Review: Celsius mainstay Actraiser gets busy with four more prime examples of liquid perfection. "Inner Beauty" comes complete with outer beauty too, all cascading keys and Logistics style sub pressure, it's rich, warm and full bodied. "Get It On" oozes more of a classic Good Looking feel with mild ice pads, deep space laced around each drum element and a honeyed vocal sample. Dig deeper again and you'll find a cinematic quality in the choral textures of "Road To Enlightenment" and fine balance of star-gazing and roof raising on the spine-melting "Cosmic Shift". Beautiful...
Review: Bristol-based gamer Actraiser returns to Celsius with four more slices of rolling dynamite. Deep, soulful but entrenched in dark texture, he peddles the same sophisticated grooves you'd usually find on Bukem's seminal Good Looking imprint or Utah Jazz's Vintage label. Highlights include the icy, paranoid "Espionage" and the bulbous sub-soaked hook on "Voyager", the dreamy, sky-staring synth whooshes on "Missing Paradise" and the soaring, yearning soulful vocal on "Away From Me".
Review: Agressor Bunx come from the beautiful, beleaguered capital of Ukraine, Kiev. A killer stepper immediately breaks out in the form of title track "Wish Killer", blending techy vibes with sci-fi horror sampling and dark, dread-filled bass. Things brighten up considerably for the flip though, and "The Tearz", contrary to its downbeat title, is a strangely chirpy number, somewhere on the melancholy side but still rolling along fresh and bright, perfect as a set closer. Two sides of the coin, one D&B outfit well worth checking out.
Scott Allen & Blade - "Nobody Like You" - (5:56) 175 BPM
Scott Allen & Sunny Crimea - "When I See You Again" - (5:57) 174 BPM
Simplification & Scott Allen - "Roots Of Love" - (5:48) 175 BPM
Scott Allen & Blade - "Love In Your Eyes" - (5:34) 175 BPM
Review: Scott Allen steps up with his next release on Celsius. The What Lies Ahead EP is an accessible, easy listener that skirts the boundaries of liquid drum & bass with its gentle atmospherics and rolling breaks. "Nobody Like You" gets things started with an echoing vocal snippet, cooing breaks and undulating melodies - a great collab with Blade. Next Scott Allen teams up with Sunny Crimea for the equally as yearning "When I See You Again" which is full of light breaks, warm bass in a sparse, ticking soundscape. "Roots Of Love" continues to weave the narrative with Simplification - expect a soulful vocal and punchy drums before "Love In Your Eyes" brings the EP to a close.
Review: Scott Allen heads up this EP on Celsius, teaming up with talent such as Faible, Flame and Deeper Connection on four of the six tracks. "Dusk" provides an atmospheric intro to the Inner Beauty EP with its rattling percussion, mournful flickers and breezy atmospherics. Next, the title track is all reflective musings with murmuring bass, glistening SFX and a rose-tinted haze. The first of the collaborative tracks, "Saw Your Face" brings in Faible for another laidback slice of jazzy D&B, whilst "Drifting Away" with Flame brings in sweeping synths and more punchy drums. Deeper Connection adds a warm, cosy darkness to "The Need In Me", before "Need You" rounds things up.
Review: London-based Altitude has worked with some of the D&B scene's finest producers, releasing on the likes of IM:Ltd, Jazzsticks, Good Looking and now Celsius. Forging a path in well-presented, thoughtful and downright beautiful liquid beats, first track "Homecoming" has the driving beat and deep, penetrating bass you'd expect, but a lightness and experimentalism in the melodies you might not. "Hours" takes a more serious approach, placing dark harmonies against chilled beats to give an offset feeling. It's out of the ordinary but still geared heavily towards the dancefloor. Inspired stuff from a bright new star. Get on it.
Review: Celsius just keep on delivering the goods. The next installment from the label comes in the shape of Kasper's "Revitalize EP". The first track, "Nepsis" is a bit of a subdued little roller with quirky, muffled SFX playing in the background, shuffling breaks and a pervasive sense of melancholy. Accompanying this is the title track, "Revitalize" which is a rather more upbeat number featuring warm instrumentals, undulating b-lines and delicate melodies dancing above. Occasionally a vocal snippet comes in and out of focus, adding an element of intrigue to the track.
Review: Critical Event and Radicall's ASH:RAM project reaches new heights with their debut full Celsius EP. Flexing around the most soulful pastures of the genre, it's a three-track massage of the deepest proportions. "Crushed" sizzles with a restrained dreamy texture, all filtered and hazy, "Vertigo" strips the vibe back to the bare piano and drum-fuelled funk while finally "Gently" lives up to its name with a breath-taking vocal, velvet pads and a set of precision-tune breaks running on-point underneath. Balance guaranteed.
Review: Pow! Bcee and Bladerunner on one sweet release? This is the stuff D&B dreams are made of. The two respected players complement each other perfectly; Bcee's depths and soul coupled with Bladerunner's rolling ice and heritage heaviness is an instant win. "Moonstruck" starts all airy and wafty before a bulbous bassline bombards the blend with raw power. "Crash" goes deeper into the bass cosmos with a rich, warm string section that's countered neatly by booming subs and a shiny metallic bassline that purrs with subtle menace. A match made in drum & bass heaven.
Review: Newcomer to the scene Bert H is packing as much love and hope into his productions as humanly possible. With these latest tracks on Celsius, he's brought together his love of grotty, grooving basslines and rolling melodies that keep on moving. A taste of liquid from the techier end of the spectrum, there's a sense of space-age turbo-thrust about track one, with its rapidfire percussion and warped bassy wobble. On the other side, experimentation comes to the fore with oriental influences and tampered and tweaked vocals. It's sweet and light and very fresh, just the thing for a mid-gym power-up or brightening up the morning commute. Simply put, this is perfect headphones-on liquid and there ain't nothing wrong with that.
Review: Bringing together the most talented young upstarts in soulful drum & bass right now, Celsius UK are really spoiling us. Smooth, rolling tunes are exactly what everyone needs to brighten up those dark mornings and tracks like "Still Blue" and "Knights Like These" with their deep grooving basslines do just that. Malaky's doomy effort "Soon" has the potential for some real dancefloor action too, with growling bass and a touch of dark and techy experimentation. A real mixed bag of tunes, get yourself a treat.
Review: Mysterious beat maker Carter returns with his debut release on Celsius after releasing on heroic liquid labels Good Looking and V Recordings through 2013. Picking up those bittersweet rolling vibes where he left off, each track on this hotly tipped EP is a journey through soulful D&B with a crisp, bass-driven edge. "Hard To Believe" is a case in point here, with fresh rolling percussion and a corker of a bassline. Don't expect chillout liquid - it'll make you move.