Review: If you've been to the D&B motherfest that is Let It Roll you will already understand the gravity of this situation... The Czech festival's showstopping opening show tradition levelled up this year by recruiting an entire troupe of A-list heavyweights to score its spectacular show. From the opening sirens of Abis's launch track "Battlecry" to the final harmonic synth echoes of The Prototype's "Infinite", this is an epic celebration of drum & bass at its most technical, dramatic and theatrical. Other highlights include the sudden twist in Mefjus's rolling tale "The Chase" and the rush caked euphoria of Muzzy's "Photons". The portal awaits...
Review: St Petersburg drum and bass producer presents us with his fourth album of high tech engineered drum and bass, guaranteed to deliver some serious future shock. There's some real dystopian themes overshadowing this album, but Aleksei Ergachevnov has the right knack for sound design to pull of the concept and album as a whole. There's some undeniable influences from some of the masters of the craft, such as Ed Rush and Optical and Peshay, but he's definitely representing the new garde of breakbeat science pretty damn well. Highlights include the subterranean sonar transmissions of "Iron Curtain", the jazzy liquid breaks of "Moment Of Now (feat Frank Carter III", the evil futurist minimalism of "Just One Look (Feat. Charli Brix)" and the peak time destroyer "Between The Split". One for the heads.
Review: Cementing its position as one of D&B's most essential labels with this round-up of the year's biggest tracks, Shogun Audio has outdone itself. From Rockwell's bafflingly precise electronic meanderings to Icicle's considered approach to minimal bass and drums, Technimatic and Spectrasoul's beautiful synergy of sound and feeling and newcomer Joe Ford's unique slant on experimental soundscaping, this is an unashamedly outgoing collection. Shogun has been running the gauntlet for some time now, focusing all the experimental energies harboured by its own terrifyingly impressive host of signed artists. As always, it's been worth the hard word. An essential release for an exceptional year. Long live Shogun!
Review: It's a biggie: Vienna quartet Fourward deliver their second album and they're not pussyfooting around. Whether they're flexing their fuzzy, gritty muscles (the Jakes-fronted "Bites The Dust", the vortex-ripping bass rolls on "Belly Of The Beast", the twisted mania of "Sequencer") or they're dipping into more experimental pastures (the rolling halftime pumps and textured vocal layers of "Empty Soul", the AI-style future space anthem "Over") or teaming up with another Austrian heavyweight with obscene tech funk (the Mefjus collaboration "Everytime") the whole collection works well in three ways: the dancefloor, your headphones and their position in the premier D&B league.
Review: Oh boy... Last time these two roustabouts collided in the studio "Mythos" happened... And became one of the biggest D&B tracks of 2013. Expectations have been set high since both parties teased us earlier this year. And thankfully we've not been let down; "Footpath" (which also features the perennial Kiwis The Upbeats) is a savage roller that sounds like live electricity lashing out of your speakers. "Leibniz" takes us deeper into the neuro badlands with full emphasis on the undulating bassline and strange textured loop. One for the build-up, one for the pay-off... Insideinfo and Mefjus never disappoint.
Review: It's been quite a while since Martin Mefjus last treated us to a full release, but boy have him and Vision-owners Noisia more than made up for it with this seminal release. Particles is a six-tracker with features on every tune: Camo & Krooked, Skeptical, Phace, IMANU, Break & Noisia. What a lineup that is, and it exceeds expectations as the Austrian trio of Mefjus and Camo & Krooked smash things to pieces on 'Sidewinder', a deeply unique track with a stepping, featherweight drum line, funky synth work and a seriously track structure which moves from hardstyle-esque sounds into drum & bass and back again. IMANU's feature on 'Transit' nails the neurofunk vibe (emphasis on the funk), whilst things get minimal on Skeptical's 'Amber'. Unbelievable Jeff.
Review: Mefjus' second album - Manifest - came out last year and was one of the biggest releases of the year, with every inch of the release absolutely dripping with insane sound design and characteristically frenzied tones. The man himself is currently releasing his forthcoming remix album as a series of singles and this is the latest, a double-sided display of technical prowess from Break and Misanthrop. Break's remix of 'Uneasy' is typically top-notch, those Break drums rattle and shake as per usual and the complex simplicity with which he arranges his basslines ties the knot on a hard-hitting piece of work. Misanthrop's contribution is more frenzied yet somehow even more precise, it's synth stabs and jagged edges tear and fold over and over, turning the original into a strange yet improved version of itself. We can't wait for the full album.
