Review: AK and Digibit release the third volume of "Shift'D" and once again it's time to lifted. The emphasis is on the label's freshest talent with a clear focus on range and depth; Martyn Nytram sets the scene with a grizzling techy stepper, Stompz nods his cap towards to the Headz foundation with alien groans, tight two-step and late-entering jazzy chords, Critical Matter lays down a vicious wasp-like tech stomper than wouldn't have gone amiss on Virus during Audio's tenure while label newcomer Project concludes the story with a genuinely singular fusion of sunset guitars, brimstone beats and a trippy high end bass that really brings together. Gifted.
Review: It's time for some more heavyweight drums flavour as we see Stompz touch down on the impressive Prototype Recordings Corporation imprint for a solid four track collection. We kick off with the wobby subs and naughty lead reeses of the title track 'Decked', which rolls perfectly into the sharpened evil leads of 'Demons'. To follow on, 'Eezo' comes forward with some super stylish snare processing coupled with haunted atmospherics and expertly crafted bass sounds. We then finish up in good form on 'Let Me Go', which runs wild with crazy synthesis and underworld energies, rounding it all up nicely.
Review: In terms of legendary status for labels over on the jungle/jump-up side of the scene, it's pretty hard to beat Serial Killaz. Run by the duo of the same name, the imprint has arrived with the second instalment of their mixtape series and it's unsurprisingly good. Full of big tunes from guys like Serial Killaz themselves, Vital Elements and Upgrade, it's the latter of these guys that takes the cake with 'Steel Drum'. You've probably heard this one doing the rounds and it's actually already been released, but oh boy what a tune this is: a screaming, siren-lake mash of grating metallic synths and punching drums all come together to make an unstoppably good piece of music. Don't sleep on the rest of these tunes though, and a special mention goes to DJ Hybrid's 'Beatbox' - naught jungle vibes.
Review: Bou & Dutta's Diamond Audio cuts through the noise with laser like charm on their latest V/A collection. A signature since the label's launch last year, this is their most supersized batch to date as it includes more fresh names and a full spectrum of underground styles; the footwork pace of Aesthetics opener "Questions", Bou's barking groaner "Frequencies", Jeopardize's matchless trippy funk stepper "Contemporary", Leaf's wonky woodblock knocks and freaky funk on "Watch It" and MelloDrama's hospitalizing space stepper "Thrill" are just some of the many album highlights. Shiny shiny.
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.