Review: With the year drawing to a close, there is no doubt in anybody's minds that the Four40 team have put together another spectacular year of content. They have decided to celebrate this with another top notch compilation, with '11 Years Of Four40' exploring some of this year's biggest releases. The company the LP keeps is pretty outstanding, with the likes of Burt Cope, MPH, BWK Project, KASTLE, Jakobin, Papirus, Tuff Culture, Yemi and many many more all getting involved. As always with Four40 however, we have some very specific favourites we want to dive into, first off with Tee Vis & Phoebe Freya's super catchy singalong 'On You' absolutely smashing the charts at the time of its original release. We also can't miss our Royal Flush's fabulous rework of 'Gettin' Your Love' from George IV, WZA's Don't Wanna Give Up' and of course the Hybrid Theory rethink of 'Like You' from Blakk Habit, which to this day still receives reloads in the dances around the country. Another fabulous year for the Four40 crew!
Review: December is of course the time of year where every label starts to unleash their final compilation drop of the year, with the Garage Shared crew being actively hailed as one of the country's most valuable UKG platforms. This is reflected in their 2021 catalogue which is explored in great detail across this new compilation, with the likes of Gemi, Tuff Culture, Soulecta, FooR, Bar Li, Oh My Daze, Deja, Smokey Bubblin' B and many more top names all landing killer originals. The full selection features 23 of the label's most popular drops for the year, with some of our particular favourites including the niche-inspired LFO pulses and scattered drum slides of MKJAY's 'Recess', next to the big room chord progressions of WZA's 'Over Me, Over You' and the singalong flavours of Blakk Habit and Gid Swedgewick's sumptuous 'Solid Plan'. Awesome stuff as per!
Review: The quality and consistency of the Four40 release schedule over the last couple of years has been near enough unrivalled, especially when it comes to their incredible line of UKG drops. Next up from them we explore some of the best bits of that run. Just looking at the artists involved is enough to get any selector salivating as we see fantastic inclusions from Deadly Habitz, Patrick Kane, Kells, Yemi, Burt Cope, Vital Techniques and so many more. There are a couple on here that have really stood the test of time in our eyes, including the Hybrid Theory remix of Blakk Habit's 'Like You', which has been causing damage in the dances ever since the raves began to reopen. We would also include Joe Burger & Dread MC's wicked collab 'Vibe' in that list of top tier inclusions, alongside George IV's 'Gettin' Your Love' and of course 'Faithful' from BWK Project. More power to the Four40 crew, who continue to impress at every turn.
Review: The GS Dubs team, being an offshoot of the incredibly consistent Garage Shared collective, are always pumping out exciting new drops, with this new compilation selection being one of the strongest in a hot minute. In anticipation of the clubs and raves reopening properly, they have gathered together ten original dancefloor anthems for garage DJ's the world over to enjoy. The tracklisting and roster is pretty monstrous, featuring tidy new creations from the likes of Tuff Culture, Chimpizm, K9, Deja, Aki and more of the active Garage Shared. There are a couple of real highlights for us, including the super spicy VIP mix of Miss L.A & Bunka's 'My Love', which was already a belter to begin with, alongside the choppy chord progressions and skippy percussive textures of 'Carbon' from Howden and system busting wobbles of ADuki's 'Make Noise'. With additional killer creations from Oh My Daze, Rebz & Ollie Weeks, this is definitely not a compilation to miss.
Review: As ever with Tuff Culture, he remains at the forefront of garage music, this time showcasing more goodness with the third edition of his 'Roots' series with the GS Dubs gang. This time around we're in for one hell of a ride with 'Attack Of The Retro Consoles', as we kick off with 'N64', a sumptuous roller, stuffed with a combination of colourful melodies and intricate breaksy action, followed by the sizzling subs and groovy drum skips of 'Mega Drive', this time focussing on bassy goodness and simple rhythms to kick start any dance. We then finish up with a dash of finesse as 'C64' delivers the most groovy arrangement of the lot, dripping in vibrant drum arrangements and crunchy textures all around. Lovely work!
