Review: Mac 2 Digital is Randall's label. Yeah, Randall's label. The don of all dons obviously has a knack for D&B curation and it's why the releases from his imprint - although relatively few and far between - are so sought after by both DJs and fans. We've never heard of Cool Hand Flex before, but this five-tracker is certainly ideal for Mac 2, with its punchy but rough drums and mid 2000s feel. It's not especially futuristic or cutting edge, but that's what makes it sick and Randall knows that. Solid beats, all the time.
Review: Jam Thieves return with a collection of straight up bangers courtesy of the Serial Killaz fam. A shoe-in for 'duttiest bass of the year', "Cry Blood" opens up proceedings with a sky-shattering dubline that'll send dancefloors into a frenzy. It just gets better from there, with bass-heavy, thunderous tune after bass-heavy, thunderous tune and when T>I gets involved, things get really serious. If you were expecting to get some work done during "Business Meeting" think again. This dark and dangerous roller runs deep and demands your attention. Some real deal drum and bass right here, make sure you get your fix.
Review: Want to hear something out of control? The ruffians from Hype's Playaz have come out to play for the seventh installment of the now legendary The Flavours series, and good gracious is it a scorcher. Featuring a tech-heavy stepper called "Very Exciting" (agreed) by newcomer Konichi to break you in, the second track is a deep, devastating roller courtesy of big man Philth with politically charged vox from P-Fine. The rest of the EP comes on strong with heavy-hitting tunes from Serum, the ever-gorgeous Chromatic and Nu Elements as well as some hugely promising newcomers. Do not sleep on this - you've been warned.
Review: Here come the remixes: Dub Damage look back to last year's four-year birthday album with two barn-burning twist-ups. Annix get their paws mucky on Blackmarket and Chapo's already-stunning "USS Enterprise" by switching out the classic Urban Takeover sub rolls for something altogether eviler and sharper. Meanwhile Harvest takes T>I's stripped back stepper "Grudge Fcuk" and injects it with jet engine reese that's so wide and overwhelming you might have to have a sit down after hearing it. No messing around at all on this one.
Review: He might have one of the most unGoogleable names in D&B history, but that really is about the only slightly critical thing you can say about Manchester-based artist Release. With tracks across a wide range of trustworthy and innovative labels (DSC14, Switch, Proximity, Viper, Celsius) here he returns to Horizons with four more superlative sonic spells: "King Stays" is a piano-pressing stepper that starts off Technimatic but drops into some much more NFM. "Make Me Feel" oozes dreamy soul with its wah wah rippled intro and deep techy pay-off while "Giving Up" takes us much deeper into his range with big splashing cymbals and icy Total Science style synths. Finally "Iron Hand" is a straight up drumfunk cut that will leave you punch drunk. How do feel you about this?
Review: Saxxon lets rip with a balls-out collabo fest loaded with the highest level vocal touches; T>I and Blackout Ja are the first to arrive at the party with a snaking funk bag of a jam that celebrates the sticky-icky while Saxxon goes it alone with Navi on the bubbling, happy-slapping sub bumper "Rollcall". Finally we have "Real Sound Killa" with Professor Liondub himself; a ripped and ready roller with guttural calls from Capital D, it lands just in time for your end-of-summer skank-ups. Need a 1up? Jump on Saxxy's killer VIP. Action stations!
Review: Even just glancing at the amount of killer collaborators Saxxon's recruited for his odyssey you know this is a huge album: Navi, Coppa, T>I, DJ Limited, AK1200, Jaxx, Blackout JA and Liondub all play a role in this ambitious affair. And that's before we even address the music itself; rollers, slappers and vibers hanging from every corner like ill fitting suits, highlights include the heavily rotated bassline bust up "Rollcall", the trippy tripletty swing, strange buzzes and piano bliss of "Way Back", the woozy soul and fat wobbles of "The Night Before 420", the loose limbed jazz of "The Dopest" and pant swinging bassline slappery of "Wile E Coyote". And that's just the tip of the Odyssey iceberg. Huge respect to Saxxon, this isn't an album, it's a statement and way of life.
Review: Cranked and severely on the edge of losing control, this EP is a testament to how far jump up has come over the past few years. Adding double speed percussion and pushing a more technical sound, T>I is showing in tracks like "Patchy" and "Sudden Threat" that there's more to the dancefloor than chainsaws and samples from Snatch. Taking influences from the whole spectrum of drum and bass, it's a testament to the real work producers are putting in to keep the genre alive and kicking. You'll be hearing more from this guy, so get him in your collection now.
