Review: Just when you thought Sl8r couldn't get any funkier, and Slay couldn't get even sharper, along comes 'Danger' and it's naughtier than ever red light district in Europe combined. Straight up rudeboy rudiments; shoulder rolling juicy funk with such natural bars, 'Danger' is a summer anthem in waiting. And if that's not quite enough badman sass along comes Chimpo and joins the pair for another jazzy, light-footed-but-heavy-bellied bumper 'Falling'. Pure juice!
Review: To cap off their three-part anniversary celebrations, Nuusic are laying down the heat on instalment number three. Teej has been one of the main players throughout this series, and with 'War Cry', a minimal roller with the guts of a lion and the roar of one too, as finger-clicking drums bear the weight of something much heavier, a snarling bassline that moves in devilish twists and turns. The vibes are also seriously real on J Select's cut, a spacious number that moves in gruff fits and starts, a barking cut with a catchy sample that smacks of proper rave memories. There's luscious depth on 'Always Be Mine', Speaker Louis and Epicentre finish off the series with the stuttering breaks of 'Unity'. What an LP series and congrats to the crew on three years.
Review: This compilation arrives with a rich heritage of V Recordings compilations behind it, and Planet V has for a number of years been the flagship series for Bryan Gee's label. Edition four comes to a whopping 73 tracks and includes a mix as well, and all the familiar V faces are present, from Alibi to Paul t & Edward Oberon. All of the tunes have already seen the light of day in a previous form, and Disrupta and Duskee's 'Deep Thoughts' is one of the standouts, as Disrupta lays down a minimal yet funky beat for Duskee to rap lyrical over, something he does with serious presence. New gun SL8r makes several appearances, including on the excellent 'What U Need', which bounces along in a synthscape of serious depth and texture, its funky nodes nodding to the beat of a vintage blend. Crossover outfit Think Tonk also shine with 'Tom & Heavy', an offering unique in its stepping, breaksy percussion and one which oozes soulful class. There are dozens more to have a gander at, so take your pick.
Review: Digital Terror have had a sick last twelve months and this VA shows off some of their best cuts from the year, featuring acts like Jayline, Dutta, SL8r and more. Those latter two collab in serious style on 'The Pain', which cuts down into the range with fire and fury, angled sharp basses knifing through the frequencies with the grace and decorum of an elephant in heat. Jack The Ripper lands with supreme heaviness on 'Direction Course', Spaow brings the old-school vibes on 'Gallopo' and the collaboration of the album comes from the dream team of Jayline, Bou, Dutta and MC Dino who land with aplomb on 'Pico Skank'. Seminal.
Review: Sl8R is the Mancunian on a mission, as he continues his upwards march through the V Recordings camp, with Bryan Gee possibly his main benefactor over the last few years. He's back on Chronic with two more rollers and they're just a certain quality to these that stands out, it's subtle yet wicked, and there's no pretension here; just good vibes. 'Mimosa' mimics the smoothness of its drinkable counterpart, as tumbling synth riffs move in and out to create a flowing, well rounded piece of drum & bass. The flip is more barebones, with wickedly layered percussion and a bigger, more angsty sense of attitude.
Review: Doe, a deer, a female deer. Ray a drop of golden sun. That's The Sound Of Music, circa 1965. Boh, a banger, an absolute banger. Whey, a drop of golden gunfingers. That's the 'Sound Of Nuusic', circa right about now as the Manchester based label let rip with their third V/A experience. Now an annual thing for the label, it's their biggest collection yet as it's super-charged with blaze-ups from the best in the new-gen game. From Sl8r's opener to Conrad Subs' grand VIP finale by way of cuts from the likes of Teej, Sola, Kuma, Epicentre, Kumarachi, Motiv, Selecta J-Man and many more on-point future headlining names, this isn't just the sound of Nuusic, it's the sound of now.
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: Man of the moment Sl8r returns to Bryan Gee's mighty Chronic with two more precision slabs of pure groove gold. "Heaven" lands just in time for the summer with its funk stabs, sensual vocal shot, slide guitar and sleazy bass while "Everything" turns up the sexy factor even more with classic house chords, full R&B style vocal and more snazzy ripples of slippery guitar business. Vibes.
Review: Premiership D&B deepsmiths Delta9 hit the streets once again for another immense VA collection. All chiselled from new-gen coal face, all devilishly dark and stripped-back in nature, tracks come from the likes of Waeys, Screamarts, Askel & Elere, Sl8r, Nemy and many more key names-to-watch who are showing all the right sings of donning things in the very near future. Highlights across the 25 track collection include the waspy stabs and elastic bassline of Nemy's "Distracting", the bulldozer groove of RMS's "Mikro", the faraway soul and epic atmospheres of Glyph's "Across Hidden Dimension" to name but a few...
Review: V Recordings sublabel Chronic has developed a reputation for putting out beats that are even more venomous than its big sister, and their long-standing rollers series is getting a beef up with the fourth instalment. Featuring a litany of acts from a range of eras and a diversity of styles, Chronic Rollers Vol. 4 is a perfect addition to the arsenal of any DJ. 'Blindspot' from Nectax blends a soulful sample with an oscillating warp of juddering bass energy; Mancunian upstart SL8R gets subby and rolling with 'Roundabout'; and Brazilian label long-timers Alibi roll things out tidily on 'Sentinel'. Banging.
Review: Currently ramping up the vibes on his Informal imprint, Dutta takes time to serve up a slice of cake or four on Digital Terror and it's a bass banquet that's every bit as scrumptious as you'd expect from a man who officially wants to marry BBQ pizza bases. Expect ruffage of every flavour: the spicy ("The Pain" with Sl8r), the glutinous ("Painkillers"), the meaty ("LA Kush Cake") and the sweet ("1608") All best served with some type of fizzy beverage, Dutta's cooking up bare feasts right about now.
Review: Sl8r continues to dent the game from every angle with his debut EP on Chronic. Four tracks deep, it's an invasive trip into Roller County with all the jazzy touches, latent funk and warmth and grainy grit you'd expect from Bryan Gee's long-standing imprint. "Ruff Neck Cru" takes the lead (with RMS on side) as juicy subs ooze out of the speakers and drip all over the skippy breaks. Elsewhere "Astute" takes us on a rising escape above the cloud before the drop plunges us back down into earth so hard we'll be lucky to see next Christmas. "Immune" leaves all diplomacy at the door too thanks to its savage sandpaper funk bassline while "Alumni" closes the show on a proper creeper vibe. Think Need For Mirrors but with elements of Zapp & Rodgers and shed loads of bongos. Sci fi sleaze!
Review: Deep in the Jungle know how to do jungle. The clue is in the name, really, and they're proving it again with this huge compilation of 40 huge jungle anthems from some of the best rising stars of the breaksy side of the scene. RMS, SL8R and DJ Hybrid all make an appearance, as do Kumarachi, Veak, Schematic and Epicentre. This is a very strong roster and its reflected in the tunes, with Schematic and RMS teaming up on 'Take It' to combine roughshod, vibrant breaks and moody atmospherics in glorious fashion. Check this one.
Review: Kumarachi is one of the best recent talents to emerge from the current smorgasbord that is the D&B scene, his rough and ready sound blends jump up currents with jungle stutters and it's ideal for any situation. Time Is Now carries on that trend on Deep In The Jungle and blimey, it's pretty damn good. 'Rebel Man' is our favourite, with a hypnotic sample that grounds its cracking percussive knocks within a framework of bassy shudders and groaning sweeps. It's a proper Manchester-esque sound, especially with resident don SL8R sneaking in a feature on the title track. Yes boys!