Review: USA representing! Long-time Stateside operator Atlantic Connection steps up to Heist's Co-Lab Recordings with a homage to his new home - Colombia. 'El Dorado' weigh in at four tracks heavy and there's a wonderful breeziness of sense of space running throughout the EP as he celebrates his new location. Highlights include the crisp drum work and jazzy vibes of 'Fidget', the Zinc-like bongo bubbles and infectious bassline of 'Robust' and the dubwise heat of 'Colombia'. Bring on the next chapter!
Review: West Midlands / Essex joint venture Co-Lab Recordings UK is run by Benny Colab & Heist who present their latest release by Manchester's Motiv, who follows up a great collaboration with Collette Warren on "Cloak & Dagger" a few weeks ago. The track acted as a teaser for his much anticipated full-length release here, titled Meraki Music. Featuring a dozen impressive tracks, all in collaboration with other talented producers and vocalists. Highlights include the emotive liquid drum 'n' bass of opener "Halcyon" featuring lovely vocals by Anya Asia, the seething neurofunk trip "Twister" with Dunk, as well as the darkside techstep of "Air" with Teej and the bittersweet beats of "Take Me Away" with singer Charla Green.
Review: Co-Lab Recordings is a joint venture by Benny Colab & Heist, run between the West Midlands and Essex respectively. Their latest release comes from London's Collette Warren, who collaborates with Motiv again to bring you a liquid drum and bass roller in the form of "Cloak & Dagger" in the tradition of legends like LTJ Bukem or Marcus Intalex. The tracks' soulful and emotive elements are the perfect backdrop for the breathtaking vocals that play centre stage throughout.
Review: Ahead of his debut album Motiv unleashes this warm and toasty roller - 'Acting Up'. Loaded with house-inspired sounds and flavours, there's some lovely organ style sounds on the bass, a big belting vocal and a funky groove that we guess would be described as liquid but it's got much more beef on the bones and spirit than a lot of liquid tracks do. Think Sl8r, think Marcus, think Manchester - this is proper soulful drum & bass.
Review: Bonjour! Paris's FX909 makes his debut on Heist's Co-Lab with four proper breakbeat bubblers. Each one tickling a different corner of the dance, he's treated us to a wide spread as 'Rock Dem' nods at the early 2000s, super-driven dancefloor style of jungle while 'Run It' pays homage to the mid 90s with a much bubblier bassline jam. Elsewhere 'Velizy' is all about the rattling breaks and big, dubby ghostly vibes in between the elements, 'Put It Under' has a classic late 90s Bristol vibe with added Detroit pads before 'Bring It Up' brings the keys and the feels for a powerful jazzy finale. What a well-rounded and highly vibed-up EP.
Review: Flaco is one of the most versatile and experienced producers in the game, and he's working alongside a label with this EP that shares an equally illustrious pedigree. This EP is what it says it is - Classy - as Flaco rolls out with abandon across several different cloths and textures, a diversity that really makes all five tracks shine. 'Breezy' is the gulliest of the lot, a growling, flowing number which moves and sways with relentless melodic progression, each bass sound gently yet destructively moving through one another. Teej steps up with a minima, finger-click remix of 'Furnace', and 'Jungle' scratches an itch for all of you who like things rough and breaksy.
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: Warhead is back on the warpath! Not content with tearing Co-Lab up with his and Teej's 'Activate' EP earlier this year, he's back with another four-piece suite of slap-downs and blast-ups. 'Gobsmacker' says it all. A slithering percussive wriggler, all steppy and stripped back and laced with a tense dark funk, it's the type of tackle you'd expect from the Eneis or DLRs of the world. Elsewhere 'Real Bad' is a Harley Davidson of a tune that revs up behind you menacingly with its lamp on full beam, 'Battering Ram' is a roundhouse kick of chaos, all scratchy and grizzled and 'I Want More' is another minimal mission where the percussion does all the chatting... Before that killer sample kicks in. Wow. We want more, too.
Review: Dunk is one-half renowned duo Jam Thieves, and his new excursion into the solo game is already beginning to bear some significant fruit. He's an absurdly prolific producer and has several released out and forthcoming already, with this four-tracker on Co-Lab the latest to see the light of day. It's classic Dunk, whose trademark blend of stripped back percussion, powerful subs and jump-up touches has been finely tuned over the last few years. 'Iceberg' is the perfect example, as a settled groove falls into place beneath oscillating, fluttering lines of gravelly bassline textures. 'Zombie Dog' flows with abandon and growls into its muzzle, whilst 'Dark Soul' featuring Illament is a skipping roller with deadly precision and a gungho set of jump up stabs. Big, big stuff.
