating the beats and adding a little contemporary wobble to proceedings. There's also a chance to revisit Ray Keith's classic 1996 rework of "44 Mag", which recasts the hectic jungle original as an early chunk of melodious but bass-heavy D&B.
Review: SaSaSaS crewdem Phantasy and Skibadee salute all sick heads in the scene with a massive celebration of all things jump up. Hooky, heavy and infectiously catchy, both players are on point here; Skiba brings his point across succinctly while Phantasy's production kicks serious jacksy. Already massive in the dance, we can expect to hear this on heavy rotation this festival season. Big bass, tough drums... What more do you need?
Review: Man like Macky Gee steps up with his fourth artist album and it's by far his most diverse, direct and deadly album to date. Instantly kicking off with pure theatre of "Emperor", Gee then hurls down the stairs with a cavalcade of thumpers, bumpers and bangers. Highlights include the riffalicious spring of "Fever" with Zinc, the icy licks, groaning bass tones and Shotta's powerful bars on "Draw For The Draw", the grotty toxic riffage of "Turn Up" (with Erb N Dub), the swaggering dreamy emotional number "Cloud 9" and the lighter raising anthem-in-waiting "Moments"... And that's just the tip of the banger iceberg. Macky is doing it like no one else right now.
Review: Finally after months of waiting, Mackey Gee and Phantasy's "Space Hopper" and "Transition" are here. A partnership more dangerous than Putin and Trump in terms of power, strength and raw bass bullishness, both players bring their A-game. The former swaggers and swathes with a mid-2000s Clipz or TC style riffy, infectious bass melody while the latter goes feral with a crazed harmonic bass that grizzles back and forth like Hazard on moonshine before they boot us into the maddest bashment breakdown either artist has ever created. Absolute scenes.
Macky Gee - "Bangers N Mash" (feat MC Skibadee) - (3:46) 175 BPM
Gino - "Hunger Pains" - (4:27) 175 BPM
Spaow - "Don't Stop" - (5:30) 175 BPM
Macky Gee - "Moments" - (3:47) 175 BPM
Review: Down 2 Earth Musik is Macky Gee's label and for the end of the year he's coming at you with a fat compilation of tunes that fit in with the sound he's pioneered this year and the last. Not many artists have been as break out a success as Macky this year and it shows on this release, things kicking off with the fiery VIP of 'Calm Before The Storm', an appriopriate title for the first tune of an album that goes on to include tracks like Rawtee's 'Alligator' and Matzet's 'Roller Coaster'. Arguably the highlight comes from Macky himself though when he's joined by MC Skibadee on Bangers N Mash, a proper skank out with one of the most legendary MCs in the game.
NC - 17 - "City On Fire VIP" (feat Replicant) - (5:22) 173 BPM
Review: Viper have been smashing things over on the dancefloor side of the scene for decades and a big part of that is their yearly annual, a compilation which celebrates some of the best releases from the year. One of the best pics of the annual without a doubt is the Annix remix of Pulsation by Mefjus & Insideinfo, a big task for the duo to take on considering how relentlessly classic the original is. But Annix have smashed it with their drawn-out and suspenseful jump uptake, one which sucks all the air out of the room and then releases it as a smorgasbord of warped out energy and choppy force. There are tonnes of other great picks here too, including from new blood Millbrook and others.