Review: Hot on the kicks of his inaugural "Circuits" collection, scene soldier T>I continues to flex his floor-centric range with five more surefire slappers: "Changes" has a squiggly bleepy texture that balances just the right amount of weird funk with humour. "Hammerhead" lives up to its title with added drills and saws (and heads) while "Judgement" does a really trippy stretchy bass thing that's guaranteed to turn heads. "Let It Roll" will be the highlight for many with the juicy oozing out of the subs at toxic levels while "My Size" takes everything you know about T>I, jungle and life itself and burns it with fire. Deliciously twisted.
Review: If anyone knows how to slap down a classic bass groove, it's T>I. The man behind some of the south coast's naughtiest raves throughout the last 20 years, there's very little he doesn't know about dark rolling dynamics. Proof can be found on each of these six tracks with highlights including the lean stark funk of "Fractions", the Ram Trilogy-style tones of "Velvet", the awesome cymbal smashing and splashing on "Funk You!" and the eerie textures of "Low Ace". Straight to the tops.
Review: Veteran junglist, DJ, promoter and artist T>I continues to deliver some seriously heavyweight rattlers; "Music Takes Me" lights the five-track bass bonfire with its loose shaking percussion and classic diva vocal snippet. Deeper into the heat we explore: "Jabz" executes that stripped back grump bass jump-up thing perfectly, "Watcha Man" takes us on a dark romp with soaking wet bass bounces and a well-positioned toaster vocal while "Them Bells" stretches out ominous chimes over a punctuated drums and elastic sub and "Relentless" is a dark track tailored for clubs with its tripped out bassline and Voltage undertones. Each cut on-point and catered for the dance... The best thing is it's the first part - meaning plenty more of the good stuff to come too!
Review: If you know T>I's productions then you won't need to read this, you'll already be on them. The man has saint-like status among the very top best roller and riff selectors such as Andy C and Serum. It's because of tracks like these. Each cut hits hard, rattles with funk and is clearly made for the mix. Both "Permanent Marker" and "Absence" really fix our focus on his deeper rolling side, "Don't Stop" switches up a well known break with an understated groaning bass whip, "Rolling With The Nines" takes us on mystical trip, Thresh Hold is freaky creeper with ghostly pianos and strange otherworldly basses while "Move On" closes on a superbly restrained soul stepper that opens out into some beautiful synth strokes midway. This couldn't be more on-point if T>I opened up a knife sharpening franchise.
Review: Time for something completely different from Mark's Innerground imprint. TI presents "Natural Progression" and trust us, this is well worth a listen if you like something a bit quirky and experimental. A synth swirling intro paves the way for a deep, stripped back roller with pattering beats, hissing SFX and humming sub bass murmurs. This one is full of unusual little edits and progressions so keep your ear close to the ground. "Tragic Appliances" continues to impress with its rather bolder approach - bigger, louder and full of warps and shuffling SFX, it's another interesting one from TI.
Review: It was only a matter of time before a man of T>I's stripes landed on a label of Critical's calibre. A verified roller wizard, he's been supplying the big guns with gully workouts for years. Here are four prime examples of his skillishness: "Rotations" takes a classic house vocal sample and flips it around a loose drum groove with all the wobbles, "Crunch Times" is a lean stepper with trippy fills and a velvet sub hook, "Six Mile Bottom" pays homage to your old lady in the most lewd and surly manner thanks to a grunting, distorted bass push every four bars while "Packets" provides the finishing move with some precision rolled drums and a bass hook that couldn't be more Bristol if it went around shouting "get lush". On-point.
Review: T>I on Souped Up... It was only a matter of time before this alignment of gully stars occurred, and of course it's 100 percent stankage. "Dye Migration" is a juggernaut driving up behind you with full beams and 1000 horns blaring up your keister before he launches into a couplet of caustic collabs; "Swington" with Serum is a low riding, knuckle scuffing groaner while "Blue Lagoon", with Current Value, takes us down lovers lane for a breezy roll out that's loaded with equal levels of grit and emotion. Finally "Bullnose" sees T>I wrapping up the EP solo with nothing but a bucket load of pure filth and bleeps. Absolute gold... But would you expect anything less of the Drum&BassArena Award winning label?
Review: Hot on the heels of his Souped Up EP comes another barmy batch of rolling blunderbusses from the currently unstoppable T>I. Four slabs of flabby bass fire, each cut hits you right in the loins, soul and solar plexus: "Blue Panda" wriggles with some beautifully loose Bingo style breaks, "Treacle" is as sludgy and bittersweet as its title suggests while "Serve Cold" aims north for the jugular with a crisp groaning slap that's not so much as cold but totally glacial. Finally "Blocks" wraps up T>I's first session of 2019 with a high voltage bassline, trippy textures and some drums so beautifully crafted you want them to kidnap you from reality forever. Another strike from Norfolk's maddest man. Don't be blue, Peter...
