Review: Bryan Gee and V Recordings do not mess around. They never have in the past, they're certainly not right now in the present and judging by this highly anticipated Future album, they're going to mess around any time ahead. 25 tracks from some of the biggest, best and baddest names in D&B (Dillina, Serum, Benny L, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Roni Size, DJ Marky, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Bladerunner, Saxxon, the list goes on) this one's been a long, long, long time coming... And it's been well worth the wait. From L-Sides massive remixes of Dillinja and Krust to Need For Mirrors super-revved "Lambo" to Benny L's incredible remix of "Days", this sums up why Bryan and his label are as influential and respected in the game as they are today. Don't mess around.
Review: Sao Paulo OG DJ Andy gets busy on Brazil's spiritual D&B home V Recordings. It's business from the off as "Sanctuary" rips into the ether with a powerful vibe that's a similar power to that of Mind Vortex. "Retaliation" follows with stripped back dynamic, snaked two-step and endless risers and "Keep Rolling" hammers with a dancefloor grit that's up there with Professor Bassline Smith in its darkened aesthetic and pure muscle. Finally "Let Be Stomp" says cheerio with a classic hip hop sample, hurricane bass licks and beats so strong they could crush your entire street. Sanctuary isn't a luxury... It's a necessity.
DJ Chap & C.A.B.L.E. - "Be With Me" - (4:25) 176 BPM
Murdock - "Raw Power Moves" - (5:14) 174 BPM
DJ Andy - "Acid Reflux" - (4:33) 174 BPM
Chromatic - "Footprint" - (4:58) 174 BPM
Need For Mirrors - "Go Easy" - (5:23) 174 BPM
Peshay - "Nitro" - (6:43) 175 BPM
DLR - "Dafunk" - (5:55) 175 BPM
Bailey - "Computer Life" - (5:10) 174 BPM
Simplification - "Therapy" - (5:18) 172 BPM
Alibi - "Machine Head" - (5:36) 174 BPM
Nymfo - "Warrior" - (3:49) 170 BPM
DJ Limited - "Love Is Blind" - (4:12) 58 BPM
Jumpin Jack Frost - "Chronicles" (continuous DJ mix) - (1:08:09) 178 BPM
Review: Chronic is a sub-label of V Recordings that's specifically for rolling, rapid and rough tracks, the ones that are too naughty for the main label yet too good to throw out. Jumping Jack Frost as curated this latest compilation for Chronic and it's simply too good, with a wicked mix of vibes. From the snarling funk of Philth's 'Sanctuary', the wobbling energy of 'My Flava' by Command Strange or the rough jungle on Bailey's 'Computer Life', this LP injects the old-school vibe into new-school clarity. Arguably the stand-out though is DLR's 'Dafunk, a combination of stuttering drums and upbeat samples wrapped up in typical DLR-esque fashion.
Review: L-Side is the living embodiment of the seriously historical links between Bryan Gee's V Recordings and Brazil, especially the city of Sao Paolo. He's back on his long-time home for a three-track EP and The Void does what he does best: roll things out with musical sophistication and technical toughness. The title track is dripping in acid moodiness and the ambience of aggressiveness carpets the bouncy, emphatic synth line with an elegance of movement perfectly befitting its solid percussive undergirding. 'Resist' featuring Need For Mirrors is an ideal blend of their respective stylistic pallettes and with the menacing veneer of L-Side and the left-field subtelty of Moses coming in strong, it proves to be a potent mix. What an EP from the V team.
Review: Bryan Gee's Brazilian bounty just keeps on giving: here we find L Side getting busy with US MC Trac who lays down Q-Tip style flowage over deep bubbled subs and stark, stretched synth textures. "Lay Low" is a joint tear-up with fellow Brazilian badman Alibi (Level 2 and DJ Chap). Busting a more industrial strength tech feel, there's a strong mainland Europe influence as the trio cook up a well-chiselled stepper that wouldn't go amiss on a Shogun or Neosignal showcase. Vicious.
