Review: Shy FX is set to drop a remix album of music from his outstanding Raggamuffin SoundTape, and with a couple already on the shelves from The Sauce, Potential Badboy and Skeptical, this time around its the turn of Bou. He steps up for a wobbling, bass heavy endeavour which blends sunshine sampling and funk-based devastation for a hands-in-the-air, day party of a drum & bass banger. Imagine Notting Hill Carnival embodied in a track and you'll pretty much be there.
Review: Murky Digital are a label who do what their name might suggest in that they release digital murkiness on a regular basis. No Escape is an EP from Euphonique that brings together MC Frost, Guzi & Madrush MC and Saxxon, all of whom have helped contribute to dastardly naughty tracks. 'Switch' is up there with the best of them and it's all about that bassline, an almost foghorn of groaning, fiery proportions which rattles its way through the arrangement. MC Frost also impresses on 'No Escape, a sub-heavy roller which will please the more minimalistic heads amongst you. Banging stuff.
Review: Pick N Mix head up north for some Geordie grit as another one of the Toon's fizzy D&B community shines a scene spotlight on the city. This time it's KL who serves up a six-piece of gritty harmonics and distorted, curmudgeonly bass. Beyond the epic title track, highlights include the tense, graveyard-style deepness of opener "Buzzkill", the savage, haunted groaning of "Smoke Out" (with fellow Newcastle murker Hexa) and the twisted rifle riddim and savage steps of "Radiant". Now stop: "Hammerfist" time.
Review: It's all kicking off at Souped Up HQ. First they tell us Voltage is our real dad and it seems Dutta is being ousted as our naughty uncle coercing us into god knows what type of mischief with some of his most cantankerous sounds and flavours yet. "Tiger Claw" is pure drum riot funk, "Reload" (with Jakes) is insanely smooth, "Wash Away" (with Serum) packs all the raffish thrills and spills of an early Hazard joint, "Woah" is a deep sci-fi roll-out that takes off where "Trooper" left us the other month while "OG" closes on venomous growl flex. Wowzers... These will singe your trousers.
Review: You can't see his face, but we bet our bottom dollar you can hear him... Taking Shy's Raggamuffin Mixtape banger and twisting it into a dark, ruded-up bubbler, modern day donny Skeptical has taken 'Balaclava' to the murkiest of new levels. Still featuring the high-grade MC rollcall of D Double, Frisco and Spyda, Shy's wry sense of gully remains fully intact as Skeppy tells us it will take more than a pandemic to hold him down. Ring the alarm!
Review: Premiership D&B deepsmiths Delta9 hit the streets once again for another immense VA collection. All chiselled from new-gen coal face, all devilishly dark and stripped-back in nature, tracks come from the likes of Waeys, Screamarts, Askel & Elere, Sl8r, Nemy and many more key names-to-watch who are showing all the right sings of donning things in the very near future. Highlights across the 25 track collection include the waspy stabs and elastic bassline of Nemy's "Distracting", the bulldozer groove of RMS's "Mikro", the faraway soul and epic atmospheres of Glyph's "Across Hidden Dimension" to name but a few...
Review: Over on Helix, Teej is doing absolute bits with this EP. It opens with the title track, a Serum-esque array of drawn-out, dirty synths that stretch and stretch with an other-worldly quality that just sounds amazing. 'Nova' has a spooky intro, an eeriness which puts you in the mood for the unique, minimal-led steppiness of this tune. - a seriously cool bit of music. 'Smoke' is more minimal goodness, a proper little roller that creeps from phrase to phrase in menacing fashion. 'Keepin It' Real' finishes things up in more rolling style, a fluid back end flowing in underneath yet more perfect drums. There's loads of detail etched in to every second of these tunes - sick.
Review: You've got to be tripping us... Ego Trippin have just dropped their third release this month and it's another monster. Following the second part of their "Tales Of The Darkside" series on Hi-Def comes this super-sweet five-tracker on Low Down Deep "Chocolate". Every bit as tasty as the name suggests, highlights include the classic early 2000s style Q&A and running drums of "Desire", the funk-riddled party-slapper "Feeling Good" and the raffish frazzled bass of the title track. Tuck in.
Review: Liondub Street Series continue their consistent assault on the dance with one of their biggest series editions to date: a full LP length collection from Birmingham OG Jinx. 10 tracks in totally, the full spectrum of vibes are on offer right here as Jinx demolishes everything in sight... From carnage rave juice like "Blow Your Horn" to the much funkier, elasticated rubber ball bass of "Get With The Groove" by way of the space-aged grizzles of "Eliminate Sound", it's Jinx at his broadest, baddest and heaviest. Essential Street Series business.
