Review: 25 years! The big H celebrate a quarter of a century in the drum & bass game with this phenomenal collection of remixes, reboots and revisitations by some exceptional names from firing new talent to the sagest of OGs. From Dillinja's remix of Urbandawn's 'Come Together' to Makoto's flip on Nu:Tone's classic remix of Lenny Fontana's 'Spread Love' via L-Side's immense remix of B-Complex's 'Beautiful Lies' and A.Fruit's dusty jazz take on the early 2000s 'Beautiful' from Phuturistix, the whole Hospital rave rainbow is covered by one of the best talent line-ups outside of their festivals. Whiney to Winslow, Remarc to Ray Keith, this is a fantastic document that reflects both Hospital and drum & bass on the widest possible level. Happy anniversary!
Review: Hedex is on a mission again! He's rousing up the troops for the second 'Collected' collection on his ByTheProducer brand and once again it's a monster rollcall of some of the scene's most exciting new-gen talent. Over 18 tracks we're treated to the likes Disrupta, Refracta, DJ Premium, Metal Work, Filthy Habits, Toxinate and so many more super skilled producers, highlights include the emotional space age jitters and whirls of Easty's 'Tapped', Scudd's emotional rumbler 'Complete', Posk's jazzy face-slapper 'Biting' and Metal Work's ruffneck 'Inner Peace'. And that's just the tip of the 'Collected' iceberg. Grab this now and grab yourself a piece of history.
Review: Few producers have carved out a production signature as twisted and unique as Monty, and the Toulouse-based artist is back on his home imprint of 1985 with another absolute percy of an EP. It's just as diverse as the others, and F4DE moves from jagged dancefloor rollers through to dubstep destruction and deep, distinct liquid sounds. The title tune smacks of previous conquest 'Quest', and its hugely complex array of interlocked sounds ooze sophistication in a manner that's befitting its clubland persona. 'Righteous' is a monster of a 140 track and you can smell the blood from the off, as a foreboding introduction leads you down the path of no return, straight into the belly of the beast. More minimal force follows on 'SVP' feat. Icicle, before two liquid cuts round off the lineup; we especially love the deliberate, purposeful bassline of 'Whatever You Need'. Sensational.
Review: BREAKING: Platinum Breaks will do everything for your love. This is great news to be honest, because we'll do anything for his love. An absolute beast on the bangers in recent times, this Artful Dodger alias is doing bits right now. Bits like this classic emotional hurricane that taps deep into the timeless breakbeat sound and hits with a huge vocal from Eden. And if that's not enough Bladerunner has provided not one but two remixes; a slippery and sweet sizzling vocal version and an absolute damager of a dirty mix. This means everything to us right now.
Review: You know a young artist is one to keep close tabs on when they're linking up with Skibadee. Such is the case with young Pengo, a fast-rising artist who's best known for his killer shows on Rough Tempo. Already boasting collabs with the likes of GLM, Hyn and Amplify, 'Shots' is his third co-lab with the pioneering MC and arguable his best so far. It's backed up by a whole truck-load of trouble; the Magenta collab 'Blast' is a lesson in space and tension, 'Hitters' is all growl and grit, 'Back & Forward' is an all-out moaner with very trippy tendencies while 'Bass Addict' (with Master Error) is all about the drama and theatre. Last but not least 'Dot To Dot' pays homage to the jungle foundations with some crucial bars from NV. Shots fired!
Review: Jam Thieves are a prolific duo with a history across a litany of labels, and this time around their immediately recognisable style is landing on Serial Killaz. That style consists of punishingly stripped back percussive lines that give ample room for jagged basslines to breath, a minimalist take on jump up funk that's designed for the club. The title track is a breakier version, with rattling hats and stumbling snares that weave through a concoction of low frequency force with the grace of a gazelle and the energy of an elephant. 'Heavy Duty' is the other standout, its snare is obscenely good and the bassline ripples with metallic textures, a sharp, pointy track that'll double drop with the best of them. Brilliant.
