Review: Another unique concept from two scene sages dBridge and Kabuki: New Forms was a series of nights in Berlin's legendary Watergate where the guest DJ would come over early and make a track especially for the show. Stray, V.I.V.E.K, Kid Drama, Cooly G, Addison Groove and Zed Bias all got involved, each with exceptional results; highlights include Bias's UKG influence on the string-led "Tune In", the harrowing choral rhythmic element and necksnap breaks on the Stray-related "With U" and the shadowy dub caverns of the V.I.V.E.K-vibed "Dem A Sleep". Each tune only made for the purpose of the New Forms night itself, these were never actually planned to be released. Count your blessings daily.
Review: Long-time label collaborator and all-round German soul warrior Kabuki returns to Bryan Gee's currently revitalised V roster with two devilish dancefloor tracks. "Heist Flick" sees him teaming up with Serum for a gritty, ruffled roller that's all heads down and pants up. "Clash", meanwhile, sees him returning to the space-aged soul he first developed his reputation in thanks to its cosmic bass riff and roomy drums. Impressive.
Review: Kabuki might not release beats as prolifically as he used to. But when he does, it's always worth paying attention. Here we find him on key French leftfield jungle imprint Vandal with a range of tempos and perspectives; "Mad" is a sludgy 150 jam with trappist tendencies while "Bounce" is the bites with a rolling ghetto attitude before dropping into the sweetest synths of your dreams. Deeper again we hit the barbed harmonics of Fox on the cosmic beat trip "Change" and conclude with the slimy-walled cave delving dub sojourn "Magic". Four tips, one crucial release.
Review: V Recordings do some of the best compilations in the business and their brand new Foundation series is a natural recognition of that fact. They're not being hyperbolic with the usage of the term 'Foundation' either, because this is truly an overview of some of the scene's most foundational producers. Old-school Dillinja, Krust, Roni Size and DJ Die, amongst others, make up the roster of acts that formed an integral part of the genre back in the day. The new crew is also represented, however, in the form of L-Side, Think Tonk, Nasza Linez and loads more, all of whom bring some of that V-style heat. Wicked album - one for the heads.
Review: It's safe to say that the Vandal LTD founders: SKS & Redeyes have certainly done themselves proud on this one as the label brings us the goliath Grand Royal LP. This selection is fantastic, incorporating everything from experimental hip hop to juke to the furthest borders drum & bass can find classification. The whole project just breathes originality, particularly on tracks such as 'Explicit' by NGHT DRPS, which is a very creative half time jungle roller. Another pair of instant favourites are Alerstorm's 'Bak' and 'Zero Caliber' from Balatron, both of which ooze electronic creativity and sound design prowess. This compilation is a phenomenal body of work from start to finish.
Review: It's vibe o'clock at Vandal HQ this season as they gracefully lay down a brand new Modern Soul collection from their nearest and dearest... And every track is a total gem. Shield provides the ultimate opener with the jaunty horn-hazed "Skippy" before a rainbow of softer, jazzier and deeper tones continue to assault our souls... Bossman Redeyes gets a breezy flip from erstwhile Headz running mate Lenzman on "What She Wants", veteran break sculpter Kabuki lets his hair down on the hip-hop jam "Home Run", Satl cosmicifies his step arrangement on the dreamy "Miss U", Monty brings some warm textured keys, Gerra & Stone add a little murk to GLXY while Arkiak cooks up some kicks that are wider and heavier than your house. And they're just some of the many highlights.