Established in 1996, and a focal part of the celebrated, scene-leading V Recordings umbrella, Bryan Gee’s innovative Chronic imprint focuses on effortlessly raw, stripped back drum & bass that’s handmade for true heads, ravers, listeners and audiophiles alike. Born and bred in the heart of London, Chronic’s focus on gritty, no-nonsense 174 has consistently captivated a huge array of fans over the years, always drawing in droves of new ears whilst maintaining those core, standout tenets that have made the Chronic sister-label oh so popular. All those V roster (and scene) greats have released here; Dillinja, Die, Roni Size, Serum, Bladerunner, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Alibi and Ray Keith to name but a few, plus a slew of the very best fresh, and now-established talent from across the last few decades including L-Side, Bou, Command Strange, Paul T & Edward Oberon, DLR, Sl8r and many, many more. As much a launching pad into the V Recordings history books as it is an exceedingly brilliant, standalone label, Chronic has solidified its top-tier reputation with the ever-popular, individually curated ‘Chronic Rollers’ series, and continues to set trends and break boundaries with this naturalistic winning formula.
Review: The relationship between Chronic / V Recordings and Brazil requires no introduction. If it wasn't for Bryan Gee opening the doors to the first generation of artists like Marky, Patife and XRS then the culture might not be anywhere near as strong as it is now. Just take this immense project from DJ Andy as he shines a light on a huge cross-section of Brazilian talent on this long-awaited VA. To many highlights to list every one but Alibi's monster 'Rave Digger', L Side's firesome 'Inna Di Dance' and Dirtbag & Collette Warren's super-funk jam 'Telepathy' are great places to start. Vibracoes!
Review: Destination Sao Paulo - one of the fieriest spiritual homes for drum & bass since the late 90s and home of rising star Acuna. Last spotted on Chronic collaborating with fellow Brazilian donnie DJ Andy, here he returns with one of his biggest EPs to date. Featuring the likes of A Little Sound, Speaker Louis and Fatman D, it's a non-stop tear-up with a whole range of vibes that ranges from the epic diesel engine banger 'Roll The Streets' to the electrifying stepper with A Little Sound 'Get High'. Street talk.
Review: Sl8R is the Mancunian on a mission, as he continues his upwards march through the V Recordings camp, with Bryan Gee possibly his main benefactor over the last few years. He's back on Chronic with two more rollers and they're just a certain quality to these that stands out, it's subtle yet wicked, and there's no pretension here; just good vibes. 'Mimosa' mimics the smoothness of its drinkable counterpart, as tumbling synth riffs move in and out to create a flowing, well rounded piece of drum & bass. The flip is more barebones, with wickedly layered percussion and a bigger, more angsty sense of attitude.
Review: Chronic is a V sublabel that specialises in releasing stripped back, rolling sounds that emphasise the barebones of the genre. They're ideal for both a club and home setting and historically have come from some of the scene's biggest names: L-Side, Serum, Heist and more. This time around it's new producer Dunk, who reminds us of Jam Thieves in their rough approach to minimality, proving that minimal drum & bass doesn't have to be uber engineered sci-fi wizardry. Black Opps features on the growling 'Sickness', 'Rollers Game' is wonderfully wobbly, and title tune 'Rebel' has a brooding quality to the percussion that keeps things eerie the whole way through. Top.
Review: Man of the moment Sl8r returns to Bryan Gee's mighty Chronic with two more precision slabs of pure groove gold. "Heaven" lands just in time for the summer with its funk stabs, sensual vocal shot, slide guitar and sleazy bass while "Everything" turns up the sexy factor even more with classic house chords, full R&B style vocal and more snazzy ripples of slippery guitar business. Vibes.
Review: The Beat Merchants are back from sea and they've hauled in one of their finest catches to date. Four whopping slabs of timeless, classic back-to-roots D&B, each cut shows a new side to their sound. "Deadlights" is classic late 90s Bristol vibes and "Man Machine" is more of a Germanic tech funker, all pacey and persistent while "Dragon Whips His Tale" is the big moment in the collection with its loose jazzy drums but militantly grumpy bassline. Finally "Pinball" pings us round the twist for a cheeky funky cheerio. "Different Styles" by name and nature, the Beat Merchants aren't messing around.
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: Sl8r continues to dent the game from every angle with his debut EP on Chronic. Four tracks deep, it's an invasive trip into Roller County with all the jazzy touches, latent funk and warmth and grainy grit you'd expect from Bryan Gee's long-standing imprint. "Ruff Neck Cru" takes the lead (with RMS on side) as juicy subs ooze out of the speakers and drip all over the skippy breaks. Elsewhere "Astute" takes us on a rising escape above the cloud before the drop plunges us back down into earth so hard we'll be lucky to see next Christmas. "Immune" leaves all diplomacy at the door too thanks to its savage sandpaper funk bassline while "Alumni" closes the show on a proper creeper vibe. Think Need For Mirrors but with elements of Zapp & Rodgers and shed loads of bongos. Sci fi sleaze!