Review: Bumpa car. Bumpa clart. Bumpa package right here from one of 2020's finest D&B success stories Disrupta. Following the heat of his Born On Road EP, now the young Londoner makes his debut on Heist's Co-Lab with four more slabs of unabashed D&B fun. Highlights include the tongue-in-cheek wriggliness of the title track "Bumpa" and the junglised bashiness and forthright gulliness of "Cali Burn". But that's just scratching the surface; Disrupta by name, disruption by nature.
Review: Heist's forever consistent Co-Lab invite Warhead and Teej over for a bit of musical mischief. Two of the most exciting new names to emerge from the underground in recent times, naturally they hit the spot with two link-up tracks and two solo originals. "Activate" packs a heavy punch with a bassline sludgier than quicksand mixed with treacle while "Eclipse" is a heads-down gritty one with an almost techno flavour to its bass warps and loopy percussion. Elsewhere Warhead goes full-on rudeboy with the savage "Rasclart" while Teej hurls us into a dank slimy-walled dungeon with "Osiris". If you can find a more on-point new-gen collabo this month we'd like to hear it.
Review: Co-Lab have always been able to push music that's made for the dancefloor but whcih draws upon disparate strands of the genre's stylistic heritage, from the rawness of jump-up to dabbles in the lighter side. Teej also has that flexibility and his Chaos Theory EP shows that he knows his way around a minimal tune, as all four tracks flex their muscles in a subtle manner that's not right in your face but still makes its presence known. 'Escalation Protocol' is just that, with a withering, stabbing sub-bass and snapping percussive line that just rolls and rolls. Top stuff.
Review: Heist and Benny Colab have been teasing this album for several weeks now with a string of samplers, and the full thing is finally here. It's punchng percussive madness the whole way throug, a no-holds barred album which knows when to go all out and when to take a step back. There's luxurious instrumentation blended with grittier tones and 'Green Lane' is exactly that, as harp strings tug on your heart strings above a gully concoction of dusty basses and knock-back drum loops. Carasel features on the excellent 'Look Down' and it's another highlight from a super cool album.
Review: We recently covered the first sampler from Oz's forthcoming album on Heist and Benny Colab's Co-Lab Recordings and this time around it's the second sampler. Oz is back and it's more heavyweight beats, as 'Caught Up' rolls out with abandon amidst a plethora of shakers and some seriously banging low frequency stabs, all of which come together to produce a track of big club sized proportions. Wicked.
Review: Heist's Co-Lab Recordings is a prolific outfit that releases music from a range of small-but-sweet artists, and this time it's the turn of Oz to step up to the plate and deliver his contribution to Co-Lab's burgeoning back catalogue. 'Bitter & Sweet' is the first track from a forthcoming album project and it's a percy, with a crisp, penetrating drum line that underpins a murky yet harmonic bassline and some floaty, soulful sampling. It's a true crossover tune that sounds big and yet walks lightly on its toes - lovely stuff.
Review: Heist is always chipping away at the background doing his bit, just focusing on what he does best: producing and releasing sick music. His own Co-Lab Recordings is once again the destination for this newest concotion and it's a badboy single track release called Cloak. Heist's usual production wizardry is at place and there's a reason he has such a big reputation for sound design, with suspenseful pads echoing up into groans of low frequency force before being forced back down by its mechanic, snapping drum line. It's a crafty piece of work and one that will please all those who like their music rough and ready.
Review: Bang! Two weeks after his "90s Dreamer" on Born On Road, Manchester murker Kumo gets busy on Heist's Co-Lab imprint with "Blood Pressure". More dark, dank stinkage; each cut hits the soul hard. The title track takes the lead with its switchy drums, laser bubbles and grumbling, knuckle-dragging bassline, "Millionaire" is a classic old school hummer (think old school Dread business) with a sub that could eat you alive, "Stay For Me" is pure heads-down rolling bizzle while "Talk Fi Dem" closes on a big old ravey blast. Full pads, full euphoria and a nasty little slinky drop. Feel the pressure!
