Review: As champions of the UK bassline sound, the CruCast roster continues to impress on all angles as they unleash the third edition of their 'We Are Crucast' series, showcasing some of the most heavyweight releases they have landed over the course of 2020. The roster is pretty sensational to say the least, with the likes of AC Slater, Darkzy, P Money, Zero, Skepsis, TS7, Zero, Cajama and more all making notable appearances throughout. The project as a whole is a top quality representation of where the sound of UK bassline is currently at, with our personal favourites including the techy blips and vibrant subs of MPH's '116', alongside the stripped back bass warbles of Corrupt (UK)'s 'Strange Things' alongside the sultry vocal lines of Raas. Top stuff all around!
Review: To celebrate an incredible run of releases and festival stage takeovers, CruCast have collated some of their most popular releases over the last few years into one handy compilation, taking the name 'Cru100'. Now over the past few years we have seen CruCast lay down a pretty dominant release schedule, which shows in this tracklisting as we reminisce with classics from the likes of Skepsis, Darkzy, Distinkt and Tsuki, with more recent bangers such as Bru-C and Simula's 'You & I' making it onto the listing also. If you are looking for certified dancefloor ammo, look no further!
Review: Can we get a 'wicked?' Jungle Cakes continue to team up with some of the biggest donnies in the game with this latest Welcome To The Jungle collection. This time curated and fronted by the General himself, as you'd expect this is a full-on jungle assault that covers every single angle and every single era. 47 tracks and one killer mix, hosted and toasted by Levy himself, this is one of Jungle Cakes most comprehensive collections to date: From the foundation-setting, historic vibes of "Incredible" through to contemporary bangers from the likes of Kursiva, DJ Hybrid, Jam Thieves, Benny Page and all things in between, everyone involved has delivered something special. Massive.
Review: Is there a doctor in the house? Hospital kick start the new decade with another stupendously massive V/A collection in the form of its latest Sick Music compendium. An album series that consistently lives up to its name, Sick Music 2020 does not disappoint in the slightest; from the powerful soul thrust of Degs and Unglued's "Levitate Your Mind" to the deep pads and sultry kicks of Tolima Jets' "Clams" via Urbandawn's truly electrifying euphoria/gully head shock "Egregor", this one covers the full spectrum from an exciting and super diverse range of artists. Look out for some fantastic remixes lurking in the mix, too; S.P.Y absolutely crushes Kings Of The Rollers' "You Got Me" and Serum flips Todd Terry's house classic "Bounce To The Beat" with a new sense of funk and groove. And these are just a few examples; this is a fantastic snapshot into how 2020 will sound... And it sounds great!
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.
Review: It's that time of year again! The scene's longest-standing platform Drum&BassArena step up with their annual flagship album and once again it's a fitting salute to all corners, all shades and all styles of the rich, wide scene. 60 tracks deep comprising absolute bangers and bliss-outs from the likes of Chase & Status, Noisia & Phace, K-Motionz, Rockwell, DJ Hybrid, GLXY and Seba, it's also home to exclusives from Kyrist, Brookes Brothers, Bou & Simula, Kanina, Kove and A.M.C & Turno. From jungle to jump-up, liquid to dancefloor and complete with three killer mixes for life when you're not practicing your double/triple/quadruple drops, Drum&BassArena continue to celebrate the widest possible scene.
Review: Everybody loves a good VA, it's just wicked getting a whole big album full of tracks from different artists - the definition of a kid in a candy shop. This one from Uncommon has a cool combination of bigger and smaller acts, from the mighty Kasra to lesser known quantities like Resist. Kasra's 'Needles' is a standout, a fiercely minimal slapper that gargles and gurgles its way straight into your brain, and for anyone that is into the Critical sound: this is the tune for you. Kanine, another rising star, hits hard on 'Searching', a tune that reminds us of the recent Klippee tracks over on Lifestyle Music. All in all, this is a very solid little VA - yes yes!
Review: Kanine was one of the breakout acts of 2018, his tune The Shadows dropped in 2017 but propelled him into the big leagues the following year. He has an instantly recognisable style but one which feeds off the current boom in D&B of snarling, jump-up influenced rollers that sound absolutely amazing through a sound system. 'Dubplate Soldier' is his latest, from a forthcoming Elevate Audio compilation, and it packs a huge punch. Beginning with those classic head-nodding drums, the tune quickly flips into a gargantuan pulse of raw low-frequency energy and industrial-sounding grates and groans. One for the Instagram story.
Review: 2018 is the second year in a row that Critical Music dropped a surprise release for us on Christmas Day, 2017 seeing the Modified Sonics album full of VIPs and exclusive remixes. New Energy Vol.1, however, is a totally different deal and that's because it's 18 brand new, exclusive tunes from those deep inside the Critical camp and those just entering it. The whole roster is represented: Kasra, Enei, Mefjus, Emperor, Foreign Concept, The Upbeats - and so on. But, excitingly, there's new talent in the form of Bou, Synth Ethics, Simula, Kanine and more. Mefjus' remix of 'Projections' arguably takes the cake as the best tune on here - absolute murderation. This is Critical's statement of intent for 2019.
