Review: Bryan Gee and V Recordings do not mess around. They never have in the past, they're certainly not right now in the present and judging by this highly anticipated Future album, they're going to mess around any time ahead. 25 tracks from some of the biggest, best and baddest names in D&B (Dillina, Serum, Benny L, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Roni Size, DJ Marky, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Bladerunner, Saxxon, the list goes on) this one's been a long, long, long time coming... And it's been well worth the wait. From L-Sides massive remixes of Dillinja and Krust to Need For Mirrors super-revved "Lambo" to Benny L's incredible remix of "Days", this sums up why Bryan and his label are as influential and respected in the game as they are today. Don't mess around.
Review: Ladies and gentlemen can we have your attention please? We are now ready for take-off so please fasten your seatbelts! At long last, the Dark Soldier unleashes two of the most in-demand remixes of one of his most seminal tracks 'Chopper'. Famed for its massive Shy FX remix back in the day, once again the tradition is maintained as Bou and Traumatize bring the seminal vibe into the 2020s. Both now pretty legendary on dub, Bou brings the bubbles and Zinc-like swing while Traumatize brings the twisted chunky swagger. Essential.
Review: They don't get much more legendary than Ray Keith's Dread Recordings, an imprint which has been in the game for years and, unsurprisingly, Keith is packing a shedload of lost dubs and dusty tapes. This is the fifth edition of the release of such tapes, and it's a trip down both memory lane and a road characterised by shuddering breaks and rough but roaringly good basslines. 'Phantom Dread' is especially good, as a ridiculously sharp snare rolls out with eerie precision, before a choppy structure pans through a litany of tumbling breaks and spooky atmospherics. Typically Keith, extremely wicked.
Review: The Dark Soldier continues to bite down on 2020 with force. With his album 'Prophecy' setting to the tone of this strange year, he continues to steadily unleash previously unreleased digital versions of his many, many bangers. All shades of the Dread controller are present and correct as we're whisked from blazing rave ('The One Armed Swordsman') to cosmic rollers ('You're Special') by way of nasty, dubby juggernauts ('Don Gorgon') and emotional space crusades ('Burning Me Up') Each cut fresh from the archives and never before available beyond those lucky to cut a plate at Music House back in the day, this is the sound of one of drum & bass jungle's most influential pioneers.
You're My Angel (acoustic version) - (4:36) 175 BPM
You're My Angel (radio mix) - (4:36) 58 BPM
You're My Angel (extended Club mix) - (6:20) 58 BPM
All That Jazz - (7:24) 175 BPM
Stem Cell - (6:40) 58 BPM
Review: Dread bossman and jungle pioneer Ray Keith takes us on a serious trip with this emphatic sign-out to the decade... And a hint at the damage he's about to cause with his album in 2020. "You're My Angel" takes the lead. A deeper, personal piece with pop finesse and authentic emotion, Ray reveals some impressive song writing and singing skills on this complete crossover curveball. For balance, "All That Jazz" and "Stem Cell" go in hard; the former hits similar cosmic frequencies as the likes of Mark System and Need For Mirrors with its juicy Detroit inspired synths, the latter is just a good old-fashioned techno-inspired grizzle. Heads down Dread business... Just how we like it.
Review: Cor blimey, Ray Keith on 31. This is a release of biblical proportions. Both tapping into the Keith's signature Dread vibe but with all the modern tactics of the day (big drones, trippy basses, ominous clouds of pranged out funk), both cuts are schoolings from a genuine jungle OG. "Jungle Fi Dread" is all about the breaks and sirens, taking you right back to A.W.O.L 1993 while "What Time Dread" raises the pressure with some seriously danked out twists on the vocals and more woozy tones and textures than your local haberdashery. What an immense release.
Review: The renegade don returns... Ray Keith is back on Jungle Cakes with two more slabs of brutal newness. "Killa Sound" is the scud of the release; capable of swiping entire dancefloors off their collective feet, it's a powerful amen serenade with all the sirens and necksnaps your peaktime gully section could ever require (and a little more) "Dub Riddim" takes us much deeper into the heart of the Dread Warrior's psyche with much more a minimal arrangement leaving stacks of space for the humungous subs to rattle you down to the very bones. Killa by name...
Review: Jungle front runner Renegade joins forces all around top don Ray Keith as the pair make an exciting return to their release schedules with an extremely vibrant two track outing. Junglist vibes a plenty as we jump into the high energy drum rolls and evil bass maneuvers of the title track 'Dancing Own My Own', packed with emotive vocal stabs sliced up to perfection. On the flip we are given 'Jah Love', a rollers anthem to the maximum as a luscious ambience and dubbed out patois samples greet us at the introduction. We then descend into subtle sub LFO's and exciting break textures, rounding up an excellent return for both producers!
