Reviewed this week
Badman Bou is in the house! Making his debut on Serum's impeccable label Souped Up label, it's nothing but four tracks of absolute sonic lava. "Mankind" is all drone and no moan as a metallic bass textures scrapes itself over some slinked-out rolling breaks, "Higher" sees him teaming up with Current Value (who he actually inspired to write a whole album without realising) for a technoid pumper with venomous springy stabs, "It's A Trap" is all about the rubber ball bass shots and flagrant cheekiness before "No Love" bids us adieu with another powerful tunnelling metallic bass drone. Lovely stuff.
Sub Killaz make their debut on Majistrate's Sweet Tooth with four absolute stinkers. Heavy but not so bashy they scare away half the crowd, the San Diego duo have found the perfect balance between power and funk with a soul that feels like it takes root in Bristol around the early 2000s or Playaz around the mid to late 2000s. Highlights include the raw soulful lead and the groaning bass of "If This World Were Mine" and the utter riff damagement of "Cry Baby". You dancing? We're asking...
Usually spotted on Samurai Bass, Stafford's Subsonic jumps aboard the good ship Subway Soundz with four disgusting battle tracks. All of which pack serious infectious bass riffs: "Shaolin" is all about the 97 style wobble, "Crunchy Nut" is a cross between a swarm of killer bees and a grumpy young Clipz, "Destroy" makes you feel like you're stuck in a metal tube while kids are kicking footballs really hard at the walls outside (in the nicest possible way) while "Bingo" goes for an early 2000s BBK style drama jam. Full house!
The tremors from Levela's Genesis album still persist well into 2018 but we're still feeling seismic shockwaves. Now in remix form! Sub Zero and Limited strip back and rebuild "Koodana" with a riff that could raise the roof of five stadiums combined. Kanine takes "Memory Lane" and switches it to fastlane without so much as a seatbelt while T>I strips back "Tyrant" to its bare elements and adds his signature cosmic flurries and latent funk. Finally Dub Elements close the remix earthquake with a nasty dancefloor take on "Cowabunga". Another day in paradise...
Man like Macky Gee steps up with his fourth artist album and it's by far his most diverse, direct and deadly album to date. Instantly kicking off with pure theatre of "Emperor", Gee then hurls down the stairs with a cavalcade of thumpers, bumpers and bangers. Highlights include the riffalicious spring of "Fever" with Zinc, the icy licks, groaning bass tones and Shotta's powerful bars on "Draw For The Draw", the grotty toxic riffage of "Turn Up" (with Erb N Dub), the swaggering dreamy emotional number "Cloud 9" and the lighter raising anthem-in-waiting "Moments"... And that's just the tip of the banger iceberg. Macky is doing it like no one else right now.
Brain-basher number one: German heavyweight Brian unleashes the parts of last year's massive "Forward" EP to a whole host of super-respected peers. The results are every bit as forward-thinking as you'd hope. Highlights include Bassface Sascha & Phlex maintaining the piano-laced vitality of "Inside The Vaults", Serial Killaz adding heavy layers of jungle murk to "Kill A Drum Pan", Bou continuing to show expert trippy science on his take on "Red Eyes" and DJ Hybrid stretching the elements for a roomy skanked out jungle twist on "Moving On". That's the tip of the remix iceberg. Time to push things forward...
Hurters don't come much more heavy hearted than these. Just over a year before he was tragically taken away from us, Dom's legacy lives on with two important additions to his hugely influential back cat. The long-awaited "History Making" VIP finally enjoys a release complete with its beautifully trippy melted jazz breakdown while A.M.C is given Dom and Turno's classic "Bomb Squad" and gives it an explosive twist of its own. Rest in peace Dom.
Multiple label mogul, card carrying junglist and all round badman DJ Hybrid shares the parts of last year's piano-laced roller "Love The Vibe" to five expert new-gen speaker smashers; Stompz takes us down a guttural tech-twist path only showing shards of the original's euphoria, Kumarachi goes mental with rattling breaks and dub sirens galore, Damageman maintains the uplifting pianos while switching up the bassline into a stripped back growler, Sl8r brings is signature devil bass while Furniss closes the show with a bass riff so ugly all mirrors in the club will shatter when you drop it. Vibey.
Sub-liminal sleepers this one is for you... The UK label have just repurposed and repackaged some of their many successes on this epic 20 track compendium. Ranging from the white knuckle neuro pace of Fena's "Viral" to Dominator's gamechanging grumpy-bass twist on Agro's "Noise Complaint" via Dialogue's ultra-grot wobbler "If You Can't Beat 'Em", Tyrant's Nightflight-style jungle slap-about "Bomb", Agro's sinful stepper "Tank" and many more, this is a perfect snapshot of the label's breadth, weight and uncompromised sound so far. Riddim stinkers.
Liondub continue to squeeze near album-sized collections out of their mates. And this one comes courtesy of the currently unavoidable RMS, a man often spotted on the likes of Deep In The Jungle, Hocus Pocus and Dubsoul. Here he makes his Liondub debut with seven soudboy slayers and highlights include the subtle gamey flutters and stripped back steppery of "Woldwide Tingz", the dark shreds and lasers of "Insiders" and the carnal urgency of "Gutrot" where the vocal washes over the grunting bass with mesmerising trippy effect. Cool and deadly.
The full set is finally here... Having teased us with the surprise guerrilla drop of EP1, Tokyo Prose presents the entire 13 track album Wild Grace. And it's every bit as beautiful, touching and textured as the hype as foretold. From the emotional chords and halftime slink of opener "Ascension" to the last brushed drum jazzy breeze and amen wheeze of the finale "Gusts" and all vibes in between, the New Zealand artist has excelled himself. Other highlights include the long awaited "Trick Of The Light", the smouldering soul of "Runaway", the heart breaking pianos of "Innate Motion", sunset shakedown of "In The Breeze" and so much more. Once again The North Quarter have smashed this out of the park.
