Reviewed this week
Benny Page's Dub Shotta heads to Belgium for some savage laser blazing hellfire courtesy of Basstripper. As always with Mr B, there's no messing around as brutal cuts such as "Lifeforms" and "Your Correct" rip and shred from the off with toxic textures. "Tortured" takes us down a more classical route with a Clipz style use of harmonics and hookiness while "Exhibit 9" sends us off packing more nightmares than you've had in your entire life so far. Filthy!!!
Cor blimey, Jungle Cakes aren't messing around with their Welcome To The Jungle series are they? Hot on the heels of Ray Keith comes another stone cold OG; Nicky Blackmarket. Digging deep across the classics and sparking up a whole forest of fresh fires, it's a 40 track, 2 mix, 10 FX tool trove of pure jungle magic curated with the wide-armed style you'd expect from an originator. With classic ranging from well known such as "Incredible" and "Pulp Fiction" to cult such as "Keep It Raw" and "Gangsters" and upfront jams flexing from all the right names (Serum, Aries, Serial Killaz, Drumsound & Bassline Smith), Blackmarket has absolutely smashed this out of the mark.
Finally! After what seems like an eternity, Souped Up bossman Serum unleashes one of his most long-awaited dubplates 'Lumberjack'. Often topped with a killer flow from Inja, here it is in all its hooky, ever-mutating glory. It's backed with an equally riffy wriggler "Square Root". Bleepy and weird but a hell of a lot of fun, it's like spending a night camped out in a transistor radio with some high quality rum. Serum's a lumberjack... And we're okay!
Just look at the list of titans on this album.... The Prodigy, Sub Focus, Spor, Chase & Status, dBridge & Skeptical, Icicle, Benny L, Artificial Intelligence and so many more have all contributed to this worthy compendium from brand new mental and physical wellness festival Getahead. Not one contributor disappoints across the set as we're treated to 100 percent exclusives from across the board. From the rampant late 90s tech twists of Chase & Status's "All Crew" to the delicious halftime vibes of Proxima's "Trek" right through Halogenix's sense-melting remix of Koiya, this really is a massive piece of work... And proceeds going to Music Minds Matter. This is such an important release!
With statures as high profile and influential as Maji and D, you'd expect the criminal behaviour to be a bit of a no no. But no, these D&B titans are out on the teef every night, keeping things real behind another man's steering wheel. And this is their soundtrack; a bruising Bristol style shredder with an epic elongated harmonic bassline, slamming drums and some on point spoken samples. The result is criminally heavy. Play it like you stole it!
From Russia with love, Impish tells us all to be quiet so he can whisper his own sweet nothings into our ears in the form of his debut album Hush. If you've been listening on vinyl or CD then he's been whispering these sugary murmurs for several months. Now fresh to digital, they sound just as tantalising from the opening soulful vocal workout "Can't Feel" to the last sultry calls from Julia Marks on the closer "Solid". Highlights include the Intalex-nodding "Let Me" (with Zero T), the jazz haze of "That's Right" and the raw jungle slammage of "Shadows". A highly accomplished debut. Make some noise.
Weighing in at a naughty seven tracks, Liondub have effectively squeezed the best part of an album out of Raz right here for their 26th "Street Series" volume. Unlike most albums, however, this is 100 percent floor damagement. From the metallic robobloodclart call to arms on opener "Blood" or the sudden drop into dusty orchestration on "Not Ready" through to finale fire pieces such as the sci-fi shoot out "Short Cut" and the glitched-out drum wriggles of "You Make Me" via dubbed out technoid synth ripples of "Murder You", Raz is on the roll of his life right here. Enough bangers to keep you sweet till Christmas.
Strike it lucky, strike it gully, strike while the iron is hot; Featurecast returns to the mighty party purveying imprint Jungle Strikes with two tasty treats. "Lose Your Mind" is a family affair with some exceptional vocal slicing and drop into the original sample while "Trigger Finger" will have your floor dusting off their gun digits and firing blanks in every ceiling available with its early 2000s style Bristol wobble Q&A. Strike the blood!
You can say a lot of things about Uncle Grav but one thing is undeniable; he brings you down to earth with his every nature. It's the law. Making his debut on DJ Hybrid's ever-on-point Audio Addict imprint here he delivers some serious matters of the day: "Space Exploration" is hookier than Serum's riff-filled coin purse, "The Life Stream" groans like its OD'd on a fog horn collection while "Chasing Clouds" flips for a breezy uplifting Hozzy-circa-2007 vibe. Audio Addict badman-in-residence Kumarachi joins the fray for the finale: the warped and weirded-out bassline bender "Get Up". Get down more like. Time for a slice of good life (stream).
Growing in volume, presence and prominence with every release, Murky up their game once more with the first part of their heavyweight V/A album Turbid Transcendence. Highlights rattle and smoulder from every corner; the almost ballad-like bass groans of Too Greezey's "Sequence", the hot-stepping jungle drum rolls of Raz & RV's "Shadows", the pure dungeon tones and pensive grit of Damageman & Craftamus's "Demons" and T>I's blubbery rubber subs on "Run Flats" are just some of the key points on this killer first chapter. And with eight more bruisers to come, this is only half of the album so far. Big.
