Review: One of the best liquid drum & bass albums ever made is being reworked by a star-studded cast of drum & bass' biggest hitters. What more could you want? It's LSB & DRS of course, and the pair's Blue Hour album from the back end of 2019 - a gorgeously organic, musical release - has been taken up a notch into true 174 territory. Calibre has two features and it's his remix of 'Frozen' that really shines through, and the original's strings make for an ideal Calibre canvas; whispering atmospheres, sumptuously deep basslines and elegant simplicity. On the other end of the spectrum, FD flips fan-favourite and jazz-icon 'Letting Go' into a riot of funk-infused fun, as a wobbling bassline underpins DRS' superbly soulful vocal performance. What would this album be without a spot for Break, and the Bristol man's remix of 'High As She' flips one of the original's best non-174 offerings into a pure, blissful roller that's summer in a bottle. Unreal stuff from some of the best in the game.
Review: Lenzman's imprint serves up its first V/A right here with Quarter To Quarter. Featuring exclusive tracks from the likes of FD, LSB, Total Science, Kyrist, Tokyo Prose, Break, Zero T and so many more, it's a full spectrum representation of the label that ranges from sublime, sun-kissed soul such as Redeyes' "Lust", Atlantic Connection and Steo's "Night & Day" to bouncy, vocal high-vibe affairs such as Break's remix of "In My Mind". Along the way expect stunning strident, cosmic hypnotic workouts (Tokyo Prose - "Rescue"), dubby dreamers (Kyrist - "Untrue") unlikely rudeboy slappers (Total Science - "Killa") and every other authentic, genuinely crafted D&B sound you associate with the label. Quarter To Quarter ... No half measures.
Review: LSB and DRS: combos don't come any stronger than this! We already know this from incredible tracks like "The View" and "New Day" but The Blue Hour is a whole other level of their soulful prowess. Jazzy, smoky, thoughtful and blues to its very core, there's a musicality and spirit to this album that transcends any genre thanks to both Del's disarming lyrics and barbed charm and Luke's natural soulmanship and sense of groove. From the smoke-stacked horn-based dream "Umbrellas" to stunning cosmic risers like "Keep The Time" and "Could Be" and to every other planet that orbits in between, this is one of the best albums in the D&B sphere this year. We will look back on this as a timeless classic. Essential.
Review: What a release this is. Coming from the vaults of Break, it's unsurprising that Symmetry's summer compilation has turned out to be such a standout collection of tracks, I mean just look at that tracklist: Lenzman, LSB, Break and more. Break's 'I Need You' has been doing the rounds in mixes and sets for a little while now and it's great to see it released, the simplicity of the sample and structure is shows that less can often be more and Break is the king of finding that balance. Lenzman's remix of Ill Truth's In My Soul is a well-made rework of an already fantastic original, its revamped drums injecting the Amsterdam flavour. Again, simple is best and this release proves that.
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: LSB returns with the third chapter in his Footnotes series. Four more originals spanning his stark, restrained style, the title track sums up the spirit perfectly; big strings, a classic rave vocal refrain and a dynamic that will melt your trousers. It's complemented by the much darker, tunnel technoid "Space Stepper", the metallic harmonies and salubrious future funk flare of "Do Your Thing" and the emotion-laden, introspective "Melrose". Get footloose for Footnotes...
The Vanguard Project - "Is This Love" (feat Lucy Kitchen - Dexcell remix) - (4:59) 172 BPM
Review: Spearhead Records - which was started by Bcee in an internet caf? - is hitting its 100th release and celebrating the fact with a huge compilation of brand new tracks, including contributions by Calibre, Technimatic, LSB and Bcee himself. Staying true to the label's origins, it's pretty much all gorgeous rolling liquid and we're very much into it. One of the highlights is the Bcee refix of his seminal 'Back to the Street', which has been given a revamped bassline and a fresh veneer of bassy purpose. It's not just the old on this album, though, and Walk:r lays down the gauntlet with 'Wallflower', a sublimely subtle, pacey piano tune that rolls out in delightful fashion. Wicked stuff here from one of the best in the game.
