Review: Not content with making his debut on Born On Road this week, the one and only Refracta also returns to Pick N Mix with this highly-springy, highly-vibed trip across the continent to the French capital. Another one-track head-shot from TJ's non-stop Pick N Mix, 'Paris' carefully balances everything that's exciting about this Scottish rising talent; grit, vocals, light, dark and an unusual groove that consistently stands out. C'est tres bien.
Review: Get your love hormones out and give them a good airing as Refracta makes his Born On Road debut with 'Oxytocin'! Five tracks deep, each one hits with a freshness, funk and bouncy vitality the Scottish artist has made his signature. Highlights include the marvellous 'With U', which has one of the most interesting and unique sounding drops and grooves we've heard for quite some time, the spooky arpeggio and playful sense of tension on 'Rizla' and the vocal textures and creepy radar-style hook on 'Transparent'. Show some love for this, Refracta is missioning it right now!
Review: Scottish talent Refracta returns to TJ's ever-sweet Pick N Mix stable with this special track. 'Luxure' by name, luxury by nature; the track is a deep weave of shimmering crystalline elements that are designed solely to give you shivers and send you to space. Bordering on the maximal sound of someone like Bobby Tank but in a dnb style, this is an exciting new sound from one of the most consistent new artists in operation right now.
Review: This various artists release from Born on Road is packed full of twisted sounds for you wrap your noggins around, and there's a sick blend of aesthetics and styles amongst all the filth. 'Turbulent Times' by Gray and Rider Shafique is wobbly and rolling, it packs all of its energy into the sub-bass and just flows out with style alongside some wicked MC work. 'Pieces of Eight' by Trex is a monstrosity of energy, with a superb drum section that packs more character into the arrangement than you can wag a finger at, whilst Bruk edges in over the top with 'Waps', showing what a hefty dose of technoid energy can bring to the beat. Big.
Review: Time flies when you're smashing out high grade new-gen bangers: Invicta already strike up a year of business and celebrate with this powerful V/A collection from friends and familiar faces. As always with Invicta the range is right across the board as we slide and glide from smooth soul (H8TO - 'This Place', Refracta - 'Touch') right the way to utterly gutterly filth (Gonda - 'Bulll', Harley D - 'Forever') and all banger styles in between. Other highlights include Phizical's super-slinky 'Feeling', B-Plexx's soaring vocal work-out 'Too High' and Jam Thieves' moody creeper 'Black Light'. Happy birthday Invicta!
Review: Invicta have been making some serious waves the past year or so and with a growing recognition that they're one of the best labels releasing a consistent slew of music, they're celebrating their evolution with a multi-part LP. This is the first instalment and a whole crew is on things with a six-tracker of frightening proportions, packed full of solid percussive strikes and flowing basslines. 'Dance Girl' has a seriously funky rhythmic pattern and a slick array of basslines, whilst 'Life' takes things in a funkier direction with ragga sampling and a fluid concoction of sub-heavy bass magic. There are also more melancholic, deeper sounds, as B-Plexx nails the liquid vibe on 'Too High' - top.
Review: Hedex is on a mission again! He's rousing up the troops for the second 'Collected' collection on his ByTheProducer brand and once again it's a monster rollcall of some of the scene's most exciting new-gen talent. Over 18 tracks we're treated to the likes Disrupta, Refracta, DJ Premium, Metal Work, Filthy Habits, Toxinate and so many more super skilled producers, highlights include the emotional space age jitters and whirls of Easty's 'Tapped', Scudd's emotional rumbler 'Complete', Posk's jazzy face-slapper 'Biting' and Metal Work's ruffneck 'Inner Peace'. And that's just the tip of the 'Collected' iceberg. Grab this now and grab yourself a piece of history.
Review: After a string of thumpers and bumpers on Pick N Mix, Bagged & Tagged and Brawlin Beatz, Refracta gets busy on Audio Addict with this epic EP. '88' sets the tone; bouncy, fun but full of weight and grit. Elsewhere 'Gravity' takes us into deep space with its sci-fi-like spaciness and zero gravity floaty feels, 'Tonight' flips between dark and light with cute keys over a roughhouse reese that grumbles from here to Glasgow. Finally we take a deep breath with the vocal-led arm-raiser 'Oxygen'. Lift up!
Review: Bag it, tag it, tell you mum about it; the B&T massive put together this 15 track collection to celebrate the label's 15th release and it's an all-out showcase of tomorrow's finest talent. Highlights fire from all sides; Ben Snow's 'Fire Iron' is a grunting staccato session of pure savagery, Refracta brings NFM-style melted bass to the fray on 'Embrace', Dunk & Teej get all mobster on us with 'Soprano', Parallel does his old school slap-about thing on 'Communications' and KL's 'Tension' is strong enough to blast us into the 23rd century. Pack your bags and your tags, you've pulled m8.
Review: Feeling fruity? Zest up your life with Refracta and the PNM crew as the young Scottish artist juices up vibey contemporary, cheekily left-of-centre, dnb with hard-hitting health messages. The results are as full flavoured as you'd expect; highlights include the tangy jungle nuances under the soft skin of 'Peach', the big horn drama and serious vit-c punch of 'Grape', the scurvy-defying, piano-tickling, breakbeat-busting 'Lime' and the euphoric charm of 'Passion Fruit' that's so potent it won't just keep the doctor away for a day like your common or garden apple but it'll keep that GP away from your door for months.
Review: Pick any of the most exciting new-gen names in D&B and we bet our bottom dollar they're repping in this collection. A debut V/A from Hedex's By The Producer brand, Collected 1 is bulging with the seams with fresh talent: Hexa, Disrupta, Dreadnought, Stokka, Klay, Bruk, the list goes on. With cameos from more established Gs like Total Recall and Jam Thieves - and a deep, rumbling, futuristic contemporary mood and sound running throughout - this captures 2020 in drum & bass perfect. Agitated, dark, moody, but hungry for a better future... And not afraid to have a little fun. One of the best V/As we've seen in a long time. Get collecting.
Review: Brawlin Beatz don't tend to release a lot of liquid, but perhaps that's why this four-track VA EP is called 'Nu-Forms', it's a new, updated form. Maybe not, but that's what we're reading into it and why not, as the music is good enough that it doesn't really matter. We especially love Gravit-E's contribution, 'Gimme Some Sugar', which rolls out beneath a sky of samples and above an earthern, grassy double bass line that makes the track oh so funky. Refracta keeps it simple but good on 'Tango', and 'Motiv' rolls out the old school drum sounds on 'Wonder Why'. Excellent stuff!
Review: Maurizzle, who we're pretty sure isn't the D&B alias of Snoop Dog, is only one of the artists featuered on this EP from Brawlin Beatsz, including originals from himself and then Vital, Refracta and others. 'Can't Let Go' is a bit Souped-Up in its basic but effective melody and stabby back end, it's the sort of tune you'd hear at Boomtown and it's definitely the sort of tune that would go down well. The best track comes from Bunnerz, who flips this one into a KoTR-esque stomper with big 'ol bassline and even bigger sense of dread. Super hans style.
Review: Ballin' for a little Brawlin'? Look no further as the heavyweight label recruits another epic far-flung V/A collection. First up is a Belgium vs Latvian bounce off as Basstripper and Kenji go mental over a rubber ball bassline. Next we head to Scotland for a gritty tubular burn up from Refrecta while Deuce goes below the belt with a flabby bass swamp stepper "Sudden Death". Last but not least Brighton's Horizon signs the deal off with another bouncy groaner; the happy twanging "Get Down". Glitchin' ain't easy...