Review: Last year Bcee and Charlotte Haining released a superbly soulful vocal album, and the time has come for it to get the remix treatment. The lineup for this album is immense, as LSB, Technimatic, S.P.Y, Mitekiss and loads more step up to put their own spin on things. The Shogun duo Technimatic kick of proceedings by shoving a rocket inside 'History', with one of their trademark euphoric buildups, a lead that moves delightfully into an explosively rolling exercise in soulfulness. Deadline nail their remix of 'Almost There', and S.P.Y's flips 'Remind Me' into a growling dancefloor number. There are too many corkers to list here - check em out.
Review: 25 years! The big H celebrate a quarter of a century in the drum & bass game with this phenomenal collection of remixes, reboots and revisitations by some exceptional names from firing new talent to the sagest of OGs. From Dillinja's remix of Urbandawn's 'Come Together' to Makoto's flip on Nu:Tone's classic remix of Lenny Fontana's 'Spread Love' via L-Side's immense remix of B-Complex's 'Beautiful Lies' and A.Fruit's dusty jazz take on the early 2000s 'Beautiful' from Phuturistix, the whole Hospital rave rainbow is covered by one of the best talent line-ups outside of their festivals. Whiney to Winslow, Remarc to Ray Keith, this is a fantastic document that reflects both Hospital and drum & bass on the widest possible level. Happy anniversary!
Review: There are only a handful of producers in the scene who can match Bcee's output in terms of albums, and the Norfolk-based owner of Spearhead Records is landing on his own label with his eighth album, a ridiculous achievement by any stretch. This time it's a new formula, though, as Life As We Know It is a collaborative effort with Charlotte Haining, who forms an integral part of this albums soul and characteristic, her superb vocal talent providing the top layer to Bcee's production underbelly. As usual, the instrumentation is gorgeous and 'Almost There' has an introduction which is soulful in the extreme, as gentle piano touches collide with Charlotte's voice and slowly builds into a true drum & bass ballad. 'Little Bit Lighter' featuring Etherwood is beautifully bouncy, 'The Hills' rolls out amidst fluttering harmonies, and DRS joins on the melancholic 'Love For The Fallen'. The message of the album is matched for our current moment of flux, and it marks a massive achievement for both Bcee and Charlotte.
Review: Known at large for his drum and bass productions, lockdown in 2020 has led Etherwood to embrace the truly instrumental side of his music. Delving deeper into more traditional values of his trade, Etherwood conjures up six acoustic covers of his drum and bass material, swapping liquid rhythms, subby basslines and quicker tempos for moody guitars, crooner vocals and high fidelity bedroom ambience. Showcasing Etherwood's raw flair as a multi-talented singer-songwriter, soulful vocals and meaningful lyrics are brought to the front of his mixes, giving new life to classic tracks like "Begin By Letting Go" (from his self-titled debut album, 2013) and others like "After Glow" and "Clouds".
Review: A label shutting up shop is never, ever a good thing. But when they sign out with a collection as strong as this? You've got to admire them. Graduation is an epic collection of total D&B innovation from some of the Hospital sub-label's longest standing talents, old friends and a few new-gen upstarts along the way. Highlights across the 23 track set include raw damagement in the form of a S.P.Y's "Black Flag VIP", 160 freakery from Lakeway in the form of "Massive", swampy trippy tripletty funk from the long-missed Lung ("Stop Crying") and more blissful uniqueness from Kimyan Law ("Kaleido"). These are just some of the many impeccable designs from a collection that closes the label with full respect and the attention to detail the label has always had. Med School RIP.
Review: Is there a doctor in the house? Hospital kick start the new decade with another stupendously massive V/A collection in the form of its latest Sick Music compendium. An album series that consistently lives up to its name, Sick Music 2020 does not disappoint in the slightest; from the powerful soul thrust of Degs and Unglued's "Levitate Your Mind" to the deep pads and sultry kicks of Tolima Jets' "Clams" via Urbandawn's truly electrifying euphoria/gully head shock "Egregor", this one covers the full spectrum from an exciting and super diverse range of artists. Look out for some fantastic remixes lurking in the mix, too; S.P.Y absolutely crushes Kings Of The Rollers' "You Got Me" and Serum flips Todd Terry's house classic "Bounce To The Beat" with a new sense of funk and groove. And these are just a few examples; this is a fantastic snapshot into how 2020 will sound... And it sounds great!
Review: Med School's travelling wilbury Etherwood delivers his first collection of originals since last year's album In Stillness. Written on the road throughout summer 2018 in his van, each piece depicts an entirely fresh view that ranges from the azure waters and soft sand of "See The Sky" to much darker, tense rollers such as "Driving Out". Highlights include the soft introspection of "Clouds", the delicate pianos and meany moody bass groan on "Lulerain" and the skippy bliss of "Away From It All". Time to get lost...
Review: Hospital Records do compilations better than most, partly because there's always something for them to celebrate. This time around it's the second year of Hospitality in the Beach, their new 4 day exercise in beach-based beats, featuring some of the best artists in the game. A huge album, the LP has 33 tracks - 25 of which are brand spanking new. Whiney's remix of Etherwood's 'Begin By Letting Go' is a highlight, the original's smoothness roughly transformed into a pummelling display of techy force. With Bou, Kasra, BOP and others making an appearance, this LP has all bases covered.
