Review: Not content with putting up with a winter that's outstaying its welcome, Innerground have begun to piece together a work collective that shows off the sundrenched atmospherics of the Brazilian drum and bass scene. Headed up by DJ Marky and S.P.Y, the first track is of course "Yellow Shoes" but with a twist; adding that classic Calibre warmth to drum and bass' ultimate summer anthem tones down the glare, making it much more accessible to those of us bleached by a thousand months of rain and sleet. "Summer Soul" is far less accommodating however, and as the title suggests, it's a Submorphics-flavoured roll through the bassy summer days and soulful vocals that have become a staple of the Brazilian scene. A perfect excuse to ramp up the heating and crack open some Brahmas.
Review: What is there to say about Shogun Audio that hasn't already been said at length directly into your ear at 3am? Friction's brainchild has become one of the scene's biggest, most successful and perhaps most importantly one of the most highly-regarded labels in recent years. A decade might not be a long time in D&B talk, but 10 years has been long enough for Shogun to put its stamp on almost everything making its way from the underground and into the blinding light of day. From the experimental sounds of Alix Perez, Rockwell and Icicle to the spellbinding Technimatic, right through to the chart-bothering escapades of Camo & Krooked, this is a flip through the highlights of Shogun's life. In case you forgot, it's been a brilliant one so far. Roll on the next 10 years.
Review: Critical boss Kasra never misses a trick. Having built his label up to be one of the leading lynchpins in D&B, now he takes to the studio hot seat and teams up with S.P.Y for a couple of killer collabs - incidentally his first EP since 2002! "Surface" gets things started with a snappy two-step break, driving, warped bassline and echoing, distant vocal snatches. It's got that all-encompassing, attention grabbing finesse, with Metalheadz style touches and a deep, rolling vibe. "Control", however, takes things back a decade or so, with some classic old skool breaks and classy, stripped back sultriness.
Review: We've come accustomed to SPY serving up cinematic, soulful drum and bass, so there's something a little disarming to hear him revisiting his original jungle roots with an album that's as "back to basics" as the Brazilian producer may ever get. The 15 tracks that makeup "Dubplate Style" are heavy, fuzzy, raw and punchy, with SPY peppering crunchy old school jungle rhythms with bombastic sub-bass, buzzing electronic riffs, sped-up hardcore style vocal samples, reggae toaster vocals, bouncy dub riffs and the kind of spine-tingling, warehouse-ready stabs more associated with turn-of-the-90s house than early UK jungle. The results are uniformly superb and joyously rush-inducing, making this unashamedly retro-futurist affair one of SPY's most intoxicating albums to date.