Review: This VA is jam-packed with some of the scene's best liquid maestros, and it's of the movement for Liquid Drum & Bass 4 Autism, a group which seeks to raise awareness and money for those who have autism. Low:r, Furney, MsDos and more have gotten themselves involved, and the result is a lovely, serene walk through some of 174's most nonchalant moments. 'Eyes Closed' by Low:r is especially gorgeous, with his trademark organic sound fluttering in the wind of his creativity like usual. Changer is characteristically deep with 'Only To Be', and it's just the iceberg of what is a brilliant album for a brilliant cause.
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: Jazzsticks Recordings is without a doubt one of the most underrated liquid labels around because, with Paul SG at the helm, they're genuinely committed to rolling out funk in the most infectious manner possible. This single is exactly that, but with an added dose of lounging nonchalance. Title track 'Dizzy' is as laidback as they come, with crisp drum hits and an oozing bassline that squirms underneath in a wonderfully subtle display of production finesse. 'Mesmeriser' goes for more of an introduction and it works great, that long intro prepping you nicely for the tracks wisping pads and ghostly string sections. Lovely stuff.
Start A Fire (feat Danny Wheeler) - (6:26) 174 BPM
Phunk Phenomenon - (5:19) 172 BPM
Soul Asylum - (6:02) 172 BPM
Forever VIP - (5:42) 174 BPM
Review: It's about time! Jazzsticks bossman and one of Vienna's finest soul operators Paul SG has been a little quiet on the release front this year. Following a few one-offs on EPs such as "Hidden Gems" and "Best Friends", this dreamy five-tracker is his most substantial release in a long time. Highlights include the smoky guitar twangs and pneumatic percussion of "Walking Notes", the near-Bristolian badness and ravey mischief of "Phunk Phenomenon" and the dreamboat jazz flare of "Soul Asylum". SG stands for sick guy: this is a fact.
Paul SG & Salem - "Jazzstrophobia" - (5:13) 174 BPM
Locksmith - "Jahseh" - (6:10) 176 BPM
Review: Seek and you shall find... Paul SG's Jazzsticks returns with another superb five-piece suite of rich soulful drum & bass in the form of "Hidden Tunes". Decon sets the bar high with the Brazilian charm and energy of "How It Is", Pulsaar brings us right back to the bedroom with lush pianos and just a touch of disco finesse on the stabs, Tryangle whips up a beautiful contrast between the lavish soulful intro and powerful main rolling groove. Elsewhere we find Carter getting his filtered freak on with "Traveller", we see Paul SG & Salem jamming out over a killer swing sample on "Jazzstophobia" before Locksmith shuts us down with the bendiest double-bass bassline Jazzsticks have ever blessed us with. There's no hiding the majesty at play here.
Review: Time for a freshness flex: Shogun return to their new and rising talent series Point Of Origin and once again it's a big deal with 15 crucial cuts from 20 outstanding and future-shaping artists; from the already established and massively respected such as Serum, Paul T & Edward Oberon, who follow up last year's massive "Take My Breath Away" with the deep space slinker "Burning", and Paul SG with his decidedly wobbled-out drumstick snapping roller "Holy Moly" right the way through to exciting new energies in the dance like Phaction, with his ghostly-vocalled soul-out "Distant Lovers" and Neve & Crimson's beautifully blue-notated jazz drum dark-out "Solar Rain" and so many stunning cuts in between (Mitekiss, Gerra & Stone, Was A Be, Macca & Loz Contreras, the list goes on) this is Shogun at its most exciting and forward-thinking.
Review: It's been 18 months since Paul SG last hopped across the pond to LA's Soul Deep. During that time he's continued to ramp up Jazzsticks as one of the most reliable soulful drum & bass labels and released his debut album This Is Me. Here we find him getting back to his roots with three floor-primed tracks underpinned by deep barbed bass. "Ways" plucks at the heart strings with its instrumentation while punching you in the gut with its subs, "Rhodissimo" rolls with serious class as horns waft over some incredible Detroitian key textures and just the right amount of gully while "Never Care" closes with more of a dreamy jazz feel with drifting voices and lush fretless bass. Bellissimo.
Review: Paul SG's Jazzsticks returns to their irregularly regular Hidden Tunes series with a second instalment of restrained rollers from understated up-and-comers and friends of the label alike. If you know the Jazzsticks sound, you'll already know the sterling vibe: dusty, soulful, warm and organic from some of the sharpest talents in the game. Highlights include the big jazz whirlwind of Soul Deep founder Scott Allen's "Soul Desire", a 97-style horn-melting stepper from Decon ("Cool Breeze") and Pulsaar's dreamweaving shakedown "Room For Two". What once was hidden is now found... And will remain in your playlist until the next instalment lands in years to come.
Paul SG And Pulsaar - "Extraordinaire" - (5:20) 172 BPM
Review: Already two releases deep into the new year, Paul SG's Jazzsticks aren't messing around... Here we find Soulstructure updating his slowly-building body of work with "Brooklyn Belles". With sweeping orchestration, rugged amen rolls and a cheeky Gwen Guthrie sample and a turbulent switch midway, it's a genuine turbo love song. Label boss and longtime cohort Pulsaar follow in hot pursuit with a big string chase scene style roller. Jazzy, panicking but still majestic - it's quintessential Jazzsticks material. Don't sleep.
Review: Let's say it now: it's about time! Vienna's Paul SG has been quietly donning the currently massive Austrian D&B scene for much longer than some of his more hyped peers. No drama, no ego or fanfare....just a consistent stream of soulful groove for almost 10 years; a full length release has been expected, hoped and longed for years. Naturally he hasn't disappointed. Highlights include the brilliant juddering funk of "Lefthanded", the spacey jazzy Bingo Beats bass phrasing, the absolute soul of Angelina Dove on "Cherry Blossom", the TRAC-fronted Breakbeat Era style "Poverty" and the fluttering aesthetic of "You All Never Know". With Conrad on the vocals, it's the timeless cherry on a truly authentic D&B cake. Delicious.
