Review: Crank it till you bank it: Amplify tells us to turn up once again with this humungous EP on Pick The Lock. Featuring collabs with Clarkey and Nick The Lot & Master Error, it's a ruthless vibey free-for-all from all concerned. Highlights include the scorching bass reese fumes of 'Need', the ridiculous squelch factor on 'OMG' and the uncut, high-grade fury and fun of 'Carnage'. Relax? Not when Amplify is in town matey.
Review: The Next Gen Audio team are definitely an imprint with a knack for sniffing out powerful new releases, which is exactly what they have found here with this spicy new selection from Amplify. Kicking off with 'Human', we can tell we are in for a high energy ride as sizzling synth pulses lead the way atop clean breaks, before 'Seduction' sends us a little more leftfield with some unusual bass processing that just seems to work. Next, Fanatics join the party for 'Carousel', a super gnarly exploration of high ended bass stabs and choppy drum manoeuvres before 'Got You', alongside Master Error gives us a classic jump up outro, again pushing some super colourful bass designs for forward for a hell of a splash.
Review: Bulletproof have a bit of a reputation for spewing out some of the most venomous beats in the business and their talent for pushing some of the best artists on the jump-up spectrum is undeniable. Danger is holding up that standard and he's doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this EP. 'Paperchase' reels you in with hip-hop driven, rolling energy, that quickly flips into a siren-like wail of pure, stabbing energy that's reminiscent of Annix and insanity more generally. The rest of the release is equally aggressive, 'On My Back' being another highlight, and we especially love the glitching funk 'Human Error'. Sick release.
Review: Following releases on the likes of Overview and Delta9, Austrian deepsmith Division makes his debut with super on-point crew Pick N Mix. Proper tunnel vision business, if you know Division's sound you'll already have an idea of how hypnotic and immersive these will be. Five originals, one remix, all killer - highlights include the scattergun kicks and flabby subs of "Complication", the graveyard aesthetic of "Step In" and that purring cavernous sub on his Master Error co-lab "Possession". United we stand, Division we fall in love with...
Review: Enta is a prolific jump-up producer and Young Guns have released that side of his productions before, but this Paralysis EP is something different, something a bit more brooding and stripped back. There are some wicked minimal vibes here, especially on 'Straight 2 Ya Head', which combines a double kick, a diving sub bass and eerie vocal shimmers to foment a tapstry of minimalistic depth, one which gradually gets bigger and bigger. 'Tokyo Drift' combines the two sounds in a really cool way that reminds us of Simula, whilst 'Never Be Mine' has a foreboding air to its stabby synthetic construction. Top work.
Review: Down 2 Earth Muzik is Macky Gee's imprint, his way of putting out more of the music he personally enjoys and wishes there was more of, a stamp he can plonk down on the scene and call his own. This next release is from Gino and it seems like he's heard the criticism that jump up is too samey, and so gone out and tried to refine and change the sound. He's definitely succeeded, whether you're into it is up to you, but there's a certain creativity in how the synths and basses are constructed and how they relate to each other. We love it and can't wait to hear more. The title track is especially good, with a super unique beat pattern and tough and tumble vibes popping off all over the shop.
Jack The Ripper - "Direction Course" - (4:25) 175 BPM
Jack The Ripper - "In Your Eyes" - (4:02) 175 BPM
Jack The Ripper - "Changed" - (4:24) 175 BPM
Died This Way - (4:28) 172 BPM
Review: Digital Terror have proven that their more than capable of releasing tunes which don't mess about but which carry an air of respectability as well, music that's for the dancefloor but that doesn't sacrifice itself for that purpose. Jack The Ripper fits in with that trend. Directions is a release full of stripped back, industrial sounds but that still actually sounds really nice, a T>I or Original Sin esque four-tracker that's weighted in all the right places. Shout out to Master Error for the feature too on he absolutely wicked 'Died This Way'.
Review: Kenji is over on Eternal Muzic and with this single takes you on a rough and ready journey through rolling D&B, one that's characterised by its reliance on the best elements of the older school of 170 sonics: big drum hits, creative sampling and a complete lack of pretentiousness or over-engineering. 'Make Moves' is exactly that and we love the spoken sample that rolls out over the drop, whilst 'You Have No Idea' finishes things off in style as well with more wicked sampling, this time of nostalgic sounds from the East. Top draw.
Review: Pick N Mix head up north for some Geordie grit as another one of the Toon's fizzy D&B community shines a scene spotlight on the city. This time it's KL who serves up a six-piece of gritty harmonics and distorted, curmudgeonly bass. Beyond the epic title track, highlights include the tense, graveyard-style deepness of opener "Buzzkill", the savage, haunted groaning of "Smoke Out" (with fellow Newcastle murker Hexa) and the twisted rifle riddim and savage steps of "Radiant". Now stop: "Hammerfist" time.
