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.
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: Some studio partnerships simply work: Phace & Misanthrop, Chase & Status, Edward Oberon and Paul T. With a sound that sits somewhere between those two contrasting examples, they've got soul and grit locked into every aspect of their productions. "Out Of The Dark" rolls with a cool mid-zeroes style electro-ish bassline and a warm vocal harmony while "Surrender" goes for a much darker, twisted finish with space age bass lasers and planet-bashing tones. A very well rounded release that should find fans in all of drum & bass's many corners.
Review: Prepare yourself for an overhaul of your favourite tunes for 2015 because "Tempt" has come along and blown the competition away. With the biggest bassline this side of the Croatian festival season, and haunting atmospheric synths that take things higher and higher, it's euphoric and downright dutty at the same time. Total pros. "I Should Have Loved You" is just as huge with a rolling vibe, adding menace to a womping bassline that then turns into a loved up, flashback to the '90s. You've got to love these guys's style for bringing something extra to a soulful dancefloor
Review: Celsius have a relentless release schedule, the benefits of which include getting the freshest new music out there before other labels have caught a breath. It's a strategy that's kept them ahead of the pack, such as on this new release, where regular collaborators Roygreen and Protone hook up with Paul T for a killer two tracker. "Outlaw" contains some seriously tough beats, haunting backdrops and creepy vocal snips, while "Sideways" keeps the tough beats but adds distant, echoey melodies and throbbing, menacing bass notes. Spooky!
Review: Powerhouse collabo business: Longstanding craftsman Serum joins forces with fast-rising duo T & Oberon for two understated space-travel rollers that shake and shudder with the perfect balance of shades and energy. "Take My Breath Away" is all about the star-gazing; the pads, vocals and extra-sweeping chords live up to the title while a depth plunge bassline ensures maximal weight and punch. "In Too Deep", meanwhile, nods its cap to classic house and tech foundations with a rising riff that wouldn't go amiss in a Stephan Bodzin set, neatly softened by a soulful vocal snippet. Fresh material.
Review: This compilation arrives with a rich heritage of V Recordings compilations behind it, and Planet V has for a number of years been the flagship series for Bryan Gee's label. Edition four comes to a whopping 73 tracks and includes a mix as well, and all the familiar V faces are present, from Alibi to Paul t & Edward Oberon. All of the tunes have already seen the light of day in a previous form, and Disrupta and Duskee's 'Deep Thoughts' is one of the standouts, as Disrupta lays down a minimal yet funky beat for Duskee to rap lyrical over, something he does with serious presence. New gun SL8r makes several appearances, including on the excellent 'What U Need', which bounces along in a synthscape of serious depth and texture, its funky nodes nodding to the beat of a vintage blend. Crossover outfit Think Tonk also shine with 'Tom & Heavy', an offering unique in its stepping, breaksy percussion and one which oozes soulful class. There are dozens more to have a gander at, so take your pick.
Review: V Recordings sublabel Chronic has developed a reputation for putting out beats that are even more venomous than its big sister, and their long-standing rollers series is getting a beef up with the fourth instalment. Featuring a litany of acts from a range of eras and a diversity of styles, Chronic Rollers Vol. 4 is a perfect addition to the arsenal of any DJ. 'Blindspot' from Nectax blends a soulful sample with an oscillating warp of juddering bass energy; Mancunian upstart SL8R gets subby and rolling with 'Roundabout'; and Brazilian label long-timers Alibi roll things out tidily on 'Sentinel'. Banging.
Review: V Recordings do some of the best compilations in the business and their brand new Foundation series is a natural recognition of that fact. They're not being hyperbolic with the usage of the term 'Foundation' either, because this is truly an overview of some of the scene's most foundational producers. Old-school Dillinja, Krust, Roni Size and DJ Die, amongst others, make up the roster of acts that formed an integral part of the genre back in the day. The new crew is also represented, however, in the form of L-Side, Think Tonk, Nasza Linez and loads more, all of whom bring some of that V-style heat. Wicked album - one for the heads.