Review: Following on from a very exciting string of recent releases, we were thrilled to see Tuff Culture once again linking up with the GS Dubs team for the eighth edition of the 'Elements' series. As always with Tuff Culture, he delivers a selection of high energy garage originals, kicking of with 'Them Days', a tip top throwback link up with the sounds of SG. Next, 'Boss' deploys some super groovy rhythms, alongside the super futuristic percussive sub combos of 'My Addiction'. The one and only Gemi then joins the party for the catchy vocal slices and groovy rhythms of 'Just One', before the EP rounds off with 'For You', an organic roller driven by interesting rhythmic instrumentation and spacey synth action. Fabulous stuff!
Review: It's always exciting to catch up with the 24hr Garage Girls imprint to see what they have been up to, with this latest drop proving to be a certified gem from the second it landed in our new releases box. They unveil a powerful new collection for their first compilation drop of 2021, including music from heavyweight garage faces such as Champion, MPH, Tuff Culture, Vital Techniques and more, whilst also introducing some of the most exciting new faces in Hans Glader, Oppidan & Zefer. The nine-track selection is seriously impressive, with Shosh's own 'Stick It Up' original proving to be one of the initial highlights, alongside the super colourful melodic slides and scatty drum work of 'Guard The Barrier' from Breaksmiths. Incredible stuff from an incredible team.
Review: Well, when we saw this title land in the store we were as surprised as anyone to see that Four40 Records, one of the most active and exciting UK bass labels across the full breadth of 2020 has just turned 10 years old. This is a pretty outstanding achievement, for a label that is still at the forefront of it's sound to this very day. The compilation of course features some of the biggest releases from across the breadth of Four40's incredible catalogue of content, from the likes of Hybrid Theory, I Killed Kenny, Pavv, Limita and more, condensing ten years of musical progression into one extended tape. We also get to hear a bag of exciting new exclusives from the newer breed of the Four40 roster, including music from The Phat Controlla, Blakk Habit, Lucas Maverick, Gemi, Badger, Patrick Kane, Yozhi, George IV and more. What an incredible way to round off the year!
Review: As always with Tuff Culture, we knew we were in for a good time as soon as the release landed in the forthcoming section of the store, taking these three originals back to the oldschool with his second edition of 'Roots'. We begin with 'Equal', a super crunchy combination of nostalgic chord pushes and lofi drum designs, followed closely by the high energy 4x4 beat-shuffles and pulsating basslines of 'Screwface'. Finally, the vibes switch up to combine the feelings of the first two tracks with 'Wave Interference', an original jam packed with tasty vocal chops, scattered chord progressions and smooth bass pushes below, rounding off a wicked body of work in serious style.
Review: It's very exciting to see the return of Tuff Culture on this brand new selection as he lands on the ever-ready GS Dubs with five weighty creations, packed with sunshine flavour. We begin with 'Nobody', an incredibly vibrant link up with Hans Glader, linking up catchy vocal pitch ups with nostalgic chord runs for a real dancefloor favourite. Next, we are joined by old school organ lines and sassy drum grooves on 'Classic Roller', alongside the sweeping bass synth textures of 'Empty Words' and unpredictable rhythmic explosions of 'Space Trip'. Finally, SG gets involved on 'Good Vibes', delivering a super original sounding creation to round off yet another top quality project from one of the hottest names in UKG right now!
Review: It has got to the point where we are more likely to see a new Four40 drop each week than not and yet they somehow never seem to diminish the quality of their output. Here, they let loose the colourful designs of Tuff Culture for the sixth edition of 'Elements'. We kick off with the expert vocal inputs and stripped back bass tones of 'Away', followed closely by the bouncy designs and breaksy inputs of 'Babylon' and the unpredictable rhythmic manoeuvres of 'Letters' alongside Sampladelic. From here we dive into the smooth sub roles and groovy drum shakes of 'Polarity' before rounding everything off with 'Subtraction', a super choppy finale, alternating between different vocal slices, marinating amidst a warm, fuzzy sub-line below. Wicked work!
