Review: It feels like they've been delivering the good for a lot longer than two years but here we are... Invicta Audio have only been a legit label for 24 months and look at all the artists they've brought through and bangers they've given us so far. Here's a little reminder in the form of this short, sweet but extremely banging 'Best Of' collection. Featuring the likes of Harley D, Jam Thieves, Magenta, Scuffed and vocalists like the inimitable Devilman and Aleya Mae, it's a great way to get up to speed on the damage Anton Bailey's label is causing right now. New generation fire!
Review: 15 years deep, but never on the low down... Logan D's label continues to operative and thrive at the forefront of jump up D&B with this epic anniversary collection. Loaded with new versions, upfront material and unreleased classics, it's a fittingly fresh and excitable package for a label with such tenure. Highlights include Voltage's curmudgeonly remix of Serum's 'Up In Smoke', the never-ending legacy of Dominator with the previously unreleased 'Outta Control', brand new badness from Slipz in the form of 'Badman' and timeless rawness from Heist with 'Bravado'. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Review: Harry Reader aka BlckHry, who some of you may know for his killer remix of "That Girl", returns for his second project on London-based Bagged & Tagged,, this time around featuring a weighty collaboration with Magenta titled "Bring It Back". The title track is a gnarly stepper that means serious business, the deeper vibe of "Love" is a more evocative vocal led cut, while more techstep awaits on "Got Too" and closing it out with the grime-infused roller "Our World".
Review: Power to the purple! Just in the last few months alone Magenta has dented our souls with killer releases on the likes of Pick N Mix, Informal, Next:Gen Audio, Low Down Deep and Invicta Audio. And that's just since clubs re-opened here in the UK. Now comes this disgusting stinker session on Cave. Three tracks, three heart attacks, we kick off with 'Something', a prowling, cat-like piece of jump-up that manages to both scram and purr at the same time. Deeper into the EP we go wild to the angular scratches and scrapes on the doobie-sparking grot-fest 'R.I.P' before getting naughty to the gnarly sandpaper funk of 'Hotel Bop'. Turn it up.
Review: Holy mother of sugar-coated shoplifting, TJ has put together Pick N Mix's biggest ever VA right here! The second edition of his label's All Stars series, here we're treated to 30 reminders why drum & bass is in the safest of hands with the new generation. Highlights are all over the shop and spilling from the shelves... Formula's Serum style less-is-more revs on 'Dragster's Den', Hexa's redeye romp 'White Widow', the sexy snap and swing of Lovell's 'Deja Vu', Yoteii's quirky funk and church-sized harmonics on 'Gameboy', MLH's surreal echoes and torn up harmonics on 'Technique'. The list goes on...
Review: Logan D's Subway Soundz launches a brand new concept collection - The Country Series will see the label exploring underground sounds across the world and connect us all through this powerful music we call D&B. First up we Czech into Czechia via one of the country's most consistent and prolific jump-up artists Magenta who lays down four slabs of riffy, bouncy magic. Highlights include the addictive Q&A funk of 'Riddims', the quirky groove and off-beat bass harmonics of 'Broadcast' and the ridiculous bassline croaks and gurgles of 'Disco Dance'. Get your passports out for the lads.
Review: Boh 'Selecta'! Magenta returns to Low Down Deep with this crucial four-track attack. The title track 'Selecta' says it all; loose rattling breaks and a riff you'll be whistling for days and some very dreamy elements in the mix. The rest of the EP remains at this high level of dancefloor luxury; 'Skeng' is a slinky, low-riding rudeboy roller, 'Endz' keeps it ghetto with a huge sporting exhaust of a bassline while Blckhry joins the party for the final gully blow-out 'No Escape'. Rewind, selecta come again!
Review: Time flies when you're smashing out high grade new-gen bangers: Invicta already strike up a year of business and celebrate with this powerful V/A collection from friends and familiar faces. As always with Invicta the range is right across the board as we slide and glide from smooth soul (H8TO - 'This Place', Refracta - 'Touch') right the way to utterly gutterly filth (Gonda - 'Bulll', Harley D - 'Forever') and all banger styles in between. Other highlights include Phizical's super-slinky 'Feeling', B-Plexx's soaring vocal work-out 'Too High' and Jam Thieves' moody creeper 'Black Light'. Happy birthday Invicta!
