Review: The Next Gen Audio team are definitely an imprint with a knack for sniffing out powerful new releases, which is exactly what they have found here with this spicy new selection from Amplify. Kicking off with 'Human', we can tell we are in for a high energy ride as sizzling synth pulses lead the way atop clean breaks, before 'Seduction' sends us a little more leftfield with some unusual bass processing that just seems to work. Next, Fanatics join the party for 'Carousel', a super gnarly exploration of high ended bass stabs and choppy drum manoeuvres before 'Got You', alongside Master Error gives us a classic jump up outro, again pushing some super colourful bass designs for forward for a hell of a splash.
Review: Madcap and the late Andy Skopes' Trouble EP on Dispatch exemplifies why this label is so legendary, and why Andy's premature passing was such a tragic loss for our scene. His music is living on, however, and him and Madcap have rolled out a true piece of dancefloor precision on this one. The title track is pure magic, a ducking and diving number that drops to effortless depths in its quest for low frequency excellence, a vision aided along by MC Fats' typically deft vocal work. There are superb breaks on 'Scatter', and fractiously deep jungle tones on 'Empty Soul' that's paired with a hauntingly melancholic vocal sample. Unmissable.
Review: Benny Page and MC Spyda have the first single out on Spyda's brand new label and with this single they take you on a rough and ready journey through rolling D&B, one that's characterised by its reliance on the best elements of the older school of 170 sonics: big drum hits, reggae-infused MC work and a complete lack of pretentiousness or over-engineering. 'Serious Time' is exactly that and we love the spoken vibe that rolls out over the whole tune, a proper piece of mic duty from one off the stalwarts of the scene.
Review: Bladerunner presents some high fidelity drum 'n' bass in the tradition of Goldie's Metalheadz sound on his new offering "Take Me Away" where angelic female vocals contrast the most fierce and rolling amens and the gnarliest bassline you'll hear this year. Courtesy of his imprint Hi Resolution, where 2020 was a banner year for the UK artist, with anthems such as "Bassline Terror", "Don't Break It" and "The Fall" (with Nectax) cemented his status within the d 'n' b scene.
Break & Mark System - "Super Blue (2004)" - (5:14) 172 BPM
Sneaky (2004) (feat Kyo) - (5:36) 174 BPM
Come Closer (2005) - (4:57) 174 BPM
Legna (2005) - (6:00) 174 BPM
Break & Nico - "All In (2006)" - (6:08) 170 BPM
Take Me There (2006) - (4:52) 174 BPM
Sabotage (2006) - (5:56) 174 BPM
Bongo Fire (2007) - (6:17) 174 BPM
High Punch (2009) - (6:59) 174 BPM
Get Hot (2010) - (5:16) 174 BPM
Himself (2012) - (6:29) 170 BPM
Review: There are few things as exciting as a new Break LP dropping into the inbox. That tangible feeling of excitement is made all the more intense by the knowledge that any new music from the Bristol-based master is 99.9% certain to be incredible. Dusty Demos is no different, and it says a lot about Break that even his discarded music from years gone by is still right up there with the best of it. The tracks in this album span 2003 to 2012, and one of the earliest is 'Super Blue' feat. Mark System, who gets involved in a luxurious, lounging piece of music that's at its best in its crisp percussive highs and swelling, summertime pads. 'All In' from 2006 is foreboding as hell and packed with movement, whilst 2007's 'Take Me There' is possibly the dirtiest tune on the whole EP, with a torn bassline that moves in furious gestures. It's classic Break that spans the whole stylistic and temporal spectrum - unmissable.
No Tomorrow (Red Bull Symphonic rework) - (4:20) 175 BPM
No Tomorrow (Tom Finster remix) - (5:20) 175 BPM
Review: Hugeness on hugeness; as if Camo & Krooked and Mefjus's game-changing 'No Tomorrow' could possibly pack more of a punch, now come the versions. First is a bombastic rendition from the Red Bull Symphonic Orchestra who take the track to the most dramatic places it could possibly be. Then we have the case of Tom Finster. A very exciting name emerging in bass music right now, here the Frenchman surges and slides between halftime and drum & bass with sweeping emotional rushes and textures. Absolutely immense.
