Review: Anyone who decides to dedicate a fair chunk of his debut edits release to scalpel cuts of tracks from Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane and Stevie Wonder must have gonads the size of watermelons. Sitting down could be an uncomfortable proposition, then, for the mysterious V, whose seven-track debut EP also includes chunky, floor-friendly re-tweaks of The Kinks and Sly & The Family Stone (as well as a couple of stonking disco bangers). While some would argue that much of the material here didn't need messing with, he's done an excellent job. The Dub of "Whole Lotta Love", for example, is pitched just right, offering much more bang and exactly the right amount of disco dubbiness.
Review: The beast has landed! Ram Records' most important releases in recent times, the pioneering label celebrate quarter of a century with this insane collection of 25 seminal cuts and 17 selected reversions. Roots and future all in check, every cut reminds why Ram and its founder Andy C have the status they do in drum & bass. Total Science's tasteful jazz touches on "Cool Down", Metrik's growling Aston Martin style rebuild of "X-Ray", Bladerunner's precision update on "Quest", Shimon's personal update on his and Andy's "Night Flight", Chase & Status's elephantine shake-up of "Valley Of The Shadows". We're just listing perfect remixes for the sake of it now... You already know how big a deal this is.
Review: Given his credentials and track record, it's unsurprising that original disco and boogie artists are willing to let Joey Negro play around with their biggest hits. His first stab at this kind of multi-track remix, 2014's Remixed With Love, was such a success that he's decided to unleash another swathe of revisions over two vinyl double-packs. This edition features some killer reworks, including a sublime, on-point rearrangement of Gwen McRae's "Keep The Fire Burning" and a rolling, dubbed-out version of Grace Jones' "Pull Up To The Bumper" that rivals Larry Levan's classic remix. The veteran producer also successfully turns Pockets' "Come Go With Me" into a classic soulful house rub, and pushes Thelma Houston's "I'm Here Again" further towards disco anthem territory.
Review: The mysterious V has got some balls. You see, it's common practice in re-edit circles to steer clear of certain big tunes and artists. V clearly didn't get the memo, because this second volume of party-hearty, floor-filling reworks contains sneaky dubs of tracks by Steve Miller (a smile-inducing version of "Fly Like An Eagle"), the Sex Pistols (a filter-heavy tweak of "Anarchy In The UK"), The Lovin' Spoonful ("Summer In The City") and The Beach Boys ("Good Vibrations", which gets a weirdly breaksy Balearic rework). Better, though, are the versions of the more disco and funk-inclined material. His Betty Wright rework ("Slip & Do It") is particularly magical.
Review: This is a bit of a treat for funk breaks fans, as leading label Boogie Boutique gathers together a selection of its finest floor-filling bangers. With cheeky mash-ups and bootleg remixes from the likes of Hayz, Ursula 1000 and Nick Fonkyson, there's much to enjoy, not least the sheer silliness of some of the rump-shaking fusions. Check, for example, the anthemic grooves of Nine Lives The Cat's "Let Me In" (a brilliantly executed fusion of "Just Be Good To Me" and "Cross The Tracks") or Badboe's "Show Me Ghetto". None of the cuts will win you brownie points with chin-strokers, but they'll certainly smash up the dance - and that's all that matters.
Review: What more can we possibly say about nu-disco producer Valique and his two-year bootleg/edit/mash-up blitzkreig that we haven't already said? Listening back over these 31 offerings it becomes apparent that this is simply the soundtrack to one seriously mighty party. There are simply just so many dancing-on-tables moments here (we'll let him away with some of the shockers) including the grooved up DM cover "Personal Jesus" by Johnny Cash, the surreal, intoxicating deep disco take on Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" and the dreamy paradise melodies of "Still You". Here's to the next couple of years!
Review: Selector! Jungle Cakes' Welcome To The Jungle series welcomes a bonafide legend to the controls: Ray Keith. Digging deep across the board he's put together over 40 killer tracks from an obscene rollcall: Serum, Vital, Dillinja, Bladerunner, Margaman, T>I, DJ Hybrid, Turno, Filthy Habits, Ed Solo, Deekline and many many more artists are responsible for the savage soul and badman bounce on offer as we're rattled and shaken from pillar to post. From the naughty ragga skanks and turbo reverse bass lashes of Deekline & Ed Solo's "Hot This Year" to Ray's very own seminal "Chopper" via Bladerunner's evergreen breezer "Jungle Jungle" via two mixes and 10 FX tools, this is one of Jungle Cakes' tastiest ever projects to date. Big up the Dark Soldier
Review: Three words: "Police In Helicopter"... One of the biggest dubplates last year is finally here, and it's joined by 24 other exceptional bangers as the Hozzy team roll out another absurd stack of "Sick" freshness from across the board. Genuinely on point tune for tune highlights include Pete Cannon's outstanding drumfunk lash out "Ella", Flava D's first D&B tune (the breath taking "Return To Me"), a bone shaking duet from the next gen gems Unglued and Bou ("Ascendant Man"), both Fred V & Grafix's first solo tunes since they split and an absolute neck breaking gully snapper from Lakeway in the form of "War Dub". And that's just scratching the surface, this is a humungous V/A album. Hot enough to burn down a cane field or two...
Review: Funk and disco breaks get put thoroughly through their paces on this exclusive collection from Boogie Boutique, featuring treats galore for DJs and fans of souped-up funk. Badboe's beefed-up treatment of UBB-staple "I Like Funky Music" by Uncle Louis, or Breakbeat Junkie's Northern Soul-indebted "Crazy Jerk" are just two of the highlights from this collection that also features nuggets from Rory Hoy, Chris Awesome and Hayz amongst others.
