Review: These two cuts are taken from a forthcoming various artists album on DJ Hybrid's Deep In The Jungle imprint, and the boss himself is joined by Mrs Magoo and Conrad Subs for a single that gets right to the core of the label's ethos. 'Back To 96' is a time travel machine that takes you back to the days of rolling reece basses and frantic percussive work, simpler times when all you needed was the barebones to create a vibe. Conrad Subs goes in a funkier direction, with brash brass notes that lead into a wobbling concoction of bouncing basslines and innocent clubland notes. Cracking.
Review: Feeling fine for Northern Line! Rantik and JAK's fledgling young label comes correct with their first full paid release. It's a VA and it's a beauty. Continuing the exceeding weight and exciting breadth of the sound they've built up through free downloads, these nine tracks rep the Newcastle label's parameters with deadly intent and features some very exciting new-gen names. Highlights include Hexa's pranged-out swinger 'Shanghai Knights', the volcanic bombastic bounces and blazes of Stompz' 'Funk Accelerator' and the Metal Work's gritty punisher 'Changes'. And that's just the tip of this northern iceberg. Firing.
Review: The second chapter in Deep in the Jungle Anthems 7 is upon us, and there is yet another cacophonous blend of fractious jungle riddims inside. Drawn from artists across the scene both old and new, this LP is the second leg of a journey that's pull you deep through the spiky, rough edges of a the jungle. The crashing force of K Jah's 'Quest' is a good example, as repetitive breaks needle their way into your soul amidst a wobbling sub and jazzy samples. Bish is on remix duties for label boss DJ Hybrid and his tune 'Badboy', which samples possibly one of dance music's most iconic film lines and does so amidst a relentless, rolling instrumental. Sick - there are over 30 tracks inside so get involved.
Review: Sub-liminal take a moment to look back over almost six years of hard graft at the future talent coal face. Having been responsible for so many bangers from so many now household names, it's a mean feat boiling it down to this mere 50 heavyweight highlights. All the label's key names are on board; Guzi, Dreadnaught, Nick The Lot, Too Greezy, Kumo, Version, Vital, Pyro, Motiv and many more dust off their past heavers, hurters and head-slappers to reflect on everything Sub-liminal has stood for and encouraged so far. From the deeper, more subtle bubblers (Sam Harris - 'Coffee Machine') to the most outrageous funk-ups (Warhead - 'Cranked') this EP has everything. When the Riddim hits you, you can't say no...
Review: Jungle Cakes always tend to put out music that rests on the foundations of UK underground, the cross-over influences of soul, reggae, jungle and D&B. it's always a fresh sound and it always brings up connotations of Boomtown, free parties and sunny afternoons. This is a monster album curated by Aries and Kelvin 373, who have taken tracks both old and new to form a banging compilation. Bou nails it on 'Music Takes Me Higher', a rustic revisit to classic jungle sounds; Aries and Nicky Blackmarket roll things out in a tight way on 'Champion'; and Chimpo slams the brakes on 'DidDieDoThat'. We don't know the answer to that, but we do know this is fat. Big ups.
Review: Deep in the Jungle continue their onwards march with this, the seventh edition in their widely acclaimed Anthems series, a compilation that always finds the ideal mix of current and future talent to showcase. In the case of the former, well-travelled producers Epicentre and Kumarachi roll things out and tear them down on 'Light Em Up', which features a gnarly array of interlinked bass nodes and torn low frequency sonics, al underpinned by a percussion section that's the perfect blend of rusty and sharp. New talent emerges in the form of Trobe and Mirage, who have their first label release with '89', although you wouldn't have guessed it based off this tune's razor clean percussive edge and expert use of space, a hard thing to get right and one this pair blow out the water here. Rave samples, expansive basslines and a synth arrangement you won't be able to shake - unmissable. 34 tracks later and Deep in the Jungle have nailed every single one of them - big ups.
Review: The second sampler ahead of Deep in the Jungle's 7th Anthems album is here and gives us another glimpse into what is sure to be a superb collection of vicious jungle weapons - they always are. This one features Crossy on remix duties for Epicentre and Diligent Fingers, and he's turned 'Run Up' into a vibrant track with a gorgeous set of hi-hat studded drums and a luscious, deep bassline that packs plenty of attitude. 'Run Dem' by Hybrid is stepping in its percussion and lands with a seriously heavy amount of downwards pressure, whilst Bish remixes Hybrid's 'Badboy' to great effect. Toby Ross and K Jah both kill their tunes as well, and to say we're excited about this album would be an understatement.
Review: Well, when we saw this title land in the store we were as surprised as anyone to see that Four40 Records, one of the most active and exciting UK bass labels across the full breadth of 2020 has just turned 10 years old. This is a pretty outstanding achievement, for a label that is still at the forefront of it's sound to this very day. The compilation of course features some of the biggest releases from across the breadth of Four40's incredible catalogue of content, from the likes of Hybrid Theory, I Killed Kenny, Pavv, Limita and more, condensing ten years of musical progression into one extended tape. We also get to hear a bag of exciting new exclusives from the newer breed of the Four40 roster, including music from The Phat Controlla, Blakk Habit, Lucas Maverick, Gemi, Badger, Patrick Kane, Yozhi, George IV and more. What an incredible way to round off the year!
Review: This is the first sampler to drop ahead of the next Deep in the Jungle Anthems LP, and since we're seven deep into this series already, you'll know just how hard they tend to hit. This sampler is no exception and the team have roped in a handful of the best in the game. Napes steps up first for a remix of 'Madman' by DJ Hybrid and the result is furious expression of breaks and bass, a flurry of energy that starts on the drop and doesn't let up for a second, its old school vibe cut through with modern jump up force. Janaway's cut - 'Know Dem' - is especially sick, with stepping drums and an infectiously funky bassline that ripples with high frequency energy. Conrad Subs lives up to his name with the subby monster that is 'When Its Time', and Tony Ross keeps things minimal on 'Marathon'. Sick.
Review: An outlet for both unreleased and exclusive music from the label's family members alongside rising talents, this is the fourth instalment of Toolroom's popular 'House Party' series. Featuring standout releases from Mark Knight's label plus the scene's biggest imprints, with highlights coming from: industry heavyweights Nic Fanciulli & Andrea Oliva on the slinky "Medium Rare", the inimitable Yousef with the pounding acid of "Save Me" (feat. Molly Green), legend Todd Terry with TCTS on the boompty bounce of "Get Freaky" and UK tech house hero Seb Zito delivering the peak time stomper "Don't Stop". As if that was not enough, there are also three continuous mixes by scene stalwarts such as Lefti, Piero Pirupa and label staple Maxinne.