Review: Both behind the decks and in the studio, Joe Moses' sonic innovation has earned him a reputation as one of the scene's leading artists. One of the brains behind London's most influential club nights Soul In Motion (with Bailey) it expanded to create a record label/agency, as well as his own imprint - Zoltar. His next release comes courtesy of Germany's SUNANDBASS titled Ultra Violin. The title track is an expression in truly intelligent drum 'n' bass, that features an emotive string section playing centre stage to a backdrop of immaculately programmed rhythms. There's also the emotive roller "I Dip" and the fierce techstep riddims of "Refactory"
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: The ever mutating, broadsword sounds of Need For Mirrors land on Serum's Souped Up once again and, as always, it's an eclectic selection. "Bubbles" is in the same vein as "Peng" last year with its steppy drums and rapid fire MC bars, it's followed by the sublime simplicity and dreaminess of "Thugga" and the disorienting organ-parping bassline and techno twangs of "Emoji Crash" before "Black Bags" closes the EP on a G tip once again. Moody pitched down bars, murked riddim, classic gutter grooves from Mr Lambo as always.
Review: Bryan Gee and V Recordings do not mess around. They never have in the past, they're certainly not right now in the present and judging by this highly anticipated Future album, they're going to mess around any time ahead. 25 tracks from some of the biggest, best and baddest names in D&B (Dillina, Serum, Benny L, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Roni Size, DJ Marky, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Bladerunner, Saxxon, the list goes on) this one's been a long, long, long time coming... And it's been well worth the wait. From L-Sides massive remixes of Dillinja and Krust to Need For Mirrors super-revved "Lambo" to Benny L's incredible remix of "Days", this sums up why Bryan and his label are as influential and respected in the game as they are today. Don't mess around.
Review: Spearhead are coming out with a huge compilation that seeks to be a statement of intent for 2020, combining a load of new tracks with some of the choicest cuts from the Spearhead back catalogue. There is old school talent like Need For Mirrors, Bcee, Carlito & Addiction & Saikon, as well as recruits from the new school like Whiney, Black Barrel, Monrroe and Walk:r, all of whom have done a wicked job walking the Spearhead stylistic line between hard and soft. Need For Mirrors' 'Zxana' is the ideal example; it's stripped back and minimalist in its percussion but expansive in the low-frequencies, with a hypnotic feeling of movement and a seriously solid piece of sound design. The rest of the LP is typically epic as well, so shout out to the Norwich crew.
Review: L-Side is the living embodiment of the seriously historical links between Bryan Gee's V Recordings and Brazil, especially the city of Sao Paolo. He's back on his long-time home for a three-track EP and The Void does what he does best: roll things out with musical sophistication and technical toughness. The title track is dripping in acid moodiness and the ambience of aggressiveness carpets the bouncy, emphatic synth line with an elegance of movement perfectly befitting its solid percussive undergirding. 'Resist' featuring Need For Mirrors is an ideal blend of their respective stylistic pallettes and with the menacing veneer of L-Side and the left-field subtelty of Moses coming in strong, it proves to be a potent mix. What an EP from the V team.
Review: Someone call the fire brigade please, Bryan Gee's V camp is literally on fire right now. If it's not the massive tracks coming from the now 26 year old V flagship imprint, it's this stunning collection of remixes from the collective's soulful arm of operations Liquid V. Digging deep into the vaults, there's some immaculate refixes on display... L-Side's midas touch continues to sparkle with his rumbling switch-up of "Try To Understand", Need For Mirrors' own wobbly-bottomed relick of "Son Of Sorrow" does absolute damage and the VIP of Cater & Paul SG's "Jazz Cigarette" will blast your wig off with its crisp horns and cosmic vibraphone flurries. And that's just the tip of liquid iceberg. Get in shape yo!
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: Need For Mirrors is one of the most prolific producers in the game and now he lands on Souped Up with his debut full-length release on the label. Need For Mirrors has always had an incredibly unique sound and on Peng it collides with the tones of Souped Up, Serum's influence gets refracted through Need For Mirrors' production style and the result is fantastic. The roller mix of 'Peng A Leng' just does absolute bits, with a rambunctiously solid percussive underpinning that forces you to take notice early on, leading you into a huge bassy, brass stab line that'll blow your socks clean off. NFM has smashed this one, yet again.
