Review: As if firing out badness galore through their 'Connected' series wasn't quite enough action for a label that's barely been around 6 months, Amplify and Metal Work's Gradient levels up again with the massive 'Foundations' VA that's stacked to the top shelf with some of drum & bass music's finest upstarts and high risers. 15 tracks deep, highlights come in all shapes and sizes including the sensual textures and tones of D-Fuser's 'Sticky Situations', the madcap jazzy springs and splutters of Fanatics' 'Everyday', KL's revved up staccato sizzler 'Plain To See', Metal Work's rather glacial 'Cold As Ice' and Parallel's early D-Minds style 'Capital Crimes'. Killer through and through, 'Foundations' as strong as this are built to last.
Review: Wake up and bake up, Jungle Cakes are back in the kitchen with their prize dish range 'Welcome To The Jungle'. This time the guest chefs are none other than Dub Pistols who've been flexing all styles and sizes of breakbeat since the very beginning. Currently coming correct with 50 tracks, they cover the full range of D&B through their dubwise, reggae-roasted selection. From the steam engine skank-ups like Isaac Maya and Daddy Freddy's thundering 'Bring Dem' to Deekline & Ed Solo's instant sing-along smash-out 'Bam Bam' to the dancehall bashment of Selecta J Man's 'My Style', this isn't so much of a jungle welcoming but more of a full jungle takeover... And you'll never want to leave.
Review: Nick The Lot is one of the masters of new school jump up, and his sounds always manage to stay creative amidst a very saturated market. He's back on his regular label, Grid Recordings, and this is another superb single. The a-side is gruff and gritty, with an underbelly of pure metallic fire that just pops out of the block in an extremely satisfying manner. 'Fader' is a squawker, a rough and tumble approach that kicks you up the backside and then some. Wicked.
Review: Crank it till you bank it: Amplify tells us to turn up once again with this humungous EP on Pick The Lock. Featuring collabs with Clarkey and Nick The Lot & Master Error, it's a ruthless vibey free-for-all from all concerned. Highlights include the scorching bass reese fumes of 'Need', the ridiculous squelch factor on 'OMG' and the uncut, high-grade fury and fun of 'Carnage'. Relax? Not when Amplify is in town matey.
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...
Review: Everyone's favourite tea leaf returns, this time with a special release on Liondub International. Five tracks in total, all powered by his usual bulldozer charm and funk, this is one of this broadest EPs as we cross the gully board. From the sweet sultry vocals and soul of 'Holding Back' to the late 90s tear-up sound of 'Sound Business', Nick runs us through his highest and lowest emotions across the EP. Other highlights include the oddball off-beat growls and groans of 'Freak Show' and the warm as toast title track 'Bullet'. You're nicked son.
Review: Jungle Cakes always tend to put out music that rests on the foundations of UK underground, the cross-over influences of soul, reggae, jungle and D&B. it's always a fresh sound and it always brings up connotations of Boomtown, free parties and sunny afternoons. This is a monster album curated by Aries and Kelvin 373, who have taken tracks both old and new to form a banging compilation. Bou nails it on 'Music Takes Me Higher', a rustic revisit to classic jungle sounds; Aries and Nicky Blackmarket roll things out in a tight way on 'Champion'; and Chimpo slams the brakes on 'DidDieDoThat'. We don't know the answer to that, but we do know this is fat. Big ups.
Review: Nick The Lot is without a doubt one of the producers pioneering new and filthy ways to bend the jump up formula and this EP on Biological Beats is exactly that. Nick has taken the foghorn sound and bent it, distorted it, in all kinds of new directions and the results are absolutely heinous. It's a massive release and the title track is appropriately banging, with a spoken sample sitting above a monstrous bassline of gigantic proportions. 'Loose Ends' is skipping and grooovy, with stabby 303s punctuating its bottom line in a call and response with a grating, weapon of a bassline. 'No One Else' nails the percussion in sumptuosly satisfying form, before knifing you in the throat with ridiculous jump up stabs. It's a pattern repeated across the rest of the release - huge.
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: Nick The Lot is one of the most consistent jump up producers around and he's back on long-time collaborator Zombie Recordings, who have proven to be the perfect home for his unique brand of hybrid jump up. His sound never gets boring, and it's the punishingly deep sub bass of 'If You Were' that really carries the tune, especially as it spirals out into a twisting concotion of devilish basslines. 'Starman' is equally unique, as a fluttering twirl of stabs moves up and down through its mechanical soundscapes. Tight stuff from Nick the man.
Review: Nick The Lot and Teej are two of the most prolific producers around in the new school of emerging talent, producers who walk the line between riotous jump-up, teeth-cutting minimality and back to basics jungle goodness. This single on Pick The Lock is their latest showcase and it's a doozy, with 'Simulation' stepping to a funky beat yet baring its teeth with a fierceness familiar to those who have heard these two's previous work. 'Broken Record' is irresistibly bouncy and there's a clarity and a sharpness to this track which will please fans in all camps of the genre. Big.
