Review: Juicy Fruit Recordings, besides having a very catchy name, put out catchy music and this time around it's the turn of K-jah, Erbman, SMAN and Vytol to put forth the goods via a selection of remixes. K-Jah's cut is wickedly simple: old-school drum sounds with an arrangement of bouncy bass stabs, all laid out in harmony and all touching on the wave of stripped-back sonics currently coursing through the scene. Vytol takes things darker with his remix of 'Rock Shop', a grating, gargling concoction that wobbles as much as any sick roller. Great collection of tunes here.
Review: Conrad Subs can really make music and his latest piece of work is out over on Calypso Muzak. National Anthem is an energetic piece of jump-up slash jungle construction that doesn't hesitate to punch you in the face and its exemplified by the title track, a bass-filled expression of dancefloor hatred which moves in mysterious yet obvious ways. It bangs, basically, as does the rest of the EP, with special mention going out to 'Nothing But Styles' featuring Erbman, which is a superbly funky, make-you-wanna-dance type endeavour.
Review: High five on the title. And with a name like Erbman, you know "Long Rizla Blues" isn't an homage to Muddy Waters. Rather, it's a sticky icky jazz-licked roller with double bass wrapped up in brown paper. "Live & Direct" has a similarly classic Bristol sound with its stripped back dynamic, a classic Bob James sample and full focus on some exceptionally polished drums. Smoking.
Review: Following a string of sizzlers on Subwoofah, Hocus Pocus and Ruffneck Ting, freshman Erbman licks up a double shot on Dance Concept. "Drunken Style" will leave you woozy from the first drop with its intoxicating riff energy and barrel-chested hurly burly while "The Payback" salutes the sticky-fingered fam with a wry balance of wah-wah funk and big drone bass licks that take us right back to Urban Takeover's glorious, no-holds-barred takeover bid 20 years ago. Authentic.
Review: If you roll them, they will come... Erbman pays homage to the sticky stuff once again with four track bounty pack and from the moment the Randall style rolls and low drone bass of "True 2 The Game" starts to fly out of the speakers you know he's not messing around. Elsewhere "Field Of Greens" adds a little stripped back percussive jungle fare, "Jus Roll" adds a little funk flare with its rippled wah wah textures and "Check This Out" goes all out Urban Takeover with its classic wobbled out riff. Smoking.
Review: These four tracks are from Erbman, one of the scene's best talents and it's a collection of tracks which prioritise genuine vibes and naughty head nodding over pretentious introspection or chin-stroking punditry. Aces High is an exemplification of that worldview, with four system-shaking cuts of jungle-influenced hedonism that range from the funky to the downright dirty. 'CTRL'' falls into the latter of these two categories and it packs a tapestry of different low-frequency slivers and punchy bass notes, all underpinning a raucous set of rolling stutters and vibrato breaks. Wicked stuff.
Review: Dance Concept have a bit of a reputation for spewing out some of the most venomous beats in the business and their talent for pushing some of the best unknown artists on the jump-up spectrum is undeniable. Erbman is holding up that standard and he's doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this EP. '187' reels you in with a lovely intro, it's upbeat beginnings quickly regressing to a wail of pure energy that's reminiscent of Kings of the Rollers and insanity more generally. The rest of the release is equally aggressive, 'Hustler's Delight'' being another highlight. Sick release.
Review: Ruffneck Ting have been too kind to us this week, as instead of amore standard single or four-track release, they've dropped an eight-track album of sorts, a collaborative effort by Erbman and Flat T which rolls out in absolute style. The percussive construction is a highlight of this release and 'Hit It' demonstrates this best, with a flurry of beats flying all over the shop and underpinned by a wobbling, movement-filled expression of low frequency oscillation. 'Late Night Blues' is our other favourite, with some gorgeous reggae sampling injecting a bit of funk and another excellent bassline providing the final heat. Wicked stuff.
Review: Ruffneck Ting let rip into 2018 with the launch of a brand new V/A album The Xtraordinary League Of Jungles 2. As with the previous collection, the album will be a roadblock of stone cold jungle lash-outs and these are the first five tracks to tease us. "Erbman" is all about the warm bassline bounce and strange sci-fi flutters. Kenji goes in on a T>I style stripped back steppy vibe on "I Would" while K Jay gives us not one but two dope collaborations... The wobbled out "Kerplunk" with Verdikt and the rocked-out face-slapper "Rock With Me". Finally the label bosses Dazee and Substance's 1997 tear-up "LF Ant" gets a razor-sharp 21-year update from Genetix & Habitat. Ruffneck ting; heads of the herd for almost 25 years.
Review: Following their most prominent and active year to date, Sub-Woofah kick off a new year of releases with a brand new jungle-focused series "Jungle Xplorers". Serious shots are being fired from the off; label boss and leading lady Euphonique kicks off with big Buju-biting damager "Big Man Don't Cry", Omega kicks up with an awesome warbling bass rattler while Erbman kicks out with a horn-tooting floor-shattering roller. Deeper again SynthForce & DJ Ransome get twisted on a Mind Vortex-style bass freak-out and Sl8r chops, pops and double drops with the stuttering, glitched-out Think break led stepper. Long may Sub-Woofah's explorations continue...
Review: Audio Addict are one of the most prolific labels in the game and an imprint which we regularly feature in these pages, mostly because of their penetrative ability to get the heart pumping with some dirty jump up. This is the second instalment in their New Addictions series and it's a percy, with contributions from J Select, Kamoh, Erbman , Burnzy and Joely and T Zone. J Select comes out the blocks straight away with 'Glitch', a giant, cavernous stepper with oodles of space in the arrangement for its multitude of coarse basses to blow you away. Erbman has the other highlight, with a growling, wobbling underground of sounds below its skipping drum line. Big stuff.