Review: In terms of legendary status for labels over on the jungle/jump-up side of the scene, it's pretty hard to beat Serial Killaz. Run by the duo of the same name, the imprint has arrived with the second instalment of their mixtape series and it's unsurprisingly good. Full of big tunes from guys like Serial Killaz themselves, Vital Elements and Upgrade, it's the latter of these guys that takes the cake with 'Steel Drum'. You've probably heard this one doing the rounds and it's actually already been released, but oh boy what a tune this is: a screaming, siren-lake mash of grating metallic synths and punching drums all come together to make an unstoppably good piece of music. Don't sleep on the rest of these tunes though, and a special mention goes to DJ Hybrid's 'Beatbox' - naught jungle vibes.
Review: For a label that only launched this spring, four volumes of creatively executed party jams is beyond impressive. We reckon this could be Funk Fusion's best yet, too. From Rhythm Scholar's respectfully tripped out twist on "Lucy In The Sky" to Fabioulous Barker's slap-bass blazed take on Skeelow via the funkiest ever version of 2Pac's "California Love", it's an impressive collection that leans towards the more subtle art of editing rather than crass bootleg cut-and-shuts and will have a lot more timeless appeal as a result.
Review: It's the album that spawned Benny L's "Police In Helicopter" remix... Hospital hooking up with one of the most prolific reggae importers in the UK during the 70s - 90s opens up a whole trove of roots and connections between the genre and its soundsystem roots. As such as the whole album is awash with classics remixes by many of the label's best artists and friends. Highlights include T>I's soul-slapping sing-along take on Alton Ellis's "I'm Still In Love", Nu:Tone's broader than broadway bump-up of Barrington Levy's "Here I Come", London Elektricity's hurricane soul switch up of "Skylarking" and Saxxon's insane twist of John Holt's "Ali Baba". A truly unique collection that celebrates the full culture.
Review: It seems that the nu-disco trend of re-edits is one that just keeps growing. Everyone from Siberia to Greece is doing it, and now the fever has spread to Ireland too in the form of the Get Down Edits label. Thankfully these guys don't (usually) pick the obvious stuff - Fingerman samples Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much" on "Too Much" so they lose points for that, but generally it's all good jazzy, funky retro jams.
Review: Drum&Bass Arena: The longest-standing, and one of the most respected, platforms for all things jungle D&B celebrates an impressive 20 years in the game with this ridiculously hefty document that pays respect to the genre's every twist and turn. From scene-shattering megahits ("Tarantula", "Feel The Love", "Rock It", "Afterglow") to unarguable historical underground scene-smashing megabangers ("Machete", "Aztec", "Nasty Ways", "The View", "Champion Sound", "Turbulence", "Up All Night", "Deadline", Ram Trilogy's remix of "Pacman") by way of tracks that may have slipped under the radar ("Defcom 69", "What's Wrong", "Song For Lovers") the whole album is loaded to the lips with some of the most important records the genre's enjoyed in the last 20 years. Time to get nostalgic, time to fill those holes in your collection, time to educate your dancefloor. Here's to another 20 years!
Review: Is there a doctor in the house? Hospital kick start the new decade with another stupendously massive V/A collection in the form of its latest Sick Music compendium. An album series that consistently lives up to its name, Sick Music 2020 does not disappoint in the slightest; from the powerful soul thrust of Degs and Unglued's "Levitate Your Mind" to the deep pads and sultry kicks of Tolima Jets' "Clams" via Urbandawn's truly electrifying euphoria/gully head shock "Egregor", this one covers the full spectrum from an exciting and super diverse range of artists. Look out for some fantastic remixes lurking in the mix, too; S.P.Y absolutely crushes Kings Of The Rollers' "You Got Me" and Serum flips Todd Terry's house classic "Bounce To The Beat" with a new sense of funk and groove. And these are just a few examples; this is a fantastic snapshot into how 2020 will sound... And it sounds great!
Review: Logan D's Low Down Deep imprint celebrate 100 releases with this bumper to bumper banger collection with cuts from the biggest names in the heavier end of the game; Turno, Maji, Upgrade, Voltage, Heist, Serum and of course the late great Dominator are just some of the heavyweights involved. Every tune is a highlight but mad salutes fire in the direction of Turno & Pacso with their purring harmonic bass creeper "Cosmic Funk", K Motionz' long awaited summer slamming anthem "Buckaguy" and the blissful rippling charms and outrageous subby drop of Heist's "Hawaiian". Elsewhere there's pure gully fisticuffs as Kanine has "Bloody Knuckles" and Serum has "Brass Knuckles". Either way, they both KO. Like the whole album. Get on this.
Review: Bryan Gee and V Recordings do not mess around. They never have in the past, they're certainly not right now in the present and judging by this highly anticipated Future album, they're going to mess around any time ahead. 25 tracks from some of the biggest, best and baddest names in D&B (Dillina, Serum, Benny L, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Roni Size, DJ Marky, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Bladerunner, Saxxon, the list goes on) this one's been a long, long, long time coming... And it's been well worth the wait. From L-Sides massive remixes of Dillinja and Krust to Need For Mirrors super-revved "Lambo" to Benny L's incredible remix of "Days", this sums up why Bryan and his label are as influential and respected in the game as they are today. Don't mess around.
Review: Biological Beats are turning fifteen years old and, like any good anniversary, it's being celebrated with a proper knees-up, hands-in-the-air type compilation of jump-up heavy hitters from a slew of wicked artists. This is that celebration and DJ Limited, Puppetz and more are in the place, whilst Enta and more make a feature as well. Enta turns up the heat with a screamer with 'Ear Dis', Puppetz takes things heavy on 'Reborn' and Traumatize drags proceedings into a bouncier place with his stormin VIP of 'Joker'. All round, an excellent showing from the crew and an excellent example of how to pull off a big compilation.