Review: After a slew of 2020 releases on the likes of Zombie, Grid and Informal, D&B's favourite petty pilferer Nick The Lot comes a knocking on Jungle Cakes door with two scrumptious creations. "Concentrated" flips between a sweet soul skank sample and a jigsaw bassline that scratches back and forth over the drums while leaving enough space for the vocal (think "Shot Down" vibes but with NTL's own swaggering signature) "Rastafari" follows the vibe but with much more drain-like bassline. An audacious gurgling, farty sound, it's the sonic equivalent of putting a can on your bike's back wheel and revving around sounding, looking and feeling like a the baddest hells angel there ever was. Feel good flavours as always with the Jungle Cakes bakers.
Review: Everyone likes a good compilation, right? What's better than having as big a range of artists as possible in one condensed place? It's essentially an album with the ease of listening of a single, so we're all for it. Subliminal have come out with the 2020 edition in their Riddim Return series and it's packed full of bangers, across a range of styles, and it's one of those albums which doesn't try to be cool or sophisticated by chucking in a few fillers for the sake of diversity - it's just hard stuff here. It works great, with Sam Harris' tendency for muscular minimosity coming on loud and clear on Boom Ting, a wickedly devilish and driving roller.
Dr Meaker & Rosco - "We Go Darker" - (4:45) 175 BPM
Nick The Lot - "Straggler" - (4:02) 176 BPM
Phadix - "Nothing More" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Stokka & Mozzy - "Chop Shop" - (4:29) 172 BPM
Lumia - "Deep Dive" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Lumia - "Emergency Evac" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Septon - "Condensate" - (4:50) 172 BPM
Cramz - "Destruction" (VIP) - (4:28) 174 BPM
Review: Informal is a relatively new record label who have jumped into the scene all guns blazing, having released a string of releases over the past few months. Now, they're launching their first ever VA LP and it's top quality, with sounds that span a wide variety of styles, from rolling liquid to dirty naughtiness. 'Straggler' by Code Lost is definitely in the latter category and it's definitely one of the best on the release, with a cavernous bassline of spinning twirls and a pulsating epicentre that pushes out the rest of the track in a slick fashion. One to cop, this.
Review: Grid Recordings always deliver tough, urban-edged sonics that don't prance around or act fancy, they just get down and dirty. Nick The Lot has delivered exactly that here, with a four-track EP of moody tones and no-nonsense drum lines. 'Blueprint' is a perfect example of said drums, with impossibly clean hits and a clear sense of space and progression, its bass stabs are almost shadowed out. 'Missing Person' is the most futuristic, with a deep back end and seriously cool synth spasms that lend it a techier feel than the other cuts on the EP. The other two are equally top-draw - make sure to check these.
Review: Grubs up! Twisted Individual's cooked up a feast of undead delights for the first Zombie Recordings V/A collection and everyone's invited. Chewy, spicy and full of gully victuals, across the collection we're treated to all range of flavours; the peppery aftertaste of Filthy Habits & Jeopardize's "Mind Transfer", the fruity funk bursts of Imaginary Friends' "Rooftop Jam", the gamey aroma and meaty chugs of Yatuza & Nick The Lot's "Mystic Ways" and the sweet and sour textures of Alex SLK's "Kluture" are just some of the many highlights on the menu. Gunfinger-licking good!
Review: Now entering its 20th year of gully manoeuvres, Grid Recordings unleash another set of remixes of the bossman's tracks through the ages. First up Jayline gets out his stick and whacks "Last Days Of Rome" within inches of its life with a big high voltage bassline, Grid regular Nick The Lot flips "Danger Zone" into a much crunchier, rasping affair and Argentinian newcomer Yatuza adds whole new levels of trippiness to "Edge Of The Dome". Last but not least Matt View and Marvel Cinema go right back to 2003, grab Pony Pleasure by the scruff of its neck and give it a good scrub with cosmic soap. Nice and bubbly.
Review: Zombie Recordings always deliver tough, urban-edged sonics that don't prance around or act fancy, they just get down and dirty. Nick The Lot has delivered exactly that here, with a six-track EP of moody tones and no-nonsense drum lines. 'Mosh Pit' is a perfect example of said drums, with impossibly clean hits and a clear sense of space and progression, its bass stabs are almost shadowed out. 'Karma' is the most futuristic, with a deep back end and seriously cool synth spasms that lend it a techier feel than the other cuts on the EP. The other four are equally top-draw - make sure to check these.
Review: Give us a big fat smile and show some teef! Nick The Lot hits our playlists once again with another hefty packet of tracks and he smashes it once again. "Over The Moon" sets the tone; groaning, trippy and full of strange samples and sounds, it's the Brighton badboy on his A-game. So is the rest of the EP from the stuttering, star-gazing twangs of "Gunshot" to the guttural bass and savage breaks of the finale "Break Out". Elsewhere things go mental on "Double Drop", "Away" bends mind with its warped bass and "Back Up" is a lesson in heavy subs and choppy drums. We guarantee you'll be on these before you can say 'petty pilfering'.
