Review: Natty Dub welcome the return of the Bristol G and founding Full Cyclist Suv. Last spotted damaging the label with badness two years ago, he returns with his sparring partner Joe Peng on two more sterling workouts. "Bong Didly" rattles with a beautifully wonky vibe that's almost techno in its insistency and seeming simplicity. "Plastik Sea" grabs us hook, line and stinker with its rattled melodic percussion, belching bass and classic dubby FX. Minimal ingredients, maximum flavour; Suv will forever know what time it is.
Review: London label Natty Dub Recordings have become trusted torchbearers for all things junglist over the past three years or so of operation, and their latest offering is a fine example of just why. It sees two heavyweight collaborations, with Suv & Jaxx going toe to toe with Bigga Star and Spreda. Suv & Jaxx are first, riding a hefty line in drums and beats on "If You Know", with the junglist vibes and sampled vocals set deeper in the mix. "Aura" from Bigga Star and Spreda is all about that sub bass heft which will really light up any decent soundsystem.
Review: Squad up! Natty Dub celebrate 50 releases with this absolutely stinking set from some of their nearest and dearest, closest and bro-sest. Firing from all cannons, every track is a thumper; Saxxon gets his squelch on with "Brockley Fox", T>I is all screams, wriggles and giggles on "Pointless Torture", Sikka delivers one of his best tunes to date in the funk-fuelled form of "You Know", Suv and Mood give us a Bristol kiss with the slinky, hip-twisting "Mambo" and Jaxx nods his cap at the wild west of the mid 90s on the percussion heavy "Hurdles". Timeless, authentic and full of dirty funk - Natty Dub are one of the most true-to-the-core labels doing it right now. Bring on the next 50!
Review: V Recordings do some of the best compilations in the business and their brand new Foundation series is a natural recognition of that fact. They're not being hyperbolic with the usage of the term 'Foundation' either, because this is truly an overview of some of the scene's most foundational producers. Old-school Dillinja, Krust, Roni Size and DJ Die, amongst others, make up the roster of acts that formed an integral part of the genre back in the day. The new crew is also represented, however, in the form of L-Side, Think Tonk, Nasza Linez and loads more, all of whom bring some of that V-style heat. Wicked album - one for the heads.
Dub General - "World Of Confusion" - (4:27) 175 BPM
Cabin Fever - "The Hunter & The Hunted" - (4:50) 175 BPM
2Stars & Dissent - "Kung Fu Kid" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Zere - "Loophole" - (5:36) 174 BPM
Tomoyoshi - "Smokey Horn" - (5:34) 175 BPM
Suv - "Instead Of War" - (5:12) 175 BPM
Coda - "Tripped" - (3:42) 175 BPM
Ickleman - "Open The Hatch" - (4:24) 174 BPM
Warhead - "Static" - (4:32) 175 BPM
MPW - "Jungle Stranger" - (5:56) 58 BPM
Review: Jaxx powers up his gully roller steam engine for the latest volume in his label's Off The Rails series and the results are off the scale. 14 tracks of deep, forthright rollage from a broad selection of respect talents ranging from certified OGs such as Suv to established dons such as Cabin Fever and Verdikt to bright young upstarts like K-Y and Zere, the collection is one of the best Train wrecks so far. Highlights include the tonal chaos of Zere's "Loophole", Suv's peaceful party piece "Instead Of War" and Warhead's brittle bass lash out "Static" but to be honest the entire collection needs your attention. Full steam ahead.
Review: V Recordings: A genus source for drum and bass, the launch pad of so many great careers it's not worth counting and still a consistent source of forward-thinking beats. If any label can justify five volumes of back-cat badness, it's Bryan Gee's. Going right back to 1993 (Roni Size's "Timestretch"), we whistle, rattle and roll past some of the label's (and scene in general's) titans. Dillinja is repped hard with an array of discography highlights such as the shattered amen attack plan ("Bad Man"), Krust is paid in full with cuts such as the minimal muscle roller "Set Speed", jungle godfather Sappo reminds us of real old school with "Into The Light" while Future Cut's later-era "Prophecy" is rewound to great effect. And that's just five of the album's 21 chapters. A must read document for junglists old and young.
Review: Labels, artists and websites all tend to adopt a retrospective tone as the end of a year gets ever closer, so it's naturally quite timely for V Recordings head honcho Bryan Gee to crank out a third volume of his excellent Retrospect series. With it comes a wealth of old jungle riddims, influential classics and long forgotten favourites from the likes of DJ Die, Roni Size, Ray Keith, Krust, Lemon D and more. Gee opens in style with the Brizzle roller "Fashion" by the legendary Roni Size and maintains the pressure throughout, dropping gems such as DJ Die's "Something Special", Krust's iconic stepper "Check Dis Out" and the jazzy, liquid loveliness of Lemon D's "Get On Down" with its shimmying, sunshine filled vibes. For a trip down memory lane, this one's essential.