Review: Filthy Habits and Jeopardize - two savagely on-point basssmiths usually spotted lurking around the G13 camp - land on Heist's Co-Lab imprint with this absolute barnstormer of a banger. Running drums, big flabby basses and a drive that can cut through any mix and knock crowds off their feet; both acts' longstanding collaborative history can be felt in every detail here. Tracks like this are built to last. They got the key... But what is the secret?
Review: Heist & T>I are two of the best guys around for the dirty, attitude filled side of the scene which blurs into the techier bits on the one hand and the pure jump up bits on the other. This release fills in the gaps in all the right ways and it comes on Heist's own Co-Lab Recordings, a seminal imprint. 'Ointment' is grating and harsh in its guttural funk and approach to destruction, with an array of stabs and basses all mashing together in harmony. 'Packet Monster' is more classic T>I sounding basses, laid over a snapping, snarling drum line. Excellent stuff here.
Review: Co-Lab Recordings is Heist's label and is accordingly renown for putting out hard-hitting beats faster than you can say 'f**k off', a testament to the production and curation skills of the man himself. This time the focus is on Oz and the wider Co-Lab crew, as Oz gets his Abstract EP remixed and updated with some fresh new twists. The Teej remix of 'Assassin' is definitely up there as one of the best on the EP, a deeply growling track that is packed with attitude and foreboding notes of synth and sample-based power. Heist himself steps up for the remix on 'I.C.Y', flipping this one into a wobbly number with a wide, slapping snare drum and plenty of angst. Bangers galore here.
Review: Jaxx has killed this EP. It's called Live Your Life and consists of four sharp-edged but nicely melodic dancefloor numbers that are aimed at causing destruction, but not indiscriminately. Our favourite is 'Zoots' featuring Wednesday Amelia, a long-time D&B vocalist who has worked with some of the best producers around, who appears on this track over what begins as soft tune with lovely guitar licks, but which descends into a bassy, wobbly number. The rest are harder, with 'Pressing Buttons' standing out for its snapping drums and grating, industrial bassline. Wicked EP therefrom the Co-Lab crew.
Review: Heist's Co-Lab Recordings always tends to put out music that rests on the foundations of UK underground, the cross-over influences of soul, reggae, jungle and D&B. it's always a fresh sound and it always brings up connotations of Boomtown, free parties and sunny afternoons. Two legends of the scene - Aries and Nicky Blackmarket, have teamed up for a dual EP and it's wicked. 'One Part Jungle' is best of the four, with a bright and cheerful introduction that's laden with samples and flipped into a wobbling, subby roller with oodles of energy and momentum. 'Jack It Up' goes down a more jungle direction and is packed full of punchiness and sharp edges - banger.
Review: Exile is most definitely NOT in exile. He's flipping everywhere! This year alone has seen him drop fire on the likes of Formation, Technique and Serial Killaz. Now he's on Heist's Co-Lab with three savage burn-ups. "Process" has that great riffy vibe where you'll be humming the three cascading notes for days. Simple but really really effective. "Back To The Funk" balances a lush mid-2000s soulful vibe before dropping into chunkier contemporary bassline business before "Command The Vibe" comes running up all sweaty and brazen and attaches itself to you like a middle age spread. Good old whole some flabby bass fun, Exile's on a roll over here.
Review: Two highly respected members of the new-gen gentry collide on Co-Lab for this perfectly symmetrical release. Two tag-team cuts, one solo piece each, Warhead and Teej go in from every angle; "Gyaldem" takes the lead with a classic Bristol rolling vibe with hip-hop samples but for a weeping bassline literally cries into the mix. Their second collaboration "Cloaked" continues the wry sample theme and baggy space in the groove, but this time with a much sterner wobble to the bassline. Elsewhere Warhead's "Soundboy Slaughter" rolls its sleeves up and dusts off its pneumatic kick drums and timestretched break fills for a white knuckle 23rd century dancehall jam while Teej's "Fatal Attraction" gives us a deep breathing introspective cheerio. Cloakers gotta cloak
Review: More "Abstract" theory as the shadowy Oz returns to Heist's Co-Lab to continue what he started in spring 2017. Multi-shades, multi-styles, this is real melting pot business you're just as likely to hear in Break set as you are a Turno set. Six tracks in total; soul heads should jump and flex to the dulcet vibes of "Replacement", "Four Seasons" and "Stay", those who love a flabbier bassline will enjoy getting jiggy to "Icy" and "Assassin" while those who love the Bristol-style jazzy and grainy sound will go all gooey in the heart for "Not There". Real D&B for real DJs; it's time to stop Co-Lab and listen.
