Review: Tokyo Prose, what is there to say? The man is a legend and he's back alongside two more legends: LSB & Satl. The former is hosting this release via his Footnotes label whilst Satl features on 'Lights Down Low. A team effort, then, and the results are typically sensational, as Tokyo Prose rolls out the deft liquid funk which has become his mainstay. 'Jacknife' is grounded around a simple piano riff, but its elegance lies in that simplicity and, when paired with atmospheric pads and crisp drum work, the results are warm and infinitely listenable. Satl's feature is the other highlight, a melancholic and yet hopeful number with softly spoken soul emanating from its chords. Classic work from the team.
Review: Lenzman's imprint serves up its first V/A right here with Quarter To Quarter. Featuring exclusive tracks from the likes of FD, LSB, Total Science, Kyrist, Tokyo Prose, Break, Zero T and so many more, it's a full spectrum representation of the label that ranges from sublime, sun-kissed soul such as Redeyes' "Lust", Atlantic Connection and Steo's "Night & Day" to bouncy, vocal high-vibe affairs such as Break's remix of "In My Mind". Along the way expect stunning strident, cosmic hypnotic workouts (Tokyo Prose - "Rescue"), dubby dreamers (Kyrist - "Untrue") unlikely rudeboy slappers (Total Science - "Killa") and every other authentic, genuinely crafted D&B sound you associate with the label. Quarter To Quarter ... No half measures.
Review: The full set is finally here... Having teased us with the surprise guerrilla drop of EP1, Tokyo Prose presents the entire 13 track album Wild Grace. And it's every bit as beautiful, touching and textured as the hype as foretold. From the emotional chords and halftime slink of opener "Ascension" to the last brushed drum jazzy breeze and amen wheeze of the finale "Gusts" and all vibes in between, the New Zealand artist has excelled himself. Other highlights include the long awaited "Trick Of The Light", the smouldering soul of "Runaway", the heart breaking pianos of "Innate Motion", sunset shakedown of "In The Breeze" and so much more. Once again The North Quarter have smashed this out of the park.
Review: Zero T, LSB, FD and Tokyo Prose... Talk about soulful heavyweights! Each player representing with a sublime slice of rolling gold, this is - without question - one of the best "Fourfit" EPs we've seen to date (and, let's face it, they've all been amazing) Zero T brings the shimmering ivories, Tokyo Prose gets dreamy, FD unites the dusky vocals of Collette with the rusty dynamics of amens while LSB gets his timeless jazz on. When it comes to authentic deep, rolling, soulful D&B, this EP is a gnat's nads from perfection.
Review: Here it is then, New Zealand's very own world-beating D&B LP from Tokyo Prose. Featuring some of the best names in the business from the lush sounds of Lenzman, Juno favourite LSB and the lyrical talents of Fox, DRS and Riya - even Synkro appears for a breathtaking moment. This is the most beautiful, inventive and musical drum & bass release of the year so far. It'll take some beating because, we're not kidding, it is phenomenal. There's no track-by-track here, just get it and play it and then replay it. You'll feel reborn.
Review: New Zealander now in London, Tokyo Prose (AKA Sam Reed) is about to drop one of the smoothest, classy D&B albums of the year so far, and these two cuts are the perfect introduction. "Waiting On" features the delicate vocals of D&B's leading songstress Riya where spacious pianos take the lead over the subtle weeping synths, creating the perfect bed for her heartfelt sermon. "Ventura" follows suit with similar silky dynamics. Driven by a skippy, heavier drum dynamic, this time the vocal element is just sensuous moans over a warm, insistent synth sample. Both are perfect - as is the album when it drops in due course.
Various - "Hospital/We Are 18" (Mixed By Tomahawk) - (1:12:45) 175 BPM
Review: 18 years ago, Hospital Records launched with a deep and jazzy D&B 12" from the Peter Nice Trio, whose members included London Elektricity founders Chris Goss and Tony Colman. Nearly two decades on, Hospital is one of the biggest brands in electronic music, having cornered the market in funky, soulful, accessible, party-hearty "festival D&B". To celebrate their achievements, they've put together an impressively expansive compilation. There are new and previously unreleased tracks from the label's growing roster of artists - think Nu:Tone, High Contrast, Camo & Crooked, Netsky and Logistics - plus a thrill-a-minute bonus mix from Tomahawk. Covering most of the junglist spectrum whilst remaining unflinchingly melodic, it's a fitting celebration.