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Critical Music

Critical Music

Bursting onto the underground scene in 2002, Kasra’s multi-award winning label Critical Music has been rolling out nothing but ice cold drum and bass ever since. Originally starting as a passion project in Kasra’s North London flat, the label has grown to diversify its sound, pushing out anything from deep, rich, liquid, minimal steppers, bouncy half-time cuts and hard-edge ammunition. Nurturing new talent and supporting some of D&B’s finest, Critical boasts a five star roster of artists including: Circuits, Charl Brix, Enei, Emperor, Fade Black, Foreign Concept, Halogenix, Hyroglifics, Ivy Lab, Jakes, Levela, Mefjus, Particle, Redders, Rider Shafique, QZB, Solah, Sam Binga, T>I and the big boss Kasra himself. Critical is also home to its highly esteemed club night series, Critical Sound, which has sold out Bristol’s Motion and London’s Studio 338, as well as taking shape as branded festival stages across the UK and overseas.
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Stopping Turning / Blink & Miss
Stopping Turning - (4:05) 174 BPM Hot
Waeys & Duskee - "Blink & Miss" - (3:31) 174 BPM
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CRIT 234
19 Jul 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Dream Metal Remixes
Various
Kasra, Gardna & QZB - "Spaceman" (QZB remix) - (3:23) 174 BPM Hot
Kasra, Riko Dan & Gyrofield - "Talk Up" (Gyrofield's Tooth & Nail mix) - (4:39) 145 BPM
Kasra, YAANO & VISLA - "Shatter" (VISLA remix) - (4:38) 174 BPM
Kasra, Killa P & MJK - "Running Red" (MJK remix) - (6:02) 140 BPM
Review: Remix alert! Kasra's soul-shaking new album 'Dream Metal' gets the all essential remix treatment from a crack squad of label artists and close friends. QZB, Gyrofield, Visla and MJK all get mucky on a variety of jams ranging from the immense techno twists of Gyrofield's take on 'Talk Up' and a moody moving breaks take on 'Running Red' from MJK. Get out of our dreams and into our playlists.
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CRIT 237
28 Jun 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Artificial / Streetwise
Artificial (VISLA remix) - (3:46) 172 BPM Hot
Streetwise - (3:01) 174 BPM
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CRIT 230
21 Jun 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Count To Ten (2024) / Break The Cycle
Enei & SOLAH - "Break The Cycle" - (4:33) 172 BPM
DRS & Enei - "Count To Ten (2024)" - (4:11) 174 BPM Hot
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CRIT 231
24 May 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Salvo
Venator - (4:26) 175 BPM Hot
Simula & Catching Cairo - "Melancholy" - (4:27) 174 BPM
Oculus - (4:26) 175 BPM
Salvo - (4:30) 174 BPM
Review: Simula is in a league of his own. Whether you catch him on a poppy one on Crucast, a next level tech one on Neksus or a scatty 'everything goes' vibe like he is right on Critical Music, Simula is setting levels on levels. 'Salvo' takes the biscuit, a bewitching, almost grungey brew of grot and overdrive, it makes you feel greasy just reading these words. Elsewhere 'Oculus' brings a little jungle vibes into the blend while 'Melancholy' is Simula at his most emotional and vulnerable. Finally 'Venator' is such a juicy wobbler it makes Serum sound like business techno. This is a landmark release of the year.