Review: Snake killing: a highly dangerous occupation practiced only by the likes of Chuck Norris, Bear Grylls, Andre The Giant (ask your dad) and stone cold vibe-firing junglists like DJ Limited... A man who's not missed a trick lately. Following releases on Serial Killaz and Biological Beats he returns to Heist's Co-Lab with a six-pack that contains some of his best tracks to date... "Kill The Snake", an absolute blinder of a riff track that mixes with everything and sticks in your head like pure gorilla glue. Other crucial cuts include the flabby wobbles of "Famous On Earth", the stripped back theatrics of, switches and guitar glitches of "Right On Time" and the classic off-beat shake down of "The Purpose". Tl,dr: Absolute murderation (of snakes and soundboys)
Review: Who are Oz? Where are they from? Are they a she or he? Is it solo or a group? Why are they so good? So many questions and no answers - except this bare fact.. The music is tremendous. Classy drum & bass with clear roots in all the right places and the perfect amount of weight, space and energy, the music does all the talking. From the necksnap drums and groaning bass of "Rhapsody" to the psychedelic build and dangerously wobble-some drop on "Hellion", this is an exceptional exercise in timeless underground instrumental drum & bass. More please... Whoever you are!
Review: Get a round in: Version's out to play and he's looking for some drinking buddies. "Beer Money" takes the lead with a lumber-shifting chuggy bass riff that burps right in your face. "No Worries" purrs with a warm soul like a few glasses of good red, the rising staccato riff on "Churn" is sprightly like a gin and tonic on a summer's day while the insanity inducing shredder "Clueless" is three jaegerbombs on the head. "Hard Steps" is the dry scotch, taking no prisoners with its savage bass croaks and gurgles while "Hidden" licks with a loose, low-swung swagger - just a like a good spiced rum. Bottom ends up!
Review: Austrian D&B heads know the score. Quite literally when it comes to Vienna jump up merchant Skore. Returning to Heist's Co-Lab laboratory for his first full label EP, we get straight to business as he lays down basslines so filth they could make an adult entertainer blush. Highlights can be found in every track but you'd be mad not to immerse yourself in the mechanical chaos of "Machine Routine", you'd be a fool not to play air machine gun to the AK47 funk of "Word Of Warning" and you're a braver man than us if you don't feel total awe and fear from the sheet metal bass on "Clear Em Out". Power time.
Review: Heist: one of drum & bass's darkest forces behind so many of talent's careers, so many big producer's mixing desks and so many of our go-to bangers... Both as a label owner and producer. Here he plays the role of both as he leads an expertly-curated collection of innovative styles with a breezy vocal soul roller "Never Enough". Bringing up the rear Ceph gets sci-fi and spacious on "Solitude", Simula gets a cosmic funk on with the Lynx-esque "Truth Serum", Skore's fuses classic hardcore dynamics with Detroitian synth tones on "Roger", Metal Work charm us with delicately layered liquid keys on "Simple" and Zere & Gabriel Habit sign off with the darkest cut of the collection. Fresh and full of exciting new talent, Heist is killing it this year.
Review: If anyone knows how to slap down a classic bass groove, it's T>I. The man behind some of the south coast's naughtiest raves throughout the last 20 years, there's very little he doesn't know about dark rolling dynamics. Proof can be found on each of these six tracks with highlights including the lean stark funk of "Fractions", the Ram Trilogy-style tones of "Velvet", the awesome cymbal smashing and splashing on "Funk You!" and the eerie textures of "Low Ace". Straight to the tops.
Review: Vigorous by name, vigorous by nature: no stone is left unturned during the course of this ruthlessly detailed Co-Lab debut. From the glitchy, Dispatch-style wriggles and twists of "Different Perspectives" and "Trench" to the classic stripped back mid 90s feel of "Phases" by way of neuro-edged star-gazing on "Breast" and "Grumble", Vigorous has explored a much darker sound to some of his previous outings. Signing out with the unfettered mischief of "Hustle & Bustle", it's a fitting gesture from an overwhelmingly rude EP. Important.