Oof. SB81 has never mucked us around with his dark designs but this "Future Point" EP? It's not so much another level rather than another century ahead of the game. Drums to rival Blocks & Escher, atmospheres to rival Jubei's, groove that's up there with Dom & Roland; every cut on this fourpiece slams so hard it will ping you into centuries beyond your time. From the shattering rolling percussion of "Prototypes" to the deep sea introspective dancehall disco of "Tribes", SB81 has delivered an exceptional EP right here. Welcome to the future.
When Hizzleguy tells you to hold it down, you jolly well do it like your life depends on it... And you don't stop until you've worn a massive hole on the floor from holding it down so hard you can't even feel your arms under the pressure of broken glass laser bass any more. "Shockwave" continues the heavy pressure with more dramatic high end staccato rifle riffs. Pure savagery.
Longstanding vibe smasher Coda makes his debut on Twisted's Grid imprint and he's brought along his pal Coy for the ride. Both tracks slap with a certain onomatopoeic justice: "Splatter" feels like a night out in a classic 90s TV gunk tank while the outerplanetary gusts and tubular sub hurricanes of "Conspiracy" are darker than a night in with 100 Illuminati fellows. Don't have nightmares.
Natty Dub vocal queen Regina returns with two more moments of distinctive vocal D&B soul. Tagging up with K Jah for "Another Day", Regina adds a sultry smoothness to some serious ruffneck beats creating a perfect game of shades. "Controlling The Senses" flips the vibe for a much more alluring soulful space jam with dials ably tweaked by Manchester's finest; Dawn Raid. Take control today.
Oh gosh! Evil Intention returns with his second heavyweight slammer of the month and it's one of his grizzliest constructs to date. "Fear" kicks things off with unhealthy levels of oddball croaks built around a well crafted infectious Q&A riff "We're Gonna Die Out Here" is pure laser medicine, healing your sore soul with ever blast and alien gurgle, "Take It Away" is the sound of a gang nicking a job lot of chainsaws from B&Q and letting them all off at the same time while "Wiredo" is as weird as its name kinda suggests; all sandpaper bass and twisted harmonics, it's a brutal way to end a brutal EP. Deliciously evil!
Bristol's Mixjah and Birmingham's K Jah for two sweet and sassy skank-ups; it's a match made in jungle heaven. First the pair go toe-to-toe on a loose drum soul shaker "The Righteous & The Wicked" where breezy pads ease and wheeze behind some very tidy breakcraft. Meanwhile on "Babylon System" K Jah takes Mixjah's original and adds a whole new layer of feels with deftly placed chords and precision step hits. Wicked and bad.
Friends say you're acting crazy? Friends always saying you're the loser? We don't care what you do to them, just be good to Cyantific. Because he's cooked up a serious summer jam right here. Taking a classic Beats International vocal and laying it gracefully over some rising, rippling seashore synths, if this doesn't have your dancefloor singing along then you're playing at the wrong raves. Massive.
Boom boom shake shake the room.... DJ Hybrid adds another label to his portfolio in the shape of Boom 93, a new home for all things early 90s influenced where the focus is squared heavily on strictly the rawest of original jungle craftmanship. Taking launch duties himself DJ Hybrid sets the benchmark with two seismic slabs of brucked up business. "Riddim Runner" is a powerful jam with walloping Dread undertones and drums so stirring they'll leave you feeling seasick. "Don't Watch" follows a similar suit but with added layers of synths soothing your ruffled soul with an occasional oriental motif and a few cheeky hadoukens en route. They DO make them like they used to!
Numa Crew's T-Kay makes his debut on the ever-perennial Nice Up imprint with two authentic slabs of jungle drum & bass. "Arrow" is a whirling breezy workout with its wry nod to the Goodlookin era on its pads while "The Almighty" is a modern day gully fest with a big 'ol groaning bass tone that's not dissimilar to the ones sported by the likes of Serum and Benny L. Heavy duty stuff. Nice up your life!
Flicking up the Vs, Manchester's GTA crew get busy on their fifth instalment of their Vibrations series. Nothing but pure fire from six exciting names in the next-gen game, it's top gear from the off; Sl8r kicks off with a vibrant croaky bassline croak while Hanm follows with a slippery neuro-referencing tech monster. Elsewhere Nothing To Lose & Echidna deliver a slamming Prototypes style floor burner "Imminent Danger", Charlie B gets all ravey and wavey on "Feeling", KS gets savage with roaring metallic bass and raw jungle break rolls of "Out Of Control" and S.Opress just straight up tears us a new one with the high voltage hum of "Gutter Thug". Good vibrations!
Exclusives
VARIOUS - Turbid Transcendence Part One (Murky Digital) - exclusive 25-06-2018
SL8R/HANM/NOTHING TO LOSE/ECHIDNA/CHARLIE B/KS/S.OPRESS - Vibrations V (Grand Theft Audio Recordings) - exclusive 25-06-2018
HIZZLEGUY - Hold It Down/Shockwave (Bulletproof) - exclusive 25-06-2018
Exclusives
CANNON & HYPER:DIMENSION - Disregarded (Pulse audio) - exclusive 22-06-2018
DAVID BOOMAH/TED GANUNG - Nuff Of Dem (Deeper Vision Recordings) - exclusive 07/07/2018
DJ MIXJAH/K JAH - The Righteous & The Wicked (Masterpeace Recordings) - exclusive 27-06-2018
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