Review: Here's the 411... Say some gangster is dissing your taste in drum & bass, just give them one of these bangers. Yes, the ever-creative (and hugely prolific) Bou has shown us that drum & bass truly has Moe limits if you're coming from the right place. Other highlights across the epic six-track spread include the necksnap breaks and death frog bass texures on "Blame It", the percussive-focussed riff on "Time & Place" and the hornets' nest bassline that buzzes murderously on "Clash". Arguably one of Bou's best EPs to date.
Review: Stompz continues to stamp his way into the game with this sickeningly heavy Digital Terror debut. Six tracks in total, each one as dangerous and unruly as the next. Highlights include the weirded out off-beat bass funk of "Bumba", the deep-seeded jungle devilry of "Skullbash" and the staccato drama, paranoid air and unwieldly toxicity of the title "Automata"... But that's only half of the visceral showcase on here. Dig deep and handle with caution!
Review: The biggest moves in Newcastle and the north east of the UK since Gazza cried in some football match (and the world cried with him) are happening right now. A storming wealth of D&B talent is all blazing through right now and Stompz is right up there at the front. This debut on Serum and Benny V's Souped Up is a great example of his dexterity and utter gulliness. Five tracks of twisted, bassy weirdness and dark toxic funk, highlights include the insane melted bass weirdness of "Derringer" and the farty trippiness and sudden BCUK-style fills of "Borehole" but to be honest the entire EP is killer. Do the world a favour and slap anyone who says foghorns are dead, then play them this. Big up Stompz.
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.