Review: It's been a busy old year for rising talents Shadre & Salvage as they've released consistent sluggers on the likes of Grid, Shadow Demon and Zombie. Now comes their debut on Heist's Calypso Muzak. Four cuts in total, each one of them tickles in a unique and nicely off-beat type of way. The bassline on 'Bumba' is go grungey you feel you need a shower after listening to it, 'Don't Be Afraid' flips the triplet groove into something sharp, shuffled and incredibly contemporary while StillZ joins the crew for the deadly 'Salamanca Rhythm' before the duo complete the EP with another quirky and original drum flavour on 'Infinity'. Don't be a sleeper on this.
Review: Shadow Music are a recently minted label who seem to be doing all the right things, and this latest release is a monster of an EP from Shadre & Salvage. The title track is as foreboding as they come, almost to the extent that it's not quite dancefloor material, it's too brooding, too deeply terrifying and too fixated on being something itself, rather than making you dance. 'I See Through You' continues in that vein but steps up the synths a tad, whilst 'Steady Yourself' is an all out jump up banger. Sick.
Review: Bulletproof are doing us all a favour with this release, simply because it's such a good collection of rolling and chopped up beats. Bulletproof FC is a vibes-heavy, breaksy release that doesn't take many prisoners. There's a whole load of artists on this particular squad and their respective talents move from grinding jump up to bumping minimality, with Elsy blending those two sonic palettes effectively on 'Feel For You'. There is industrial jump-up on 'Elephant March', as well as an especially big cut on 'On My Back', as well as other flavours mixed in. Wicked.
Review: Northern scene legend Adam Wigglesworth sadly passed away on April 3. This is how his friends responded... By compiling one of the biggest tribute albums drum & bass has ever seen. Just look at the amount of talent on here: Pyxis, Euphonique, Nvrsoft, No Concept, Exile, Euphonique, Dawn Raid and so many more artists have contribute to this 45 track album of which all proceeds go to Adam's family. From the blazing bass riff of Sappo's late 90s style neck snapper "Hannibal" to Exile's turbine bass growler "Symbiosis" via Sl8r's jazzy, almost Detroit style vibes on "The Mill" and various bits from Wiggo himself, this is a heartfelt salute from the entire scene to a man who'll be sorely missed.
Review: Grubs up! Twisted Individual's cooked up a feast of undead delights for the first Zombie Recordings V/A collection and everyone's invited. Chewy, spicy and full of gully victuals, across the collection we're treated to all range of flavours; the peppery aftertaste of Filthy Habits & Jeopardize's "Mind Transfer", the fruity funk bursts of Imaginary Friends' "Rooftop Jam", the gamey aroma and meaty chugs of Yatuza & Nick The Lot's "Mystic Ways" and the sweet and sour textures of Alex SLK's "Kluture" are just some of the many highlights on the menu. Gunfinger-licking good!
Review: Grid Recordings have a bit of a reputation for spewing out some of the most venomous beats in the business and their talent for pushing some of the best artists on the jump-up spectrum is undeniable. Shadre & Salvage are holding up that standard and they're doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this single. 'Stay Put' reels you in with a lovely introduction, it's synthy beginnings quickly regressing to a siren-like wail of pure energy that's reminiscent of Kings of the Rollers and insanity more generally. The rest of the release is wicked as well, as the flipside 'Ya Dun Know' features the vocals Diligent Fingers over a choppy bassline and funky synth work.
Review: G13 are turning ten years old and, like any good anniversary, it's being celebrated with a proper knees-up, hands-in-the-air type compilation of jump-up heavy hitters from a slew of slightly lesser-known artists. This is the second part of that celebration and, following on from an excellent first instalment, the crew are back with even more. Rowney and Filthy Habits make a return, whilst Smoggy and more make a feature as well. Rowney ropes in MC Haribo for a screamer with 'Devastating', Lyfie takes things heavy on 'Mentality' and Slipz drags proceedings into a bouncier place with 'Drop Tight'. All round, an excellent showing from the G13 crew.
