Get your spreadsheets out for the lads! BoujeeBass welcome Excel to the collective with this wild five-pack of riff-heavy floor attacks. Every bit as explosive as the title track suggests, 'Nuclear' squelches its way into oblivion with a gnarled bassline that's more alien frog than it is digital. Highlights ping and fling throughout the EP but the biggest bangs happen on the savage swagger of 'Violent' and the twisted barks of the firing finale 'Descend'. Boom.
Pow! Benny Page gives 2023 one last kick in the ghoulies with his second album Run For Cover. Following 2018s P.U.R.P.L.E, which was fully led by Sweetie Irie, this LP also celebrates the vocal aspect of jungle and system music with an insane roll call of MC crème dela crème. Spyda, Tenor Fly (RIP), Devilman, Doktor, Bellyman, Eva Lazarus and MC Sye are just some of the mic handlers as Benny bubbles and flexes us through his signature bouncy jungle sound. Highlights include Tenor cutting through the cowbells on 'Rude Boy Sound' and Evie Rose's haunting tones on 'Life Lessons'. Keep this covered!
Are you sitting comfortably? Sofa Sound don DLR most certainly is as he unleashes his third album 'Money Till I Got None'. Featuring the vocalist charms of Fox, Freddy B, Rider Shafique and Gusto, it's DLR's most forthright and firesome album to date. Focusing hard on the dance with some of his heaviest and thiccest productions to date, cuts like '1234', 'Money Games' and 'Scrimp & Save' all hit harder than a Happy Shopper value cola being dropped from a 40 storey building with 3 packs of unbranded mentos inside. Make no mistakes, this is a humungous album and yet another benchmark set by the Bristol end boss.
With longer-play projects becoming more and more welcome again within the D&B space, this latest epic from the Pick The Lock crew sees Clarkey deliver six fiery spice boxes. Opening up with the awesome title track 'Intoxicated Dream', we are greeted by a fusion of clicky synth crunches and acidic drips, followed by the neurotic-influxes and percussive mastery of 'Step Up. Next, collaboration time as Warhead arrives for some additional magic on the synth-driven 'Cry For Help', followed by 'The Exorcist' with its gnarly bass crunches and 'Voicemail', a sweeping epic, featuring additional collaborative efforts from Noxxic. Finally, 'Cacaphony' sends the entire EP into a different dimension with a brain-crunching combination of sliding bass synths and gnarly subs, rounding off this EP in serious style.
Another wicked selection makes its way to the front of the store here from the Onlydrums team, welcoming both Foe & Kensei inside for six tracks of raucous original energy. First up, the pair combine their productive talents on the hellish soundscapes of 'Demons', followed by the twisted backdrops and syncopated drum slides of 'See The Love'. Next, Foe arrives on solo duty as 'Flying Kick', firstly providing us with a bulbous bass slap, focussing on stripped back drum designs, followed by the audacious synth ideas of 'The Immortal' for a nice contrast. Finally, Kensei delivers two additional heaters with 'Territory' being a nuclear weapon, ready to detonate lethal synth designs on any dancefloor, alongside the more roller-driven arrangements of 'Feeling Lucky'. Top work from both!
Time for more pungent herbal essences as Kingdom Audio's Herbz rallies up a gang and gets to work making some of the grottiest noises you've heard this side of Sheffield Bus Station public toilets. Croaking, choking, burping and barging, each of the basslines on this immense gets grottier and grottier. Highlights include the absolutely wild 'Elevator Riddim' (with Jaybee) and the EMD-infused riff and face-melting lasers on 'All To Me'. Herbz goes bananas.
About Drum And Bass: The history of D&B is a history of fusion. Born out of London's melting pot in the early 1990s, D&B represented the next evolution of jungle music, itself an early amalgam of dub, reggae and hip-hop. The divide has always been blurred, however, and no true fan would ever proclaim jungle and D&B to be mutually exclusive. After all, Origin Unknown's 'Valley of the Shadows', a seminal D&B track by Andy C and Ant Miles, has a distinctly jungle flavour yet crosses over into more recognisable D&B with an effortless elegance. Whether it's jungle at 170bpm or rolling drums at 175bpm, this is the period in which the genre came to be characterised by an unmatched level of speed and intensity, with breaks all over the shop and a deep commitment to pulsating basslines. It is called Drum and Bass, after all.
It's this historical basis that sees the genre now reaching possibly an epoch in its popularity, diversity and ingenuity. Innumerable labels are releasing an uncountable blend of tones and moods for an ever-wider audience, from the attitude-packed jump-up of Serum and Benny L, all the way through to the halftime of Ivy Lab and the Neurofunk of Eatbrain and Blackout. A now truly global phenomenon, the youngsters in the scene, artists like Klinical and Koherent, are touring the world earlier in their careers than their predecessors and they're spreading the genre as they go. When you catch the infectious enthusiasm for speed and adrenaline you never lose it, and it’s this unique ability to get people moving and smiling that makes D&B so damn good.