Review: Destination: Rotterdam. Riot Dubs build on their years of free downloads and community building with this exceptional VA from some of the best in the game. First up are AKAS (AKA Steve Wise) and Georgia Phoenix who go full-on dancefloor with 'White Lines' while Heist gets his Wii vibe on with the brilliantly quirky and funky 'Juicy Fruit'. Deeper into the EP we hit hectic pace and tension from Jayline while Brazilian pair Duoscience bring the EP to a gentle and graceful close with 'Slow Day'. We predict a Riot.
Review: 15 years deep, but never on the low down... Logan D's label continues to operative and thrive at the forefront of jump up D&B with this epic anniversary collection. Loaded with new versions, upfront material and unreleased classics, it's a fittingly fresh and excitable package for a label with such tenure. Highlights include Voltage's curmudgeonly remix of Serum's 'Up In Smoke', the never-ending legacy of Dominator with the previously unreleased 'Outta Control', brand new badness from Slipz in the form of 'Badman' and timeless rawness from Heist with 'Bravado'. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Review: Introducing the sounds of The Usual Suspects Part 1, a radical attempt to create jump-up so splintered and broken you'll barely recognise it. This is pure party music, there's no time for sophisticated conversations about its merits because you'll be too busy dancing to it. Sota's 'Pumper's epitomizes the extent of the madness here, with a punched-out percussive line that underpins a grating force of progression and anger, perfectly crafted to give you goosebumps in the dance. The metallic quality to 'Bring It' is another highlight, and it's safe to say that with these five tunes, Sota, Supreme Being, Heist, Complex and The Force have done a wicked job. Big tunes.
Review: Heist is showing he can do it all and staying true to his name across five sumptuously deep rollers that will tickle the itch of any liquid head who likes things sophisticated. It's Liquid Lab, after all, and the standards are high. 'Watermelon Girl' is top quality, with gorgeously warm instrumentation that provides a backdrop of instrumentation to the soulful vocal sample and delightfully crisp drum work. It's a subtle track with oodles of character. 'End Game' is light as can be, with a touchin, rolling bassline that morphs into a wobbling sub bass, whilst 'Back To Hers' is more of the ethereal style we've come to expect from Liquid Lab. Gorgeous.
Review: Fair play it's been an impressive run from DJ Warden's Bagged & Tagged this year, despite the rona working its wicked way with 2020. Following massive EPs from the likes of Total Recall, BlckHry and Obbley & Maze the label now hits with its biggest release to date... An all-star remix EP featuring the likes of Heist, Nu Elementz, Slipz and D-Nasty. All off them given the green light to go nuts on some of the label's most distinctive cuts so far. Highlights include Heist's raucous harmonic twist on the bassline of Vital & Phenom's 'Hoe Money' and D-Nasty's skin-melting technoid riff. Disgusting. Bag this one right now.
Review: Heist is landing on him and Benny Co-Lab's Liquid Lab Recordings, an offshoot of Co-Lab which seeks to push the lighter side of things. It's a mission they've more than accomplished over the years and Candlelit is next in a long line of releases from the pair. With this release Heist shows off his envious ability to move across subgenres, and all four of these tracks are dripping in soul. The title tune is the standout, as a frivolous piano riff dangles its haunches in sultry fashion, embedding a funkiness into the arrangement that's easier on the ears than a baby's laugh. 'Blue Thoughts' is lovely and deep, whilst 'Bootycall' stretches out into gorgeous synth wave territory. Wicked stuff.
Review: Heist is always chipping away at the background doing his bit, just focusing on what he does best: producing and releasing sick music. His own Co-Lab Recordings is once again the destination for this newest concotion and it's a badboy single track release called Cloak. Heist's usual production wizardry is at place and there's a reason he has such a big reputation for sound design, with suspenseful pads echoing up into groans of low frequency force before being forced back down by its mechanic, snapping drum line. It's a crafty piece of work and one that will please all those who like their music rough and ready.
Review: Heist & T>I are two of the best guys around for the dirty, attitude filled side of the scene which blurs into the techier bits on the one hand and the pure jump up bits on the other. This release fills in the gaps in all the right ways and it comes on Heist's own Co-Lab Recordings, a seminal imprint. 'Ointment' is grating and harsh in its guttural funk and approach to destruction, with an array of stabs and basses all mashing together in harmony. 'Packet Monster' is more classic T>I sounding basses, laid over a snapping, snarling drum line. Excellent stuff here.