Review: If we were to give an award for label of the year based entirely on consistency, it would be hard to see Four40 not running away with it as they finally round off what has been an untouchable year with one last killer compilation. Royal Flush takes the role of compiler on this one, pulling in some scorchers from the likes of Soulecta, ZeroFG, Jack Junior, Tuff Culture, Earthnut and of course Royal Flush himself. There are a couple of tracks here we feel really hold their own amongst a stacked line up, with Pavv's classic sounding '3210' being one of them, alongside 'Guilty Twitches' from Ozwald and the choppy vibes of 'Love Is Coming' from the legendary EL-B.
Review: We have been very much enjoying the run that Four40 have been on of late, constantly putting together top notch releases from some of the most exciting faces in the UK bass and garage scenes. This latest offering from Tuff Culture is a perfect example of that as he unveils 'Elements V: Boron', a wicked compilation, kicking off with the old school delights of the title track 'Boron'. Next, we engage with some wicked 2-step chord combos in 'Cosmos' before the more futuristic spacey layout of 'Explanations' arrives on the scene. We finish up with another two crackers, the nostalgic drum work and smooth vocal work of 'Laws Of Attraction' landing first before we round off with subtle organ melodies and punchy percussive layouts of 'Senses'.
Review: There have been few labels that have impressed us at Juno Download more than Strictly Flava this year, primarily due to their incredible levels of consistency. This latest drop is a fantastic way to demonstrate that as they unveil the first of the 'Strictly Flava Allstars' series, with Brenz starting proceedings with a super groovy vocal mashup entitled 'Lingerie Music'. Next, Tuff Culture touches down with a big room roller entitled 'Vibrations', before the colourful melodies of Para's 'Promise' and old school LFO work of Pepe Elle's 'Fresh Pillow' roll out. Finally, we find ourselves with a really original piece as Sensa lays down some refreshing sub work, alongside smart vocal assists on 'Let It Go' to polish this one off with some serious finesse.
Pete Graham, Ill Phill & Chris Lorenzo - "I Love You So" - (5:51) 127 BPM
Smokey Bubblib B - "Oi Oi" (mixed & compiled By Smokey Bubblin B) - (58:49) 133 BPM
Review: We thought it was going to be the case that Four40 kicked up another storm before the year was out, and we have been proven right as we jump into this top notch compilation project, primarily assembled by the UKG legend that is Smokey Bubblin B. We can see this one's quality just by perusing the tracklist, as we see top names such as Mistakay, Kastle, Mind Of A Dragon, Royal Flush and more all make their way onto the project. It in fact covers such a wide range of garage music it is difficult to define simply, from the minimal, skippy designs of Perception's 'You Make', to the more futuristic bass instrumentation and design of Tuff Culture's 'Carbon', with Doctor Nick's inspired remix of 'Mind Slip' by SMOAD being a particular stand out.
Review: As one of the true underground legends of UK dance music, we were thrilled to see a return to the incredibly consistent Four40 for Tuff Culture, an artist who continues to impress with every release. We are gifted five tracks of groovy spice, kicking off with the crunchy drum work of 'First Choice' and the nostalgic bleepy melodies of 'Neutrons'. Next, we the fantastic vocal slicing and old school rhythmic chops of 'Nice & Slow', along with the slapping grooves and constantly evolving 'Parallel', before finishing up the pleasingly rustic garage movements of 'Universe'.
Review: We are very excited to see the vibrant sounds of Tuff Culture return here as they unveil a very exciting three track project alongside the legendary Four40 imprint as the third edition of their 'Elements' series. We are blessed with three high energy UKG rollers, the first of which goes by the name of 'Molecular', packed with jig-inducing rhythms and chord stabs. Next we dip into the more random shuffles and glitchy twists of 'Quarks'. Before finishing up the project with a dive into the silky tones and wavy textures of 'Electrons', which adds an additional touch of class to an already stacked EP project.
Review: As always, it's a real pleasure to see the likes of Four40 hit back with yet another awesome compilation project. Over the years we have been treated to some absolute gems from these guys, a trend which continues as Kastle unveils his specially selected 'Get Right inside' compilation, complete with a full studio mix of the tracks involved. We look through the tracklisting on this one to find awesome pieces from the likes of Exit99, Opus, Duncan Powell and many more high profile names. For us the standouts of this project have to include the high energy collaboration between Jammz & Roska entitled 'Energy & Stamina', along with Witchdoctor's groovy spectacular in 'From The inside'.