Reviewed this week
Power up! Turno lets rip with the second part of his debut album. Once again it's an all-out sesh of the most eclectic order with a firm focus on the heavier side of his repertoire. Kicking off with a classic roughhouse Turno jump-up sound on the title track we're then hurled into a tech-teased bassline hurricane on "Covenant" while "Decapitated" genuinely lives up to its name. Finally we hit "Jekyll & Hyde". A deep Shogun-style stepper with lean elements and an iced soul, it's a fitting way to end the second powerful instalment of an artist who's absolutely smashed this year to pieces.



It doesn't get much deeper than this: Dom's first posthumous release, this was locked and loaded in the chamber just before he tragically passed in June. Time to pay respect; both on dub for well over a year, their heavy-demand status speaks for itself. Azza accelerates the intensity onf "Raise Up The Pressure" over a signature Dominator riff, all stripped back and spiky yet bouncy. "Roach Rizla", meanwhile, is a step-by-step guide to citrus bliss with the one and only Grima. Both essential in every possible way. Rest In Peace.
The only problem we've had with Dawn Wall so far is not being able to work who they are. Until now... "Problems" is the anonymous act's most diverse and far-reaching EP to date. The title track adds even more mystery to the Dawn Wall story as it bombards us with a shredded bassline that's not dissimilar to SpectraSoul at their heaviest. "Never Say" plays a cool contrast with lush soulful breezes, spiritual feels and a light-footed feel to the riddim while "Shy" is all about the head trip with its soft harmonic keys and shimmering pianos. Further into the journey we're struck with overwhelming, soaring textures and skin-bubbling bass on "Nomad" and the triumphant soul finale "Lemon Dogs". Impeccable, once again.
Fire in the hole! Twisted Individual continues his return to the top of gully mountain with this collection of re-rubs of early-mid-2000s classics. Taking the lead himself with a rasping, gurgling take on his sweary, lairy "F Word", he sets the scene for the remix ruckus that follows... Damage Report will have you spitting your lls and your ffs with his riff-celebrating twist on 2002's classic "Wales", the omnipotent T>I adds a yummy swing and zest mouthfeel to one of Twisted Individual's trippiest delicate creations of all time "Swan Cake" while DJ Limited busts up a bloodclart or two with his subtle sharpening of "Galloping Elephant". Total version disturbance.
Achtung baby! Cologne's Brain Brainstorm returns to Liondub with this powerful seven-piece collection. Dubby flavours, hazy skanks, junglist beats and toxic levels of bass all play a lead role throughout: "Kill A Drum Pan" hits with tidal textures, "Forward" strips us back even further to the drum groove, "Moving On" fuses some expert cosmic drum work and sensual soul from Lady D-Zire, "Inside The Vaults" is all about the contrast between the euphoric pads and sizzling Lomax-style bass riffs while "Red Eyes" hits with an emphatic and heavily conscious vocal. Finally we're treated big horn magic on "Let It Go" (don't worry it has nothing to do with the Frozen song of the same name) before concluding with the rippled waves and tightly plucked guitar of "Brooklyn Dub Pt 2". An impeccable collection of modern jungle - this is close to a whole album. No filler in sight.
Clawhammer get mucky with two cutthroat remixes courtesy of Filthy Habits. First up comes a devilish twist on Aweminus & Danger's "Get Ya Respect" as the bassline gets flipped harmonically into a much more hair-raising experience while Syndicat's "Illusions" is turbo-charged into a brass blazing beats with a bassline so abrasive it also acts as an exfoliator. Heavy stuff... Filthy by name!
Ten Ton Beats was started in 2011 by Rekless, since then the imprint has discovered many exciting debutants and become a gallant stepping stone for many artists. 'Flat Earth' is slow moving and raw with sharp drums, a disgustingly low sub and maybe one the funniest vox samples we've heard in a while. 'Addict VIP' is (for want of better words) an absolute banger, the slow, understated wavy sub is just so naughty you become totally transfixed by it, it's a good job there's a handful of whistles and drum crashes thrown in to wake you up. Damageman's remix of MQ's 'Slammin' sees simple breaks layered with early rave chords, wails and vox. 'Deadly Force' is deep and dark, bleeding the dirtiness jump up, with eloquent techy elements mixed with the occasion snip of soft female vocal, we are rating this track highly.