Review: Invicta Audio are doing us all a massive solid with this release, simply because compilations featuring incredible artists are just the best and the more music we get towards our ear drums the better. The Echo LP is a jump up inflected, minimalistic release that doesn't take many prisoners. 'Bad Bitch' by Harley D, featuring Scotty, is a perfect example of this, as his vocals lead you in with a distinctive tone before a broken drop emanates with some serious force, subterranean wobbles abound and it's an all-round moody listen. The rest of the LP is just as strong - big up the whole team.
Review: Everyone loves a proper compilation, right? What's better than having a range of artists in one condensed place? It's essentially an album with the ease of listening of a single, so we're all for it. Invicta have come out with the second edition of their one year anniversary celebration and it's packed full of jump-up bangers, one of those albums which doesn't try to be cool or sophisticated by chucking in a few fillers for the sake of diversity - it's just hard stuff here. It works great, with Harley D's 'Forever' the highlight, its jungle influences blending well with a punchy sub-bass and gargles jump up synth tears, a properly stepping track that just oozes class and shows how much Harley D's production has come on in recent times. Sick album guys.
Review: Following a string of heavy hitters on the likes of Invicta, Bagged & Tagged and Subway Soundz, young Czech producer Magenta dents the discography of Low Down Deep with this stinking collection of jump-up bumpers. Five cuts deep, each one laced with high levels of funk of mischief, highlights include the rattling drums and early 2000s Zinc style Q&A riff of 'Lesson' the outright drama and foreboding tones of 'Games' and the gritty salute-inducing growler 'Nuff Respect' with UK MC donnie Swifta. Get busy.
Review: Bag it, tag it, tell you mum about it; the B&T massive put together this 15 track collection to celebrate the label's 15th release and it's an all-out showcase of tomorrow's finest talent. Highlights fire from all sides; Ben Snow's 'Fire Iron' is a grunting staccato session of pure savagery, Refracta brings NFM-style melted bass to the fray on 'Embrace', Dunk & Teej get all mobster on us with 'Soprano', Parallel does his old school slap-about thing on 'Communications' and KL's 'Tension' is strong enough to blast us into the 23rd century. Pack your bags and your tags, you've pulled m8.
Review: The second part of Subway Soundz's Back to the Future album is here and ready to transport you to a different timezone by way of a sonic punch to the ears. They've brought in the entire crew for this one and the list is exhaustive, with artists from Puppetz to Tomoyoshi all digging deep into their jump-up filled Mary Poppins bags. Alphaze and Runnah's 'The Sound' is the album at its best, as a pounding percussive lead reaches into your soul and pulls it out your ears via a crashing, relentless concoction of bass stabs and skipping energy. Blackhry's 'Both' is scarred and torn in its approach, whilst Klay's 'Edo Tensei' is possibly the most creative on the album, with a clever use of space and a booming bassline. Wicked.
Review: Bulletproof are doing us all a favour with this release, simply because it's such a good collection of rolling and chopped up beats. Bulletproof FC is a vibes-heavy, breaksy release that doesn't take many prisoners. There's a whole load of artists on this particular squad and their respective talents move from grinding jump up to bumping minimality, with Elsy blending those two sonic palettes effectively on 'Feel For You'. There is industrial jump-up on 'Elephant March', as well as an especially big cut on 'On My Back', as well as other flavours mixed in. Wicked.
Review: Magenta is back, using his force to compel you to pull ugly bassfaces and throw your drink with a single that doesn't hold back. It's not the kindest on the ears but then again, its not supposed to be, it's a monograph in hard-hitting sonics and dastardly tones. Both tunes are undergirded by a booming snare drum and percussive clarity, but the action happens in the steadily melodic but still raucous basslines, a pitched-up monstrosity of dancefloor proportions. 'Big Nose Many Hoes' especially, and this new one from the legendary Low Down Deep Crew isn't something you'll forget quickly.
Review: Pick N Mix do one thing, and that's pump out absolutely wild cuts of destructive D&B. That's their sole mission and, not for the first time, they've roped in Magenta and friends to help them accomplish it, a producer who is more than familiar with the peculiarities of dancefloor pressure and twisted sonics. 'Distress' is arguably the best cut on the EP, with absolutely wicked drums undergirding a Serum-esque display of dragged-out bass wizardry and gurgling force - the back-end on this track doesn't take any prisoners. The other tunes are trademark Magenta, with the punching stabs of 'Slave' and the stepping aggressiveness of 'Champion Style'. Big stuff.