Review: Innervisions' Secret Weapons series is always worth a look, if only for the opportunity it gives to delve into Dixon's CD wallet and see what he's been hammering over the last six months. As usual, there's plenty of Grade A material to enjoy, from the undulating rhythms and drifting chords of Hunter Game's "Ice", to the forceful electronics, woozy pads and dreamy vocal snatches of Flowers & Sea Creatures' picturesque "Overworld". Elsewhere, Nu Tone delivers some intense afterparty fare in the shape of "Rumble", while Ripperton reaches for the lasers on the shuffling deep house gem "Unfold". Arguably best of all, though, is Aera's "Freak Wave", a midtempo shuffler that boasts a wonderfully warm, organic feel, with rich percussion and fuzzy analogue synth-work.
First in the series featuring sounds from well respected drum & bass producer Nu:Tone, including 172 wav samples, 21 patches for Kontakt, Reason, Halion, EXS, SFZ compatible soft samplers & 80 loops at 174bpm
Review: Like some kind of Human Traffic soundtrack to 2020, Hospital's annual House Party VA has arrived. Fresh for a summer of social distancing, house parties and clandestine diversions, it's a soundtrack that will get any D&B head through the lockdown status, BBQs permitted. Top and tailed by the poppy, liquid, sample based and acoustic sessions of both Villem & Leo Wood's "We Had A Sing" and Whiney's "Better With You", find playful aggro in MC LowQui's "Middle Finger" to some hyper fresh material in Degs' "Pressure Cooker". Aggy half time once more in tracks like "Saturn's Strings" with gnarly basslines in Voltage's "The Prophet" and Logistic's "Playing With Fire" bringing the heat.
Review: Is there a doctor in the house? Hospital kick start the new decade with another stupendously massive V/A collection in the form of its latest Sick Music compendium. An album series that consistently lives up to its name, Sick Music 2020 does not disappoint in the slightest; from the powerful soul thrust of Degs and Unglued's "Levitate Your Mind" to the deep pads and sultry kicks of Tolima Jets' "Clams" via Urbandawn's truly electrifying euphoria/gully head shock "Egregor", this one covers the full spectrum from an exciting and super diverse range of artists. Look out for some fantastic remixes lurking in the mix, too; S.P.Y absolutely crushes Kings Of The Rollers' "You Got Me" and Serum flips Todd Terry's house classic "Bounce To The Beat" with a new sense of funk and groove. And these are just a few examples; this is a fantastic snapshot into how 2020 will sound... And it sounds great!
Review: Hospital Records do compilations better than most, partly because there's always something for them to celebrate. This time around it's the second year of Hospitality in the Beach, their new 4 day exercise in beach-based beats, featuring some of the best artists in the game. A huge album, the LP has 33 tracks - 25 of which are brand spanking new. Whiney's remix of Etherwood's 'Begin By Letting Go' is a highlight, the original's smoothness roughly transformed into a pummelling display of techy force. With Bou, Kasra, BOP and others making an appearance, this LP has all bases covered.
Review: The fourth instalment of their Fast Music series, Hospital Records now hit the tracks with one of the most genius compilations to date. Running and drum & bass are the perfect companions; consistent enough in speed to keep momentum but broad enough in shades and styles to keep you occupied as you pound the streets, there's a real sense of positivity and driving drama across the 50-track collection of standards and forgotten classics. Complete with two mixes from Nu:Tone, this is a win from every perspective. On your marks, get set, go...
Review: 21 years old. How about that then? Some of us were barely out of nappies when London Elektricity first launched the imprint, some of us remember like it was yesterday. Either way, we are all united under the big flouro H and right now they're celebrating their coming of age with a humungous 70 track collection. Yes, 70! Each cut handpicked to represent the London imprint's constantly evolving but always soul-touched and groove-laden sound are 24 exclusives such as Urbandawn's insane version of Reso's "Taiga", Fred V & Grafix's titanium colab with Metrik "Tension", Serum & Inja's already-massive "Blow Dem" and Whiney's remix of TC's chop-slapping "Storm Brew". Massive. Happy birthday Hospital!
Review: Exclusive overload: while some labels like to solely wrap up their existing content into a compilation, Hospital request freshness from their troops. In amongst the 60 tracks on offer (yeah, 60!) there are no less than 25 brand new cuts previously unavailable until now. From the breathy, horizon-glaring bliss of Fred V & Grafix's "Constellations" to High Contrast's first original in well over a year "Calling My Name" by way of Krakota's pulsating gully stepper "Lust Thrust" and Ulterior Motive's darkside creeper "Oddness". This is - without question - one of the biggest, most bountiful Hospitality albums so far. And let's face it, they're always pretty special anyway.
Review: Following their Fast Soul and Fast Jungle compendiums, Hospital plunder their vaults for the darkest, most physical rave sounds in their repertoire. The result is a 46-strong collection of heads-down, dark room tracks designed solely for those 3am moments when the lights are either blue, green or not on at all and someone's busted the smoke machine button so it's set on permanent blast. Going right back to the early zeroes with tracks such as Photek's remix of London Elekricity and High Contrast's "Yesterday's Colours" the collection is a reminder of how vast Hospital's sounds and artist roster is. From Dub Phizix's remix of Netsky to a rare D&B outing from DJ Madd plus Enei, Commix, Stray and many more, this is the best collection in Hospital's fast serious so far.
Review: Ever the bastion of modern drum & bass from the smooth and liquid to the rough and ready, Hospital have decided to take stock with a bumper pack of classics, some of which have been remastered for the occasion. Logistics spells it out by kicking things off with the hyped up energy of "Jungle Music", while Danny Byrd brings a cosmic effervescence with "Amen Alley". All the label regulars are here with some bona fide gems from the vaults, whether it be London Elektricity or High Contrast on the buttons. Whatever the case, for newcomers to the label or those needing a refresher, this is a perfect one-stop hit of uptempo breakbeat mayhem from a British institution.