Review: Attention drum and bass heads this Modulation EP explores all four corners of the genre with an extra stepping collab between Dunk & Mjay called "Too Bad" - killer micro-tear-outs. For a dash of liquid grooves it's all about the steady and hi tempo rhythms of "Deep Blame" that step up to meet the gnarly metallic pulses and skittering percussion of "1986". This saves both "Galaxy Buds" and "Zulu King" for something snare heavy, frenetic and head bobbing (if you can't get those knees up). But for the real adventurous DJs out there it's all about the crazy drum programming, pulses of roaring bass and wicked vocal samples in "Modulation".
Review: Over the years, Liondub International really have established themselves as one of the most exciting imprints to work with when it comes to incredible new drum & bass creations, with this new five track collection from Dunk offering up exactly that. We begin with the neurotic bass growls and sharpened drum punches of 'True Funk' which kicks us off with an energetic introduction, followed by sub-busting basslines of 'Alien Family' which sweeps between haunted atmospheric drips and vibrant drum crunches throughout its wavy journey. Next, Illament joins the party for some additional work on the pleasantly distorted bass tones of 'Taken' before 'Total Love' strips the drums back for a swaying sensation, topped with more of those juicy basslines. Finally, the powerful drum processing and clinking percussive slaps of 'Riddim' gives us one hell of a finale, rounding off this wicked selection Dunk with a suitable bang.
Review: Dunk AKA 50% of Jam Thieves is back with his biting, minimal take on jump up and this EP - Scamp - might just be his best outing yet. It's on the inimitable Playaz, and the A&R team over there have done a fantastic job and creating the perfect blend of stripped-back and sub-heavy, stabbing and grating. The title tune rests on crunching breaks that flutter in the solar wind, as harsh jagged edges tear mighty holes in the fabric of space and time; it's a proper dancefloor hoofer and should be treated with appropriate caution. 'Pirate Radio' is our other favourite, as a delightfully energetic drum line skips through murderous bass notes without a care in the world, a nonchalant piece of music that packs a punch as well.
Review: Bang! 30 Sub-liminal tracks deeply dug from every corner of the Brighton label's vaults, all packaged up in a new VA concept album: On Air. Perfect for filling a few gaps in your collection, or new ears who've only just experienced the power and gritty funk of Agro's label, every cut is a highlight or a heavyweight. Warhead & Dutta's grizzly 2018 slap-about 'Don't Test' still melts your skin, Leaf's 2020 wonk-out 'Erby' still hit with high grade 23rd century funk, Pyro's 2020 'Tick Yes' will still blackmail you and your family with its sinister undertones. And that's just a mere tenth of this solid collection. Cop it.
Review: This line up acts are all people who you've probably been seeing more and more of recently, as their own distinct brand of jump-up inflected sounds are starting to garner attention and turn heads. Stillz is at the helm of this particular journey, a six-tracker that hits hard and doesn't any prisoners - not even useful ones. This is exemplified best by the 'Way Out', which just goes, any time you think it's going to break down it just comes back bigger and better. 'Twisted' will certainly make you want to take some, a grating mash of pure energy that's matched in the subtlety of 'Business Hours', which takes things down in terms of loudness but up in terms of sophistication and production value. It finishes things off with 'Space Boy' and boy, what a finish, as glitching, techy stabs rattle all over the place and shove you along with them. Sick EP.
Review: Sub-liminal take a moment to look back over almost six years of hard graft at the future talent coal face. Having been responsible for so many bangers from so many now household names, it's a mean feat boiling it down to this mere 50 heavyweight highlights. All the label's key names are on board; Guzi, Dreadnaught, Nick The Lot, Too Greezy, Kumo, Version, Vital, Pyro, Motiv and many more dust off their past heavers, hurters and head-slappers to reflect on everything Sub-liminal has stood for and encouraged so far. From the deeper, more subtle bubblers (Sam Harris - 'Coffee Machine') to the most outrageous funk-ups (Warhead - 'Cranked') this EP has everything. When the Riddim hits you, you can't say no...
