Review: If you're a fan of reggae and rocksteady culture, you'll know that moonstomping was the dancefloor etiquette back in the day. The Force hasn't so much taken on board the heavy booted stomp of the '80s as run a mile with it in day-glo Nikes. Featuring the original sample from Symarip's classic, it's about time Doc Martens met dancefloors up and down the UK again. "Universe" takes on a full-pelt modern junglist tip rounding off the release with a heads-down skanking opportunity. Get your dancing boots on.
Review: The original Bristol jungle outpost Ruffneck Ting is back in operation and sounding as vital as ever on the strength of this release from The Force vs Habitat. For all those who bitterly complain about the lack of soul, imagination and rawness in modern day D&B, look no further than this four-track salvo that makes it feel like '96 all over again. Habitat keep things decidedly bouncy and not a little bit cheeky on "See Me Coming", while "Razor Blade" heads into more devoutly junglistic territory to deadly effect. The Force has a smoother blend on offer with the big leads of "City Love" bringing a little Detroit magic to the mix, while "Musical War" rubs a little rootsy skank into the crisp breakbeats.
DJ Phlex & Bassface Sascha - "New Dawn" - (4:45) 175 BPM
Review: Junglist superheroes Ruffneck Ting return with the second sampler from their extraordinary new edition to their on-point album series. As always it's pure foundation business with some exceptional examples of contemporary roughage and choppage. Genetix twists up a fat riff and prods it from every corner on "Something's Brewing", Bristol OGs and label founders Substance & Dazee get serious busy with a shattering dubbed out roller while Jinx & The Force get deep, dark and dangerous with a purring, deep-breath bass that suddenly rises from nowhere in a techno-informed style. Need a little vocal pressure? Jump on Bassface Sascha and Phlex's "New Dawn" and trust us, you'll be feeling good...
Review: Fair play it's been an impressive run from DJ Warden's Bagged & Tagged this year, despite the rona working its wicked way with 2020. Following massive EPs from the likes of Total Recall, BlckHry and Obbley & Maze the label now hits with its biggest release to date... An all-star remix EP featuring the likes of Heist, Nu Elementz, Slipz and D-Nasty. All off them given the green light to go nuts on some of the label's most distinctive cuts so far. Highlights include Heist's raucous harmonic twist on the bassline of Vital & Phenom's 'Hoe Money' and D-Nasty's skin-melting technoid riff. Disgusting. Bag this one right now.
Review: A special dedication to the often maligned and misunderstood ghost and ghoul junglist communities, Psych and The Force pick up where they collaboratively left us on Ruffneck Ting a few months back. Four spooky sessions in total, each sings with the ghosts of drum & bass's strongest characteristics. 'Spirit' is straight up addictive Q&A jump-up fun, 'Secrets' blasts with some of the warmest organs we've heard since the early 2000s while "Mad Man" thumps with donkey punch kick drums and a croaky bassline that instantly recalls the jump up flavours of the late 2000s. Last but not least, 'Tardis' defies time and space with its higher-range harmonics and gully twists on each fill. Each one filthier than a travelling carnival's haunted house ride, these are bound to cause some serious bumps in the night.
Review: Ruffneck Ting are a label perfectly placed on the border between jungle and jump-up, and this EP from The Force displays their aptitude in selecting the best of both strains. It's a gentle, subtle yet damaging release, one which flows upon a bed of soul yet comes out with fists flying at the other end. 'Second Sight' has the type of funkiness that only reggae music can provide, with stabbing bass touches providing lift and sensation to its clattering, rough and tumble drums. 'Stop The Show' is heavier and has more weight packed behind its stuttering percussion, its bassline wonderfully bouncy and dripping with the sunny skies, eyes closed heritage of reggae and dub music. Wicked.
Review: May The Force be with you... After releases on the label's new talent imprint Subway Soundz, The Force makes his debut on Low Down Deep with two premium riff-loaded dancefloor bombs: the Upgrade-style "Stone Cold" (all harmonics and big bounce flavours) and "The Age Of Aquarius" which nods a bit further back in jump up time to around the early 2000s when D*Minds and Twisted Individual were crown princes of the game. Penny for your force?
