Bristol-based drum and bass label Born On Road has had its foot held firmly on the gas since 2013. From jacked up jungle, to vocal-led rhythms and tear-out rollers, the label has been firing out the spiciest of sounds with label captains Aries, Kelvin 373, Stivs and Gold Dubs at the helm. Born On Road has been showcasing some of the hottest talent with forward-thinking releases from the likes of: AC13, Ben Snow, Disrupta, Euphonique, Benny Page, DJ Hybrid, Jappa, Lupo, GRAY, Phibes and more.
Review: Rapidly rising up the ranks, Rampage's Bare Up bares all with this absurdly good Born On Road debut. Four tracks full, each cut acting like a slap in the chops on a crisp winter's day, we kick off with the off-kilter funk of 'Jamba' which sparks up the party with incendiary levels thanks to its freaky pitched up vocals on the fills. Elsewhere 'Turn Up The Dimensions' is pure drama with its theatrical rises and ever-mutating groove, 'Like Iron' conjures up vibes of The Prototypes or late 2000s Ram flavours with its big sweeping synth fills and staccato lead while 'Pump This' closes the EP with a roughhousing sandpaper funk vibe. Bare bangers.
Review: Get your love hormones out and give them a good airing as Refracta makes his Born On Road debut with 'Oxytocin'! Five tracks deep, each one hits with a freshness, funk and bouncy vitality the Scottish artist has made his signature. Highlights include the marvellous 'With U', which has one of the most interesting and unique sounding drops and grooves we've heard for quite some time, the spooky arpeggio and playful sense of tension on 'Rizla' and the vocal textures and creepy radar-style hook on 'Transparent'. Show some love for this, Refracta is missioning it right now!
Review: Just like when you put a shell to your ear and hear the sea, if you put one of these 'Shellerz' to your ear it will actually slap your nan. True story. Just ask the Born On Road crew. Coming out the lockdown locker with a whole stack of new-gen banger craft, this is the first in a series and the name says it all; yung Toxinate will shell your chubby cheeks with his junglized 'Bumbaclart Wobbles', J Select will shell your grey matter as he rolls you up and sparks you alight with 'Skunked', 4K will shell your bare hide with the outstanding bassline and surging harmonic MC vocals of 'Murda Ross' while Toby Ross will shell your soul and make your bones rumble with 'Respect'. Get shelled soon.
Review: This various artists release from Born on Road is packed full of twisted sounds for you wrap your noggins around, and there's a sick blend of aesthetics and styles amongst all the filth. 'Turbulent Times' by Gray and Rider Shafique is wobbly and rolling, it packs all of its energy into the sub-bass and just flows out with style alongside some wicked MC work. 'Pieces of Eight' by Trex is a monstrosity of energy, with a superb drum section that packs more character into the arrangement than you can wag a finger at, whilst Bruk edges in over the top with 'Waps', showing what a hefty dose of technoid energy can bring to the beat. Big.
Review: Here comes the remix! As if these Born On Road cuts weren't gully enough as originals, Kelvin, Aries, Gold Dubs and fam have now enlisted a whole slew of versions. It's muderation from the off as Gray destroys Rahmanee's gun-toting western slammer 'Bad Boy Steppa'. A barrage of badness follows: Ben Snow's take on 'Round Here' is pure rifle bassline fire, Disupta flips Stivs & Aries' 'Raver' into an aggy blend of breaks and grunting jump-up bass, Marcus Visionary goes full jungle on 'Coconut Chalwa', the list goes on. Born to bad.
Review: Tired of pondering string theory and the idea that there may be 10 or more dimensions to explore beyond the world? Then look no further as 2020 D&B heroes Phibes bring us back to the good old 'Third Dimension' with four 3D bangers of all shapes and sizes. Coming on strong via Born On Road, the title track and 'Diva' both rattle and shake with the bees-in-a-jar rifle buzzy bass the Phibes brothers have made their signature before 'Soundboy Killer' brings in some venomous turbine reese basses before 'Roads' drives us home on a vibesy rising bassline riff. Roads? Where we're going we definitely need them. We were born for them.
Review: Well known for his killer mixes during the lockdown (and an absolute G on the decks in real-life raving back when that was a thing) Zoro sharpens his cutlass for his official EP debut on Born On Road. Five tracks heavy, all weighted in that heavy toxic bass funk that Born On Road are loved for, highlights include the ace vocal sample and sick breakbeat splashes on the crucial Disrupta collab 'Stone Cold', the raw sandpaper funk bassline of 'Everything's Ok' (with Addicted) and the humungous turbine groove of 'Siren Tune'. Spark up the dance!
