Review: HLZ is one of the most consistent purveyors of rolling damage around, and in the last few years has unleashed a stunning series of EPs on scene-leader Metalheadz. The Italian-born producer is back with Amethyst, another drum-focused, gritty piece of music that relies on the barebone essentialls to do the talking. There are diamonds among the rough and 'Amethyst' exemplifies his sonic approach perfectly; its whispering waves of synthy leads build and rise, breaking on the drop into a skipping, bouncy arrangement that's as infectious as it is creative. There's junglist mayhem on 'Break The Rules', and 'Polar Dreams' ties up the EP perfectly, with clattering drums and pummeling walls of low frequency energy. Unstoppable.
Review: Melinki has been dishing out the goods on labels like Fokuz for a few years now, as well as running his own 'Four Corners' imprint, but he hasn't done many projects like this. The S.T.L project is a full, album length collection of collaborations with producers all over the scene. T>I is on remix duties for previous Melinki banger Dancehall Sound, flipping it into a spaciously destructive bit of work, whilst HLZ is present on the sub-heavy and drum-excellent 'Nemea'. Softer notes abound on 'It's Over' featuring Macca & Maverick Soul, a soft and deftly rolling vocal slice of liquid action, a trend repeated on 'What's Real' with Low:r. This is an expression of scene strength and an excellent one at that.
Review: HLZ is one of the slew of producers who have recently been popping up on Headz and releasing amazing music, the likes of Grey Code, Phaction and others. This isn't HLZ's first rodeo however as he first released on the label about five years ago, a pedigree which shines through in the detailed, physical approach he takes to his music. Eternal follows Luther on Dispatch earlier this year and it's as good, if not better, a trend that's set from the start by the title tune. A haunting vocal sample overlays jungle breaks on the intro, but just when you think it's going to be jungle, an amazing pacey main rolling percussive line comes through and blows you away. Proper HLZ, proper Heads.
Sentierum - "Breathe Me" (feat Naima) - (5:17) 172 BPM
Crimson & Ncamargo - "Flow" - (7:22) 172 BPM
Legal - "Pour Amour" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Neve & Crimson - "Let Me Groove You" - (5:36) 174 BPM
Phog - "Memories" - (4:35) 170 BPM
Lao Wai - "Who's Fooling" - (5:13) 172 BPM
Soul Beat Runna - "Get Loose" - (4:12) 170 BPM
CGRECO - "Massive" - (4:36) 160 BPM
Enjoy - "Deactivate N" - (6:03) 57 BPM
Lizard - "Easy Nuff" - (5:38) 165 BPM
Johnatan Thomas - "Ease" - (5:21) 170 BPM
Lyndon Jarr - "Lightweight" - (4:57) 160 BPM
Review: So, this is one well packed present to say the least as The Dreamers Recordings gather up their full strength for another exceptional compilation, featuring the likes of Sentierum, Krispy, Frame, HLZ, Lizard and more, who all combine for a stripped back jungle shelldown. The full project is packed with quality from start to finish, with immediate standouts being Lyndon Jarr's emotional roller in 'Lightweight' and the sharpened drum processing of 'Who's Falling' from Lao Wai. A special shout out also has to go to Yoofee on 'Glume', which is stuffed with cool harmonies and spicy electronic pads.
Review: Most labels celebrate their 50th or 100th release but Fokuz have never done things by convention, which is what's made them such a unique success story in drum & bass for 17 years. Here we find them celebrating their 80th release (and neatly referencing the work of Quentin Tarantino) with their biggest project to date that stretches two albums, over 30 tracks and some of the biggest names in D&B: Break, Calibre, Technimatic, BCee, Need For Mirrors, the list goes on. If you know Fokuz's output you'll already be on this. If you don't, just jump on the velvet sub rolls of Calibre's remix of Impish, Lenzman's hurricane soul twist of Random Movement or Dreazz & Stal's percussive frenzy "Ethiopian Jungle" and you'll know exactly what's going on right here.