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: One of the most promising and exciting new labels to launch in 2020, Onyx return with one of their biggest releases so far as they welcome Kontakt and a few of his mates. 'Shottcaller' kicks off with the crunch we need right now. Hard hitting and no messing, it's just pure filth. Elsewhere Newcastle's Stompz joins the fray for the stuttering, guttural turbine funk-up 'Bruk Out' while Warhead brings the drones and groans on 'Goodbye'. Finally Kontakt signs out 'So Far', a euphoric smash-up here a big afrobeat vocal eases our souls before the bassline burns them down again. Shots fired!
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: Stompz is one of those names that, over the past few years, has seen a growing level of esteem attached to his productions, mostly via labels like Prototype Recordings and more. He's back on jump-up label Informal, the creation of Dutta, for a fiery little single which brings to the table the sound he'd become known for: stabby, punchy and full of jagged energy. This one is for the rollers crew. Where you at?
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: 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: 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: Shift the bed, this is premium gear... For an act who only started releasing this year, Stompz has lived up to his name in a highly impressive way. Just from gut-kick drone on "The Box", the opener on this killer six-track EP, you know you're in for a treat. Elsewhere "Don't Talk" plays hell with your senses via its spaced-out drain bass, the reverse bass weirdness on "Starkiller" gets you all tripped-out, warped and paranoid, and the precision percussion and classic speed garage samples on "Serious Riddem" hit hard with a Dread-style roll-out. For added darkness just on the Charge-style riff monster "Talkin" while "Wormhole" closes the show with some stripped back minimal mayhem. Stompz isn't messing around here.
Review: They don't call him Stompz for nothing... This young rising northerner is laying down some genuinely toxic bass funk here. Following his debut on Shiftin Beatz just last month, he's back with two more scorching, jumpy blends. "Story Time" plays hell with your senses with its seasick harmonics on the higher end of the bass while "Stutter" pounds out it melody with a short sharp electric shocks. Buzzing.
Review: Feeling fine for Northern Line! Rantik and JAK's fledgling young label comes correct with their first full paid release. It's a VA and it's a beauty. Continuing the exceeding weight and exciting breadth of the sound they've built up through free downloads, these nine tracks rep the Newcastle label's parameters with deadly intent and features some very exciting new-gen names. Highlights include Hexa's pranged-out swinger 'Shanghai Knights', the volcanic bombastic bounces and blazes of Stompz' 'Funk Accelerator' and the Metal Work's gritty punisher 'Changes'. And that's just the tip of this northern iceberg. Firing.
Review: V Recordings sublabel Chronic has developed a reputation for putting out beats that are even more venomous than its big sister, and their long-standing rollers series is getting a beef up with the fourth instalment. Featuring a litany of acts from a range of eras and a diversity of styles, Chronic Rollers Vol. 4 is a perfect addition to the arsenal of any DJ. 'Blindspot' from Nectax blends a soulful sample with an oscillating warp of juddering bass energy; Mancunian upstart SL8R gets subby and rolling with 'Roundabout'; and Brazilian label long-timers Alibi roll things out tidily on 'Sentinel'. Banging.
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.
Sub Killaz X Bou X Dutta - "Jitterbug" - (4:49) 175 BPM
Review: Digital Terror galvanise their vaults with this absolute stormer of a collection. Bulging with some of the biggest names flexing in the fertile badlands between jump up / rollers, the whole album smacks of premium, uncut timeless D&B from the likes of Hoogs, Bou, Dutta, T>I, Taxman, Macky Gee, Rawtee and many many more. If you've been following Digital Terror you'll already know that every track is a highlight but stand out thumpers include the sinewy metallic ripples on Danger & Nightfang's "Turbulence", the blistered breaks and flabby bass wallops on Dutta & Raz's "Spectacular" and T>I's super slimy shakedown of Hoogs' "Jungle Bad". Stinking!
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: Who 8 all the pies? Judging by the naked obesity of the cuts on the latest instalment of Cre8's latest V/A EP, these guys did. Highlights from this unashamed gully feast include the harmonic chimes and razz bassline of bossman Blackley & Meladee's "WDYP", the squelching Krustian bassline weirdness of Dutta & Jammin's "Say My Name" and Sublimit's darkstepping ricochet bass rips on "Snake Pit". With plenty more to chow down on, this Cre8ive banquet is gonna feed you for months on end. See you l8a m8.
Review: All aboard the Wobble Infection remix express! Rounding up another storming year, the Belgian bass HQ have commissioned a fat stack of re-rubs: Rowney adds a warmer tone to Kenji's "Born In It", Jack The Ripper adds a little spikiness to "Sometimes It's Better", Envenom refocuses the bass textures on "Headshot" to a laser-point while Simskai busses up the paranoid horror feels on "Pot Of Gold". Elsewhere we have Stompz going loco on "Drop Cut", Kenji tearing "Born Killer" to pieces and rebuilding with spit and venom while Certified flips the finale switch with oddball funk flare on "What". Savage.
Review: What a label Diamond Audio is shaping up to be. Four releases deep and they're already two albums and two massive EPs deep. Just look at the tracklist and you know we're right on the forefront of nex-gen drum & bass. Bou, T>I, Klay, Aweminus, Rawtee, Version... The list of hotly tipped future headliners here is impressive. Highlights include T>I's sweary stepper "Pull Up", Klay's radio-melting trip-out "Clap Back", Aweminus's gamey retro pacer "It's Ok", Rawtee's hornets nest bass and barbed soul on "Searchin'" and Version's cascading kicks and harrowed bass on "Facades". 10 diamonds in the rough... These will last forever.