Review: The name of this release - Big Money - is reflected in the colourful and playful artwork. It's the first ever EP from a brand new label, Tin Pan Sound, and we're hoping that this is the beginning of a flourishing new imprint. You can tell from the off both that this might be the case, and that this is a release which doesn't take itself too seriously; part of that nonchalant approach to music that stresses having a good time over chin-stroking analysis and perfect mixdowns. The title track is a rattling jump up stepper with a powerful undergirding of low-frequency pulses and tones, there's a slick little vocal over the top and it all comes together very nicely. The others are equally tough and straight shooting - big ups.
Review: This latest selection from Incurzion Audio is yet another top quality project, this time welcoming Dedman inside for some incredibly well produced goodness. The title track 'My Heart' packs a serious subby punch, combining heavily effected vocals with epic bassline action, complete with a Myth's big room remix, adding an extra sense of depth to the original creation. From here, the glitchy bass designs and colourful percussive arrangements of 'Terri Chango' are let loose before we take in the neuro-inspired synth action and super choppy drum drops of 'Backbeat Steeze'. FInally, Kidsonic joins the party on 'Deep Down' for a futuristic roller, focussing on high ended synthesis and vibrant sub-bass below. Awesome work.
Review: Jungle label, jungle music, Maad Ting! The Ipswich-based label are back after some killer releases by the likes of Leks, Faysha and DJ Uniques with this new one by DJ Direkt called "Calamity". Direkt gets that old school jump-up vibe in full effect on the opening title track, complete with ragga vocals, while the true stepper "Bunn" will no doubt get the heads down on the dancefloor, reminiscent of Calibre's early Soul:R releases. Finally, he hammers the message home on the fierce roller "Stress". Following up promising efforts on Sub Heavy Audio and Evolution, DJ Direkt sure is one to watch moving into 2021.
Running Back (feat Need For Mirrors) - (5:56) 174 BPM
Roonies (feat Mindstate) - (4:35) 172 BPM
Like Uh (feat Vangeliez) - (4:32) 174 BPM
Our Time (feat Dogger) - (3:57) 172 BPM
Save Me Now (feat Vangeliez & Maverick Sabre) - (4:30) 174 BPM
Never Made It (feat Mindstate) - (4:29) 174 BPM
I Wish (feat FD) - (4:35) 172 BPM
Light In My Memories (feat Think Tonk) - (4:32) 58 BPM
Review: DRS is back on his own Space Cadet imprint with a six-track collection of absolute beauties. Its DRS at his liquid-lounging best and he's recruited an all-star collection of artists to help him out, including Mindstate, Maverick Sabre, Vangeliez, Redeyes - the list goes on. We're especially taken by HMD and Redeyes' 'Cinnamon Roses', which takes a sultry, new-school hip-hop vocal line and stretches it out into a bouncing, funky and trendy liquid cut. There are floaty piano riffs on 'Us', darker touches on 'Running Back', and soaring soul on 'Save Me Now'. That's just the beginning of the Light Language, and with this album DRS is showing us all once more that he's the most diverse, wide-ranging MC in drum & bass. Legendary.
Review: As ever with the Dungeon Kru, we are happy to see them back at it again, returning to Liondub International for a top quality display of collaborative energy across nine outstanding originals. The team invite the likes of T-Kay, Bandit MC, Yauza, B-Plexx and more onboard to deliver a wide range of drum & bass and jungle creations, all doused in that classic dungeon energy. There's a lot to take in with this selection, from the super gnarly bassline growls of 'Navy Seal' alongside EzTee and ELE to the super choppy, unpredictable bass slices of 'Number 1' with Kru. It's definitely a project we would recommend exploring on long play, with our highlights including bouncing drum designs and clever dubwise sampling of 'Ganja Riddim' alongside Maurizzle, next to the screaming bass crunches of 'On Fire', which features additional work from Falco.
Review: Bristol beefcake Formula makes one of his biggest moves so far with this killer debut on Invicta Audio. All four cuts hitting with realness and showing a different side to the young producer, highlights include the deep-space wriggles and sultry house vocal snippets on 'You & Me' and the all-out party flavours of 'Bad Boys'. Switching from a classic twangy riff even your mum knows to a groany, gutter-chomping drop is a dramatic and funky move. We need more music like this.
Review: Old-school roughness, can it be beaten? Maybe, but there's something so charismatic about jungle music that's embedded within the textures and soundscapes of times gone by, like a window into the past that also wants to make you boot your TV out the front door. This release does just that, and 'The Fantasy (Darker Mix)' is the perfect blend of scratchy vocal leads, warm bass tones and clattering junglist strikes. 'Jungle' is just as good, with an eerie synth line that wobbles and weaves down into a roughshod spasm of ravey percussion. Love it.
