Review: Shogun have a forthcoming compilation and it's one which shows just how good a year they had, all things notwithstanding. It features music from GLXY, Sustance, Koherent and more, and what's notable is just how many are from producers relatively new to the Shogun camp, evidence that the Brighton team are doing the best they can at nurturing the next generation. GLXY are at the forefront of that generation and they have several tracks featured from their Spring album, Research & Development. 'Conclusions' feat. Steo is one of the best, a feathery light liquid number with a dusting of harp and a dash of vocal magic, a sultry approach mirrored on their critically acclaimed single 'She Sings For Me' feat DRS. Koherent's recent, infectiously funky number 'Bliss' makes an appearance, as does several tunes from Gerra & Stone's rebirth as GEST. Big.
Review: Friction's Brighton-based imprint are doing things in style with this one, as Pola & Bryson meet DJ Marky for a flourishing example of high-level production chemistry that has now yielded its first full length EP: Run The Streets. It's darker than you might expect from two producers who are definitely known more for their contributions to the liquid side of the scene, and whilst 'Trouble' definitely ticks thatt box, it's the pummelling low frequencies which will really get your head nodding. 'Dogfighter' is the highlight in that regard, its striding percussive line walking boldly through a shimmering outer mirage of underground oscillations. Ed:it lands on the remix for track four to tie things up in style.
Review: This is how you deal with lockdown... Earlier on during the pandemic, Hozzy's Hugh set himself an isolation-beating task of writing a tune a day for a week. He filmed the process (which is well worth checking out online) and these tracks are the result. Raw, vibe-filled and from the socially distanced heart, each cut rattles with the fresh energy he's known for. Easing us in with deeper, soulful touched on the likes of "Back & Forth" and "Loose Leaf", Hardie gets progressively heavier with cuts like "CNK" and "Ticker" upping the intensity. Finally he closes with a breezy, solemn Pola & Bryson collab "Bending Light" and the stunning space-bound steppy finale (which is named after his cat) "Gretchen Bass". Released super-quickly by Hospital, this is one of the best examples of lockdown inspired D&BB music so far. Props all round.
Review: Lenzman's imprint serves up its first V/A right here with Quarter To Quarter. Featuring exclusive tracks from the likes of FD, LSB, Total Science, Kyrist, Tokyo Prose, Break, Zero T and so many more, it's a full spectrum representation of the label that ranges from sublime, sun-kissed soul such as Redeyes' "Lust", Atlantic Connection and Steo's "Night & Day" to bouncy, vocal high-vibe affairs such as Break's remix of "In My Mind". Along the way expect stunning strident, cosmic hypnotic workouts (Tokyo Prose - "Rescue"), dubby dreamers (Kyrist - "Untrue") unlikely rudeboy slappers (Total Science - "Killa") and every other authentic, genuinely crafted D&B sound you associate with the label. Quarter To Quarter ... No half measures.
Review: The North Quarter have their first full label VA coming very soon and the third sampler preceeding the launch is here, featuring liquid giants Submorphics and Pola & Bryson on a collaborative tip, the result of which is 'Albion Road'. This tune is simply gorgeous, with fluttering drums that perfectly underpin its idyllic blend of atmospheric pads and tentative, caressing piano chords. It's a soulful number to say the least and presages a fantastic LP from the label.
Technimatic - "The Nightfall" (feat Jono McCleery) - (4:30) 174 BPM
Document One - "Holy Moly" - (4:41) 174 BPM
Ed It - "The Ticket" (feat Pola & Bryson) - (4:34) 172 BPM
Monrroe - "Everywhere I Go" - (4:50) 174 BPM
Technimatic/Matt Wilson - "Holding On" - (4:56) 175 BPM
Document One - "1964" - (4:13) 174 BPM
Ed It - "Generally Speaking" - (4:53) 175 BPM
Gerra & Stone - "Feels Like" - (4:33) 174 BPM
Review: Having just celebrated their 15th year with one of their best ever collections, Friction's Shogun Audio look back over a strong year of sonics. Flexing a stellar rollcall of all the label's talents - Ed:It, GLXY, Technimatic, Pola & Bryson, Monrroe, Document One, Koherent and many more - there's an exciting energy to the label's collective and this collection captures that vibe. Highlights include Ed:It's fast-lane percussive roller "So True", the deep dream manoeuvres of Koherent and Charli Brix's "Voices" and Document One's epic electrified shredder "Holy Moly". These are just three of 20 reminders of why Shogun have had such a great year in 2019.