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CRIT 224
10 May 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Critical Presents: Binary Vol 28
Codebreaker - (4:06) 175 BPM
SMG & VISLA - "The Voice" - (4:16) 172 BPM Hot
Jack Hammer - (3:44) 175 BPM
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BINARY 028
26 Apr 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Venator
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CRIT224S 1
19 Apr 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Tempest VIP
Tempest VIP - (5:02) 172 BPM Hot
Tempest - (5:24) 172 BPM
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CRIT201VIP
11 Apr 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Critical Presents: Binary Vol 27
Crazy - (4:05) 175 BPM
Submerge - (3:16) 178 BPM Hot
Void - (3:18) 178 BPM
Ikigai - (5:12) 175 BPM
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BINARY 027
05 Apr 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Pyro
Pyro - (4:12) 174 BPM
Particle & Javeon - "Focus" - (3:48) 174 BPM
Fooling - (3:47) 174 BPM
Assassin - (4:11) 174 BPM
Particle & Inja - "The Message" - (3:00) 174 BPM
REM - (2:39) 58 BPM
Particle & En:vy - "Needles" - (4:09) 172 BPM
Heaven - (4:28) 174 BPM
Particle & YAANO - "Glimmer" - (3:21) 174 BPM
No Mistakes VIP - (4:07) 174 BPM Hot
Review: Buckle up, because Particle is taking us on one wild ride with his latest album "Pyro" on Critical Music. This 10-track juggernaut is a full-throttle excursion through the gnarliest terrain of jungle and drum & bass. Right from the jump on the opening cut, Particle flexes his funky bassline muscles to get things properly greased up. But don't get too comfortable - by the closing VIP remix he's dropped the hammer and has the whole thing redlining in the most deliriously unhinged way. This is an artist operating at the peak of his powers, seamlessly blending classic jungle/D&B fundamentals with meticulously futuristic production chops. There's something for the old-school heads and fresh recruits alike on this album. Longtime jungalists will get misty-eyed over the cavernous subs and proving garage-bred breaks of tracks like "Fooling." But Particle also caters to the new-age barneys on tunes such as "Assassin" and "Needles" complete with enough manic robotic contortions to have you rapidly evacuating your flesh vessel. Not one to rest on his laurels, Particle keeps things utterly weird too. "REM" is a deliciously unhinged descent into stuttering jungle psychedelia. And his link-up with Inja on "The Message" injects a taut, nerve-shredding atmospherics that'll have you sweating through three layers of merino wool. Don't sleep on this one, ravers.
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CRITLP 019
29 Mar 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Runner / Fear Fire
Runner - (4:16) 172 BPM Hot
Fear Fire - (3:29) 174 BPM
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CRIT 228
22 Mar 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Dream Metal
Kasra & Gardna - "Spaceman" - (4:32) 174 BPM Hot
Bb.oo - (4:33) 174 BPM
Kasra & Riko Dan - "Talk Up" - (4:24) 174 BPM
Kasra & YAANO - "Shatter" - (4:35) 174 BPM
Kasra & Slay - "City Of Rain" - (4:08) 174 BPM
Kasra & VISLA - "Azure VIP" - (4:27) 172 BPM
Kasra & Killa P - "Running Red" - (4:30) 174 BPM
Kasra, Enei & T Man - "Platinum" - (4:35) 174 BPM
Played by: Dj Dazee
Review: Kasra, the head honcho of Critical Music, kicks off the label's 2024 releases with "Dream Metal," an 8-track exploration of deep, atmospheric drum & bass. Kasra brings together a diverse cast of vocalists and producers, each adding their unique flavour. From the haunting vocals of Slay on "City Of Rain" to the infectious energy of Killa P on "Running Red," the collaborations keep things fresh and exciting. The album goes from atmospheric opener with its ethereal vocals and pulsating bassline with "Spaceman", a more dancefloor-oriented track, with infectious energy and a killer vocal performance with "Talk Up" to take a turn with "Shatter," a darker and heavier layering intricate sounds and textures. "Dream Metal" lives up to its name, weaving a soundscape that's heavy on atmosphere and introspective vibes. Deep basslines pulsate, intricate drum patterns weave through, and haunting melodies drift in and out.
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CRITMLP 003
01 Mar 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Running Red / Platinum
Kasra & Killa P - "Running Red" - (4:30) 174 BPM
Kasra, Enei & T Man - "Platinum" - (4:35) 174 BPM Hot
 from $1.88
CRIT227S 4
01 Mar 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
House Breaker / Don't Say Nothing
House Breaker - (4:10) 172 BPM Hot
Don't Say Nothing - (3:50) 172 BPM
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CRIT 226
23 Feb 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Pyro
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CRITLP019S 01
16 Feb 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Fix You / Greyhound
QZB & Sydney Bryce - "Fix You" - (3:18) 172 BPM
Greyhound - (3:30) 172 BPM Hot
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CRIT 225
09 Feb 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
City Of Rain / Azure VIP
Kasra & Slay - "City Of Rain" - (4:08) 174 BPM Hot
Azure VIP - (4:27) 172 BPM
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CRIT227S 3
31 Jan 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Idols Fall / Snap 101
Idols Fall - (3:59) 175 BPM Hot
Ivy Lab - "Snap 101" - (4:17) 172 BPM
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CRIT 220
05 Jan 24
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Talk Up / Shatter
Kasra & Riko Dan - "Talk Up" - (4:24) 174 BPM Hot
Kasra & YAANO - "Shatter" - (4:35) 174 BPM
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CRIT227S 2
29 Dec 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
RAKKA
VISLA & Dotdash - "The Brim" - (3:43) 172 BPM Hot
Decoy - (3:43) 172 BPM
Rattlesnake - (4:02) 174 BPM
RAKKA - (4:27) 57 BPM
Review: When it comes to significant years, Visla isn't going to forget 2023 in a hurry... He kicked off the year with a release on Critical's Binary collection and he's finishing it off an EP on the main label. How cool is that? The hype is fully deserved, too, as he brings a fresh sense of fire and unruly funk to Critical's mix and adds a whole new characteristic to the label's sound. Highlights include the twisting, rippling tension of 'Rattlesnake', the off-grid ruffness and wild scenes of the EP title track 'RAKKA' and the grizzled Dotdash collaboration 'The Brim'. RAK 'em up lad!
