Review: While most of us have never heard of Winston, fellow dusty-fingered record collectors hold him in high esteem. On his contribution to Z Records' essential "Under The Influence" series it's easy to see why. His selections are uniformly superb and, bar a handful of cuts, almost unknown to anyone outside the serious collecting community. For proof, check the celebratory, slap-bass propelled disco-funk of Doug Payne and Polygon's "Holiday", the heady, high-octane disco thrills of Expose's "I Just Wanna Dance With You", the low-slung early funk-rap headiness of Jungle Band's "Jungleland (Part 2)" and the wickedly percussive salsa-disco heaviness of Suave's "Salsa Gon Gitcha". In other words, it's a killer collection of top-notch cuts that you'll never have heard before. What's not to like?
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: 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...
Critical Event & Askel - "So In Love With You" - (4:27) 174 BPM
ALB - "Using Minds" - (5:29) 174 BPM
Calculon & Dave Owen - "Ben Carlos" (feat Christina Tamayo - Zero T remix) - (5:11) 58 BPM
Smote - "Just Come Back" - (5:20) 174 BPM
Joakuim - "8am Roller" - (4:30) 172 BPM
Drumcatcher - "Feelings" - (4:35) 172 BPM
Brainwork & Mnml - "Embrace" - (5:18) 172 BPM
Review: Fokuz Recordings consistently release some of the best compilation albums around. Their pool of artists is so diverse and so top quality that an assortment of their work is always going to be special, especially when they bring in outside talent like Break and Zero T. Collaborations 2 is what is says on the tin: remixes and other collaborative projects and blimey, it's good stuff. Joakuim's '8am Roller' is the perfect example, a deft piece of piano-based smoothness that rolls out to your heart's content with sultry results, an instant classic of liquid-sized proportions. The Break remix is a welcome addition, as is the steppy yet soulful Zero T remix of Ben Carlos. Another very, very good selection of cuts from the always sublime Fokuz crew.
Review: The man, the myth, the monster... Kumarachi returns to one of his strongest stomping grounds Deep In The Jungle for a furious four piece of amen addled action. "Sound Boi" sets the hair raising tone and pace before we're treated to a whole cavalcade of collabs.... Newcomer Veak joins the fray for two stinking space gazing work outs while the similarly unavoidable Sl8r brings the badness on the finale "Freeze" where low slung subs worm, wriggle and melt beneath evocative rave pads and head turning pitched drums. Phenomenal scenes as always.
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: A true staple of the Amsterdam scene, the Rush Hour affiliated Yuri Boselie aka Cinnaman takes up the reins for local institution Dekmantel's extended tenth birthday celebrations with this mastermix. It takes in the entirety of the 10 volume edition - what an effort. What may seem as an outrageous challenge - what with the compilation's genre diversity and wide rage of tempos - it's a success, for they've certainly found the right candidate. Cinnaman plays a wide range of styles anyway, and is never afraid to mix the known with the unknown - he has a reputation for his remarkable combinations and transitions. From moments of sublime ambience (Italian ambient legend Gigi Masin with the utterly evocative "Maja") to bass heavy electro bounce (courtesy of Egyptian Lover or Syracuse & Epsilove), right through to techno bangers of the cerebral variety (by Donato Dozzy & Peter Van Hoesen or local hero Talismann) and stuff by Bufiman or Tony Allen - it's a solid effort here by one of Holland's finest selectors.
Review: The seventh instalment of Dekmantel's tenth anniversary celebration puts some newcomers side by side with more established artists. Covering the middle ground between these two extremes is Voiski, whose "Time As A River" features jittery drums married with dense bleeps and a melancholic synth segue. Randomer is in the same position, inhabiting the middle ground between the veterans and the brand new. The UK producer's "Foghorn" does exactly what it says on the tin, delivering a dense, stepping rhythm that unravels to reveal blaring, drone-like horns. In the newcomer's corner there's Tolouse Low Trax, with the low-slung, oddball house of "Crash", while at the opposite end of the spectrum Versatile founder Gilb'r features with the experimental drones and rain forest sounds of "The Triangle".
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: When he was asked to put together the fourth volume in Dekmantel's brilliant Selectors series, Joy Orbison decided to use the opportunity to pay tribute to the rich history of UK dance music. Predictably, his on-point selections join the dots between the past and the present, moving from the London beat poetry of James Messiah and hard-to-find 1991 UK hardcore of R Solution's surprisingly deep and melodious "Skinny Long Git", to the crunchy, mad-as-a-box-of-frogs IDM of JP Buckle's 1998, Rephlex-released oddity "One For Da Laydeez". Along the way, he finds space for the sparkling early D&B of "Lush" by Oblivion (AKA Source Direct), the low-slung, bass-heavy deep house/acid house fusion of L.E Bass and the analogue techyno idealism of Beatrice Dillon.
Review: It's time, once again, for Deep In The Jungle to cordially invite you to their cosy Murderation station. Home to four brutal killers, you might not leave alive.... But they promise the last thing you'll hear before you croak your last puff are the gulliest sounds imaginable. SL8R chops off our gun fingers and switches them to rifle fingers with his gut-melting groan bass and venomous breaks, Kid Mix-A-Lot gives us bless by 1000 skanks on the hip-slinking dubwise "Original Selectah" while Fokus takes us up to the highest of levels with the classic reggae vocal... Only to let us plummet back to earth with a ravished bump. Finally Jahnglist Bwoy picks up your broken pieces and puts you back together in the form of the rudeboy you actually wish you were. Dead good.
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: Kumarachi is one of the best recent talents to emerge from the current smorgasbord that is the D&B scene, his rough and ready sound blends jump up currents with jungle stutters and it's ideal for any situation. Time Is Now carries on that trend on Deep In The Jungle and blimey, it's pretty damn good. 'Rebel Man' is our favourite, with a hypnotic sample that grounds its cracking percussive knocks within a framework of bassy shudders and groaning sweeps. It's a proper Manchester-esque sound, especially with resident don SL8R sneaking in a feature on the title track. Yes boys!
Review: On the latest instalment of the long-running DJ-Kicks series, Peggy Gou paints a vivid picture. It starts with the widescreen ambience of Space Time Continuum's 1993 debut, "Fluresence", before moving into her own, cosmic "Hungboo" and the niggling acid of Pearson Sound's "Earwig", a contemporary cousin to Plastikman's Musik. There are other endearing oddities here, such as Andrew Weatherall's seductive house version of Sly & Lovechild's "The World According To..." and the raw drums of Kyle Hall's "Flemmenup". Gou has also included a Detroit techno classic, Psyche's "Crackdown", but balances this out with new, unreleased tracks from I:Cube - "Cassette Jam 1993" sees the maverick French producer deliver a frazzled, hazy affair - and Hiver's pulsating, acid-flecked "Pert".
Review: A consistently mind-expanding series of library breaks and sci-fi funk, the latest in the Dusty Fingers series of original, untapped breakbeats doesn't disappoint. Check out he Morricone/Barry-esque spy breaks of Primo Canale's "Caravan" for example or the tight pastoral funk of The Message's "Is That The Way" as a starting point.