Reviewed this week
Woof woof! Kanine makes his debut on Low Down Deep with four barking mad thunder jams. "Mercy" does the foghorn bassline shake in a similar groaning way that Serum and Benny L have championed lately, "Locked Off" takes us for walkies at a heads-down turbo pace via sandpaper bassline bliss while "Signal" would give any dog a massive bone with its laserfied bass screams. Elsewhere "A31" wags its tail respectfully at the Clipz school of riff science while "Command" rips down the walls with a bass texture so toxic it could you put down. Welcome to the doghouse.
Click click click BOOM: Limited returns to Bio HQ with five more far-reaching, all-encompassing thoroughbred D&B wounders. "Click Clack" thumps with a loose flabby bassline that flaps and flops around the swinging kicks, "Lighter Up" wheezes and groans with a 40 a day rasp and a hook that's more addictive than nicotine, "Listen Dis" brings the feels with pristine pianos before hurtling us into a savage grotty bass riff while "Turn Up" barks like a classic Playaz jam circa 2001. The EP climaxes with gully abandon as we're treated to a full sub-soaked VIP overhaul of one of Limited's earliest cuts "Two Left Feet". Turn up!
It's about time drum & bass made a statement about dangers of drugs, and who'd have thought it would be a pair of killers to do it' "Dealerz" gets high on its own supply with uncut grit and danger while "Jitterbug" warns of the tragic after effects of narcotics as you won't stop shifting and skanking for weeks. Elsewhere they foretell the dangers of the herb with the menacing, staccato bassline bruising "Ganja Man", the perilous problems with euphoria and goosebumps on "Feeling You" and send us off to rehab with the savage organ-squeezing, robot pleasing twisted laser bass crescendo "Through The Clouds" Just say yes mate.
Ruffneck Ting let rip into 2018 with the launch of a brand new V/A album The Xtraordinary League Of Jungles 2. As with the previous collection, the album will be a roadblock of stone cold jungle lash-outs and these are the first five tracks to tease us. "Erbman" is all about the warm bassline bounce and strange sci-fi flutters. Kenji goes in on a T>I style stripped back steppy vibe on "I Would" while K Jay gives us not one but two dope collaborations... The wobbled out "Kerplunk" with Verdikt and the rocked-out face-slapper "Rock With Me". Finally the label bosses Dazee and Substance's 1997 tear-up "LF Ant" gets a razor-sharp 21-year update from Genetix & Habitat. Ruffneck ting; heads of the herd for almost 25 years.
No questions asked, no hesitation: When Jack The Ripper tells you to pump it up, you just do it, okay? A swaggering heavily swung two-step leads the charge, a plunging bass texture adds the weight while a classic rave vocal hits the message home. Trust us, you'll be pumping all the way to bank. "Samples" switches our focus to Jack's trust dagger as his signature stabby bass and razor sharp drums draw blood on every 16... Before healing you with subverted euphoria on the breakdown. Two serious vibes, one powerful release... Pumping ain't easy yo!
Heavy breathing intensifies: Ironlung returns to Cre8 with four outrageously stinking peaktime slammers. "Life's A Break" takes a well known rap vocal and wraps it around an abrasive bassline tear-up, "Mutton Dressed As Lamb" pays homage to the matriarch in your family with pure laser venom while "Supper Time" feeds us with high carb, full-fat twisted harmonics. Finally "Jack Sparrow" celebrates the seafaring cult of pirates with a very infectious bassline that's got "sing along" written all over it. Easily Ironlung's biggest release to date. Stay oxygenated!
Hello is that the police? Good. We'd like to report some absolute murderation! The culprits are A.M.C and Turno and they've left the scene of the crime in a bit of mess; amens, bass subversions, drama and bloodshed everywhere, "Vendetta" will never be the same again. Hello is that the fire brigade? Good. We'd like to report some serious dancefloor arson. The culprits are Flowidus and they've left the dancefloor a blazed up mess. Scorched hairs, frazzled goosebumps and third degree burns everywhere. Serious emergency business.
Time for a little Bremen badness: Desire returns to his own label with four powerful sluggers carved strictly for the peakest of peak times. "Retribution" balances a lot of elements as we're twanged by eastern guitar twangs and laser-licking bass shots, "They Actually Do" is all about the stabs and commendable anti-firearms message and "What About A Paradox" balances a ravaged high voltage bassline with some of the sharpest robo-bass shots and sharp-tongued lyrics from MC Seko. Finally we find the German murker crashing into Ironlung and Grimeminister for the riotous "Destroy" where a chaotic intro drops into a crystalline Q&A that holds everyone hostage until the very last low end burp. Highly desirable.
Authentic jungle business: Roots spark up a fat 2018 with these two bubblesome skankers. Fleck & Selecta J-Man's "Rockstone" is all about the uplift. Bouncy bass, positive chords and deft samplecraft, it's got summer vibes stamped all over it. Next up: Aries & Jack Murda raise the battle alarm with the soundclash-ready "Clash 77". Tightly rolled drums, big dub FX and precision vocal shots; slews are guaranteed.
Destination Newcastle: northern newcomers Nectax and Skantia pair up to take a side each on their Dub Damage debut. Nectax takes the lead with "Cypher", a sense-blurring groaner that tips a wry nod at the late 2000s Ram style with its width and gusto. Skantia follows with a rather trippy take on the Belgian jump up sound. Clipped and trimmed lasers cutting like razors and just the right amount of leftfield off-grid looseness to the groove, "Lazer Defence" lives up to its name in the most brutal way possible. Damagement.
