Reviewed this week
Oh gosh! Current Value hits us hard with his 11th studio album 'Puer'. Released on Serum's Souped Up, it's a no-holds-barred exploration of the jumpier side to his far-reaching range. Big basslines, wily funk, zero-effs-given rave music, it's the German producer at his most playful. Highlights such as the sizzling harmonics of "Contemplate", the deep drones and savage kicks of "Chariot", the rising grainy riff and KO fills of "Pitting" and the reunion with man-of-the-moment Bou on "Running Your Mouth" are just some of the tracks that will melt your skin right down to your bones. And if that's not enough, he's about to drop album 12 on Methlab too. No one's doing it like Current Value.
Jaydan has become firmly entrenched within the new school of jump-up, his dirty tones being present at raves up and down the UK as well as across the channel. This is the first instalment in a new EP series and it shows off his credentials properly, as he's roped in T>I, Serial KIllaz and more for a remix-heavy release. We especially love the T>I remix of 'Dark World', which is just pure attitude encapsulated in a 170 beat and some basses. 'Jaydan himself smashes it on his own remix of 'Outlaw', in a pummelling number that honestly doesn't seem like it gives any fucks. Banging stuff.
Brussels mandem Bredren get all arsonist with this scorching EP debut for Alix Perez's 1985. Four tracks, each one a flamer, we kick off with the forthright headbutt of "Inferno" where T Man holds court with savage bars. Deeper into the EP we hit their classic stripped back rolling sound on "Get Physical" before "Flick Knife" cuts straight to the chase with some sinewy, creepy low end flourishes. Last but not least "Undress" gets everyone naked with some beautiful light-at-end-of-tunnel barbed soul. Four out of four, Bredren are firing right now.
The Sauce are one of the most exciting production outfits to emerge for a while, probably because they're not new at all: instead, it's DLR, Hydro and Spinback from Total Science. These three have decades of combined production experience between them and it shows, with both cuts just rolling out in bloody sublime fashion. 'Mr Robot' has been doing the rounds for a while and was featured in the recent Sofa Sound promo mix, its twisting tendrils of force spinning in unmistakeable fashion. 'The Click' is spookier and more stripped back, with ghostly basses that wobble in all the right places. More classic Sofa Sounds from the Bristol crew.
Give us a big fat smile and show some teef! Nick The Lot hits our playlists once again with another hefty packet of tracks and he smashes it once again. "Over The Moon" sets the tone; groaning, trippy and full of strange samples and sounds, it's the Brighton badboy on his A-game. So is the rest of the EP from the stuttering, star-gazing twangs of "Gunshot" to the guttural bass and savage breaks of the finale "Break Out". Elsewhere things go mental on "Double Drop", "Away" bends mind with its warped bass and "Back Up" is a lesson in heavy subs and choppy drums. We guarantee you'll be on these before you can say 'petty pilfering'.
Amoss, now a solo act after the departure of 50% of the duo last year, are without a doubt one of the most highly respected names in the world of dark, feverish, minimal D&B. Their production quality is as impeccable as their vibe creation and Flexout is an excellent vessel for those vibes. Tinnies & Ciggies, aside from having a wicked name, is a top quality, rolling release. There's a spectrum of craziness here and Amoss know you can't spend an entire EP at the crazy end, hence tracks like '7eleven', a deep journey through atmospheric synths and a pummelling bass that progresses and progresses. You do need, of course, too get crazy sometimes and the other three tunes provide that in bloody spades. I mean just check out the bassoon 'Three Cans of Rio'. Absolutely heinous. One for the heads.
Liondub's ever-on-point Street Series heads to Bristol to shine the spotlight on Subcriminal. He delivers the EP of his life so far.... Building on releases via the likes of Run Tingz, Deep In The Jungle, Random Concepts and Nuusic, "Lock & Load" is a stinking brew of jungle, jump-up, roller and rave elements, slow-cooked for ultimate dancefloor damagement. Seven tracks heavy, highlights include the far out wonkiness of the bass on "Next", the groaning bass sizzles and sweeping reese basses on "Fly Kick" and the crucial tear-out finale "Power Up". You ain't ready.
The latest release on LSB's label is finally here and it's worth the wait. Anile's famously stripped back, creative sounds are laid out over four tracks that span a characteristically wide range of speeds and styles. From the rolling soul of Constant Reminder to the guttural bass rattles of Riggers, this is a wicked EP that shows off exactly why Anile is considered one of the most talented producers in the game. It's the first release on Footnotes from an artist that isn't LSB, and it certainly doesn't disappoint.
Bites is a platform from Majistrate and Nu Elementz aimed at showing off some of the baddest jump up and heavier sounds floating around at the moment. This single from Vital is exactly that and is named Baddest of the Bunch presumably for that very reason, and it definitely lives up to expectations. The title track is a steppy, stripped back and choppy piece of work that vibrates and ricochets all the way down the range, a process repeated until it's drilled into your skull. The flip is similar but somehow even rowdier - top stuff.
Sota is unleashing an onslaught over on Subway Soundz with a tight sounding single. 'Onslaught' is a dark, moody stepper that doesn't care about rules and certainly doesn't care about feelings. The main bass on this tune oozes quality and packs some serious weight, reminiscent of the Souped Up crew. 'Sledgehammer' is slightly less crazy but it definitely is still on the crazy end, as gargled bass notes inject a whole load of force into the arrangement. Tasty bits here.
Integral by label name, integral to the scene full stop: Glenn and Zula's AI partnership has been a prominent and consistent voice since the early 2000s. Since 2010 we've seen them dig deep into the album artform with Stand Alone kicking off a slew of LPs, currently climaxing with The Series. Delivered over four parts - two last year, two this year - the full set spans their full gamut touching deep daydream rollers such as "Savour" to much darker, heavyweight pieces such as "Isolate". Each made for the club but executed with depth and restraint to that lends itself to any scenario, it's a great way to sign out of this decade and prime us for what's to come. Integral by nature.