Review: K Jah lands on Ruffneck Ting with a jungle-influenced journey through D&B's rougher side. Ruffneck Ting doesn't have a reputation for being a label that'll hold your hand and this is clearly evident throughout Mad Flavour, none more so than on the title track. With a barebones, stripped back approach that's reminiscent of Digital or Spirit, K Jah combines old-school sampling with a distinct rawness to emphasise the track's low-frequency weight. This style is replicated across the other tunes to varying degrees but there's one constant: unadulterated sounds with the aim of serious dancefloor pressure. If that's your thing, then this EP is certainly for you.
Review: It's not just dangerous world leaders with their fingers on the nuke triggers right now; Too Greezey's firing them off in the form of his new label, too. Having launched earlier this summer, he's back now with Erbman with two more ballistic warheads; "Rollers Rights" hits with a real groaning bassline, anvil kicks and dreamy harp plucks while Erbman goes solo for "Zubr" with a swollen bassline that flops either side of the basslines in a style that's not dissimilar to Benny L. Explosive.
K Jah - "Deadly Isotopes" (feat L Rock) - (5:37) 175 BPM
Dawn Raid - "Come Get Yours" (Nian Dub remix) - (6:02) 175 BPM
Erbman - "Long Rizla Blues" - (5:05) 59 BPM
Dawn Raid - "One Brick" - (5:23) 175 BPM
Rawtee - "Higher Ground" (VIP) - (3:45) 58 BPM
K Jah - "Turbo Royale" (VIP) - (6:23) 58 BPM
Review: And now for their next trick, Manchester's finest murk magicians compile some of their finest moments since their last Vanishing Act album, hurl them at you at a rate of 175BPM... And your life will disappear before your very eyes. Authentic D&B jungle rooted in the past but flexing in the future highlights hang off every neck snap beat and gully bassline: the electrifying sizzles of Fire Syne's "Equinox", label bosses Dawn Raid's rave hymn "Amnesia", the frazzled trippy weirdness of K Jah's "Deadly Isotopes" and the venomous viciousness and reverse warpery of Rawtee's "Higher Ground" are just some of the many killer jams on offer here. Here's to another five years of black magic... Bippity boppity BANGERS.
Review: Dutty business: Toronto's DBA crew lay down their second supersized V/A LP of the year and it's an absolute gully jamboree. Ranging from the wobbled-out slaps of Euphonique's "Sound Dead" to twisted drones of Tryptamine's "Gang" via the wily 96 skanks and bubblesome bass of ScattyOne's "Wicked Babylon", Tomoyoshi's funk flipping triplets on "Time & Space" and the awesome halftime sludge of DJ Hybrid's clever Drop Out remix of "Raised In The Jungle" there's genuinely not one even slightly under par track here. Dutty Bass Audio are absolutely smashing the game right here.
Review: It would seem that the team at Ruffneck Ting have pulled out all the stocks here as they put together their 'The Xtraordinary League Of Junglists 2 (Level 1)' compilation, collecting up fifteen original dynamite sticks as they do so. The line-up contains a collection of high profile drums specialists, including DJ Hybrid, Erbman, Jinx, Bass Antics, Genetix and a host more. For us the highlights of this quite frankly super stacked project include Lion UK's dubwise roller in 'Hova Nova', alongside Flat T's scatty driver 'The Dragon' and Verdikt's super subby outing on 'Enemies'.
Review: For this bumper of a VA, Juicy Fruit have roped in Redline, Erbman, Rival Technique and more for the 2nd instalment in their Juicy Gang series. Featuring 7 street-focused cuts, there's a plethora of styles here that make this EP an easy win for anybody who appreciates the diversity of music the scene has to offer. Redline lands with the old-school, junglist cut that isn't the most glamorous but which gets the job done in a fashion only the old school can. Kovert Sound and Bill & Ed take things up a notch in terms of heaviness, whilst Hannibal Selector gets all funky with an wicked set of samples and some stuttering rolling drums. Wicked, wicked.
Review: Northern scene legend Adam Wigglesworth sadly passed away on April 3. This is how his friends responded... By compiling one of the biggest tribute albums drum & bass has ever seen. Just look at the amount of talent on here: Pyxis, Euphonique, Nvrsoft, No Concept, Exile, Euphonique, Dawn Raid and so many more artists have contribute to this 45 track album of which all proceeds go to Adam's family. From the blazing bass riff of Sappo's late 90s style neck snapper "Hannibal" to Exile's turbine bass growler "Symbiosis" via Sl8r's jazzy, almost Detroit style vibes on "The Mill" and various bits from Wiggo himself, this is a heartfelt salute from the entire scene to a man who'll be sorely missed.
Review: Erbman and Krunk's Juicy Fruit quenches our thirst once again with another full flavour v/a EP. As before there's a strong jungle twang to the vibes as we're treated to a slew of funk-flecked bass odysseys. Verdikt takes the lead with a set of thuggish subs and a precision spoken word sample, Bill & Edd loosen up the drums for a real soulful shaker while Kovert Sound crushes us with his "Pussyhole" in the most charming way possible. Finally the unstoppable Too Greezey jumps on board for the finale with a spaced-out twist on the bossman's "Rockerz International". Each track making up way more than your five a day, this is one healthy label right now.