Mr Twisted returns with two more instant party-rippers on his ever-shreddy Grid imprint. "Phlegmtrail" bounces with three or four basslines wriggling and worming between each other. Instant funk in every twist and turn, there's a pungent air of 2004 about this snotty grotty number, in the best way possible. "Pedigree Slum" takes us deeper down into Twisted's psyche with a much rougher, denser bassline that's not dissimilar to an Original Sin texture but with much wilder drums. Naughty.
Dawn Wall's mysterious siblings-in-arms Mohican Sun return with five more beguiling pieces of deep D&B soul. Instant warmth hits you from the moment "Don't Wait" glistens through the speakers while "Cold Earth" takes us on an emotional roller ride with mild twinges and star gazing sci-fi. Deeper into the EP we glide to find the alluring and mind-melting mystical brew of "Spiralled", the soft dreamy ebbs and flows of "Calgary" and the restrained, dynamically arranged soul of "Living This Way". Earthy.
Fresh from the bassline factory, Tomoyoshi returns with four more on-point floor-firers. "My Love" eases us in with soul and warmth as a classic vocal stretches and flexes in and out of some tippy reverse textures while "Kung Fu" ups the intensity with a high-end tone fluctuating in and out with sense-blurring vitality. Prefer things shaken not stirred? Don't look any further than "Synapse" with its subverted steel drum tones and farted-out bass warps or "Un Dos Tres" with its early 2000s Clipz style bass grit. Lovely.
This is how you do a remix album! Just look at the names on board here: The Prototypes, The Upbeats, L 33, Misanthrop, Neonlight, Killbox and many more. Each act adding their twist to the Dutch trio's immense 2017 album, carnage screams off every detail. From The Upbeats maniacal twists on "Abduction" to Emperor's theatrical damagement on the trance-fuelled "Scarif" via Current Value's insane energy on "Broken" and Killbox's toxic punk savageness on "The Veil", this isn't so much of a remix album but rather the Old Testament told in the style of heavy tech drum & bass. Hold tight end of days crew!
Two highly respected new gen roustabouts, two tunes, one massive reminder of why Sub-Liminal are killing it right now. Vital takes the virtual A-side with an epic riff monster that rises and rises with venomous stripped back charm while Agro flips the vibe with "I Set This Ting", a much nastier, groaning paranoid number that's more warped than a night out with a timelord. Ting when you're winning.
Bulletproof invite Belgian badman Maze to the party and he's pretty chuffed about the situation. Bringing a load of mates along for the ride, fun is high on the agenda throughout; "Lumpy" (with Emilian Wonk" is a trippy toytown affair with the grottiest bassline you'll hear this side of hades. "Happy" (with Quantix) coughs and splutters positive vibes in the most menacing, tenacious way while "Elephant March" tears up every known rule of the jungle book and stampedes straight into your heart while "Gingerpower" pays homage to the redheads with raw passion and a few cheeky f-bombs along the way. Happy days.
After what is approaching a decade at the cutting edge of bass music, DJ Madd has solidified himself as one of the greats. This latest release sees him team up with the Roots & Future imprint for an explosive halftime two tracker. First up we have Gone Like A Fool which is a schooling in bass control and use of space, incorporating haunting vocals and the occasional moogy arpeggio. On the B-Side we hear Badboy Selection which runs with similar themes alongside additional percussive instrumentation and dubbed out chord FX. This is a weighty one for sure!
We're not even a month into the new year and Furney's already on his second EP. Not that we should seem surprised at all... Alongside Calibre, he's officially the most prolific man in deep drum & bass. And it's always on-point, too. "Feel The Way The Wind Blows" hits with subdued soul and misty atmospherics, "El Masnou" flexes a brilliantly elasticated bassline and some raw yearning cries, "Dorothy Remembers" hits hard with some beautiful mournful strings and happy slappy double bass while "Third Form" closes the show with a sultry smoked-out vocal and some subtly gully bass tones. Full spectrum flavour.
Verdikt makes his debut on Too Greezey's seriously impressive Nuke imprint and he gets his finest bounce on to celebrate. "Inside" has all the vital ingredients: a springy, hooky bassline, sensual vocal elements, rattling drums and a sparse sense of funk. "Hold" takes us deeper down the bass chamber with some wonderfully warm drone tones lingering off each beat in a way that's not dissimilar to Voltage. Ageless, subgenre-less pure pedigree drum & bass jungle.
Following the massiveness of his collabo with Roni Size, Rockwell teases us with another subversion excursion from his forthcoming "User" EP. This time tagging in with one of grime's most iconic and crystal clear voices Flowdan, "Inventor" is a bashment stamper with militant drums and serious sermons from the Roll Deep professor. The results speak for themselves. Bring on the full EP.
Exclusives
DJ LIMITED - Turn Up EP (Biological Beats)
DJ LIMITED - Last Night (Weapons Of Coice) - exclusive 31-02-2018
DR MEAKER - Remedy (Serum & Dr Meaker Remix) (Circus)
Exclusives
JACK THE RIPPER - Pump It Up/Samples (Dub Damage) - exclusive 20-02-2018
JEDI - Century Of Audio Overload (Audio Overload) - exclusive 31-12-2018
CONRAD SUBS - Rampin (Deep In The Jungle) - exclusive 16-02-2017
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