Review: Flexout are absolutely one of the best labels in the scene right now, with a tendency to release devilishly smooth minimal flavours across a range of BPMs. Creatures has been getting about rececently with features on C.I.A and elsewhere, so it's good to see him graduate to a full Flexout EP, alongside Ill Truth and Zound. Track three, 'Hunters', is our pick of the bunch with a devastatingly fluid, sub-heavy bassline that breathes and ebbs through the mix in such a cool way. The drums are right on point and the entire tune just feels like a weapon in your hands. Ill Truth rack things up on 'Abstract' and this release just generally boots off from there.
Review: Coming in hot on DLR's Sofa Sound, the duo of the moment that is Ill Truth, fresh off the back of their Flexout EP, are landing with a proper stomper. Combining the Sofa Sound mantra of hard hitting, funky beats with their own tendency for low-frequency oscillation, Jay & Haden have smashed this one out the part. The title track features DLR & Gusto and is excellent, but it's on track three 'The Syndicate' that the release hits its peak, as riotous percussion murders its way through bars of pure energy to hit its optimum conclusion. No doubt this one will be getting played a lot across the airwaves.
Review: The rule of three... In maths it describes the way of finding a number in the same ratio to a given number as exists between two other given numbers. In writing it's a structuring principal that leads to a more effective message of punchline. In drum & bass it means a sick new EP on Total Science's CIA. Ironically it's a from a duo and it's four tracks long but that hasn't stopped the Bristol pair running amok through the styles; the bubbling, Bingo Bass style funk of "So Addicted", the creepy graveyard funk of "Ghouls", the spine-melting break-ravaged "Bounty" and the tunnelling dubby synths of "Rule Of Three". Rules are made to be broken.
Review: As a notable name within the modern drum & bass circuit, we were super excited to sit down and get into this brand new project from Ill Truth who take up residence on Soul Trader for a standout two tracker. We begin with Villem's official neuro remix of 'Hollow Game', an inspired original collaboration between Ill Truth and Michael E.T. On the flip we are introduced to a brand new original collaboration alongside Bluejay, who lays down some smooth original vocal lines on the title track 'Bristol Dawn'. A solid piece of work here from a very exciting link up!
Review: Squish: Ill Truth and Defex team up for four diesel-burning thumpers on Ulterior Motive's ever-essential Guidance imprint. We kick off with the title track that catches you like a rabbit in the headlights before flattening you with bass. "Da Da" sees Ill Truth go it alone for a gritty bassline headbutt while the gang re-collide for "Long Out", a spine crushing roller that spits feathers everywhere. Finally we have "Digital Style" a piece that flings you 30 meters down the road before you get to kiss its low profile, bruisey woozy bassline tyres. That's the badger!
Review: DLR's Sofa Sound imprint has been taking the D&B world by storm the last year or so, his penchant for rough sounds and deep scene links making him the perfect curator for a vision of his own. Helping him out in this endeavour are a range of artists, many of whom are on the forthcoming Sofa King Sick LP which this single is giving you a taste of. Ill Truth step up with 'Catch A Break', a weirdly futuristic track with a bouncing, bubbly bassline that feels submerged yet powerful in all the right ways. Finishing off the sampler is the dream team - AKA DLR, Black Barrel and Hydro - with 'Things Change'. This track is off the chain good, with snapping drums and a distorted yet precise back end. Just go listen to it.
Review: Oh gosh. Total Science ante up for the summer with this exceptional V/A EP on their CIA imprint. Kicking off with a crucial new remix of their classic "Nosher" by their new hybrid gang comprising themselves, DLR and Hydro, full breadth and variation abounds as we dip into the gilded soul of Zero T & Phase's "Talk To Me", the gnarled grizzles and dubby danger of their own "Devil's Gate" with Scar member Script and the grand finale; a heavyweight purring roller from two of the most respected newcomers in the game right now: Ill Truth and SATL. Each one a persy for different chapters of the night, any further information is classified.
Review: DLR's Sofa Sound label has become a pillar of the scene in barely a handful of years, and this week they're following up their previously successful Sofa King Sick compilation with a second edition, this one equally packed to the rafters with both new and old school talent. It's a tour-de-force of the tough side of the genre and it's exemplified by 'Baja', courtesy of Scepticz, a Belgian producer who knows his way around the controls and who proves it once more, as jagged synth lines cut across its snapping, two-step arrangement with all the force and subtlety of an underground train. Kodin makes an appearance on the superbly gruff 'Chronic', whilst The Sauce get deeper than usual on 'Ultrasonic'. Quintessential drum & bass that makes for essential listening.
