Review: It's always exciting to see a new drop from MKII, one of the most consistent new school breaks artists to emerge, once again delivering his delightful fusion of high energy drums and retro soundscaping. We open up this new collection with the nostalgia-inducing chord progressions of 'Come In', a throwback thumper, followed by both the dizzying synth pads of 'Here 4 U' and rave-inspiring organ chords of 'The Launch'. The party has well and truly commenced at this point, with the old school piano leads and euphoric vocal mashups of the title track 'Let It Roll' upping the pace once more, followed by 'Give It All' which follows a similar brand of sonic overload, before 'Tango' sees the project come to a close with a much more unorthodox approach, stacking moogy bass clunks and scratch heavy drum breaks. Exceptional work as per!
Review: We have long been of the opinion that MKII is one of the most gifted soundsmith's working in and around breaks and garage music today, so to see him land on Four40 with a full length collection is a very exciting thing to take in. He delivers 10 absolute masterpieces, exploring the most emotive ends of the garage spectrum, all laced with gorgeous drum processing and vibrant layouts behind, from the more gnarly synth injections of 'Change' to the floaty backdrops of 'Halo' and clunky percussive flicks of 'Fuse'. With the whole EP swimming in such a fabulous sense of sonic character, it's almost impossible to pick favourites, with this being a must listen in long play format. If we had to pick 2 tracks to sell you the project however, the bubbling minimalism of 'Grow' and stunning vocal manipulations of 'Shadows' would be our two stand outs!
Exceptional work from an exceptional producer!
Review: What a monsterous collection of creations we have here as we explore the full range of breakbeat influences, from slower, more clunky original creations, to garage inspired rollers and everything in-between. The sheer mass of this collection is one of it's immediate charms as we are gifted over 50 originals and remixes, each one bringing something unique to the table from a supporting cast including the likes of Origin8a & Propa, Benton, MKII, Deekline, Samurai Breaks and more. The constant changes of direction and expansionary sense of sonic inclusion are both big yesses from us, with our favourites including 9Trane's nostalgic bubbler 'Thuggish', next to the housey piano drives of Herve's 'Live Together' and the old school garage flavour of Matt Jam Lamont, Echelon & Tuff Culture, who join focus for 'Massive & Crew'. Tidy work indeed!
Review: The evolution of the relationship between MKII and Four40 has been a fabulous thing to witness, seeing the quality of every EP go up each and every time. This latest two track display once again gives MKII the platform to explore his spacious, euphoric take of breaks and garage, always pushing the boundaries further into the unknown. We kick off with the skippy drum textures and floating atmospheric beauty of 'Vault', a blippy masterpiece of padded texture and futuristic breakbeat action, again showcasing exactly why we rate MKII so highly. The flip side then sees us take in 'Conduit', a journeyman of an arrangement, exploring emotive harmonic structures and grizzly reesey bass switches, culminating in a huge final design.
Review: Dansu Discs is a record label based in Manchester bringing you electronic music from around the world. MKII lands next on the label for an nifty six-tracker fuelled by breakbeats that hark back to the glory days of '90s warehouse raves. Shut up and dance to the proto jungle of "Flashback" then step back in time to the second summer of love on the rave euphoria of "Can U Feel It" before the retro hardcore stormer "Get Funky" hammers the message home, followed by a strobed-out and banging techno remix from Bailey Ibbs.
Review: It's always good to see new music from the nostalgia inducing sounds of Hardcore Energy, who this time invite the wonderful MKII inside for a dazzling display of original breakbeat flavour. We open up with the pure euphoria of 'This Is', a piano-lead piece of sonic mastery, taking rave-ready vocal lines and grin-inducing key melodies to bring the house down in any dance. The other original takes the title 'Can't You See' and takes a slightly more stripped back approach, but is again pushed forward by a fantastic rave piano lead, evoking memories of many of a dancefloor in all of us. Both of these originals have been given a tasty remix, with Samurai Breaks firstly upping the tempo on 'This Is' for a gorgeous twist up, followed by Agora's heavyweight, jungle-inspired acidic journey through 'Can't See You'. This is a wicked collection to say the very least!
