Review: Aside from being a popular after-party conversation topic, the Sumarians are also the namesake of this little beauty of a release. Equal parts breaks, lilting female vocals, lush bass and rolling rhythms, it's an homage to all that's good in the world of liquid drum and bass. What's not to love about that? "The Messenger" is especially good, rolling out hard with an addictive bassline and melodic keys. It's not all sweetness though, as "Fool School" rounds off the EP with big breaks and a thundering bassline fit for the underground.
Review: Marvel Cinema is your archetypal underappreciated liquid D&B producer, in the mould of Furney, Lurch and others. His tracks always manage to emanate warmth, purpose and precision with their top-quality melodies and forward-thinking production, qualities which certainly aren't absent from his Console EP. Three slices of liquid ingenuity and characterised by an elegant simplicity, 'Oceanographic' is deceptive in that its apparent lightness is quickly contradicted by a forceful back end. 'Escape' is the other standout, a funky piano riff sitting beautifully over a rolling bassline and skippy drums. Lovely stuff.
Review: Widescreen sounds once again from German duo Marvel Cinema who've official emerged from post-album creative solitude since last year's Subcultures LP. Their first release for Soul Deep for over two years, they've made up for lost time with three unique and emotion-coded cuts: "Rolling Through Berlin" is a heads-down percussive roller with just the right edge of barbed soul to keep the your skin tingling, "Nineties" adds more contrast to the mix with a much dreamier aesthetic that dynamically drops into something darker when you least expect it. "When The Sun Comes Out" climaxes with a summerbound sojourn to the Latin quarter. Neat.
Review: German duo Marvel Cinema return with their second long-player. Picking up where they left us on their debut Solarfly almost three years ago, there's a cool sense of dark restraint and understated soul at play as the long-standing act rifle through the vibes and dynamics without ever reverting to hype or histrionics. Highlights include moody bass, Full Cycle style drums and jazzy sprinkles of the title track, the cloud-bouncing breezy atmospheres of "Raingods", the elastic bassline and lavish roominess between the percussive elements on "Bird Nerd" and the tripped out halftime hybrid "Nightdrive". These are just the tip of the iceberg... Dig deep.
Review: Cologne-based duo Marvel Cinema offer up five worlds of cinematic liquid D&B on 100 Year Promise. Kicking off with smooth, quirky roller "High Maintenance" there's a light, airy, jazzy feel to the track, as it bumps along swiftly over a tumbling piano line. "Jaded" continues the pace with a crisper sounding roller complete with a more classic sounding percussion section. Moving into experimental territory with cut up vocals and strings, it's refreshing and beautiful. "Out Of Sight" brings soaring strings along for the ride snatched from classic disco track and "1000 Year Promise" keeps things cool and jazzy with classic amens and slick atmospherics. "Into The Record Shop" is full of intricate touches an nice surprises - just like the real thing. If you love things out of the ordinary, grab this.
Review: Jazzy drum and bass rarely gets any better than this rhodes-heavy release from Cologne-based liquid fanatics Marvel Cinema. Squashing manipulated vocals into lush rolling soundscapes, each track has a visceral quality to it - you can almost see them in technicolour. Picking up a deep-stepping beat in "Motion", the EP gathers momentum through the swift-rolling jazz of "Sweetest Memories" to make it breathless to the dark and dirty bass grumble of "Free Your Mind". Gorgeous stuff.
Review: This latest missive from the Fokuz Ltd camp contains two contrasting cuts, both of which should appeal to those who like their D&B a little different from the norm. Marvel Cinema's "Good People" is suitably touchy-feely, featuring long, drawn-out chords and spinetingling, "Inner City Life"-ish vocals over skittering beats and powerful bass pulses. Atered States' "Switchshift", on the other hand, underpins a fluid, late night lament with a boisterous old jungle break. It's a fusion that works well, suggesting that "Switchshift" could find favour in D&B clubs all over the land.
Review: Grid Recordings is such an underrated label, honestly. The amount of sick stuff these guys pump out week after week is somewhat astonishing and when T>I is a regular customer, you know you're on the right path. For this release they've strayed slightly from their usual heavy tones for something slightly more circumscribed, a bit more retrospective, and it's from Matt View & Marvel Cinema. There's a really nice collection of laid-back jungle steps, wispy atmospheric rollers and bassy undertones. 'Tidelands' has all of the above and it makes for a sick journey through urban-edged sound.
Review: Grid Recordings is such an underrated label, honestly. The amount of sick stuff these guys pump out week after week is somewhat astonishing, from the likes of Nick The Lot, T>I, Shield and more, including today's customers: Matt View and Marvel Cinema. For this release they've strayed slightly from their usual heavy tones for something slightly more circumscribed, a bit more retrospective, and it goes down in a lovely way. There's a really nice collection of laid-back jungle steps, wispy atmospheric rollers and bassy undertones. 'Altitude' has all of the above and it makes for a sick journey through urban-edged sound, a nonchalant but still potent expression of dance music with a softer side.
Review: Now entering its 20th year of gully manoeuvres, Grid Recordings unleash another set of remixes of the bossman's tracks through the ages. First up Jayline gets out his stick and whacks "Last Days Of Rome" within inches of its life with a big high voltage bassline, Grid regular Nick The Lot flips "Danger Zone" into a much crunchier, rasping affair and Argentinian newcomer Yatuza adds whole new levels of trippiness to "Edge Of The Dome". Last but not least Matt View and Marvel Cinema go right back to 2003, grab Pony Pleasure by the scruff of its neck and give it a good scrub with cosmic soap. Nice and bubbly.
Review: Fokuz release some of the best compilations in the business, in part because they have such a large orbit of artists around them but also just because the curational skills at Fokuz HQ have been honed over twenty years of releasing music. Better Days is a classic Fokuz compilation, as a blend of artists both well known and lesser so come together to celebrate all things liquid. HumaNature and Royalty are both veteran Fokuz producers and their contribution - 'Stand On Our Own' - is a lovely mixture of bouncy synthetic funk notes and smooth, rolling soul. The mighty Villem & Mcleod team up once more with regular collaborator Leo Wood and the result is once again sheer goosebumps, as Leo's serene voice floats with a hint of magic. Lovely, lovely work.