Review: The beast has landed! Ram Records' most important releases in recent times, the pioneering label celebrate quarter of a century with this insane collection of 25 seminal cuts and 17 selected reversions. Roots and future all in check, every cut reminds why Ram and its founder Andy C have the status they do in drum & bass. Total Science's tasteful jazz touches on "Cool Down", Metrik's growling Aston Martin style rebuild of "X-Ray", Bladerunner's precision update on "Quest", Shimon's personal update on his and Andy's "Night Flight", Chase & Status's elephantine shake-up of "Valley Of The Shadows". We're just listing perfect remixes for the sake of it now... You already know how big a deal this is.
Review: Piledriving us into the new year with full steam sonics, Rene follows "Richter Scale" with two more precision constructions. "Sound Barrier" is power punch of pure bass physicality with full emphasis on a broadsword bass that cuts through everything in a 10-mile radius while "Squeegee" takes us on a slightly deeper trip with soaring synths and two bass textures - one that sends you to the stars and a wobble that keeps your feet on the ground. What a way to start a new year.
Review: Rene La Vice and Future Cut is, to be honest, quite a strange combination both in terms of their musical history and their stylistic divergence. We couldn't be happier to see them together, though, especially considering how incredible this release is, a three-tracker which packs all the heaviness that Metalheadz has built its reputation upon. 'Nine Strings' lays a soaring vocal over the top of a gully, no-holds-barred junglist break-out, a vibrantly powerful set of elements all working together to create a jagged, punchy track of club-sized proportions. 'Eyes' is incredible as well, a roller with a rolling reece bass and an attitude to match, something carried over into the final tune 'Deenandbee'. Awesome stuff.
Review: You never know what you're going to get when Rene rocks upside your rig with a fresh new jam. But whether it melts your emotions, your face or your feet you always know it's going to knock you sideways. Case in point: this hefty one-tracker with prominent house vocalist Jareth. Igniting with an almost soulful touch, it soon launches into space with an emphatic rising riff and a swell of evocative feels that's barbed enough to keep it real and hard-hitting. You're not going to want to let go of this one in a hurry (not sorry)
Cybass - "It's A New Life For Me" (Big Bud remix) - (6:01) 171 BPM
Kubiks & Lomax - "Find A Way" (Blu Mar Ten remix) - (6:04) 172 BPM
June Miller & Heavy1 - "Judge" - (4:09) 174 BPM
Rene Lavice - "Just Words" - (4:35) 174 BPM
Heavy1 - "Fear The Satellites" - (5:23) 172 BPM
Review: Celsius is one of the most beloved liquid labels in the scene, a stalwart of many years which has released music from virtually every name around. Quite a few of those are represented on thus album, including Bcee & Saxxon, Blu Mar Ten and Rene LaVice, all of whom are on top form here. Bcee & Saxxon's remix of 'Always Dancing' by Random Movement is brilliant, a deftly put together jungle stepper that's full of liquid vibes and vibrant, fluttering synth lines. 'Rooftop Romance' by Flaco & Calculon is our other favourite, a soulful, rolling number that has a wicked vocal sample and beautifully punchy drums. Yes boys!
Review: Drum & Bass Arena has ruled on high for nearly 20 years, and in that time has helped to forge the careers of every drum & bass artist worth their salt. It's impossible to downplay the influence the site has had on the scene, as a club brand and an online resource, and this year their official compilation is a doozie. Featuring some of the largest tracks around right now from Friction & Skream, J Majik & Wickaman, DJ Hazard, Rene LaVice, Calyx & TeeBee, Original Sin and Optiv & BTK as well as bangers from fresh artists like Heist, Zen & Nitri, this is an essential purchase for any D&B fan. Focussing on the heavier end of the spectrum this 35 track behemoth is basically your 2013 compendium of bass. Don't leave home without it.