This is your mission, should you choose to accept it: Check out these highly classified C.I.A bangers and slap your dancefloor silly with them as soon as possible. All weapon's grade material, each tune hits with the soul, sentiment and weight you'd expect from Total Science's now-21-year-old label. Villem switches up "False Alarm" with a little barbed swing, Critical Impact collides with Jakes for a deadly metallic roller on "Geeks & Geezas", Total Science add a little jazz to the riot while Arcatype brings the assignment to the poignant end it deserves. Each one direct and deadly when dropped at the right time; the mission is there should you choose to accept it. The message will self destruct in five seconds.
Giving us just a month of recovery time from the inaugural chapter, German gully scientist Danee B unleashes the second instalment of his Perfect 10 LP project. Once again, a rich variety and scope is at play throughout; the mid 2000s-era riff and euphoric breakdown of "Tell Me", the junglised skanks and shatters of "Jah Is There", the wobbled-out tones and sub groans of "Mindlock", the Twisted Individual style croaks and jokes on "Battlefield" and the beautiful sun-skanked dubwise finale "Positive Vibes". Ten out of ten.
Five years of pure filth flinging: Birmingham's highly respected Dubstomp 2 Bass crew celebrate this half decade milestone of murkery with an incredible 20-strong collection of tracks from their current collective of dangerous souls. Everyone is packing their a-game: from the swooning sexy R&B vocals of Jedi's "Oh Slow" to the jazzy twangs of Tomoyoshi's "Monochrome" to the jaunty loose limbed breaks, sly subs and orgasmic breakdown of Lymitless's "Silence Of Sound" to the brittle laser Qs and grotty groaning As of Subside's "Blast 'Em", every track here is primed for peaktime slappery, not only representing the label's presence and strength now... But hinting at an even bigger future.
Nuke fire off another cannon of monthly scuds and it's chaos once again as Uncle Grav takes the controls for four blistering work-outs. "Don't You Wanna Dance" hits with a steel-melting bassline that cuts through the mix with alarming clarity, "Get It On" dims the lights for a little rolling healing in a rumpy pumpy bumpy bassline way while "Bath Salts" takes us deep down the wobble tunnel with trippy results. Finally "Atomic Blast" celebrates Nuke's spirit with an outrageous bassline punch-up that's reminiscent of a young Taxman. Boom.
Fresh from his Rogue album on Multi-Function, Envenom makes his debut on High R8 with four sharp sonic slappers. Electrified with his signature high end style, each track really blasts with a hair-raising energy and laser-frazzled aesthetic. "Panic Room" lives up to its name with prang-inducing iciness and franticness, "More" twists with a little more Q&A riff funk while "Can't You See" plays a cool contrast between the soulful vibey breakdown and a razor blade riff that slices first and don't even bother to ask questions later. Finally "No Mercy" brings the most twisted highlight with a brilliantly warped, crying bass weep that flutters forlornly yet furiously. Let panic commence!
As far as active legendary producers go within the Grime scene, there aren't many with the same high level of consistency as Silencer. Fresh off the back of his super popular 'Butcher' EP, he teams up with the electric energy of Maxsta on 'Black Mask'. Silencer goes to work to provide a dark and thunderous instrumental backing for Maxsta to run riot over with his skippy vocal patterns and uniquely creative grasp of multisyllabic patterns whilst describing some of the dark events of his past and present. It's dark, weighty and an instant must for grime DJ's nationwide.
Almost four years have passed since Survival & Script first got together and the beats continue to keep flowing at a staggeringly consistent and a-class rate. Capturing the raw, rolling essence of drum & bass with every production, here are four more examples of their on-pointness: "Twisted" is a tunnelling slab of 1999 with a bassline that purrs from here to Omicron Persei-8, "Break It" is straight up tribal funk while "Native Girl" is a shaker-rattled roller with beautifully alluring vocal textures. Finally "Wake Up" bids us cheerio with a twisted two-step and a rampant technoid slap. Scarred for life.
