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: S.P.Y has become somewhat synonymous with those hazy summer sounds and soulful, Brazilian vibes. A producer who seems to have got the Midas touch, every collab, production and remix he is involved in is magically transformed into a mass of pure liquid D&B gold. Here he steps up to the fore for another top notch release on Goldie's acclaimed Metalheadz imprint - the title track is a shimmering, understated roller with gently driving energy, waves of undulating bass and crisp, crunching breaks. "Xenomorph", however, provides a glimpse in to the darker side of S.P.Y's consciousness. It's perhaps more what you'd expect from a Metalheadz release - a trademark dark, textured soundscape abounding with echoing SFX, warped b-line and snatches of ominous vocals.
Review: Steve BCee's Spearhead imprint finally unleash the S.P.Y. anthem that featureS on Marky's Fabric mix along with reaching high in the end of year polls. And no wonder, "By Your Side" is a stone cold classic! Uplifting and emotional, the beautiful instrumental intro with haunting clarinet flourish, delicate harp glimmer, warm sweeping High Contrast-style, cinematic strings, scattering breaks and swooning vocal that leads to crisp breaks, warm, undulating bass and an incredible orchestral passage made it a ubiquitous feel good anthem that pushes all the right buttons and will continue to do so for a long time yet. Just when you thought it couldn't get much better, Logistics takes over for the remix on the flip. Well matched to the sound of the original, the Hospital lynchpin roughs the track up adding crunchy breaks and peak time drum rolls, whilst the increased tempo lends a euphoric edge to the vocal. Good work all round.