Review: Speaker Louis and Epicentre team up and barge down the doors of Nuusic HQ with four absolutely blazing releases. Each track hand-raised with large amounts of studio venom and sonic ruffage, highlights include the skin-scorching bassline and breaks and sunny-side skanks of 'Dead Sound' and the horn-heaved blasts, stuttering savageness and rave nostalgia of the EP title track 'Unity'. Elsewhere our souls are nourished by the vocal-led 'Out Here' and the soundsystem slapping tear-up 'The Gorgon Stare'. Peace, bangers and 'Unity'.
Review: Last spotted burning up the place with Blackout JA on Original Key, Speaker Louis continues his inner-city damagement with a coveted spot on Liondub International's long-standing, future talent celebrating 'Street Series'. It's demolishment from off as the flabby bass of tracks like 'Foundation' and 'Lift Off The Roof' go all-in with the bubble butt bass swings while cuts like 'From The Top' flex that classic Urban Shakedown bouncy Q&A funk and 'Soundboy Gonna Cry' just wormholes from Speaker's speaker right into your hips and won't quit until you've won at least six skanking contests. Lord a mercy.
Review: Speaker Louis is an undeniable legend on the ragga side of things, and he's back to classic form with this single on Original Key. Blackout Ja is a frequent partner of his and the pair roll things out with abandon here, where vocals are sitting wonderfully on top of a sub-heavy dance floor number with plenty of funk to boot. Timeless.
Review: Deep in the Jungle have emerged as arguably the biggest standout new jungle label in recent times and, off the back of their growing family of artists, they've decided to try and represent both where the label and the genre are in 2020. With artists from DJ Hybrid, to Conrad Subs and beyond, it's a statement of intent from the imprint. The music reflects that intention as well, with jungle sounds throughout but punctuated with that modern, sharper edge that we've come to expect from our newly revitalised scene. DJ Hybrid's 'On A Riddim' is the best example, as a punchy bass note streams out of a bedrock of clattering breaks, whilst we're seriously digging the rolling reece's of 'The Rhythm' by Conrad Subs. All of these are proper percys.
Review: Everyone likes a good compilation, right? What's better than having as big a range of artists as possible in one condensed place? It's essentially an album with the ease of listening of a single, so we're all for it. Weapons of Choice have come out with the first edition of The Wild Bunch and it's packed full of bangers, one of those albums which doesn't try to be cool or sophisticated by chucking in a few fillers for the sake of diversity - it's just hard stuff here, with a couple of exceptions llike Viewer's liquid number 'Way to Express'. It works great, with Meladee's 'Weed & Walgreens' the highlight, its driving, bubbling basses intermingling with a fresh sense of movement.
Review: Vici is a French artist who really showed his true colours for the first time on Hyperactivity Music a couple of years back, and now he's on Nuusic displaying a different but no less excellent side to his productions. Stay True is a four-tracker with guts but that's not afraid to have fun, as he ropes in Matt Tracker and Speaker Louis to explore the dividing line betweeen tough, gritty music and lighter touches of funk and soul. 'Dark Path' falls into the former category with its scattered breaks and stabbing samples, whilst 'Stay True' is a brass-laden roller with wind in its hair and a heart on its sleeve. Lovely.
Review: Last spotted on Euphonique's Subwoofah with the series statement of intent "We Here", Speaker Louis and Grimesy tag up once again for this equally heavy collection on Deep In The Jungle. Four tracks deep, each one a stinker, highlight include the bonafide bludclart jungle ruffage of "Can't Touch", the bounding subs of "Burning" and the full-strength sirens and tidal wave bass surges on the title track. Bad boys for life...
