Reviewed this week
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.
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.



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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Belgian badmen Fanatics unleash more data spinning grot on their spiritual home Walking Dead. Four moments of stripped back fire; it's all about the riff and weirdo toxic bass designs from start to finish. "Quasar" will have you jittering in your own sweat, "Blanka" will have you sweating in your own jitter, "Duel" is all about the air-slicing karate moves you'll want to pull every time you hear this while "Bug Lite" pays tribute to a cool combo of techno, frogs and joyous insubordination. Essential.
London's Rob Blaze steps forward on continuously impressive Audio Addict imprint with a box of impressive weighty rollers for the label's fifty-first official release. Blaze displays fantastic versatility and finesse across the breadth of the EP, navigating effortlessly between the techy styles of the title track into the more subtle liquid inspired arrangement of 'Don't Take It Away'. From this we move into a super subby roller by way of 'Seen You Before' which holds crispy drum layers in pleasing unison before we land onto the final track, a tearout titan entitled 'Stop It'. Finally, the ever dependable DJ Hybrid emerges on remix duty with a minimal neuro rework of 'Under Pressure'.
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.
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.
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!
Damage Report returns to Twisted's recently revived Grid imprint with another absolute shredder-fest. Six-tracks deep, it's mean, it's raffish, it's toxic, it's rolling, it's hooky; ain't nobody messing around right here. "Frankenstein" is every bit as freaky as its title suggests, "Don't Offend Me" ignites with an almost trancey feel before dropping into a late 90s Bristol steppy sound, "Banana Tree" is a bongo-busting rattler that purrs with subby goodness, "It's Alive" is a stripped back spook-fest that wouldn't go amiss in a Serum set while "Rope Swing" leaps through the jungle with a truly chest-beating bassline and "Message Of Doom" signs out the EP with the deadly intention it deserves. Damage Report has been smashing it for several years now. This is the sound of him levelling up once again.
Seriously respected for his abilities in the studio as much as his stage presence, Coppa's status is golden across the game. And he's about to show exactly who shiny that gold is with his new album "Poetry In Motion". Courtesy of Shimon's Audioporn, it features a premiership producer rollcall and it begins here with man of the moment Benny L. Hitting Coppa with another signature low blow, his moody fog is sliced through by Coppa's direct flow. "Bring War" murks up the mix even more as Shimon and Trimer lay down a wretchedly sparse groove that rumbles and shimmers in equal measure. Pure poetry; we can't wait to hear the whole album.
After a surge of recent releases in 2017, Kenny Ken's Mix & Blen returns to present Supply & Demand in collaboration with Dan I for a full length project. Featuring 3 original creations with fantastic lead vocals and 2 official remixes, this is a solid drum and bass package. The whole EP is extremely colourful in it's musical arrangement, with smooth autotuned vocals taking the introductory lead in 'Yeah' whilst more club-driven themes move freely throughout 'Hurricane' and 'Flicky Sher Shur'. The remixes add a whole new avenue to this release, with Supply & Demand bringing a jungle inspired mix of 'Profile' and Kenny Ken providing a more euphoric recreation of the same track.
Exclusives
TOTAL SCIENCE/QUADRANT/IRIS/CRITICAL IMPACT/ARCATYPE - Classified V3 (Computer Integrated Audio)
BRIAN BRAINSTORM - Forward (Liondub International) - exclusive 31-12-2018
FILTHY HABITS - Remixes EP (Clawhammer) - exclusive 31-12-2017
Exclusives
TURNO - Power LP Part 2 (Lowdown Deep)
AVALON RAYS - Under The Stars (Soul Deep) - exclusive 30-11-2017
HABITAT - Gun You Down/Salutes & Signals (Original Key) - exclusive 26-11-2017
Top Labels
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