Scott Allen & Blade - "Nobody Like You" - (5:56) 175 BPM
Scott Allen & Sunny Crimea - "When I See You Again" - (5:57) 174 BPM
Simplification & Scott Allen - "Roots Of Love" - (5:48) 175 BPM
Scott Allen & Blade - "Love In Your Eyes" - (5:34) 175 BPM
Review: Scott Allen steps up with his next release on Celsius. The What Lies Ahead EP is an accessible, easy listener that skirts the boundaries of liquid drum & bass with its gentle atmospherics and rolling breaks. "Nobody Like You" gets things started with an echoing vocal snippet, cooing breaks and undulating melodies - a great collab with Blade. Next Scott Allen teams up with Sunny Crimea for the equally as yearning "When I See You Again" which is full of light breaks, warm bass in a sparse, ticking soundscape. "Roots Of Love" continues to weave the narrative with Simplification - expect a soulful vocal and punchy drums before "Love In Your Eyes" brings the EP to a close.
Review: With a mission statement to only release the finest quality funk, intelligent and neurofunk, Belgian label Influenza Media have only one thing on their minds: is it funky enough? This compilation EP is a snapshot into their world of rolling liquid and soulful vocals. First track "Transitions" by DJ Clart & mSdoS features the cut glass vocals of LaMeduza and is a stunningly lovely example of how soulful drum and bass is still relevant in 2013. "Don't Stop" by Brazillian liquid producer Simplification is a chilled journey through sunkissed sounds and a killer beat. "Lazy Days" by - you guessed it - another South American, has a cheeky swagger and plenty of character. Producer Pixel adds interest with sound fragments and pieces of samples, creating a scrapbook of sounds, while Mojo's "Summer Lovin'" adds beautiful glimmers of Piano to a satisfyingly full-sounding track featuring wistful vocals from Anastasia. Worth its weight in liquid gold.
Review: With a title such as "The Vibe is Coming", you'd expect this all-star excursion from the Sun and Bass Recordings camp to be chock full of breezy dancefloor positivity. DJ Patife and David WS deliver just that with the soulful reggae/D&B fusion of the title track, which features some wonderfully slick and emotion rich vocals from Fats. Alibi delivers two lilting chunks of audio sunshine: the hot-stepping dreaminess of "Feelings", where piano motifs and delicate horn samples tumble across the sound space, and the notably sub-heavy punch of Command Strange collaboration "Ahead of Me". Simplification and Translate join forces for closer "Don't Forget", a warm and attractive roller smothered in rubbery synth bass, whistling synth melodies and yearning vocals.
DJ Chap & C.A.B.L.E. - "Be With Me" - (4:25) 176 BPM
Murdock - "Raw Power Moves" - (5:14) 174 BPM
DJ Andy - "Acid Reflux" - (4:33) 174 BPM
Chromatic - "Footprint" - (4:58) 174 BPM
Need For Mirrors - "Go Easy" - (5:23) 174 BPM
Peshay - "Nitro" - (6:43) 175 BPM
DLR - "Dafunk" - (5:55) 175 BPM
Bailey - "Computer Life" - (5:10) 174 BPM
Simplification - "Therapy" - (5:18) 172 BPM
Alibi - "Machine Head" - (5:36) 174 BPM
Nymfo - "Warrior" - (3:49) 170 BPM
DJ Limited - "Love Is Blind" - (4:12) 58 BPM
Jumpin Jack Frost - "Chronicles" (continuous DJ mix) - (1:08:09) 178 BPM
Review: Chronic is a sub-label of V Recordings that's specifically for rolling, rapid and rough tracks, the ones that are too naughty for the main label yet too good to throw out. Jumping Jack Frost as curated this latest compilation for Chronic and it's simply too good, with a wicked mix of vibes. From the snarling funk of Philth's 'Sanctuary', the wobbling energy of 'My Flava' by Command Strange or the rough jungle on Bailey's 'Computer Life', this LP injects the old-school vibe into new-school clarity. Arguably the stand-out though is DLR's 'Dafunk, a combination of stuttering drums and upbeat samples wrapped up in typical DLR-esque fashion.
Review: Mystific is on Liquid Flow this week with a lovely, lovely little single that touches us in all the right places. Delicate, pin-point drums abound in A-Side 'Had It All', a sultry piano overlay tinkers in the highs whilst a warm, gentle vocal slides with effortlessness across its percussive bass and encompassing bassline. Classic liquid number, this. Simplification is on remix duties for the B-side and he ramps the intensity up a bit, beefing up the drums and chopping up a vicious bassline - banging flip.