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CRIT 219
08 Dec 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Spaceman / Bb.oo
Spaceman - (4:32) 174 BPM
Kasra - "Bb.oo" - (4:33) 174 BPM Hot
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CRIT 227
01 Dec 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Lost
Lost - (3:39) 172 BPM
YAANO, VISLA & Sparkz - "Roadblock" - (4:11) 172 BPM
Sirob - (3:27) 170 BPM Hot
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CRIT 222
24 Nov 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Viper Style / Lana
Viper Style - (3:52) 176 BPM
Lana - (3:26) 174 BPM Hot
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CRIT 215
10 Nov 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Red Hot Fight
Red Hot Fight - (3:51) 174 BPM Hot
En:vy & Submarine - "Funk Control" - (3:30) 172 BPM
Anywhere (feat Azotix) - (4:16) 172 BPM
En:vy & Klinical - "Gecko" - (3:46) 70 BPM
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CRIT 221
03 Nov 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Other Side
Want It - (4:28) 175 BPM Hot
Enei & Odddi - "Other Side" - (4:36) 170 BPM
Alligator - (4:08) 174 BPM
Dead Rollout - (3:44) 173 BPM
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CRIT 218
27 Oct 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Future Forever
Future Forever - (3:29) 174 BPM
Riot Gear Romance - (4:08) 174 BPM Hot
QZB & Charli Brix - "Overdrive" - (3:20) 174 BPM
Shadowban (feat T Man) - (3:23) 174 BPM
Trench - (3:20) 174 BPM
Dangerously High (feat Mara Sophia) - (3:25) 174 BPM
Nausea - (2:58) 174 BPM
Kodaira - (2:17) 187 BPM
Mirage (feat Hadley) - (4:00) 172 BPM
Combat Drugs - (3:46) 174 BPM
QZB & MC XL - "Point Precision" - (3:42) 174 BPM
Harlem - (3:03) 130 BPM
Watch It Burn (feat Charli Brix) - (3:25) 174 BPM
Review: Swiss duo QZB finally unveil their long-awaited debut album and it's a sleek, stunning body of work that purrs and pumps with precision and growls and grooves with glowing grace. Featuring link-ups with the likes of Charli Brix, T Man, Mara Sophia, MC XL and Hadley, there's a fluency and fluidity across the collection that takes you on a journey through the most futurist and delicate of drum & bass pastures. From the emotional yearns of 'Dangerously High' to the much darker aggression of 'Combat Drugs', this is QZB at their most honest, heaviest and direct. Onwards!
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CRITLP 018
20 Oct 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Overdrive
Overdrive - (3:20) 174 BPM
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CRITLP018S 2
29 Sep 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Point Precision
QZB & MC XL - "Point Precision" - (3:42) 174 BPM Hot
QZB & Charli Brix - "Overdrive" - (3:20) 174 BPM
QZB - "Riot Gear Romance" - (4:08) 174 BPM
Played by: Mauoq
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CRITLP018S 3
29 Sep 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Fooling
Fooling - (3:47) 174 BPM
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CRIT 213
22 Sep 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Riot Gear Romance
Riot Gear Romance - (4:08) 174 BPM
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CRITLP018S 1
15 Sep 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
10,000 EP
Raw Flavour - (3:50) 175 BPM
Waeys & SOLAH - "10,000" - (3:46) 174 BPM
B.B. - (4:45) 175 BPM Hot
Waeys & PAV4N - "Vision" - (3:25) 140 BPM
Review: Waeys returns to Critical with four more steaming rave jams. 'Raw Flavour' says it all; a blistering head-rearranger with a rasping bassline and flips into springy breakbeat it's the perfect combo between the rougher UK style and the more cosmic European licks. Deeper into the EP we're immersed in a sea of powerful Waeys flavoured contrast as SOLAH joins the mix with the lush jazzy title track '10,000', 'B.B' goes full grizzly roller mode and P4VAN joins in on 'Vision' for a heavyweight dubstep finale. 10,000 reasons to be happy.