Review: It doesn't get more legendary than DJ SS' Formation Records, and the man himself has organised a fat, 56-track compilation that will take you back to jungle. This is part 1 of 3 parts, and at 20 tunes it's nothing to be sniffed at, featuring music from the likes of Kenny Ken, Dave Shichman, Sikki and Fabric8. The first of those has a track called 'Gimme Dat Roller' which is simply crazy, with a clean, penetrating percussion that flips and nods its head with flair; the bassline comes next, and it's a true creeper. 'Jah' by Fabric8 has a wicked, lounging reggae introduction that sets the stage for a jagged, spiking bassline that zips through the arrangement in a seriously catchy way. Seminal stuff.
Review: Jubei, after many years of doing his thing across numerous labels, has stepped out on his own and created Carbon Music. This is the first release and it's of a quality befitting the importance of the occasion, with Jubei bringing in dBridge for the A-side just to be sure. That a-side - 'Show Me' - rests on an hypnotic vocal sample that pulses throughout the whole arrangement, the backdrop to a penetratingly dark bassline that pushes and strains with frightening force. The flip is equally dark, with a stabby low end that ingrains into your soul with its repetitive structure and clarity of sound. We can't wait to hear more.
Review: Souped Up are always innovating around their tried and tested formula, and this EP is from a young artist the team have been pushing hard: Mozey. He's got four tracks here and all of them are wonderful balances of funky, synth-wave patterns and jagged dancefloor destruction, with Serum, Carasel and Current Value injecting that little extra into the mix. 'Simmer' with Carasel is a proper stomper, with a stepping percussive structure beneath a call-and-response format of shuddering stabs and shimmering, shivering synthetic screams. We love the bright, analogue funk on the introduction to 'Flirt', which creates an atmosphere of approachability far removed from its bassline's tendency towards spasmodic barks and gruff shouts. 'Lady Petrol' is a straight jump-up banger, and its position as the title tracks gives away the mission here: dancefloor pressure. Oh yes.
Review: As if firing out badness galore through their 'Connected' series wasn't quite enough action for a label that's barely been around 6 months, Amplify and Metal Work's Gradient levels up again with the massive 'Foundations' VA that's stacked to the top shelf with some of drum & bass music's finest upstarts and high risers. 15 tracks deep, highlights come in all shapes and sizes including the sensual textures and tones of D-Fuser's 'Sticky Situations', the madcap jazzy springs and splutters of Fanatics' 'Everyday', KL's revved up staccato sizzler 'Plain To See', Metal Work's rather glacial 'Cold As Ice' and Parallel's early D-Minds style 'Capital Crimes'. Killer through and through, 'Foundations' as strong as this are built to last.
Review: Wake up and bake up, Jungle Cakes are back in the kitchen with their prize dish range 'Welcome To The Jungle'. This time the guest chefs are none other than Dub Pistols who've been flexing all styles and sizes of breakbeat since the very beginning. Currently coming correct with 50 tracks, they cover the full range of D&B through their dubwise, reggae-roasted selection. From the steam engine skank-ups like Isaac Maya and Daddy Freddy's thundering 'Bring Dem' to Deekline & Ed Solo's instant sing-along smash-out 'Bam Bam' to the dancehall bashment of Selecta J Man's 'My Style', this isn't so much of a jungle welcoming but more of a full jungle takeover... And you'll never want to leave.
Review: Crank it till you bank it: Amplify tells us to turn up once again with this humungous EP on Pick The Lock. Featuring collabs with Clarkey and Nick The Lot & Master Error, it's a ruthless vibey free-for-all from all concerned. Highlights include the scorching bass reese fumes of 'Need', the ridiculous squelch factor on 'OMG' and the uncut, high-grade fury and fun of 'Carnage'. Relax? Not when Amplify is in town matey.
Review: Few artists have made as big an impact as Waeys in their first year of getting down to business, and his taking home of Best Newcomer at last year's awards shows just how successful he's been. He's on Critical these days, Snoar is his first full length solo EP on the label and oh boy, what a debut. 'Snoar' is Waeys as we've come to love him; jagged edged jump up textures delicately blended in with furious minimal pace, a hybrid club banger with which says all the right things. The other three tracks are all features, and its 'Rave Tool' featuring the badman Particle that really stands out, with a loping main bass of monstrous weight and width, a deeply satisfying element that ties the whole tune together in true style. Unreal from the young talent.
