Review: Proudly releasing their first EP, Rotterdam based outfit Blendits have convinced Chromatic, Bredren, Philth and J Daur to hand over their tunes. Thank god they did. Chromatic's "Inertia" bursts into life with a layer of sci fi bleeps and effects before launching head first into a full-scale bass attack. "Ghost Palace" is the shared nightmare of bass chums Bredren and Philth, who are pure dirt separately and together... it's difficult to say. The bass removed any metaphorical ability. "Le Tricolore" is a soulful, jazzy float through liquid vibes and caramel bass and "Passing Period" brings out the experimental side of Bredren, featuring some beautiful sound design touches and emotive vocals from Janna Salhoume. Showstopper.
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: Want to hear something out of control? The ruffians from Hype's Playaz have come out to play for the seventh installment of the now legendary The Flavours series, and good gracious is it a scorcher. Featuring a tech-heavy stepper called "Very Exciting" (agreed) by newcomer Konichi to break you in, the second track is a deep, devastating roller courtesy of big man Philth with politically charged vox from P-Fine. The rest of the EP comes on strong with heavy-hitting tunes from Serum, the ever-gorgeous Chromatic and Nu Elements as well as some hugely promising newcomers. Do not sleep on this - you've been warned.
Review: Melinki has been dishing out the goods on labels like Fokuz for a few years now, as well as running his own 'Four Corners' imprint, but he hasn't done many projects like this. The S.T.L project is a full, album length collection of collaborations with producers all over the scene. T>I is on remix duties for previous Melinki banger Dancehall Sound, flipping it into a spaciously destructive bit of work, whilst HLZ is present on the sub-heavy and drum-excellent 'Nemea'. Softer notes abound on 'It's Over' featuring Macca & Maverick Soul, a soft and deftly rolling vocal slice of liquid action, a trend repeated on 'What's Real' with Low:r. This is an expression of scene strength and an excellent one at that.
Review: London-based DJ and producer Philth has a lot on his plate. Aside from providing the beats for his weekly Origin FM show, teaching the youth how to produce and record for themselves and toying with the pressing matter of becoming potentially the most prolific drum & bass producer ever to have existed, he's also found the time to create each of the cracking soulful tracks on this little beauty. Working with Soul Deep for the first time, Philth chose to work outside of his comfort zone, crafting beautifully written D&B as a counterpoint to his usual ruff-and-tumble bass-heavy dancefloor smashers. The result is a gorgeous collection of heartfelt depth and smooth vibes. Check "Humbled", our favourite of the lot.
Review: Double trouble: Riya's critically received debut album from summer 2015 enjoys a deluxe twist with double the amount of tracks on. As well as the album itself there are 13 fresh cuts including new originals such as the Gill Scott-style street soul pieces with Maverick Soul "Bittersweet" and "We Belong", the perfect piano-powered gospel roller "Everything" and the grizzly, groaning techy roller "Silhouette". Killer new remixes such as Pola & Bryson's subby switch of "Lost Friends", Break's spotless drums on "Confessions" xxx . Plus a few floor-melting VIPs: the relentless bass pump of "Fear Bites" and the cosmic touches to "Wears Me Down". Deluxe and demonstrative - this is a great addition to an already remarkable album.
Review: Not just one of drum & bass's most iconic female vocalists, but also one of the most respected... Riya's work behind the scenes goes back around 15 years. As a result she's got serious reference points, a genuine understanding of proper drum & bass and a really impressive debut album that features some of the best names in D&B. Ranging from the sci-fi soars and twinkling synths of "Misunderstanding" to the out-and-out gutter slaps of "Piece Of Me" via the soul jazz jungle lushness of "Don't You Know" and the already massive lighter-raiser "As Soon As". Released at a time when a lot of female features are popping up in D&B for all the wrong reasons, Riya is the real deal... And so is this album.
Review: Test Press flexing, all-round deep soul man Basic Forces recruits a bench-press rollcall for his debut album. Featuring the likes of Philth, Soul Deep bosser Scott Allen, Marcus Tee, Monument Banks, the iconic vocalist Frank H Carter and many more, it's an all-star collabo fest where the focus is squared firmly on the groove. From the cosmic depths and velvet pads of "Evermore" to the gospel jazz vocal harmonies of "Mind, Body & Soul" and the elephantine sub-struck roller "Don't Want To Hurt You", not only is there some real magic weaved into each collaboration but slick consistency, too. A sublime snapshot of where Basic Forces, Soul Deep and all artists involved in this compendium are at right now.