Review: Phizzy has long since shown himself to be a man of many layers and flavours but this is a whole new side altogether. Tapping into more soulful pastures, "Spot Light" tips a respectful nod to the legacy of Hidden Agenda or the jazzy work of Makoto with smooth, shimmering but weighted flow. A future classic, without question. "Rotate" takes more of a jungle twist with pitched amens running point over another swooning instrumental palette. Genuinely outstanding and a perfect fit for Headz, too. Nailed it.
Review: Last spotted piddling on the BBC's public decency guidelines, producer, DJ, broadcaster, label owner, two-bit animator and all-round Manchester legend Dub Phizix drops two slices of steppy science out of the blue. Both lean and dubby, "Do One" carries one of those mix-friendly riffs on the intro that tease the cascading molten sounding drums (think "I'm A Creator" for 2016) and fit DRS's lyrics perfectly. All tribal and thumpy, "Doberman" is darker again. Ward 21's demonic mic command ensuring certified nightmare dancehall status. Woof woof.
Review: Manchester based Dub Phizix says his OhmGrown series is focused purely on the music and less about industry, releasing his music directly for download from the likes of yours truly - not very long after they've been finished. An addiction to the entire process means the sound design, writing, mixing, mastering and any visuals are done in-house by him - impressive! Part 1 features moments of moody deep dubstep like "Engage", woozy off-kilter drum 'n' bass experienced on "The Waterboy" and of course "Get Fresh" with its truly obese bounce and wobble.
Review: Crafting four tracks from a bleak yet deeply enticing soundscape, Dub Phizix provides us with the next release on the ever-promising Ingredients imprint. First up, "Out There" introduces sci-fi SFX, harsh, almost tribal drum kicks in a haunting piece. "Athos" ups the ante with tense, prickly synths and aggressive bellows of bass, while "Breathe", one of the two digital exclusives, is a driving, bass wielding stepper that wouldn't sound out of place in a NFM set. "Inertia", the final clincher, has a similar experimental aesthetic to Rockwell, with clinking beats, cinematic samples and ticking hi-hats.
Review: Back on Exit for the first time in over three years, Phizzy makes up for lost time with four slack-kicked blunderbusses. Raw, swaggering and more G'd up than a weekend at Ascot, "Hack" slaps with a twang-happy guitar lick, "Rebel Spirit" turns you into a ping pong ball and ricochets you down a mile-long aluminium tunnel while the brilliantly titled "(Right I'm Gonna Get Shedded This Weekend & Eat Some) Spinach" is based a precision processed vocal loop that flickers around the cast iron hustler riddim. We flex deeper for the steppy "Subway Swingers" before Mr Phizical closes on a blues nightmare scenario - droning beats and glistening guitars aplenty, it's the Manchester man at his deepest and most introspective. Fire.
Review: Last month came "Calm"... Now comes the storm. Dub Phizix lets the dogs out with two more tracks out of the blue. "Item" is a proper heads down roller that seems to sizzle with high voltage buzzes while peppered with mystic pipe blasts and strange barking see-saws on the swing. "Blossom" is no fading wall flower either. It's more like a venus fly trap that lures you in with a sweet scented intro before biting down on you with crucial bashy drums and more switches than Carrington Power Station. Crispy.
Review: So let's get this straight... This year Exit have released albums by dBridge and Skeptical, they've shut us all up with Itoa's debut, blasted us away with Strategy's first production EP, remixed the Dickens out of Zed Bias and slapped us silly with Fracture's turbo Berghain and they still keep hitting us? This has been amazing year for dBridge's label and this return to their longstanding Versus series with Dub Phizix and Fixate is a massive juicy cherry on the top. "Hotfoot" is a shaken halftimer with gutter bound textures on the low end while "Babalugats" takes us on a tour of Turkish steam baths in a tank made of trap. No fussing here; 2018 has been a certified killer year for Exit.
Review: Calm is the first release from Dub Phizix and Strategy in quite a long time and we've missed the Manny flavours of D&B combined with their unique blend of hip-hop and who knows what else. Strategy is at the top of his game on this one, with a really unique structure on the introduction that throws the listener straight in with no frills attached, and Dub Phizix's ability to produce rollers just as well as steppers is fully on display. This release is just proper D&B, basically, so check it out and stay calm.
Review: Mise En Place Pt. 2 is a showcase for some of the most innovative talents in drum and bass today. Ingredients Records certainly know how to stockpile an enviable portfolio of tracks, and some of these beauties have been on the backburner for a while. First track "Rainy City Music" by Dub Phizix has added lingering, hopeful ambiance to the end of sets for a good long while now, but with a proper release, headphones everywhere can experience its full cinematic glow. Villem's "Splinter In Your Mind" gets a fractious and bassy makeover by the elusive Break, puling switches and swapping rhythms like a mad professor in a thunderstorm. Skeptical, the go-to man for dark, minimal drum and bass provides a VIP version of cold-hearted killer "Blue Eyes", where beautiful samples are stamped and warped by high-pressure bass and intricate percussion, adding faster-moving tension to an already sterling track. Finally dRamatic & dbAudio's icy roller "No Return" is soaked in icy atmospherics, with bass that looms terrifyingly out of the mist. Four incredible tracks from producers punching well above the median.
Review: Psylence's culinary themed label Ingredients comes up with a brand new concept for their "best of" compilation, which brings together the highlights from the label's success to date and packages them as the "Choice Cuts". Lo and behold there are such tasty morsels as Sato's dark, glistering bassline roller "Detroit Lies Bleeding", the insatiable snapping snares of "Clean Break" and fidgety finesse of "Voyager (feat. Baron Von Alias)" - both by Phobia - and the moody intrigue of Jubei's "The Path". It's a fine selection of tunes, which points to the fact that Ingredients is a very promising label indeed. Watch this space.
Dramatic & dbAudio - "The Green Box" - (5:39) 175 BPM
Villem - "Splinter In Your mind" - (5:19) 173 BPM
Dub Phizix - "Domepiece" - (6:19) 174 BPM
Trex - "Bad Reaction" - (5:40)
Bazil - "Dark Impulses" - (6:46) 172 BPM
Genotype - "A Few Too many" - (6:53) 170 BPM
Pessimist - "Abstract" - (6:46)
Review: Ingredients continue to cut the mustard with their excellent selection and ear for a good tune and this, the third installment of the Choice Cuts series, is no exception. Bringing together a range of top-notch artists including Krakota, Foreign Concept, Jubei, Spirit and more, this album is a pleasure from start to finish. Kicking off with "Be Myself" by Krakota which is full of booming bass and metallic, warping SFX, we are taken through cuts such as Dramatic & dbAudio's "The Green Box" and Jubei's excellent "The Path" with its ominous, eerie atmospherics and whisperings.
Review: After two very successful instalments of the Electr*c series thus far, Gilles Peterson returns with another chunky selection of artists that fit into the less organic side of his taste-maker tendencies. This time it seems that he has dug especially deep to find some fresh talent, so unfamiliar are the names on the line-up. In terms of style, there's a tendency towards rich melody across the board, from Aftawerks engrossing mellow acid workout to the contemplative juke dazzle of Jaded Laur, but there's also space for some more primal club tracks. Just check the ghetto tech flex of Frank Rodas' "Kick It VIP" for all the proof you need.