Review: One of jungle's most influential players, Ray Keith has been back on his A-game this year as label owner, band leader (check his recent "Renegade" single) and, most importantly, as a kick-ass producer. Here we shows us why he's still relevant with two timeless shock-outs "1994" is a grunting step-heavy workout with a well known vocal sample that's taken from Jamaican film Rockers and used, most notably, by Serum. Flip for the "The Bongo Tune". A quintessential roller, it could just as easily be called "The Sub Bass Tune" thanks to amount of juicy low-end rumblage. Think Deep Blue's "Helicopter Tune"
Review: Following the first collection of digital dubplates and VIPs from veteran producer Ray Keith's seemingly bottomless archives, Dread Recordings returns with another bumper selection of tracks from the vault. His vintage junglist style sounds as fresh as it always has, with highlights including the early liquid offerings of "Rare Groove", the syncopated sub action of "Too Strong", the savage jungle bass and subtle Detroit-style pads of "Unorthadox", and the rave-inspired madness that is closing track "Wobbler". Quite simply, they don't make 'em like this any more.
Review: Evergreen Ray Keith continues to pump out the hits in his fearless, floor-friendly junglist style. This fresh, digital-only album features a range of his own dubplates - previously unreleased cuts that he's been spinning on and off for Lord knows how long. There are few surprises - by now, we should all know what his vntage, Amen-sporting old skool style sounds like - but plenty of confirmed bangers, from the breakbeat hardcore rinse-out of "Chopper" and pleasing vocal cut "Midnight", to the intense rhythms of bombastic closer "Visual Attack".
Review: As one of jungle's originals, there was a time when Ray Keith was one of the heaviest hitters in the drum and bass scene. These days, his star has waned a little and is known more as Joy Orbison's uncle, but he still retains the ability to rock a dancefloor. For those of a certain vintage, I Am Renegade - his first new album in three years - should be a bit of a treat. Devoid of contemporary thrills - bar a trip into deeper territory in the shape of "Stardust" - it recycles the amen-heavy brand of hard-hitting jungle and hardcore with which Keith made his name during the 1990s. As such, it's a thrilling blast from the past.
Review: Ray Keith's Dread Recordings has paid host to a litany of memorable tracks and infamous artists over the years, and this week's remix single is no different. Featuring T>I and Benny L on remix duties for two tracks by Ray Keith and Dark Soldier, it's a release whose finger is firmly tacked onto the pulse of the scene. T>I's minimal VIP of 'Renegade' slams from start to finish, with delicately placed piano riffs moving apart for its smash and grab portrayal of T>I's signature style. Benny goes junglist on the flip side, and 'Dark Soldier' is as moody as it is aggressive. Top form here.
Review: Selector! Jungle Cakes' Welcome To The Jungle series welcomes a bonafide legend to the controls: Ray Keith. Digging deep across the board he's put together over 40 killer tracks from an obscene rollcall: Serum, Vital, Dillinja, Bladerunner, Margaman, T>I, DJ Hybrid, Turno, Filthy Habits, Ed Solo, Deekline and many many more artists are responsible for the savage soul and badman bounce on offer as we're rattled and shaken from pillar to post. From the naughty ragga skanks and turbo reverse bass lashes of Deekline & Ed Solo's "Hot This Year" to Ray's very own seminal "Chopper" via Bladerunner's evergreen breezer "Jungle Jungle" via two mixes and 10 FX tools, this is one of Jungle Cakes' tastiest ever projects to date. Big up the Dark Soldier
Review: This compilation arrives with a rich heritage of V Recordings compilations behind it, and Planet V has for a number of years been the flagship series for Bryan Gee's label. Edition four comes to a whopping 73 tracks and includes a mix as well, and all the familiar V faces are present, from Alibi to Paul t & Edward Oberon. All of the tunes have already seen the light of day in a previous form, and Disrupta and Duskee's 'Deep Thoughts' is one of the standouts, as Disrupta lays down a minimal yet funky beat for Duskee to rap lyrical over, something he does with serious presence. New gun SL8r makes several appearances, including on the excellent 'What U Need', which bounces along in a synthscape of serious depth and texture, its funky nodes nodding to the beat of a vintage blend. Crossover outfit Think Tonk also shine with 'Tom & Heavy', an offering unique in its stepping, breaksy percussion and one which oozes soulful class. There are dozens more to have a gander at, so take your pick.
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.