Need For Mirrors - "Speedy Boarding" - (5:12) 174 BPM
Alexvnder - "Continuity" - (4:55) 174 BPM
DJ Ransome - "Arctic Blizzard" - (5:41) 174 BPM
Review: One of the most iconic and prolific labels in the D&B scene, Fokuz Recordings manage to simultaneously show off the best in the game whilst supporting new talent and the results are fantastic. This album - a recap of 2018 - exemplifies their approach. It's full of big names and bigger tracks, including S.P.Y's remix of 'Always Yours' by Macca & Loz Contreras, Artificial Intelligence's remix of 'String City' by Lenzman and Calibre's remix of 'Forward Thinking' by Satl. Whilst these are obviously great, the bigger story lies in the lesser-known participants and their ability to pull at your heartstrings. DJ Ransome, Edlan, Soligen amongst others all come seriously correct on this LP, turning it into a seriously good release.
DJ Chap & C.A.B.L.E. - "Be With Me" - (4:25) 176 BPM
Murdock - "Raw Power Moves" - (5:14) 174 BPM
DJ Andy - "Acid Reflux" - (4:33) 174 BPM
Chromatic - "Footprint" - (4:58) 174 BPM
Need For Mirrors - "Go Easy" - (5:23) 174 BPM
Peshay - "Nitro" - (6:43) 175 BPM
DLR - "Dafunk" - (5:55) 175 BPM
Bailey - "Computer Life" - (5:10) 174 BPM
Simplification - "Therapy" - (5:18) 172 BPM
Alibi - "Machine Head" - (5:36) 174 BPM
Nymfo - "Warrior" - (3:49) 170 BPM
DJ Limited - "Love Is Blind" - (4:12) 58 BPM
Jumpin Jack Frost - "Chronicles" (continuous DJ mix) - (1:08:09) 178 BPM
Review: Chronic is a sub-label of V Recordings that's specifically for rolling, rapid and rough tracks, the ones that are too naughty for the main label yet too good to throw out. Jumping Jack Frost as curated this latest compilation for Chronic and it's simply too good, with a wicked mix of vibes. From the snarling funk of Philth's 'Sanctuary', the wobbling energy of 'My Flava' by Command Strange or the rough jungle on Bailey's 'Computer Life', this LP injects the old-school vibe into new-school clarity. Arguably the stand-out though is DLR's 'Dafunk, a combination of stuttering drums and upbeat samples wrapped up in typical DLR-esque fashion.
Donovan 'Bad Boy' Smith - "After Party Vol 2" (continuous mix By Donovan 'Bad Boy' Smith) - (1:13:40) 178 BPM
Review: The compilations that come out of the V Recordings camp are as legendary as they come. A whole host of different ideas and concepts such as Planet V, Liquid V Club Sessions and V.I.P - I could go on - have landed on the label and brought us happiness. This time around it's instalment #2 for the Afterparty series and it's an LP with more soul than God, honestly. The sultry piano riff of 'No One Can Hear You Read' will have you tingling with excitement; the dulcet American tones of T.R.A.C go perfectly with Macca & Loz Contreras' iconic sampling on 'Leaps & Bounds'; and 'Summer Dayz' by L-Side and Addiction is a pure funk roll out. Another impeccable V Recordings compilation out the way, then. Smashing stuff.
Review: Need For Mirrors continues to own the game with his hyper prolific, super smart and unapologetically restrained goodies as he makes his debut on Bcee's Spearhead with four more sublime jams; "Crystalline" is an exercise in uplift with its crisp arpeggio and clipped string sample, "Cassiopeia" is Joe Moses at his most delicate as he explores the ivories with introspection, "Mermaids Tail" is lavish piece of aquatic drama that sits somewhere between Seba and Klute while "Bamboo" closes on a mournful sci fi step. Need For Mirrors wins again.
Review: Twisted's Grid launches a new series dedicated to the deeper, introspective moments in life with five seriously respected artists at the dials. DJ Limited continues to show how versatile he is with the clanking, wobbling, slurring "To Be The First", man of the moment Need For Mirrors gets his slinky step on with "Such A Thing" while Damage Report gets his dancehall neck brace on with the hardest, snare-snapping jam of the set "Took You So Long". Elsewhere Dexcell add pace and grit to Mutated Forms' space-hopping bleep shock out "Duct Tape" and Raz brings down the curtains with a hurricane snare rattler that's laced with bone-chilling textures and rises. One for the heads...
Review: Just look at the list of titans on this album.... The Prodigy, Sub Focus, Spor, Chase & Status, dBridge & Skeptical, Icicle, Benny L, Artificial Intelligence and so many more have all contributed to this worthy compendium from brand new mental and physical wellness festival Getahead. Not one contributor disappoints across the set as we're treated to 100 percent exclusives from across the board. From the rampant late 90s tech twists of Chase & Status's "All Crew" to the delicious halftime vibes of Proxima's "Trek" right through Halogenix's sense-melting remix of Koiya, this really is a massive piece of work... And proceeds going to Music Minds Matter. This is such an important release!