Review: Just as you thought it was safe to walk the streets, Konichi & Decimal Bass crash land into your grimy little universe once again... And nothing is safe. Their largest body of work since last year's album Forever, expect nothing less than six tracks of riot material; "The Dog Knows" is a barking mosh of a jam with electrified bass and a cracking sample, "Invasion" (with Vacuum) is so tightly sprung it should come with a health warning while "Cold Killer" sees them tagging up with mandem du jour Turno for an iced out shred flex. Elsewhere "Get It" wins gold in the 'weirdest bassline of the EP' award, "If I Told You I'd Have To Kill You" buzzes and snaps with a hornets nest bassline while "Maintain" kicks down your house with a roughhouse late 90s style bassline. K9 thumbs up.
Review: Time flies when you're a junglist... Reflecting the bossman DJ Hype's all-style signature as a selector, Playaz output covered the spectrum in style last year. You want sun-dappled soulful fire? Look for Potential Badboy. You want dirt munching gully? Look for Annix. You want leftfield stripped back surreal dark funk? Look for Bass Brothers or Jam Thieves. You want to get knocked the heck out? Look up Taxman, Prestige and Tyke. So many corners covered they smashed walls down to create new ones, Playaz killed it in 2016... Here are 25 reasons why.
Review: Konichi and Decimal Bass: whether they're operating solo or in Annix unison, they're capable of making some of the sharpest, most forthright drum & bass known to man. Their debut album has had bass fans in a lather since they teased us with the gnarly halftime "Good For Nothing" and stompy Basement Jaxx-meets-Herve 4/4 gully stomper "Warriors". Beyond these off-piste adventures lies a whole slew of concentrated, unadulterated D&B science. From the one-punch jump-up smackers like "Low", "Afraid" and "Akshun" to the much deeper, liquid tones of "Forever" and dreamy Lenzmanisms of "Reverse Cold", this is the most detailed picture of both men's broadest abilities to date.
Review: Whether they playing with themselves or playing with each other as Decimal Bass, Annix and Konichi are two of the most creative minds jump up drum & bass has seen since TC came through with "Deep" over 10 years ago. Highlights include the sexy vocal sample and infectious congas of "Work It Out", the outrageously nasty hook on "England" and Konichi's complete liquid switch flicker "Those Days". No stone unturned, Annix and Konichi are at their most extensive and exciting right here. Stunning.
Review: Playaz have hit the top drawer for this latest release from the Annix likely lads - a combination of tracks from Decimal Bass and Konichi as well as "Digital", the heavyweight lead single from Annix, their combined pseudonym. So what's in store? Plenty of head mashing and neck snapping, actually, as cranked-up synth play spirals out of control in "Betrayal" and the wickedly out of control "M33". "Have A Party" trips out while samples dance around crushed up synths and "Don't' Make Me Laugh" echoes the hardcore raves of the past.
Review: A full-flavoured six-track slab of naughtiness right here from Annix and its two members. The title track steps so sharply there's a danger you may cut your ears but the moody minor piano chords and a dramatic drop make for the perfect ointment. "Take It Back" is a much skittier, switchy rave homage that jitters and jumps with a cool sense of unpredictability. Decimal Bass's contributions add further weight and range: "Battle Station" will unleash your inner ugly with a bassline that's so wild and unkempt it will genuinely sweep you off your feet while "Near Me" is a soaring vocal workout that's almost reminiscent of the Ram Trilogy material 15 years ago. Konichi's creations add further contrast: "Visions" looks towards deeper corners of the dance as it rolls with bulbous bass and Daft Punkian vocal work, while "Entrance" scuffs and growls with heady hypnosis. Truly something for everyone.
Review: If jump-up is your thang then you've come to the right place. Snapped up by Playaz to release this behemoth of n LP, UK newcomer Annix has burst onto the scene in a shower of accolades, and we know why. This album is straight-up bonkers. Crazed like a rabid dog with the eclectic sampling of a hyperactive child, there's method in this guy's madness, but excuse us for revelling in the craziness. From jazzy horns to trap, trip-hop to adrenaline-soaked beats, there are no half-measures here. Go hard or go home.
Review: Drum & Bass Arena has ruled on high for nearly 20 years, and in that time has helped to forge the careers of every drum & bass artist worth their salt. It's impossible to downplay the influence the site has had on the scene, as a club brand and an online resource, and this year their official compilation is a doozie. Featuring some of the largest tracks around right now from Friction & Skream, J Majik & Wickaman, DJ Hazard, Rene LaVice, Calyx & TeeBee, Original Sin and Optiv & BTK as well as bangers from fresh artists like Heist, Zen & Nitri, this is an essential purchase for any D&B fan. Focussing on the heavier end of the spectrum this 35 track behemoth is basically your 2013 compendium of bass. Don't leave home without it.
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.
Voltage & Callide CSS - "I Believe" - (4:45) 178 BPM
Review: This six-tracker from Stilla Audio showcases a collection of little-known producers including Callide CSS, Decimal Bass, Soul Method, Virtue and Voltage. First there's the grating, Loadstar-style basslines and yearning, sonorous lyrics in "Tonight", then the tense, sci-fi "Love Sick" and the grinding SFX and chirrups of "Lonely Star". "Tears I Cry" delves into liquid D&B, while "80s Baby" does exactly what it says on the tin, with a synth work out that would have John B jumping around. Collab "I Believe" concludes the EP with a shimmy of lyrics and piano keys.