Review: It's been 15 years since Shogun Audio burst into life on the South Coast and under the watchful eye of Ed Keeley AKA Friction, as well as K-Tee, it's grown and grown into one of the best labels in the business, without a doubt. From the classics like Perez's seminal 1984, to more recent, futuristic numbers from the likes of Koherent and Document One, the label is truly diverse and that's represented extremely well in this 15 Years Of compilation. Featuring a litany of acts both old and new, including Technimatic, Pola & Bryson and Friction, this one is for the proper fans. Document One's 'Vibration' is a favourite of ours, with a stupidly cool, distorted bassline that packs a tasty hardware edge, undergirded by a click-and-snap drum line. Pure quality right here.
The Outside Agency - "Asteroid Belt" - (5:01) 175 BPM
Neonlight - "Wormhole" (Entering Part 1) - (4:12) 174 BPM
Neonlight - "Wormhole" (Leaving Part 2) - (3:30) 174 BPM
Review: Let it Roll is the biggest D&B festival in the world and it takes place twice a year out in the Czech Republic, a hedonistic outpost of pure 170bpm madness. It's also known for its no nonsense approach to the opening show and the collection of built-for-purpose, novel tunes are coming out on the festival's label and, long story short, they're wicked. Hybrid Minds and Insideinfo team up for their second release of 2019 and it's a percy, with Grimm on vocals adding the soul and a gritty, sweeping bassline adding the force. There's plenty more force to come on the rest of the EP as well, as Abis, Icicle, Neonlight and Th Outside Agency all contributing ridiculously heavy Neurofunk tunes. Oh yes.
Review: We see here another for fantastic drop from Icicle, a name who has been synonymous with well produced bass music over the last few years, be that in the drum & bass sphere or on a slower, more stripped back flex. We begin the with a title track 'Raising The Dead', which combines a selection of demonic synth movements with grizzly sub textures below and shuffling hats. This is followed by the intensely metallic drum designs and ascending bleeping melodies of 'NT', before the stompy bass growls and subtle breakbeat inflections of 'Shout Me' take ahold. When then finish off on a more relaxed tip as the crunchy yet spacey tones of 'Noughties Riddim' close the EP off perfectly. Very slick stuff!
Review: Just look at the list of titans on this album.... The Prodigy, Sub Focus, Spor, Chase & Status, dBridge & Skeptical, Icicle, Benny L, Artificial Intelligence and so many more have all contributed to this worthy compendium from brand new mental and physical wellness festival Getahead. Not one contributor disappoints across the set as we're treated to 100 percent exclusives from across the board. From the rampant late 90s tech twists of Chase & Status's "All Crew" to the delicious halftime vibes of Proxima's "Trek" right through Halogenix's sense-melting remix of Koiya, this really is a massive piece of work... And proceeds going to Music Minds Matter. This is such an important release!
Alix Perez - "Down The Line" (feat MC Fats) - (6:27) 172 BPM
JO - "R-Type" - (5:51) 174 BPM
Subwave - "Think" - (5:58) 175 BPM
Shogun Audio Presents: The Classics (2004-2017) (continuous DJ mix) - (57:08) 174 BPM
Review: When a label as consistent and as well rounded as Shogun Audio announce a 'Classics' release it obviously sends shivers around the drum & bass community. It's hard to imagine condensing thirteen years of dominance into a minimized box of thirty classics, but just looking at the tracklisting is awe-inspiring. We see classic reappearances from the likes of Friction, Spor, Break, Icicle, Rockwell, Spectrasoul, Alix Perez, Camo & Krooked and that's not even half of the names involved. To break it down simply, this compilation summarizes why Shogun hold such a legendary status within the scene, through incredible consistency and magnificent diversity of sound.
Review: From Prolix to Technimatic, Total Science to Was A Be by way of Icicle, Joe Ford, Fourward, Spectrasoul, Phace, Ed.It and many more, Friction's label digs deep from the genre's most innovative corners and eras. As we prepare to close off 2016, they've taken a detailed look back over the last 18 months of crucial output to not just represent where the label is at, but the genre itself. An ideal opportunity to fill any holes in your collection cuts such as Fourward & Linguistics demonic stomper "Storm", Was A Be's rudeboy-slewing halftime damager "Blind" or Break's sparkling "Emerald" and complete with a journeyman mix of the tracks themselves, this rounds up yet another serious year at the very forefront of drum & bass.