Review: The Force is feeling forceful over on Subway Soundz with a tight sounding single. 'Feel' is a dark but bright, energetic stepper that doesn't care about rules and certainly doesn't care about feelings. The main bass on this tune oozes quality and packs some serious weight, reminiscent of the Souped Up crew. 'Time Travel' packs a nice punch and also smacks of Souped Up sounds, with jagged synth stabs and bouncing harmonies all blending together into a dancefloor friendly package. Tasty bits here.
Review: There's a lot of dancefloor D&B out there that succumbs to cheesiness by forgetting that a tine isn't all about the drop, it has to have substance as well. The Force has nailed that over on Ruffneck Ting, pumping out a four-tracker that's rooted in a wobbley and deeply satisfying wave of subs and sines. There's a light hearted but determined edge to this release that fits in perfectly with the Bristol vibe and we're big fans, especially of 'Show Some Signal', which has an absolutely banging snare that synergises so well with its rippling back end. Sick EP!
Review: The Force is back, using his force to compel you to pull ugly bassfaces and throw your drink with a single that doesn't hold back. It's not the kindest on the ears but then again it's not supposed to be, it's a monograph in hard-hitting sonics and dastardly tones. 'Control the Future' is undergirded by a booming snare drum and percussive clarity, but the action happens in the steadily melodic but still raucous bassline, a pitched-up monstrosity of dancefloor proportions. The flip features more big synths, but with emphasis instead on forward movement and serene rapidity - top release.
Review: Real Playaz - after a short hiatus - are back with two EP's in a single week, which is pretty impressive stuff and a welcome sight after their little break. The title track is wide, forceful and ceaselessly crazy, an arrangement of limit-breaking synths coming together in a surprisingly melodic arrangement - one for the raves. 'Street Talk', 'Safe Space', 'Monster Club and 'Quaalude' are all in a similar vein, just pure dancefloor killers with the energy to keep you going once the sun starts hitting your face. 'Rastafari' is a bit different, a wobbling, junglist stepper with appropriately ragga sampling and siney sub bass dives that lend it a slick feel. Playaz are back.
Review: Barely a month has blasted past since The Force shoved us down a "Black Hole" and showed us his "Warlord" and already he's back and packing seriously gritty, riffy heat. "Scanner" is so sharpy and stinky it analyses your most personal date and spits it back at you with a message saying you need to do better in life while "Born Evil" is so despicable it takes you back to Clipz's house in 2002 and shoves you under the floorboards of his studio for 8 months with nothing to sustain yourself but dubplate lacquer. Feel The Force!
Review: Ruffneck roustabout The Force dents the ever bulging WOC discography with two barnstorming shockouts; "Black Hole" will fling you around the galaxy from here to Omicron Persei 8 on a rocket made of pure concentrate nuclear bassline gully while "Warlord" wobbles harder than your ma at a twerk off on a bouncy castle. Balanced with a classic movie score sample, it's an instant nod to Full Cycle at its funkiest bassline peak. The Force is strong once again...
Review: The Force has been strong this year. Consistently delivering since the early 2000s, this year he's really pulled out all the stops. His second Ruffneck roughhouser of the year "Searching" comes hot on the heels of his Bulletproof, Serial Killaz, Iron First and Calypso Muzak dispatches has continues to damage the dance with wily riffs and raffish, unkempt bass funk. Highlights include the hair-raising harmonic bassline Q&A on the title track, the awesome distorted bass on "Plastic Dreams" that hits with a mid-2000s electrohouse cheekiness and the warm skanks and electrified bass sizzles on "Soldier Bass". Keep on searching...
Review: Woiiii this EP is certainly fire emoji times three! The energy is off the scale. Combing the stamina and aggression of modern jump up with the soul and style of the old school, making this release hard to ignore. Well we know why this is called 'Sucker Punch' this track wakes you up with an almighty smack. There's a lot going on here, sounding like souped up arcade game, listen close and you can almost hear a charged up Super Mario smashing a regally entranced 8 bit Darth Vader. 'World of Sound' is an automatic gun finger track, mutated bass and bubble popping ends will have your feet pounding the dance. 'Apocalyptic' is just simply too much! Intense quick fire lasers make the majority of the track and they're so all-consuming your brain will barely process much else. 'Parallel Dimension' takes it down a notch with a more subdued atmosphere, but just as much distortion.