Review: It's been a while since Flaco last blessed our playlists with freshness. Making up for lost time, he's back with six breezy originals on Heist's Co-Lab. "Difference" is an instant recall to his Innerground material thanks to the jazzy vocals and swooning chords, "Rain" is a darker midnight rave jam, "El Yunque" is a little more subversive, lean and wobbly (think Jam Thieves or Unreal), "Wind Up Toy" is a Jaydan style gutter grinder while "El Ratone" is a much breezier roller that nods gently towards more soulful pastures. Finally "Want You" brings us back down to reality with dreamy vocals and synths so cosmic you'll start considering buying shares in dream catchers.
Review: Two heavily swung slap-jams from T>I and Upgrade on Heist?s Co-Lab: ?Lobster Pot? is gritty swinger that nods deftly at jump up without delving too deep into the garish shock and awe side of the sub-genre. ?Twister? takes the fusion to a new level as an Urban Takeover style bassline wraps itself around the sharp two-steps and rusty amens snigger and smirk from the back of the class with witty junglist sharpness. Partnerships like this are what Co-Lab was invented for.
Review: Backed by some of the biggest names in the game, this EP comes hot on the heels of Oz's appearance on Co-Lab's "Deep in The Lab" compilation. not a lot's shared about this/these artist/s but what we can say is that the likes of heist, Noisia, Hazard and Friction have been all over it and with good reason. The whole EP is darker and more disorientating than a caved-in mineshaft and as heavy and about as subtle as a truck full of anvils, this guy is the master of deftly-prepared noise. Brace yourselves for the impact.
Review: An immensely enjoyable compilation to stick those hungry chops around, Co-Lab's success has been off the charts over the past decade and this saucy little collection goes some way into explaining why. Kicking off with something smooth and intense from Heist, don't be fooled, this isn't an LP where one sound rules all. Expect fresh liquid rollers, harder, techier beasts, old school, jazz, soul and funk, all cable tied into this one neat package just for you. Isn't that thoughtful?
Review: Forgoing drum and bass momentarily to give an electro-trance-fuelled introduction that could rattle Alan Braxe's cage, the rest of this Voltage LP gets straight down to sample-riddled business. Hard, fast and showing now mercy, there's a lot of power in this list of punchy set builders. Samples come from places you wouldn't expect either: "Step On Necks" sounds badass enough to have sections lifted from an original mafia movie when in fact it has dialogue from Robin Hood (not the Men In Tights version). Voltage might be grounded in jump-up drum and bass, but there are definite flashes of Break, Calibre and Optive & BTK too, creating a much bigger, much more interesting picture. Expect good things.
Review: This intense collective of artists and record labels representing all angles of drum & bass is celebrating a massive decade at the forefront of the genre. Ten years is a long time when it comes to music, but over the label's lifespan it has released music from some of the greatest and most criminally overlooked producers around. From dark, underground anthems to hyped-up, high-powers roof-raisers, this exceptional LP contains some of the finest tunes ever to be committed to release by Co-lab. Fromt he likes of Heist, Serum and Majistrate to the mighty precision and restraint of Russia's own Ceph, this is a landmark release you need for your collection. Just don't let it gather dust - air it regularly, as loud as your neighbours can bear.
Review: What we have here are six slices of crisp, clear-cut drum and bass fit for the finest dungeons and dancefloors in Europe. Essex-based Heist kicks things off with the widescreen magic and soaring beauty of "Save It For A Rainy Day", a tune that leads into a false sense of security as Lowriderz & Ceph unpick the good vibes and transform the skies to black with "Secret Place". "Comedown" is Oz's mashup of Laza Morgan's "One By One", a thing of melancholy beauty, adding depth and sadness to a straight-up dancehall pop tune. Silent Type shares "Predicable", with intricate breaks that are anything but, JS9 plays with euphoric, minimal and ambient sounds in "Make Your Move" and finally "Missing Pieces by Vigorous plays back into the dance with a big beat and sexy jazz melodies. A stunning output from a truly exciting line-up.
Review: Kicking this comp off with Heist's terminally insane sample-fest "Paper Business", it's pretty obvious from the start that nothing is going to be what it seems. Don't get settled into that bassline then, because the jingle bells and hip hop (yes, both of those things at the same time) of "Pull The Plug" pulls up with all the cheeky charms of a loveable delinquent. Saxxon's smooth grooves mix perfectly with Jinx and Gigante before disappearing into a haze of souped-up bass, and finally Dub Motion get in on the insane action with swing sampling and shoulder-shrugging beats. These mad professors need to get loopy in the lab more often.