Review: DRS working with Enei and LSB was music to our ears before we even heard the track. Drop Tyler Daley's blistering vocals into the mix too and you've got yourself a release that's 100 per cent drum and bass purity. "The View" starts things on a euphoric high with LSB rolling out those lush vibes he does so well. Tyler adds his vocals and what results is a cinematic love story played out at 170bpm. Enei prefers things strictly dark so when "Count To Ten" starts its militant march it's evident there's no escape. Abstract, tribal and earth-shatteringly heavy, DRS whips up the mood with agile aggression. Two tracks, two worlds. Choose carefully.
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 is there to say about Shogun Audio that hasn't already been said at length directly into your ear at 3am? Friction's brainchild has become one of the scene's biggest, most successful and perhaps most importantly one of the most highly-regarded labels in recent years. A decade might not be a long time in D&B talk, but 10 years has been long enough for Shogun to put its stamp on almost everything making its way from the underground and into the blinding light of day. From the experimental sounds of Alix Perez, Rockwell and Icicle to the spellbinding Technimatic, right through to the chart-bothering escapades of Camo & Krooked, this is a flip through the highlights of Shogun's life. In case you forgot, it's been a brilliant one so far. Roll on the next 10 years.
Review: Ten years ago, Eskimo Recordings emerged from Ghent, as an outlet for mix albums from hometown heroes the Glimmers. Since then, the label has gone on to be a leading light on the nu-disco and nu Balearic scenes. Fittingly, this expansive tenth anniversary set was put together by the Glimmers, and features two solo DJ mixes featuring label highlights aplenty. For DJs, the real bonus is the huge selection of unmixed tracks on display, which adeptly showcases the depth and variety of the label's output. Highlights are plentiful, from the woozy Scandolearic vibes of Lindstrom & Prins Thomas and brilliance of early Aeroplane, to the sun-bright dream pop of Hiem, and the bouncing dancefloor groovery of LHAS Inc.
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...
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: 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.
Review: Luke LSB has to be one of the hardest-working men in drum & bass. Releasing a constant stream of emotive D&B with the depth and clarity often lacking in this facet of the genre, his output on Spearhead, Demand and Integral is always pristine. Forgoing the usual liquid D&B sound, Enei's remix of the beautiful "Overthinking" juxtaposes Sian Anderson's lilting, delicate vocals with a rapidfire rhythm section and dangerous bassline that rips through the tune's heart. Ending on a high, the 12" mix of "This City" is a big, bouncing destructor, stepping and snarling through crazed percussion and oddly unsettling sound effects. Never underestimate the LSB.
Review: Double trouble: Riya's critically received debut album from summer 2015 enjoys a deluxe twist with double the amount of tracks on. As well as the album itself there are 13 fresh cuts including new originals such as the Gill Scott-style street soul pieces with Maverick Soul "Bittersweet" and "We Belong", the perfect piano-powered gospel roller "Everything" and the grizzly, groaning techy roller "Silhouette". Killer new remixes such as Pola & Bryson's subby switch of "Lost Friends", Break's spotless drums on "Confessions" xxx . Plus a few floor-melting VIPs: the relentless bass pump of "Fear Bites" and the cosmic touches to "Wears Me Down". Deluxe and demonstrative - this is a great addition to an already remarkable album.
Review: Not just one of drum & bass's most iconic female vocalists, but also one of the most respected... Riya's work behind the scenes goes back around 15 years. As a result she's got serious reference points, a genuine understanding of proper drum & bass and a really impressive debut album that features some of the best names in D&B. Ranging from the sci-fi soars and twinkling synths of "Misunderstanding" to the out-and-out gutter slaps of "Piece Of Me" via the soul jazz jungle lushness of "Don't You Know" and the already massive lighter-raiser "As Soon As". Released at a time when a lot of female features are popping up in D&B for all the wrong reasons, Riya is the real deal... And so is this album.
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: 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.
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: 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.