Review: Jungle Cakes shake us and bake us once again as label owners Deekline and Ed Solo lure long time friend Benny Page into their lair for this incredible 58 track collection. Created as a mix but all tunes available for your own persy armouries, as always with the 'Welcome To The Jungle' series, we're treated to sounds and styles across the entire dnb spectrum. Expected everything ranging from Benny's own bubblers to more dancefloor styles such as Blaine Stranger's 'Dragon' and Octo-Pi's 'This Sound' via rugged jump-up uppercuts such as Lockerz 'The Funk', crucial jungle licks like Exposure's remix of DeJay's 'St Paul's Jammin' and pure futurism like Filip Motovunski's 'Ninja'. And this isn't even the tip of the jungle iceberg here, there's so much to digest here. Huge.
Review: Bad Taste, despite their name, are one of the most tasteful labels in the game and their furious take on neurofunk inflected drum & bass is still absolutely brilliant. That's what their displaying with their 2020 annual and they've brought through some of their best performing acts to do the job. Malux returns with a VIP of his much loved 'Turbine' and he's rolled things out on this one, adding a few extra inches to the percussion but keeping those iconic stabs in a powerful display of dancefloor energy. Kursiva makes several appearances and 'Nasty' is the best of the lot, as a Break-esque drum line rollicks through the arrangement like a steam train. Big LP.
Review: A bunch of furry murderous Russians on Serum's Souped Up... What can possibly go wrong? Total carnage from the off, "Bun Dem" is serious sandpaper funk. Gritty, growling and unrelenting; it's not just rough around the edges, it's rough right down to the core. And it's back up with three more audio nasties... "Excited" is a staccato riff damager that nods to the mid 2000s jump-up where everything was maximal. "Beggar" follows suit but comes with a more sinister edge; like it's asking you for change but is actually ripping off your whole identity. Finally we hit "Knock Knock", a track rife in organic drums and scary bassline textures, it sets everything up for the all important punchline... You have no choice but to deliver.
Review: Dutty Audio are turning ten years old this week and boy do they know how to live large and celebrating larger, as their 10 Years of Dutty Audio compilation brings together some of the biggest names in drum & bass for a firestorm of crushing basslines and hammered up hits. Chromatic, Mefjus, Teddy Killerz, Level 2, Neve and Optiv & BTK are amongst the heavyweights on the release and it's a stellar lineup for the label to have secured. Level 2 brings one of the more considered, stripped back cuts of the compilation with 'Nothing To Fear', which has a bounciness that belies the undertones of ferocity which lie beneath it. Mefjus is on top form as per with his remix of 'Whatever', and Neve is back to his usal breaksy, creative tricks with 'Space Cowboy's'. Wicked stuff.
Review: Eatbrain are stepping into darker territory over on the Hungarian Eatbrain imprint with their Negative Thoughts EP, a release that brings in elements of the Neurofunk sound within the context of nightmares, that feeling of sleep without your eyes closed, the creeping sense that you need to drift off but the foreboding feeling that unconsciousness is out of your reach. 'Shinkjuko' is a highlight, with a deeply rolling and fluctuating bassline that injects both funkiness and heaviness in equal measure, an impact topped off with some wicked synth work. Shout out to the teddy bear crew!
Review: With Hazard rounding up another killer year for Hype and Pascal's label with his first release in five years, Playaz take stock of 2019 with this savage showdown from all their main mandem. From the eerie gurgles and scraps of Annix & Kanine's "Jackpot" to the flabby wobbles and groans of Limited's "Soldier" to the sweet seduction twist of Jam Thieves' "Love Forever" this 25-track pack covers the entire spectrum of proper rave-primed drum & bass with all manner of curveballs and boundary-pushing badness. No compromises, a healthy balance of elder statesmen, new headliners and young talent and a sound that's distinctively theirs, Playaz are about to bulldoze into a new decade... And this is how it all begins.
Review: Teddy Killerz are the cute, furry-faced bastions of horror and they've teamed up with the Eatbrain crew for this full-throttle display of dastardly sound design, monstrous bass construction and downright disgusting choonage. 'Vibe' is our favourite of the two, with a drum line that's constantly shifting and morphing across different patterns and punchy synth stabs, it's sharp on all edges and fiercely no-nonsense. The rest of the tines pack even more energy and it's what we've come to expect from all parties involved in this sick little single.
Review: Eatbrain is the Hungarian Neurofunk institution that just keeps on giving, the Central European bass place which prioritises naughty music over everything else. Well, their 2018 album is here from a selection of the artists in their orbit and its everything you'd expect from Jade and the crew. The first cut - 'Mafia' by L 33 - has been out for a little while but has rightfully been re-visited here, its Jump-Up-Neurofunk fusion landing exceptionally well with serious dancefloor implications. There are too many sick tracks on this release to cover them all here, but KOLT's 'Harpy' and 'Pararampam' from Agressor Bunx are two more absolutely ridiculous bits of production. Well worth a look.