Review: Southampton's Al Pack takes us for a ride through the various, classic shades of drum and bass; borrowing equally from jungle as he does from soul and disco, calling to mind legends such as Peshay, Alex Reece and London Elektricity. Starting with the jazz infused vibes of the title track, other highlights aren't limited to the street level breakbeat science of "Ruffneck Tactics" and "Hustle Daily" while "Nimbus" or "Quarter After Two" feature the smooth liquid drum and bass vibes that LTJ Bukem or Calibre would stand up and notice. Well produced and promising stuff.
Review: Often when young talent is allowed to break through the thick icy surface of the drum and bass scene, the music they produce can be put down as variants of either side of the spectrum - either soulful vocal-based liquid or seriously hyperbolic jump up forged to spin heads and destroy dancefloors. What Brazilian label DNBB have here is a gorgeous little slice of brand new talent, showcasing the inventive minds of the next generation of drum and bass. Hudik begins the surge with "Parting", a synthy swell of atmosphere that booms and dissipates into a teetering crest of breakcore beats. Newcomer Flokos brings the Brazilian soul with smoothly funky "Nu York", and Kalum, already a favourite with the YouTube liquid crowd, teams rap with smooth rolling vibes. Upcoming talent Danny Lo hangs up his usual jungle beats for RnB tinged smoothy "Special Lady" and Brazilian drum and bass obsessionist Mystific plays with warm guitar licks and static to create a vintage soulful sound. An instant classic.
Review: Make no mistakes: Ruffneck Ting are smashing it on a whole new level this year! Bombarding the game with beat after beat, barely a month has gone by with a Ruffneck roll-out session. The Xtraordinary League Of Junglists takes this proliferation to a whole new level with 20 killer cuts from some of the label's firmest friends and family. Every cut is a highlight but you'd be off your nut not to check the clinically obese classical mid-90s jump up bass of "War", the sprung-out Bingo bounces of "All 2 Myself", the piano-slapping feel good rave workout "All Through The Night" or the dubbed-out trickery of "Hazey Dub". Need we go on? Ruffneck Ting have been on this ting since dot and they're rolling out some of their finest right here. Essential.
Review: Dutty business: Toronto's DBA crew lay down their second supersized V/A LP of the year and it's an absolute gully jamboree. Ranging from the wobbled-out slaps of Euphonique's "Sound Dead" to twisted drones of Tryptamine's "Gang" via the wily 96 skanks and bubblesome bass of ScattyOne's "Wicked Babylon", Tomoyoshi's funk flipping triplets on "Time & Space" and the awesome halftime sludge of DJ Hybrid's clever Drop Out remix of "Raised In The Jungle" there's genuinely not one even slightly under par track here. Dutty Bass Audio are absolutely smashing the game right here.
Review: The Smooth N Groove imprint have become renowned for their expansive compilation projects, bringing together a range of high quality original drum and bass recordings. They continue their hot streak here with volume 2 of their 'Hidden In The Crates' series, featuring belters from the likes of Greekboy, Passive, Wyman, Twintone, Jay Dubz and a host of other names. For us, the standouts are immediately clear, with the harmonic strings and epic atmospherics of A.K.A & soulTec's 'You Should Be Here' being a major standout. The smooth junglist subs and warm notation of 'Adventure Time' from Conrad Subs also deserves a nod, along with the clean drum work of Dave Owen's 'Kiss & Tell'.
Review: Someone call the fire brigade please, Bryan Gee's V camp is literally on fire right now. If it's not the massive tracks coming from the now 26 year old V flagship imprint, it's this stunning collection of remixes from the collective's soulful arm of operations Liquid V. Digging deep into the vaults, there's some immaculate refixes on display... L-Side's midas touch continues to sparkle with his rumbling switch-up of "Try To Understand", Need For Mirrors' own wobbly-bottomed relick of "Son Of Sorrow" does absolute damage and the VIP of Cater & Paul SG's "Jazz Cigarette" will blast your wig off with its crisp horns and cosmic vibraphone flurries. And that's just the tip of liquid iceberg. Get in shape yo!