Vital Techniques - "Front To The Back" - (4:00) 93 BPM
Review: It has been a brief minute since we took in a new drop from the Second To None team, but boy have they relaunched with a bang as we talk into three absolute heaters. Firstly, Brighton resident and rapidly rising DJ: El Laurie kicks us off, with his tight drum expressions and vibrant string work in 'Next Hour', before the chomping dubstep basslines of Hamdi's 'Caterpillar' roll into view, following on from an extremely popular Facebook reveal of the track. Finally, label head honchos: Vital Techniques grace us with the third original, another freezing 140 creation, built around shimmering arpeggios and 8bit drum switches!
Review: Founded back 2010 by duo Vital techniques, Second To None, was born with the intent to promote 'the sickest...130-140bpm bass' from around the UK. They've certainly done that here, presenting 12 bleeding edge cuts for listening pleasure. Highlights include the linear, up-and-down hoover bass joint "Live My Life" by Deadbeat UK, Mikey B's heavy and eccentric 2-step gem "I Wonder" and Vital Techniques own deep bass workout, "News To Me".
Review: Marcus nasty: The man, the myth, the legend. A pivotal figure behind the emergence of Grime and UK Funky sounds, there is no one better placed to compile and present a comprehensive collection of the latest evolutions of the House & Garage sound. Curiously enough, the package drops on Dallas imprint Audiophile XXL, as Americas biggest dance music Europhiles the Texans constantly have their ear to the ground and are no strangers to good old fashioned British basslines!
Superabound with dance floor ammunition and A-list names, it is an all killer no filler collection. Wittyboy & Tengu hook up on "Bioshock" with a bassline so harsh it will leave you with a sore throat. LR Groove drifts into more traditional tech-house territory on epic track "The Journey". Brent Kilner rattles he ribcage with a 2017 take on the Sheffield Niche nightclub sound. There are too many standout tracks to mention and in all honesty we have a lot of music to focus on but we would seriously rinse this day and night for the next fortnight if we could.
Review: Second To None Music have chosen the right name for their label. These guys should not be underestimated, and their output is among the best UK bass, garage and funky that we have heard recently. This statement compilation is simply putting them on a lot of people's radars, and getting the to know that absolutely nobody at their HQ is messing around when it comes to relaxing fresh bangers for the UK's dance floors. The music is wild and diverse, ranging from pure bassline to UK funky, and there are certainly plenty of noticeable artists and known faces here, including neb-dancehall specialist Deadbeat, Mikey B, B Squared, and Hypho. If you're into the British way of doing house, then this twist up will surely satisfy.
Vital Techniques - "Why Dem Fight" (feat Parly B - Lifecycle (NL) remix) - (5:57) 145 BPM
Review: Lifecycle slams down his Subway debut release with three heavyweight dancefloor cuts packed with heavyweight bass and electro-futuristic sounds. "Touch This" is an absolute destroyer, blitzing everything in its path with stripped back precision and darker than night production. For a bit of relief, head to track three where "Why Dem Fight" channels the haunted Hammonds of early days dubstep and Parly B's slap-up vocals to create something a little bit special - just wait until that bass kicks in.
Review: Straight out of the heart of Leeds, Second To None Music has been setting some serious pace across the breadth of 2018. Headed up by founders: Vital Techniques, we see them assemble a mighty host for the first edition their band new 'Head Gone' compilation series, showcasing some of the best in bass music right now. We see inspired appearances from bassline heavyweights such as Deadbeat UK, Brent Kilner, Spectrum, Pavv and more, with particular highlighted flavours coming from man of the minute: Sammy Virji, on his super vibrant roller entitled 'Thunderclap'. Dr Cryptic also makes a stellar appearance on 'Little Roller', with Vital Techniques themselves supplying some skippy heat on 'Wasted'.
Review: Well, it seems to be every week that we welcome a brand new drop from the Four40 team this year, however this latest drop is something truly special as the veteran imprint celebrates nine years of activity with a scintillating selection, showcasing some of their most important roster members over the years. The tracklisting is vast, featuring a colossal 51 tracks from the likes of Vital Techniques, Mistakay, PVC, Enigma Dubz, Tuff Culture, Earthnut and more. With such a stacked release, picking highlights is pretty tough, but for us the two stand outs boil down to super spooky drum twists and moody textures of 'You Or Me' from ZeroFG, alongside the classic Skepsis remix of 'VIP', originally featuring Hybrid Theory and Trilla.
Review: Second To None headmasters take us back to school with three broadsword 130 bass four-steppers "Spin The Dubplate" kicks with classic strutting UKG beats but rumbles the horns and harmonic bass of grime while MC Pean spits down the law chapter and verse. "Mucky" dips much lower into the bass swamp with a classic organ-style squelch guiding us through spacious, switchy drum arrangement. "Cloud 9" flips the contrast button with a superb breakbeat garage roller laded with crisp soulful vocals. Hypho brings the damage on his "Spin The Dubplate" for bonus grades. Power up.