Review: With Vision Recordings being one of the most exciting projects working within the experimental areas of drum and bass music's extended circles currently, we had no doubt that we were opening a pair of firecrackers when 'Ringshifter' appeared in the store. We begin with Culprate's mettlesome rework of 'Ringshifter' itself, which smashes an assortment of contorted bass synths together in a perfect dystopian harmony. On the flip side however the fun continues as Levitate rises forth to give 'Assembler' some similar treatment, jam packed with hysteric synth designs and pinging drum structures. Amazing stuff.
Review: Oi oi! The mighty Mefjus returns with his highly anticipated second album Manifest and it's every bit as crispy, dizzying and fizzy as you want it to be. One of the most respected artists in the more technical corners of drum & bass, this is his statement about a much wider slice of the jungle pie. Still laced with his signature riotous sparks but laced with a whole new blast of dynamics such as vocals, strings and twists in the tale, highlights include the utter wiliness of "Fractured", the fugly toxicity of halftime stamper "Physically", the subversive hurricane soul of "Together", the squidgy slapbass and sudden twists of "Pivot" and the Konflict salute finale "The Sirens". Bravo Mefjus.
Review: Two more stunning pieces of work to come from Mefjus's forthcoming sophomore album Manifest... "Muskox" is a savage piece of neuro theatre with a touch of the technoids about it thanks to its Bodzin-styled rise. "Assembler" takes a step back for a moment with its industrial beat textures before steaming into your every sense with an intoxicating bassline that will, if mistreated, ruin your skin, your life and the ones you hold nearest. Yeah it's that heavy. Bring on the album!
Review: Fresh from announcing his forthcoming album on Noisia's Vision imprint (the label spared only for the label bosses, The Upbeats and now Mefjus himself), Mefjus delivers his first solo originals in over two years. "If I Could" is a real hurricane theatre piece with a perfectly manipulated vocal and really airy, light vibe that's underpinned with gritty venom. "Ringshifter" lives up to its name, meanwhile, with some of the most savage angular metallic blasts and punches to ever be served from Austria. It's Mefjus, but not as we know him.
Review: The thing about Mefjus is that despite being a name that causes many a true head to salute with immediate effect, he's not yet delivered a full-length LP - until now. Given the chance to fully explore the darker corners of his mind, "Emulation" is a culmination of years of work distilled into one drop of pure, dark energy. Featuring some of the most evil names in drum and bass (just a warning - Phace and Misanthrop each make a sky-shattering appearance), his influences are tasted but never heavy-handed, giving us all time to absorb his own unique styles. If you ever thought you needed to get to know the fella, this is the way to do it. 14 tracks down, you won't know where you are.
Review: Over the past couple of years the music of Austrian producer Mefjus has become synonymous with ferociously high calibre drum and bass productions. Quite rightly intimidating to his peers on the front line, with his combination of on-point production, cripplingly addictive basslines and underlying wittiness, is it any wonder he's got lesser artists shaking in their size tens? These tracks showcase this expertly as the precursor to his debut album "Emulation" which will be released by Critical Music later this year. Two brand new album tracks, on vinyl exclusively for this single plus an unreleased VIP as a digital special. What more could you want?
Review: Following on from the slew of talent that's come out of Austria of late, Mefjus blends dark techstep with pounding neuro and buckets of dancefloor panache in a discernable Blokhe4d style manner. "Eleventh Hour", the eponymous track of the EP, is all mounting tension, gloomy industrial SFX and grating synths, punctuated by heavy, Noisia-like drum kicks and squelchy bass. The accompanying "Revulsion" is based around the taught synths, chiming cymbals, ticking beats and whomping b-lines a-plenty. Fans of Bad Taste, Vision and Neosignal - get on this, right now!
Review: Two of the most rated men in D&B's next generation league, Emperor and Mefjus collaborations are always worth your time. Neither happy to conform to the rules established by peers, both relish in ending tracks with wry skits, both seriously on point with everything they've done in the last few years, naturally this follow up to their collaborative debut "Hello World" is just as firesome. All loaded with heavily sprung bass funk and oddball noises and designs that come in from nowhere, both originals are as original and distinctive as you'd want them to be. Comes complete with two long awaited versions; Emperor gullying the dickens out of "Dissuade" and Mefjus taking a hammer to "SMPL", rebuilding it in his own twisted way. Gloriously dark.
Place 2B & Paimon - "The Perfect Host" - (5:37) 172 BPM
Review: Mefjus & Kung team up for a momentous release on Citrus. Noisia-esque rippling synths, bass warps, edits and fades and booming bass get "Exhale" off to a great start before it falls into an equally discernable neuro-influenced piece with industrial undertones and choppy drums. It's partner-in-crime "The Perfect Host" from Place 2B and Paimon is another impressive venture, with percussive beats, thumping kicks, and an almost Renegade Hardware-like force to its pace and style. Punchy drums, drifting atmospherics and echoing vocal elements make this one a gem!