Review: DJ Hybrid on Born On Road... This is a big release whichever direction it hits you. Whether it bounces into your chops with its rubber ball badness of 'Just Keep It Real', creeps up behind you all slinky and ominous like 'Directions', sidles up to you all shady and paranoid like 'Last One', jumps on your head and screams 'woooooiiii' like 'Big Request' or struts right up to your face, bold as brass, and slews the dickens out of you like 'Send For Dem'... We guarantee this will hit you.
Review: Bristol's baddest drum & bass crew are back on the road and back releasing fiercely naughty music that's just packed to the rafters with urban-edged attitude. DJ Gaw has been honing his craft for some time and the work put in is evident in Hand Sign, five-tracker that starts off with a bang and doesn't let up for one second. 'Signal' is superb, as Gaw samples the great David Rodigan, creating a wicked ambience which is then cut through by sharp-edged breaks and bouncing, wobbly stabs. The jungle destruction continues on 'Hand Sign', Joe Burn lays down the bars on 'Hyper' and Disrupta finishes the job with a feature on the superly gruff 'Rasta'.
Review: Long time murker and Born On Road veteran Selecta J-Man teams up with some of the best MCs in the game for his "My Style" EP. Redders joins the fray first with the purring, slinky "My Style" that's wrought in tension and dark, sleek dynamics. Rider Shafique follows, bringing his own unique narrative and tones over a scratchy, gnarly riddim that's part jump-up, part blender, all nasty. Completing the triple threat comes David Boomah who brings a sense of triumph to "Stronger" before J-Man shuts us down with two crucial instrumentals; the dark rave energy of "Kill Sound" and the steppy grizzles of "Badboy". Ruff!
Review: Fresh from a few high profile excursions on the likes of Nuusic, Liondub and Audio Addict, Disrupta arrives with his biggest EP to date courtesy of Born On Road. Each cut hits hard from the moment the long awaited Corona cover "The Night" hits you with its wonky nocturnal rhythm. Other highlights include the dubby washes and savage growls of "Bad Guy" and the trippy grizzler "Honey". Sweet.
Review: Born On Road is Aries' label and it does UK jungle right. Created out of Aries' legendary roadtrips and tours, the imprint puts out a consistent stream of UK ragga/jungle music, all of which has a focus on urban-edged sounds that hit hard but don't get too serious. Kumo is taking things in a dirtier direction this time around though, as five slices of really creative sounds come flying at you right from the start of this EP. The title tune is the stand-out, with a rolling, reese heavy bassline and a skipping, powerful percussive section laying underneath. We're also big fans of the chopped up vocal splashes of 'How I Like It' and the sine-heavy wobbles on 'Top Boy'. Excellent stuff.
Review: Born On Road roll into a new decade in style as Lupo & Jappa join the fray with this savage slab of darkness. Groaning basslines, soundsystem vibes and subtle MC chatter; "Nuff Girl" hits every spot you need it to. It's backed by more heavy artillery: "Flee" now comes in VIP form with its trippy staccato bass burps, Lupo goes solo on the super-spooked out "Minefield" while Jappa closes down the show with M-Tek on "Tuff". Absolute murderation.
Review: Bristol damager Gray throws 50 shades of gully into the mix right here for his debut EP on Born On Road. Kicking off the relationship with serious intent, the EP kicks off with a massive Ragga Twins massacre ("Bloodbath") and the fire just gets hotter with every track; "One Spliff" instantly rouses crowds with its great twist on the vocal, "Rubabub" is pure mixing pleasure with its loopy vocal and on/off drone bass, "Buss Riddim" has the flabbiest bassline this side of the Weight Watchers head office while "Get To The Chopper" closes the session with absolutely nasty basses and daft AI vocals. The perfect blend of humour and hurt. All Grayvy m8.
Review: Born On Road is one of the new-school of labels pushing the current moment's gritty, jump-up infused sound, the sound that has captured so many new fans to the genre in the past couple of years and which has catapulted the careers of Ben Snow, AC13 and others. This EP comes from the former and it's an excellent representation of where the sound is at right now, a massive, heavy piece of work that features David Boomah on a wicked vocal feature. The title track nails the sample, before rolling out with the foghorn sound on full display. It's top stuff and we're very much into it.