Review: Leeds duo Vital Techniques clearly believe in quality not quantity. Working hard on a follow-up to February's Bad Man Ting, their Battleground EP has finally arrived. The title track starts things strong, with swaggering brass stabs, rat-tat-tat drums, delirious spinouts and oodles of bass frequencies. Next, "Clear Vision" sees the guys pair up with Mikey B for some lively UKF fire - all wobble bass, skippy beats, a sprinkling of 2-step and lots of pitched RnB vocals. "Something Happening" meanwhile is a harder beast; delivering tough and fast 4 x 4 action with relentless bass mayhem and aggro MC flows. Edgy!
Review: Following a well deserved festive break, Vital Techniques began 2016 with one-tracker, You. Now they getting fully back up to speed with the hard-hitting bass blitzkrieg of the Big Man Ting EP. There are three new tunes here that have already gained support from the likes of Marcus Nasty, Flava D, Hatcha and Dappa: "No Way" is fast and furious 4 x 4 with buzzsaw bass, with swishy pads, bouncy kicks and string stabs, "Jenga" is slower, deeper and more mystical and finally the title track is on full rave alert -big drops, merciless bass frequencies and speedy beats.
Review: Vital Techniques have had a top draw year so far, dropping some of the scenes biggest releases across both the grime & bassline spheres. Here they return for a high energy two track bass party, beginning with the old school sounds of 'All The Time' which smashes together electronic vocal slices and almost eski-like lead subs, resulting in a super groovy movement. On the flip, the more UKG inspired composition of 'Be Real'; takes hold, which focuses on classic organ chord progressions, vocal melodies and some seriously skippy drum arrangements, rounding off a great two track project.
Gunfingers In The Air (feat MC Pean) - (4:01) 132 BPM
Get Down - (3:47) 130 BPM
No One Else - (5:24) 140 BPM
Prisoner - (4:05) 130 BPM
Review: Leeds bass junkies Vital Techniques are back to work on their Second To None imprint and, in fact, it would be fair to say that this new EP is a clear mark of their confidence and panache behind the mixing board. Calling any tune "Gunfingers In The Air" is pretty much a sure sign that you know what you're on about when it comes to deathly bass shots, and the same can be said for the more house-centric vibes of "Get Down". "No One Else" is a perfect hybrid" between dubstep and garage, all sped up and full of mutant dread, whereas "Prisoner" comes through with a much sexier, sleeker garage banger with that unmistakably early 00s r&b touch.
Review: Vital Techniques continue their exciting start to 2018 with this fantastic box of goodies entitled 'Taking The Piss' via the Second To None imprint. Featuring 4 original creations the full project is full of rave-ready material and is guaranteed to get the dance moving. The title track features a high energy vocal from the ever-ready MC Pean which sits perfectly above grinding bass synths and euphoric synth chords. Pean features again alongside Leeds city grime legend: Dialect for more electric vocals on the 'Supply and Demand' VIP. Following this we hear the demonic bass sounds of 'Hold On' and moogy patterns of 'Shadow Boxing'. This is a great overall project that even comes complete with the 'Taking The Piss' instrumental track.
Review: Two in two weeks? Yeah, why not. We return to Second To None here for the second edition of their 'Street Dubs' EP project, inviting the same cast of El Laurie, Hamdi and Vital Techniques in for a second round refill. We firstly check out the classic grimey flavours of 'Wet Up' from El Laurie, a nostalgic 2-steppy roller, packed with explosive horns and squarewave energy. Next, Hamdi continues down his unique dubstep-inspired path as the waspy tones of 'Wobbly' run riot, before label founders: Vital Techniques bring out the final piece of the puzzle with the abstract rhythms of 'Venom'.
Review: After a string of potent collaborations, Vital Techniques team up with the vicious vocal presence of MC Pean again for a weighty composition on their home imprint: Second To None. Across the introduction we are given grimey rhythms and smooth shells from Pean before sliding into a heavyweight bassline crescendo with lethal synth work and destructive drum processing. This a combo which seems to be able to do no wrong!
Review: Second To None Music regulars Vital Technique return to action with the follow-up to 2019 General Levy hook-up "Give It To Dem". This time round they've got MC Pean in tow, a mic man who last featured on their 2017 EP "Gunfingers". He's in fine form on "Bun Up The Ting", a verified UK funky wobbler laden with wobble-step style bass, siren sounds, laden percussion hits and an ear-catching steel pan style lead line. The duo's tight production, bowel-bothering bass, twisted electronic noises and cheery melodies naturally come to the fore in the accompanying "Instrumental Mix", while the bonus acapella version is perfect for those inventive producers who feel like making their own remix (or DJs who just want to get busy in the mix for that matter).
Review: Having already been dubbed 'fire' by Krissi B and also bigged up by Butterz, the hype around the Wait EP is growing. Back with a bang, the release kicks off with Vital Techniques' speedy hacksaw-bass jam, "Make Me Feel", before Mikey B's "Damage" delivers some seriously aggressive wobble action. Then they pair up for the orchestrated dubby 2-step gem, "Wait".