Review: All those who heard 'The Shadows', a 2017 track that elevated Kanine from solid jump-up producer to well-known dancefloor purveyor, will understand that this guy makes pure destroyers. Kanine and Low Down Deep continue their London Underground-themed series of EPs with the Central Line and it seems like they picked arguably the best tube line for what is a wicked release. 'Ladies Night' has energy for days, a roaring rush of long basslines and fluctuating wobbles, the granite bassline making another appearance on 'Steamroller', this time in the form of a stuttering, staccato of force. Kanine is representing himself here in true Low Down Deep, head-nodding style - just listen to 'Kilogram' if you don't believe us.
Review: Logan D's Low Down Deep imprint celebrate 100 releases with this bumper to bumper banger collection with cuts from the biggest names in the heavier end of the game; Turno, Maji, Upgrade, Voltage, Heist, Serum and of course the late great Dominator are just some of the heavyweights involved. Every tune is a highlight but mad salutes fire in the direction of Turno & Pacso with their purring harmonic bass creeper "Cosmic Funk", K Motionz' long awaited summer slamming anthem "Buckaguy" and the blissful rippling charms and outrageous subby drop of Heist's "Hawaiian". Elsewhere there's pure gully fisticuffs as Kanine has "Bloody Knuckles" and Serum has "Brass Knuckles". Either way, they both KO. Like the whole album. Get on this.
Review: Barking mad beats from the Kanine kennel, this time on Subway Soundz: "Invincible" bites and growls with a razor sharp step and a range of weirdo bass textures all vying for your attention in a well juggled scattered riff style. Slipz joins the fray for the second sesh of the set "Keyboard Warrior". Venomous, brittle and charmed with cheeky amen rolls on the fills, it's so heavy and rasping with dark alien funk you kinda of want to find the keyboard slapping trolls who inspired this track and shake them by the hand for making it happen (then kick them somewhere sensitive) Soundz as a pound.
Review: Kanine pulls no punches with this hefty one track wounder on Low Down Deep. Stark, spacious but riddled with an infectious riff you'll be singing for weeks, there's a latent funk rumbling deep beneath the venomous jumpy riff. Yet another one of his highly anticipated (see the forthcoming banger "Dancefloor"), "Bloody Knuckles" is another K.O from the big K. Okay?
Review: As a label, Crucast have gone from strength to strength, rapidly establishing themselves as one of the premiere platforms for bass music in the UK. This complication marks that out perfectly with an astonishing selection of over 30 original creations, featuring high profile appearances from the likes of Jaguar Skills, Brent Kilner, Pavv, TC4, Inkline, Deadbeat UK and a tonne more. For us the EP highlights the strength in the current UK bass scene, with favourites being Bushbaby & Hadean's long-awaited collaboration release 'Clean Up', the monstrous swinging synths of Tengu's 'Weapon' and of course the wonky wonderings of SaidWho's 'Voices', a truly original compositional idea, focussing on rawcus bass sounds and scattered drum selections.
Review: Woof woof! Kanine makes his debut on Low Down Deep with four barking mad thunder jams. "Mercy" does the foghorn bassline shake in a similar groaning way that Serum and Benny L have championed lately, "Locked Off" takes us for walkies at a heads-down turbo pace via sandpaper bassline bliss while "Signal" would give any dog a massive bone with its laserfied bass screams. Elsewhere "A31" wags its tail respectfully at the Clipz school of riff science while "Command" rips down the walls with a bass texture so toxic it could you put down. Welcome to the doghouse.
Review: Shady power moves from Kanine: Having already taken us "Into The Dark" on Twisted Beatz earlier this year, now he's trapping us in "The Shadows" and there's no way possible way to escape. Not that you'd want to escape, mind; with its orchestrated samples and drop into a dual-textured bassline that both groans and purrs, "The Shadows" has some of the best views of the dancefloor you'll ever get. "Invincible" holds us hostage even more with more of a classic brittle Belgian-sounding roughness to its grotty Q&A riff. Both kill it in two exceptional ways... You gonna bark all day little doggy?
Review: VIPs in the hole! Two of Bulletproof's biggest club-shakers undergo fire updates from the men themselves. First up is barking badman Kanine who adds a whole new metallic crunch to his woofer-burning "Bad". Tsuki follows in hot pursuit with his modified "Inspector Gadget" where the lower part of the bass Q&A takes much more of a lead with a brand new twist on the hook. Deadly.
Review: Remix time: Bulletproof don their protective clothing for two killer versions of two recent tried and tested bangers. First up Tsuki's "Street Wars" continues to develop a life of its own. As the dust settles from the recent VIP, Premium adds a whole new layer of thugged out prang-flavoured bass. K Motionz follows with an equally suited, booted and space-funked twist on Bulletproof's second ever release - Kanine's barking mad "9 Lives". With more to follow, it feels like Bulletproof are only just getting started.