Review: It's always an exciting occurrence to see the legendary My Nu Leng duo link up with other heavyweights from around the scene, which is exactly what this fantastic new double drop on their own label: Maraki offers. We begin with a look at a very spicy new collaborative single with Flava D, showcasing the pair's fantastic musical relationships, fusing futuristic, exploritive melodies on 'Ascendance'. It's a top quality piece of underground dance music, covering a lot of different genre boundaries. On the flip side, a powerful collaboration with the ever-ready Bushbaby, who combines with the Bristol natives on 'Crystal Clear', exploring a more subtle set of influences, giving us a perfect follow up and rounding off the EP with a bang.
Review: Flava D is Hospital's star signing from last year and her foray out of bassline and into drum & bass has been a wicked addition to a scene in need of more crossover talent. She's well at home on Hospital Records and on this three-track EP brings to 170 the type of aggy business she made her name with at 140. The title tune blends classic Hospital chords - a soulful, rising piece of instrumentation - with a stabby, bouncing arrangement that perfectly sits on the boundary lines between club and home music. 'Horizen' is deep and flowing, a night sky full of stars that twinkle and gleam in the glare of a full moon, whilst 'What You Mean 2 Me' ends the EP on a heavier note with its crunching bass notes and twirling sine touches. Big.
Review: Like some kind of Human Traffic soundtrack to 2020, Hospital's annual House Party VA has arrived. Fresh for a summer of social distancing, house parties and clandestine diversions, it's a soundtrack that will get any D&B head through the lockdown status, BBQs permitted. Top and tailed by the poppy, liquid, sample based and acoustic sessions of both Villem & Leo Wood's "We Had A Sing" and Whiney's "Better With You", find playful aggro in MC LowQui's "Middle Finger" to some hyper fresh material in Degs' "Pressure Cooker". Aggy half time once more in tracks like "Saturn's Strings" with gnarly basslines in Voltage's "The Prophet" and Logistic's "Playing With Fire" bringing the heat.
Review: Already donning it in bassline and garage circles, Flava D is now beginning to slap D&B into shape, too. Now officially part of the Hospital family, here she builds on previous Hospital outings "Human Trump" and "Return To Me" with her first proper debut single for the label. Bouncy, dreamy, musically layered and just the right side of cheeky, there's a timeless edge to this that's rooted in that classic liquid sound that catapulted Hospital into the big leagues in the first place. Mesmerising material.
Review: Wow, what a run it has been for the Night Bass team who hear touch down with their one hundredth official release, celebrating one of the most exceptional catalogues within the entire bass music spectrum. They have pulled together an exquisite line up for this one, featuring a tonne of high end names, including founder AC Slater alongside Chris Lorenzo, Flava D, Shift K3y, Jack Beats and more. For us there are a couple of clear stand outs on this one, the first of which has to be the long awaited release of Taiki Nulight and Dread Mc's bassy roller: 'Kush'. We also love the smooth subby bops of Sinden's 'Work That', along with the incredibly unique drum work of 'Ugly' from Petey Clicks.
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: 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...
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.
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: 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: 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.
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: 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: 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!
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.