Review: They might be averaging 2.5 releases per year but man are Blackley's Cre8 killing it. Every single release has been rammer-jammer with talent, ideas, fusions and energy. The "We Cre8" series epitomises this spirit and attitude the best as we're bombarded with heaviness from the off... "Medusa" teases with a starlit arpeggio on the intro before snapping your neck with a waspy bass drop, "War Mongers" is a much fuzzier, no-nonsense skin-scorcher, "Touch Of Generations" fires more lasers than an unruly robot while Jaxx provides balance with the springier funk of "Leaf Of Life". Rounding off with stern spacious bass tones of "Hemp Seed" and the timeless roller "Showdown", this is the best "We Cre8" edition yet.
Review: Furniss isn't an artist we're intimately familiar with, which makes the strength of this single all the nicer, as he or she come right out of the blocks with a Benny L-esque construction of grating basses and urban-edged dancefloor orientation. The tunes are slightly scary in their unabashed approach to making the most jarring yet still wicked construction of sounds, it's properly industrial and that vibe drips from every corner of this release. 'Polizia' is the highlight for us: simple yet very effective.
Review: With more action than a naughty late night anime sesh, Blackmarket's classic Kartoons imprint is enjoying its most active chapter in years right now. Furniss's arrival only serves to heat things up even more with two straight-up floor-worriers. "Something Like This" swings with a subverted drum shuffled, some classic samples and a natural funk while "War" takes us deep in the trenches with a heavy set snare and a groaning bassline that sounds like it graduated from Serum university with a PHD in foghorn science. Moody.
Review: Witness the Furniss! Rolling through the year with key cuts and EPs on the likes of Higher Stakes and Cre8, the mysterious murker dents Boylan's exciting new label On Point Audio. Five tunes deep, each one charging with firm focus on the two crucial elements this genre is founded on; the basslines grunt and have steam charging from their nostrils while the drums rattle and slap with a loose roll but firm punch. Highlights include the Rivera-nodding soul-stormer "Thief In The Night" and the canon ball banger "Tune Fa Tune" but the whole EP commands your attention. And does so urgently.
Review: Stoke it up! Furniss brings the heat once again: six tracks, all as on-point as the next, it's the sound of a young rising artist who's really getting into his own groove. "Morning Sound" is an iron shirt wearing triplet-heaving slap session, "Hold It" looks back to the Urban Takeover style with added 2018 distortion and twisted funk, "Afraid" takes deep double bass huffs from the nearest paper bag while "Rasclart" takes away all your belongings in one mean swoopy, such is its villainous charm. Finally we have "See What Happens" and "The Funk". The former is a bounced-out Serumesque slinker while the latter is all out rasping carnage. Bloodclart business.
Review: In terms of legendary status for labels over on the jungle/jump-up side of the scene, it's pretty hard to beat Serial Killaz. Run by the duo of the same name, the imprint has arrived with the second instalment of their mixtape series and it's unsurprisingly good. Full of big tunes from guys like Serial Killaz themselves, Vital Elements and Upgrade, it's the latter of these guys that takes the cake with 'Steel Drum'. You've probably heard this one doing the rounds and it's actually already been released, but oh boy what a tune this is: a screaming, siren-lake mash of grating metallic synths and punching drums all come together to make an unstoppably good piece of music. Don't sleep on the rest of these tunes though, and a special mention goes to DJ Hybrid's 'Beatbox' - naught jungle vibes.
Review: Killaz by name, killer by nature; Vital Elements and Tobie Scopes' continue to set the agenda as DJs, artists and as label owners. This third annual mix-up is certainly no exception as they plough through 59 tracks - many of which are brand new exclusives - to paint a picture of exactly where drum & bass is at right now. A thick smelly melting pot, everything is thrown into the mix: Upgrade's spine-trembling harmonics on "The Voice", ruded-out bassline badness from Voltage ("My DJ"), various jump-up hybrid creepers from Russian newcomer Ozma, brand new dark wobble lava from Serial Killaz themselves ("Rudebwoyz") the list goes on and on. This is a huge package and it comes with a superb mix too. Treat yourselves or defeat yourselves.