Review: The bright-light, groovy aesthetic of South Yard is back at the start of this year, so get out your Red Stripes and don ya wavey garms because Speaker Louis isn't messing around with this one. Two ragga-infused numbers are here for you, uplifting samples abound and suddenly it's not January - it's June, July and August and the sun is shining. This doesn't stop 'Lyrics Tactic' from coming out the blocks in a moody way, though, and neither does it stop 'Antifascist Jungle Music' from attempting to knock your hat off, and we appreciate the message as well. South Yard always manage to pull out the stops in a way that makes you nervously smile - this one is no different.
Review: Holy moly! This is how you smash open a new decade; a 50 track album absolutely drenched in stinkage. Now a tradition for DJ Hybrid's label, this anthem collection is one of the biggest to date with names and vibes across the spectrum. Epicentre, Kumarachi, Conrad Subs, Stompz, Veak, RMS and many more all bring their fieriest artillery with highlights bursting from the seams. Every single track slaps the dance from the stripped back drumfunk and demented mentasms of Substrate's "Throwback" to the mystic sitar twangs and heavy bass bangs of Euphonique's "Moksha" via ruded up Dread bass badness of the bossman's own "Lost In The Jungle". And that's not even the tippiest tip of this anthemic jungle iceberg. Don't dilly dally.
Review: Choose Conrad Subs. Choose Deep In The Jungle. Choose a lifetime of being happy-slapped by amens and tickled in the gut by long rumbling subs the size of elephants. Choose collaborations with DJ Hybrid like the swaggering "Rinse It". Choose absolutely slamming Urban Takeover-style 96 era jump-up "Rough Beats" and skank so hard you give yourself a hernia. Choose sexy vocals like the ones on "Through My Eyes". Choose the insanely brutal slammage of "Imperial Roots" and feel like you need to take a long hot shower afterwards and still feel like you're covered in engine oil. Choose this EP and double dropping every track tune fi tune. Choose bludclart jungle. It's the ravers choice...
Review: Subwoofah are rolling things out nicely here with a joint four-tracker from Grimesy and Speaker Louis, who manage to combine riotous jungle with more considered tones to great effect. 'It Was' lands more on the side of the former except it smashes out the jump up stabs over a staggered, junglist undercarriage which injects a whole new dynamic of broken, torn energy to create a proper choon. 'What You Do' is a bit more stripped back, a bit more focused on the drum side of things and it works really well, sub-bass stabs abound in the gaps and its all just very sick. Top work you two.
Review: Liondub International's 10 year celebrations continue with a sense-shocking body slam into the future of the label and its ever-growing family of talented artists. Hitting hard like the label's ever-on-point Street Series, the rollcall reads like a who's who in gully talent: Dutta, Bou, Jayline, Vital, BlckHry and loads more. Whether you want to be completely twisted and spat back out by a brass section (Pharoah's "Fire In The Hole") you'd prefer to be hoovered by a jet engine then shot up into the stars (Jayline's "1408") or you're more into the idea of being rattled around in a big tin bassline can (Danny The WildChild's "Body Moves") this future shock has every physical experience contemporary (but heavily rooted) drum & bass can offer. And there's even more to come. Big up Liondub!
Review: Liondub are celebrating a decade of existence and they're doing a three-part compilation series covering the past, present and future of the label. By definition, then, these series' feature plenty of talent from all across the spectrum and time period of the genre. One of our favourite of the 26 cuts is Bou's VIP of Keep Away, a deliciously double-bass infused number that is both funky and heavy, the ideal combination, and he's flipped up the arrangement here with some precisely placed note changes. There are also features from Vital, Euphonique, Dutta, Marcus Visionary and more, with the overall vibe being one of toughness and power. Top stuff.
Review: If you like your jungle then this release should be right up your street, because it's essentially six tracks of straight up jungle heat. Our personal favourite is Pablo G's remix of J.O.E's 'What You Gonna Do', which has a wicked drop that comes off the back of a load of really soulful sampling work. It has proper old school vibes all over it and the whole arrangement works really well. Every other track is pretty much just as good, with wobbling sines, big old reece basses and a truckload of stuttering breaksy magic, Oooh yeah!