Review: Hello! DLR's Sofa Sound returns to the 'Sofa King Sick' series for a brand new chapter comprising 19 cuts from some of the brightest young minds and established talents across the jungle D&B spectrum. As always with the Sofa gang the vibe is warm, raw and very groove focused and the whole album is loaded with stark, dark contemporary treats. Highlights include the stern grit and drama of Submotive's 'Snowed In', the brazen futurism and moodiness of 'Uppin' The Ante' from Ill Truth, Defex and Bluejay and the siren-raising hype and soundsystem ruffage of 'Live Till 86' from ZeroZero. But that's just three of many many many killer tunes on here. Dig deep and sit comfortably!
Review: Incoming! DLR's Sofa Sound reveal yet another serious 'Sofa King Sick' VA compendium and these are the first two tracks to sample. DLR takes the lead with his distinctive baggy groove. Laidback but dark and tense at the same time; no one has that groove science nailed quite like DLR. Next up we have a complete switch-flipping piece from Sweetpea and Iris. A tense, almost psychedelically edged piece with its modulating bassline and twisted layers, 'Revolution Not Televised' is strong enough to cancel all your streaming subscriptions and getting out to experience real life again. Stay tuned for more.
Review: Boom! One of the most hotly discussed and fervently entered remix competitions in dnb in recent times, DLR presents the talented winners. All exciting new-gen acts, some a little more familiar than others, each of these interpretations hits a different sweet spot. Highlights include the technoid tension of Liohness's deep and intense remix, an addictively bouncy twist from Wingz and a massive cyborg funk rendition from man of the moment Molecular. Each one of them a winner. Sound as many pounds.
Review: One of drum & bass' premiere rolling kinds, DLR is back on his own Sofa Sound imprint exploring the contours of 174 with a furious feeling of experimentalism only created in the depths of his audio laboratory. The title track is an atmospheric masterpiece in dancefloor focused sound design, with rippling arrays of bouncing bass nodes that slam through the air in perfect choreography, the dancing partner to DLR's dastardly ambitions. 'Sufferation' is possibly the evilest on the EP, a twisted fluctuation of sound that carves a cavern through the frequency range with palpable hatred and anger; a truly scary piece of production. This EP is honestly unbelievable, and cements once more why DLR has the reputation that he does.
Review: This compilation arrives with a rich heritage of V Recordings compilations behind it, and Planet V has for a number of years been the flagship series for Bryan Gee's label. Edition four comes to a whopping 73 tracks and includes a mix as well, and all the familiar V faces are present, from Alibi to Paul t & Edward Oberon. All of the tunes have already seen the light of day in a previous form, and Disrupta and Duskee's 'Deep Thoughts' is one of the standouts, as Disrupta lays down a minimal yet funky beat for Duskee to rap lyrical over, something he does with serious presence. New gun SL8r makes several appearances, including on the excellent 'What U Need', which bounces along in a synthscape of serious depth and texture, its funky nodes nodding to the beat of a vintage blend. Crossover outfit Think Tonk also shine with 'Tom & Heavy', an offering unique in its stepping, breaksy percussion and one which oozes soulful class. There are dozens more to have a gander at, so take your pick.
Review: Does it get more legendary than DLR and Break? Not really, to be honest, and the pair have honed their rough yet precise, energetic dancefloor sound over a decade plus of hard work. DLR's Sofa Sound label has carved out its stylistic niche with aplomb since it was launched and this single is bang on the money, with the man himself dropping a single that's just as good as you'd expect. Break features on the a-side - 'Hit The Target'- which layers deeply satisfying rolling percussion over a choppy, jump-up infused bassline which oozes character and funk, an extremely hard balance to pull off and one that's been perfected here. They've also managed to incorporate the sounds of the German Stuka dive bomber from WW2, the instantly recognisable siren from which injects that extra element of aggression and fear. The b-side is even more venomous, with a spiralling bassline that twists in the knife with every turn, angled in its sharp edges and moody in its attitude. Unbelievable, Geoff.
