Review: Bad men selectors Brain Brainstorm and Speaker Louis collide for these two monster sessions on the always consistent German imprint Original Key. Big system shakers with all the dubby, dancehall references you could shake a Trojan record at, 'Come Again' kicks us off with the big widescreen kicks, cheery horns and a cool vocal sample while 'Dance Haffi Gwan' takes us deeper into the night with a nagging vocal sample and a bassline to dive headfirst into. Rewind and come again...
Review: After a short break from releases, Welsh imprint Nuusic fires into 2022 with this savage session from French rabblerouser Speaker Louis. 'Headstart' features T Man and goes straight in for the solar plexus with its rudeness and forthright focus. Deeper into the vibe we slide as 'Lift Me Up' gets all slinky, 'Stand & Deliver' is all about the Cutty Ranks style vocal, rubber ball bassline and crispy clean vibe while 'My Sound' brings the EP to sunkissed close with sweet reggae vocals, bright horns and a festival-style sense of momentum. Sound as a pound.
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: 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: 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!