Review: 'Soulecta & Friends' is the gift that keeps on giving and with this album collection in particular, we are lucky to have yet another treat gifted to us as we explore the Extended Version of the Dubs Edition of this monumental project. From the jump we are blessed with some exceptional collaborative inclusions, with garage heavyweights such as Smokey Bubblin' B, Tuff Trax, Smasher, Mighty Moe and more all making fiery contributions, along with appearances from a number of new school heavyweights. These in fact make up our favourite additions to this now 14 track collection, with WZA's collaborative extension of 'Just Believe It' being an immediately ready piece of rave ammunition, next to Zefer's combined appearance on the funk-inducing 'Sweet Feeling', and of course the rapidly rising Deja's arrival on 'Playground Riddim'. Yet another fabulous collection from the ever-ready Soulecta!
Review: There is no doubting the majesty of Garage Shared as an overarching titan of the new school UKG world, with their label operations being among the best in the game right now, a theme amplified and proven further by the pure magnificence of this here compilation. Being the fourth in their self-titled series, they have once again pulled together a seriously vibrant collection of artists from their ranks, unleashing a collection of 30 outstanding garage originals. The cast of this incredible performance is nothing but quality, with the likes of Soulecta, Tuff Culture, WZA, Smokey Bubblin; B, DJ Jackum, Gemi, FooR, DJQ and more all lending their hand. It's such a great way to celebrate the success of the label over the last 3 years, whilst also applauding the garage community as a whole.
Review: This really does appear to be the album that keeps on giving as we once again return to both Soulect and Garage Shared, for another tidy revisit of 'Soulecta & Friends', this time seeing Matt Jam Lamont & Echelon jumping on remix duty for 'On My Knees' alongside BitR8. Featuring a tonne of vocal prowess and groovy, intricate sub designs, the infamous duo really do take this one to a completely different dimension, focussing on subtlety and delicacy within a very lively mix down, also coming complete with a vibrant extended mix for the DJ crew. It's another wicked chapter in an ever extending legacy that we can't get enough of!
Review: It's been a very exciting run for the 24hr Garage Girls, with head honcho Shosh pushing the brand further forward with a run of very exciting live shows now on the way. This compilation is a perfect way for them to launch into 2022, exploring some of the finest talents currently active within the UKG world. They have assembled a mighty roster, featuring the likes of Smasher, Soulecta, Fabian Dubz, K9, SOULSTATE, Sub Templa, Joe Burger & more. The quality level has never been higher, however, there are a few clear standouts we have to mention. Shosh's own submission alongside the wonderful Leanne Louise takes the title 'Just Words' and lands as an immediate floor-filling anthem, alongside Smokey Bubblin' B & Zefer's party starting original: 'Unless It's Sweet' and Laura Alice's crunchy roller 'Don't Know'.
Review: December is of course the time of year where every label starts to unleash their final compilation drop of the year, with the Garage Shared crew being actively hailed as one of the country's most valuable UKG platforms. This is reflected in their 2021 catalogue which is explored in great detail across this new compilation, with the likes of Gemi, Tuff Culture, Soulecta, FooR, Bar Li, Oh My Daze, Deja, Smokey Bubblin' B and many more top names all landing killer originals. The full selection features 23 of the label's most popular drops for the year, with some of our particular favourites including the niche-inspired LFO pulses and scattered drum slides of MKJAY's 'Recess', next to the big room chord progressions of WZA's 'Over Me, Over You' and the singalong flavours of Blakk Habit and Gid Swedgewick's sumptuous 'Solid Plan'. Awesome stuff as per!
Review: When you look across the full breadth of garage music in 2021, there really aren't many people who have been putting in the work as consistently as Soulecta, who finally delivers the long awaited debut album with Garage Shared, entitled 'Soulecta & Friends'. It's a magnificent homage to the rebirth of garage music in the UK over the last few years, with the features including the likes of MC Neat, Shosh, Tuff Culture, FooR, Dread MC & many more top quality names. You'll be hard pressed to find a higher quality 10 selection, with our highlights including the beautiful soundscaping and piano riffs of 'Whistler', alongside Sushi Ceej & Nate Fox, next to the high energy chord runs of 'Cloud Nine' with Prozak. This is a huge moment in Soulecta's flourishing career and it's clear to see that for him, the only way is up!
Review: We have been singing the praises of the 2TUF4U imprint for a fair few weeks now, but this latest release takes that to an entirely new level as they unveil a phenomenal 30 track selection featuring heavyweights such as Mad Tuff Project, Leanne Louise, Don Oliver, Kele Le Roc, Gary Esson, DIY and a tonne more. It's a pretty monumental project, showcasing the best of the combination between old and new UK garage in it's richest formats. Despite the tracklisting being super stacked, our highlights would have to include the dreamy landscapes of Undertone's Instant Mood Vocal mix of 'Let It Be' from Xavier, alongside Solution's Doctor dub mix of 'You', put together originally by the exceptional combo of Fully Loaded Project, Karl Brown & Todd Edwards. What a legendary compilation this really is.
Review: If we were to give an award for label of the year based entirely on consistency, it would be hard to see Four40 not running away with it as they finally round off what has been an untouchable year with one last killer compilation. Royal Flush takes the role of compiler on this one, pulling in some scorchers from the likes of Soulecta, ZeroFG, Jack Junior, Tuff Culture, Earthnut and of course Royal Flush himself. There are a couple of tracks here we feel really hold their own amongst a stacked line up, with Pavv's classic sounding '3210' being one of them, alongside 'Guilty Twitches' from Ozwald and the choppy vibes of 'Love Is Coming' from the legendary EL-B.
Review: Well, when we see releases like this one move into view, it's difficult to describe UKG as anything other than thriving as we are gifted sixteen brand new belters, all stuffed full of nostalgic 2-steppy themes and fantastic vocal leads, showcasing just how strong the scene is looking right about now. We are introduced to a fantastic roster as major UKG players FooR, Soulecta, Blakk Habit, Rico Tubbs, Wittyboy and more are spread throughout the tracklisting, with our personal favourites including the super original, drum heavy grimey twists of 'Where I Wanna Be' from Vital Techniques and CB's super colourful 'Room 931'. Truly excellent work on this one!