Review: Where do we start with DJQ? Since the rearrising of the UK's bassline scene nationwide, Q has been at its forefront, both as a solo DJ/ producer and as ? of the infamous TQD outfit. He has played a massive part in shaping the audio texture of bassline itself, and his brand new album 'All Night' is a homage to that input, There are a lot of tracks on this project that are direct throwbacks to the more old school 'Niche' style of bassline, including the emotive sounds of 'My Bae' and the super skippy 'Arkham'. We also here more modernized creations from Q across the project, especially tracks such as 'Dirty Deeds' and 'Our Sound' which take more reese-like bass sounds and more rounded rhythmic patterns. This is a fantastic project in its entirety, showcasing why Q really is at the top of the game!
Review: It's chart baiting garage time once again as DJ Q and Flava D link up on Local Action to turn out the kind of crossover hit that matches brains and brawn in equal measure. "PS" comes on bright and chirpy in its lead-in, all sugary synth splashes and catchy diva vocal hooks, while the drops rip into a deliciously freaky workout with alien melodic wobbles and plenty of weight bottom end. Balancing edgy underground qualities with unabashed accessibility has always been Q's game as much as Local Action's, and here the team more than deliver with a perfect slice of contemporary UKG.
Review: Flava D is a no-nonsense gal who is known for delivery tough but poppy UKG and bass jams. Here though she follows up the melodic vibes of Closer with two slices of dirtier, underground tuneage. "Wheels" is an impressive exercise in percussion with lolloping tropical rhythms that underpin dark carnival trumpet stabs and erratic snippets of chanting. An instrumental anthem if ever there was one. "Bare Fields" is slightly lighter though, speeding up some 4 x 4 wobble and adding an extra skippiness and even some vaguely Middle Eastern melodies. Strong.
Review: London's Flava D touches down on the Butterz label with two rip-roaring bass cuts for the grime heads. "Home" follows Flava D's usual methods - syncopated, echoing percussion, chord stabs a go go and a whole truckload of bass - whilst the VIP re-vamp of "Hold On" gives the original a welcomed injection of yet more low-end. Butterz goin' in full throttle on this one...
Review: Despite sounding like some bizarre human mash up of the two Public Enemy frontmen, Flava D is in fact a UKF producer without an oversized clock in sight. "Hold On" is an accomplished fusion of jittery, scratchy garage that is awash with dreamy synths, jazzy piano and a faintly melancholic summery vibe. "Home" on the other hand is all hyped up 4/4 action with a monumental bassline that somehow convinces the listener that they are going too fast in a slightly too flash car - even when they are sat on their backside typing on a laptop.
Review: Londoner Flava D appears on Champion's Formula label with three sizzlers guaranteed to light up the dance floor, especially on the raw beatbox attack of the carnival-primed "In The Dance". The energy remains for the next two tracks, if a little moodier, on the rolling UKF pounder "Groggy" and the skippy fizz of "New Era". Solid.
Review: Here we see two bass heavy super powers combine as the immovable force of Night Bass team up with bass queen Flava D for a very highly anticipated project by the name of 'Spicy Noodles'. The title track kicks off with some serious flare as winding catchy synth melodies roam freely above chunky drum designs and lethal subwork to match. Next up, the more minimalized arrangement of 'Acting Skank', a techy roller dressed with expertly utilized vocal slices and electronic bass leads. Finally we finish up the project with 'Pickpocket', another minimal skanker, this time driven by the percussive clicks and subtle synth work, along with a top draw guest vocal from Brighton's PVC. Excellent stuff.
Review: Yes. It's time for Flava D to take the control of the Fabriclive series, and we'd been expecting this one for quite some time. Danielle Gooding has been a big part of the club's Friday night dynasty over the last three years, and her DJ sets are always an utterly safe and reassuring collection of UK house and anything bass-related - you know you're in safe hands when you jump onto a dance floor guided by Flava D, it's that simple. This thirty track monster spans all the subgenres and styles of bass, with new and unreleased music from the likes of Champion, Myd, Randomer, Negativ, Skapes and many others. You know the drill: new Fabric mix compilation = buy and download that s*** on sight.
