Review: A very exciting release from up and coming imprint Ako Beatz, not least because it features a scarce studio offering from the legendary GOLDIE! Cold Mission is first up to the plate with a heavy hitter, synth work reminiscent of "Champion Sound" is driven forward by some rough jungle breakbeats, chopped with laser like precision. The godfather Goldie's long awaited return to production does not disappoint. The warm bassline and tribal loops will have the ravers bubbling like a shaken bottle of Lucozade. Double 0 demonstrates his jungle heritage with space age atmospherics and skipping beats that harp back to the glory days 90's jungle, "New Skank" it sure is but it's one that clearly knows it's history. Last but certainly not least Threshold's "Bad Nah Bloodclart" is a dark roller with an eerie hook perfect for a grimey 4am set.
Strictly Business (continuous DJ mix) - (1:04:26) 173 BPM
Review: Time for an update on a real drum and bass classic. DJ Randall's "Strictly Business" came into being in 1997, right in the heart of the drum and bass wonder years. Packed with legendary tunes that have been heard in every reputable club since 170 bpm became the place to be, this is an 18-track lesson in how things should be done. Offered up originally during a time when DJs like Dillinja, Grooverider and Goldie were enjoying an uprising in underground dance music, this LP was a revelation, providing off the wall beats and intriguing musical textures as well as hard hitting bass. This deluxe edition offers each track separately as well as a full continuous mix - just like the original release.
Review: Goldie's 2017 magnum opus - The Journey Man - has gone under the surgeon's knife of some of the best artists in the Metalheadz roster and the result is a sensational two-part collection of sounds from across drum and bass and beyond. This is the first part, and it kicks off with a classic old-school remix from Digital & Spirit, two artists who have done so much to define the modern Metalheadz aesthetic. Their take on 'I Think Of You' is powerful, underground and fractious in equal measure, a turn-of-the-century roller with wonderfully sharp stabs and a creepy atmosphere courtesy of the original's whispered vocal sample. It contrasts with Zero T's gorgeously nonchalant take on 'Truth', which rests on sunny day guitar flicks, rolling out with abandon and driving away over the horizon on a swell of soul. There are more ambient takes from Mathew Jonson and Subjective, whilst Diemantle get funky with a superb 145bpm take on 'Castaway'. There are many others as well - unmissable.
Review: Part two of the Goldie remix album is yet more serene blending of light and dark sounds, with some of the scenes best - including Grey Code, Lenzman, Jubei and Calibre - all pitching in with some of the best music of their career. The Grey Code remix of 'The Mirrored River' has been a long time coming, its debut originally at Outlook Festival in 2018, and what a remix it is; the original's towering vocals being flung headfirst into a cacophony of knife-edge breaks and tumbling basslines. Lenzman ebbs and flows with a typically funky rendition of 'The Ballad Celeste', whilst Calibre has his second contribution with a remix of 'Run Run Run', an utterly brilliant rolller that builds to soaring vocal heights abed a string section from your dreams, before cutting off into quintissential Calibre goodness. The culminatory part to a 2020-defining album.
Inner City Life (feat Diane Charlemagne - 2017 rebuild) - (7:03) 155 BPM
Inner City Life (feat Espa - Burial remix) - (6:59) 148 BPM
Review: Seminal seminal sounds from the man like Goldie... If you don't know "Inner City Life" please close the door on your way out. As first revealed on Record Store Day, here we have a new rebuild from the Headz man himself but, more importantly, we have a rare remix by Burial. Loopy, otherworldly, disarming; this is the sound of Burial paying homage to the foundation hardcore era in his own unique musical way.
Review: Not content with serving up one of this year's best LP length examples of electronic music fusionism as part of Ivy Lab, Laurence Reading has also made great strides with his solo output as Halogenix. After a continual stream of Halogenix 12"s for the likes of Critical and Dispatch, Reading landed on Metalheadz earlier this year with All Blue, a four track single that felt right at home on the label. The relationship between Halogenix and Metalheadz is strengthened further as he goes toe to toe with Goldie on this Broken Man 12". Up top is the Goldie's pensive original, with the production clearly presented as the musical backdrop for those mournful vocals. For the remix Halogenix plays on this mood, yet teases a bit more of a dancefloor vibe out of the track.
Review: Marking the 100th release on the legendary Metalheadz imprint, label boss Goldie steps up with this iconic release. "Freedom" incorporates stunning vocals from protege Natalie Duncan and breathes fresh life into the contemporary D&B scene, by pairing swooning instrumentals with punchy, rattling jungle breaks, pulsating bass and plenty of empowering atmospheric sweeps, all the while maintaining a unique vision. The accompanying video is worth a watch too, depicting Goldie escaping from closed walls and entering an enlightened state. Don't miss out on this one!
Review: A quarter of a century old and still sounding future; Goldie goes back over the vaults to deliver 11 rarities and unreleased versions. From the understated drone and flagrant weirdness of "I Walk The Dog" to J Majik's sinewy tearing twist up of "Shinin Down On Me" by way of the breezy jazzy twangs of "Hornet 127" and the near-mythical "Riders Shadow", there's not one obvious track in this collection. And that's just the tip of the blueprint iceberg. Here's to another 25 years.
Review: Almost three years old and To Have & Have Not continues to spawn fresh creativity. Blocks & Escher fire up the remix engine with a thunderstruck live drum shake-up of Jubei & Goldie's "The Prayer". Skeppy follows with a slightly swung twist to "Incognito" that thrusts Jerome's vocals further under the icy spotlight while Ulterior Motive add a little funk with cymbal splashes and reverbed FX on the synths. Finally Om Unit brings us back to where it all started as the foundation angst of "The Prayer" is simmered down into a cosmic halftime stew with a vibrant amen aftertaste. To not have "To Have & Have Not" would be criminal.
Review: FACT: Being knighted with an MBE doesn't affect your gully abilities. Case in point: Goldie's return to his original Rufige Kru guise. First up, SCAR shake up his 1992 classic "Dark Rider". Maintaining the deep bass plunges, twisted paranoid feels and staccato detuned riff while polishing the production and rebuilding the drums, it's a near-on perfect example of remix craft. Then comes the VIP: 2000's "Beachdrifta" gets the future treatment. All the beauty and bliss of the intro are present but now come with added raw soul as Cleveland Watkiss adds his haunted cries and that drop gets a turbo charged sheen into pure back-hunched drama. Incredible.
Review: The don Randall continues to smash things to "Pieces".... 16 tracks of serious rolled-out dark groove soul, it's nothing but heads down grit and uncompromised creativity with every track playing the consummate role of lead player; T>I's soul-shaking hip-twister "All I Do", Benny L's epic groaning yes-fest "Dr No", Vapour's sci-fi drama stepper "Looking Back", Trex's cosmic alien lullaby "Short Story" are just some of the highlights as we roll deep to the very end as Seba blesses the collection with a superlative re-touch on Randall, Goldie and Dego's seminal, scene-shaping bomb from 93 "The R". Randall... Still doin' it after all these years. Essential for all drum & bass heads.