Review: Last year Artificial Intelligence's Integral Records started a new series - Glow - which aims to showcase some of the best forthcoming talent in the Integral radar, as well as music from some of their more established roster acts. We're now in the third instalment and the series is still going strong. Edlan & Djah are two very exciting young Dutch talents and their tune 'Fragile' is typical Integral: wispy pads, featherweight drums and serious sense of ambience. French maestro Redeyes also makes an appearance in similar fashion with 'I Can't Wait', a gorgeous piece of sampling work and precise melodic construction that rolls out for days. Fluidity and Integral regular Satl hold up the rear and they do it well - make sure you check this.
Review: The North Quarter's most consistent soul merchant is back with his third album on the label, and Selfportraits is another exercise in how to craft liquid drum & bass that's both velvet at its core and rough round the edges. There's bite behind the bliss, and Redeyes' expert use of samples and vocalists provides a human, hip-hop-infused attitude to a LP that's distinctly Redeyes. 'A Thousand Times' is the sing-a-long crowd pleaser and stands out simply for its exquisite marrying of [ K S R ]'s vocal perfection and a lusicous bed of instrumentation - a true ballad. The rest of the LP blurs into one as Redeyes nails the fine line of cohesion and repition, each track unique but part of a broader project. 'Carry Me Home' flies above a sultry piano riff; Monty joins on 'Belong' for a pacier offering; 'Delicate' has the best intro on the LP, with flowering jaunts of subtletly breathing themselves into the drop; 'Low Key' is a tad heavier, a dub-infused roller which still has plenty of soul; the LP finishes on the soft-spoken 'Change.Illusion', which is both upbeat and melancholic its rhetoric and its posture. Simply stunning.
Review: Toulouse soul man Julien Salvi returns to The North Quarter with another prize-fighting package of deep, authentic drum & bass. Opening with a smoky intro track that's more jazz than dancefloor, he slowly take us deeper and deeper down his D&B rabbit hole. Cuts like "Fine Again" and "Next To You" breeze with that sad poignant spacious feeling he's made his own in recent years while "Evergreen Dub" (with FD) reminds us of his darker rolling side and "The Rhythm" is a direct homage to the man like Marcus. Stunning through and through.
Review: Redeyes is a premier soul-merchant, a French badman who purveys hip-hop influenced beats that'll warm your heart and steal your soul in equal measure. He's back on Fokuz for the first time in a while, after a string of releases on The North Quarter, Spearhead Records and others, with this gorgeous bit of music. 'Vibes From The Rhymes' is subtle yet graceful, with rippling piano riffs set adrift amidst a swelling backdrop of gentle bass touches, crisp percussive lines and melancholic atmospherics. 'Shattered Dream' is on a similar tip to the tile track, with a Calibre-esque approach to instrumentation, whilst 'Jamm'in' takes things even deeper and 'Separated' packs a lovely, haunting, Steo-esque vocal. Amazing stuff from Redeyes.
Review: Redeyes has had a truly exceptional 2018. His recent album Broken Soul over on The North Quarter was a cross-genre masterpiece in funk, soul and. Hip-hop music that genuinely cemented his already certain position as one of the most talented compositionists in D&B. Now, he's on Spearhead Records and 'Let You Down' is Redeyes back to his roots: breakbeat-based soul music. These tunes aren't quickly digestible, throwaway commodities; they're long-form art pieces which display the top form of liquid D&B. 'Midnight Marauder' is the stand-out, a glowing piano stab gently underpinned by flowing double bass notes. Yet more genius music from the Frenchman.
Review: Toulouse D&B OG Julien Salvi returns to Lenzman's The North Quarter with his third album Broken Soul. An album rooted in heartache's slow recovery, it's his most personal and hard hitting long player to date, and also his most eclectic. Laced with poignant tones and textures throughout, tracks such as the DRS-led "The Hurts" and "Late Night Jam" with Tyler Daley really capture Redeyes soulful D&B foundations but there's more than enough space for hazy house steppers such as "All Blues" and a strong presence of hip-hop via cuts such as "Oooo Laaah" (with KinKai) and "Blessed" (with Abnormal Sleepz and HMD) that create the most honest and authentic picture Redeyes has painted to date. Another premium dispatch from TNQ.
