Review: Winner of the Best Newcomer Label in the Drum&BassArena Awards last year, Onyx celebrate two years as a full legit label with this excellent 20 track retrospective collection featuring some of the most exciting and forward-thinking names in new-gen D&B. From Jam Thieves to Hoax, AC13 to T95, Trex to DJ Gaw, Invert Era to Lavance, the tracklist reads like the line-up of any contemporary D&B connoisseur's dreams and it sounds like one too. Highlights include Hoax & Skantia's electrifying 'Space Invaders', Invert Era's thundering 'LND' and Kontakt's sublime 'Shotcaller'. A great place to get up to speed or fill any gaps in your collection, Onyx deserve all the props they get right now.
Review: Trex dusts off his shovel and tags in a whole team of Gs as they forage for gold in the grit. 'Undergrowth' is an instant treasure trove as Rider purrs over a stealthy but venomous bassline. Dig deeper: 'Scene' gets the oil drill out and strikes thick gooey bassline gold while 'Need U' goes fracking and pipes up an icy, shivering, breezy heads-down showdown. Deeper again: 'Answers' takes us to the core as heavyweights Teej and Pastry Maker join Trex to answer any queries you might have about the subterranean world while T>I rolls out the bulldozer for a final forage as he twists up 'Scene' into a high voltage excavation. Can you dig it?
Review: This various artists release from Born on Road is packed full of twisted sounds for you wrap your noggins around, and there's a sick blend of aesthetics and styles amongst all the filth. 'Turbulent Times' by Gray and Rider Shafique is wobbly and rolling, it packs all of its energy into the sub-bass and just flows out with style alongside some wicked MC work. 'Pieces of Eight' by Trex is a monstrosity of energy, with a superb drum section that packs more character into the arrangement than you can wag a finger at, whilst Bruk edges in over the top with 'Waps', showing what a hefty dose of technoid energy can bring to the beat. Big.
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.