Review: What a release this is. Coming from the vaults of Break, it's unsurprising that Symmetry's summer compilation has turned out to be such a standout collection of tracks, I mean just look at that tracklist: Lenzman, LSB, Break and more. Break's 'I Need You' has been doing the rounds in mixes and sets for a little while now and it's great to see it released, the simplicity of the sample and structure is shows that less can often be more and Break is the king of finding that balance. Lenzman's remix of Ill Truth's In My Soul is a well-made rework of an already fantastic original, its revamped drums injecting the Amsterdam flavour. Again, simple is best and this release proves that.
Review: Straight outta Toulouse! Vandal Records celebrate 15 years with this serious statement: 17 tracks of some of the most forefront, innovative and exciting drum & bass from an on-point selection of trusted lifers and the most exciting new-gen names in the game. Highlights can be found on pretty much every track but you'd be mad not to check Rizzle's evocative and eerie "Ether", Was A Be & Synth Ethics' high voltage "Roughmouth", Nymfo's tense groaner "Semantics" or the twisted techno-like stab-whirlwind "Semantics". And that's just the tip of this on-point D&B iceberg. Some anniversary albums celebrate the past; this celebrates Vandal's future.
Review: Getting you to more places than the Docklands Light Railway ever could, DLR takes his Sofa around the world and stops off at the homes and studios of some of the most exciting new generation artists. Every direction you check its severe roller situation as each participant step up with their finest. Highlights include the outlandish grizzles of Submarine & Scepticz's "Shingoki", the hair raising wriggles and flabby funk on Ill Truth on "Catch A Break", the infectious steppy late 90s buzzes of bossman DLR and Script's "El Mosquito" and the lush jazzy flurries of Trex's "Falling Down"... but that's just scratching the surface, the whole Sofa king thing is immense.
Review: Following on from last year's incredibly popular instalment, Shogun Audio have brought back Point of Origin for a third time. This series emphasises the rolling, minimal-ish side of the scene from some younger, more hungry producers and boy, is it a good formula. Exemplifying this is Revaux with 'Ibex', probably the nastiest tune on the album and arguably the best, as its crunching bass tabs inject fantastic groove. Rizzle and Malaky add something more sultry with 'Solstice' and 'Requiem', the former focusing on the vocals of Sydney whilst the latter opts for a more instrumental roll-out. Gerra & Stone represent the old guard amongst the newbies, holding up their end with a growling amalgamation of low-frequency force. This is an exquisite album of D&B, with every corner covered and every flavour recognizable - special props going to Shogun for supporting new talent as well.
Review: Time for a freshness flex: Shogun return to their new and rising talent series Point Of Origin and once again it's a big deal with 15 crucial cuts from 20 outstanding and future-shaping artists; from the already established and massively respected such as Serum, Paul T & Edward Oberon, who follow up last year's massive "Take My Breath Away" with the deep space slinker "Burning", and Paul SG with his decidedly wobbled-out drumstick snapping roller "Holy Moly" right the way through to exciting new energies in the dance like Phaction, with his ghostly-vocalled soul-out "Distant Lovers" and Neve & Crimson's beautifully blue-notated jazz drum dark-out "Solar Rain" and so many stunning cuts in between (Mitekiss, Gerra & Stone, Was A Be, Macca & Loz Contreras, the list goes on) this is Shogun at its most exciting and forward-thinking.
Randall & Ben Soundscape - "Nightfall" - (6:21) 175 BPM
Superior Selectionz - "Halcyon" (VIP mix) - (5:08) 174 BPM
Ben Soundscape - "Focus On You" - (5:38) 174 BPM
Joakuim - "Pale Ale Citizens" - (4:53) 173 BPM
Larigold - "Don't Wanna Stay" - (5:16) 170 BPM
Review: Happy birthday Intrigue! They're celebrating 14 years of their Bristol club night (and nine years of the label) in style with this beautiful collection of 14 exclusives that sum up the collective's vibe, spirit and energy perfectly. Deep, soulful but not afraid to slap you silly with grit or funk across the set we're treated to triplet-teasing elastic double bass freakery from Raw Q, total soul magic by Philth, SolidFrame and Collette Warren, cloud-leaping amen bliss from Ill Truth and white knuckle space funk from the daddy Randall and label bossman Ben Soundscape. With more from the likes of Phase, Random Movement, Break and loads more, this really is a special collection. Don't sleep!