Review: Aries 2018-released debut album Jungle Style just keeps on giving with another badass bounty of versions. Featuring a whole range of skilled breakbeat craftsmen from hyped newcomers and hidden talents to some of the best in the game, highlights hit from all corners including Saxxon's jazz-tinged tear-up on "Sundays", Kreed's dancehall stepper twist of "I & I" and Benny Page's heavily supported version of "Herbsmoke". High grade business.
Review: Time to pay homage to some of the greatest junglists in the biz for a lovely little detour into each of their mindsets. "Fall In Love" itself is a beauty of a track - with Eva Lazarus referencing Althia and Donna and the horns blowing pure heat there's a true dancehall vibe sizzling. First up to give it the remix treatment are Dope Ammo and Marvellous Cain who add their fun and fire twist with a hard edged drop switched into that winding bassline to send crowds wild. Mr Benn picks up the tune for its final remix and adds his own reggae vibes, swapping those dark dancefloor sounds for sunshine and tropical funky bass. Versatility and vibes - what more do you want?
Review: This one is a bit of a whopper. With 43 unmixed tracks to choose from and two bonus DJ mixes from curator Jay Cunning, there's plenty for fans of 140 BPM plus bass music to sink their teeth into. The tracklist reads like a who's who of the breaks, jungle and breakbeat garage scene, with stalwarts Ellis Dee, I.D, High Rankin and DJ Twista joined by a welter of lesser-known artists (601, Aries, Gella) for an all-out assault on the senses. From hardcore revivalism and early jungle roughness to bhangra-flecked beats and electro-breaks madness, Bass Selection Volume 1 has it all - if you're looking for speaker-shaking heaviness, you really can't go wrong.
Review: It's a first class trip from Manchester to Bristol on the Ruffneck roller express as Hocus Pocus heroes Dawn Raid deliver four on-point work-outs. "Four Shots" disarms with a jazzy swing and some on-point words from the big guy himself. "Captain Confusion" sees them pairing up with K Jah for some flute-fired dream-laced soul while fellow Manchester man Bou twists up a little darkness on the soulful surges of the Jinx collaboration "Strife". Finally "Grotti" brings the heat as a classic jungle happy ending; ghostly, spacious and just a touch of the Cycle to it, we told you this was first class.
Review: Artificial Intelligence's Integral brings out our inner glow with their consistently-impressive new V/A series. Satl (who's appeared on every "Glow" so far) kicks off with a long-awaited remix of dBridge's classic lament "So Lonely" he debuted at Sun & Bass in 2018. He's backed up all the way by key label friends and affiliates: Facing Jinx and Soligen get all dreamy on the dark subby roller "So Much To Do" while Dexcell weave multiple instrument layers with sweeping waves of emotion above a pretty dark, foreboding bassline. Finally Macca & Vector wind down proceedings with the star-leaping intergalactic soul hurricane finale "All The Time". Unleash your inner glow...
Review: It's getting cold outside, winter's creeping in. If there's a better time to don our glitter mittens, it's now. But why stop at wearing them when you can dance to them, mix them and hail them as a banging debut album? Cue Defmatik, a Manchester man of dazzling cloth digits who's packing his most powerful body of work to date. Running the gully gamut and really nailing his uncompromised signature, highlights across this accomplished collection include the snorting pig bass textures and warped harmonics on "Given", the warm skanks and swinging drums on "Escape", the extra spiky laser funk on the title track and the Rupture-ready breaks on "Wisdom". Feel the love, wear the glove.
Review: Originally released in 2018, Dope Ammo's Influence album is the gully gift that keeps on giving. And right here it reaches the peak with the full remix set. Delivered throughout the year, this is the full collection and it takes Ammo's broad sound to the furthest possible places. Ranging from Kleu's gritty distorted take on "Old Times" to the Audiomission's piano-tickled purring steppy twist on "Take Me Back" by way of some of Ammo's own refixes like the sick tempo flexing on the Indian-flavoured "Repent" and turbo-growls of "Risky Business", these remixes don't just reflect the range of the original album but boost it even further.
Review: Run Tingz are a Bristolian crew with an ever-expanding pedigree in the unique blend of Dub, jungle and D&B that comes out of the city. The sound there is honestly like nowhere else and these guys really capitalise on it, their releases always strike that balance between fun and seriousness and they land hard but also chill out at the same time. Frillla is responsible for this one and it's all very sick stuff, especially 'Feel The Rage', which combines some slick lyrical business with a fluid, wobbling back end. Lovely.
DJ Phlex & Bassface Sascha - "New Dawn" - (4:45) 175 BPM
Review: Junglist superheroes Ruffneck Ting return with the second sampler from their extraordinary new edition to their on-point album series. As always it's pure foundation business with some exceptional examples of contemporary roughage and choppage. Genetix twists up a fat riff and prods it from every corner on "Something's Brewing", Bristol OGs and label founders Substance & Dazee get serious busy with a shattering dubbed out roller while Jinx & The Force get deep, dark and dangerous with a purring, deep-breath bass that suddenly rises from nowhere in a techno-informed style. Need a little vocal pressure? Jump on Bassface Sascha and Phlex's "New Dawn" and trust us, you'll be feeling good...
Review: Kicking this comp off with Heist's terminally insane sample-fest "Paper Business", it's pretty obvious from the start that nothing is going to be what it seems. Don't get settled into that bassline then, because the jingle bells and hip hop (yes, both of those things at the same time) of "Pull The Plug" pulls up with all the cheeky charms of a loveable delinquent. Saxxon's smooth grooves mix perfectly with Jinx and Gigante before disappearing into a haze of souped-up bass, and finally Dub Motion get in on the insane action with swing sampling and shoulder-shrugging beats. These mad professors need to get loopy in the lab more often.