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: Another touching update on Marcus's indelible legacy; Jubei steps up to Metalheadz with two immense collaborations. "Lubbly Jubbly" is a true blueprint jam; eerie, weighty, weird and spacey, it builds with a percussive momentum that's so tangible you can feel Marcus fingerprints on it. "Fanny's Ya Aunt" flips for more of a dreamier slice of both men's psyches and styles. Every bit as deep and classy as you already know it is. Marcus Intalex Rest In Peace.
Usual Suspects - "Tribute" (A Personal Tribute To MC Kendo R.I.P) - (7:14) 170 BPM
Loxy & Ink - "Shine V.I.P" - (8:21) 170 BPM
Jonny L - "Part Of U" - (5:27) 180 BPM
Marcus Intalex & ST Files - "My Soul" - (5:11) 175 BPM
Sonic & Silver - "Innacorner" - (7:10) 170 BPM
Klute - "Unwind Yourself" - (6:40) 173 BPM
Spirit - "Solitaire" - (6:23) 173 BPM
Hidden Agenda - "Relentless" - (7:31) 174 BPM
Teebee - "White Venom" - (6:50) 170 BPM
Total Science - "Screwball" - (5:12) 58 BPM
The Invaderz - "Revealed" - (6:54) 170 BPM
Review: Reviewed by Klute: Well this brings back many memories for obvious reasons and its nice to listen and think back to this time. In the early 2000's Metalheadz moved its Sunday sessions over to the Limelight at Cambridge Circus in London and I remeber going religiously every Sunday around the time this LP was being compiled, so we all heard most of these tunes being tested out in the club. Great times. Stand outs for me are Jonny L, Marcus intalex, Spirit, Total Science, myself of course and most of all The Invaderz masterpiece Revealed. Still to this day my fav ever tune from them. Great compilation.
Review: A time for reflection: Total Science closes down their 20th year of C.I.A case files with another precision reflection over past conquests and gully accomplishments from their collection of labels. Ranging from one of Calibre's first ever cuts (the raffish, wonderfully unkempt "Tempo Dub") and Bad Company's stupendous grime-funk twist on "Champion Sound" to Break's 2012 gritty slapper "Rare Earth" and Digital's life-changing, amen-smashing bassline slammer "No Reality", Spinback and Quiff have dug deep through the ages for some absolute gold here.
Review: Drum&Bass Arena: The longest-standing, and one of the most respected, platforms for all things jungle D&B celebrates an impressive 20 years in the game with this ridiculously hefty document that pays respect to the genre's every twist and turn. From scene-shattering megahits ("Tarantula", "Feel The Love", "Rock It", "Afterglow") to unarguable historical underground scene-smashing megabangers ("Machete", "Aztec", "Nasty Ways", "The View", "Champion Sound", "Turbulence", "Up All Night", "Deadline", Ram Trilogy's remix of "Pacman") by way of tracks that may have slipped under the radar ("Defcom 69", "What's Wrong", "Song For Lovers") the whole album is loaded to the lips with some of the most important records the genre's enjoyed in the last 20 years. Time to get nostalgic, time to fill those holes in your collection, time to educate your dancefloor. Here's to another 20 years!
Review: Almost three years old and To Have & Have Not continues to spawn fresh creativity. Blocks & Escher fire up the remix engine with a thunderstruck live drum shake-up of Jubei & Goldie's "The Prayer". Skeppy follows with a slightly swung twist to "Incognito" that thrusts Jerome's vocals further under the icy spotlight while Ulterior Motive add a little funk with cymbal splashes and reverbed FX on the synths. Finally Om Unit brings us back to where it all started as the foundation angst of "The Prayer" is simmered down into a cosmic halftime stew with a vibrant amen aftertaste. To not have "To Have & Have Not" would be criminal.
Review: It's about time... Fresh off the heat of his Trevino album, Marcus returns to the D&B source with a full-fat foursome on his label's spotless Four:Fit series. Each cut a 24 carat diamond, shining in its own special way: "Mixed Bag" is a DRS-polished soulful addition to the ever-growing halftime annals, both "Step Forward" and "Stingray" are brittle two-step heads-down headbutts while "Jupiter" is an amen-rattled jungle shake-up. Timeless, deep and spacious; Marcus never fails.
Review: We've been waiting for this since Doc Scott fired up his old ThirtyOne machine just over a year ago. A 24-track collection of stone cold exclusives, this bucks any expectations of the label and its remit and celebrates the very best creativity in all shades of drum & bass. Littered with the best names in the game (Calibre, Nucleus & Paradox, Bungle, Loxy & Resound, Scar, Marcus Intalex and many many more), each cut pushes the bass and riddim envelope with stark, uncompromised creativity and production muscle. The ultimate document of where the best D&B is at, this is nothing short of essential.
Review: Does drum and bass get any better than this? Two of the finest names in the genre club together for "Run Away", met in the middle by the man like Fox who puts his vocal stylings into the mix. Rolling out smooth, it's that lulling bassline and softly-spoken chorus that takes the edge off punchy drums and signature Intalex-style strings from the pad section. Fans have been waiting for a release on this for some time now - finally, it's ownable. Showing that they can still deliver tastier goods for the dancefloor, "Something Heavy" is a funk-fuelled hips-mover with Fox sending out his raggamuffin sounds over down and dirty bass. You've heard it in the dance, now get it on repeat.
Review: Prepping us for his debut album of the same name, "To Have & Have Not" showcases D&B mainstay Jubei with real promise and menace. "The Moment" sees Jubei at his grimiest. Operating on a mean halfstep swagger, he's provided the perfect bed for Roll Deep founder Flowdan to tell a dark tale of gangland ego-trips. "Tip The Scales" features the equally distinctive vocalist MC DRS; whispering his warnings over a sharp steppy beat, he's the ideal MC for Jubei's stark riddim precision. Two sides, two vibes - if this is anything to go by, the album is going to be incredible.
Review: There's no such thing as a drum & bass set without an inclusion of Marcus Intalex somewhere along the way. The Mancunian producer and DJ has proved his mettle so many times over the past decade and more that it's almost impossible to imagine what the genre was like before his techy nuances and intelligent rollers came to be. Appearing on Metalheadz for some hard-hitting set smashers this time, "Riots" owns that kick drum like it's the last one on earth. Keeping that trademark Intalex style it's a fairly minimal piece of straight-up dirty d&b. "Hell 2 Pay" picks up the snares in a jungle style on the flip, making use of that famous pinpoint production precision. Add some doomsday bass and you've got yourself a winner.
Review: A man renowned for giving a masterclass in soulful, deeper D&B steps up for his next release on Psylence's ever-impressive Ingredients imprint (a label which has been impressing with both the quality and quantity of its output of late). First up is title track "Cabal" with its long, echoing intro full of clop clop beats and eerie atmospherics, dropping into a meditative roller with wailing bass and ticking breaks. Accompanying this is "Mud" which is another cracking track full of murmuring SFX, rolling b-line and gentle, delicate details.