Review: Jungle Cakes shake us and bake us once again as label owners Deekline and Ed Solo lure long time friend Benny Page into their lair for this incredible 58 track collection. Created as a mix but all tunes available for your own persy armouries, as always with the 'Welcome To The Jungle' series, we're treated to sounds and styles across the entire dnb spectrum. Expected everything ranging from Benny's own bubblers to more dancefloor styles such as Blaine Stranger's 'Dragon' and Octo-Pi's 'This Sound' via rugged jump-up uppercuts such as Lockerz 'The Funk', crucial jungle licks like Exposure's remix of DeJay's 'St Paul's Jammin' and pure futurism like Filip Motovunski's 'Ninja'. And this isn't even the tip of the jungle iceberg here, there's so much to digest here. Huge.
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: Bryan Gee and V Recordings do not mess around. They never have in the past, they're certainly not right now in the present and judging by this highly anticipated Future album, they're going to mess around any time ahead. 25 tracks from some of the biggest, best and baddest names in D&B (Dillina, Serum, Benny L, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Roni Size, DJ Marky, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Bladerunner, Saxxon, the list goes on) this one's been a long, long, long time coming... And it's been well worth the wait. From L-Sides massive remixes of Dillinja and Krust to Need For Mirrors super-revved "Lambo" to Benny L's incredible remix of "Days", this sums up why Bryan and his label are as influential and respected in the game as they are today. Don't mess around.
Review: Bedmo band leader Dr Meaker strips right down to his bare bassline essentials and jumps in a deep hot bath of pure Brizzle grit. The results are both high flying and full of natural grace; "The Falcon" glides through the thermals by way of a grunty riff before swooping for its prey by way of big disco samples. "Birds Flying High" maintains the airborne action thanks to a ridiculously playful riff and more precision sample magic. It's a new dawn, it's a new banger...
Review: In a reggae laden expression of the stylistic backing behind Jungle Cakes, Blackout Ja and Wishmaster are teaming up with Dr Meaker for a really sick single. Both tracks roll out with all the intent of three artists who know exactly how to blend dub-infused tones with a rolling 170 beat, as they have done many times the past. This time is well-trodden ground for them, but the shimmering brass notes and funky vocal lines don't sound any less wicked. 'Eyes Of The Lion' is stabbing and sharp, whilst 'Mash Up The Place' is wobbling and steppy, a proper dancefloor number that's dying for a double drop. Wicked.
Review: Dr Meaker is without a doubt one of the most unique artists in the scene. Known for their live-band approach to D&B that utilises a litany of different vocalists and instrumentation, their two albums are some of the most beloved. But recently Dr Meaker has gone in a more dancefloor-friendly direction and has been repping the Souped Up take, with plenty of big basslines and rolling hooks. That's what this single is and it's definitely a heavy, well-made piece of work. We hope it's not the end of the older sound, but regardless we're loving this newfound grittiness.
Review: Dr Meaker are a live band slash electronic music outfit who make incredibly unique hybrids of D&B and other genres, notably soul and funk. On this occasion, however, they've taken a distinctly different turn in the direction of the jump-up sound, including a feature with Kings of the Rollers star Voltage, over on Jungle Cakes.'Baddest DJ' is that aforementioned feature and it's a roller of the type you'd expect, with snappy drums underpinning a naughty set of siney wobbles and low-frequency inserts. 'Wisdom & Knowledge' is even further from the beaten Dr Meaker path, a full on jump-up number with pitched up synth lines and grating atmospherics. Top stuff guys.
Review: Cor blimey, Jungle Cakes aren't messing around with their Welcome To The Jungle series are they? Hot on the heels of Ray Keith comes another stone cold OG; Nicky Blackmarket. Digging deep across the classics and sparking up a whole forest of fresh fires, it's a 40 track, 2 mix, 10 FX tool trove of pure jungle magic curated with the wide-armed style you'd expect from an originator. With classic ranging from well known such as "Incredible" and "Pulp Fiction" to cult such as "Keep It Raw" and "Gangsters" and upfront jams flexing from all the right names (Serum, Aries, Serial Killaz, Drumsound & Bassline Smith), Blackmarket has absolutely smashed this out of the mark.