Review: L-Side's debut album came out some time ago now, and this is the long awaited remix EP, featuring some of the best artists in the game giving L-Side's tunes the once over. Break steps up and nails it as per usual, taking those perfect vocals and stretching them over a punishing bassline; thank god we're back in clubs soon, because this is going to kill it. Dogger & Mindstate work their lounging piano magic to great effect, and Spirit takes the essence of drum and bass and rolls it out with a monstrously stabbing bassline. Alibi close things on a head-nodding, subby note that will have you moving for sure. Sick.
Review: One of Potential Badboy's absolute classic tracks is being given the remix treatment by one of the best rolling badboys in the game - L-Side. The Brazilian has historically worked mostly over on V Recordings, but this time he's banging out the goods on Playaz, and what a set of tools he has to work with. MC Fats and Yush deal the vocal magic on 'Girlz' in a way that must be a dream to produce, and the 'Intro Remix' lays their work down over a diving, sub-heavy concoction of a beat that more than does the original justice. The flip is similar, with barking stab of a bass note that moves with gruff authority - wicked stuff.
Review: This compilation arrives with a rich heritage of V Recordings compilations behind it, and Planet V has for a number of years been the flagship series for Bryan Gee's label. Edition four comes to a whopping 73 tracks and includes a mix as well, and all the familiar V faces are present, from Alibi to Paul t & Edward Oberon. All of the tunes have already seen the light of day in a previous form, and Disrupta and Duskee's 'Deep Thoughts' is one of the standouts, as Disrupta lays down a minimal yet funky beat for Duskee to rap lyrical over, something he does with serious presence. New gun SL8r makes several appearances, including on the excellent 'What U Need', which bounces along in a synthscape of serious depth and texture, its funky nodes nodding to the beat of a vintage blend. Crossover outfit Think Tonk also shine with 'Tom & Heavy', an offering unique in its stepping, breaksy percussion and one which oozes soulful class. There are dozens more to have a gander at, so take your pick.
Review: V Recordings do some of the best compilations in the business and their brand new Foundation series is a natural recognition of that fact. They're not being hyperbolic with the usage of the term 'Foundation' either, because this is truly an overview of some of the scene's most foundational producers. Old-school Dillinja, Krust, Roni Size and DJ Die, amongst others, make up the roster of acts that formed an integral part of the genre back in the day. The new crew is also represented, however, in the form of L-Side, Think Tonk, Nasza Linez and loads more, all of whom bring some of that V-style heat. Wicked album - one for the heads.
Review: Jungle veteran Potential Badboy has been operating professionally longer than many of us have been out of school (or even short trousers / the womb) After a brief hiatus from the release world, he's come back all bass guns blazing with a skank-packed homage to soundsystem culture. From the melodica tooting "Beat Of The Ghetto" to the rifle drum charm and sensuous harmonies of "Hot In Here" to the leaner steps of "Sound Boy" and MC Fats' sugar-coated "Gimme The Rhythm", this is the definition of 'all killer / no filler'. It's also the definition of a broad-screened, dynamically arranged D&B album that works just as well as a complete listening experience as it does a collection of dancefloor heaters. Nothing potential about it; this is the real deal.
Strictly Business (continuous DJ mix) - (1:04:26) 173 BPM
Review: Time for an update on a real drum and bass classic. DJ Randall's "Strictly Business" came into being in 1997, right in the heart of the drum and bass wonder years. Packed with legendary tunes that have been heard in every reputable club since 170 bpm became the place to be, this is an 18-track lesson in how things should be done. Offered up originally during a time when DJs like Dillinja, Grooverider and Goldie were enjoying an uprising in underground dance music, this LP was a revelation, providing off the wall beats and intriguing musical textures as well as hard hitting bass. This deluxe edition offers each track separately as well as a full continuous mix - just like the original release.
Review: Welcome to Planet VIP, an exclusive collection of brand new remixes, VIPs and classic unreleased reworks. This project includes contributions from the whole of the V family, with tracks from the full gamut of legendary producers V has to offer from Roni Size and Dillinja to Eveson, DJ Krust, MC Fats & Kabuki. On remix duties are some of the scene's finest producers including Nu:Tone, TC & Need For Mirrors, alongside some of the most exciting new artists to hit the scene in years like Unreal, Command Strange, DJ Chap, Dr Meaker and many more - this compilation fuses together the new and old with scintillating results! All mixed together by the Jumpin Jack Frost, this LP ventures into the full spectrum of D&B. No matter what you love, you'll find it here.
Review: It's not often a true legend delivers the goods long into their career but MC Fats is still delivering the goods as this LP proves. Filled with collaborations and remixes from the MC Fats Collective and beyond and pushing his unique sound to the next level. Huge names like Calibre, Basher, Total Science, SIN, Lynx and Dom & Roland move in to attack their own slices of the action, taking what could simply be an outstanding LP to cult status and beyond. It's no surprise that a man of his experience could wrangle in some of the biggest names in D&B for his album - what is surprising though is that none of the input is an afterthought. Each contributor has given their best and it shows.
Review: LA's Gridlock and London's Prolix come together for this surprisingly smooth slice of jump-up on Playaz which has already had support from the 1Xtra crew and DJ Hype amongst others. Leaving their excessively screwed and sinister trademark sounds behind for this hook-up, they use MC Fats' soulful vocals to perfection, giving him a beat that bangs hard but won't make a party collectively scream for mercy. "Got To Roll" appears on the flip and nudges the tempo ever so slightly higher to create an atmospheric yet thoroughly banging skanker that'll keep loyal Playaz fans very happy indeed.