Review: Naughty enough to make you have daddy issues, Froidy follows up appearances on Invicta and DnB Allstars Vas with his debut EP and, as he dutifully hints with the title, he's well and truly brought it. The title track features a Ragga Twins sample over a tense dancefloor bassline while the rest of the EP gets progressively darker and heavier; 'Diickhead' is a whole maze of bass flavours and textures tightly woven over rattling beats, 'Give It Up' counters a dreamy, almost trance-like breakdown with a series of killer depth plunge basslines while 'Mad Shots' closes the EP on a mean and meaty one thanks to some well sculpted bass drones. Don't slip on these Froidy ones.
Review: Deep In the Jungle know a thing or two about curating rough and ready beats, and this EP from Crom fits the bill perfectly. Across four tracks, the producer spits out a diverse mix of beat structures that form a singular purpose: dancefloor readiness. The title track is the highlight, as Rider Shafique does his usual business of injecting menace and catchiness in one fell swoop, this time above a stuttering junglist beat and sweeping basslines. 'Sticks & Stones' is our other favourite, a stripped back, no-nonsense tune with clean, powerful percussion and a relentless feel to it that reminds us of Grey Code or HLZ. Big ups.
Review: Ego Trippin is part of the incredibly healthy jump-up scene at the moment, part of the next generation of artists on that side of the scene coming through and re-energising not just jump-up, but the whole of D&B. Super Lit is one of the most prolific new labels in this movement and this new EP is their latest hellish piece of work. The beats here are big, bad and don't care about your feelings, with 'Close Encounter' exemplifying the approach taken: a big, riotous bassline with clipping synths edging in over the top. 'New Future' is more stuttering and breaky, with minimalist percussive taps leaving plenty of space for its honking, stabby bassline. Sick stuff.
Review: One of drum & bass' premiere rolling kinds, DLR is back on his own Sofa Sound imprint exploring the contours of 174 with a furious feeling of experimentalism only created in the depths of his audio laboratory. The title track is an atmospheric masterpiece in dancefloor focused sound design, with rippling arrays of bouncing bass nodes that slam through the air in perfect choreography, the dancing partner to DLR's dastardly ambitions. 'Sufferation' is possibly the evilest on the EP, a twisted fluctuation of sound that carves a cavern through the frequency range with palpable hatred and anger; a truly scary piece of production. This EP is honestly unbelievable, and cements once more why DLR has the reputation that he does.
Review: Toxinate is back, using his force to compel you to punch someone in the face and chuck your drink with an EP that doesn't hold back. Its not the kindest on the ears but then again, its not supposed to be, it's a statement of hard-hitting sounds and murderous tones. These tracks are underpinned by delicate yet heavy drum work and percussive clarity, but the action happens in the steadily melodic but still raucous basslines, monstrosities of dancefloor proportions. 'Space' especially, which is full of, you guessed it, space, as Toxinate leaves plenty of room the frequencies to foment. This new one from the Biological Beat crew isn't something you'll forget quickly.
Review: Ego Trippin has been doing absolute bits for quite a while now and this forthcoming four-tracker for Super Lit is a reminder that his ability to craft moody beats is right out of the top draw. The title track, 'Jelly Grots', exemplifies this best and moody doesn't begin to cover the grasping force of this track, a lows-heavy and ego-light rendition of pure dancefloor energy, with wobbling synths providing the backdrop for a remorseless escape into clubland. Tickets ready please and leave your baggage on the door. The other cuts move the release over into jump-up territory, and it's the think-break rolls of 'Dib Dab' which will leave you most out of breath. Wicked stuff.