Calling all space cadets, Jaxx is taking us to the moon and we have no say in the matter. The title track is all we need for a springy lift off with its rubber bass and full throttle breaks. Further into our mission "Park Hill" thrusts us through ozone with cheeky vox shots and another elastic molten bass riff, "Forbidden Fruit" brings us down to land on the lunar surface with trippy shards of jazz wrapped around robust percussion-primed breaks while the grumbling basses of "Moving Mountains" bound us around the craters in a moonbuggy stuck in top gear. Finally we take off for home with "Where The Root Is". The journey will be turbulent but the soaring harmonies and cosmic skanks will soothe your intergalactic-travelled ruffled soul. Ready for take-off?
More X-rated firepower from bass solider Mr Explicit. Kicking off where his last EP "Emerald Light" left us on Asbo, once again it's a dank, heads-down unapologetic roller-festival: "Suburban Affair" lights the fire with arsonist glee; an absolute bonfire of a banger that charges at 200mph into oblivion, it's Mr Explicit at his most potty-mouthed. Venom joins the swear party for the hurricane drones and blistering breaks on "Point Blank" while Asbo regular Rassterlin taps in for the last more soulful introspective hoorah. Feel the love.
If you roll them, they will come... Erbman pays homage to the sticky stuff once again with four track bounty pack and from the moment the Randall style rolls and low drone bass of "True 2 The Game" starts to fly out of the speakers you know he's not messing around. Elsewhere "Field Of Greens" adds a little stripped back percussive jungle fare, "Jus Roll" adds a little funk flare with its rippled wah wah textures and "Check This Out" goes all out Urban Takeover with its classic wobbled out riff. Smoking.
Put away those gunfingers, get out your laserfists and punch the air like it's your biggest enemy ever; Hizzleguy gets busy on Brockie and Profile's swiftly developing Octave Recordings and the results are nothing short of anarchic. "Spaceman" (with Profile) is an ozone piercing laser shredder with more high frequencies than a bat sanctuary. "Ladies Night", meanwhile, salutes the gyaldem with a rugged rolling bottom end Q and a rasping high end A. Please form an orderly queue.
Behold Dawn Raid's latest magic trick as they and three friends will change an EP into an entire festival before your very ears. The Manchester label owners cast the first spell as "Bela Moca" conjures up sunset vibes so strong you can smell the campfire while Nian Dub charms us deeper into the night with "Glow Stick Riddim" where soulful vocals and strident Quadrophenia style rave stabs. K Jah's sonic potion us into the cheekiest of hours with some all out jungle ruff on "Power Of Darkness" while Margaman casts the final incantation as he sends us off to bed in the dawn haze with a slithering snake like bassline. Abracadabra and all that.
Shots fired! Murking marksman Damage Report gets mucky with his latest lenger. Croaking and smoking with a precision chiselled riff that adds more and more lasers on every 16, it's a spunky number that drops into a remarkably euphoric breakdown before going in for happy slappy seconds. "Not Impressed" shows Damage Report's slightly moodier side with a floor sweeping scuzzy sub and tightly-rattled percussive licks. Get loaded.
Modified Motion (of Modified Motion & Faction fame, as if you didn't know) looks back over his old alias Zodiac and buffs up the badness for their first ever digital releases. Still packing more punches than a teenage riot, some of these tracks are a good decade old but still rattles and smack harder than a lot of modern jump up; the ominous drone of "Blood Clart", the sinful volcanic dog bark blasts of the still-massive "1200 Miles", the creepy intro and bulldozer drop of "The Game", the list goes on. Check your star signs right now, we guarantee the forecast will be gully.
When two deepsmiths combine forces on the ultimate blueprint label: Toronto's Gremlinz and London's Jestas build on previous collabs such as "The Axe" and "Arowana" with this sublime four piece. "Nessus" surges with heavy atmospheres and an early Breakage style break. Wait for the second drop as some crucial dubby ripples enter (and consequently change) the game. Elsewhere "Departed" shoots us to the edge of the cosmos with a late 90s style two-step, "The Drift" is pure jazz with its shuffled drums and cavernous introspection while the title track closes the show with a good old fashioned 45 King tear up. There's nothing empty about these promises mate.
Three years in the making... Jon Stanley drops his first Cyantific album since becoming a solo act. With a strong barbed neon 80s futurist aesthetic running throughout, the album leaves no D&B stone unturned: hair raising physical funk ("Body Movin'") raw tech terror ("Cyborg") smouldering sci fi soul ("Labyrinth"), massive main room muscle ("Shoot 2 Kill"), unclassifiable jungle/halftime soul ("Who Are You"), sing along spine tinglers ("Wild Child") and a whole load more in between. All killer, no filler, Cyantific has smashed it.
Exclusives
JAXX - Man On The Moon (Natty Dub Recordings) - exclusive 27-07-2018
MACKY GEE - Moments (Down 2 Earth Musik)
RMS - Liondub Street Series Vol 27: The Ambush (LionDub Street Series) - exclusive 03-08-2018
Exclusives
JAMIE IRIE & BLACKOUT JA - Life Remixs (Saysell) - exclusive 13-08-2018
IKON-B/KUMARACHI/SECTION - The Colabs Part 1: Decode & We Warned You (Format Music DnB) - exclusive 23-07-2018
MR EXPLICIT/RASSTERLIN/VENOM - Suburban Love (Asbo) - exclusive 23-07-2018
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