Review: LSB kicks off his brand new label Footnotes with four impeccable vibes. "New Day" has been on dub for key DJs for a while; another perfect tag-team with DRS, file under future classic. "Tripped" takes us down a much darker rabbit hole with clear techno tendencies while "Drifter" tips a respectful nod at Calibre with its subtle melancholic twangs and ebbing flowing easiness. Finally "Jazz Strings" closes the show with symphonic sweeps that are as measured as they are majestic. Timeless.
Review: Slow and steady: LSB has been known to heads for years now but he's never hurried himself, he's never carved out identikit formulas for the sake of fans, he's never played the predictable games. In true Soul:r style (a label he's now fully signed with) he's focused on ensuring he only releases his very best material since day one. Naturally his album is no different; the gentle fades of "Lydian", the raw emotion of "Circle", the outright epicity of the 8-min "Blinding", the sad farewells of "Missing You"... Every second of the album has been considered and delivered with real thought and detail. Contented? You will be.
Review: The pairing of LSB and DRS is up there with wine and cheese. Having smashed 2015 with "The View", the pair return with another beautiful, emotion-soaked gem "Missing You". With its soft pianos and space for DRS to ruminate, it's another soulful smash that will stand the test of time. "Tumult" shows the complete flip of LSB's ever-perennial skills as he rolls out a darkside roller with a serious hurricane bassline that's powerful enough to take you back to the 2001. With his debut album around the corner, both tracks do well to remind you just how on-point LSB is.
Review: Exclusive overload: while some labels like to solely wrap up their existing content into a compilation, Hospital request freshness from their troops. In amongst the 60 tracks on offer (yeah, 60!) there are no less than 25 brand new cuts previously unavailable until now. From the breathy, horizon-glaring bliss of Fred V & Grafix's "Constellations" to High Contrast's first original in well over a year "Calling My Name" by way of Krakota's pulsating gully stepper "Lust Thrust" and Ulterior Motive's darkside creeper "Oddness". This is - without question - one of the biggest, most bountiful Hospitality albums so far. And let's face it, they're always pretty special anyway.
Review: What a year it's been for Shogun Audio: albums from Spectrasoul and Rockwell, new signing Karma, the epic Point Of Origin collection and killer singles from every artist on the roster. Here they wrap up the year with 34 bangers, blissers and blunderbusses. If you've been following the label you'll know just how heavy this weights in bass gold. If not, it's the best possible place to play catch up. From the Jenna G-fronted Submorphics chiller "The Divine" and the gospel-level heaven of Spectrasoul's "Shelter" to the much darker, thunderous slammers such as Friction and Icicle's "Crucifix", Fourward's "Exile" and Calyx & TeeBee's gamechanging remix of Spor's "Aztec", this is a spotless sonic calling card for the label and its many multifaceted talents.
Review: Zero T, LSB, FD and Tokyo Prose... Talk about soulful heavyweights! Each player representing with a sublime slice of rolling gold, this is - without question - one of the best "Fourfit" EPs we've seen to date (and, let's face it, they've all been amazing) Zero T brings the shimmering ivories, Tokyo Prose gets dreamy, FD unites the dusky vocals of Collette with the rusty dynamics of amens while LSB gets his timeless jazz on. When it comes to authentic deep, rolling, soulful D&B, this EP is a gnat's nads from perfection.
Review: Bless up Marcus Intalex! Whilst he's engaged on delivering techno tools of the highest order as Trevino, the Manchester man is not letting his Soul:R empire slack one bit. Here the prospering Fourfit series returns and it sees a full release from the excellent LSB, who delivered a soulful highlight of the last edition. Much the same can be said of the four tracks here, with LSB really showcasing the breadth of his production palette. Lead cut "Snap Funk" rolls with an alluring darkness, whilst "Mist Of You" possesses some quite beautiful piano tones. Deep junglist vibes run through the pensive roller "Walking Blues" whilst "Omega" stands tall with brushed steppah vibes and industrial strength basslines.