Review: This is a hell of a compilation from the Original Key crew, celebrating 3 years of being in the game. To do so, they've roped in some seriously big names including Sub Zero, T>I, Aries, Dutta and the one and only Bungle. Bungle's contribution is a powerful, rolling number with a solid drum break and swirling, hypnotic low frequency oscillation that'll have you nodding in agreement. Voltage & Nicky Blackmarket come correct on 'The Magnificent', DJ Sly and MC Det smash 'Jungle Drums, and there are many more huge tracks on here from equally huge artists. One to remember.
Review: Jeez! Straight off the back of his album, Heist flexes right back to his earliest jams "Philly Styler". It's every bit as restrained, jazzy and straight up cool as it was 15 years ago but now comes with a few wry updates. Heist himself goes first with beefed up elements in all the right places while retaining that slippery car chase through sleazy cities vibe the original had. Elsewhere US groove professor Random Movement kicks it up into the stars with a deep space funk feel and some expertly placed wobbles and pads. Finally Junior Cartel gives it a 2004 Liquid V sheen. Close your eyes and you could be at Movement. Styles.
Review: For all y'all monsters who need triple helpings; Heist's Iacon EP series has transformed into the album sized beast it's always been in its heart. 12 tracks of Heist's heavier, dancefloor sound, pushing and pulling you in all kinds of playful directions; the rubber ball ricochets and weird grunts of "Misery Guts", the spiky, aggressive hornet's nest bass buzzes of "Intruder", the out-and-out low-swung subbed-out gully of "Limpets", the pure grizzle of "Torn Apart"... The list goes on. What's more, there are a few cheeky treats at the end of the some tracks that transform Iacon into an even more remarkable album shaped beast. One of the strongest D&B albums of the year so far.
Review: Heist welcomes us back to sunny Iacon for the third and final instalment of his debut album. A hearty hoorah to the more jumpier side of his broad canvas, the whole album takes a deep dive into drum & bass music's most mischievous subgenre. Writhing in timeless subs just as much as it is spiky menace, this third piece of the puzzle brings the whole collection together neatly. Highlights include the humming subs and subtle rolls of "Limpets" and the high blood pressured laser stabber "Tidal Wave" but the whole EP - just like the previous two parts of the album - deserves applause.
Review: One of the most trusted, respected and versatile producers in the game, Heist finally delivers his debut album Iacon. The clue is in the title; the selection represents a range of his many creative transformations as he reminds us how he can melt your face with buzzy jumpy hooks one minute ("Fathomos Gob") and have you doing the Bristol jitterbug the next ("Seal The Deal") In between we're shaking and stirred by the belly belches of "Atlas Womp" and electrocuted by high votage riffage on the wryly titled "Misery Guts". Ain't nobody getting miserable after a heavy sesh with the Heist. Bring on part three.
Review: Heist has developed a reputation for tough, urban-edged sonics over many years of cultivation and curation, over a decade of doing his bit for a scene and over a decade of pumping out very, very good music. He's diverse in his capabilities and Iacon Part 1 sees him returning to his jump up-ier side, something we're definitely very keen on, especially when it's on a label like Low Down Deep. This release is wicked and 'Dissect the Past' is a highlight, with a snapping percussive line forming around its inching, creeping basses and eerie background ambience. Top stuff right here.
Review: Logan D's Low Down Deep imprint celebrate 100 releases with this bumper to bumper banger collection with cuts from the biggest names in the heavier end of the game; Turno, Maji, Upgrade, Voltage, Heist, Serum and of course the late great Dominator are just some of the heavyweights involved. Every tune is a highlight but mad salutes fire in the direction of Turno & Pacso with their purring harmonic bass creeper "Cosmic Funk", K Motionz' long awaited summer slamming anthem "Buckaguy" and the blissful rippling charms and outrageous subby drop of Heist's "Hawaiian". Elsewhere there's pure gully fisticuffs as Kanine has "Bloody Knuckles" and Serum has "Brass Knuckles". Either way, they both KO. Like the whole album. Get on this.
Review: Put your name down, flip it and reverse it... Low Down Deep fix up a few refixes with three super-respected names. First up we have OG Majistrate re-flipping Heist's sing-along hook on "Moose Knuckle", second up we have Upgrade stretching the smithers out of the Pacso's classical 2012 thumper "What's The Difference", third up we have Tsuki getting all trippy and warped on Heist's "Against The Grain". Fourth up is you rewinding them, each and every.
Review: VIP alert! Heist's forever-awesome "Termination" from last year gets a VIP-up from the big man himself. Still flexing that powerful early 2000s Clipz/Twisted/G Dub style sense of fun, the VIP hits with a little more bassline toxicity and heaviness. Jaydan joins the party with a similarly foul remix where the focus is shifted onto the rolling pneumatic drums and gritty laser stabs. Absolute stinkers.
