Review: As if their first 100 EP didn't hit the spot, Shogun return with another all-star cast for the second round of their centennial celebrations: Phace takes the lead with his own distinctive dark funk with guttural bass and synth hooks that rip in from nowhere, Joe Ford shows off a more cosmic side to his palette with a purring elastic bassline and dynamics so floaty and melodic they're not dissimilar to Camo & Krooked. Deeper again we hit halftime havoc with Promixa's steel-drum-smashing "Sens8" but the highlight for most will be Ivy Lab's remix of SpectraSoul's delicious 2010 stepper "Glimpse". Still kissed by DBridge's yearning alto, the Lab flex back to their deep rolling roots with slick, spacey and outright sexy results.
Review: Usually known for D&B on labels such as SGN:LTD and Renegade, Proxima drops his tempos and receives the Tempa treatment. Two huge escapades into time and deep, deep space, title track "Formal Junction" shows Proxima's flare for flux as the rhythm morphs from pensive halfstep to skippy riddim with the help of just one element, and light can be found by the momentary hug from a startling synth. "Grunge", up next, lives up to its name as sludgy textures and strange guttural, digital groans weave their way around the ever-mutating beats and dubbed out rim-shots. Recognise the darkness.
Review: Dutch dirt-peddler Proxima has been cooking up cross-genre vibes on so many burners he?s been awarded a Michelin Star. Here we find him on Melbourne?s ever-developing community-focused Plasma brand with two gritty halftime slappers: ?Crane? wobbles with a shimmering, hypnotic synth hook and steel foundry beats while ?Jibber? rolls with a juicy happy-slapping funk feeling thanks to its tight guitar lick and sneering, wheezing neuro textures in the bass department. Wait for the switch midway? ouch!
Review: 12 years deep, 100 releases strong, Friction's Shogun imprint continues to spread the strong words with what's shaping up to be a very exciting series of exclusives. For the first EP we hit paydirt from the off as Ulterior Motive play the consummate robot charmers on "Radian". Cousins in crime Icicle and Proxima follow with a dagger-sharp tete-a-tete two-stepper while Technimatic provide essential contrast with the rainbow soul "Transference". Finally Alix Perez returns to Shogun for a cheeky minimal twist of Friction and Fourward's "Battle Scars". Gold on gold on gold, Shogun aren't messing around with their 100 series.
Review: From Prolix to Technimatic, Total Science to Was A Be by way of Icicle, Joe Ford, Fourward, Spectrasoul, Phace, Ed.It and many more, Friction's label digs deep from the genre's most innovative corners and eras. As we prepare to close off 2016, they've taken a detailed look back over the last 18 months of crucial output to not just represent where the label is at, but the genre itself. An ideal opportunity to fill any holes in your collection cuts such as Fourward & Linguistics demonic stomper "Storm", Was A Be's rudeboy-slewing halftime damager "Blind" or Break's sparkling "Emerald" and complete with a journeyman mix of the tracks themselves, this rounds up yet another serious year at the very forefront of drum & bass.
Total Science - "Infinite Pathways" - (6:53) 172 BPM
Break - "Emeralds" - (6:20) 172 BPM
Signs - "Unchained" - (5:34) 172 BPM
Friction & Karma - "No Return" - (5:05) 174 BPM
Ed:It - "Turn To Nothing" - (5:45) 174 BPM
North Base - "Unexplained" (feat Charlotte Haining) - (4:42) 173 BPM
Review: What a crazy trip it's been.... Four months ago Shogun commenced their 100th release celebrations with the start of a four-part series that's seen some of the label's finest releases and broadest scope in recent years. Now all 16 tracks are available in one package, ranging from the horn-hazed bliss of Friction & Karma's "No Return" to Phace's deep space synth tear-up "Mumbo Jumbo" by way of Technimatic's string-surged "Transference" and Ivy Lab's impeccable shake-up of SpectraSoul's "Glimpse", if you're uncertain on just how on-point Shogun are then this collection firmly states exactly where Friction's label is at... And where they're heading.
Fre4knc And Nickbee - "Recursive Function" - (4:33) 172 BPM
Fre4knc - "Red Shadow" - (4:35) 174 BPM
MRSA - "Push Me Down The Stairs" - (4:40) 171 BPM
LWK - "Derivative" - (4:22) 172 BPM
Abstract Elements - "Join Us" - (4:55) 170 BPM
Abstract Elements - "Magnitogorsk" - (4:14) 170 BPM
Abstract Elements - "Lost Signal" - (5:13) 172 BPM
Proxima - "Wubba Lubba" - (4:33) 172 BPM
Proxima - "Localize" - (3:50) 173 BPM
Proxima - "Descending" - (4:47) 172 BPM
Nickbee - "Ritual" - (4:19) 170 BPM
Nickbee And Subtension - "Burnout" - (4:08) 174 BPM
Signal - "Move Me" - (4:14) 172 BPM
Signal & Synergy - "Duster" - (3:24) 174 BPM
Signal - "Pixilate" - (3:49) 172 BPM
Signal - "Unsure" - (3:23) 172 BPM
Signal - "You Do You" - (4:12) 172 BPM
Hybris - "Unpleasant Pheasant" - (4:08) 172 BPM
The Outsiders - "Dial Tones" - (3:46) 172 BPM
GROUND - "Swindle" - (4:30) 174 BPM
Host - "The Rapture" - (4:08) 172 BPM
Missin - "Constant Movement" - (4:27) 172 BPM
Arclight - "Byzantium" - (5:01) 57 BPM
Review: Invisible has been one of Noisia's best labels for quite a while now and whilst it's sad to see this as the last release, the sadness is ameliorated somewhat by how damn good this compilation is, featuring some of the best artists and tracks to have graced the label over the past couple of years. MRSA's "Push me Down the Stairs' has been a favourite ever since it saw a release on Solids_2 last year, in one of the most creative displays of funky, glitched up techy D&B in a long time. Ground's 'Swindle's is also unstoppably good and endlessly creative, with spacious, atmospheric attempts at dancefloor grit. With other legends like Fre4knc and Hybris on here, this isn't one to miss.
Various - "Hospital Mixtape: Fred V & Grafix" (continuous mix) - (1:04:04) 175 BPM
Review: It must be summer! Hospital Records get the British heatwave season cracking with a brand new whopper-length mixtape, this time from the label's own Fred V & Grafix. The sheer number of quality names clambering all over this tracklist gives the release some weight even before it begins, but then again it's hard to see people like S.P.Y, Lynx, Ivy Lab, Urbandawn, Etherwood, Bungle and Cynatific without getting a touch of the vapours. Look out also for the stunning Logistics remix of Andreya Triana's "Lullaby".
Review: Just look at the list of titans on this album.... The Prodigy, Sub Focus, Spor, Chase & Status, dBridge & Skeptical, Icicle, Benny L, Artificial Intelligence and so many more have all contributed to this worthy compendium from brand new mental and physical wellness festival Getahead. Not one contributor disappoints across the set as we're treated to 100 percent exclusives from across the board. From the rampant late 90s tech twists of Chase & Status's "All Crew" to the delicious halftime vibes of Proxima's "Trek" right through Halogenix's sense-melting remix of Koiya, this really is a massive piece of work... And proceeds going to Music Minds Matter. This is such an important release!
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.