Review: Harley D is back, using his force to compel you to pull ugly bassfaces and throw your drink with an EP that doesn't hold back. It's not the kindest on the ears but then again its not supposed to be, it's a monograph in hard-hitting sonics and dastardly tones. 'Evacuation' is 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 others feature more big synths, but with emphasis instead on forward movement and a roughshod approach to crafting textures with a focus on sonic destruction - top release.
Review: Hoax has been doing absolute bits for quite a while now and this forthcoming two-tracker for Audio Addict is a reminder that his ability to craft moody beats is right out of the top draw. 'Backstabber' 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 old-school brass textures providing the backdrop for a remorseless escape into clubland. Tickets ready please and leave your baggage on the door. The flipside is a remix from Kontakt, and he flips the bassline completely into a different beast, a remorseless set of stabs which hit with abandon. Insane.
Review: The second chapter in Deep in the Jungle Anthems 7 is upon us, and there is yet another cacophonous blend of fractious jungle riddims inside. Drawn from artists across the scene both old and new, this LP is the second leg of a journey that's pull you deep through the spiky, rough edges of a the jungle. The crashing force of K Jah's 'Quest' is a good example, as repetitive breaks needle their way into your soul amidst a wobbling sub and jazzy samples. Bish is on remix duties for label boss DJ Hybrid and his tune 'Badboy', which samples possibly one of dance music's most iconic film lines and does so amidst a relentless, rolling instrumental. Sick - there are over 30 tracks inside so get involved.
Review: Young Guns was originally set up in 2012 by Biological Beats head honcho MC Fatman D as a brand new event concept, showcasing fresh talent at live events across the country. Since 2015, they have evolved into Young Guns Recordings and here they present their latest courtesy of Hyn aka Chris Haynes, an emerging artist from Bristol with his twisted sound that has been heard previously on Brawlin Beats, OnlyJungle and Helix. The London EP features the wobbly grime bassline of the title track, the minimal roller "Dada" reminiscent of classic DJ Krust and the darkside tehctsep thriller "Change".
Review: EPs don't get more diverse and dancefloor ready than this one from Jak, who has roped in Mofes and Kumo to help him craft his devilishly made club-friendly sounds. Rather than a copy-paste exercise, Nuusic and Jak are living up to their reputations by bringing four unique, differentiated cuts to the table. 'Siren' feat Kumo is the pick of the bunch, as a rolling Break-esque drum line cuts through a sparsely arranged but effectively spacious array of Sofa Sound-type bass nodes. Proper sick, and there's clicky tech funk on 'Snow', jump-up force on 'Lace Up' and sub-heavy, sine-wobbling goodness on 'Akimbo'. Big.
Review: Metalheadz's march towards twenty five years continues, as does their revisitation and exploration of back catalogue classics, with a twist. Episode number three takes the furious sounds of Kaotic Chemistry's 'Drum Trip' and 'Jupiter' and reworks them, with production courtesy of Detboi, Madcap, Wheeler and Kaotic Chemistry themselves. Madcap's take on 'Drum Trip' is clean and precise, with a rolling drum break that builds through a gorgeous reece line for an instantly classic sound, one that's tied with the Metalheadz aesthetic both past and present. Detboi makes two contributions, and it's his Low Ends and Amens take on 'Drum Trip' that impresses most, with the rhythmic diversity he's become known for on full display, and Detboi sprints through downtempo breaks, stuttering claps and rusty percussive textures in his quest to create something with moodiness at its core. Finally, Kaotic Chemistry themselves turn 'Jupiter' into a fractious version of its former self, one which perfectly straddles the divide between jungle experimentalism and modern toughness. Seminal.
Review: One of the many sick soundboys to emerge out of Newcastle these days, KL hits the bullseye once again, this time on Fatman D's Young Guns. It kicks off with 'Cast Iron', a fun-times roller with a playful Zinc or Serum style air about it and some cavernous effects on the bassline. It's backed by plenty more incendiary buzzers: the pitched up vocal and screaming bass moans of 'I Need' and the steel-edged grizzler 'Impossible' are both highlights. Tough stuff. Don't cast stones, cast iron...
Review: present at raves up and down the UK as well as across the channel. This is his latest release on the inimitable Pick N Mix, and it shows off his credentials properly, as he's roped in all the tightest sounds you can think of for big six-tracker. We especially love 'Upside', which is just pure attitude encapsulated in a 170 beat and some basses. 'Pimp Shit' smashes it in a pummelling number that honestly doesn't seem like it gives any fucks, and that theme is brought to life even more fully in the diving sub tones of 'Drowzy'. Banging stuff.
