Review: 15 years deep, but never on the low down... Logan D's label continues to operative and thrive at the forefront of jump up D&B with this epic anniversary collection. Loaded with new versions, upfront material and unreleased classics, it's a fittingly fresh and excitable package for a label with such tenure. Highlights include Voltage's curmudgeonly remix of Serum's 'Up In Smoke', the never-ending legacy of Dominator with the previously unreleased 'Outta Control', brand new badness from Slipz in the form of 'Badman' and timeless rawness from Heist with 'Bravado'. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Review: Dominator, the jump up legend taken from us far too soon, is being given the remix treatment of by a whole load of legends, including Upgrade, DJ Limited, T>I and Telekom & Flat T. The result is varied, moody release that touches beautifully upon all the elements of urban-edged dance music, including naughty rollers, stuttering jungle-influenced tracks and everything in between. T>I's remix of 'Hooked' very much falls into the latter category, with a rigid but solid break that underpins the wispy sense of ambience provided by the constant pads looming over the arrangement. The others are equally sick, especially Upgrade's storming remix of 'Business Man'. RIP Dominator - what a tribute this is.
Review: Low Down Deep are regular appearances here for two main reasons. Firstly, they release a hell of a lot of music. Secondly, it almost always hits hard and in good order. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at Vital & Mass' collaborative EP Think First/Rolling Stoney/No Gangsta/Deeper. 'Think First' is without a doubt the highlight of the EP, with an infectiously funky arrangement that's grounded in a glitchy sense of progression and movement. It goes hard, but in a way that's not off-putting or over the top, and it's a fitting tribute to an excellent original by the late DJ Dominator That's the general impression of this EP: jump-up with serious finesse and class.
Review: Biological Beats are turning fifteen years old and, like any good anniversary, it's being celebrated with a proper knees-up, hands-in-the-air type compilation of jump-up heavy hitters from a slew of wicked artists. This is that celebration and DJ Limited, Puppetz and more are in the place, whilst Enta and more make a feature as well. Enta turns up the heat with a screamer with 'Ear Dis', Puppetz takes things heavy on 'Reborn' and Traumatize drags proceedings into a bouncier place with his stormin VIP of 'Joker'. All round, an excellent showing from the crew and an excellent example of how to pull off a big compilation.
Review: Dominator sadly passed away last year, and to celebrate his legacy Low Down Deep have released a full LP of his music, including collaborations galore. The first tune features Nu Elementz and its satisfyingly solid, with punmching bass stabs and a rock-hard percussive base to go with them. All of the tracks on this release are just big, from the glitched-out width of 'Better Late Than Never' featuring Majistrate, to the subtle yet funk-infused rhythm of 'Atomic Playboy' featuring Ego Tripping. Scene legend Heist makes a couple of appearances on 'Sway' and 'Cowboy' and Sub Zero tears up the place on 'Terror Notts'. This is sick EP that does justice to another D&B figure who was taken too soon. RIP Dominator.
Review: Hurters don't come much more heavy hearted than these. Just over a year before he was tragically taken away from us, Dom's legacy lives on with two important additions to his hugely influential back cat. The long-awaited "History Making" VIP finally enjoys a release complete with its beautifully trippy melted jazz breakdown while A.M.C is given Dom and Turno's classic "Bomb Squad" and gives it an explosive twist of its own. Rest in peace Dom.
Review: We don't need to tell you how important this EP is. Commemorating a year since he tragically left us, each of these massive VIPs are a reminder of just how much of an impact Dom had on the game and how much he inspired his peers. You already know the tunes, you've no doubt heard these VIPs dropped in the dance, these are special moments in time that celebrate one of jump up's brightest souls. All proceeds go to Dom's family. Rest In Peace Beast From The East.
Raise Up The Pressure (feat Azza) - (5:51) 175 BPM
Roach Rizla (feat Grima) - (4:23) 175 BPM
Review: It doesn't get much deeper than this: Dom's first posthumous release, this was locked and loaded in the chamber just before he tragically passed in June. Time to pay respect; both on dub for well over a year, their heavy-demand status speaks for itself. Azza accelerates the intensity onf "Raise Up The Pressure" over a signature Dominator riff, all stripped back and spiky yet bouncy. "Roach Rizla", meanwhile, is a step-by-step guide to citrus bliss with the one and only Grima. Both essential in every possible way. Rest In Peace.
