Review: Horizons continue their run of quality releases with a couple of cuts from Dabs, who teams up with Amoss for title track "Still There" and June Miller for "Ditch". Returning to the former, this one's all about the deep, penetrating bassline with a gnarly edge, razor sharp breaks and pounding tech-ed up power. Vocodered lyrics add to the ominous atmosphere. Then "Ditch" comes in with its neuro overtones, cinematic SFX and gritty b-line pressure. Watch out for the drop - nasty! A superb release for those who like their D&B big, bad and heavy.
Review: These are the breaks! Super-longstanding D&B bastion Drum&BassArena unleash their first EP in over 10 years with a special dedication to the driving drum fusion that's powered all our favourite jungle jams: The breakbeat. It's an all-star cast too... Bladerunner does his thing with a classic subby wobble and skippy breaks, Shimon gets his bouncy skank on with Darrison on "Believe It" while June Miller, James Marvel & MC Mota flip the breaks into a steppier, more fractured dancehall/jungle/madness switch up on "Don Dada". Those in need of a hardcore injection of rave purity should seek and support John B's ruthless "ENERGY" and A.M.C & Turno's glacier-blasting tech-jump melter "Ice Cold". Dedication's what you need.
Review: The ever-talented June Miller duo come up trumps once again with an excellent release on Deep Soul Music. First up is the taught, rippling "Strike Anywhere" with its repressed industrial undertones and Metalheadz-esque patina. Hissing hi-hats, tense SFX and warping bass notes dominate the intro, before it drops into a tough little Ulterior Motive-style work out. The accompanying "Glassjaw", a collab with Circa who we last saw on Med School's "New Blood 010" compilation, makes for a more melodic piece with yearning, melancholic strings and a touch of Neosignal style neurofunk with lashings of soul. Absolutely top-notch stuff here.
Review: If you like your D+B blissed out, stripped back and uber tasteful then this one from the ineffable June Miller duo is very likely to be up your street. Entree "Give Up The Ghost (feat. Rayne)" is all hissing hi hats, atmospheric crackles, yearning bassline and gently shimmering melodies. Then there's "Half Top Feelings" with it's breezy, summertime feeling, gentle beats and hazy atmospherics; check out the Amoss remix as well as he reduces it down and sharpens it up with a tougher edge. Last but not least there's "Neurosis (140 mix)" - a lush, vinyl crackling, piano-chiming piece of beauty that simply must be heard. An outstanding release from June Miller!
Review: What with Critical celebrating their ten year anniversary this year it's only right and proper that there should be a landmark album, looking back on their success to date. Enter Critical X; featuring a carefully curated selection from Critical's past, present and future (watch out for some cracking unreleased material), this is a must buy for deeper D&B heads. Stand outs from across the 16-track album include Breakage's awesome "Staggered Dub", Spectrasoul's iconic "Organiser", and of course jungle revivalist anthem Bladerunner's "Back To The Jungle". Make sure you check out the remixes from Mefjus and Enei, which add the final cherry on the cake for this superb and frankly rather essential release.
Review: In manner of "New Blood, "Critical Sound" and so on, Horizons comes up with a various artists compilation showcasing the fresh new up-and-coming talent on their label. Whilst some names such as June Miller, Cause 4 Concern, Data and Spinline, others may not. Highlights from across the selection include Cause 4 Concerns murky, moody roller "Under Forever", Amoss' "We All Grow" with its politicized lyrics and warping dubbed out b-line and fidgety Rockwell-esque edits and Data's opening cut "Formless", with its clicking beats and growling b-line. A nice taster of what we can expect from Horizons in the future.
Review: A very tidy collection of tracks here from Neil Monteiro's ever-reliable Horizons imprint. From the lush atmospheric sounds of Sunchase, who opens the 12-track compilation, through the ponderous calm of Clarity's "Head Rush" to the bass-driven cuts from June Miller & Reflekt and Nickbee & Malk, this "Internal Affairs 2" provides a great selection from across the deeper side of the D&B spectrum. Household names like Data and June Miller sit alongside new faces and upcoming talent. Other highlights include Pessimist - "Syncopation", a raw, dark little roller, and Blocks' melancholic offering "Undercurrents".
Review: Drum & Bass Arena has ruled on high for nearly 20 years, and in that time has helped to forge the careers of every drum & bass artist worth their salt. It's impossible to downplay the influence the site has had on the scene, as a club brand and an online resource, and this year their official compilation is a doozie. Featuring some of the largest tracks around right now from Friction & Skream, J Majik & Wickaman, DJ Hazard, Rene LaVice, Calyx & TeeBee, Original Sin and Optiv & BTK as well as bangers from fresh artists like Heist, Zen & Nitri, this is an essential purchase for any D&B fan. Focussing on the heavier end of the spectrum this 35 track behemoth is basically your 2013 compendium of bass. Don't leave home without it.