Review: Nuusic are a fantastic little label that have really burst out the stocks over the last couple of years, releasing a plethora of music with the common thread of rudeness and an inability to stand still. Kumo is jumping on this heritage with vigour this week, and Born Soldier rolls out across four tracks with a jumpy attitude that we're incredibly sad won't be heard on a danceflloor anytime soon.'Skeng Riddim' is an absolute percy, as a two-step drum pattern takes you in to a funky, flowing hip-hop arrangement with serious bite. 'Born Soldier' is packed out in the lows, straining against itself the whole way, whilst 'Virus' is another naught little roller. This one pops.
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.
Review: ERROR: Error is not found. Master Error continues his faultless work this time on Subway Soundz as he brings a whole load of pals into the mix and lets loose with four of his most unruly, brazen bangers. Amplify and Blckhry step up first as we hit the savage bassline-led 'Think About It', we're then hurled down a rabbit hole of gully as more collabos hit us left/right/centre. 'The Only One' (with Maurizzle) brings a little housey funk to the hook, Amplify returns with another bruiser on the growling, grumpy '49' and a Fanatics link-up closes with set with a goodtime 2012-style ringtone riff. BBFF business (the extra b stands for badness)
Review: Having escalated the living dickens out of us on his recent Young Guns series, Master Error now fixes his focus on Octave Recordings with two more weapons for the cabinet. 'Different' is a hybrid jam that sits somewhere between all styles in a way that wouldn't have gone amiss in the early 2000s on labels like Formation. All bubbly, riffy and heavy in the twisted samples. 'Elixir' has more of a traditional Belgian bite to it; all rusty lasers and jagged edges, if this doesn't put lead in your pencil then you're sketching the wrong things baby. Masterful.
Review: Following May's part one, young Luxembourg producer returns to Young Guns with the second chapter... And it's every bit as crisp, diverse and hard hitting as the first edition. "Come Back To Me" eases us in with a few ivory tinkles and supreme levels of funk before the likes of "Evil" and "Five-O" plunge us deep into the bassline pit. Deeper again we hit the strange harmonic wriggles and toxic bassline grizzles of "I Tell Ya" before "Old School" closes on a sumo-sized swaggering 2010-flavoured tip. Time to Escalate m8.
Review: You'd hope that the good men and women behind Young Guns Recordings don't actually carry weapons, but this EP proves that they do. Master Error lands on the label with a five-tracker that's rooted in the current contours of the UK underground, a riotous and rough release that isn't too bothered about its occasionally unseemly fringes. 'Escalation Protocol' is a good name for the first track, an expansive stepper that oozes and pulses from its core with a surprising amount of groove. 'Run It Back' is the other standout track of the five, with a precision percussive line that gets its weight from a diving sine bass and wobbly, fluttering synths that remind us of a neurofunk tune. Sick stuff.
Review: It's been a powerful year for drum & bass across the board, with the genre showcasing its ability to remain consistent across its entirety. This latest jump up goodie back from the Dub Damage Recordings team is a fabulous way to round off the year, as Master Error first provides us with some machine gun synthesizers on the heavyweight composition of 'Come Again'. Following this, we face more behemoth bass work as the monstrous synth slaps and lively drum shuffles of 'Untold' provide us with a tidy contrast between A & B.
Review: This release is big. Not in a super fancy or sophisticated way but in the ways that matter, the ways that mean you'll be going hard on a dancefloor at 5am somewhere when one of these tracks comes on. Master Error is responsible and he's over on Young Guns Recordings this time around, Artillery is the name of the release and it's fitting. 'Braindead' is straight up roller business, with a towering intro that cuts away on the drop, leaving a pure line of energy and rattling percussion in its wake. 'Rush', 'Artillery' and 'Assault' step up the craziness even more and are where this extended EP really gets going. Top work.
Review: Master Error lands on Hydrated Audio this week for a jump-up release that genuinely stands out from the crowd. There's a lot of competition in this field at the moment and quite a few releases which aren't up to scratch or don't differentiate themselves enough to get noticed properly. Master Error does both here and it makes for a rip-roaring release that'll have you clenching your fists and scrunching your face with regularity. The title tune is just astonishingly powerful, its synths aren't anything new but the force that emanates out from them suggests some seriously good production value. 'Underground Sound' is the roller of the bunch and, packing with movement, its momentum is just unstoppable. Top release.
Review: Over on Bulletproof, things are getting heated as Stillz lands on the label for a rambunctious four-tracker with more attitude than a bull in heat. The title tune takes the cake for us as the standout, with a moody yet simple arrangement carved from an iceberg synth dripping in both tech and jump-up aesthetics. 'Looking for an Idea' takes things down a more foghorn route, with warped out sonics that bend into devastating low frequency oscillations. What an EP.
Review: As if firing out badness galore through their 'Connected' series wasn't quite enough action for a label that's barely been around 6 months, Amplify and Metal Work's Gradient levels up again with the massive 'Foundations' VA that's stacked to the top shelf with some of drum & bass music's finest upstarts and high risers. 15 tracks deep, highlights come in all shapes and sizes including the sensual textures and tones of D-Fuser's 'Sticky Situations', the madcap jazzy springs and splutters of Fanatics' 'Everyday', KL's revved up staccato sizzler 'Plain To See', Metal Work's rather glacial 'Cold As Ice' and Parallel's early D-Minds style 'Capital Crimes'. Killer through and through, 'Foundations' as strong as this are built to last.