Some people are born in a hospital. Other people were born in a birthing pool. Jesus was born in a manger. Complex was "Born In Darkness" and with designs as stinky and rudeboy as these, you can most certainly tell. The title track is a heads-down creeper with some cool harmonics on the bass as it weaves its hunch-back riff between the gravestones. "Brain Freeze" lives up to its name, too. Woozy, strange and disorienting and prone to some cool moments of swing on the fills, Complex has cooked up something unique here. Best served cold.
Monk Audio release a really wide range of sounds, one week they'll be dropping filthy jump-up, another liquid and then they'll put out lovely minimal bits such as this single from Adzzy. This is a really creative bit of production work and both tunes seem to draw an influence from (stereotypically) tribal percussion, with bongos and lightweight drum hits sitting above what is, in both tunes, a pulsatingly minimal range of low frequency pressures. 'Bombay' starts with vocal samples hailing from the Indian sub-continent, which then drops into a straining, powerful array of frequencies and a fluttering top layer of percussion. 'Alternative Universe' also nails that combination of traditional and futuristic, as eerie groans transform into rolling beats. Banging.
Overview Music are a recently minted label who seem to be doing all the right things, including getting one of their tracks up to he number one spot on Beatport (shoutout to Klinical). Ewol is their next artist and his three-track Diverge EP is dark, even by Overview's relatively high standards. The title track is as foreboding as they come, almost to the extent that it's not quite dancefloor material, it's too brooding, too deeply terrifying and too fixated on being something itself, rather than making you dance. 'Blood Diamond' continues in that vein but steps up the synths a tad, whilst 'Revenants' reminds us of the recent Hyroglifics EP, with its rustic percussion but deep bassline. Quality.
Blackphil is landing on Dub Damage Recordings with his Pagan EP, as you can probably tell from the name of the label it's coming out on, it's a seriously murky bit of work. You think that from the start of the first track, which leads you in with a luscious bit of synth work which quickly devolves into a pummelling expression of force. The rest of the release is powered by the same relentlessness and 'Economic Collapse' carries an expansive back end that undergirds a sequence of menacing sounds and tones whilst 'Something In the Woods' possibly has the most creative bassline on the release in a wicked display of dancefloor heat. Sick stuff.
There are super-collabo and then there are genuinely epic hook-ups like this. Plasma bossman Safire and MC/poet/soulman extraordinaire DRS are the consistent figures across both tracks as two of the best producers in the game join in for each piece. Skeppy takes the lead with the purring, deep breath creeper "With You". The ideal glacial bed for Del's cold bars, if you're not goosebumping to this there's something wrong with your soul. Similarly, if you're not swooning in good vibrations to "Set The Bar" - this time with absolute OG Zed Bias joining them on dials - then you should call a doctor ASAP. What a release.
Trex has been one of the standout new producers from the past couple years. Coming to the fore with his debut album on Randall's Mac 2 imprint, Trex has gone from strength to strength, releasing on labels like Audioporn and Sofa Sound. Chit Chat is classic Trex, with a hip-hop sample and stripped back, barebones feel to the percussion and bassline. It's rough and ready, stop steady and all round a powerful piece of music. Covert Garden steps up for the remix of 'Dub Pirates' and it's another stripped back, wobbly little roller. Yes boys!
Murdock is no stranger to releasing music, but this is his first full long player and boy, he's done a good job of it. Rolling out on Viper Recordings, Stronger is an incredibly diverse bit of work that shimmers from jungle, into dancefloor and over into liquid with relative ease, an impressive feat for any producer. 'Breathe' feautirng Goldi Phone Home is a gorgeous roller that packs an equally sweet bouncing, bubbly bassline, one that flows and moves underneath the skipping drums and lovely vocal work. There's wicked jungle on 'Different Way', big synthy sounds on 'All Day All Night' and a bunch more. What a release!
With some cool, dark, artwork, Nautik has landed on Profound Beats with a hard-hitting double tracker which combines a penetrating sense of attitude with a non-nonsense approach to musical arrangements. 'Watchinada' has an warped-out, Souped Up vibe in its arrangement that feels powerful to the extreme and is perfect for a crowded dancefloor, especially with its underpinning in some weighty percussion. 'FBM' is the roller of the two and grounded in wobbly atmospherics and a sense of space which makes it a pleasure to listen to, its snapping drum line providing the ground rock underneath. Yes boys.
Fire in the hole! Following his Metalheadz EP earlier this year, Newcastle's Tyrone steps over to good mates Ulterior Motive at Guidance for a full four-track slab of D&B excellence. The title track is an absolute beast that slices through the air and space with incredible weight and width while elsewhere "Beg Of U" takes us on a tour of Tyrone's deeper space-aged side, "Lost Witness" rolls out with rattling menace and muscle and "Velvet" (with Ulterior Motive) closes the deal on a deep introspective one. Prepare to be severed.
REFRACTA/DEAD INTENT/GRAVIT-E/MOTIV/REFRACTA/GRAVIT-E - Nu-Forms Vol 1 (Brawlin Beatz) - exclusive 20-10-2019
CURRENT VALUE - Puer (Souped Up)
BLACKPHIL - Pagan (Dub Damage Recordings UK) - exclusive 25-10-2019
VOLTAGE - Voice Notes (Low Down Deep Recordings)
PERSONNAGE - Primal EP (Inception Audio)
Top Labels
low down deep recordings
jungle cakes
Souped Up