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.
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.
Review: Another successful album graduate of Randall's Mac II academy, Trex levels up into LP mode with this superb debut long'un. The title track "High Times" gives nothing away as its dubby sways ripple and weave in the intro before Trex throws us to the mercy of his rolling gold. The hurricane grit of "One & All", the slinky trouser-dropping subs of "Real World", the introverted vocal soul and woozy horns of "Try", the haunted Commixian staccato and poignancy of "Father" are among many other highlights on this highly accomplished debut.
Review: It's a Manchester thing: Nian Dub crash-land back on Dawn Raid's Hocus Pocus with a clutch of powerful tech-laced hurters. "Histories" whirls and punches like a late 90s Headz joint, "Farsight XR-20" is all about the breaks with a madcap Paradox feel laced throughout while "Conquer Dem" takes us right back to the Timeless Records era with some stunningly spliced drums. Trex joins the fray with a twisted remix of 2016's "Templar" for good measure. Welcome to the future...
Review: The don Randall continues to smash things to "Pieces".... 16 tracks of serious rolled-out dark groove soul, it's nothing but heads down grit and uncompromised creativity with every track playing the consummate role of lead player; T>I's soul-shaking hip-twister "All I Do", Benny L's epic groaning yes-fest "Dr No", Vapour's sci-fi drama stepper "Looking Back", Trex's cosmic alien lullaby "Short Story" are just some of the highlights as we roll deep to the very end as Seba blesses the collection with a superlative re-touch on Randall, Goldie and Dego's seminal, scene-shaping bomb from 93 "The R". Randall... Still doin' it after all these years. Essential for all drum & bass heads.
Review: One of the dirtiest jewels in Mac 2's crown, Trex returns after adventures on Lockdown and Director's Cut with four absolutely stinking slabs of underground rawness; "Raptor" growls just as its name suggests while "Treatment" rolls out with a rough, dangerous edge that's highly reminiscent of Grooverider's Prototype output back in the day. Next up we charge head-first into "Romany's Song", a twisted piece of croaky jungle where the breaks switch and flicker like power plant and the bass squelches like a sewage plant while "Orison" brings us to a poignant close with more cosmic, dreamy layers majestically coating the precision rolling groove. Seriously masterful: Trex needs full attention now more than ever.