Review: The latest Fokuz release sees a veritable meeting of cultures as Russian producer Nelver collaborates with Brazilian talent Simplification for the two track Running EP. Both tracks are underpinned by a strong sense of melodicism, with the rolling beats of the title track combing with soft piano keys and big synth chords with just the right amount of abrasion to keep things balanced. "One Moment" meanwhile is characterised by its sun-drenched soundscape and icy cold bass, perfectly encapsulating the disparate climes of the two producers.
Review: You shoot, you score... Weapons Of Choice look back over the last two years of killer rollers and thumpers and recruit a rollcall of hurter-mongers for some updates. The seemingly ubiquitous Bou returns with a savage shakedown of Saxxon's "Weapons", L Side flips Simplification's "Awesome Days" into a crazy amen munching sea serpent, Redeyes adds some dreamy charm to Dave Owen's "Twin Stars" while Jayline gives Mr Explicit's "Funk Ya System" an absolute foghorning. Full El Dude Brothers business, this has the power of at least 100 truckers all learning on the horn at once. Shots fired!
Review: A sumptuous two track EP here from Simplification as he does Celsius proud with a cracking offering that will have D&B fans across the globe pricking up their ears. First up are the terse, thumping beats of "Away" which are paired so deftly with mellifluous melodies and drifting atmospherics for the ultimate in juxtaposition. This has plenty to keep you interested. Accompanying it is the equally as excellent "Keep Me Now" which takes things in a more experimental tip with ominous, futuristic vocal samples, humming sub bass and whirring SFX which look to the future and ponder over it broodingly.
Review: This is a well round 360 EP and it's great to see one producer blending so many styles od our beloved spectrum. 'Awesome Days' is a chilled out techy roller with crips amens and whole loads of sci-fi sound effects. 'Double Trouble' completely flips the script with a dark and brooding sub and a creepy underwater feeling. Switching it up again 'Madness' leads us down a more intense dancefloor orientated route, with jump up sounds and a beautifully soulful vocal. 'You Know' has a Metalheadz feel with crashing drums, an emotive and ethereal pads.
Review: V Recordings slide into their 25th year with another Sao Paulo salute as Simplification returns to the label with four absolute stunners; "Analogy" is a pneumatic stepper with crisp punctuated drums and a vibe that nods to the "Untitled Horn" vibe. "Venus" continues the dark cosmic feels as fellow Sao Paulians L-Side join the moody, spacious fray. Elsewhere "Hold On" slips into something slower as we're shown how things are done with space-age 140 breaks while "Free Me" shuts us all down with a swaggering, riff buzzer, all electrified, waspish and devilishly funky. Hold tight.
Review: Shogun Audio don their shades and stare into the blisteringly bright future of drum & bass with a brand new series; Point Of Origin. The idea is to represent some of the most exciting names (old and new) with an open mind to the many sub-sub-genres drum & bass seems to have right now. As a result we excitingly flicker from lush emotional jazz (Ed:It's "Centre Suite") to unruly sheet metal neuro in the space of a track (Posij - "Shieldbreaker"). Much deeper into the set we hit icy vocal soul from the likes of Need For Mirrors and Liz-E, we get flattened by Zero T's tribal thunder drums and experience a blissful rolling lullaby from Karma. This is the tip of the Point Of Origin iceberg, though... A must-check for all future-focussed junglists.
Review: DJ Marky's legendary Innerground label has been responsible for some of the biggest names in drum & bass getting their start. Zip forward to 2014 and the label is still going strong, sizzingly fresh and dancefloor-ready. First track "Custom Dancer" is a sparkling effort from Anile, rolling deep with tasty synth punches. Command Strange offer a ravey meltdown in "1000% Acid", Brazilian export L-Side offers undeniably sun-soaked roller "Legacy", Simplification and Manners hit the jazz for "Sweet Promise" and St. Petersberg-based liquid manipulator Intelligent Manners brings his light and fresh sounds to the comp. A must-bag.
Review: LA-based drum & bass label Soul Deep Recordings is one of the most diverse and prolific out there. Concerning themselves with the deeper side of D&B, unlike many labels who take "soulful" to automatically include liquid, much of this release features tracks focused on the heady early days of drum & bass to fantastically smooth effect. Most, if not all the tracks included are from new, upcoming artists from around the globe and this is reflected in the diversity and energy of the compilation as a whole. Check Disept & Zendi - "Around The World" for early days vintage vibes, Introspection - "HumaNature" for deep, rolling beauty and Remote - "Stars" for some truly old school sounds. Essential listening for those who prefer beauty in their bass.