Review: Three words: "Police In Helicopter"... One of the biggest dubplates last year is finally here, and it's joined by 24 other exceptional bangers as the Hozzy team roll out another absurd stack of "Sick" freshness from across the board. Genuinely on point tune for tune highlights include Pete Cannon's outstanding drumfunk lash out "Ella", Flava D's first D&B tune (the breath taking "Return To Me"), a bone shaking duet from the next gen gems Unglued and Bou ("Ascendant Man"), both Fred V & Grafix's first solo tunes since they split and an absolute neck breaking gully snapper from Lakeway in the form of "War Dub". And that's just scratching the surface, this is a humungous V/A album. Hot enough to burn down a cane field or two...
Review: Kevin Saunderson's label has released so many classics that this compilation celebrating its quarter century is an embarrassment of riches. Classics provides an insight into Saunderson's diversity as a producer; from the classic late 80s/early 90s Detroit techno-house of "Rock to the Beat" and "The Groove That Won't Stop" through the pop techno of "Good Life" and the deeper, bass-heavy sound of his E-Dancer project, represented here by "World of Deep" and "Bassline", this is a well-rounded snapshot of Saunderson's best-known releases and projects. However, it also wins extra kudos for including some obscure gems like the classy, ominous vocal-led house of "Forces", reorded under the Essa guise.
Review: As a label, Crucast have gone from strength to strength, rapidly establishing themselves as one of the premiere platforms for bass music in the UK. This complication marks that out perfectly with an astonishing selection of over 30 original creations, featuring high profile appearances from the likes of Jaguar Skills, Brent Kilner, Pavv, TC4, Inkline, Deadbeat UK and a tonne more. For us the EP highlights the strength in the current UK bass scene, with favourites being Bushbaby & Hadean's long-awaited collaboration release 'Clean Up', the monstrous swinging synths of Tengu's 'Weapon' and of course the wonky wonderings of SaidWho's 'Voices', a truly original compositional idea, focussing on rawcus bass sounds and scattered drum selections.
Review: Deep In The Jungle got picked out by UKF has one of the top labels of 2018 the other week and it's certainly well deserved, for they just consistently bang out some of the most vibey jungle around. They also represent forthcoming artists and we'll always support those who give a platform to people who otherwise might not. The album is a huge fifty tracks, spanning some well-known names like DJ Hybrid, SL8R, Conrad Subs, RMS and Kumarachi. The latter kicks off the album with a bang, 'Have You Here' sweeping down the range with its DLR-esque bassline and riotous attitude. It's a emblematic of the quality present on the rest of the album - check it out.
Review: To mark the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of his label, James Ruskin has put together this massive compilation. It includes long-term friends and associates of the label - like Oliver Ho, Regis and Luke Slater - as well as newer additions to the roster, including Lakker and Rommek. Apart from uniting artists from different generations, the compilation also showcases the label's various hues; from the broken beats and intricate rhythms of Ruskin and Regis' O/V/R project and the hypnotic soundscapes of Lakker's "Orange" to the trace stabs and 10 tonne kicks of Regis' "Party Spoiler Too" and the chaotic industrial rhythms on Truss' "Wanastow", this compilation offers to newcomers an invaluable introduction to Blueprint, or to long-standing fans an indispensable reminder of why the label is unique.
Review: Not to be confused with the Julia Roberts classic, the Sound of Nuusic isn't a Bavarian epic but instead a UK underground epic of compilation sized proportions, with a whole raft of underground talents offering up a diverse concoction of jungle flavours. With Conrad Subs making several appearances, his stand-out contribution is 'Leave Dem', with a funked-up loping introduction that's seriously smooth but which quickly devolves into a stuttering balance of breaks and reece bass action. There's wicked jungle contributions from Kumarachi and RMS as well as Sheffield upstart Charla Green, whose knock-down breaks carry some serious weight. This is a must-listen for anyone who likes their jungle music.