Review: Some people say T>I stands for totally incredible, others say it stands for terrible infection. The truth is no one actually knows what his name stands for, but we know what his music stands for... Pure trouble insurgency. No one makes rollers or bumpers that unite the scene like this guy. Literally every DJ across the board plays them and there's a good reason; they pop with character, weight and furious funk. "Gains" and "Turn The Page" are no exception; the former is an understated bouncer with a quirky spoken word sample while "Turn The Page" brings the drama with sharp orchestral stabs. Make some gains in your own life and cop these today.
Review: T>I is the man behind many a gully, angry roller with a giant, attitude filled bassline. He has a certain quality to his music which I don't think many can pull off, that truly angry, aggressive pulsation to the edges of his low frequencies. He's back on Grid Recordings, a label whose sound is well suited for T>I, with this heavy hitting single. The title track has a unique structure and well-rounded percussion which sits below the main affairs, a gargantuan, pummelling main bass patch which warps in and out of the arrangement perfectly. The VIP of 'Turn The Page' is a chopping, stabby little thing that also rolls out in tidy fashion, each hit of the main bass line sounding exquisite in its punchiness.
Review: T>I has gone from strength to strength over the past couple of years, he's put out two sick EPs on scene-leading label Critical Music and you can tell from listening to his music that his sound is being constantly refined. For this single on Murky digital he steps up with one original and one remix, and the it's the former of these two that is the highlight for us. 'Fine Balance' is just that - finely balanced. There's a tangible synergy between the bouncing yet penetrating drum line and the pulsating, subby back end that pushes down on the range with devastating monotony. T>I is a top producer - just check out the evidence.
Review: Usually when man hits road with a VIP it goes harder, right? Not in the case of this fugly roller from a true king among junglists T>I. Here he's taken the heavily supported and highly distinctive bassline of last year's banger "The Gorgon" and pressurised it into a much more physical sub bass sensation to subtle heads-down effect. The same can be said for his take on Damage Report's "Snooper" as he switches out the in-you-face weirdness of the OG bassline and teases us with the texture over a much more dense sub twist. Basically the bigger the systems you play this on, the better they sound.
Review: Raising tension and attention with every release right now, Natty Dub return with yet another BS-free collection from some of the underground's most respected individuals. T>I loosens the bass strings for his slinked out dark-jazz stepper "Regulate", Hoogs puts all the aces in their places with a precision space-reggae gully jam "R Ting", Coda goes all bubble-bass a la mid 90s V on "Back It Up" and Jaxx & Dub General roll out with pure grumble groove and classic jump up spoken samples. Finally Flat T brings business to a close with a deal-breaking late 90s Bristol-flavoured cut where the spooked-out bass has a life of its own. Immense.
Review: Born out of a shared love for underground drum and bass across the nations, Austria-UK label Switch! have created a haven for dirty basslines for the discerning listener. Kicking off with the gully "Phantom Power", T>I plays off heavy duty bass with percussion that'll knock you backwards. It's an anthem. Working together with Release for "Mug's Game", the other side of the show, T>I offers destructive industrial sampling and a low end thump that hits like a jackhammer. Militant.
Review: Bringing people together through the power of good drum and bass isn't alien to these guys - Gun Audio run City Flow Festival back home in Antwerp, offering one of the biggest platforms for hard hitting jump-up sounds in Western Europe. Their Reload EP series has so far seen the rise of too many new artists to count and it's these massive compilations that the people want to hear. They bring City Flow together and they show off what's yet to come for the next year. Soul Intent, T>I and Supreme Being all make appearances, but it's the surprising new upstarts you want to listen out for. Expect very big things.
Review: Innerground continues its reign over the soulful and jazzy D&B world with a storming collection of shining new music from some of the scene's finest. Arguably the greatest liquid collab duo in history Marky & Makoto pair up for not one but two massive tracks, heading up the EP in 'we mean business' style. Also featuring their love for jazz funk are Austria's own RoyGreen & Protone, blasting that groove with a lush, retro feel, as does Brazilian newcomer Level 2. Liquid veteran Submorphics drops by to reveal a sweet summer anthem in "Hazel Street" and rounding off the comp is newcomer T>I with a hypnotic delve through nasty electronic percussion. A true indication of where DJ Marky's label is right now, if you're a fan of the genre you'd be foolish to miss out.