Review: Grid Recordings have been on an absolute tear the past year or so, with everything that comes through their doors sounding slick and firmly on the pulse of D&B in 2019. This time around it's a compilation featuring some of their most reliable producers, who, characteristically, have come through in a big way. Jayline & Macpherson's 'Look & Listen' is a spacious, atmospheric creeper than packs a serious punch, one that emerges through a soundscape of celestial tones. Nick The Lot definitely has one of the standout tunes with 'This Planet', keeping up the space theme and also keeping up the trend of twisting, expansive basslines that ripple with energy - proper roller this. KY's 'Dreams' is in the same vein and even more futuristic and techy, which shows that Grid can do things in all styles. Head Nodders indeed.
Review: Nick The Lot is definitely one of the most promising producers over on the jump-up side of the scene, with a load of releases on Grid that have been blowing people's socks off. This time though he's on Zombie Recordings with a deadly six-tracker, and if you love a good foghorn as much as we do, then this release will definitely tick your boxes. Final track 'Origin' is wicked just for its rhythmic diversity, with stuttering drum breaks all over the shop and grating, satisfying basses filling in the gaps. The title track is another highlight, as is 'Manners'. Overall, very sick stuff from Nick here.
Review: Forget your daft screechy dubstep variant of the same name, Sub-liminal deal strictly in proper riddims. Wobbly riddims, fat riddims, stinking riddims, gully riddims. They have done for almost five years now, and this new Riddim Return collection is a reminder of just how much ground they cover, how many super talented darksmiths they work with and how much skin of yours their releases will melt. Highlights on this 50 track strong collection (yes, 50!) come from every angle but you'd be mad not to lick a shot from Agro & Raz on their melted bass weird-out "Ah Like It", do air trumpet to Warhead's "Cop Killa" or get wonked the heck out by Leaf's concrete steps on "Hold Up". Dig hard and take a deep breath... You're in riddim country.
Review: Fresh from his "Cabin Fever" trip on Zombie Recordings, Nick The Lot returns to his most consistent home at Grid. Another fat-stacked four-pack of grit, it's another feast; "Worldwide" is persistent little growler with a mutant bassline that flips between keys, "Firing Mechanism" has a deeper feel than the title might suggest. Strange, futuristic chords swoon along with pitched vocals, giving it a rave sometime-in-the-future vibe before the bassline starts to get freaky on the second drop. Need a bit more filth in your ears? Then jump on "You Don't Understand" as the full focus is a decaying, grotty bassline. Finally "H20" finishes with the weirdest flavour of the set; trippy, warped and plain rude, it's every bit as refreshing as its name suggests...
Review: Good4Nothing are turning 10 years old and are celebrating that fact in the only real way you should celebrate a label anniversary: with a big old compilation album. They've gone all-in for this one and raked up 15 tunes artists like Dutta, Ironlung, Slipz and Complex. Dutta' contribution is typically naughty, with a pulsating back end that sits just beneath a snappy drum line that includes a lovely, wooden snare that has just the right amount of bite. Part 1 of this series is a truly hedonistic banger of a compilation which is well worth checking out, we cannot wait to hear what the label has in store for us in Part 2.
Review: Nick The Lot has been absolutely smashing it recently and he's fast becoming one of Grid's most reliable sources of explosive dancefloor material. This release is no different, featuring four cuts of pure damage in classic Nick style, with plenty of attitude and plenty of gunfinger moments. The title tune is our favourite, with a seriously hype-inducing build and a raucous drop that reminds us of a Neurofunk track, except without all the unnecessary noise it becomes ten times heavier. We love this one - bigups to Nick.
Review: Grid Recordings always deliver tough, urban-edged sonics that don't prance around or act fancy, they just get down and dirty. Nick The Lot has delivered exactly that here, with a four-track EP of moody tones and no-nonsense drum lines. 'Rat Poison' is a perfect example of said drums, with impossibly clean hits and a clear sense of space and progression, its bass stabs are almost shadowed out. 'Hideous Creatures' is the most futuristic, with a deep back end and seriously cool synth spasms that lend it a techier feel than the other cuts on the EP. The other two are equally top-draw - make sure to check these.
Review: Grid Recordings is a moody label, man -the stuff that they've been putting out the past year or so has been outstanding, dark and fairly pissed off. Nick The Lot's single continues that trend and boy, the first track is a stinker. 'Rastaman' features reggae-influenced vocals, a clean yet driving drum line and a bassline that sits underneath both perfectly with pitched-up fever. The b-side is 'The Phantom' and it's another roller, except it approaches things from the direction of squelchingly insane bass sounds and a constant feeling that you're in a blender. Less high-brow, perhaps but equally devastating for the dancefloor.
Charlie Rotten - "The Myriad Part 3" (continuous DJ mix) - (16:49) 181 BPM
Review: Sub-liminal are one of those very prolific, very underground labels that tends to go unnoticed yet releases some absolute bangers. So, getting a whole compilation full of them from a variety of up and coming producers is only going to go one way - hard. The first tune - 'Iggy' - from Garry K & RV is an instant stand out, a wobbling riff of force and hurting energy, all tied up in a jump-up sized package. 'Vultures' by Zapya and MC Karter is another top-level cut, a skippy drum-line and menacing vocals sit above a fiercely minimal roller that clicks and clanks with satisfying precision. There are a bunch more excellent tunes on this release, so go check them out.