Review: Break's Another Way album set the bar once more, as his albums always do, and now we're in the throes of its long-awaited remix project. The first single is courtesy of Workforce and Skeptical, two of the hottest producers in the game, who have both remixed Edge of Time and City Slickers respectively. The former has been spaced up from its original raw self into something much more celestial, more synthetic. It's still organic sounding but now packs much more of a punch. Skeptical has done what he does best and rolled out the original across a techy canvas of monotony and sheer grit, his penchant for simplicity shining through in spectacular fashion. Unreal.
Review: The man, the myth, the sofa-loving animal; DLR dives deep into 2020 with two corkers on Doc Scott's 31. "Banana Bread" is every bit as tasty as its name suggests. There's an old school house vibe to the rising chords and string line as it builds slowly towards to the ruffneck scrappy bassline on the drop. "Busy" is an equally addictive affair. Once again the intro fools you ahead of the twist; dreamy, deep and skippy, no one expects the dark, techno-like groove when it finally kicks in. Go bananas.
Review: Coming in hot on DLR's Sofa Sound, the duo of the moment that is Ill Truth, fresh off the back of their Flexout EP, are landing with a proper stomper. Combining the Sofa Sound mantra of hard hitting, funky beats with their own tendency for low-frequency oscillation, Jay & Haden have smashed this one out the part. The title track features DLR & Gusto and is excellent, but it's on track three 'The Syndicate' that the release hits its peak, as riotous percussion murders its way through bars of pure energy to hit its optimum conclusion. No doubt this one will be getting played a lot across the airwaves.
Review: DLR is taking a break from his recently exclusive dwelling at Sofa Sound to come up with this, the One More Record EP on C.I.A, a three-track jungle EP which sees the Bristolian step over onto the breaksy side of things for the first time in quite a while. Label bosses Total Science step in on the first track, 'Spluurge, which packs rave-piano influences and a tightly bound knot of central percussion that drives the whole thing forward. Title track 'One More Record' is another highlight, with a slightly stripped back approach that seeks to impress, not overwhelm, a tactic that works wonders here. Top release.
Review: DLR is having an absolute tear this year, and Sofa Sound seems like it's certain to be one fo the genre-defining labels of the next several years. His own productions are the bedrock of its success and he's back on his own imprint with this delicious single, the A-side of which features Hybris. 'Terminal Madness' is glitchy, precise and futuristic with a stuttering drum pattern, whilst the flip is classic, rolling and murky DLR - a torn, ripping bassline and crispy drums. Unreal.
Review: Signal, DLR and Abis is an absolutely vicious combination that blends sparse rolling funk and frenetic neurofunk, with fantastic results. This might be the techiest release so far on DLR's Sofa Sound label and we're loving it, with both cuts packing a mix of penetrating synth lines underpinned by pulsating low frequency action. 'Artworld' is the heavier of the two but it doesn't feel overproduced, instead it feels clean, powerful and incredibly precise with everything exactly where it should be. 'Deeper Understanding' rests more on DLR's stylistic base, with one of the best second drops we've heard in ages. The Sofa strikes again...
DJ Chap & C.A.B.L.E. - "Be With Me" - (4:25) 176 BPM
Murdock - "Raw Power Moves" - (5:14) 174 BPM
DJ Andy - "Acid Reflux" - (4:33) 174 BPM
Chromatic - "Footprint" - (4:58) 174 BPM
Need For Mirrors - "Go Easy" - (5:23) 174 BPM
Peshay - "Nitro" - (6:43) 175 BPM
DLR - "Dafunk" - (5:55) 175 BPM
Bailey - "Computer Life" - (5:10) 174 BPM
Simplification - "Therapy" - (5:18) 172 BPM
Alibi - "Machine Head" - (5:36) 174 BPM
Nymfo - "Warrior" - (3:49) 170 BPM
DJ Limited - "Love Is Blind" - (4:12) 58 BPM
Jumpin Jack Frost - "Chronicles" (continuous DJ mix) - (1:08:09) 178 BPM
Review: Chronic is a sub-label of V Recordings that's specifically for rolling, rapid and rough tracks, the ones that are too naughty for the main label yet too good to throw out. Jumping Jack Frost as curated this latest compilation for Chronic and it's simply too good, with a wicked mix of vibes. From the snarling funk of Philth's 'Sanctuary', the wobbling energy of 'My Flava' by Command Strange or the rough jungle on Bailey's 'Computer Life', this LP injects the old-school vibe into new-school clarity. Arguably the stand-out though is DLR's 'Dafunk, a combination of stuttering drums and upbeat samples wrapped up in typical DLR-esque fashion.
