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: Wake up and bake up, Jungle Cakes are back in the kitchen with their prize dish range 'Welcome To The Jungle'. This time the guest chefs are none other than Dub Pistols who've been flexing all styles and sizes of breakbeat since the very beginning. Currently coming correct with 50 tracks, they cover the full range of D&B through their dubwise, reggae-roasted selection. From the steam engine skank-ups like Isaac Maya and Daddy Freddy's thundering 'Bring Dem' to Deekline & Ed Solo's instant sing-along smash-out 'Bam Bam' to the dancehall bashment of Selecta J Man's 'My Style', this isn't so much of a jungle welcoming but more of a full jungle takeover... And you'll never want to leave.
Review: Jungle Cakes always tend to put out music that rests on the foundations of UK underground, the cross-over influences of soul, reggae, jungle and D&B. it's always a fresh sound and it always brings up connotations of Boomtown, free parties and sunny afternoons. This is a monster album curated by Aries and Kelvin 373, who have taken tracks both old and new to form a banging compilation. Bou nails it on 'Music Takes Me Higher', a rustic revisit to classic jungle sounds; Aries and Nicky Blackmarket roll things out in a tight way on 'Champion'; and Chimpo slams the brakes on 'DidDieDoThat'. We don't know the answer to that, but we do know this is fat. Big ups.
Review: Here comes the remix! As if these Born On Road cuts weren't gully enough as originals, Kelvin, Aries, Gold Dubs and fam have now enlisted a whole slew of versions. It's muderation from the off as Gray destroys Rahmanee's gun-toting western slammer 'Bad Boy Steppa'. A barrage of badness follows: Ben Snow's take on 'Round Here' is pure rifle bassline fire, Disupta flips Stivs & Aries' 'Raver' into an aggy blend of breaks and grunting jump-up bass, Marcus Visionary goes full jungle on 'Coconut Chalwa', the list goes on. Born to bad.
Review: Long time murker and Born On Road veteran Selecta J-Man teams up with some of the best MCs in the game for his "My Style" EP. Redders joins the fray first with the purring, slinky "My Style" that's wrought in tension and dark, sleek dynamics. Rider Shafique follows, bringing his own unique narrative and tones over a scratchy, gnarly riddim that's part jump-up, part blender, all nasty. Completing the triple threat comes David Boomah who brings a sense of triumph to "Stronger" before J-Man shuts us down with two crucial instrumentals; the dark rave energy of "Kill Sound" and the steppy grizzles of "Badboy". Ruff!
Review: Can we get a 'wicked?' Jungle Cakes continue to team up with some of the biggest donnies in the game with this latest Welcome To The Jungle collection. This time curated and fronted by the General himself, as you'd expect this is a full-on jungle assault that covers every single angle and every single era. 47 tracks and one killer mix, hosted and toasted by Levy himself, this is one of Jungle Cakes most comprehensive collections to date: From the foundation-setting, historic vibes of "Incredible" through to contemporary bangers from the likes of Kursiva, DJ Hybrid, Jam Thieves, Benny Page and all things in between, everyone involved has delivered something special. Massive.
Review: Killaz by name, killer by nature; Vital Elements and Tobie Scopes' continue to set the agenda as DJs, artists and as label owners. This third annual mix-up is certainly no exception as they plough through 59 tracks - many of which are brand new exclusives - to paint a picture of exactly where drum & bass is at right now. A thick smelly melting pot, everything is thrown into the mix: Upgrade's spine-trembling harmonics on "The Voice", ruded-out bassline badness from Voltage ("My DJ"), various jump-up hybrid creepers from Russian newcomer Ozma, brand new dark wobble lava from Serial Killaz themselves ("Rudebwoyz") the list goes on and on. This is a huge package and it comes with a superb mix too. Treat yourselves or defeat yourselves.
Review: After one of their busiest festival seasons to date, Josh Lear - AKA Selecta J-Man - ramps up the Born On Road heat with this crucial five-tracker that ranges the full sound system spectrum he's become known for. "Round Here" is the centre piece thanks to an almighty bassline and the stern purring tones of man like Rider. Highlights deeper into the EP include the Bingo-style bubbling bass on "Cuss Cuss", the big euphoria pads and V-style funk of "Worldwide" and the riotous, early Clipz-style damagement of "Drum Song" with Fleck. Selecta!
Review: Rewind Selecta! Bristol's J-Man goes back over his "Cease & Sekkle" EP from last spring and enlists a whole crew of killer remixers ranging from exciting newcomer to some of the most consistent OGs. Audiomission make a strong impression with their full flavoured take on "Party Hard", Lost City turn the carnival vibes up to 100 on "Cease & Sekkle" while both Origin One and Aries provide fire blend versions of "Coconut Chalwah"; the former gets his digidub wriggle on, the latter gets out his sharped amen cutlass chops. With plenty more, including a tightly coiled stepper twist from Marcus Visionary, it's another one click headshot from the Born On Road crew.
Review: Destination Bristol: Run Tingz affiliate J-Man switches selecta spec for a skank-wise sojourn on Born On Road. He's rolling deep, too.... Junior Dangerous adds a real positive polish on "Party Hard". Like a young Tenor Fly, his delivery is rich and crisp. Parly B adds both bark and bite to "Cease & Sekkle" while Cheshire Cat doubles up the flow on the sunny-side skanks of "Coconut Chalwa". Those looking for a big festival smash-up should harmonise with Blackout JA's throaty sing-along. Lighter!
Kill Dem Again (feat Blackout JA) - (4:13) 180 BPM
Kill Dem Again (feat Blackout JA - Koznik & Khavy remix) - (4:27) 175 BPM
Review: A firm face in the Run Tingz camp since 2013, Bristol ragamuffin J-Man gets lively with two of the most distinctive reggae vocalists who've crossed over to the D&B darkside; both Daddy Freddy and Blackout JA punch with real throaty gravel over J's shank-skanked rhythm to create in an ageless jungle jam. Looking for more punch in the bass department? Jump on Koznik and Khavey's potty-mouthed jump-up slapper. Think Konichi's style and you're not far off.