Review: Marvel Cinema is your archetypal underappreciated liquid D&B producer, in the mould of Furney, Lurch and others. His tracks always manage to emanate warmth, purpose and precision with their top-quality melodies and forward-thinking production, qualities which certainly aren't absent from his Console EP. Three slices of liquid ingenuity and characterised by an elegant simplicity, 'Oceanographic' is deceptive in that its apparent lightness is quickly contradicted by a forceful back end. 'Escape' is the other standout, a funky piano riff sitting beautifully over a rolling bassline and skippy drums. Lovely stuff.
Review: Following on the heels of his last absolutely wicked release, Midst is on Dubstomp 2 Bass for a showcase in how to produce gruff, no nonsense drum & bass that hits you hard and steps over the body. It's a continuation of the label's Straight Outta series, where they profile producers from around the UK, and 'Too Many Lives' feat Padman is the perfect example, as the pair team up for a raucous jump up tune that growls in its stabs and wobbles in the sub bass, the MC work laying over the top perfectly. The old school jump up vibe carries on the VIP of 'Area 51', with an urban edge to the sound that smacks sharply of the pioneering jump up producers of 10 or 15 years ago. The rest of the release is equally as on point - big ups Midst.
Review: Young Brighton-based producer Moose lets loose about our hoose on Breakbeats & Basslines with this firing five-tracker. Flexing a snake-like technoid style, here we find him worming through harmonics and guttural drones with sounds that wouldn't go amiss on Overview or Incurzion. Highlights include the neuro squiggles and grizzles of 'Sour Patch' and the slinky bass fluctuations of 'Tuesday'. Savour the moment, too. Apparently this will be his last EP as Moose before starting a new alias.
Sleepwalker (feat Charlotte Haining) - (5:49) 174 BPM
Girl On A Bike - (4:12) 58 BPM
One Day At A Time (feat Lalin St. Juste) - (3:53) 174 BPM
Can't Stop, Won't Stop - (5:48) 172 BPM
Instincts (feat Lea Lea) - (3:50) 173 BPM
Jonas - (4:44) 174 BPM
Shelter (feat DJ Rae) - (5:03) 174 BPM
Helarctos - (5:04) 174 BPM
Souled Out - (4:18) 172 BPM
Warm Glow (feat Ed Scissor) - (4:14) 172 BPM
Shift Break - (4:13) 174 BPM
Sweeter - (4:28) 175 BPM
No Quick Fixes (feat Pete Simpson) - (4:11) 174 BPM
The Moment (feat Lea Lea) - (4:37) 174 BPM
Review: One of Hospital Records' most renowned liquid craftsman is back. Nu:Tone has been a foundational artist on the label, releasing his first album in 2005 and following it up with four more seminal LPs. Little Spaces is arriving after a long break of 7 years, and we're ecstatic to see him return in such good form. It's an album that stays true to the Nu:Tone and Hospital traditions of bubbly, feel-good music and this entire piece of work ripples with the sort of good vibes that we all need right now. 'Souled Out' is a perfect example, a nonchalant track grounded with a simple four-note melody that slowly progresses amidst luscious guitar flicks and deft rhodes riffs. 'Girl On A Bike' is more stepping funk, and the album weaves through vocal features from DJ Rae, Ed Scissor, Lalin St. Juste and Lea Lea. An absolutely gorgeous piece of work.
Review: For an artist with a name as old school as Pharoah, this man sure has some futuristic sounds. Following his previous epic dispatch on Liondub International ('Mirage'), once again he hits with more cosmic feels. Funky, forward-facing and full of surprises, there's a young Bensley or Whiney deep in the mix when you hear the glitches and shiny soul of cuts like 'Party' or 'Threshold' while darker sounds like 'Ganjaman' or 'B.I.G' show plenty of promise on his gullier aspects. First dynasty levels of talent here. Keep your eyes on this king.
Review: If you like your drum & bass packed with eerie soundscapes and created more with the intention of imparting an experience than packing out a dancefloor, this is the EP for you. It's classic moody Headz, and Quartz channels the hazy smoke-filled vibe of Blue Note and pumps it through an apocalyptic filter, transposing classical breaks onto futuristic landscapes. 'Folding Water' is perhaps the EP's darkest outing, as hypnotic kicks ground a steampunk aesthetic of churning metal and furious percussive energy, one with abstraction at its core but traditional breaks music in its heart. Superb release.