Redeyes And Signs - "Only For A Moment" - (4:25) 170 BPM
Redeyes - "Stand Tall" - (3:47) 170 BPM
Redeyes - "For The Leaves" - (3:46) 172 BPM
Redeyes - "Only You" - (3:51) 170 BPM
Redeyes And Signs - "Only For A Moment" (dub) - (4:39) 170 BPM
Review: Following his crucial North Quarter opus "Blueprints", Toulouse OG Redeyes joins Doc Scott for this beautiful 31 outing. Instant tingles are triggered the second the humanised harmonies on "Only For A Moment" breeze in. A true emotional whirlwind, there's a touch of Intalex's influence coded deep into the spaciousness. Elsewhere "Stand Tall" is another subtle riser with strings that morph so gradually you won't even notice you're playing air violin, "For The Leaves" adds a touch of dusty jazz piano to the finger-clicking party while "Only You" brings us back down from the clouds with a sublime slice of molten soul. Layers.
100 Porsches To The Stars (feat Hus Kingpin) - (1:46) 188 BPM
Keep On (feat GLXY) - (4:42) 174 BPM
In My Life (Refix) - (1:51) 176 BPM
We Were Kings (feat Lenzman) - (4:58) 170 BPM
Outro - (1:27) 54 BPM
True Colours (feat SKS - instrumental) - (4:10) 174 BPM
Keep On (feat GLXY - instrumental) - (4:42) 174 BPM
We Were Kings (feat Lenzman - instrumental) - (4:58) 170 BPM
Review: Ol' Redeyes is back! Usually spotted fraternising and flexing on his own Vandal imprint, here Lenzman invites him to the North Quarter for the first artist-signed EP... And he doesn't disappoint. Once again it's an extended affair as the Toulouse talent weaves and glides us through the hip-hop/D&B conscious. From the smoky Cali-style "100 Porsches To The Stars" to the glistening strings and unhurried golden rolls of "We Were Kings" by way of overwhelmingly soulful "Keep On". Another genuine gem from Leiden.
Review: Vandal's Modern Soul compendiums are now a summer essential. Writhing in the softer focus hazier feels of their family's output, it's a chance for guys who usually roll out, roll up instead. And no one's rolling looser than the fast-rising Shield who's "Skippy Vinyl" is a horn-squeezing, day dreaming neo soul, bottom-heavy jam of the highest order. Lenzman, meanwhile, adds a little Dutch magic to "What She Wants" by re-focusing the vocal and adding a little more weight behind the harmonies. Good for the soul.
Review: Redeyes has his third album on Lenzman's The North Quarter coming very soon and the first single is upon us. It's a double-sided number that serves up a double helping of rolling soul, and the Frenchman is starting to become truly unrivalled in his ability to gentle daub licks of sample-driven funk over a rolling basis. The A-side ropes in fellow France-based producer Monty, who is known for his work on Perez's 1985 Music, and the duo have joined their respective skillsets to superb effect; crisp drums and bubbling synths courtesy of Monty, and floating samples and wispy pads from Redeyes. The flip is classic North Quarter, as Mancunian MC [ K S R ] gets involved for an R&B-soaked, vocal-led soul ballad that moves and flows to the umpteenth degree. Unbeatable.
Review: Teasing us ahead of his major EP on Lenzman's North Quarter, Toulouse soul vandal Redeyes unleashes the soulfully charged "Keep On". Tagging up with GLXY and Tyler Daley, the result is a super smooth sensation that's coated in rich harmonies, soft melodic details and a heart-skipping groove that's given momentum by soul-stirring pianos. Instant summer classic... Bring on the full EP!
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: Spearhead are coming out with a huge compilation that seeks to be a statement of intent for 2020, combining a load of new tracks with some of the choicest cuts from the Spearhead back catalogue. There is old school talent like Need For Mirrors, Bcee, Carlito & Addiction & Saikon, as well as recruits from the new school like Whiney, Black Barrel, Monrroe and Walk:r, all of whom have done a wicked job walking the Spearhead stylistic line between hard and soft. Need For Mirrors' 'Zxana' is the ideal example; it's stripped back and minimalist in its percussion but expansive in the low-frequencies, with a hypnotic feeling of movement and a seriously solid piece of sound design. The rest of the LP is typically epic as well, so shout out to the Norwich crew.