Review: Magenta is back, using his force to compel you to pull ugly bassfaces and throw your drink with an EP that doesn't hold back. Its not the kindest on the ears but then again it's not supposed to be, it's a monograph in hard-hitting sonics and dastardly tones. It's multiple versions of 'Go Crazy' and they're all undergirded by a booming snare drum and percussive clarity, but the action happens in the steadily melodic but still raucous bassline, a pitched-up monstrosity of dancefloor proportions. The Vital remix isn't one you'll want to miss, but the VIP of the original from Magenta himself pips the others at the post for pure naughtiness.
Review: V Recordings sublabel Chronic has developed a reputation for putting out beats that are even more venomous than its big sister, and their long-standing rollers series is getting a beef up with the fourth instalment. Featuring a litany of acts from a range of eras and a diversity of styles, Chronic Rollers Vol. 4 is a perfect addition to the arsenal of any DJ. 'Blindspot' from Nectax blends a soulful sample with an oscillating warp of juddering bass energy; Mancunian upstart SL8R gets subby and rolling with 'Roundabout'; and Brazilian label long-timers Alibi roll things out tidily on 'Sentinel'. Banging.
Review: Calibre returns with another collection of unreleased gems throughout the ages. Famously themed by his bewilderingly fast and consistent proliferation, once again it's a broad range of Dominick Martin's finest flavours. From the delicate smoky soul of the yearning "Years" to the already massive rubber-ball bassline vibe-out "Crazy For You" via the premium funk of "Latin 2000" and system-shaking rudeness of "Pillow Dub", every track on here hits the spot... But would you expect anything less from the don they call the Music Man?
Review: Veak is the latest artist to jump onto the LionDub Street Series and it's hard to believe that we're on number 45 now. A 'Best Of' for number 50, perhaps? Anyway, this one by Veak is properly sick and he's strayed away from his more regular jump-up haunts to offer something a bit more stripped back and barebones. 'Murdarah' is the highlight, as rich brass textures lead you into a furious flurry of amen breaks and stabbing basses and the overall vibe on this tune is so crisp, so well defined that we're desperately sad that we can't hear it out live. Top stuff.
Review: Lenzman's imprint serves up its first V/A right here with Quarter To Quarter. Featuring exclusive tracks from the likes of FD, LSB, Total Science, Kyrist, Tokyo Prose, Break, Zero T and so many more, it's a full spectrum representation of the label that ranges from sublime, sun-kissed soul such as Redeyes' "Lust", Atlantic Connection and Steo's "Night & Day" to bouncy, vocal high-vibe affairs such as Break's remix of "In My Mind". Along the way expect stunning strident, cosmic hypnotic workouts (Tokyo Prose - "Rescue"), dubby dreamers (Kyrist - "Untrue") unlikely rudeboy slappers (Total Science - "Killa") and every other authentic, genuinely crafted D&B sound you associate with the label. Quarter To Quarter ... No half measures.
Review: Kumarachi is one of the best recent talents to emerge from the current smorgasbord that is the D&B scene, his rough and ready sound blends jump up currents with jungle stutters and it's ideal for any situation. Basement carries on that trend on Deep In The Jungle and blimey, it's pretty damn good. 'Jungle Tingz' featuring RMS is our favourite, with a hypnotic sample that grounds its cracking percussive knocks within a framework of bassy shudders and groaning sweeps. It's a proper sound, and the thiriving nature of the scene right now drips from this release.
Review: Cre8 DnB Music is another one of very prolific, very consistent jump up labels who are riding high the wave of fervour spreading through that side of the scene at the moment. For this week's instalment of their mission to madness, they've got Harley D on board for this riotous six-tracker. 'Extra Terrestrials' leads you in with hypnotic, spacey instrumentation, before laying them out over a rolling drum break, complete with some a huge foghorn bassline. 'Welcome To The Universe' takes things up a notch in terms of craziness, its squelching, grating bass notes hit all the spots and we're very, very into it. Top EP.
Review: The Eternal Muzic crew are back in town and they have an offering, courtesy of Laney. It's a fiery, no-nonsense release that sits in the familiar vein of Souped Up influenced music, with catchy hooks and the urban-edged knack that only jump-up D&B has. 'Ganja Man' is our favourite, with a punching, pitched-down back end that pulses and sways alongside its percussive cousin and to great effect - this one would go down well on any UK dancefloor. The rest of the release is equally slick - Eternal Muzic have killed it once more.
Review: Vital is absolutely on it with this release. Courtesy of Eternal Muzic, he's stepped up for a powerful bit of work across four tracks. Devilish' is the standout tune, a wobbly collection of sines and subs which taken together form an arrangement that's equal parts heavy and equal parts funky, a tried and tested combination that always goes down well in the club. The rest are just as wicked, and it's the sheer attitude, the no nonsense vibe that this EP has, which has made us as gassed about it as we are.