Review: All Low Down Deep releases are important but this one is especially significant as Logan D unleashes the first of what is likely to be a mountain of unreleased beats by the sorely missed Dominator who sadly passed away on June 8 this year. Both remixes here have Dom and Logan's stamp slashed throughout; Pleasure's 2014 track from The Firm album sees a ramp up in bite and a much more demonic wolf-like bark while "Flight 33" gets a complete tear-down and rebuild with much more brutal, low-swung bassline. The results speak for themselves. RIP Dom.
Review: The Force ain't mucking about this year. Having slapped us silly on both Heist's Calypso and his longest standing supporters Ruffneck Ting, he now makes his debut on Serial Killaz self-stamped label. As always with Serial Killaz, there's no room for fillers or weak joints so The Force goes in balls deep with four distinct strains; "Pussy Sound" is the deeper roller of the set, "Serious Sound" buzzes with high end rasping bass sound that fluctuates tangibly and jazzy housey chords play havoc on the breakdown while "Your Love" takes a soaring soul vocal and intoxicates it with a treacle thick reese bass to breath-taking effect. Hats go off the most, though, for "Hipster". The sheer rudeness and out-there feels of the tripped-out reverse organ bass. Ridiculous. Drop it and watch your floor go bananas.
Review: Usually spotted causing riots on Ruffneck Ting, The Force steps over to Heist's Calypso Muzak with four outstanding moments of riff-inflicted sonic showstoppery. "Hallucinate" rolls with a sense of jumpy/funky bassline mischief that's reminiscent of the early 2000s without getting too nostalgic. Elsewhere "The Boogieman" brings us into the future with a gruelling, grizzly bassline that's reminiscent of your worst nightmares, "Living Dead" is the sharpest peaktimer of the set with its infectious, soaking wet savageness "Living Dead" while "Mash It Up" warbles and wobbles on a classic jungle bass tone and skippy break in a similar way to DJ Die's early 2000s work. Forceful.
Review: We're not sure how much The Force sold his soul for, but we reckon Beelzebub must have given him a handsome deal as there are some seriously savage skills at play here. The hurricane bass harmonics on "Sold My Soul To The Devil", the Die-style bass mischief of "Field Of Vibrations", the "Nightflight" style sub flutters of "Looking For Trouble" and the balance of dreamy strings and early Playaz style bass riffage on "Kick The Flow". The whole package is authentic, true to the craft and original. May The Force be with you.
Review: Ruffneck Ting mainstay The Force lays down five firing jungle shock-outs: "Birmingham Crew" doffs its snapback to the Midlands massive with detuned FX mischief, "Brain Activity" deftly toys with cinematic strings, 50s sci-fi samples and a bulbous sub, "Poison Dart" is a modern take on the classic Urban Takeover sound with contemporary production weight behind the loony bass riff while "Life Cycle" taps into the dark pools of inspiration from the late nineties with a Ram Trilogy-style bass/vocal approach. Finally we hit the life-affirming rave tones of "Ruffneck Soundboy". A veritable label anthem, it sums up all parties with succinct sweetness. Insert 'The Force is strong on this one' comment right here.
Review: Ruffneck Ting ante-up with the first volume of the Xtraordinary League Of Junglists album. A family affair with tag-teams galore, the Bristol murk merchants divide and conquer on every cut; The Force & Verdikt get mucky with a big bassline jump-up, Jinx & Aries build an mischievous Q&A a la DJ Die or Roni 20 years ago while Jinx & Dazee play a game of Asteroids inside our minds with the sci-fi bassline that wouldn't have gone amiss in a Moving Fusion set 15 years ago. K Jah & Vytol wind up the dispatch with a clunkier iron age riff and a dizzying array of basses. Xtraordinary indeed... Bring on volume two!
Review: Introducing the sounds of The Usual Suspects Part 1, a radical attempt to create jump-up so splintered and broken you'll barely recognise it. This is pure party music, there's no time for sophisticated conversations about its merits because you'll be too busy dancing to it. Sota's 'Pumper's epitomizes the extent of the madness here, with a punched-out percussive line that underpins a grating force of progression and anger, perfectly crafted to give you goosebumps in the dance. The metallic quality to 'Bring It' is another highlight, and it's safe to say that with these five tunes, Sota, Supreme Being, Heist, Complex and The Force have done a wicked job. Big tunes.
