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: Synthesis is the fourth Digital album and it might be his most ambitious undertaking yet! The album's sixteen tracks see the UK producer working alongside a swathe of high profile contemporaries. The danger with projects such as this, is the lack of cohesion and binding theme but its clear Digital conceived Synthesis as a display of all that's good in the current scene. Exceptionally well produced and engineered, it's nigh on difficult to pick out a highlight here with the likes of Om Unit, Nomine, Villem, Spirit and the mighty Klute excelling in their bass science explorations alongside Digital. An album to really sink your teeth into.
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...
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.
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: It's not often a true legend delivers the goods long into their career but MC Fats is still delivering the goods as this LP proves. Filled with collaborations and remixes from the MC Fats Collective and beyond and pushing his unique sound to the next level. Huge names like Calibre, Basher, Total Science, SIN, Lynx and Dom & Roland move in to attack their own slices of the action, taking what could simply be an outstanding LP to cult status and beyond. It's no surprise that a man of his experience could wrangle in some of the biggest names in D&B for his album - what is surprising though is that none of the input is an afterthought. Each contributor has given their best and it shows.
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: 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.
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: One of the most consistent, prolific and on-point artists in the game, Need For Mirrors returns to V with five more outstanding floor-primed work-outs. Highlights include "Pagans", which is all about the blessy reggae vocal and rolling bassline that's so real you can hear the fingers sliding on the strings, "Dumbing Down", which is all about the balls-out bouncing Bristol bassline sound and the incredible, almost Calibre-esque (not a comparison we throw around lightly) dubby, understated skanks of "Vendor Dub". Absolute gold. Why isn't Need For Mirrors king already?
Review: No one delivers like Need For Mirrors. Whether it's Full Cycle, V, Horizons, his and Bailey's Soul In Motion imprint or his own Zoltar, the proliferation and subversion levels are always ridiculously on point... And always come with a cool unpredictable air. Here he's being extra generous with five tracks: "Hazy" hits with a 3am smoked-out feel thanks to its dramatic droning intro and pristine depth plunge bass drop, "Migration Of Meaning" slaps and tickles with his signature off-beat finger clicks and soulful snippets, while "Life Cycle" takes us back to the school of Photek with sublime space-out drum edits. Elsewhere "Bandulu" is a raffish rattler that refuses to lose momentum no matter how many spooked-out FX and textures NFM throws into the brew. Finally "Grey Scale" takes us deep down the techno rabbit hole in a way only the Zoltar bossman knows how. Buckle up.
Review: The unstoppable, super-prolific maverick that is Joe Moses returns to the BMTM scene of the crime. "Ethos" was one of 2015's heaviest and widest-supported tracks thanks to its ability to sit deep within any mix before suddenly rising from the technoid ashes into a riff that can singe every single one of your body hairs. If anyone can elevate it, it's Spirit who chunks out the fingerclick drums for something a little hammerish. Added drama comes in the form of "Push". The follow up to their divisive "Jagged", "Push" completely strips back the elements for Onallee's era-defining vocals to surge through theatrically. Gradually building the mutant beats beneath her to create a sci-fi soul hurricane, Need For Mirrors has created another bonafide moment here.
Review: London's Need For Mirrors (aka Joe Moses), like to boldly go (within DnB) where no man has gone before. Ok, well maybe some have, but not many like to get as deep and considered these days. Here though we get four forward-looking slices of cerebral, but still beat led, tunes. "Wow" starts things with brooding clouds gathering before dreamy and soulful beats and melodies flower up, "Down Time" is both speedy and chilled at the same time, whilst "LVRS" is like a sub aquatic DnB romance. Lastly "Curve" wraps things up with some moody, percolating funk. So hot it's cool.
Review: Now officially a solo act, NFM continues his consistent slew of heads-down rollers. Returning to Horizons, here we find Joe Moses on fine form with three far-reaching bass escapades. "Curtains" (penned with Concord Dawn) rolls with a filter chord sequence that fluctuates softly and soulfully while "Chandelier" is an example of NFM's lean fusion of jungle drums and unnerving bass adorned with warm Detroit-style synth tones. Finally we hit "Monument", a sleazy swinger with a jazz bassline and woozy, dreamy chords that wouldn't have gone amiss on Full Cycle back around 97 or 98. Beautiful.