Review: After one of their busiest festival seasons to date, Josh Lear - AKA Selecta J-Man - ramps up the Born On Road heat with this crucial five-tracker that ranges the full sound system spectrum he's become known for. "Round Here" is the centre piece thanks to an almighty bassline and the stern purring tones of man like Rider. Highlights deeper into the EP include the Bingo-style bubbling bass on "Cuss Cuss", the big euphoria pads and V-style funk of "Worldwide" and the riotous, early Clipz-style damagement of "Drum Song" with Fleck. Selecta!
Review: Born On Road is Aries' label and it does UK jungle right. Created out of Aries' legendary roadtrips and tours, the imprint puts out a consistent stream of UK ragga/jungle music, all of which has a focus on urban-edged sounds that hit hard but don't get too serious. Jngl Fire is just that - jungle fire - as five slices of really creative sounds come flying at you right from the start of this EP. The title tune is the stand-out, with a dancehall, Sam Binga-esque beat pattern grounding this tune with a lovely bit of gritty funk, and a wobbling back end providing the cherry on top. Properly good release this.
Review: Aries 2018-released debut album Jungle Style just keeps on giving with another badass bounty of versions. Featuring a whole range of skilled breakbeat craftsmen from hyped newcomers and hidden talents to some of the best in the game, highlights hit from all corners including Saxxon's jazz-tinged tear-up on "Sundays", Kreed's dancehall stepper twist of "I & I" and Benny Page's heavily supported version of "Herbsmoke". High grade business.
Review: Born On Road is Aries' label and it does UK jungle right. Created out of Aries' legendary roadtrips and tours, the imprint puts out a consistent stream of UK ragga/jungle music, all of which has a focus on urban-edged sounds that hit hard but don't get too serious. Blam Blam is four remixes of Cheshire Cat's original, the first of which is a jungle number from K Jah, a sick track that's quickly followed up by Aries and Jacky Murda, who've turned the original into a funky yet hard hitting piece of music. Marcus Visionary and Feva are also both on form, making this EP an all-round must-listen for those who like their music with a heady dose of dub and reggae influence.
Review: Euphonique has absolutely smashed this one, with this five-track release packing all the creativity and attitude that we've come to expect. The title tune is vintage Euphonique, with an urban vocal and a stuttering array of jungle breaks that piece together into a really creative bit of music. The others are all pure rollers, with that Souped Up or KoTR vibe, and our favorite is probably 'Smokeable', just because that bassline is far too gully for us not to be into it. Big ups to the Born on Road crew as well, these guys have been killing it.
Review: AC13 is an 18 year-old producer on a mission, having burst onto the scene with a series of bootlegs and ear-catchy singles, he's now releasing on Born On Road with Giant Machines. Giant Machines shows off the AC13 sound and with its focus on snapping snare drums and fuck off big basses, this EP hits seriously hard, even if it could be said to be perhaps overly similar to the sound of the past couple years. 'Giant Machines' is very akin to 'You Got Me' from the recent KoTR album, with a big pulsating bass which switches up into a steppy minimal section and then back again - very nice. 'Awake' is in this vein as well - definitely worth checking this one.
Review: Born On Road is Aries' jungle imprint and honestly, it's one of the coolest labels around. Based off of Aries' now legendary UK tours - hence the name - it combines a chilled out, anything-goes vibe with playful artwork and seriously sick music to create a Souped Up-type image. Operation is by Stivs and label boss Aries and is four slices of jungle wizardry from the pair, with a distinctly urban vibe that translates the stylistic grounding of jungle music into an accessible spray of energy. 'Operation' is the archetype, with infectious reggae sampling laying down the gauntlet on the intro before its torn to shreds by a diving reece bass and crackling jungle breaks. Absolutely wild.
Review: Verdikt has actually nailed this one. For real. Born On Road are back and they're back with a an absolute corker courtesy of the aforementioned Verdikt, who's Ice Cold EP is aptly named and which simply slams start to finish. The title track is a fluid, motional number with a wobbling back end that wraps itself round the percussion in gloriously satisfying way fashion. "Don't Leave' featuring Dissonant is a steppier bit of work, with clean jungle drums and a growling bassline that warps and morphs into sine territory, all overcut by a soulful vocal sample. The other four are also top-notch, with Verdikt really nailing that Kings Of The Rollers vibe. Wicked stuff.