Review: It's been 15 years since Shogun Audio burst into life on the South Coast and under the watchful eye of Ed Keeley AKA Friction, as well as K-Tee, it's grown and grown into one of the best labels in the business, without a doubt. From the classics like Perez's seminal 1984, to more recent, futuristic numbers from the likes of Koherent and Document One, the label is truly diverse and that's represented extremely well in this 15 Years Of compilation. Featuring a litany of acts both old and new, including Technimatic, Pola & Bryson and Friction, this one is for the proper fans. Document One's 'Vibration' is a favourite of ours, with a stupidly cool, distorted bassline that packs a tasty hardware edge, undergirded by a click-and-snap drum line. Pure quality right here.
Review: Having teased us over the last few weeks with single tracks from the EP, the inimitable Shogun duo Pola & Bryson drop the full "Pacific" EP and it's every bit as big as the ocean that's inspired it. "Running In The Dark" sets the tone with Ruth Royal emanating soul by the kilo before "Abandon" ups the poignant stakes with a deeper, string-struck slice of rolling magic. Deeper again we hit the star-gazing vapour trails of "Cold Love" before signing out with one of the most touching tracks Harry and Jack have ever done; "Pacific". Time to make some waves!
Pola & Bryson & Telomic - "Whisper To Me" (feat Sammie Bella - Telomic remix) - (5:40) 172 BPM
Review: Liquicity is Maduk's Netherlands-based liquid leviathan, a platform which celebrates music that puts your arms in the hair and a smile on your face. It's all about the happy vibes and the warm sounds. Their latest VA EP is, accordingly, in that vein and it's a corker, with 8 tracks of sumptuous liquid from the likes of Makoto, Telomic and Polygon, all of which are remixes. The best is Telomic's reinvention of Pola & Bryson's 'Whisper To Me' featuring Sammie Bella, which has a delightfully crisp percussive underpinning and an equally joyous bassline, all of which sit just beneath Sammie's idyllic vocals. This is Liquicity to its core - check the release.
Review: After a summer of hype and teasing, liquid golden boys Pola & Bryson finally unveil their highly anticipated sophomore set for Shogun and it's every bit as graceful, varied and on point as we'd hoped. Ranging from the tender piano touches and soft but urgent vocal of "24/7" to the starlit rush crusade that is "Stratford Riddim" to the soft focus soul feels of "Alkaline", it's once again another exercise in class, restraint and groove science from the unstoppable duo. An exceptional album.
Review: With just weeks before their second album Lost In Thought drops, Pola & Bryson tease us with another dreamy delight. "Night Dawns" is a lavish vocal cut that feels like it's jumped straight out of an iMax cinema mid screen and given you the greatest, warmest hug. Spacey, poignant, thoughtful but also weighted for the floors, this is the sound of a duo who are really getting to know their sound inside out. Bring on the album.
Review: The time has come... Pola & Bryson are set to drop their highly anticipated second album next month on Shogun Audio entitled Lost In Thought. "24/7" is the first peep into their next exciting chapter and it's a sight for sore ears. Graceful, delicate and laced with bags of space, it's a soulful saga with a perfect balance of dreaminess but enough subtle weight on the bottom to give this a serious booting on big systems. Bring on the album.
Review: Shogun young bucks Pola and Bryson find their way back into our lives with their second EP of the year. Once again it's four tracks. Once again it's deep, restrained and covers a lot of bases. Once again you'll be hyping up crowds and wooing up your lover... "Delphic Underworld" is a heads-down hypnotiser, "Unsaid" is a soft-focus vocal cut that makes you feel all mushy inside, "Hyperborean" reveals a much darker underbelly to the UK duo with its groaning bass tones while "Mind Seasons" closes with a weave of drifting pianos and subtly sinister bass.
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!