Review: The quality and consistency of the Four40 release schedule over the last couple of years has been near enough unrivalled, especially when it comes to their incredible line of UKG drops. Next up from them we explore some of the best bits of that run. Just looking at the artists involved is enough to get any selector salivating as we see fantastic inclusions from Deadly Habitz, Patrick Kane, Kells, Yemi, Burt Cope, Vital Techniques and so many more. There are a couple on here that have really stood the test of time in our eyes, including the Hybrid Theory remix of Blakk Habit's 'Like You', which has been causing damage in the dances ever since the raves began to reopen. We would also include Joe Burger & Dread MC's wicked collab 'Vibe' in that list of top tier inclusions, alongside George IV's 'Gettin' Your Love' and of course 'Faithful' from BWK Project. More power to the Four40 crew, who continue to impress at every turn.
Review: With a number of super enjoyable releases in recent times, the link-up between the futuristic sounds of MKII and the veteran run-outs of Four40 Records always spells out a good time. We kick off this brand new EP with a look at 'Kontakt', a typically futuristic combination of hard-hitting subs and shimmering chords, followed by 'Set Up', which again sees MKII deploy some of his classic bass manipulation techniques, this time topped with crispy UKG rhythms to match. Finally, 'Signal' unleashes a throwback style moogy bass lead, which gives the track the perfect amount of skank-ready energy to smash down the doors to any party.
Review: No mucking about Hardcore Energy. No nonsense breaks, hardcore and jungle. MKII in full effect! With basslines resonating here as much as pianos, tracks in this M1 EP are shrouded in hall reverbs and supreme compression to bring you the best in hardcore bliss. "Energy '92" kicks things off straight up with classic amen breaks that eventually succumb to breathy atmospheres and mellow chords, with stripped back jungle receiving the same treatment in "Make Me Feel" - while it's breaks and '90s free rave in "The Power", to trance and hip-house in "One".
Review: Four40's recent run of releases has been something very special indeed and this latest six track selection from MKII is a real look into how forward thinking the label has become. 'Roads' is a stunning three track journey, exploring the moodiest arenas of UKG through haunted pad textures and introspective harmonic layering, with MKII's ethereal production style being highlighted within this extended track format. It's a quite phenomenal body of work and when coupled with three fabulous remixes from MMEE, Earthnut and himself, it forms up into one of the strongest garage drops to grace 2020 so far!
Review: As far as labels go, there aren't many who have been floating around the bass music scene for as long as Future Follower Records. It seems that they have a point to prove here as they unveil an absolute goliath of a project, featuring fifty stunning original creations, packing a perfectly processed punch to round out 2019. The project as a whole finds itself landing between bass, breaks and garage, with some incredibly catchy productions involved, including Dephex's warbling 'Warfare', the super metallic shuffles inside the Bean VIP mix of 9TRANE's 'Heard Me' and the bass blasts of DubReaper's 'Ask Me'. There is something for everyone on this massive selection, giving the Future Follower camp a perfect send off to 2019.
Review: Alright, we really need to work out just what the hell is going on at Four40 records, because their current run is starting to get a little bit scary. For the sixth week in a row we see them unveil and absolute corker of a drop, this time from the rapidly rising sounds of MKII, who touches down with two heaters. We kick off with the title track 'Pull Up', a naughty expansion of standard UKG themes, laced with majestic chord movements and cinematic atmospherics. Following this we then land on 'Warm It Up', a more moogy roller, perfect for switching up the dance.
Review: We have been watching the rapid emergence of MKII with quite some interest, as the seemingly new face has put together incredibly well received drops with both Four40 and Southpoint in recent weeks, followed up by this fantastic project with Downplay. We kick this one off with a look at the super groovy title track 'Give Me', which combines funky melodic plucks with crunchy UKG drum flavours with fantastic results. This is followed by the emotive harmonic structures of 'Looking' For', before we finish up the EP on 'Movin', a rolling moogy belter, packed with well designed vocal slices and perfectly processed drum additions.