Review: The second part of Subway Soundz's Back to the Future album is here and ready to transport you to a different timezone by way of a sonic punch to the ears. They've brought in the entire crew for this one and the list is exhaustive, with artists from Puppetz to Tomoyoshi all digging deep into their jump-up filled Mary Poppins bags. Alphaze and Runnah's 'The Sound' is the album at its best, as a pounding percussive lead reaches into your soul and pulls it out your ears via a crashing, relentless concoction of bass stabs and skipping energy. Blackhry's 'Both' is scarred and torn in its approach, whilst Klay's 'Edo Tensei' is possibly the most creative on the album, with a clever use of space and a booming bassline. Wicked.
Review: Bulletproof are doing us all a favour with this release, simply because it's such a good collection of rolling and chopped up beats. Bulletproof FC is a vibes-heavy, breaksy release that doesn't take many prisoners. There's a whole load of artists on this particular squad and their respective talents move from grinding jump up to bumping minimality, with Elsy blending those two sonic palettes effectively on 'Feel For You'. There is industrial jump-up on 'Elephant March', as well as an especially big cut on 'On My Back', as well as other flavours mixed in. Wicked.
Review: Good4Nothing Records always tend to put out music that rests on the foundations of UK underground, the cross-over influences of jungle and D&B. it's always a fresh sound and it always brings up connotations of Boomtown, free parties and sunny afternoons. Twisted, gnarled jump up is the main focus here in the second part of their 10-year anniversary celebrations and Complex is a good example of how it goes down, his track 'Night Time' blowing and flowing through with all the power of the winter winds. Danger's 'Falling' is yet more filth, with a powerful drum line and punchy sub-bass that bangs in and out of the range. Excellent compilation.
Review: From true jungle to the real jungle: new Bristol label present their first V/A and it comes with added weight and meaning as all profits will go to charities helping preserve the Amazon Rain Forest and its communities. A serious mission requires a serious rollcall so tracks come from the likes of Conrad Subs, Veak, K Jah, Vital Elements, Sikka and of course the label headhoncho Mixjah himself. Highlights include the raw warping wobble bass of Ly Da Buddah's "Lemon Punch", Jumanji's tunnelling jungle romp "Da Skillz", the classic Bristol-flavoured minimalism mischief of Vytol & Mixjah's "So Many Heavens" but that's just the tip of a massive - and highly worthy - iceberg.
Review: 2018 was a certified vintage for Serial Killaz' self titled label as they dropped a stunning slew of singles, EPs, albums and mixtapes. In case you missed anything, these are just some of the many heavers, heaters and hurters that dropped throughout the year. Highlights include the toad-like bass and Spyda's iconic vocals on "Imitation Soundbwoy", the island charm and snaking rolls of Limited's "Sun", DJ Vapour's absolutely pummelling hardcore slap-about "Damage Your Sound" and Leaf's other-planetary freak-out "Night Time Vultures." Sing when you're killing.
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.
Substance - "Belong To The Night" (feat Susie Ledge - Dazee remix) - (4:53) 175 BPM
Review: Level up! Not content with flinging out one 15 track jungle arsenal this season, Dazee's Ruffneck Ting power up with another hench collection less than a month later. Serious business as always, vibes fire fast and loose from the moment Jinx & The Force welcome us to the new echelon on "Next Level" with a classic sample subversion to the very last shimmering echoes Dazee's remix of Substance "Belong To The Night". Highlights include Jinx's grumpy grumbling subs on "Sound Killer", Verdikt's springy jungle roller shakedown "Party People" and The Force's alien landing serenade "Article 50". Another level.
Review: It would seem that the team at Ruffneck Ting have pulled out all the stocks here as they put together their 'The Xtraordinary League Of Junglists 2 (Level 1)' compilation, collecting up fifteen original dynamite sticks as they do so. The line-up contains a collection of high profile drums specialists, including DJ Hybrid, Erbman, Jinx, Bass Antics, Genetix and a host more. For us the highlights of this quite frankly super stacked project include Lion UK's dubwise roller in 'Hova Nova', alongside Flat T's scatty driver 'The Dragon' and Verdikt's super subby outing on 'Enemies'.