Review: Hot to trot vibes machine FooR goes balls-deep on this epic 50+ track compendium. Bulging at the seams with slinky two-steps, stinking basslines and every essential element in between, it's an incredible collection of on-point bass music cuts spun around the UKG / bass house axis. Those with a soulful interest should instantly fall for cuts like Thorn's "In 2 Deep", anthem-addicts need to know about Foor's own heavenly synth/guttural bass jam "Lift Me Up", bass-devoted breakers will go giddy for "Don't Hold Back", gully munchers will chow down heartily on Tyrone's "Ravin Face" while DJs in need of more of a classical deep roll-out should be smitten by Tengu's "Evil Ting". And that's not even scratching the surface - this is a true trove of future talent and shadowy sonic skill. Golly gosh YosH.
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.
Review: An all-star cast (by Local Talk standards, at least) has been assembled for this latest trip into '90s house territory. C.R.S.T's opener "Monster Munch", was produced in collaboration with Welsh house wizard The Organ Grinder, and bumps along impressively on a bed of skipping garage beats and vocal cut-ups. Chesus's "Newark", meanwhile, doesn't hide its US garage roots, being dominated by the twin attractions of rolling organs and female yelps. The vocal cut-ups on C.R.S.T's "Life" recall Basement Jaxx's "Fly Life", while the music sounds like a mid-'90s New Jersey garage dub. Chesus closes proceedings with "Life", a delicious disco/house fusion brimming with sinewy strings and Teddy Pendergrass-ish vocalizing.
Review: It's not often a true legend delivers the goods long into their career but MC Fats is still delivering the goods as this LP proves. Filled with collaborations and remixes from the MC Fats Collective and beyond and pushing his unique sound to the next level. Huge names like Calibre, Basher, Total Science, SIN, Lynx and Dom & Roland move in to attack their own slices of the action, taking what could simply be an outstanding LP to cult status and beyond. It's no surprise that a man of his experience could wrangle in some of the biggest names in D&B for his album - what is surprising though is that none of the input is an afterthought. Each contributor has given their best and it shows.
Villem & McLeod - "The Sea" (feat Heidi Vogel - BCee remix) - (4:30) 174 BPM
Walk:r - "Wallflower" - (5:42) 174 BPM
The Vanguard Project - "Is This Love" (feat Lucy Kitchen - Dexcell remix) - (4:59) 172 BPM
Review: Spearhead Records - which was started by Bcee in an internet caf? - is hitting its 100th release and celebrating the fact with a huge compilation of brand new tracks, including contributions by Calibre, Technimatic, LSB and Bcee himself. Staying true to the label's origins, it's pretty much all gorgeous rolling liquid and we're very much into it. One of the highlights is the Bcee refix of his seminal 'Back to the Street', which has been given a revamped bassline and a fresh veneer of bassy purpose. It's not just the old on this album, though, and Walk:r lays down the gauntlet with 'Wallflower', a sublimely subtle, pacey piano tune that rolls out in delightful fashion. Wicked stuff here from one of the best in the game.
Review: Let us see your war face!! Just in case the "Ravey Misbehavey" collection on his Audio Addict imprint wasn't enough this week, DJ Hybrid has also blessed us with this killer "Jungle Wars" series edition. As always the vibes are high with each track rolling like a 10-strong trip to Holland. Highlights include the dancehall damage of Euphonique & Kelvin 373's sticky icky "Hot Spliff", Veak's rusty break gut-puncher "Nuff Respect" and the classic rave stabs and thundering drum work on DJ Hybrid's "Stand Up".
Review: Deep in the Jungle know how to do jungle. The clue is in the name, really, and they're proving it again with this huge compilation of 40 huge jungle anthems from some of the best rising stars of the breaksy side of the scene. RMS, SL8R and DJ Hybrid all make an appearance, as do Kumarachi, Veak, Schematic and Epicentre. This is a very strong roster and its reflected in the tunes, with Schematic and RMS teaming up on 'Take It' to combine roughshod, vibrant breaks and moody atmospherics in glorious fashion. Check this one.
Review: Featuring tracks from such luminaries as Hudson Mohawke, Benga and 16bit alongside new talent such as Shift Key and Morcee, Bullet Train Volume Two, selected by Bullet Train label head Marco Del Horno and Last Japan, spans the breadth of everything that's important right now in dubstep, bass and UK funky. Featuring a continuous DJ mix from the duo, as well as all the tracks unmixed, highlights include the snare driven riddims of Lil' Silva's "Patience", the massive dubstep bassline of Marco Del Horno and DJ Swerve's "Ho Riddim" and the fluid percussive workout that is R1 Ryders' "Just A Feeling".