Review: Missing has teamed up with Trex for this one, a five-tracker on the omnipresent Spearhead that takes rolling sounds and cutting, junglist tones and lays them out with sleek elegance, an impressive feat considering the raw vibrancy of the base elements. We especially love '2 Infinity', a spacetime continuum of a tune that glides through the universe in a nonchalant yet dancefloor-focused manner, a bassline heavy and melodically sound number that has proper perked our ears up. It's a signal on how good the others are, all of which are worth your time.
Review: There are few EPs as hallowed as the Binary series, which has an unbelievable legacy of bringing through some of drum & bass' most successful artists including Signal, Monty, Hyroglifics and Current Value. This time around it's Trex, who shouldn't really need an introduction as the man has been slaying it across Dispatch, Mac 2 and more for several years now. This Binary is a great reflection of his sound, with its focus on sharp-edged techy sounds and rougher, more unrefined dancefloor textures. 'Stress Test' rolls out with abandon, a hugely satisfying number with a bassline that climbs in cascading waves of low frequencies. 'Other Species' is classic Trex, with a choppy vibe that's packed with murderous stabs and menacing tones. Another sick EP from the Critical crew.
Review: Following massive EPs on the likes of Sofa Sound and Dispatch, man of the moment Trex returns with his highly anticipated second album 'Fifteen Doors'. Building on the range and style of his 2018 debut High Life, once again we're thrown into the Londoner's lion den where influences come fast and thick; the hip-hop vibes of the title track, his knack for crucial bone-melting riffs ('Lighting Strikes'), his love for stripped-back soulful bubblers ('Dreamy Dayz'), his love for other styles beyond dnb such as the breakbeat rave bomb 'Truth Hurts' and the lush neo-soul jam 'Hold On' or out-and-out club punishers like the Renegade-style 'Space Race'. Loaded with a great range of voices and coded with something new on every lesson, it's a shame Fifteen Doors doesn't come free with an actual door... Because it's about to blow yours right in.
Review: The mighty Trex returns to Sofa Sound with some cold hard truths. "Do Nothing" sums up the apathy and darkness of our times thanks to its curmudgeonly bassline and nasty stabs. It's backed-up by three more curt messages: "Don't Think" follows the title track with a sewer-style bassline gurgling beneath icy shards of rave, "Hustle Bustle" throws a whole new chainsaw in the knife fight with its alien rasping low end revs before "Corner Story" brings the tale to a squidgy, messy weirded-up end. Right from the left hand side with sounds from another planet, once again Trex reminds us what's important in life.
Review: DLR's Sofa Sound label has become a pillar of the scene in barely a handful of years, and this week they're following up their previously successful Sofa King Sick compilation with a second edition, this one equally packed to the rafters with both new and old school talent. It's a tour-de-force of the tough side of the genre and it's exemplified by 'Baja', courtesy of Scepticz, a Belgian producer who knows his way around the controls and who proves it once more, as jagged synth lines cut across its snapping, two-step arrangement with all the force and subtlety of an underground train. Kodin makes an appearance on the superbly gruff 'Chronic', whilst The Sauce get deeper than usual on 'Ultrasonic'. Quintessential drum & bass that makes for essential listening.
Review: Trex is one of the most talented artists to emerge in the past couple of years and Mac 2 is where it all began for him, with the release of his sensational debut album High Time on Randall's label. He's back with his next full-length outing on the imprint and it's more rough, gritty D&B that's grounded in the bare necessities: tough drums, rollicking basslines and subtle energies. Title tune 'Society' sums this up excellently, with a sample laden intro that nonchalantly rolls out into a minimalist yet still full-on rendition of dancefloor wizardry. Watch out for the second drop - the other tunes aren't far behind.
Review: It's that time of year again! The scene's longest-standing platform Drum&BassArena step up with their annual flagship album and once again it's a fitting salute to all corners, all shades and all styles of the rich, wide scene. 60 tracks deep comprising absolute bangers and bliss-outs from the likes of Chase & Status, Noisia & Phace, K-Motionz, Rockwell, DJ Hybrid, GLXY and Seba, it's also home to exclusives from Kyrist, Brookes Brothers, Bou & Simula, Kanina, Kove and A.M.C & Turno. From jungle to jump-up, liquid to dancefloor and complete with three killer mixes for life when you're not practicing your double/triple/quadruple drops, Drum&BassArena continue to celebrate the widest possible scene.
Review: Getting you to more places than the Docklands Light Railway ever could, DLR takes his Sofa around the world and stops off at the homes and studios of some of the most exciting new generation artists. Every direction you check its severe roller situation as each participant step up with their finest. Highlights include the outlandish grizzles of Submarine & Scepticz's "Shingoki", the hair raising wriggles and flabby funk on Ill Truth on "Catch A Break", the infectious steppy late 90s buzzes of bossman DLR and Script's "El Mosquito" and the lush jazzy flurries of Trex's "Falling Down"... but that's just scratching the surface, the whole Sofa king thing is immense.
Sentierum - "Breathe Me" (feat Naima) - (5:17) 172 BPM
Crimson & Ncamargo - "Flow" - (7:22) 172 BPM
Legal - "Pour Amour" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Neve & Crimson - "Let Me Groove You" - (5:36) 174 BPM
Phog - "Memories" - (4:35) 170 BPM
Lao Wai - "Who's Fooling" - (5:13) 172 BPM
Soul Beat Runna - "Get Loose" - (4:12) 170 BPM
CGRECO - "Massive" - (4:36) 160 BPM
Enjoy - "Deactivate N" - (6:03) 57 BPM
Lizard - "Easy Nuff" - (5:38) 165 BPM
Johnatan Thomas - "Ease" - (5:21) 170 BPM
Lyndon Jarr - "Lightweight" - (4:57) 160 BPM
Review: So, this is one well packed present to say the least as The Dreamers Recordings gather up their full strength for another exceptional compilation, featuring the likes of Sentierum, Krispy, Frame, HLZ, Lizard and more, who all combine for a stripped back jungle shelldown. The full project is packed with quality from start to finish, with immediate standouts being Lyndon Jarr's emotional roller in 'Lightweight' and the sharpened drum processing of 'Who's Falling' from Lao Wai. A special shout out also has to go to Yoofee on 'Glume', which is stuffed with cool harmonies and spicy electronic pads.