Review: When one ungoogleable artist remixes another: Mexican Viewer takes on Greek MsDoS for a collection of four soulful D&B reboots. 'Benefits' eases us in gently with its lilting pianos and sweeping cosmic pads teasing us with trace elements of disco, 'Dimensions' brings on the woozy jazzy textures while 'Japanese Connection' does beautiful things with the sampled vocal textures. Finally 'Talkin' About Ghetto' closes the EP with warm, loopy magic and more subtle piano soul.
Review: San Diego crew The Foundation take time to look back over the last few years of badness with their latest 'Revisited' volume. First up are the very tunes the label launched with exactly two years ago 'Be My Own' and the T-Kay remix. Both still slapping the wind out of us with their harmonic riffs and clash-ready beats, now is a perfect time to catch these if you slept on them. Next up come three new VIPs of label faves from the last few years. 'Borda Clash' retains its sweet reggae plucks, 'Babylon System' hits with big rolling drum energy while a VVVIP of 'Ear It Come' closes the show. (The extra Vs are for Veak is Very talented)
Review: Liquid Drops Recordings out of London is a drum 'n' bass imprint that consistently delivers some of the best liquid & soulful tunes of the genre. Their latest comes from label staple mSdoS out from Athens, with a collection of remixes from the creme de la creme of d'n'b talent on Jungle Drops 30 Remixed. Highlights come from: Conrad Subs on the deep, emotive and sax-led remix of "Solo Jungle", FX909's remix gets that classic Marcus Intalex or Calibre vibe of old on "Far Away", while the dub Defense remix gets properly dancehall-wise on the sunny interpretation of "On The Dub" and true to the release's name we get a proper darkside expression in mid '90s breakbeat science courtesy of Greekboy who reworks "6 Point 3".
Review: Liquid Drops boss Msdos makes his way over to the Smooth N Groove label with the Natura LP - swiftly following up last year's Barcelona album for Soul Deep Exclusives. There's an unexplainable quality to the music of Msdos which undeniably shines through on this album via its essential dub tactics and raw liquid rhythms. With a touch of classical house elements like pianos and strings linked to trademark sounds from the US garage and UK club scenes, highlights include "Deep One", "In 1968" and "Reggae Violins". Together, Msdos and Smooth N Groove, present an album that oozes fresh '90s drum and bass appeal that dates back to early Hospital Records compilations and DJ Marky mixtapes. Get liquid, get dub, get Smooth N Groove.
Review: Who in their right mind doesn't love upbeat reggae vibes? The answer is no one, because if jazzed up guitar flicks and vibrant steel pans don't send shivers of pleasure down your spine then you're officially not a human being. It's that energy which Ms Dos has channelled into these four cuts, that sense of underground culture and rich urban history which always come with the reggae influence. 'Bring it Back' is especially good, a chilled-out reggae breakdown in the intro transforming into a 170 number in delicious fashion - lovely stuff. The title tune features a renowned sample, before a fresh, spacious and sharp-edged breakbeat tears the roof off the place.
Review: It's been a fantastic first year for FX909 Music, and this compilation celebrates their inception with a 25-strong array of the label's best tracks so far. It covers everyone from founder FX909 to Insideman, Impression and Wookie. 'Under Control' gets things off on a funky tip, as gorgeous stabs ripple into waves of ecstasy, a vibe that's matched on 'Caramel', with its swirling synth lines and effortless atmospherics. 'Let It Rain' strips things down to basics with a minimalist approach to melodic constructions, and Ms Dos also features on the idyllic 'Changing Keys'. A label to watch, for sure.
Review: We go together like bees and honey, like coffee and cream, like Bonnie and Clyde, like 'Motherboard & Ram'... Yes yes, mSdoS pays homage to the tools of the craft with this emotional dreamboat of a track. Jazzy chords, faraway vocals and swinging beats; it's a gentle cut with a hazy, fuzzy soul that's flipped by legendary Estonian outfit Electrosoul System. Splicing up the vocal and adding vast new layers of choppy breaks, it's an outstanding remix that complements the original like meat does potatoes, like the moon does the stars, like Netflix does chill...
Review: Deep in the Jungle continue their onwards march with this, the seventh edition in their widely acclaimed Anthems series, a compilation that always finds the ideal mix of current and future talent to showcase. In the case of the former, well-travelled producers Epicentre and Kumarachi roll things out and tear them down on 'Light Em Up', which features a gnarly array of interlinked bass nodes and torn low frequency sonics, al underpinned by a percussion section that's the perfect blend of rusty and sharp. New talent emerges in the form of Trobe and Mirage, who have their first label release with '89', although you wouldn't have guessed it based off this tune's razor clean percussive edge and expert use of space, a hard thing to get right and one this pair blow out the water here. Rave samples, expansive basslines and a synth arrangement you won't be able to shake - unmissable. 34 tracks later and Deep in the Jungle have nailed every single one of them - big ups.
Review: This VA is jam-packed with some of the scene's best liquid maestros, and it's of the movement for Liquid Drum & Bass 4 Autism, a group which seeks to raise awareness and money for those who have autism. Low:r, Furney, MsDos and more have gotten themselves involved, and the result is a lovely, serene walk through some of 174's most nonchalant moments. 'Eyes Closed' by Low:r is especially gorgeous, with his trademark organic sound fluttering in the wind of his creativity like usual. Changer is characteristically deep with 'Only To Be', and it's just the iceberg of what is a brilliant album for a brilliant cause.