Review: Bulletproof 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 artists on the jump-up spectrum is undeniable. Danger is holding up that standard and he's doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this EP. 'Paperchase' reels you in with hip-hop driven, rolling energy, that quickly flips into a siren-like wail of pure, stabbing energy that's reminiscent of Annix and insanity more generally. The rest of the release is equally aggressive, 'On My Back' being another highlight, and we especially love the glitching funk 'Human Error'. Sick release.
Review: Drumroll please! Audio Massacre continue their drive for fresh talent with the second instalment of their new-gen series "Cue The Drums". Eight new acts, six new vibes, highlights include the rattle-snake rasps of Dolexil's "Space Vehicles", the broken glass funk and slinky sub wobbles of Maze & Alphaze's "Laser Flip", Wulflock's tipped-out 8-bit barnstormer "Pixels" and pure sugar rush of Dotronix's switch-flipping "Move". Join the cue.
Review: Following releases on the likes of Overview and Delta9, Austrian deepsmith Division makes his debut with super on-point crew Pick N Mix. Proper tunnel vision business, if you know Division's sound you'll already have an idea of how hypnotic and immersive these will be. Five originals, one remix, all killer - highlights include the scattergun kicks and flabby subs of "Complication", the graveyard aesthetic of "Step In" and that purring cavernous sub on his Master Error co-lab "Possession". United we stand, Division we fall in love with...
Review: Hi Def are one of the most prolific jump-up labels around. We regularly feature their releases and they almost always smash it out of the park, this time being no different. Access All Areas is a fiery EP, featuring Ego Trippin, Filthy Habits and more, that epitomizes the type of jump-up, but also slightly different flavours as well, that, in more ways than one, has defined D&B over the past couple of years - no-nonsense, uncompromising and proudly nonchalant about what you think. It's just pure attitude, dancefloor-based music at its best and music that simply does what it wants, there's no pretentiousness or image-orientated concerns - it's just D&B. Big, big tunes.
Review: Enta is a prolific jump-up producer and Young Guns have released that side of his productions before, but this Paralysis EP is something different, something a bit more brooding and stripped back. There are some wicked minimal vibes here, especially on 'Straight 2 Ya Head', which combines a double kick, a diving sub bass and eerie vocal shimmers to foment a tapstry of minimalistic depth, one which gradually gets bigger and bigger. 'Tokyo Drift' combines the two sounds in a really cool way that reminds us of Simula, whilst 'Never Be Mine' has a foreboding air to its stabby synthetic construction. Top work.
Review: Artwork of the week goes to Blind Jack's Journey and this Polar Nip EP from Error 404 and Oddnip!! Oh yes and the music is pretty damn great too as you'd expect from the perennially on point and perennially sold out Yorkshire label. Up top, the unheralded Error 404 delivers a slab of slow burning acid that bumps and fizzes in all the right places for over seven minutes - a bit like a pitched down Funkineven track and a nice cut for when you want to add a bit of drama to the early hours of a clubnight. Down below and Blind Jack's graduate Errornipp comes through with a delicious slab of beatdown house with plenty of neat interplay between those fat kickdrums and those grooving melodies.
Review: Down 2 Earth Muzik is Macky Gee's imprint, his way of putting out more of the music he personally enjoys and wishes there was more of, a stamp he can plonk down on the scene and call his own. This next release is from Gino and it seems like he's heard the criticism that jump up is too samey, and so gone out and tried to refine and change the sound. He's definitely succeeded, whether you're into it is up to you, but there's a certain creativity in how the synths and basses are constructed and how they relate to each other. We love it and can't wait to hear more. The title track is especially good, with a super unique beat pattern and tough and tumble vibes popping off all over the shop.
Review: Pick N Mix head up north for some Geordie grit as another one of the Toon's fizzy D&B community shines a scene spotlight on the city. This time it's KL who serves up a six-piece of gritty harmonics and distorted, curmudgeonly bass. Beyond the epic title track, highlights include the tense, graveyard-style deepness of opener "Buzzkill", the savage, haunted groaning of "Smoke Out" (with fellow Newcastle murker Hexa) and the twisted rifle riddim and savage steps of "Radiant". Now stop: "Hammerfist" time.
Review: Nuusic are a fantastic little label that have really burst out the stocks over the last couple of years, releasing a plethora of music with the common thread of rudeness and an inability to stand still. Kumo is jumping on this heritage with vigour this week, and Born Soldier rolls out across four tracks with a jumpy attitude that we're incredibly sad won't be heard on a danceflloor anytime soon.'Skeng Riddim' is an absolute percy, as a two-step drum pattern takes you in to a funky, flowing hip-hop arrangement with serious bite. 'Born Soldier' is packed out in the lows, straining against itself the whole way, whilst 'Virus' is another naught little roller. This one pops.
Review: Pick N Mix do one thing, and that's pump out absolutely wild cuts of destructive D&B. That's their sole mission and, not for the first time, they've roped in Magenta and friends to help them accomplish it, a producer who is more than familiar with the peculiarities of dancefloor pressure and twisted sonics. 'Distress' is arguably the best cut on the EP, with absolutely wicked drums undergirding a Serum-esque display of dragged-out bass wizardry and gurgling force - the back-end on this track doesn't take any prisoners. The other tunes are trademark Magenta, with the punching stabs of 'Slave' and the stepping aggressiveness of 'Champion Style'. Big stuff.
Review: This release is big. Not in a super fancy or sophisticated way but in the ways that matter, the ways that mean you'll be going hard on a dancefloor at 5am somewhere when one of these tracks comes on. Master Error is responsible and he's over on Young Guns Recordings this time around, Artillery is the name of the release and it's fitting. 'Braindead' is straight up roller business, with a towering intro that cuts away on the drop, leaving a pure line of energy and rattling percussion in its wake. 'Rush', 'Artillery' and 'Assault' step up the craziness even more and are where this extended EP really gets going. Top work.
Review: You'd hope that the good men and women behind Young Guns Recordings don't actually carry weapons, but this EP proves that they do. Master Error lands on the label with a five-tracker that's rooted in the current contours of the UK underground, a riotous and rough release that isn't too bothered about its occasionally unseemly fringes. 'Escalation Protocol' is a good name for the first track, an expansive stepper that oozes and pulses from its core with a surprising amount of groove. 'Run It Back' is the other standout track of the five, with a precision percussive line that gets its weight from a diving sine bass and wobbly, fluttering synths that remind us of a neurofunk tune. Sick stuff.