Review: Liquid Lab bring the soulful science into our lives once again with this crucial remix collection featuring an all-star cast of talented musicians and vibe maestros. Flaco takes things super deep with his twist on 'Blackeye' while Intrigue's Ben Soundscape gets us swinging our pants with his pristine breaks and big double bass action on 'All That Jazz'. Elsewhere Zar goes super deep and poignant with his take on 'Music Takes Control' and 'Chug' brings the EP to a dreamy finish with their take on 'Lose Control'. Cosmic.
Review: Forever mixing up the styles and flavours, Motvi comes correct with this deep dark showcase on Heist's Calypso Muzak. 'Body Pop' sets the scene with juke-like beats and ghetto energy while 'Enkrypt' maintains the darkness with a techno build-up and a Enei-style riff and 'Scathead' gets us swinging from the rafters with its scorching percussion. Rounding up the EP is the skanked out sub rumbler 'TL Dub' and crucial remix from Illament of 'Taking Lives'. What's popping?
Review: From Manchester with love! Motiv brings his unique soul flavours to Celsius just in time for the sunny season. A cosmic affair from the off, 'Gravity' tears us away from the earth's pull with its dreamy pads and rocket fuelled bass twists. It's backed up by plenty more star-gazing flavours... 'Out Of Air' takes us round the dark side of the moon by way of shimmering guitars and gentle pianos, 'Jupiter' is a minimal workout with big cosmic washes while 'The Path' lands us safely back home with its jazzy cascades and more delicate keys. Stunning stuff. Bon voyage.
Review: Sub-liminal brings an end to the year that was, going out all guns blazing with on Air Part 2 featuring a bunch of wicked VIPs. Label staple Agro serves up several collaborations on here with the likes of Mentah, Raz, Diligent Fingers and Ghxsty. There's also a few offerings by the ever reliable Yatuza; our pick being the wonky stepper of "Distance" with Master Error. Elsewhere, Pyro pops up a few times throughout and was in fine form on "Smithdown Bass" and Prestige handed in a couple of quality dubs with neurofunk cut "Logical" being our pick of the bunch.
Review: West Midlands / Essex joint venture Co-Lab Recordings UK is run by Benny Colab & Heist who present their latest release by Manchester's Motiv, who follows up a great collaboration with Collette Warren on "Cloak & Dagger" a few weeks ago. The track acted as a teaser for his much anticipated full-length release here, titled Meraki Music. Featuring a dozen impressive tracks, all in collaboration with other talented producers and vocalists. Highlights include the emotive liquid drum 'n' bass of opener "Halcyon" featuring lovely vocals by Anya Asia, the seething neurofunk trip "Twister" with Dunk, as well as the darkside techstep of "Air" with Teej and the bittersweet beats of "Take Me Away" with singer Charla Green.
Review: Co-Lab Recordings is a joint venture by Benny Colab & Heist, run between the West Midlands and Essex respectively. Their latest release comes from London's Collette Warren, who collaborates with Motiv again to bring you a liquid drum and bass roller in the form of "Cloak & Dagger" in the tradition of legends like LTJ Bukem or Marcus Intalex. The tracks' soulful and emotive elements are the perfect backdrop for the breathtaking vocals that play centre stage throughout.
Review: Ahead of his debut album Motiv unleashes this warm and toasty roller - 'Acting Up'. Loaded with house-inspired sounds and flavours, there's some lovely organ style sounds on the bass, a big belting vocal and a funky groove that we guess would be described as liquid but it's got much more beef on the bones and spirit than a lot of liquid tracks do. Think Sl8r, think Marcus, think Manchester - this is proper soulful drum & bass.
Review: Manchester's Motiv embraces the positive feelings around right now with this emotional debut for Ray Keith's Dubplate Dread. Five of his most glistening, vibe-fuelled soulful rollers, this is his biggest release to date with massive cuts like the soaring vocal title track with its cosmic synths, bumpy bassline and hard-hitting vocal, the sleazy, slinky funk of 'Distractions' and the dusty, jazzy soul work out 'She Knows' all hitting some serious spots. Feel the love.
Review: Bang! 30 Sub-liminal tracks deeply dug from every corner of the Brighton label's vaults, all packaged up in a new VA concept album: On Air. Perfect for filling a few gaps in your collection, or new ears who've only just experienced the power and gritty funk of Agro's label, every cut is a highlight or a heavyweight. Warhead & Dutta's grizzly 2018 slap-about 'Don't Test' still melts your skin, Leaf's 2020 wonk-out 'Erby' still hit with high grade 23rd century funk, Pyro's 2020 'Tick Yes' will still blackmail you and your family with its sinister undertones. And that's just a mere tenth of this solid collection. Cop it.
Review: Liquid Lab are coming into your ears once again with more lovely music, this time it's with Motiv, who has been in the game to know how to craft a proper liquid number. All five tracks on this EP rest comfortably within the funkier, more atmospheric end of the liquid spectrum, and they make ideal late night or early morning listening. The title tune is quintessential, with bubbling celestial synth lines that rest gingerly alongside a wonderfully subtle, rolling bassline that strolls along with the serious grace and decorum. 'On the Verge' features up and comer Charla Green on vocals and it has a main piano riff that's just superb in its soulfulness, a common and tangible theme throughout this release. Lovely stuff.