Review: The Teflon Don returns to LDD with four more of his signature seismic bass sessions. "Bomb Squad" sees him colliding with Turno once again for another drama damager where big strings wrap tightly around a serious groaning bass hook while "Think First" whips up a storm with a classical lead that plunges into a crisp and infectious riff. Dig deeper into the collection for a frenzied Q&A-characterised master blaster ("History Making") and a thundering orchestra-charged harmonically-heaved shredder ("Art Form") Serious rawness.
Review: Suffolk's D-Stortion Records are back with an impressive bunch of breakbeat science upstarts that aren't messing around. Take for instance Dominator & Heist with their fierce DJ Krust influenced stepper "Trouble"; that strings section in the middle is just classic! Next up Dominator teams up with Upgrade on "Couldn't Care Less" which rolls and growls away ferociously in a purist techstep tradition. Dominator, again, shows us his skills in conjunction with Invictus; this time on the dark and suspenseful sci-fi beat futurism of "Infected", which brazenly wears its Virus Recording influence on its sleeve and we can dig that!
Review: Four of Low Down Deep's heaviest club cuts over the last two years enjoy a new coat of VIP arms, bringing them all back up to date. Already in demand due to dubplate pressure, each cut adds new bassline and riff twists that will cause knowing gun fingers across the dance. Logan D & Dominator's "Giant Killer Bees" goes switch-heavy, Turno's "Gladiator" enjoys an emotional explosion on the breakdown, Majistrate's already tongue-in-cheek "Amsterdam" gets even sillier while Heist's infamous "Moose Knuckle" keeps its sci-fi haze intact while folding the bass riff inside itself. Serious VIP business.
Review: Tearing up the dance on Low Down Deep, Sweet Tooth now Biological Beats: 2016 has been a busy old year so far for Dominator. Weighing in at five tracks, this one is his biggest release of the three... Littered with expertly dug samples and basses so toxic you'll need your doctor on speed-dial, highlights include the spiralling cinematic strings on "Horror", the hissing snake-like hi-hats and burpy bass on "WAT" and the hater-baiting "Ride On Us".
Review: Full throttle jump-up business, Dominator and Nu Elementz finally deliver two of the subgenre's biggest ID requests this year so far. "Dimension" rides with a pulverising drill bass that fluctuates through the tones on every eight. "Spartanz", meanwhile, adds a cheeky breakbeat swing in the background as a darker, oakier bassline takes the lead with a Q&A riff before dropping into a string-laced breakdown from out of nowhere. Deadly.
Review: Fatman Dee's dusted off his big black book of contacts and commissioned some huge remixes for this all-out version excursion. Turno takes the lead with a full fat-and-gristle shake-up of Dominator's "Holes In Ya Chest" while Voltage adds an array of unique sonic twists and designs on his take on "Willy Wonka". Dig deeper for the unstoppable Decimal Bass letting loose with a confident swagger on "Shoot Dem" and Konichi sets his space lasers to stun on "The Shuttle Skank". Finally DJ Limited lays down not one but two remixes of Jayline's "Peanut Butter On Toast". Part one rolls with some really cool old school middy tones while part two combines an early TC style squelch. Both are exceptional.
Review: Since resurrecting System Shock, Callide has been on a one-man mission to raise the profile of his own favoured brand of soul-shaking deadliness. On this little beauty of a remix EP though, he's no longer a man on a lone mission, as plenty of the scene's hardest hitters have been placed on point to lend a hand. Remixes like DJ Hybrid's old school take on "Inferno" and Dominator's epic rolling intro for "A Way To Get The Answer" have given a new lease of life to these dancefloor-destroying slices of pure energy, as well as show off the diversity and creativity that still lives within the heart of our darkest, most club-focused sub-genres. A must for any fan of the harder stuff.
Review: Biological Beats are the latest addition to the Playaz roster of quality sister labels and on this sterling compilation there's a real sense of a stamp of approval - double B are looking to cement their sound. Kicking off with the beautiful sampling and hard thump of techy drums that is Jayline's "Time To Play", there's no let up and each tune brings its own blend of bone-shaking beats and subtleties. From minimal atmospherics to soaring string sections, this is jump up like you've never heard it before. Oozing with creativity and gasping for the light, forget all you know about heat-crazed dancefloor drum and bass and come over to the dark side. You know it makes sense.