Review: Synthesis is the fourth Digital album and it might be his most ambitious undertaking yet! The album's sixteen tracks see the UK producer working alongside a swathe of high profile contemporaries. The danger with projects such as this, is the lack of cohesion and binding theme but its clear Digital conceived Synthesis as a display of all that's good in the current scene. Exceptionally well produced and engineered, it's nigh on difficult to pick out a highlight here with the likes of Om Unit, Nomine, Villem, Spirit and the mighty Klute excelling in their bass science explorations alongside Digital. An album to really sink your teeth into.
Review: The original Bristol jungle outpost Ruffneck Ting is back in operation and sounding as vital as ever on the strength of this release from The Force vs Habitat. For all those who bitterly complain about the lack of soul, imagination and rawness in modern day D&B, look no further than this four-track salvo that makes it feel like '96 all over again. Habitat keep things decidedly bouncy and not a little bit cheeky on "See Me Coming", while "Razor Blade" heads into more devoutly junglistic territory to deadly effect. The Force has a smoother blend on offer with the big leads of "City Love" bringing a little Detroit magic to the mix, while "Musical War" rubs a little rootsy skank into the crisp breakbeats.
Review: Easily one of the best newcomer labels in the game, Original Key return with two more savagely on-point shake-ups. Once again it's down to Habitat to deliver the goods. A man fast establishing himself in the same league as Voltage or Serum or Heist in terms of just how versatile and creative he is with the dancefloor form, once again he doesn't disappoint; "Gun You Down" stabs with a Charge-style riff but kicks with a Bristol touch while "Salutes & Signals" rattles with a really interesting funk that's both angular (thanks to its sharp two-step) and warm (thanks to its juicy bassline) Neither disappoint. Get in key.
Review: Original Key ain't letting up. Four releases deep and every one a peach, this time Habitat takes the reins for two junglised hooky grooves. Continuing the vibe theme set on Ruffneck Ting earlier this year, both cuts smack with a fresh energy and wily, zero-fox dynamic as "Pump Ya Fist" infects with a big bassline riff while "Warehouse" slams with a physical wall-of-sound bassline and well-chiselled old school stabs. Both absolutely slay the dance - everyone is on their A game right here.
Review: He slapped us silly with Jinx on Ruffneck Ting's still-fire Xtraordinary League Of Junglists album and tickled us bad with his Genetix EP prior to that, now rising young junglist Habitat makes his solo debut on the label with a five-track power-punch EP of his own. Highlights include the riffy bounce to the bassline on "Let It Hit 'Em", the swooning rave synth tones on "All The Massive" and the soulful beauty of "Never Let You Go" but to be honest the whole EP bumps hard.
Review: Habitat and Genetix return to Ruffneck Ting to present their latest world-conquering beats and this time, they might just manage their mission. Soulful and packed with attitude, Habitat's opener "Power moves" sets the scene ready for the pair to work together on the old school influenced "Back In The Day" where breaks fly fast and loose, crashing all over a minimal backdrop of thick bass. "Monster" rolls out hard, offering the most straightforward of the tunes, the perfect club uniting track. Finally "Habitat" seeks truth in De La Soul's "Rock Co. Kane Flow", adding huge wobbling bass and double time percussion. The perfect mix of hard and fast.
Review: If you ain't misbehaving, you ain't worth saving... Hybrid's Audio Addict return to the ravey series they set in 2016 with another hard-slapping six-piece. Do-no-wrong Kumarachi reminds us why he's boss with a stuttering jungle roll and demonically pitched vocal samples, Conrad Subs calls on everyone's favourite macabre aged WWE wrestler by way of twist think break devilry while Hybrid fine-tunes his 20/20 vision with a stinking halftime romp. Elsewhere Riffz lashes out on the razz snares, the mysterious Scartip skins us alive with his rim shots and Habitat strips things back with some beautiful time-stretched drum work. Be good now.
Substance - "Belong To The Night" (feat Susie Ledge - Dazee remix) - (4:53) 175 BPM
Review: Level up! Not content with flinging out one 15 track jungle arsenal this season, Dazee's Ruffneck Ting power up with another hench collection less than a month later. Serious business as always, vibes fire fast and loose from the moment Jinx & The Force welcome us to the new echelon on "Next Level" with a classic sample subversion to the very last shimmering echoes Dazee's remix of Substance "Belong To The Night". Highlights include Jinx's grumpy grumbling subs on "Sound Killer", Verdikt's springy jungle roller shakedown "Party People" and The Force's alien landing serenade "Article 50". Another level.
Review: From deep in the jingle, Deep In The Jungle arise from their Christmas chrysalis with their biggest album to date... 44 absolute beasts from some of their closest allies, freshest friends and long-time sparring partners. From the soaring synths and twisted drum switches of Kumarachi's "For You" to the classical rave feels of Demented Frequency's "Amens On The Nile" via absolute toxic gully from the likes of Galvatron, Didak, Veak, Redline, Epicentre, Sweet N Sikka, Conrad Subs, Martyn Nytram and the bossman DJ Hybrid himself this is a pure steel steal. Nothing short of essential.
Review: Catch-up time! If you've yet to experience the vibes of OKey's Original Key imprint, now is the time to get acquainted... Launched in Germany this time last year, here they've put all their releases so far in one handy package. Ranging from Heist's percussion-flickering funk on "Seems Risky" to DJ Sly's horn-blazed skanky switch-up "98 Style" via Bassface Sascha & Feindsoul's badboy blaster "Sage" and Tomoyoshi's Clipz-style Q&A fireworks on "Killa Soundboy", this collection is testament to what a great year it's been for OKey... And drum & bass in general.