London Elektricity - "That's A Switch" - (4:58) 173 BPM
Fred V & Grafix - "Auckland Sunrise" - (3:42) 174 BPM
Bop & Subwave - "City Lights" - (4:37) 170 BPM
Krakota - "Mismatch" - (3:45) 58 BPM
Kings Of The Rollers - "Hot Wheels" - (4:46) 175 BPM
Urbandawn - "Caffeine" - (4:09) 174 BPM
Metrik - "Dawnbreaker" - (5:01) 174 BPM
Nu:Logic - "The Sound Of Your Smile" - (3:45) 174 BPM
Polaris - "Lessons Learned" - (7:20) 58 BPM
Logistics - "Let The Senses Clear Your Mind" - (4:13) 174 BPM
SPY - "Rock Da House" - (4:57) 172 BPM
Whiney X Urbandawn - "Loki" - (4:24) 175 BPM
Makoto - "Wading Through The Crowds" (feat Karina Ramage) - (4:35) 174 BPM
Keeno - "Brave Face" - (6:23) 174 BPM
Mitekiss - "Veloce" - (5:00) 170 BPM
Etherwood - "Haltija" - (5:28) 172 BPM
Hugh Hardie - "Offshore" - (4:22) 170 BPM
Lakeway - "Stomp Your Soul" - (5:06) 170 BPM
Polaris - "Empire" - (6:59) 174 BPM
Review: If you're familiar with the Forza franchise you will know two things; the game is best played to a D&B soundtrack and Hospital Records in-game radio station. Now for the first time (definitely in Hospital history, perhaps in D&B history too) the label have created an album of tracks specifically for the game. And your DJ sets. Cue Hospital's finest operators, each proffering stone cold gems. S.P.Y's "Rock Da House" is an impeccable hypnotic stepper that's been doing the business on dub all summer, Urbandawn's "Caffeine" has enough filtered disco pump to put led in your pencil for about 20 years while his collaboration with Whiney "Loki" is a splintered step jam with dramatic orchestral twists. Elsewhere London Elektricity gets sincerely symphonic on "Now That's A Switch", Hugh Hardie goes all Good Looking on "Offshore", Lakeway does some serious damage with the junglised grime hybrid "Stomp Your Soul" and Krakota gets absolutely filthy on "Mismatch". And that's not even half of it. May the Forza be with you.
Review: 21 years old. How about that then? Some of us were barely out of nappies when London Elektricity first launched the imprint, some of us remember like it was yesterday. Either way, we are all united under the big flouro H and right now they're celebrating their coming of age with a humungous 70 track collection. Yes, 70! Each cut handpicked to represent the London imprint's constantly evolving but always soul-touched and groove-laden sound are 24 exclusives such as Urbandawn's insane version of Reso's "Taiga", Fred V & Grafix's titanium colab with Metrik "Tension", Serum & Inja's already-massive "Blow Dem" and Whiney's remix of TC's chop-slapping "Storm Brew". Massive. Happy birthday Hospital!
Review: Exclusive overload: while some labels like to solely wrap up their existing content into a compilation, Hospital request freshness from their troops. In amongst the 60 tracks on offer (yeah, 60!) there are no less than 25 brand new cuts previously unavailable until now. From the breathy, horizon-glaring bliss of Fred V & Grafix's "Constellations" to High Contrast's first original in well over a year "Calling My Name" by way of Krakota's pulsating gully stepper "Lust Thrust" and Ulterior Motive's darkside creeper "Oddness". This is - without question - one of the biggest, most bountiful Hospitality albums so far. And let's face it, they're always pretty special anyway.
Review: Following their Fast Soul and Fast Jungle compendiums, Hospital plunder their vaults for the darkest, most physical rave sounds in their repertoire. The result is a 46-strong collection of heads-down, dark room tracks designed solely for those 3am moments when the lights are either blue, green or not on at all and someone's busted the smoke machine button so it's set on permanent blast. Going right back to the early zeroes with tracks such as Photek's remix of London Elekricity and High Contrast's "Yesterday's Colours" the collection is a reminder of how vast Hospital's sounds and artist roster is. From Dub Phizix's remix of Netsky to a rare D&B outing from DJ Madd plus Enei, Commix, Stray and many more, this is the best collection in Hospital's fast serious so far.
Various - "Hospital Mixtape: Fred V & Grafix" (continuous mix) - (1:04:04) 175 BPM
Review: It must be summer! Hospital Records get the British heatwave season cracking with a brand new whopper-length mixtape, this time from the label's own Fred V & Grafix. The sheer number of quality names clambering all over this tracklist gives the release some weight even before it begins, but then again it's hard to see people like S.P.Y, Lynx, Ivy Lab, Urbandawn, Etherwood, Bungle and Cynatific without getting a touch of the vapours. Look out also for the stunning Logistics remix of Andreya Triana's "Lullaby".