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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
With releases on STAT, Inna Rhythm and Soul Deep Digital already under his cap this year, Conrad Subs makes his debut on DJ Hybrid's Deep In The Jungle with five more rowdy workouts. "Rampin" tickles a pungent whiff of Bristol thanks to its harmonic bassline riff, "Dubrock" is all trippy drums and gunshots, "Spit Shine" takes us deep into the rave with a Binga-style jitteriness while "Let Me Go" turns us inside out with its turbo bass shots, sirens and rampant drumwork. Finally "Basic Replay" closes on a slick sick steppy fix. Easily Conrad's most comprehensive and hardest hitting collection so far.
Brazil's freshly-reshaken DNBB imprint returns with more archive soul massages as Pulsar's 2012 EP enjoys a timely revisit. "Without A Trace" is all about the sultry vocal and velvet tones and textures, "Mindset" drives us deeper into the groove with full focus on the fine sub details while "This Feeling" is a drive time roller with loose drums and a dubby chord structure that ripples and flexes throughout. Finally "Melting Pot" closes with pure uplifting and just a touch of darkness on the bass. DNBBliss...
Having previously collaborated on the likes of MethLab, Horizons and Warm, Hydro and War now collide on Klute's Commercial Suicide. Once again it's a dense, overwhelming trip with big sweeping atmospheres and foreboding soul driven by some brilliantly skitty and warm drum sounds. "Malicious" lives up to its name with each percussive element shining beneath deeply paranoid chords while "Shifting Sands" brings the drums even further to the fore with some incredible rhythmic mutations and modulations slapping and slamming over eerie breathy textures. Serious jungle business.
One of America's most on-point junglists Jaybee breaks into a new year with two absolute stinkers on Force. "Anti-Paradise" is a howling hurricane of groans and moans over some devilishly tight rolling drums while "Bumbaclot Selekta" pays homage to your old lady with a plough-like energy and a dark bass texture that wouldn't have gone amiss on 31 in its scene-shaping infancy. Jaybee's not messing around here.
Welcome to party paradise: BPR unite some of their best mates from breakbeat's new generation for this six-track D&B flavoured knee-trembler. Highlights include the insane riffology and samplecraft on "Crazy", the saw-toothed grizzles on "Respekt", the skitty drums and twisted risers on the bright and bashy "Tell Them" and the pure rave euphoria of "Treat You Right". Paradise found.
NECTAX/SKANTIA - Cypher/Lazer Defence (Dub Damage) - exclusive 01-03-2018
VITAL/AGRO - Spiritual Vampires/I Set This Ting (Sub-liminal Recordings) - exclusive 24-02-2018
TWISTED INDIVIDUAL - Phlegmtrail (Explicit) (Grid Recordings)
JACK THE RIPPER - Pump It Up/Samples (Dub Damage) - exclusive 20-02-2018
CRASH PARTY/KONTROL CENTER1/RA:SKL/CULT/BASSCHIMP/TOY BEATS - Fun & Bass (Breakbeat Paradise) - exclusive 13-12-2018
MAZE - Happy (Bulletproof) - exclusive 19-02-2017
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Renegade Hardware
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