Review: Hedex is on a mission again! He's rousing up the troops for the second 'Collected' collection on his ByTheProducer brand and once again it's a monster rollcall of some of the scene's most exciting new-gen talent. Over 18 tracks we're treated to the likes Disrupta, Refracta, DJ Premium, Metal Work, Filthy Habits, Toxinate and so many more super skilled producers, highlights include the emotional space age jitters and whirls of Easty's 'Tapped', Scudd's emotional rumbler 'Complete', Posk's jazzy face-slapper 'Biting' and Metal Work's ruffneck 'Inner Peace'. And that's just the tip of the 'Collected' iceberg. Grab this now and grab yourself a piece of history.
Review: Sub-liminal take a moment to look back over almost six years of hard graft at the future talent coal face. Having been responsible for so many bangers from so many now household names, it's a mean feat boiling it down to this mere 50 heavyweight highlights. All the label's key names are on board; Guzi, Dreadnaught, Nick The Lot, Too Greezy, Kumo, Version, Vital, Pyro, Motiv and many more dust off their past heavers, hurters and head-slappers to reflect on everything Sub-liminal has stood for and encouraged so far. From the deeper, more subtle bubblers (Sam Harris - 'Coffee Machine') to the most outrageous funk-ups (Warhead - 'Cranked') this EP has everything. When the Riddim hits you, you can't say no...
Review: Digital Terror have had a sick last twelve months and this VA shows off some of their best cuts from the year, featuring acts like Jayline, Dutta, SL8r and more. Those latter two collab in serious style on 'The Pain', which cuts down into the range with fire and fury, angled sharp basses knifing through the frequencies with the grace and decorum of an elephant in heat. Jack The Ripper lands with supreme heaviness on 'Direction Course', Spaow brings the old-school vibes on 'Gallopo' and the collaboration of the album comes from the dream team of Jayline, Bou, Dutta and MC Dino who land with aplomb on 'Pico Skank'. Seminal.
Review: Everyone likes a good compilation, right? What's better than having as big a range of artists as possible in one condensed place? It's essentially an album with the ease of listening of a single, so we're all for it. Subliminal have come out with the 2020 edition in their Riddim Return series and it's packed full of bangers, across a range of styles, and it's 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 Sam Harris' tendency for muscular minimosity coming on loud and clear on Boom Ting, a wickedly devilish and driving roller.
Review: Pick N Mix: A place where full fat variety comes as standard and you're guaranteed to leave with a blazing sugar high and the stickiest fingers imaginable. Since launching last year they've been responsible for a whole barrage of on-point fire jams from the most exciting names in the new-gen D&B movement and for their 10th release they've levelled up the selection in a major way. 20 fresh tracks from 20 killer new talents, the vibes here are so palpable you could chew them. Highlights include the techno-like insistency and of Alex SLK's "Gorillaz", savage tear-out in the form of Vital's "The Game", Zoro's Dread-bass warp wonder session "Buss It", Magenta's MC-fronted bash-about "Purpose", the list goes on and on. Sweet!
Review: It's been two years since Liondub last spun us around the globe with their long-running Jungle To The World series. But now biting into their 10th year, it's the perfect time to boost up the vaults with 18 specials, exclusives and unreleased versions. Pure high grade jungle through and through: we range from the utterly gully and industrial strength badness such as RAW's "Lock Up" to smoother skank-shined bubbly rollers such as Johnny Osbourne & Bladerunner's "Night Fall Dub" via slippery tech missiles like the dangerous darkside steps of Mr Explicit's "Crystal Blue" and the 24th century jazz of Jayline & Dutty Dubz long-awaited VIP of "Bacardi & Coke". And that's just four of the 18 weapons on offer here. Authentic jungle for 10 years and counting.
Review: Hyrdrated Audio have clearly decided that they're going to grab 2019 by the horns and do everything they can to make this year the year that their imprint makes it. You can tell the extent of their determination from the precision with which they've curated this various artists compilation and the mix of vibes and quality is top notch. The opening tune from Metal Work says it all, a rolling grater of chopped-up bass synths that'll pace out its competitors. A favourite of ours is Skeng by Raptcha, another lovely rolling number that flips your expectations on its head with a flow of creativity - big tune. Make sure to check out the full comp - wicked stuff.
Review: Sub-liminal Recordings is one of those small, low-key labels that every now and then actually releases some pretty outstanding music. This time it's the turn of Yatuza , whose music is a lot more exciting than his name might suggest, his four-tracker here rolling out in delicious fashion. 'Illusions' is the first, a spooky, spacious introduction giving way to a subtle, pulsing back end that sits perfectly underneath a skippy percussive line. 'Give It Up' is in a similar vein but manages to amp up the drum-pressure even more with a fantastic percussive line, as its sneaky little bassline creeps in underneath this to transform it into a proper little roller. Sick EP.