Review: One of the best liquid drum & bass albums ever made is being reworked by a star-studded cast of drum & bass' biggest hitters. What more could you want? It's LSB & DRS of course, and the pair's Blue Hour album from the back end of 2019 - a gorgeously organic, musical release - has been taken up a notch into true 174 territory. Calibre has two features and it's his remix of 'Frozen' that really shines through, and the original's strings make for an ideal Calibre canvas; whispering atmospheres, sumptuously deep basslines and elegant simplicity. On the other end of the spectrum, FD flips fan-favourite and jazz-icon 'Letting Go' into a riot of funk-infused fun, as a wobbling bassline underpins DRS' superbly soulful vocal performance. What would this album be without a spot for Break, and the Bristol man's remix of 'High As She' flips one of the original's best non-174 offerings into a pure, blissful roller that's summer in a bottle. Unreal stuff from some of the best in the game.
Review: One of Potential Badboy's absolute classic tracks is being given the remix treatment by one of the best rolling badboys in the game - L-Side. The Brazilian has historically worked mostly over on V Recordings, but this time he's banging out the goods on Playaz, and what a set of tools he has to work with. MC Fats and Yush deal the vocal magic on 'Girlz' in a way that must be a dream to produce, and the 'Intro Remix' lays their work down over a diving, sub-heavy concoction of a beat that more than does the original justice. The flip is similar, with barking stab of a bass note that moves with gruff authority - wicked stuff.
Review: Toby Ross has arrived on Hybrid's Deep In The Jungle label and you can hear why his music has been deemed to have made the cut. This release is a solid envelope of tunes which demonstrate a serious understanding of jungle's nastier end, the type of breaks music which some hate but which inspires a passionate love for the genre in others. The first track is the best example of this, its pointed, jagged-edged basslines are cutting and penetrating at the same time, snappy drums lie underneath and the whole tune is packaged with effortless finesse. 'Soundclash Riddim' packs a reece bass that will haunt you into your dreams and baby, what a tune that is. Unreal.
Review: Don't waste your time on tutorials, check the Manual. Here he is alerting us to the dangers of the world on Helix with the distinctive flow of killer Welsh artist P.A.B. Thundering drone basses and razor sharp flow, this is primed for serious post-lockdown smash-ups. As are the other three tracks; 'Trashcan' is a grouchy, snarly swamp beast, 'Wild West' (with Joely) is a gun-toting, finger-clicking, bass-revving freak-out while 'Other Directions' closes the EP with a big fat smelly middle finger. Pure bass revs and grunts, you'll be reaching for your panic buttons before the first 32 is out.
Review: Jungle Cakes always tend to put out music that rests on the foundations of UK underground, the cross-over influences of soul, reggae, jungle and D&B. it's always a fresh sound and it always brings up connotations of Boomtown, free parties and sunny afternoons. This is a monster album curated by Aries and Kelvin 373, who have taken tracks both old and new to form a banging compilation. Bou nails it on 'Music Takes Me Higher', a rustic revisit to classic jungle sounds; Aries and Nicky Blackmarket roll things out in a tight way on 'Champion'; and Chimpo slams the brakes on 'DidDieDoThat'. We don't know the answer to that, but we do know this is fat. Big ups.
Review: Sniff my dubplate! Nuusic unleash a brand new project dedicated to special dub-level versions from the best in the game. First up on Dub Culture is this powerful shakedown from Teej. Taking the 2019 original from Grimesy and T-Man's energy-level changer 'Quantum Leap' and softening its rough edges, Teej adds a whole other layer of fatness to the subs while keeping T-Man's killer bars clear and central. This is what we call a serious remix. Oh boy.
Review: Ladies and gentlemen can we have your attention please? We are now ready for take-off so please fasten your seatbelts! At long last, the Dark Soldier unleashes two of the most in-demand remixes of one of his most seminal tracks 'Chopper'. Famed for its massive Shy FX remix back in the day, once again the tradition is maintained as Bou and Traumatize bring the seminal vibe into the 2020s. Both now pretty legendary on dub, Bou brings the bubbles and Zinc-like swing while Traumatize brings the twisted chunky swagger. Essential.
Review: This line up acts are all people who you've probably been seeing more and more of recently, as their own distinct brand of jump-up inflected sounds are starting to garner attention and turn heads. Stillz is at the helm of this particular journey, a six-tracker that hits hard and doesn't any prisoners - not even useful ones. This is exemplified best by the 'Way Out', which just goes, any time you think it's going to break down it just comes back bigger and better. 'Twisted' will certainly make you want to take some, a grating mash of pure energy that's matched in the subtlety of 'Business Hours', which takes things down in terms of loudness but up in terms of sophistication and production value. It finishes things off with 'Space Boy' and boy, what a finish, as glitching, techy stabs rattle all over the place and shove you along with them. Sick EP.