Review: Fokuz are coming into your ears once again with more luscious deepness, this time around courtesy of Motiv, who has been around the block enough times to know how to craft a proper liquid number. All four tracks on this EP rest comfortably within the spacier, more atmospheric end of the liquid spectrum, and they make ideal late night or early morning listening. The title tune is quintessential, with bubbling celestial synth lines that rest gingerly alongside a wonderfully subtle, rolling bassline that strolls along with the serious grace and decorum. 'Orbit' links directly to the space theme present on this release, and it has a low end that's just superb in its soulfulness, a common and tangible theme throughout this release. Lovely stuff.
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...
Unknown Artist - "Just Vibe With It" - (5:21) 172 BPM
Untrue - "Your Face" - (5:19) 174 BPM
Motiv - "Walk With Me" - (4:54) 174 BPM
Review: Now in their 22nd year, Fokuz has to be one of the longest running - and certainly the most prolific - drum & bass labels to ever come out of The Netherlands. A prime spot for breaking new talent, and renowned for their glacial, atmospheric liquid sound, the label have that perfect balance of newcomers and established names which is reflected perfectly here on this reflective look-back over 2020. Highlights include Command Strange & Cnof's dusty soul delight 'Rainy Day', the twinkling cosmic funk of Maverick Soul's 'We In Here' and the shimmering soul of Askel & Elere's 'Honestly'.
Review: Reload and come again: our 'Juno Download Selects' edition with the mighty US dnb HQ Liondub International continues for another session. Once again featuring an A-list rollcall of now household names, it's another reminder of how much heat Liondub International have cooked up over the years, supporting artists from their earliest moves. Highlights on this set include the turbo slammage and necksnap switches on Jayline's 'Anglo Saxxon', early hurly burly from the man like Macky on 'Black Widow' and the always-devilish bubbles of Motiv's 'Vultures'. And that's just three of 15 crucial example's of Liondub International future-focused benchmark. Get to know!
Review: Motiv recently released a gorgeous liquid single, but this time around his outing on Original key is made of decidedly tougher stuff. Break The Spell is balanced nicely around rolling beats and choppier territory, and its title tune blends aggressive, stretched out bass work with precisely laid down percussive foundations. 'Doomed' is similar in the drums but more spacious and deeper in the low frequencies, its title accurately reflecting the sense of foreboding you'll be certain to feel. 'Mayday' rolls out with abandon, whilst 'Valves' is yet another expression of serious dancefloor intent. Super stuff.
Review: So it doesn't feel like we've had much of a summer this year. It also feels like the arts are being hung-up to dry right now. But at least the good folk at Sub-liminal care for us.... To mark the (albeit raveless) sunny season, they've put together a 50 (yes, fifty) track collection from some of the most exciting names in the game. From Dunk to Xav, RV to Warhead, Agro, Guzi, Shayper, Damage Report and so many more, this is the 'Summer Selection' we all totally need and deserve right now. Highlights include the Remarc levels of badness on Guzi's 'Area 51', the tension and staggered creepiness of Yatuza's 'Clich?' and the broadsword swathes of Motiv's buzzy bumper 'Necroplasm'. And that's just three out of 50. Thank you Sub-liminal. We need this more than ever right now.
Review: Doe, a deer, a female deer. Ray a drop of golden sun. That's The Sound Of Music, circa 1965. Boh, a banger, an absolute banger. Whey, a drop of golden gunfingers. That's the 'Sound Of Nuusic', circa right about now as the Manchester based label let rip with their third V/A experience. Now an annual thing for the label, it's their biggest collection yet as it's super-charged with blaze-ups from the best in the new-gen game. From Sl8r's opener to Conrad Subs' grand VIP finale by way of cuts from the likes of Teej, Sola, Kuma, Epicentre, Kumarachi, Motiv, Selecta J-Man and many more on-point future headlining names, this isn't just the sound of Nuusic, it's the sound of now.
Review: Coming in hot with an EP that's positively deadly, Motiv lands on Calypso Muzak in stunning form. Hypnotize is aptly named because it's just that: hypnotic. There's a rawness, a depth, to its elements and every inch of the package feels carved out of urban, rough-edged stone. 'Turmoil' is the highlight of the release, with a tantalisingly good drum line that tumbles ove ritself in eagerness to mess you up, its bassline companion not far behind and just rippling with force and movement. The title track samples the classic Biggie tune and puts a junglist spin on it, whilst 'Taking Lives' rolls out with abandon and 'Last Breath' is a cheeky, cheeky growler. Top notch.
Review: Northern scene legend Adam Wigglesworth sadly passed away on April 3. This is how his friends responded... By compiling one of the biggest tribute albums drum & bass has ever seen. Just look at the amount of talent on here: Pyxis, Euphonique, Nvrsoft, No Concept, Exile, Euphonique, Dawn Raid and so many more artists have contribute to this 45 track album of which all proceeds go to Adam's family. From the blazing bass riff of Sappo's late 90s style neck snapper "Hannibal" to Exile's turbine bass growler "Symbiosis" via Sl8r's jazzy, almost Detroit style vibes on "The Mill" and various bits from Wiggo himself, this is a heartfelt salute from the entire scene to a man who'll be sorely missed.