Review: Ahead of his highly-anticipated album Carnal Mind next month, Sao Paulo vibe conjurer L-Side teams up with DRS for a hurricane soul romp with the one and only DRS. A deep driving piece with psychedelic synths whipping up and around Delroy's delicious dulcets underpinned by gurgling, warping bass, this is an open and shut case for chopping and indeed severing. Bring on the album!
Review: V Recordings do some of the best compilations in the business and their brand new Foundation series is a natural recognition of that fact. They're not being hyperbolic with the usage of the term 'Foundation' either, because this is truly an overview of some of the scene's most foundational producers. Old-school Dillinja, Krust, Roni Size and DJ Die, amongst others, make up the roster of acts that formed an integral part of the genre back in the day. The new crew is also represented, however, in the form of L-Side, Think Tonk, Nasza Linez and loads more, all of whom bring some of that V-style heat. Wicked album - one for the heads.
Review: Oh boy, The North Quarter label is back in action and they mean business as usual with this Lenzman remix of "Still Standing" by Children Of Zeus. Remember Jenna G and her beautiful liquid strain of drum & bass back in the mid 2000s? Well, this tune is of that disposition, and we've been missing this kind of contemporary jungle form our charts. The breaks are fast, dusty but gentle at the same time, and DRS' lyrics float ever so well with the percussion and bass, but it's their fusion with Children Of Zeus' singing that really pleases us. A deep and cerebral d&b bombshell.
Review: DRS will be known to many as the voice of countless productions from the likes of dBridge, Alix Perez and LTJ Bukem, but here the Manchester MC (real name Delroy Pottinger) shows a different side to his musical character as he brings us a full album's worth of introspective, soul-drenched hip-hop. The album was inspired in part by the loss of close friend Marcus Intalex, and it shows on tracks like 'Clipping My Wings', 'A Little Too Much' and 'Serial Escapist', which see the mic veteran musing on his fatigue and frustration of the daily urban grind atop beats from producer Pitch92 that never push beyond the midtempo mark.
Falling For You (feat Dogger/Mindstate) - (3:27) 59 BPM
Review: Space Cadet 002 is DRS' first release on his brand new record label of the same name, and it's absolutely gorgeous. For the release he's roped in GLXY, Skeptical, Artificial Intelligence and Dogger & Mindstate, so the line-up is unsurprisingly star-studded. GLXY's 'Rain Dance' combines delicate piano touches with a melancholic sense of forward-movement, a rainy-day tune that'll have you staring out the window. 'Overdose' is the heavier cut of the bunch, with expert precision on the back end from the Integral Records duo that pairs perfectly with the more menacing side to DRS' lyrical ability. The other two tracks are just as unique, rounding off a quality EP from one of the best MCs in the game.
Review: While no D&B album is complete without at least one DRS-fronted banger, these are the Manchester MC's first solo outings since his 2012 earthquake-inducing album I Don't Usually Like MCs. With Jubei and Marcus Intalex on production duties, you already know this is going to bang... "The Puppeteer" is a vicious, late night shredder spiked with sharp-tongued lyrics and even sharper bass. "Emergency", meanwhile, is a skank-factored bouncer over which DRS shows he can sing just as well as he can spit. Looks like album number two is well en route... Bring it.
Review: Fresh from the massive "Missing You" with LSB, DRS returns to his first artist release since his album Mid Mic Crisis. On a serious mission to spread positivity amid the scary climate, "I Will" is undiluted soul vocally, and musically as Patife dusts off the ivories with finesse. "Your Name" unplugs for an acoustic barbed tale from Skittles while "Sin" brings us back up to drum & bass with Utah Jazz laying down true drama in the groove. Finally Calibre creeps into the fray with a funk groove that's almost jaunty in its swing and dubbed guitar echoes. DRS respectfully joins in mid-way, really letting Dominck's groove settle in deep. Untouchable.
Review: DRS working with Enei and LSB was music to our ears before we even heard the track. Drop Tyler Daley's blistering vocals into the mix too and you've got yourself a release that's 100 per cent drum and bass purity. "The View" starts things on a euphoric high with LSB rolling out those lush vibes he does so well. Tyler adds his vocals and what results is a cinematic love story played out at 170bpm. Enei prefers things strictly dark so when "Count To Ten" starts its militant march it's evident there's no escape. Abstract, tribal and earth-shatteringly heavy, DRS whips up the mood with agile aggression. Two tracks, two worlds. Choose carefully.
Review: Magic happens when Calibre and DRS collide. Both masters of space, imagery and story telling; they complement each other so well. Especially here... The piano-massaging "Sunrise" is the light from the dark as the pair make sense of the night before and capture the essence of a brand new day. Meanwhile on "Broken Wings" we're taken right back to Swerve with a subtle velvet disco hook that rises softly while DRS puts down one of the most important messages since "Angels Fall": we need to work together for this to work. Calls for unity don't come with much more authenticity.
Review: There are super-collabo and then there are genuinely epic hook-ups like this. Plasma bossman Safire and MC/poet/soulman extraordinaire DRS are the consistent figures across both tracks as two of the best producers in the game join in for each piece. Skeppy takes the lead with the purring, deep breath creeper "With You". The ideal glacial bed for Del's cold bars, if you're not goosebumping to this there's something wrong with your soul. Similarly, if you're not swooning in good vibrations to "Set The Bar" - this time with absolute OG Zed Bias joining them on dials - then you should call a doctor ASAP. What a release.
Review: Critical Impact lives up to his name once again with two big MC cuts that have been doing the rounds for the big boys on dub for a while. "Crazy" brings a little Manchester heat as DRS digs deep into his complexities for a unique chorus hook and class A spitfire bars over an almighty, skin-melting Critical Impact drone bass. "Far Away" flips the vibe for something a lot more soul soothing as Fats does his dreamy dulcet thing over a purring subtly jazz-tinged roll out. Crazy good.