Review: Sealed with an X: Flexout Audio continue to celebrate 10 years of deep underground dynamics with label founder Bassi's curated X collection. Featuring cuts from all previous X instalments, plus the extras that all landed in the last few weeks, the 27-track strong set is a great snapshot of where both the label and underground drum & bass is at right now. If you're into that deep dark rumbling minimal futurist vibe then every track is a highlight but essentials include Visages immense 'Polarity Code', Sili's precision springer 'Gallop', the cosmic twisted synths of Wingz's 'Broken Path' and Wreckless's tense and sobering 'Don't Want To Forget How Your Voice Sounds'. X marks the spot.
Review: Grand Theft Audio 50 LP is the largest project in the label's history; a 50 track album featuring 25 brand new ones, and another 25 from their extensive back catalogue. They released them over four editions in late 2021,but here it is in its full entirety and, again, we'd like to stress that it's a whopping 50 tracks! From the fierce breakbeat science of Sl8r & Somebody Else's "Facking Jungle M8", to the dark side jump-up of Nothing To Lose & Echidna's "Cyclops" (Intraspekt remix), the widescreen cinematic rhythms of Cynical Gene's "Emerge" and Nvrsoft & Sola's emotive vocal drum 'n' bass roller "Falling" - there's plenty more where they came on the Manchester label's impressive celebratory compilation.
Review: Soul Trader are laying the groundwork for their forthcoming Year Of Soul Vol. 2 LP with this sampler, a four-tracker which hints at what is to come. Whilst Soul Trader is usually a liquid label, this EP is dark as can be, courtesy of Gerra & Stone, Data 3 and Pola & Bryson. The first of those s on remix duty for the second with 'Molly' and they've flipped it into a stretched-out display of darkness and power. Pola & Bryson have accomplished something similar with their remix of Silence Groove's 'Cheeky Growley', flipping the original into complex blend of bass notes and sharp hi-hat points. Top release, we can't wait for the full LP.
Review: Time for a freshness flex: Shogun return to their new and rising talent series Point Of Origin and once again it's a big deal with 15 crucial cuts from 20 outstanding and future-shaping artists; from the already established and massively respected such as Serum, Paul T & Edward Oberon, who follow up last year's massive "Take My Breath Away" with the deep space slinker "Burning", and Paul SG with his decidedly wobbled-out drumstick snapping roller "Holy Moly" right the way through to exciting new energies in the dance like Phaction, with his ghostly-vocalled soul-out "Distant Lovers" and Neve & Crimson's beautifully blue-notated jazz drum dark-out "Solar Rain" and so many stunning cuts in between (Mitekiss, Gerra & Stone, Was A Be, Macca & Loz Contreras, the list goes on) this is Shogun at its most exciting and forward-thinking.