Review: Dunk is one-half renowned duo Jam Thieves, and his new excursion into the solo game is already beginning to bear some significant fruit. He's an absurdly prolific producer and has several released out and forthcoming already, with this four-tracker on Co-Lab the latest to see the light of day. It's classic Dunk, whose trademark blend of stripped back percussion, powerful subs and jump-up touches has been finely tuned over the last few years. 'Iceberg' is the perfect example, as a settled groove falls into place beneath oscillating, fluttering lines of gravelly bassline textures. 'Zombie Dog' flows with abandon and growls into its muzzle, whilst 'Dark Soul' featuring Illament is a skipping roller with deadly precision and a gungho set of jump up stabs. Big, big stuff.
Review: So it doesn't feel like we've had much of a summer this year. It also feels like the arts are being hung-up to dry right now. But at least the good folk at Sub-liminal care for us.... To mark the (albeit raveless) sunny season, they've put together a 50 (yes, fifty) track collection from some of the most exciting names in the game. From Dunk to Xav, RV to Warhead, Agro, Guzi, Shayper, Damage Report and so many more, this is the 'Summer Selection' we all totally need and deserve right now. Highlights include the Remarc levels of badness on Guzi's 'Area 51', the tension and staggered creepiness of Yatuza's 'Clich?' and the broadsword swathes of Motiv's buzzy bumper 'Necroplasm'. And that's just three out of 50. Thank you Sub-liminal. We need this more than ever right now.
Review: Sub-liminal savagery incoming! Leaf drifts his way back onto the ever-reliable label with two spiky pieces of straight-up dark funk jump-up. "Erby" celebrates the sticky green with a great vocal sample and the most venomous Q&A bassline Leaf's ever done (which is saying something) while "Jamaican Dub" sees Jam Thief Dunk join the fray. Following his recent slew of solo cuts, Dunk's angular, roughhouse grit is the perfect complement to Leaf's leftfield fire. The results speak for themselves.
Review: Dunk is coming out of the blocks at light speed for this four tracker on Encrypted Sound, a riotously good EP that covers a wide range of ground but that stays true to a core message: twisted basses and punchy drums, concocted together with the intention of birthing as many bass faces as possible. 'Dark Comedy' gets things going in Jam Thieves-esque fashion, a gravelly bass floating as it does above a skipping, precision drum line. But it's the title track that really takes the cake, 'Cadillac Blue', with part-clap, part-snare hits and a bassline that is unbelievably good; reverberating with the anguish of a thousand lost souls, moving, shaking, breaking and screaming. It's absolutely top class and sets up the final two tunes perfectly.
Review: Deeper Vision Recordings outta NYC returns with the worldy, instrumental and broken beat sound of Lungomare. Spearheaded by Ted Ganung - dropping memorable numbers like waltzing slow dance "Dream Connection Project" to the filtered and pitched calpsco of "I'm Grateful Riddim" - there's downbeat hip hop instrumentals in Jam Thieves "New Balance" to some subtle and sassy salsa in Rum Guzzler's "Cuban Goods". Find the chilled out dub reggae funk in Quincy Jointz' "Echo Chamber" and a sweet staccato piano house loop in the Wu-Tang reminiscent "Loaded Question".
Review: Chronic is a V sublabel that specialises in releasing stripped back, rolling sounds that emphasise the barebones of the genre. They're ideal for both a club and home setting and historically have come from some of the scene's biggest names: L-Side, Serum, Heist and more. This time around it's new producer Dunk, who reminds us of Jam Thieves in their rough approach to minimality, proving that minimal drum & bass doesn't have to be uber engineered sci-fi wizardry. Black Opps features on the growling 'Sickness', 'Rollers Game' is wonderfully wobbly, and title tune 'Rebel' has a brooding quality to the percussion that keeps things eerie the whole way through. Top.
Review: DLR's Sofa Sound label has become a pillar of the scene in barely a handful of years, and this week they're following up their previously successful Sofa King Sick compilation with a second edition, this one equally packed to the rafters with both new and old school talent. It's a tour-de-force of the tough side of the genre and it's exemplified by 'Baja', courtesy of Scepticz, a Belgian producer who knows his way around the controls and who proves it once more, as jagged synth lines cut across its snapping, two-step arrangement with all the force and subtlety of an underground train. Kodin makes an appearance on the superbly gruff 'Chronic', whilst The Sauce get deeper than usual on 'Ultrasonic'. Quintessential drum & bass that makes for essential listening.