Review: 96... A fine vintage for many D&B heads as a new sound of jump-up was dominating the dance via the likes of Zinc, Hype, Micky Finn and Aphrodite. Big booming subs, stripped back elements and loose springy breaks were the order of the day. Which is exactly the vibe DJ Hybrid and Mrs Magoo have captured here with 'Back To 96'. Complete with a crucial vocal mix with Rider Shafique on the VIP, lets go back in time and take the boom back from the boomers.
Review: Rider Shafique rolling with appreciation over a soft focus bassline groove from NYC producers Liondub and Jah Boogs: it's a winning combination. Both elements as breezy and emotional as each other, there's a perfect summer flavour at play here. Looking for something that's blessed with more of late night edge? Look no further than Acuna's much darker work-out. Paying full respect to Rider's vocal, but doing so with all the whistles, bells and grizzles, it's another sure fire success from the Brazilian man of the moment.
Review: DJ Hybrid and Rider Shafique... What a link-up! Multiple label owning Hybrid has been working with MCs and vocals for a long time and knows exactly how much space and momentum for Rider needs to lay down his full-spectrum vocal. Loaded with a powerful message, praying for a more positive energy for the youth, Shafique rides out over both purring subs and sharp breaks of the original and the bubbling swing and slaps of the jungle mix. Complete with instrumentals, things couldn't be better on Boom 93 right now.
Review: The hold tight team have for sure assembled a powerful combination of artistry on this one as they welcome Ickle inside alongside two of the most recognizable vocalists of our generation in Riko Dan & Rider Shafique. Riko steps up first for a chest-heavy vocal display on 'Wicked', once again displaying his microphone dominance with a skank-inspiring display of intricate lyricism and skippy flows. On the flip, Rider Shafique dons a much more dubwise influenced sound, with scattered drums and a much more syncopated feel giving him room to maneuver his poetic approach amidst a sea of synthetic slides and beeping chords. HIJINX also provides a potent remix of 'Murda' for good measure, giving it an additional level up in the evil-sounding department. Lovely stuff!
Review: Liondub International are slamming out the goods right about now, this brutal pairing between Street Creeps and MC-du-jour Rider Shafique being a fine example of where Liondub's label is at in 2021. A proper version excursion, 'Hungry Belly' is showcased through various versions - the diesel powered original, a more breakbeat-charged junglist Amen mix and an instrumental. Just in case you can't handle the very real truths of Rider's warnings of greed and high level world order skullduggery. Grubs up.
Review: Watch out for the red lights! When it comes to contemporary jungle partnerships it can't get much more on-point and exciting then DJ Hybrid and Rider Shafique who've linked up for this haunted-yet-badass slice of timeless, emotional breakbeat science. Complete with an instrumental and a crucial 2021 update on DJ Hybrid's infamous banger 'Shockin Out', this is a very serious release from Liondub International.
Review: Trex dusts off his shovel and tags in a whole team of Gs as they forage for gold in the grit. 'Undergrowth' is an instant treasure trove as Rider purrs over a stealthy but venomous bassline. Dig deeper: 'Scene' gets the oil drill out and strikes thick gooey bassline gold while 'Need U' goes fracking and pipes up an icy, shivering, breezy heads-down showdown. Deeper again: 'Answers' takes us to the core as heavyweights Teej and Pastry Maker join Trex to answer any queries you might have about the subterranean world while T>I rolls out the bulldozer for a final forage as he twists up 'Scene' into a high voltage excavation. Can you dig it?
Review: Deep In the Jungle know a thing or two about curating rough and ready beats, and this EP from Crom fits the bill perfectly. Across four tracks, the producer spits out a diverse mix of beat structures that form a singular purpose: dancefloor readiness. The title track is the highlight, as Rider Shafique does his usual business of injecting menace and catchiness in one fell swoop, this time above a stuttering junglist beat and sweeping basslines. 'Sticks & Stones' is our other favourite, a stripped back, no-nonsense tune with clean, powerful percussion and a relentless feel to it that reminds us of Grey Code or HLZ. Big ups.
Review: Liondub are experts at blending the heritage of drum & bass with that of dancefloor and reggae music, and there are few better MCs for the job than Rider Shafique, whose CV covers both traditions and who comes seriously correct on this EP. It consists of four versions of a single tune and it's the original which really stands out, as 'Focus' moves expertly from stepping halftime-come-dancehall sounds into more jungle-flecked territory, all the time underpinned by subway kick drums and vibrant basslines. There's an instrumental version, and then JNGL rolls out the remix into a more recognisable 174 number. Excellent.
Review: As far as dubstep veterans go, Von D holds a special place in steppers history, with a long run of 140 classics under his belt. He here offers two of his more hard hitting recent originals up for remix duty and the combination of Hypho and Moresounds simply could not resist getting involved. Firstly, we hear Hypho's potent rethink of 'Hardcore Dub Music', which alongside featuring some tidy vocal work from Rider Shafique, packs a real classic steppers punch. Following this, we hear Moresounds rebuild 'Frictions' into a more march-ready roller, providing a perfect secret weapon to mash up the dance.
Review: The Pressed imprint is fast making a name for itself by recruiting some top talent across the bass game. For this week's showdown, the label has recruited Medison & Ruckspin, two producers who like to do way down low when it comes to bass frequencies and percussive rolls; the lead tune "Lead Cycle" is a sombre work of beauty, a mid-tempo dubstep sweller guided by Rider Shafique's hip-hop sensibility. Quantum Soul provides the remix, and the spoken word is stretched out, stripped down and liquified amid the harsher beats that dominate the arrangement. Top marks.
Review: And now time for a little shooter chatter. They're not the most talkative of fellows, but pistols always have the last word - this being no exception. Pensive, dramatic, locked and loaded with suspense, Rider Shafique has stern words with his heater while Baobinga and I.D ensure a riffle-like rhythm beneath. Coupled with bashy attack from Kahn on the remix -complete with chilling Detroitian synths - it's a double hit. Dark vibes continue elsewhere on the release with "Lickle Further", a cheery dancefloor tune about murderation. Militant riddims and serious Kingston flavours, put your pistols down and listen up!