Review: Given his encyclopedic knowledge of music, you'd expect any compilation put together by Bill Brewster to be full of unlikely gems and lesser-known anthems. That's certainly the case with After Dark, the first in a new DJ-focused series from the Late Night Tales camp. From start to finish, Brewster's selections are spot on, from the lowdown, slo-mo disco oddness of Sheffield chanteuse Marti Caine's "Love The Way You Love Me" and wide-eyed, acid-laden kosmiche of Coober Peder University Band's "Moon Plain", to the dirty electrofunk of Zed Bias's "Koolade" (featuring Toddla T, of all people) and mid'80s percussion fest of Martin Kershaw's "Keep On Pokin". If that wasn't enough, Brewster has also unearthed a decent Jamiroquai record. The wonders never cease.
Review: There are super-collabo and then there are genuinely epic hook-ups like this. Plasma bossman Safire and MC/poet/soulman extraordinaire DRS are the consistent figures across both tracks as two of the best producers in the game join in for each piece. Skeppy takes the lead with the purring, deep breath creeper "With You". The ideal glacial bed for Del's cold bars, if you're not goosebumping to this there's something wrong with your soul. Similarly, if you're not swooning in good vibrations to "Set The Bar" - this time with absolute OG Zed Bias joining them on dials - then you should call a doctor ASAP. What a release.
Review: What a wicked way to end the year... Drop The Lime's label are celebrating six years in the business and their best year yet for releases. And they're not doing it by patting themselves on the back or re-hashing their best moments. No; they've paired up their favourite artists for some serious unique collabo freakery. Each one of these demands attention but the haunting house hip-hop of Deathface & Lil Internet, the stripped back n' sexy booty bass of Star Eyes & UFO and the cosmic bass wizardry of Zombies For Money & Slap In The Bass. A damned fine collection.
Review: Tru Thoughts have been around since the late 90s, championing all things modern with a soul, jazz and funk edge. Now their A&R dude Robert Luis has decided to compile their best disco-style releases, and why not? The Quantic Soul Orchestra's "Pushin On" is cinematic foot music built around an infectious loop, Zed Bias revisits 1980s Minneapolis with the help of Toddla T on the downright nasty groove of "Koolade", Bonobo remixes Nostalgia 77's "Quiet Dawn" in a downtempo jazzy style, Hint's "Aliens Enter" is as close you can get to 80s synth-soul without a time machine and Natural Self's "In The Morning" is a killer, off kilter jazz-meets-funk-and-dubby-house oddity.
Review: Champion's Formula fam come correct on this expertly curated 15-track exploration into the future realms of bottom heavy music. With exclusive cuts and versions firing from all the label's most consistent contributors, it covers all relative corners creatively; from Killjoy's gameshow grime "Turnt Ones VIP" to the chiselled, sinewy two-steps of Terror Danjah & Zed Bias's "Telepathy" via the sheet metal snares on Flava D's "Break", this collection goes further than representing a forward-thinking imprint but also documents exactly where bass music is heading in the future. Grand prix business.
Review: Swamp 81 present their first ever V/A compilation and it's a solid family affair as the label's oldest and newest mates contribute some of their starkest, darkest, stripped back designs. Freshman Chunk brings forth some brilliant broken minimalism in the form of "Oun_C" and the off-beat oddities of "Tolk To Meh", legit don Zed Bias is present with the gurgling, warped-bass broken beat slinker "Chokehold" and label OG Mickey Pearce is all about the technoid fusion on "Warm Barzz" and slugged-out wriggler "Jersey". Elsewhere Paleman dishes up three mean pieces of iced soul in the form of the metallic stepper "Newun", the spiritual spatial UKG subversion "Dining & Bar" and the star-lit classic electro jam "Animus". Complete with serious pressure from Cousin and Lamont, this is a stunning statement of where the label is at and, of course, where it's taking us in the future.
Review: Fresh from his "Hammerhead" escapades on Aquatic Lab, Dave Jones dons his Zed Bias guise for another slippery bass session. This time he takes the footwork formula and twists it inside out in a way only he knows how: "Driftin" soothes with jazzy chords and velvet vocals from Zoel Violet, "Fever" is all about the dense physical drum arrangements while "Hipbounce" is a sonic sandstorm of soca and occasional UKG bass belches. Unique as always.
Review: Bass hero Zed Bias (aka Maddslinky) has been delivering some sizzling jams on a host of like-minded labels of late. Now's he's hooked up with 81, a sub-label of Swamp81, and he's taking no prisoners with two raw cuts of nasty electro - the minimal sleaze-bounce of the title track and the dark tropical claustrophobia of "Chokehold". Restless electronic beatmaking at its best.
Review: UKG legend Zed Bias makes a return on the Biasonic imprint for the first volume of his new LP project 'Selectah'. From start to finish Zed is flexing his production muscles, dipping in and out of garage, funky, house, uk bass, grime and everything in between. Immediate stand outs for us have to include the dancefloor inspired flows of Specialist Moss on 'Dem Done', the skippy UKG arrangements of 'Selectah' alongside DJ Principal and of course the collaboration with long time grime high flyer Discarda entitled 'Nutta'. We also see guest appearances from the likes of Wookie, Atjazz, KSR, PK Brako, Fallacy, Trigga, MC Juiceman, Tyler Daley, Eva Lazarus, OneDa & Trigga, making this quite a high profile collection!