Followers of ragga influenced jungle will already know all about Furney, he's earned his stripes, with releases on labels such as LDMusic, Good Looking Records, C.I.A Deep Kut and Liquid V to name a few, here we see what he's got for Soul Deep Exclusives 'Jamacian Jazz' is a nostalgic stroll down the road of jungle past with the bulk of the track built around real twangs of bass, and jungle breaks which we can't help but relate back to Roni Size's influential New Forms LP. 'See Mi Yah' is a sunshine drenched squeeze of ragga jungle with quick amens placed between syncopated patterns. 'Iowa' is our favourite track of the release, fast passed drums tumbling like cascading waterfalls, a deadly low sub sulking beneath the track ready to pounce and hot horns bringing some sun.
Cruk a duck! Rising northern artist continues to rip from strength to strength this year as he hits the hallowed halls of Critical's Binary series. Four cuts deep, each one explores and celebrates a different side to his sound. "Cold Top" adds a little murked dancehall demonism into his roller mix, "Devil And The Deep" is a pure pressure plunge stepper with some fantastic sound design while "Undoing" strips back Cruk's sound to its bare bones and rebuilds it again. Finally "Lit" shows off Cruk's halftime biceps for the first time and the results are more than satisfying.
Sub-Liminal solider Mentah continues to dig deep into his craft as he unleashes two more disturbingly heavy workouts. "Shadow Of Doubt" is a real grumbling, bone-shaking rattler with a warped bassline that echoes with deep unease. "Autoguns" fires with more of a laser-lashed edge as rough metallic bass textures groan with alien aggression. Both hitting that sweet spot between tech and dancefloor with serious attention to detail and dynamics, these kill it... Undoubtedly.
20 years old and still sounding 20 years future: Roni and Reprazents' blueprint Mercury award winning album changed the game in every direction and still sounds completely of its own to date. Now polished with a little modern mastering touches without losing any of its rough, rolling Bristol soul, New Forms is an essential addition to any collection for all purposes; get sucked deep inside the likes of "Matter Of Fact" on your headphones, woo your respective other to the ultra-funk of "Watching Windows", blow your mind with the time signature science on "Jazz" or just batter your dancefloor with the likes of "Brown Paper Bag", "Trust Me" or "Morse Code". In fact there aren't many scenarios in life where this album doesn't fit perfectly. If this isn't in your collection yet, now is most definitely the time.



Time for a little Russian rough housing: Playaz continue to rep the next-gen with this caustic five-piece from St Petersburg pirate Ozma. It's a riot from the off with the off-beat, clipped stabs of "Lazer Gun" hitting in a wonderfully weirded-out seasick kinda way. Other highlights include the sandpaper "Bar Fight" style bass scuffs f "Fiesta", the pitched percussion hits and toxic bassline of "Laboratory" and the all-out glitch frenzy of "Letters". Lazer fingers at the ready, prepare to fire!
Boom: Frankee's just opened a whole can of Ram whoop-ass and everyone is invited. His debut album, Sanctuary is a clear love letter to drum & bass as he takes us on a cosmic trip through the emotional and dynamic highs and lows of the genre. From the young Sub Focus-style whirlwind of the title track to the immense technoid brain-melter "Skuttle" via the cinematic theatre of "Think For Yourself", the tripletty swing and tense narrative of "Dead Head" and care-free rippage of "Real DJ", this is Frankee at his most wide-armed and accomplished. There's a reason Ram signed him from the get-go. Immense.
Exclusives
BRIAN BRAINSTORM - Forward (Liondub International) - exclusive 31-12-2018
TOTAL SCIENCE/QUADRANT/IRIS/CRITICAL IMPACT/ARCATYPE - Classified V3 (Computer Integrated Audio)
FILTHY HABITS - Remixes EP (Clawhammer) - exclusive 31-12-2017
Exclusives
AVALON RAYS - Under The Stars (Soul Deep) - exclusive 30-11-2017
DAWN WALL - Problems EP (Integral))
FURNEY - Jamaican Jazz (Soul Deep) - exclusive 27-11-2017
Top Labels
samurai music
Metalheadz
dread recordings
fokuz
Renegade Hardware