Review: Having established themselves over the last year with killer free downloads from some of the most exciting names in the new-generation movement of artists, Timeless Audio continue to develop their brand with this crucial collection from Secret Sound and friends on their second full paid release. Four massive collaborations deep, across the EP we find Secret Sound tagging in the likes of Jando on the growling stepper 'Code Red', we see Drowzee jumping on board to turn on all the lights on the grotty bass jammer 'Home Alone' while Lockerz join the fray with Secret Sound on the roughhouse tear-up 'Embrace'. Last but not least Magenta opts-in on the bouncy title track 'Vibrations'. Vibes.
Review: High R8 Digital are a regular here on Juno and for good reason, their tendency for steadily releasing rough but powerful, whole-hearted music is strong and their small size doesn't prevent the release of top-quality stuff. This EP from Metal Work is in that exact tradition, as across five tracks he tears you limb from limb with dancefloor focused jump-up precision. 'Stronger' is the strongest on the release, with an almost neuro feel to its cracking percussion and a torn, broken back end that rips across the range with style. There is more excellent work on the fat snare of 'Join Us', and this one is not to be missed.
Review: A special dedication to the often maligned and misunderstood ghost and ghoul junglist communities, Psych and The Force pick up where they collaboratively left us on Ruffneck Ting a few months back. Four spooky sessions in total, each sings with the ghosts of drum & bass's strongest characteristics. 'Spirit' is straight up addictive Q&A jump-up fun, 'Secrets' blasts with some of the warmest organs we've heard since the early 2000s while "Mad Man" thumps with donkey punch kick drums and a croaky bassline that instantly recalls the jump up flavours of the late 2000s. Last but not least, 'Tardis' defies time and space with its higher-range harmonics and gully twists on each fill. Each one filthier than a travelling carnival's haunted house ride, these are bound to cause some serious bumps in the night.
Review: FD hides his ingenuity behind deceptively simple, stripped back productions. His music relies on the basics done unbelievably well and A Vision Of Hope is a six-track embodiment of how effective this method is, as he rolls things out with clarity in the percussion and high quality in the low frequencies. 'Hazmat' featuring Fox is a perfect example and the pair are a force to be reckoned with, as FD lays out an unbelievably crisp percussive basis for a bouncing, infectious bassline, both of which pair superbly with Fox's little-is-more approach to vocal magic. There's just a quality to this EP, it's organic and well-meaning but still tough and gutsy; the bassline on 'Vienna Circle' lopes in purposeful steps, but squirms with anger on 'Bully'. There are liquid notes on 'Here With Me' and an instrumental to rounds things off, North Quarter style. Sublime.
Review: Ring the remix alarm! Tyke digs deep into his vaults and sends for two of the most exciting new-gen producers to remix some of his classic b-side cuts from two of his biggest releases on Grid back in the early 2010s. First is young Norwich-based Amplify who takes on 'The Track That Dripped Blood'. Famously the flipside track of Tyke's massive 'Drug Pusher', here Amplify switches the grit for more of a warm squelchy vibe while maintaining the original's creepiness and suspense. Elsewhere we see young Newcastle artist Hexa taking on Tyke's 'Buzzards' b-side 'THX Dub'. Once again retaining the brute strength of the original (mainly via those badass mentasms) Hexa adds a whole new rolling vibe bringing the tune bang up to date with the future. Bloody marvellous.
Review: Well lookee what we have here... The rising styles of young Brum artist Bookey with his debut EP on Invicta. Four tracks deep, featuring mates like Harley D, PDX, Joely and JustJo, the release covers the full spectrum from epic steam engine bassline chuggers ('Sundown') to deeper emotional numbers ('Standing Tall') via outrageous bassline groaners that will absolutely melt systems the minute we're allowed to rave again ('Take Me') and absolute hooky howlers like 'The End'. Lookee, hooky, Bookey.