Give Up The Ghost (Calibre remix - feat Nasrawi) - (6:25) 171 BPM
Pick Up The Pieces (Skeptical remix - feat Boudah) - (5:19) 170 BPM
Review: Following last year's exemplary album from the Manchester-based soul man Zed Bias, Exit unleash the first batch of remixes, and they come from two of the best in the game. Calibre first "Give Up The Ghost" with rolling subtleties and a warm, alluring drive that only he can do. Skeptical takes care of the second remix with a similarly on-point twist on "Pick Up The Pieces" where a menu of alien tones and textures lurk and linger in the cavernous spaces. Both deliver.
Review: Zed Bias on Digital Soundboy: Hook-ups don't carry much more weight than this. "Heavy Water Riddim" is a tight weave of rain stick magic and layers of mesmerising percussion. Loaded with sudden riddim switches, it's both minimal and full bodied and builds to a deadly breakdown by way of ominous synths. "Hurting Me" engages Zed's more soulful mode thanks to its emphatic synths and insistent Kerri Chandler-style hook. Once again representing himself as a true player in all groove fields, Zed Bias has delivered something very special here.
Review: As one of two Zed Bias releases we see drop this weekend, we are thrilled to take a trip down memory lane as he brings us the first of his 'From The Vaults' series, unleashing 10 original rare UKG cuts for us all to enjoy. The project features some very recognizable riddim names, including the long awaited instrumental version of the classic 'Neighbourhood' anthem, alongside the spacey breaks of 'Ring The Alarm's instrumental cut and rave-ready energy of 'Voicemail'. Our highlight from this project has to be the moody rolls of 'Life Is What You Make It', a stunning archived collaboration with Jhay Palmer, perfect for the after party!
Review: Oh boy... Dave Jones has blessed us with six Zed Bias album (his eighth album in total if you include his Maddslinky LPs, and you really should) and the world immediately feels like a nicer, warmer place. Building on his deep foundations of space-aged soul, roomy drum arrangements and raw emotions, Different Response is riddled with timelessness and atmospheres that resonate with every corner of the dance from soul to jungle to techno; the slight vapour trails of Dego and powerful vocal pull of Eva Lazarus on "Restless", the gully gospel of "Lost Souls" with DRS, the cosmic synths and rattling footwork of "Just Like Ohm" and the badded up turbo bruk of "Jibba Jabba" are just some of the many delicious highlights on offer here. No one does it like Zed.
Review: Not only do we see Zed Bias put together a selection of Rare UKG cuts this weekend, we also see him unleash this, the 'Various Dubs & Bass Nuggets' edition of his brand new 'From The Vaults' series. Made up of 10 previously lost or unreleased creations, this is an absolute gold mine for any UKG fanatic. From the lo-fi vibes of 'Subway BB' and nostalgic rhythmic expressions of 'Spiritual (extended VIP)' to moogy bass patterns of 'Hypno', the project holds something for everyone. We would like to make a special mention to the stunning arpeggiated harmonies of 'Primeval Source' and of course the unpredictable melodic layout of 'Luther', which land as our two highlights of this legendary selection.
Review: An undoubted favourite from Zed Bias' recent "Blasonic Hotsauce" LP, "Night Lovers" features Skream/Magnetic Man vocalist Sam Frank fed through a mighty vocoder over a uncharacteristically slow, syrupy electro-funk beat that brims with post-midnight neon goodness. Greenmoney rework "Night Lovers" into a sped-up tropical banger, complete with lashings of Latin carnival percussion, while Rinse's Scratcha DVA keeps things warm and enormously future-funky thanks to some wavering synths and a deep set of kicks and hats. CRST also does wonders with the single, providing a Blawan-esque mix of percussion and soft synth stabs.
Review: Zed Bias is back with a mega single pack in collaboration with Tyler Daley, and we couldn't be more excited. The original LP version of 'Say It' is a masterpiece, as Bias provides the perfect, smoothly engineered backing for Tyler's unique vocal presence, finding unpredicted harmonies and choppy rhythms in pocket after pocket. The release is jam packed with remixes also, including an awesome steppers remix from dubstep legend: Silkie, a club heavy drum and bass switch up from Juiceman and a selection of other revamps. Great stuff as per from the main man!
Review: UKG legend and all around underground dance music icon Zed Bias makes his return here via Biasonic for a very enjoyable remix project, which takes a deeper look into 'Fwd & Back'. First of all, we dip into an exciting 2018 rework of the original creation, beefing up the drums, bass notation and atmospheric pressure to compliment the assertive vocal even more than before. We are also gifted an official remix from Shontay, who takes a look at reworking the track into a moogy half time format, perfect for tripping out the dance. This one also comes complete with the original instrumental and vocal mixes.