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.
Review: Serum & Heist: the only way this can get any heavier is if the EP came with a free elephant. It doesn't, but pachyderms ain't necessary when these two pack punches like this. Pure KO science in every tune, highlights include the breath taking groan on Serum's "Soul Travelling", the filtered waves of funk and wobbled-out subs on Heist's "Via The Shires", the jazzy twinkles and bouncy bassline charge on "People Of Earth" and classic Zinc-style dreamy twist up on "Soul Grapes". That's before we even mention the killer nature of "Setup" and "Moon Unit". Six b-line scuds, two absolute legends. You know what to do.
Review: Monday, Tuesday "Fappy" days. Wednesday, Thursday "Fappy" days. The weekend comes, our CDJs hum, ready to play this tune. Yeah... That's how good Heist's latest dispatch is for Low Down Deep - we can just murk up Happy Days lyrics. A massive record for Heist and Logan in recent months, you already know how big this is. "No Cure" takes us down dark pastures with more techy textures and just a mild twang of Belgium to the hook and plenty of Heist funk in the weight and swing. These "Fappy" days are yours and mine yo!
Review: Having collided before on Heist's own Calypso Muzak with "Kuma Bear", Heist and Spaow lock horns once again, this time on Phantom Dub Digital. Taking a side each, both artists go all-in with two balls-out party damagers. Heist's "Detected" is straight out of the mid 2000s when he really made his mark on the game with a bass sound so twisted not even Clipz could touch him. Spaow's "Want To Know" acts all mean and gruff with myriad bass textures but suddenly shows a much more sensitive, soulful side with the swooning keys on the mid-section. Two premium slabs of bassweight right here if you can handle them?
Review: SHOTS FIRED! Gun Audio continue their Reload series with another epic slab of forthright freshness from some of the most respected names in the game: From master craftsman OGs like Heist, Murdock, Rowney & Propz and Jaydan to unavoidable hurter heroes Turno to exciting new talents like Jaxx, Vacuum and Meladee, it's a premiership rollcall each packing a heavyweight punch. Highlights across the 23-strong collection include Jaydan's reverse-stringing, cat-strangling freak out on "Murdering Monster", the hornet bass shakes and switches of Jaxx's "Combinations" and the frog chorus on Blackley's "TMI" but that really is the tip of the most explosive V/A album Gun Audio have ever detonated. Reload means reload.
Review: Now this is how you launch a new label... You get three names ranging the full spectrum and timeline of drum & bass. Man of the moment Voltage and original OG Nicky Blackmarket continue their jazz tickling with the leftfield bass jitters of "The Magnificent" where an offbeat does this cool, funky understated stretch while mildly cosmic twangs lick up in the background. Unique. Heist, one of the most dangerous freestylers in the entire game, brings up the rear with an understated shaker that reads the Bristol book of 99 very closely. You couldn't get a more authentic, roots-affirmed launch release for a D&B label if you slapped a DJ
Review: What a year it's been for Goldie's partner in crime, Calypso Muzak and Co-Lab label bossman and hugely diverse and open minded producer Heist. Following a whole host of EPs on labels from Headz to Horizons he returns with another blunderbuss collection; "Broken Down" is a spiky bag of angry wasps, "Against The Grain" tips a nod to Clipz circa 2003, "Prosthetic Legs" pays homage to superhumans of the world with the wildest pirate triplet you'll hear this month while "Through The Gate" is all about the sopping wet alien emissions. No one is doing like Heist right now.
Review: Suffolk's D-Stortion Records are back with an impressive bunch of breakbeat science upstarts that aren't messing around. Take for instance Dominator & Heist with their fierce DJ Krust influenced stepper "Trouble"; that strings section in the middle is just classic! Next up Dominator teams up with Upgrade on "Couldn't Care Less" which rolls and growls away ferociously in a purist techstep tradition. Dominator, again, shows us his skills in conjunction with Invictus; this time on the dark and suspenseful sci-fi beat futurism of "Infected", which brazenly wears its Virus Recording influence on its sleeve and we can dig that!
Review: Four of Low Down Deep's heaviest club cuts over the last two years enjoy a new coat of VIP arms, bringing them all back up to date. Already in demand due to dubplate pressure, each cut adds new bassline and riff twists that will cause knowing gun fingers across the dance. Logan D & Dominator's "Giant Killer Bees" goes switch-heavy, Turno's "Gladiator" enjoys an emotional explosion on the breakdown, Majistrate's already tongue-in-cheek "Amsterdam" gets even sillier while Heist's infamous "Moose Knuckle" keeps its sci-fi haze intact while folding the bass riff inside itself. Serious VIP business.