Review: Brazilian producer L Side has a way with liquid not many producers do at this moment in time. Rather than pedalling the perpetual sun of his homeland, his rollers are wrought with emotion, tinted with darkness and glazed with sultry production techniques. He's no spick and span liquid merchant. He deals in tunes with feeling. "So High" featuring MC Fava could easily be a chart-botherer in the UK, piecing together unsettled lyrics with a stunning, sparkling backdrop of minor key lushness. If it was all getting a bit deep though, "Riddim Dancer" switches proceedings into stepper overdrive, showing that this guy is more than a one-trick pony. Dark and dirty and made with real care and passion, L Side really is one to watch.
Review: Ahead of his highly-anticipated album Carnal Mind next month, Sao Paulo vibe conjurer L-Side teams up with DRS for a hurricane soul romp with the one and only DRS. A deep driving piece with psychedelic synths whipping up and around Delroy's delicious dulcets underpinned by gurgling, warping bass, this is an open and shut case for chopping and indeed severing. Bring on the album!
Review: V Recordings slide into their 25th year with another Sao Paulo salute as Simplification returns to the label with four absolute stunners; "Analogy" is a pneumatic stepper with crisp punctuated drums and a vibe that nods to the "Untitled Horn" vibe. "Venus" continues the dark cosmic feels as fellow Sao Paulians L-Side join the moody, spacious fray. Elsewhere "Hold On" slips into something slower as we're shown how things are done with space-age 140 breaks while "Free Me" shuts us all down with a swaggering, riff buzzer, all electrified, waspish and devilishly funky. Hold tight.
Review: This compilation arrives with a rich heritage of V Recordings compilations behind it, and Planet V has for a number of years been the flagship series for Bryan Gee's label. Edition four comes to a whopping 73 tracks and includes a mix as well, and all the familiar V faces are present, from Alibi to Paul t & Edward Oberon. All of the tunes have already seen the light of day in a previous form, and Disrupta and Duskee's 'Deep Thoughts' is one of the standouts, as Disrupta lays down a minimal yet funky beat for Duskee to rap lyrical over, something he does with serious presence. New gun SL8r makes several appearances, including on the excellent 'What U Need', which bounces along in a synthscape of serious depth and texture, its funky nodes nodding to the beat of a vintage blend. Crossover outfit Think Tonk also shine with 'Tom & Heavy', an offering unique in its stepping, breaksy percussion and one which oozes soulful class. There are dozens more to have a gander at, so take your pick.
Review: V Recordings sublabel Chronic has developed a reputation for putting out beats that are even more venomous than its big sister, and their long-standing rollers series is getting a beef up with the fourth instalment. Featuring a litany of acts from a range of eras and a diversity of styles, Chronic Rollers Vol. 4 is a perfect addition to the arsenal of any DJ. 'Blindspot' from Nectax blends a soulful sample with an oscillating warp of juddering bass energy; Mancunian upstart SL8R gets subby and rolling with 'Roundabout'; and Brazilian label long-timers Alibi roll things out tidily on 'Sentinel'. Banging.
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.
Donovan 'Bad Boy' Smith - "After Party Vol 2" (continuous mix By Donovan 'Bad Boy' Smith) - (1:13:40) 178 BPM
Review: The compilations that come out of the V Recordings camp are as legendary as they come. A whole host of different ideas and concepts such as Planet V, Liquid V Club Sessions and V.I.P - I could go on - have landed on the label and brought us happiness. This time around it's instalment #2 for the Afterparty series and it's an LP with more soul than God, honestly. The sultry piano riff of 'No One Can Hear You Read' will have you tingling with excitement; the dulcet American tones of T.R.A.C go perfectly with Macca & Loz Contreras' iconic sampling on 'Leaps & Bounds'; and 'Summer Dayz' by L-Side and Addiction is a pure funk roll out. Another impeccable V Recordings compilation out the way, then. Smashing stuff.