Review: All time original jungle label outta Caledonian Road, London, is 24 Karat, a platform that since its inception in '94 has tirelessly delivered all matter of drum and bass that over the years has morphed through hip hop, grime and trap while remaining a central port of call for UK club culture. Deep into 2020 the label presents Heavy Hitters: Volume Two - a 23-track large compilation that brings back productions from new signings Armada, DugBass, Destiny and Sasha Khan ("Soundclash") to established regulars and in-house pioneers like DJ Direkt, Keith Patience, Pablo G and label boss Danny Styles. Introducing new flavours from the freshly signed H2O and Juxt with the dreddly "Danger Dubs", other highlights include DJ Direkt & Faysha's demented "Killa" alongside the the grubby dubs and rave of Dugbass in "The Lies". It's a knockout.
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.
DJ Direkt & MC Crystalize - "KARma" - (4:24) 174 BPM
3REee - (4:24) 174 BPM
BOUNTyHUnt - (4:23) 175 BPM
BRIcks - (4:13) 174 BPM
Review: In case you wanted some more Perspective this Christmas, DJ Direkt is offering up a helping hand of heavy, 170 sounds that look set to roll out over the Christmas period with an appropriately cold edge to their sonic construction. 'PERSPective' is the title tune and what a sick one it is, with a funky edge to the sample laden intro and layered drums that inject a splash of toughness to the sound design. MC Crystalize makes an appearance on 'KARma', his devilish tones powerfully lacing the instrumental with even more fire and fury, in most likely the highlight of the EP. Top stuff.
Review: Keith Patience and Noise Bleed are going head to head for the first ever international clash over on 24 Karat's Gladiators series, which sees two artists go head-to-head in a format reminiscent of everyone's favourite TV show from the mid 2000s. Keith Patience is repping the UK whilst new signing Noise Bleed is at the controls for Israel, and the former goes seriously hard, blending a mix of different breaks into one furiously dynamics stretch of junglist power. Noise Bleed goes a bit more chilled out with his sample-laden rendition of the genre, with a really, really nice melodic infusion that rounds out the release in great form.
Review: In the harsh environment of the gladiatorial ring, only the strongest survive. Whilst admittedly there are quite a lot of differences between the Coliseum and the rave, one big key similarity is this: the bigger, the better. Danny Styles and Pablo G are channeling that mantra into this versus single, in which Pablo G's 'Shine Eye Girl' goes up against Danny Style's remix. Both tracks are wicked and we love the roughness and the energy in the basses, but Pablo's original might just have squeezed it, just because the sample is used perfectly to inject that extra funk element. Wicked release.
Review: When you hear the world gladiator, what image comes into your mind? For most, it'll be the traditional image of Roman-era combat, or maybe even Russell Crowe's rendition of that combat. Conrad Subs and Danny Styles clearly have a different conception about what it means to be a gladiator, one that's rooted more in the urban-edged nature of modern jungle and D&B than the bloody struggles of antiquity. Conrad Subs kicks things off with 'Next Chapter' and its quintessential Subs, with some classic sampling and a spicey, bouncing bassline that wraps itself round the stuttering drum break. Danny Styles' Bad Man People is a rolling, warped number than ramps up the intensity even more - wicked stuff.