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CRIT 212
14 Sep 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Double D / Undesirables
Double D - (4:26) 58 BPM Hot
Undesirables - (3:01) 174 BPM
Played by: AGENT K
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CRIT 216
01 Sep 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
10,000
10,000 - (3:46) 174 BPM
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CRIT212S
23 Aug 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Nirwana EP
Nirwana - (4:52) 167 BPM
Pull Up - (5:06) 162 BPM Hot
Daze Of Our Lives - (4:58) 159 BPM
Life Changed - (4:55) 55 BPM
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CRIT 208
18 Aug 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Contrast EP
Chimpo & SALO - "Let Me Rise" - (3:56) 55 BPM Hot
Treetop Golf - (5:32) 162 BPM
The Crab - (4:31) 170 BPM
Compass - (6:46) 58 BPM
Review: Man like Chimpo doing the gosh darned thing on Critical: life doesn't get much better than this. Four vibes, four completely different animals, all of them hooting and wailing like our kid Chimpz though... 'Let Me Rise' (with Salo) shows us his most tender and soulful side, 'Treetop Golf' tickles your bongos and gets a hole in one as a result. 'The Crab' scuttles along with hard shelled funk while 'Compass' guides us to all the right corners of the dancefloor with a very subtle nod to Photekian theory. Stunning.
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CRIT 214
11 Aug 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Codeine
Codeine - (4:13) 174 BPM
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CRIT 217
21 Jul 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Let Me Rise
Let Me Rise - (3:56) 55 BPM
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CRIT214S 1
14 Jul 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Full Metal
Full Metal - (5:14) 174 BPM
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CRIT 209
14 Jul 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
I'll Wait, I Guess
Air Like Breath (feat Yeo Limone) - (1:41) 155 BPM
Gastown - (3:07) 87 BPM Hot
You Got It - (3:40) 87 BPM
Sing To It (feat Nah Eeto) - (2:06) 138 BPM
Steel Cap Beanie - (3:42) 137 BPM
Hyroglifics & Deft - "Two For Two" - (3:00) 100 BPM
Air Max Flow (feat Black Josh) - (3:04) 63 BPM
Albany Road - (3:17) 87 BPM
Juggin - (3:15) 138 BPM
Hotwire (feat Lyza Jane) - (3:29) 124 BPM
Belief (feat Feux) - (3:25) 87 BPM
Burnt Tongues - (3:46) 87 BPM
I'll Wait, I Guess - (3:23) 85 BPM
Late Ones - (2:54) 131 BPM
Teflar - (3:44) 122 BPM
Lacklustre - (3:34) 154 BPM
Review: Two things in life are guaranteed, Critical Music remaining as consistent as ever and Hyroglifics continuing to push the boundaries further than ever though sonically possible. This latest album sees a truly vibrant collection put on display, exploring the farthest stretching reaches of the Hyroglifics sound, from the thumping half-time sweeps of 'Sing To It' alongside Nah Eeto's crispy vocal display, to the sub-smashing LFO crunches of 'Juggin' and more party-driven atmospherics of 'Late Ones'. We see a number of additional vocal appearances across the project, with Yeo Limone, Black Josh, Lyza Jade and Fuex all delivering unique and inspiring performances. With such a wide array of sonic mastery on display, it's difficult to pick favourites, but the sharpened synthesiser twangs of 'Burnt Tongues' and roller-inspired rumbles of 'You Got It' would be two immediate standouts.
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CRITLP 017
30 Jun 23
Deep Dubstep
Better On My Own / Darling
Better On My Own (feat Sheiva) - (4:30) 172 BPM Hot
Darling - (4:19) 172 BPM
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CRIT 210
09 Jun 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Sing To It
Hyroglifics - "Sing To It" - (2:06) 138 BPM Hot
Hyroglifics & Deft - "Two For Two" - (3:00) 100 BPM
Hyroglifics - "Albany Road" - (3:17) 87 BPM
Review: As you can imagine, Hyroglifics landing on Critical Music for a full three track display is always going to cause somewhat of a ruckus. This collection is a perfect example of understanding the room as the chiming vocal repetition and tweaking 140 synthetics of 'Sing To It' open us up with a fiery feeling of originality. From here, Deft arrives for a slightly quicker paced episode as the crunching synthesiser pounds and the bubbling subs of 'Two For Two' give us another gutpunching original. Finally, we skip back into the 170's with 'Albany Road', a synthetic slapper, switching and alternating between gnarly bass textures and well processed drum punches, giving us the perfect closer to this already intense collection.
