Review: Hospital Records do compilations better than most, partly because there's always something for them to celebrate. This time around it's the second year of Hospitality in the Beach, their new 4 day exercise in beach-based beats, featuring some of the best artists in the game. A huge album, the LP has 33 tracks - 25 of which are brand spanking new. Whiney's remix of Etherwood's 'Begin By Letting Go' is a highlight, the original's smoothness roughly transformed into a pummelling display of techy force. With Bou, Kasra, BOP and others making an appearance, this LP has all bases covered.
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.
London Elektricity - "That's A Switch" - (4:58) 173 BPM
Fred V & Grafix - "Auckland Sunrise" - (3:42) 174 BPM
Bop & Subwave - "City Lights" - (4:37) 170 BPM
Krakota - "Mismatch" - (3:45) 58 BPM
Kings Of The Rollers - "Hot Wheels" - (4:46) 175 BPM
Urbandawn - "Caffeine" - (4:09) 174 BPM
Metrik - "Dawnbreaker" - (5:01) 174 BPM
Nu:Logic - "The Sound Of Your Smile" - (3:45) 174 BPM
Polaris - "Lessons Learned" - (7:20) 58 BPM
Logistics - "Let The Senses Clear Your Mind" - (4:13) 174 BPM
SPY - "Rock Da House" - (4:57) 172 BPM
Whiney X Urbandawn - "Loki" - (4:24) 175 BPM
Makoto - "Wading Through The Crowds" (feat Karina Ramage) - (4:35) 174 BPM
Keeno - "Brave Face" - (6:23) 174 BPM
Mitekiss - "Veloce" - (5:00) 170 BPM
Etherwood - "Haltija" - (5:28) 172 BPM
Hugh Hardie - "Offshore" - (4:22) 170 BPM
Lakeway - "Stomp Your Soul" - (5:06) 170 BPM
Polaris - "Empire" - (6:59) 174 BPM
Review: If you're familiar with the Forza franchise you will know two things; the game is best played to a D&B soundtrack and Hospital Records in-game radio station. Now for the first time (definitely in Hospital history, perhaps in D&B history too) the label have created an album of tracks specifically for the game. And your DJ sets. Cue Hospital's finest operators, each proffering stone cold gems. S.P.Y's "Rock Da House" is an impeccable hypnotic stepper that's been doing the business on dub all summer, Urbandawn's "Caffeine" has enough filtered disco pump to put led in your pencil for about 20 years while his collaboration with Whiney "Loki" is a splintered step jam with dramatic orchestral twists. Elsewhere London Elektricity gets sincerely symphonic on "Now That's A Switch", Hugh Hardie goes all Good Looking on "Offshore", Lakeway does some serious damage with the junglised grime hybrid "Stomp Your Soul" and Krakota gets absolutely filthy on "Mismatch". And that's not even half of it. May the Forza be with you.
Review: Drum&Bass Arena: The longest-standing, and one of the most respected, platforms for all things jungle D&B celebrates an impressive 20 years in the game with this ridiculously hefty document that pays respect to the genre's every twist and turn. From scene-shattering megahits ("Tarantula", "Feel The Love", "Rock It", "Afterglow") to unarguable historical underground scene-smashing megabangers ("Machete", "Aztec", "Nasty Ways", "The View", "Champion Sound", "Turbulence", "Up All Night", "Deadline", Ram Trilogy's remix of "Pacman") by way of tracks that may have slipped under the radar ("Defcom 69", "What's Wrong", "Song For Lovers") the whole album is loaded to the lips with some of the most important records the genre's enjoyed in the last 20 years. Time to get nostalgic, time to fill those holes in your collection, time to educate your dancefloor. Here's to another 20 years!
Review: Double decade business: Total Science celebrate their label's big two-oh with an on-point collection of ageless constructs from friends old and new. Naturally, everyone arrives to the party in their sharpest finery; Break's cheeky rave references on the juiced up "Unified", the ugly undertones and system-melting weight of Total Science, Digital & Spirit's incredible "Apply The Pressure", Calibre's cosmic ping-pong jam "The Trot", Nymfo's dreamy harmonic heaven "Game Of Love", The Invaderz swashbuckled drum session "Be Around"... Not one player has tailored a shabby garm, ensuring well-suited jams for decade to come.
Review: Following Etherwood and Fred V & Grafix, S.P.Y is the next to step up to the "Hospital Mixtape" series with a walloping 31-track mix of which almost half has never been released before. As you'd expect from the bazillion dollar Brazilian, the range is wide with tendencies to gully. Essential exclusives you'd be an absolute madman not to check include his deep-swing twist on Digital's seminal "Deadline", the insane sub bass slipperiness on Random Movement's incredible "In Space No One Can Hear You Funk" and the "Up All Night" style late 90s slap down with his brother Unreal "Enduro". A proper mix and a previously unobtainable selection that's yours for the taking... What's not to love here?
Review: Ever the bastion of modern drum & bass from the smooth and liquid to the rough and ready, Hospital have decided to take stock with a bumper pack of classics, some of which have been remastered for the occasion. Logistics spells it out by kicking things off with the hyped up energy of "Jungle Music", while Danny Byrd brings a cosmic effervescence with "Amen Alley". All the label regulars are here with some bona fide gems from the vaults, whether it be London Elektricity or High Contrast on the buttons. Whatever the case, for newcomers to the label or those needing a refresher, this is a perfect one-stop hit of uptempo breakbeat mayhem from a British institution.