Review: We're pleased to bringing you this pack of drum driven weight as the epic trio of DLR, Hydro and WAR who combine courtesy of Sofa Sound for a bass heavy showdown. The first of the two tracks involved is a certified roller by the name of 'Not Too Late'. This one is packed to the brim with lethal electronic synth expanses and drum designs. On the flip, the pressure doesn't let up as 'Trick' strips the compositional styles back into a super groovy bag of creativity, with original synthetic sounds flying left right and centre. Excellent work!
Review: One of the most respected producers in the game, Bristol-based DLR joins the new label community with his own signature brand. With a distinctive imagery complementing his singular, snub-nosed signature, this launch release is a perfect statement of intent; "Ghostfish" worms with rasping bassline menace that refuses to quit in a way you might have expected to hear from Die around the late 90s. "Don't Make Sense" takes us down a more twisted path with rising FX and a twisted bass tones and drums so well chiselled you could save a layer of skin of your face just by reading this description. Sofa so good, right?
Review: Dubplate damage: Dispatch let rip with another killer exclusive bounty featuring three of its most talented artists. DLR & Script's "This Is Bristol" echoes with the city's rich jungle heritage as jazzy motifs, cosmic textures and glacial drums fuse full circle in the darkest-yet-dreamiest way possible. Script appears on "Burnside VIP" too as one half of Scar with Survival as their earliest collaborative release, "Burnside" gets a ruthless interrogation and a dank night in the choky. Banged up.
Various - "Hospital Mixtape: Fred V & Grafix" (continuous mix) - (1:04:04) 175 BPM
Review: It must be summer! Hospital Records get the British heatwave season cracking with a brand new whopper-length mixtape, this time from the label's own Fred V & Grafix. The sheer number of quality names clambering all over this tracklist gives the release some weight even before it begins, but then again it's hard to see people like S.P.Y, Lynx, Ivy Lab, Urbandawn, Etherwood, Bungle and Cynatific without getting a touch of the vapours. Look out also for the stunning Logistics remix of Andreya Triana's "Lullaby".
Review: If your immediate reaction to the news that Horizons have released a 17-track behemoth to celebrate their tenth year in existence wasn't total joy and amazement, you might not have a pulse. As a heavyweight label at the centre of the darker end of the scene, this LP has attracted mainstay names to come and show support, resulting in the most enviable roll call of the year. Kicking off with Break, artists as diverse and as legendary as Mako & Hydro, DLR, Need For Mirrors, Skitty and NickBee all come forth to spread the deep, dark, and at times industrial, love.
Review: Let's jump right in: DLR and Mako together on first track "Your Mind" is a beautiful thing. Waves of old school breaks move effortlessly under a calming wash of sound and bass playfully bubbles beneath the surface. This is next level D&B. As lovely as it is to hear Dirty LeeRoy making peace with the world though, it's also fantastic to hear him get down and filthy in huge tunes like "10 Steps" and "Sense Of Wanting". Mako returns for the lush and dubby "Outbound" and finally Rider Shafique joins the clan to add sultry speculation onto dark, dubbed-out "Seek Knowledge", which itself is a beautiful collection of skittering snares, breathy brass and scraped, scarred synth impacts. A stunning release.
Review: DLR, Script and Digital working together - it's a D&B dream come true. Martyna Baker's soft, sultry vocals on "Blue Room" add more depth to the velvety smooth synths and bass. With tight, techy drums punching through the suaveness, this totally is a seductive little number. On the other side, "Mini Cooper" shows Digital's dubby side, teaming minimal production with a big bad set of rubbery tyres. Two totally different styles, one massive release from one of the scene's biggest labels. Get involved.