Review: If you count his albums as Spectrasoul and his debut LP as Workforce ('Late Night Soundtrack') then this is Jack Stevens' fifth artist album. But in some ways it's more like a debut album as it's definitely his most considered and sculpted body of work. Featuring ongoing themes and samples of consciousness and the trippy sax textures of Leroy Horns, the album is able to explore the vast, sprawling D&B vista while remaining consistent. Working like a set or journey that's fully playable on the dancefloor yet whisks you into a unique universe, very few drum & bass albums dig as deep or are as articulated as well as this. Fifth album or debut - it's definitely his best, which is saying something.
Review: Work hard, rave hard; Jack Workforce continues to dish out next-level tackle with 'Care & Consideration'. Jumping over to Alix's 1985 for the occasion, it's four of his finest cuts to date. 'Show You Something' with Javeon has a vocal hook and dark groove that's up there with 'Oblique' as a serious soulful vocal anthem. 'Apply The Breaks' is a savage slab of 23rd century jazz that nods respectfully to the likes of Krust while 'Don't Tell Part 2' takes off where the first one left us on last year's 'Late Night Soundtrack'... Bewildered by pure roller energy. Finally 'Reasons', another vocal led one with a really interesting riff texture and super detailed drums. Exceptional.
Review: It's hard to overestimate the extent to which Workforce has killed it since he migrated away from SpectraSoul, and the Worthing-based producer is back to his typically prolific self with this single on 1985 Music. Workforce and Alix Perez is a combination from heaven, and both of these tunes display the impeccable engineering, sleek soundscapes and unmistakeable vibiness that they're both known for. 'Don't Tell (Part II) is just pure energy, a chaotically cool dancefloor roller that functions partially as a VIP of 'Don't Tell' from Workforce's last album, but which has been remade anew for 1985 replete with technoid flutters and crisper, more precise percussion. The flipside is liquid of the most Perez of forms, a melancholic, silicon stroll through Javeon's vocal soul and whispering shimmers of summer synthesis. Best in class.
Review: The remix EP to arguably the best album of the year is here, as Tim Reaper, Break and Halogenix step up to put their own spins on a triplet of tracks from Workforce's Late Night Soundtrack album. Break is the first and his take on 'Overnight Express' featuring SP:MC is a ghostly apparition of urban-edged, dystopian funk that slaps harder than a mule in heat. Its kick-heavy build amps up the suspense and the satisfaction on the drop is immense, a diving, bending track that carries serious weight. Tim Reaper has flipped the lounging liquid of 'Two Words' into something bubbing and Breakage-esque, a punchy track with an even punchier 303 bassline, all set adrift in a whispering sea of vocal melancholia. The best is arguably saved for last, as Halogenix takes 'Your Loss' and splices it into small, chunky sections that bleed into one another with stabby intent, a bright and shiny track with incredible drums and synthetic supremacy coming out the wazoos. Unbelievable.
Review: 1985 is undoubtedly one of the most exciting labels in drum & bass and never fails to push music that's fresh and exciting. The Folio/ series is coming to an end, but the third instalment is a worthy final chapter in Perez's four-track VA odyssey. He's roped in some of the scene's best with Halogenix, Workforce, Visages and Hyroglifics all joining Perez himself across the four tracks, and the results are futuristic, danceable and deeply satisfying. 'Unlustrous' is unique in its structure, with flowing, wobbly arrangement that builds and builds over the entire tune into something massively heavy. Hryglifics possibly has the most creative track with 'Day By Day', while Workforce's 'Simple, Positive Things' is relentlessly dark. Top class.
Review: Must Make maestro Jack Workforce has presented slabs galore since activating his solo project last year with "Late Night Soundtrack" volume one. Since then he's delivered the absolutely huge "Your Moves" on Exit, collabs with The Upbeats and Rockwell and delivered two more EPs in this series. Now comes the full album. Every release in the "Late Night Soundtrack" series plus two dope new pieces; the grimacing, oily steps of "Really Obnoxious Rich Kids" and the sombre soul of "Heart Crossed". The final pieces in his late night puzzle, they wrap up an exceptional year for the SpectraSoul member. We're excited to hear what he makes next...
Review: More Late Night Soundtrack business from the Brighton workhorse that is Workforce. Hot on the heels of his unanimously supported "Your Moves" on Exit comes "Heart Crossed". Another springy but subdued cut, there's a tension in the lightness and a barb to the soul as at first we feel the breezes but on closer inspection get kicked in the goulies by the groaning bass. Another exceptional piece of work from Stevens, and hopefully the sign of more nocturnal nugs very soon...
Review: Is Jack Stevens a butcher in disguise? Because he's certainly gone HAM on his Workforce project this year. A dominant force throughout 2019, the SpectraSoul member has dented our playlists and collections with three weighty EPs this year; two on his own Must Make imprint and now this end-of-year curveball on Exit. Six track in total, each one digs deep into the foundations while sounding like nothing else being made right now. EP essentials include the unapologetic bashment of "Take Your Time", the savage two-step and Quarantine headbutt of "Didger", the industrial funk and technoid dynamics of "Make Me" and the dark sensuality of the title track. But to be honest every track is essential. This is seriously high grade stuff.
Review: One half of Spectrasoul, Workforce is automatically a force to be reckoned with and his newest EP on his brand new Must Make Music imprint only confirms that. 'Don't Tell' is the first of four and arguably the best, with a huge drum sound that defines the tune from the offset, and which underpins a guttural sense of funk and power - jump-up influenced in all the best ways. 'Dotdotdash' is growlier and more stripped back, its gravelly lower end creeping all the way through the arrangement. 'Fragments' takes things a little lighter, whilst 'Setting Traps' is a steppy and precise depiction of the scene's breakier side. Love this one.