Review: What is there to say about Shogun Audio that hasn't already been said at length directly into your ear at 3am? Friction's brainchild has become one of the scene's biggest, most successful and perhaps most importantly one of the most highly-regarded labels in recent years. A decade might not be a long time in D&B talk, but 10 years has been long enough for Shogun to put its stamp on almost everything making its way from the underground and into the blinding light of day. From the experimental sounds of Alix Perez, Rockwell and Icicle to the spellbinding Technimatic, right through to the chart-bothering escapades of Camo & Krooked, this is a flip through the highlights of Shogun's life. In case you forgot, it's been a brilliant one so far. Roll on the next 10 years.
Review: It's been quite a while since Martin Mefjus last treated us to a full release, but boy have him and Vision-owners Noisia more than made up for it with this seminal release. Particles is a six-tracker with features on every tune: Camo & Krooked, Skeptical, Phace, IMANU, Break & Noisia. What a lineup that is, and it exceeds expectations as the Austrian trio of Mefjus and Camo & Krooked smash things to pieces on 'Sidewinder', a deeply unique track with a stepping, featherweight drum line, funky synth work and a seriously track structure which moves from hardstyle-esque sounds into drum & bass and back again. IMANU's feature on 'Transit' nails the neurofunk vibe (emphasis on the funk), whilst things get minimal on Skeptical's 'Amber'. Unbelievable Jeff.
Review: Yet more raucous brilliance from Dutch destroyers Noisia on Vision. Don't be fooled by the title - "Friendly Intentions" has anything but - with pummelling drums and warbling layers of sub bass let loose beneath vocal snatches which are deployed brilliantly. It's jump-up fire from beginning to end, but the Juno favourite is the more stripped back, mangled vibe of "Displaced" in which Noisia create a punishing soundscape of twisted metal and scorched synths; almost like old school Tresor techno beats smashed out of the 4/4 pattern.
Review: Seriously - seriously - before any more words are said, just get your mitts on this LP. A seminal piece of work, it charts a decade in the life of Vision Recordings, the label at the foremost terrifying edge of neurofunk and beyond. Sharing the strobes with Black Sun Empire, Phace, Spor, The Upbeats and Calyx, and Teebee, it's hard to imagine what on earth drum and bass sounded like without these guys tearing a hole in the space time continuum every time they dropped a new EP. Black-hearted excitement from the darkest recesses of Europe. Don't pretend you don't need to hear "Diplodocus" one more time.
Review: Few things are certain in life: death, taxes, lack of sleep when you become a parent and Noisia slaying the Dickens out of the competition with every new production. Timed with the launch of their new live show (and, with any luck, new album), "Anomaly" once again takes the idea of arrangement, sound design and production dynamics to another level. The tumbling drums, the hair-singing organ blasts, the eight-or-nine part operatic characteristics.... Every element kicks right here.
Review: Outer Edges: One of 2016's best drum & bass albums just keeps on giving. First came the whopping remix collection from some of the biggest and best names in the game. Now come rubs from the top cats themselves (plus a few classic VIPs thrown in for good measure)... "Voodoo" gets the 172 treatment with a snare-slapping bashment riddim, "Dead Limit" is torn to pieces by a gurning halftime switch-up and "Surfaceless" enjoys a new industrial strength coat of arms. Beyond the outer edges we have 2011's classically-trained "Tommy's Theme" getting deaded 2017-style and "Diplodocus" finally rising from dubplate status in all its gritty, sheet-metal-bending glory. Five slices of serious remix toxicity. Essential.
Review: Best drum & bass album of 2016 b2b best remix album of 2017: 20 versions courtesy of some of the biggest, brightest and baddest in the bass game. From the thunderous bass theatre of Mat Zo's take on "Mantra" and Machinedrum's post-tropical twist of "Get Deaded" to abstract beat experiments such as Roly Poly's take on "Sinkhole" and Amon Tobin's movie-ready adventure on "Vigilantes" by way of a whole host of absolute killer drum & bass versions from Teddy Killerz, Neonlight, DLR, The Upbeats, this really is an incredible piece of work that stretches several times around the bass cosmos. Noisia never mess around. They even make hairy donuts serious.
The Entangled (Camo & Krooked remix) - (4:42) 175 BPM
Review: It's one of the biggest remix fires drum & bass is likely to see this side of summer (perhaps all year) - Noisia's critically acclaimed second album Outer Edges is about to enjoy a premiership version package with some of the biggest names in the game... And Camo & Krooked have sparked the touch-paper. Taking one of the most remarkable tunes from the album - the creeped-out graveyard 140 jam "The Entangled" - the Austrian duo stretch out the space and add their own harrowed textures and tones in the most minimal, mysterious and deepest ways. Genuine remix perfection.
Review: Under present sunny circumstances, you'd think crazed-intellectual neurofunk noise would be the last thing on everybody's mind... This EP is a stride out into new directions, stepping through the void to reach past minimal and, in first track "Incessant", right into the guts of hardcore. Noisia teams up with Hybris and Mefjus to create a six-headed beast that is "Clusterfunk" before a entering the black-hole strewn "Reptilians". Meanwhile "Banshee" sees Noisia settle into an eerily tuneful conclusion and it only compounds the feeling that there's still more rage to come.
Review: Noisia's Division operation deliver their very first multi-artist EP featuring far-out bass tests from the likes of Monuman (AKA northern D&B upstart Emperor), Signs, ARKTKT, Ponicz and JNTHN STEIN. Not a well-travelled road in sight; each act delivers something resoundingly fresh and exciting : Noisia & Ivy Lab get insanely lopsided, Monuman digs a filthy bass grave before lifting us to the heavens with evocative chords, Signs gets the motor running with an array of twisted engine samples while ARKTKT activates a spacey trap mode, all bouncy and gravity-free. Last but not least, Ponicz shreds up with a toxic instrumental hip-hop swag while JNTHN STEIN kidnaps a rainbow then pushes it down the stairs... In the same way Division push the envelope.