Review: Jazzstick-snapping funk: Paul SG returns to LA's Soul Deep for the second time this year with three more timeless lessons in rolling soul. "Xamplo" is charged by deft, brushed drums and a filtered sample that tickles and tickles as it plays the long reveal. "Nothing Leads Nowhere" is straight out of the Creative Source playbook; delicate pianos, layers of sparkling instrumentation and a ghostly vocal texture playing the consummate cherry on the top. Finally we hit "Unusually Agitated". An ironic title for a track so jazzy and funk-riddled, watch out for the sudden switches in drum momentum.
Review: Cologne-based craftsman and one quarter of the Jazzassins, Decon delivers his debut LP on SG's Jazzsticks. Covering the deeper, slinkier and soulful styles in great detail and character, highlights across this accomplished set include the hazy, cloudy textures and dubby bass of "Rough & Fast", the incredible drum work of "Simple As That", the lolloping jazz majesty of "Sugar Drop", the early 2000s liquid style string swoops of "Heavy On Your Head", the classic breaks and gully jungle wriggles and spills of "The Jam".... The list goes on.
Greekboy - "Deep In The Middle East" (Paul SG remix) - (6:00) 172 BPM
Review: Viennese whirling dervish SG returns to Soul Deep with three immaculate constructions. "In My Life" has a really distinct early 2000s feel thanks to rolling momentum-driving drums and widescreen early-Hospital style vocal texture that rides throughout. You could picture this on High Contrast's seminal fabriclive mix. "Wonder Why" is a little more contemporary thanks to its sharper punctuation as quirky piano rolls create the main hook over the pin-point two-step while horns waft woozily into oblivion. Finally we hit his remix of fellow Soul Deep fam Greekboy: stripping out the jungle and building up the feels, it's a lesson in total remix subversion. Life-affirming.
Review: Longstanding Swiss representer, Flowrian steps over to Jazzsticks for a fluid five-piece. If you're familiar with his output on Fokuz then you'll know the level of groove weight at play... Anchored liquid that fires rather than floats. Highlights include the bravado horns and slinky bass of "Point Of No Return" and the tightly plucked, infinitesimally edited jazz sample on "Tennenbaum". "Breakup With The Past", his cobweb-blasting, organ hammering vocal jam with Paul SG, shouldn't be sniffed at either. Solid.
Review: Shogun Audio don their shades and stare into the blisteringly bright future of drum & bass with a brand new series; Point Of Origin. The idea is to represent some of the most exciting names (old and new) with an open mind to the many sub-sub-genres drum & bass seems to have right now. As a result we excitingly flicker from lush emotional jazz (Ed:It's "Centre Suite") to unruly sheet metal neuro in the space of a track (Posij - "Shieldbreaker"). Much deeper into the set we hit icy vocal soul from the likes of Need For Mirrors and Liz-E, we get flattened by Zero T's tribal thunder drums and experience a blissful rolling lullaby from Karma. This is the tip of the Point Of Origin iceberg, though... A must-check for all future-focussed junglists.
Review: Paul SG brings his caramel-smooth sounds back to Soul Deep Exclusives just in time for peak summer vibes. Rolling out "Dusty Smoke" with sizzling brass and wandering bass, "Nowhere Near" follows the sophisticated sax route, with added jazz percussion for good measure. Who doesn't love a vibraphone? It sounds magical, but also deep and inherently danceable, which is what the world needs. Last, Mr SG fits up Phase 2's "Loosen Up" with a fresh new remix to deliberate upon. Lovely.
Review: The serene stylings of Austrian drum and bass maestro Paul SG have been soothing thousands across the world and on his latest release for Jazzsticks, there's a definite sense of the good old days returning to his sound. "Deegee" starts the EP off a rolling tip with bass straight from the old school, followed closely by "This Is Jazz" which, as expected, lifts things up with soulful jazzy vibes. "Chief Grand Master" takes that old James Brown sample to new levels of old school introspection and "Ballad of a Nubian Princess" is as sultry as they come, rolling out smooth and lush. Final track "Love Theme" is dramatic and deep with a bassy kick, just how we like it. Get some emotive rollers in your collection, you definitely won't regret it.
Review: From a glorious rolling start to shimmering, euphoria-high end, this various artist EP exudes the sort of good time feelings that usually only come with hearing liquid drum and bass on a gorgeous beach somewhere. In lieu of that scenario, this release offers sunny sounds and vibes that are enough to fool you into being there. Which is just perfect. "Blue" kicks us off with beautiful piano and sax, Flowrian's remix of "Rarities" is a flowing, bass-driven romp around funky brass and Pulsaar's "Maximillian" remix takes an edgier detour through junglist bass and percussion. Finally Rhodesomes gets a Soul Structure overhaul complete with sexy brass and an even more sultry vibe. Liquid perfection.
Duoscience - "Plans For A Tomorrow" - (4:31) 175 BPM
HumaNature & Satl - "That Way" - (5:33) 175 BPM
Review: The second part of the Creative Consensus series is a beautiful mixture of lush and vibrant rollers, taking inspiration from the old school as well as testing the waters in new directions. Featuring the likes of Paul SG, Clart and Inside Man this is a release that focuses mainly on upcoming talent - and there's a lot of it around. Whether you like your deep sounds sweet or dark, smooth or experimental, you can be sure there's something on here for you. Last word: Try out Zion Base, Bevan & Andy Sim - Sidewalk for some Djrum-level sample riffing.