Ironlung - "The Void" (Nu Elementz remix) - (4:23) 175 BPM
Review: The next instalment in the Iron Fist Audio remix series is here and it's four weighty cuts in the style the label has become well known for, with Nu Elementz, Jaydan, Ironlung and Total Recall coming through in style on this one. We especially love the Total Recall remix of Tsuki's 'Deranged', which packs a sweet flowing drum line (mate that snare though...), an addition that carries the whole tune forward and is complimented by a diving, swelling back end that takes no prisoners whatsoever. Jump up big gun Jaydan also performs well here, with a spinning take on synthetic force that inches and stabs its way into your ears. Proper moody this.
Review: Well, when we see releases like this one move into view, it's difficult to describe UKG as anything other than thriving as we are gifted sixteen brand new belters, all stuffed full of nostalgic 2-steppy themes and fantastic vocal leads, showcasing just how strong the scene is looking right about now. We are introduced to a fantastic roster as major UKG players FooR, Soulecta, Blakk Habit, Rico Tubbs, Wittyboy and more are spread throughout the tracklisting, with our personal favourites including the super original, drum heavy grimey twists of 'Where I Wanna Be' from Vital Techniques and CB's super colourful 'Room 931'. Truly excellent work on this one!
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: Bass Legion's first V/A EP since their innovative Liquid Essentials EP last year, The Underground Series will see some of the label's heaviest regulars stretching and flexing their skills across the genres. It kicks off right here with the drum & bass edition. Highlights can be found in every track but only a fool wouldn't relinquish themselves to the trippy melting tones of Vital's warped "Breaking Barriers", Kre & Basshoven's luxury frog chorus on "Bite The Bullet" and Freek's future-flexing Original Sin-style fire up "City Of Tomorrow". And that's only half of it... Bring on the second edition!
Review: Murky Digital are a label who do what their name might suggest in that they release digital murkiness on a regular basis. Black Lagoon is a various artists release that brings together Jaxx, Euphonique, Vital, Damageman and Tarz, all of whom have contributed dastardly naughty tracks. Vital's 'Bank Robbers' is up there with the best of them and it's all about that bassline, a foghorn of groaning, fiery proportions which rattles its way through the arrangement. Damageman also impresses with 'Low Signal', a sub-heavy roller which will please the more minimalistic heads amongst you. Banging stuff.
Review: A massive double header of searing bass action from the fledgling Ramajam Recordings on their latest release. Bristol's Killa Tingz step up first with a infectious combination of new school dubstep bass and old school hardcore - if The Prodigy had made "Out Of Space" now it might sound a bit like this. Next up, Vital Elements and Ruffride turn in a bit of proper drum & bass in the 90s mould, as amen breaks tumble across swelling subs and a huge rave-inspired breakdown - absolutely fantastic stuff.
Review: Mass is back, using his force to compel you to pull ugly bassfaces and throw your drink with an EP that doesn't hold back. Its not the kindest on the ears but then again it's not supposed to be, it's a monograph in hard-hitting sonics and dastardly tones. 'Trance' is undergirded by a booming snare drum and percussive clarity, but the action happens in the steadily melodic but still raucous bassline, a pitched-up monstrosity of dancefloor proportions. The others feature more big synths, but with emphasis instead on forward movement and serene rapidity - top release.
Review: Previously spotted murking the life out of Unauthorised Audio and Wobble Infection this year, the fast-rising Phenom makes his debut on new Kent-based label Profound Beats. Three solos and two collabos with long-time partner in grime Vital deep, essential highlights include the iconic jungle vocal sample on "On My Mind", the low-riding Bristol-style bass funk of "The Real Scarface" and the relentless steppy energy and stark minimalism of "The 10th Commandment" All corners covered.
Jack The Ripper - "Elephant Riddim" - (3:44) 175 BPM
Review: DJ Eazy shakes, wakes and bakes the dead once again with another zombie slaying V/A release on his Walking Dead imprint. Each cut bangs in its own unique direction; Prestige goes for the Belgian bullseye with a stark laser lashing Q&A riff, Eazy gets all theatrical with a spot of orchestral stabs and operatic chants while Vital dusts his chainsaw off with wry limb-losing stepper. Need another tree to hug? You're in good company as Jack The Ripper gets all droney and groany with a vicious Serum-style bass shredder. Time to branch out.
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: We do love a good ol' collaboration EP as it's always nice to see artists coming together under the purview of a label in order to further each other's respective sounds. Tarz, Vital, Tee and Mass have done exactly that, the result being a wicked little EP that's full of variety from start to finish. Vital and Teej steal the show with 'Good Sensi', a bouncing number that's quaint yet full of that raw attitude which so endemic to D&B at the moment - a top, top tune. Lovely liquid also abounds on this release, Vital's 'Don't Pretend' had a superb melody, whilst Tarz's 'Abstract' kicks the whole release off in beautiful fashion. Definitely cop this EP.