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CRITLP017S 3
02 Jun 23
Deep Dubstep
Azure / Negative Space
Azure - (4:12) 172 BPM Hot
Kasra - "Negative Space" - (4:52) 174 BPM
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CRIT 207
19 May 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Let It Go / Double Stack
Let It Go - (3:26) 58 BPM Hot
Double Stack - (3:23) 174 BPM
Review: Bringing serious funk to Kasra's imprint one banger at a time, Particle fires up the groove machine once again with 'Let It Go' and 'Double Stack'. The former takes reference from UKG in both its vocal style and chord progressions while the latter goes on more of a cold and spacious sense of groove magic. Both absolutely shatter up all dancefloors within a 50 mile radius. Is there anyone funkier on Critical Music than Particle right now? We don't think so!
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CRIT 206
12 May 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Pull Up / Feel The Sway
Pull Up - (4:11) 172 BPM
Feel The Sway - (3:53) 172 BPM Hot
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CRIT 203
21 Apr 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Two For Two
Two For Two - (3:00) 100 BPM Hot
Hyroglifics - "Albany Road" - (3:17) 87 BPM
Review: The Critical Music team have pulled out all the stocks for this latest outing, welcoming both Hyroglifics and Deft to the table for an explosive two-track display, readying the ravers for a raucous affair. Firstly 'Two For Two', combines gnarly reese-bass inspired textures with glittering soundscapes to give us an absolute rollercoaster of sonic mastery. From here, we then jump into a more classic sound Critical display as the pair once again combine, this time for a neurotic excursion, doused in lethal synthetic design and sharpened drum textures, giving us a fiery display. Once again, the Critical team impressed!
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CRITLP017S 2
20 Apr 23
Deep Dubstep
Albany Road
Albany Road - (3:17) 174 BPM
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CRITLP017S 1
14 Apr 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Crash Landing / Imitate Process
Crash Landing (feat Madrush MC) - (4:50) 175 BPM
Imitate Process - (3:03) 58 BPM Hot
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CRIT 204
07 Apr 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Forbidden / Glowback
Forbidden - (4:29) 175 BPM Hot
Glowback - (3:19) 175 BPM
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CRIT 205
17 Mar 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Neo EP
Neo - (5:02) 172 BPM
UFO - (4:08) 174 BPM Hot
You - (4:13) 172 BPM
Beautiful Dreamer - (4:47) 172 BPM
It's Her - (4:13) 172 BPM
Review: Neurofunk was always an enviable art, but for far too long it remained in the strict purview of artists deserting pop drum n' bass - and in turn trying to prove who was the cleverest sound designer on the scene. En Vy's new EP for Critical Music signals we've had an attitude change; this is 'neurofunk' that approaches the sound from a much more measured stance, swapping out all the crazed sound design turns and out-of-place Reese womps for more meditative and critical musicianship. The EP shows off a good ear for subgenre knowhow; 'UFO' has a jump-up feel to it that is nonetheless nicely skippy and pure, while 'Beautiful Dreamer' is by far the standout - with dreamy vocals compelling a tonal lead rhythm to produce an overall sub-heavy dream-vibe.
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CRIT 198
03 Mar 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
Repetition
Palilogia - (2:40) 174 BPM
Waeys & Flowanastasia - "Set The Vibe" - (3:34) 172 BPM
Familiar Face - (3:29) 174 BPM
Similarities - (4:02) 172 BPM Hot
Five After - (4:18) 142 BPM
Your Eyes (feat Bart De Vries) - (4:42) 131 BPM
Waeys & Patch Edison - "Nothing" - (4:28) 174 BPM
Cast A Path - (4:35) 172 BPM
Anti - (5:22) 138 BPM
Review: Is it a small album? Is it a big EP? Who cares? It's Waeys doing bits on Critical Music with his most substantial and explorative body of work so far. Already preceded by big soulful singles like 'Set The Vibe' (with the inimitable flowanastasia) and 'Nothing' (with the equally brilliant Patch Edison) now comes the full showdown as the Dutch don delivers some of his best work to date... The jazzy introspection of 'Familiar Face', the dusty hip-hop feels of 'Five After' and the slower tempo of 'Your Eyes' are just some of the highlights here. What an exceptional release. Big love to Waeys.
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CRITMLP 002
10 Feb 23
Drum & Bass / Jungle
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