Review: Ray Keith's Dread Recordings has paid host to a litany of memorable tracks and infamous artists over the years, and this week's remix single is no different. Featuring T>I and Benny L on remix duties for two tracks by Ray Keith and Dark Soldier, it's a release whose finger is firmly tacked onto the pulse of the scene. T>I's minimal VIP of 'Renegade' slams from start to finish, with delicately placed piano riffs moving apart for its smash and grab portrayal of T>I's signature style. Benny goes junglist on the flip side, and 'Dark Soldier' is as moody as it is aggressive. Top form here.
Review: It's been quite a while since Martin Mefjus last treated us to a full release, but boy have him and Vision-owners Noisia more than made up for it with this seminal release. Particles is a six-tracker with features on every tune: Camo & Krooked, Skeptical, Phace, IMANU, Break & Noisia. What a lineup that is, and it exceeds expectations as the Austrian trio of Mefjus and Camo & Krooked smash things to pieces on 'Sidewinder', a deeply unique track with a stepping, featherweight drum line, funky synth work and a seriously track structure which moves from hardstyle-esque sounds into drum & bass and back again. IMANU's feature on 'Transit' nails the neurofunk vibe (emphasis on the funk), whilst things get minimal on Skeptical's 'Amber'. Unbelievable Jeff.
Pablo G & Rudeboy Keith - "Too Much Killin'" - (5:31) 175 BPM
DJ Direkt - "HUUMan" - (4:11) 172 BPM
Danny Styles - "If A Gun" - (5:14) 174 BPM
Armada - "The Vibes" - (5:38) 170 BPM
Review: 24 Karat presumably get their name from the measurement for gold and this compilation is, by any stretch of the imagination, full of weight≥ Featuring tunes from artists old and new in the 24 Karat camp, this album stretches across 17 heavy, dancefloor numbers. The first outing, 'Heavy Hitters' by Danny Styles, is classic funk-into-dancefloor vibes and we love the array of twisting, snarling basses that fans of this producer will recognise. Danny is a regular throughout this one and he nails it consistently. Shouts also to Faysha on the sweet 'Heavy', as well as Keith Patience on thee crazy jungle number that is 'HeadShot'. Big.
Review: This is how you deal with lockdown... Earlier on during the pandemic, Hozzy's Hugh set himself an isolation-beating task of writing a tune a day for a week. He filmed the process (which is well worth checking out online) and these tracks are the result. Raw, vibe-filled and from the socially distanced heart, each cut rattles with the fresh energy he's known for. Easing us in with deeper, soulful touched on the likes of "Back & Forth" and "Loose Leaf", Hardie gets progressively heavier with cuts like "CNK" and "Ticker" upping the intensity. Finally he closes with a breezy, solemn Pola & Bryson collab "Bending Light" and the stunning space-bound steppy finale (which is named after his cat) "Gretchen Bass". Released super-quickly by Hospital, this is one of the best examples of lockdown inspired D&BB music so far. Props all round.
Review: Heist and Benny Colab have been teasing this album for several weeks now with a string of samplers, and the full thing is finally here. It's punchng percussive madness the whole way throug, a no-holds barred album which knows when to go all out and when to take a step back. There's luxurious instrumentation blended with grittier tones and 'Green Lane' is exactly that, as harp strings tug on your heart strings above a gully concoction of dusty basses and knock-back drum loops. Carasel features on the excellent 'Look Down' and it's another highlight from a super cool album.
Review: After a slew of 2020 releases on the likes of Zombie, Grid and Informal, D&B's favourite petty pilferer Nick The Lot comes a knocking on Jungle Cakes door with two scrumptious creations. "Concentrated" flips between a sweet soul skank sample and a jigsaw bassline that scratches back and forth over the drums while leaving enough space for the vocal (think "Shot Down" vibes but with NTL's own swaggering signature) "Rastafari" follows the vibe but with much more drain-like bassline. An audacious gurgling, farty sound, it's the sonic equivalent of putting a can on your bike's back wheel and revving around sounding, looking and feeling like a the baddest hells angel there ever was. Feel good flavours as always with the Jungle Cakes bakers.
Review: They're back! Serum, Voltage and Bladerunner return with their first new originals since last year's album and, as the title "Main Event" suggests, it's a pretty big deal. "XXX" opens with disarming stripped back intent. There's a bleepy techno twist in the tale and the tension is higher than Voltage monthly fashion budget. Elsewhere "Somebody Else" sees them re-enlisting the scorching vocal diesel of Lydia Pain for another emotional skin-burner and "Solar Heat" ends the EP on a real groany, smelly distorted introspective vibe. Tremendous... And we haven't even got to the dessert event, which is a super sweet Circuits remix of "Burnt Ends". Feel the burn mate.