Review: Chronic is the naughty younger siling of scene stalwart V Recordings, a sub-label where those who make music that little bit too dirty for the main label go to express their darker offerings. This time it's the turn of Abstr4ct, who's turned up with a sick little single that displays exactly what this sub-label is all about. 'Know' feels a bit like a Break track in the drums and an L-Side tune in the bassline, a combination that speaks for itself and conjures up appropriate imagery of crisp percussive lines and rough back end construction. 'Darkness' is less palatable but more energetic, with a pitched-up, stretched out bassline that echoes of techy engineering. Another good single from the V camp.
Review: SL8R aka Connor is one of Manchester's fastest rising 170 talents, a man with an eye for not funny posts on Facebook but also some seriously serious beats. Previously residing over on the darker, more neuro influenced side of the spectrum, he's recently been showing off a penchant for diversity and this single on V sub-label Chronic is a perfect exemplification of that. 'Digbeth Warehouse' is a classic set of Manny vibes and Manny attitudes, a no-nonsense roller that wobbles more than a groom on his wedding day and a track which seems certain to get heads nodding up and down the nation. The flip is of a similar yet slightly more restrained nature and, whilst unlikely to get pulses racing quite as fast, compliments the A-side well and shows off the evolution of SL8R's production prowess. Yes mate!
DJ Chap & C.A.B.L.E. - "Be With Me" - (4:25) 176 BPM
Murdock - "Raw Power Moves" - (5:14) 174 BPM
DJ Andy - "Acid Reflux" - (4:33) 174 BPM
Chromatic - "Footprint" - (4:58) 174 BPM
Need For Mirrors - "Go Easy" - (5:23) 174 BPM
Peshay - "Nitro" - (6:43) 175 BPM
DLR - "Dafunk" - (5:55) 175 BPM
Bailey - "Computer Life" - (5:10) 174 BPM
Simplification - "Therapy" - (5:18) 172 BPM
Alibi - "Machine Head" - (5:36) 174 BPM
Nymfo - "Warrior" - (3:49) 170 BPM
DJ Limited - "Love Is Blind" - (4:12) 58 BPM
Jumpin Jack Frost - "Chronicles" (continuous DJ mix) - (1:08:09) 178 BPM
Review: Chronic is a sub-label of V Recordings that's specifically for rolling, rapid and rough tracks, the ones that are too naughty for the main label yet too good to throw out. Jumping Jack Frost as curated this latest compilation for Chronic and it's simply too good, with a wicked mix of vibes. From the snarling funk of Philth's 'Sanctuary', the wobbling energy of 'My Flava' by Command Strange or the rough jungle on Bailey's 'Computer Life', this LP injects the old-school vibe into new-school clarity. Arguably the stand-out though is DLR's 'Dafunk, a combination of stuttering drums and upbeat samples wrapped up in typical DLR-esque fashion.
Review: Just listen to that spaced-out groaning bassline on "The Test". If that doesn't take you off to some murky corners of the deep space of your mind, you might have to get a second opinion on those junglist credentials of yours. Classic Bladerunner. The same can be said for "Kick Off". Warming up mildly before dropping into a jagged, aggy riff (underpinned by warm subby wobbles), it lives up to its name in every way. We know you're gonna dig this!
Review: The words Chronic and Rollers should already have your attention. Throw in Sao Paulo's L-Side on selection duties and you've got a no brainer... This really is the creme de la future creme of international jungle. The purring subs and creepy vocal echoes of Euphorics' "Public Secret", the 1.21 gigawatt electrical current bass of The Invaderz "Underground", Jaybee's loose, slinky roller "Get Nasty", the immense supergroup roller magic of Serum, Jaybee & Dave Owen's "Pure Vibes", L-Side and Roger Bari's late 90s-flavoured space-bound jungle jam "Rock It". The list goes on. As on point as ever, Chronic are constantly smoking.
Review: V Recordings sister label Chronic steps up to give us volume 2 of their Rollers series, featuring 16 exclusive tracks from the freshest talent and the most exciting names currently holding down the underground scene. The label was reborn in 2013 with the mantra of presenting the world with no frills dance floor Drum and Bass and judging from this latest offering they certainly seem to be fulfilling their mission. From the rolling jungle sounds of Bladerunner's epic "Lock Off VIP" to the distorted growls of Command Strange's "Riots" if you are looking to get the dance floor bouncing, then Chronic have you covered.