Review: Jem One is back and so are Headz, following the unbelievable Mikal album the other week. Jem One lies in a similar lane production wise and his sound is still sounding as fresh as ever, with deep rollers and rough bits of breaks work laying around all over the shop. The Rain ripples with analogue sounds and the influences of hardware are clear, especially on the acid influenced pads and fills of 'Trojan', which drops into a distorted main bassline that's edgy in thee extreme. The bassline on 'Sunday Rain' also deserves a special mention, whilst the percussive elements of 'Dimensions' are absolutely fantastic. What a release.
Review: Metalheadz thrive on dark, industrial sounds, the sort of music that the label was built upon in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with stuttering jungle breaks and rolling beats all placed within an overarching veneer of blackish intent. Jem One has absolutely nailed that sound with this release, and it's deliciously weighty. 'Shaman' is a rolling number with brooding undertones, it's subtle and not explosive but all the better for it, as it slowly creeps up on you with the stealth of a ninja and the weight of a freight train. Title track 'Transpose' is quintessential heads, with foreboding synths and bubbling, grating bass underneath. Top stuff.
Review: It's been a while since we enjoyed a Jem One joint but he's making up for lost time with four absolute stinkers. In keeping with his brutal late 90s vibed style and production techniques, each of these cuts hits hard; the synapse snapping No U Turn steps of "Steel Edge", the breezy pads and loose breaks of "Breathe", the aluminium harmonies, sci fi purrs and sudden breakbeat flashpoints of "Damascus" and the pure grizzles and distorted bass funk of "System". And if that's not enough, he's got an EP coming on Headz soon, too...
Review: Hasta la vista: 36 Hertz's most consistent and authentic jungle fusionist Jem One returns with two more ruthless industrial strength breakers. Taking off where his devilishly dark album The Infinite Circle left us, "Terminator X" is all about the big detuned riffs and neck-snapping switches while "Force Of Nature" is pure demonic drum funk where our full focus is fixed on breaks while trippy textures and layers of sonic paranoia whirl round in 360. He'll be back...
Review: One of the gulliest diamonds in 36 Hertz's rough, Jem One has been carving, dicing, splicing and sharpening for years now. You can hear it on every wall-of-sound dynamic, every rusty clunking break, every chest-press sub. Most importantly, you can hear it here on his second album Infinite Circle. A stark, iced-out exercise in dangerous jungle, it uses original roots colours to paint grave new warnings to the world and every element hits with real attention and authenticity; the unforgiving drum militancy of "Deeper", the spine-melting pads on "90s", the sense-blurring cymbal splashes on "Broken Girl". The list goes on. An immense album both as DJ material and as a whole body of work.
Review: When it comes to authentic retro/future jungle no one is doing it like Jem One. A consistent mainstay on Vapour's 36 Hertz imprint, the UK veteran chops breaks like you might chop your veg. Spliced, diced and full of spice, each cut takes us deep into his junglist psyche: "Damned If You Do" is all about the distorted rubber ball subs, "Ghetto System" is a Reinforced flavoured slapper with cymbals so brash you could shave limbs off with them, "Jungle Soldier" does that classic drifty spine-melting synth thing while "Spirals" is a whirlwind wall of sound where the drums have a life of their own. Properly proper.
Review: Deep in the underground there's an ancient jungle bible written in a language older than Sanskrit. Only a small collection of the elders can still read it fluently and even fewer new producers. Jem One is one of the text's closest, more meticulous readers; not only does he understand the ancient drum sermons and dangerous messages of physical sonic bombardment, but he relates them in a way that makes total sense to the present and indeed the future. Having demonstrated this at 140 late 2015, he now returns with a reminder at how volatile and exciting these dynamics are at 172: "Virus" rolls with overwhelming drums and a gritty bassline that gurgles relentlessly. "Dubplates States" takes a similar approach but with the bass brought closer to the fore and a subtle vocal wrapping itself over the heady mix for added rave pleasure. Long may Jem's readings continue.
Review: Vapour's 36 Hertz imprint has gone into overdrive throughout 2015 with a consistent slew of multi-tempo jungle jugular-cutters. Each of the 12 tracks are brand new and exclusive to the collection with highlights grunting and snarling from every rusty amen edit: from the wall-of-sound assault of Jem One's "Last Stand" to the late 90s-style sparse dynamic of SR & Digbee's rolling wounder "Hustler" to absolute cymbal-smashing chaos from the label boss himself on "Sauna Shaker". An album that documents the label's authentic roots and uncompromised bill of health, 36 Hertz are on a major mission right now.
Review: Graf artist and old school jungle connoisseur Jem One returns to 36 Hertz with four more 140BPM breakbeat bruisers. Super-splash drums, frosty samples and screaming pads are the key ingredients as Jem balances nostalgia with modern day gnarl. Highlights include the pitched drum hook on "Knife Edge", the juggernaut drum rolls on "SAR" and the dissonant euphoria of "Spiral Tribe". Back to school.
Review: DJ Vapour's 36 Hertz has been spreading good vibes for years now and with this compilation setting the benchmark at a very fitting 36th release for the label, it seems only right that it should be full of bangers. Featuring tracks from the likes of Callide, Cambridge, SR & Digbee and Vapour himself, it's a compilation full of those D&B classics-inspired tunes the label is famed for. The series so far has seen an impressive level of variety in the types of tunes they've uncovered, and this album really showcases the variety of sounds 36 Hertz encourages. The type of compilation that restores faith in drum and bass.
Skink - "Trapped Inside The Dream" - (7:31) 153 BPM
Review: In the mood for some genuine, bona fide old-skool? Thankfully this little beauty reminisces and influences in equal measure, starting with an appropriately named chop-n-rave smasher from Oxford-based ravers SR & Digbee. Channelling that '90s euphoric sound, Jem One's inclusion matches dubby bass with hands-in-the-air pads and a jangly amen. Vapour's dark jungle atmospherics and chopped breaks dominate the second half and finally Skink takes the unease up a notch with gothic synth pads and seriously creepy echoing atmospherics throughout. Ending on a bad trip, leaving on a high note.
Review: Big, solid and heavy. The sound of "Massive" by Midlands' drum & bass prodigy Jem One is exactly that. A huge comeback beat with all the best parts of rave culture charged right into the centre, it's a siren heralding the return of one of D&B's finest to the studio. Previously releasing tune after tune to the fierce support of label head honchos Goldie, Grooverider, DJ Marky and Andy C, this guy has got nothing to prove and yet here he is, ripping up a storm. "Podium Trollz" hits up that ravey feeling once more, bringing a touch of hysteria to proceedings with an acid sting. Welcome home Jem.