Review: Former Need For Mirrors member and crazed drum and bass production maestro HLZ has been striking out alone for a little while now and this tasty little two-track shows how his sound is progressing into the darker world of twisted rollers. "Dying Memories" melts down hot brass sounds that lightens up an otherwise heavyweight dancefloor burner. "Duel" dims things darker again with hard and fast percussion and eerie synths straight from a sci fi nightmare. This is definitely your sort of thing. Definitely.
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.
Review: This little beauty is a reminder of what gorgeous things lie just out of view of the norm. Arp XP has been creating weighty, but magical drum and bass for a good few years now. "Good Old Days" shows just how finessed his already clean and sophisticated sound has become, working perfectly in sync with HLZ to create a modern Med masterpiece. HLZ's solo effort "Gaia" punches in some dark minimalism lightened by passing ripples of melody, later ripping apart the peace with a terrorising bassline. ArpXP returns for "Makes Me Wonder" with Brazilian player Nitri, who's forsaken the bongos for real, own-to-earth Metalheadz old-school. We like. We like a lot.
Review: It's not often a true legend delivers the goods long into their career but MC Fats is still delivering the goods as this LP proves. Filled with collaborations and remixes from the MC Fats Collective and beyond and pushing his unique sound to the next level. Huge names like Calibre, Basher, Total Science, SIN, Lynx and Dom & Roland move in to attack their own slices of the action, taking what could simply be an outstanding LP to cult status and beyond. It's no surprise that a man of his experience could wrangle in some of the biggest names in D&B for his album - what is surprising though is that none of the input is an afterthought. Each contributor has given their best and it shows.
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: Bringing their Zoltar sound back to Horizons alongside ex-partner in crime HLZ for this particularly dark slice of D&B, NFM continue to step up. Starting as they mean to go on, "Rotor" is a cold techy stepper that pushes minimal to breaking point with humming basic bass and the whirr of a lonely hi-hat. "Pantheon" plays far more to the dancefloor, with a heavy stomping beat and addictive-as-hell bassline. "Actress" is a deep and raging old-school roller that plunges through creepy atmospherics and final track "Broadwalk" is the payoff for all the upfront skanking crew junkies who will forever lust after a classic NFM bassline. Don't worry - it's all here for you. Take a hit.
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: 36 Hertz present a momentous compilation album containing cuts from artists as wide reaching as DJ Vapour, Callide, Bladerunner and DJ Madd. Gird your loins as "Deja vu" contains the creme de la creme of uncompromising jump-up alongside 21st century jungle and plenty more in between. Kicking off with the awesome Paper Cuts VIP of "Cut Paper" by Vapour and it's all blazing beats, jump up toots and punishing drums; moving on and we have the raw power of Lutin's aptly entitled "Untitled Gully" and Bladerunner's jungle revivalist anthem "Mercenary Dub VIP". Elsewhere, make sure you check out Steppa & Kitcha's rambunctious "Romper Stomper" and DJ Madd's compelling cut "To The Massive" with its low slung swagger. A cracking compilation here.
Review: Whether you've been following the artistry of Horizons Music's endless supply of incredible artists for years or you're new to its way of running things, this selection of the freshest 2014 cuts is going to float your boat. Featuring lush tones from Calibre and Grimm, pared-back ferocity from Digital and huge underground anthems like "Nevada Ghost" and "Half Truth" coming from Cern and Overlook and need For Mirrors, Dabs and HLC, it's hard to believe this much came from just 12 months. Not only that, but it emanated from just one label powerhouse. Horizons, we salute you.