Review: Royal T and Flava D step out with their first collaborative outing. An outing that's been so fruitful, it's spawned three different versions. Rub one is all about the classic 4/4 UKG vibes as the beats slap and tickle beneath a series of jazzy organ hits. The much darker, ruder rub two flexes back to the turn of the century when grime, breaks and garage were enjoying one of the finest three-ways UK music has ever experienced. Finally we hit rub three, all foaty, skippy and dreamy, it's a two-step journey into the most luxuriant of dancefloor pastures. What a collaboration, we've got Royal T and Flava D on our minds in a major way!
Flava D - "Closer" (feat Miss Fire - Royal-T remix) - (6:15) 128 BPM
DJ Q - "Time To Shine" (Royal-T remix) - (4:29) 140 BPM
Review: Being one of the new school royalty within the UK Bassline movement and one third of its most notable duo in TQD, Royal T has set the bar pretty high for himself as he unveils this brand new five track collection. He hits the ground running however as we kick off with 'Arcadia', a synth led shackout, sending dizzying bass rays left right and centre. Following this, we dip into the gritty synthesis of 'Overdose', before landing on the more funky drum inspired 'Stone Cold'. As well as these three originals, we are blessed with two official Royal T refixes, the first being a soulful 4x4 revamp of Flava D's 'Closer'. We finish up with another smooth piece as he overhauls DJQ's 'Time To Shine' with a bag of euphoric instrumentation.
Review: Champion's Formula fam come correct on this expertly curated 15-track exploration into the future realms of bottom heavy music. With exclusive cuts and versions firing from all the label's most consistent contributors, it covers all relative corners creatively; from Killjoy's gameshow grime "Turnt Ones VIP" to the chiselled, sinewy two-steps of Terror Danjah & Zed Bias's "Telepathy" via the sheet metal snares on Flava D's "Break", this collection goes further than representing a forward-thinking imprint but also documents exactly where bass music is heading in the future. Grand prix business.
Dillon Nathaniel - "Can't See Me" - (6:46) 125 BPM
BIJOU - "Do Not Disturb" - (4:39) 63 BPM
Review: The guys at Nightbass have had truly sensational year, with top quality releases flowing out of the camp left, right and centre. As a label, AC Slater's outfit has developed into one of the most forward thinking projects currently rolling out across the bass music expanse and this compilation showcases just how far they have moved forward. The tracklisting contains a monstrous host, featuring the likes of Flava D, Shift K3y, Jack Beats, Cause & Affect and many more heavy hitters. For us the immediate standouts have to come from Jay Robinson firstly, who's acidic roller 'The Return' hits home heavily, alongside Phlegmatic Dogs, who's classic 'Cuatrocats' adds major weight to the selection. Awesome stuff and a top quality signout.
Review: Three words: "Police In Helicopter"... One of the biggest dubplates last year is finally here, and it's joined by 24 other exceptional bangers as the Hozzy team roll out another absurd stack of "Sick" freshness from across the board. Genuinely on point tune for tune highlights include Pete Cannon's outstanding drumfunk lash out "Ella", Flava D's first D&B tune (the breath taking "Return To Me"), a bone shaking duet from the next gen gems Unglued and Bou ("Ascendant Man"), both Fred V & Grafix's first solo tunes since they split and an absolute neck breaking gully snapper from Lakeway in the form of "War Dub". And that's just scratching the surface, this is a humungous V/A album. Hot enough to burn down a cane field or two...
Review: Well well well, we have to say we heard tell of a mega compilation that was set to be emerging out of the bass scene in the near future, but nobody could have predicted it to be this powerful as Holy Goof unveils his Globes compilation, championing all aspects of 4x4 bass music to the maximum. We see A-list appearances from top to bottom with Notion, Chris Lorenzo, Fine Art, Skepsis, FooR, Bushbaby and more all gracing the listing with top draw originals. For us the immediate standouts on this one have to include the emotional expanse of Freddie Martin's 'Stubborn', which comes complete with cracking original vocals, along with the rapid fire LFO shells of Livsey's 'Supersonic' and the big room synths of Skue-K's 'Flows'.
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.
Review: Has bassline ever been more influential than it is currently across the UK? I think most people would struggle to argue otherwise. To celebrate this, bassline heavyweights DJQ, Jamie Duggan, Skepsis and Darkzy join forces for an allstar compilation album, including a selection of full tracks and exclusive mixes. The full project includes exclusive drops from the likes of Champion, Shanti, DJQ, Flava D, TQD, Preditah, Bushbaby, Darkzy, Bru-C and many more. You are going to struggle to find a more comprehensive bassline selection this year!