Review: DLR is having an absolute tear this year, and Sofa Sound seems like it's certain to be one fo the genre-defining labels of the next several years. His own productions are the bedrock of its success and he's back on his own imprint with this delicious single, the A-side of which features Hybris. 'Terminal Madness' is glitchy, precise and futuristic with a stuttering drum pattern, whilst the flip is classic, rolling and murky DLR - a torn, ripping bassline and crispy drums. Unreal.
Review: Hailing from the US via the Czech Republic, Hybris first came onto our radar with "The Cleaner" last year and now he makes his debut on Noisia's experimental offshoot label. Kicking off with "Crystalline" - a collab with label owners Noisia - it's all glitchy, fidgeting rhythms and a lonely melancholy melody from the off. Hybris the goes solo for the rest of the EP; "Of Two Minds" blends understated tension with mellifluous rhythms and grouchy bass rumbles, before things get even tougher and harder in "Keeping Me", and, rounding off with EP with "Out Of Place", things are stripped back with a powerful and poignant smoothness.
Review: Hybris: is he man? Is he AI? Will he fry your brains and eat them for breakfast? We have no idea but we know that any man or beast who can conjure up coldness on this level is capable of some very nasty things. Seven years after his last Headz appearance, the American-in-Czech delivers two crisp slicers: "Iceworm" is a severe stepper with turbine bass jets and sub zero atmospheres while "Common Ancestor" is likely to cause a lot of monkey business in the dance with its carnal energy and filth-flinging drums. Go ape.
Review: Seriously - seriously - before any more words are said, just get your mitts on this LP. A seminal piece of work, it charts a decade in the life of Vision Recordings, the label at the foremost terrifying edge of neurofunk and beyond. Sharing the strobes with Black Sun Empire, Phace, Spor, The Upbeats and Calyx, and Teebee, it's hard to imagine what on earth drum and bass sounded like without these guys tearing a hole in the space time continuum every time they dropped a new EP. Black-hearted excitement from the darkest recesses of Europe. Don't pretend you don't need to hear "Diplodocus" one more time.
Review: Under present sunny circumstances, you'd think crazed-intellectual neurofunk noise would be the last thing on everybody's mind... This EP is a stride out into new directions, stepping through the void to reach past minimal and, in first track "Incessant", right into the guts of hardcore. Noisia teams up with Hybris and Mefjus to create a six-headed beast that is "Clusterfunk" before a entering the black-hole strewn "Reptilians". Meanwhile "Banshee" sees Noisia settle into an eerily tuneful conclusion and it only compounds the feeling that there's still more rage to come.
Review: What with Critical celebrating their ten year anniversary this year it's only right and proper that there should be a landmark album, looking back on their success to date. Enter Critical X; featuring a carefully curated selection from Critical's past, present and future (watch out for some cracking unreleased material), this is a must buy for deeper D&B heads. Stand outs from across the 16-track album include Breakage's awesome "Staggered Dub", Spectrasoul's iconic "Organiser", and of course jungle revivalist anthem Bladerunner's "Back To The Jungle". Make sure you check out the remixes from Mefjus and Enei, which add the final cherry on the cake for this superb and frankly rather essential release.
Review: Kicking off with a VIP of one of the killer 90s jungle nostalgia anthems of 2010 - Bladerunner's "Back To The Jungle" - it's a great start to the next Critical compilation. Moving through the tough, percussive sounds of Break, soulful dub tinged efforts of Breakage, the blissed out Calibre in "Rockafella" to the sounds of man-of-the-moment, hotly tipped Enei with his fantastic "Forgive Me" around the halfway point, it's immediately apparent why Kasra's label has garnered such respect from his peers. Lomax - one half of Loadstar - provides a deeper incarnation to his Ram bangers in "Innocent X" and elsewhere, Rockwell's "Underpass" makes a re-emergence as does ubiquitous anthem "Redlines" which closes this utterly superb compilation.
Fre4knc And Nickbee - "Recursive Function" - (4:33) 172 BPM
Fre4knc - "Red Shadow" - (4:35) 174 BPM
MRSA - "Push Me Down The Stairs" - (4:40) 171 BPM
LWK - "Derivative" - (4:22) 172 BPM
Abstract Elements - "Join Us" - (4:55) 170 BPM
Abstract Elements - "Magnitogorsk" - (4:14) 170 BPM
Abstract Elements - "Lost Signal" - (5:13) 172 BPM
Proxima - "Wubba Lubba" - (4:33) 172 BPM
Proxima - "Localize" - (3:50) 173 BPM
Proxima - "Descending" - (4:47) 172 BPM
Nickbee - "Ritual" - (4:19) 170 BPM
Nickbee And Subtension - "Burnout" - (4:08) 174 BPM
Signal - "Move Me" - (4:14) 172 BPM
Signal & Synergy - "Duster" - (3:24) 174 BPM
Signal - "Pixilate" - (3:49) 172 BPM
Signal - "Unsure" - (3:23) 172 BPM
Signal - "You Do You" - (4:12) 172 BPM
Hybris - "Unpleasant Pheasant" - (4:08) 172 BPM
The Outsiders - "Dial Tones" - (3:46) 172 BPM
GROUND - "Swindle" - (4:30) 174 BPM
Host - "The Rapture" - (4:08) 172 BPM
Missin - "Constant Movement" - (4:27) 172 BPM
Arclight - "Byzantium" - (5:01) 57 BPM
Review: Invisible has been one of Noisia's best labels for quite a while now and whilst it's sad to see this as the last release, the sadness is ameliorated somewhat by how damn good this compilation is, featuring some of the best artists and tracks to have graced the label over the past couple of years. MRSA's "Push me Down the Stairs' has been a favourite ever since it saw a release on Solids_2 last year, in one of the most creative displays of funky, glitched up techy D&B in a long time. Ground's 'Swindle's is also unstoppably good and endlessly creative, with spacious, atmospheric attempts at dancefloor grit. With other legends like Fre4knc and Hybris on here, this isn't one to miss.