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: It's time to tie a knot in your hankey for Remembrance, a mysterious artist who's been striking gold on Liquid Brilliants for several years now. 'Midtown Sunrise' is no exception. Four tracks all tickling a different corner to the dancefloor underbelly and all super rich in emotions, highlights include the wormy tech sizzler 'Bring In' and the cosmic, early Bungle style 'New Born' with all kinds of elephantine surprises along the way. Never forget!
Review: RISE is on Liondub International and is giving all of us a lesson in how to produce tough, stripped back sonics which carry more attitude than a charging bull. 'Crossbow' is the best example of this, as a no-nonsense drum line penetrates a precisely placed array of gully bass pulls and hair-rising low-frequency pushes. 'Feline' is more classic jump-up, as a potent blast of stabs combine into the type of hands-in-the-air dancefloor action we've come to expect from the genre. Proper stuff.
Review: Shimah is one of the most consistent purveyors of rolling damage around, and this time around he's landing on Co-Lab Recordings. He's back with the Transhumanism EP, another drum-focused, gritty piece of music that relies on the barebone essentials to do the talking. There are diamonds among the rough and 'Flux Ropes' exemplifies his sonic approach perfectly; its whispering waves of synthy leads build and rise, breaking on the drop into a skipping, bouncy arrangement that's as infectious as it is creative. There's low frequency mayhem on 'Transhumanism', and 'Fallen' ties up the EP perfectly, with clattering drums and pummelling walls of low frequency energy. Unstoppable.
Review: This VA EP from Subconscious Audio is a wicked showcase of what creative producers can do with the minimal template, as 1 moves between sub-genre influences as diverse as liquid to jump up. 'Dark Spice' is pure gas, as a loping, heavyweight bassline touches down again and again, a relentless monotony that grinds you down with its sheer size and heft. Female vocal samples are ever present on this release and they juxtapose with the black sparseness of their surroundings, something especially apparent on 'Nightshift Kru', which packs a fat set of drums, a sub-heavy low end and shining vocals in the tops. Unreal release and an unmissable album from Subconscious crew. Bigups.
Review: Wind your derrieres! Veak and Danny Styles go toe-to-toe, point-to-point, lip-to-lip on the first in a new series from San Diego junglist family The Foundation. One fierce Frenchman, one UK foundation legend, both cuts rattle and shake hard. Veak goes on a classic jungle rinse-out with 'Selecta'. Powerhouse breaks, a juicy fruit sub bass, sunny-side skanks and twists and turns that would sit nicely in a Remarc set, it's a timeless homage to jungle's most enduring characteristics. Danny Styles, meanwhile, flips for a much starker slice of jungle futurism. Ice cold feels and disarming vocal samples. J'adore!
Review: Vital is a drum and bass producer/DJ from Bournemouth, on the south coast of the UK. He has had releases on Subliminal Recordings, Samurai Bass Audio, Bulletproof Recs and Twisted Beatz. The Recognition EP features the wonky bassline action of "London", while "Culture" similarly infuses the street sounds of grime to impressive effect. Stepper "Recognition" has a somewhat dark jump-up vibe reminiscent of the True Playaz sound and "Disconnected" channels that classic techstep/neurofunk style of all on this roller from the darkside.
Review: Wagz is an artist with majorly diverse talents, so it's not especially surprising that at least this EP is straight up incredible, and the blend of his respective light-dark specialities makes itself constantly apparent. This is his first full EP on Influence, an imprint perfectly suited to what they've come out with here: five cuts of wispy, intelligent and emotive drum & bass that's dripping with maturity in its melodic construction. 'Dark Star' sticks out, with a growling bass that slowly creeps in just builds and builds, with devil in the detail and an unflappable tendency to keep things stripped back and simple, just the way they're supposed to be. Lovely stuff.
Review: Over on Sub-liminal Recordings, Yatuza is landing with an EP that blends the savage sounds of jump-up with effortless use of space and a clarity designed to impress but not overwhelm. 'The Divide' rests on finger-click drum hits that intersperse with a wobbling sub bass and choppy bass staps, it's got that head-nodding vibe to the drums we all love and it's an all-round masterclass of blending funk and aggression. 'Feel The Same' builds up with murderous intent above a body of furious kicks, before climbing the heights of euphoria into stabbing, flowing territory. Beautiful stuff, and we also love the wobbling gargles of the final track, 'Taken', which is just pure naughtiness. Big ups.