Review: G13 are turning Ten Years old and, like any good anniversary, it's being celebrated with a proper knees-up, hands-in-the-air type compilation of jump-up heavy hitters from a slew of slightly lesser-known artists. Rowney, Cabbie, Ovadose, Filthy Habits and more are on this one, so expect an LP that doesn't mess around in its approach to dancefloor tunage. 'Addicted To The High' by Filthy Habits demonstrates this approach with ease, a set of pitched up synth lines doing all the work - you just sit back and enjoy the ride. Big album.
Review: Over on Bulletproof, they've come up with the aptly titled Kevlar Vest EP, a various artists compilation comprised of four absolute weapon we presume are the need for Kevlar protection. Vital is perhaps the best-known producer on the release and his tune 'Blown Cover' is full-throttle from the start, a quick paced intro quickly leading into a metallic convergence of energy that's palpable on the drop, its KoTR pedigree clearly audible for all to hear. 'Elections' by Magenta is the other highlight, a screecher that is both painful and beautiful on the ears, a tune perfectly designed to make election day far less depressing with some genuine excitement. This is a top collection of tracks.
Review: Bou & Dutta's Diamond Audio cuts through the noise with laser like charm on their latest V/A collection. A signature since the label's launch last year, this is their most supersized batch to date as it includes more fresh names and a full spectrum of underground styles; the footwork pace of Aesthetics opener "Questions", Bou's barking groaner "Frequencies", Jeopardize's matchless trippy funk stepper "Contemporary", Leaf's wonky woodblock knocks and freaky funk on "Watch It" and MelloDrama's hospitalizing space stepper "Thrill" are just some of the many album highlights. Shiny shiny.
Review: Who 8 all the pies? Judging by the naked obesity of the cuts on the latest instalment of Cre8's latest V/A EP, these guys did. Highlights from this unashamed gully feast include the harmonic chimes and razz bassline of bossman Blackley & Meladee's "WDYP", the squelching Krustian bassline weirdness of Dutta & Jammin's "Say My Name" and Sublimit's darkstepping ricochet bass rips on "Snake Pit". With plenty more to chow down on, this Cre8ive banquet is gonna feed you for months on end. See you l8a m8.
Review: If you only buy one drum and bass EP this week, it should 100% be this one. There is something for everyone, we tried to pick highlight but we just can't, each track is so different and so good it would be nigh on impossible to come up with a fair comparison. 'Back 2 Basics' is like nothing we've ever heard the little piano section is amazing and completely juxtaposed to the rest of the dancefloor track. While 'Freeze' is a creepy techy roller with sharp highs and waves off metallic sounding subs. 'Not Going Down' is just, for want of a better word, an absolute banger. The vocal paired with the almost vertical drop is breathtakingly good.
Review: Fresh from shredding up Switch! Northern kindred spirits Shadre & Salvage jump over to Salvage and Carbon's Short Circuit label for more gritty, no holds barred peaktime business. Shadre takes the lead with his own "Shake The Floor". With a spiralling sense of dread in the distorted riff, the drama is tightly sprung into every decaying chord as we plunder further into the darkness. "One In The Chamber" bounces with more of a swagger that could be compared to the recent work of Turno on Charge... Jumpy but deadly. Serious stuff.
Review: Manchester duo Shadre & Salvage hop over to Vienna for some strong-armed Switch! antics. Four tracks deep, each cut reveals a different edge to their angular energy both collaboratively and individually; "Hostage" stretches the concept of harmonics within inches of its life with uncompromised melodic defiance and "Unbalanced" sees the duo go heads-down with a bouncy workout that ping-pongs seven shades of bass in an addictive Q&A style. Elsewhere Shadre goes solo for the creeper-style stepper "Explanation" while Salvage's "Hung Fu" takes no prisoners with its scratchy, glassy riff pressure. Beautifully ugly.
Review: From Wigan to Vienna to your playlist in one sick swoop: Shadre makes his debut on Coda & Pandora's Switch! with two power-punch steppers. "Leviathan" is as slippery, shadowy and slimy as its namesake. Rolling in the murky bass shadows, it owes just as much to late 90s Ram rollers from Moving Fusion as it does contemporary jump-up. "Keler", meanwhile, brings us back to the future with its sharp staccato distorted bass shots and the unrelenting, brutish drums we've come to expect from both him and Switch!