Review: Drum&Bass Arena: The longest-standing, and one of the most respected, platforms for all things jungle D&B celebrates an impressive 20 years in the game with this ridiculously hefty document that pays respect to the genre's every twist and turn. From scene-shattering megahits ("Tarantula", "Feel The Love", "Rock It", "Afterglow") to unarguable historical underground scene-smashing megabangers ("Machete", "Aztec", "Nasty Ways", "The View", "Champion Sound", "Turbulence", "Up All Night", "Deadline", Ram Trilogy's remix of "Pacman") by way of tracks that may have slipped under the radar ("Defcom 69", "What's Wrong", "Song For Lovers") the whole album is loaded to the lips with some of the most important records the genre's enjoyed in the last 20 years. Time to get nostalgic, time to fill those holes in your collection, time to educate your dancefloor. Here's to another 20 years!
Review: Besides cameos on Shogun's 100 series with Proxima and Sotto Voce with Spor, this is Icicle's first full body of work since his critically celebrated sophomore Entropy. Four tracks (and one instrumental) deep, it's loaded with all the meany mannerisms and characteristics we know and love the Dutch scientist for... Tasha's Bjorky delivery on "The Nothing", stark techno loopery and FX on "Differentia", the electrified robot romp of "Ego" and the unforgiving halftime badlands of "Push Back". No one does it like Icicle.
Review: 12 years deep, 100 releases strong, Friction's Shogun imprint continues to spread the strong words with what's shaping up to be a very exciting series of exclusives. For the first EP we hit paydirt from the off as Ulterior Motive play the consummate robot charmers on "Radian". Cousins in crime Icicle and Proxima follow with a dagger-sharp tete-a-tete two-stepper while Technimatic provide essential contrast with the rainbow soul "Transference". Finally Alix Perez returns to Shogun for a cheeky minimal twist of Friction and Fourward's "Battle Scars". Gold on gold on gold, Shogun aren't messing around with their 100 series.
Review: Exclusive overload: while some labels like to solely wrap up their existing content into a compilation, Hospital request freshness from their troops. In amongst the 60 tracks on offer (yeah, 60!) there are no less than 25 brand new cuts previously unavailable until now. From the breathy, horizon-glaring bliss of Fred V & Grafix's "Constellations" to High Contrast's first original in well over a year "Calling My Name" by way of Krakota's pulsating gully stepper "Lust Thrust" and Ulterior Motive's darkside creeper "Oddness". This is - without question - one of the biggest, most bountiful Hospitality albums so far. And let's face it, they're always pretty special anyway.
Review: What a year it's been for Shogun Audio: albums from Spectrasoul and Rockwell, new signing Karma, the epic Point Of Origin collection and killer singles from every artist on the roster. Here they wrap up the year with 34 bangers, blissers and blunderbusses. If you've been following the label you'll know just how heavy this weights in bass gold. If not, it's the best possible place to play catch up. From the Jenna G-fronted Submorphics chiller "The Divine" and the gospel-level heaven of Spectrasoul's "Shelter" to the much darker, thunderous slammers such as Friction and Icicle's "Crucifix", Fourward's "Exile" and Calyx & TeeBee's gamechanging remix of Spor's "Aztec", this is a spotless sonic calling card for the label and its many multifaceted talents.
Review: Ever the bastion of modern drum & bass from the smooth and liquid to the rough and ready, Hospital have decided to take stock with a bumper pack of classics, some of which have been remastered for the occasion. Logistics spells it out by kicking things off with the hyped up energy of "Jungle Music", while Danny Byrd brings a cosmic effervescence with "Amen Alley". All the label regulars are here with some bona fide gems from the vaults, whether it be London Elektricity or High Contrast on the buttons. Whatever the case, for newcomers to the label or those needing a refresher, this is a perfect one-stop hit of uptempo breakbeat mayhem from a British institution.