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: 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: 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: One of the regular labels we feature are Sub-Liminal, a wicked little imprint that puts out a diverse sound ranging from techy rollers to jump-up steppers and even liquidy numbers. This week they've arrived with an EP from Dunk, who, across six tracks, spans various tones and styles, all of them rooted in a sense of dancefloor aggressiveness and all of them top-notch. 'Bingo' is a highlight, its rolling percussive line isn't the paciest but is loping and satisfying, whilst a stabby bass and sweeping reeces sit just above and inject all the force. 'Silence'' is also a wicked track, with a lovely, stripped back drum line that's full of moody sonics. Top stuff.
Review: Dunk & StillZ have teamed up over on Pick The Lock and they're gaining access not through a key, but by kicking in the door with their approach to crafting the low frequencies. 'Killers on the Loose' is a joint track from them both and it's fiercely minimal, sudden spasms being the only distrractions from an otherwise purely rolling sub bass. Dunk kills it on 'Who Are You, which is reminiscient of Jam Thieves in its production, whilst StillZ blends the minimal sound with a whopper of a foghorn that just rolls and rolls. Unreal.
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: 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: 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: 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.
Review: Everyone likes a good compilation, right? What's better than having as big a range of artists as possible in one condensed place? It's essentially an album with the ease of listening of a single, so we're all for it. Subliminal have come out with the 2020 edition in their Riddim Return series and it's packed full of bangers, across a range of styles, and it's one of those albums which doesn't try to be cool or sophisticated by chucking in a few fillers for the sake of diversity - it's just hard stuff here. It works great, with Sam Harris' tendency for muscular minimosity coming on loud and clear on Boom Ting, a wickedly devilish and driving roller.