Review: Previously spotted on Ray's "Deeper Love" EP, rising songsmith Deploy stamps down on Dread for the label's first release of 2018... And he's doing it some serious vocal gusto. A Dread head-turner, this blasts a lot of expectations of the label as it shows a completely different direction with authentic, heartfelt almost Ian Brown-like vocals over some crisp, precision produced beats. From the orchestral stabs and vocal cuts of "Liquid Shadows" to the hurricane jazz of "Painting Lies" via
the title track (with Mr Keith himself) this is really interesting and forward-thinking reminder of how vocals should be tailored for longevity, not the hit parade.
Review: Digital on Dread... If you're after straight up jungle that's made from the heart and doesn't care for any trends, then you can't ask for any more than this. "Steady Eddie" is all about the rifle snare edits and distorted bass, "Moody Runt" has almost a touch of the Metalheadz with its dark riff and bull-charge amens while "Luv Dub" reminds us of Digital's rootsy foundation. Last but not least we have "Unexplored World" which sucker punches us into amen submission with true jungle timelessness. Few artists are on the same level as this man.
I Got A Question For Ya (feat Cherell) - (7:11) 175 BPM
Withering - (5:31) 175 BPM
So Heavy - (4:46) 175 BPM
Review: The second part of Margaman's broadsword, full-spectrum EP doublet on Ray Keith's still-vital Dread, here we're treated to the darker side of his true inner spirit as we batter our way through the shadows; the murky grimey halftime rolls of "Clip Off Your Wings", the Digital-style wall of sound "I Got A Question For Ya", the dancehall jungle groaner "Pis Pon Dem", the soaring roller "Finesse", the classic rave synths and Full Cycle-flavoured drum slap and tickle and the ludicrously low and rumbling "So Heavy"... Each track reminding us why he's become a go-to producer for some of the most important foundation DJs of the genre. Timeless heaviness.
Review: Since emerging on L Double's Flex a few years back, Margaman has blessed us with a whole string of timeless cuts through the likes of Kenny Ken's Mix & Blen, Dawn Raid's Hocus Pocus and Ash-A-Tack's Director's Cut. Now he makes his debut on Ray Keith's seminal Dread imprint with two incendiary EPs. It kicks off here with the massive 2am blow-out "Searching", a track that grabs you instantly with its over-layered vocals and energetic thrust. Other highlights include the stripped back tribality and jazzy echoes of "Tribe Of Benjamin", the slurry bass and Headzy mentasms of "Satisfy" the space-race metallic tech-step pace of "Nasty Bloodclart" and the neck-breaking jungle grunts of "You Still Here". Dig deep as there's a whole other EP as part of this release too. Margman isn't messing around!
Review: As one of jungle's originals, there was a time when Ray Keith was one of the heaviest hitters in the drum and bass scene. These days, his star has waned a little and is known more as Joy Orbison's uncle, but he still retains the ability to rock a dancefloor. For those of a certain vintage, I Am Renegade - his first new album in three years - should be a bit of a treat. Devoid of contemporary thrills - bar a trip into deeper territory in the shape of "Stardust" - it recycles the amen-heavy brand of hard-hitting jungle and hardcore with which Keith made his name during the 1990s. As such, it's a thrilling blast from the past.
Review: Evergreen Ray Keith continues to pump out the hits in his fearless, floor-friendly junglist style. This fresh, digital-only album features a range of his own dubplates - previously unreleased cuts that he's been spinning on and off for Lord knows how long. There are few surprises - by now, we should all know what his vntage, Amen-sporting old skool style sounds like - but plenty of confirmed bangers, from the breakbeat hardcore rinse-out of "Chopper" and pleasing vocal cut "Midnight", to the intense rhythms of bombastic closer "Visual Attack".
Review: Following the first collection of digital dubplates and VIPs from veteran producer Ray Keith's seemingly bottomless archives, Dread Recordings returns with another bumper selection of tracks from the vault. His vintage junglist style sounds as fresh as it always has, with highlights including the early liquid offerings of "Rare Groove", the syncopated sub action of "Too Strong", the savage jungle bass and subtle Detroit-style pads of "Unorthadox", and the rave-inspired madness that is closing track "Wobbler". Quite simply, they don't make 'em like this any more.
You're My Angel (acoustic version) - (4:36) 175 BPM
You're My Angel (radio mix) - (4:36) 58 BPM
You're My Angel (extended Club mix) - (6:20) 58 BPM
All That Jazz - (7:24) 175 BPM
Stem Cell - (6:40) 58 BPM
Review: Dread bossman and jungle pioneer Ray Keith takes us on a serious trip with this emphatic sign-out to the decade... And a hint at the damage he's about to cause with his album in 2020. "You're My Angel" takes the lead. A deeper, personal piece with pop finesse and authentic emotion, Ray reveals some impressive song writing and singing skills on this complete crossover curveball. For balance, "All That Jazz" and "Stem Cell" go in hard; the former hits similar cosmic frequencies as the likes of Mark System and Need For Mirrors with its juicy Detroit inspired synths, the latter is just a good old-fashioned techno-inspired grizzle. Heads down Dread business... Just how we like it.
Review: Ray Keith's Dread Recordings has paid host to a litany of memorable tracks and infamous artists over the years, and this week's remix single is no different. Featuring T>I and Benny L on remix duties for two tracks by Ray Keith and Dark Soldier, it's a release whose finger is firmly tacked onto the pulse of the scene. T>I's minimal VIP of 'Renegade' slams from start to finish, with delicately placed piano riffs moving apart for its smash and grab portrayal of T>I's signature style. Benny goes junglist on the flip side, and 'Dark Soldier' is as moody as it is aggressive. Top form here.
Review: From the outset, this release screams ragga sonics. From the artwork to the basslines, Section's Step Off EP is a work full of rusty jungle vibes and roughed-up edges, each bar of each tune coming together to make this un-sophisticated yet banging EP. The title tune features Junior Red and sets the tone for the whole release: reggae sounds and diving low-frequency shakes. There's a definite element of minimalist force throughout, though, 'Mad As Hell' exemplifying Section's ability to take things down a dark and dirty turn. Special mention to 'Black Friday' for bringing up the rear with some pristine jungle work, combining both heaviness and lightness to great effect.
Review: Serum steps up for a seriously bass-heavy release on Ray Keith's infamous Dread Recordings. It's deadly by name, deadly by nature in the title track, as a tense, trembling string section in the intro gives way to an iconic vocal sample, and then the tune drops into a sub bass booming fray with gently ticking breaks and a deadening sense of foreboding. Accompanying this is "Prototype" with its menacing snares, eerie SFX and punishing bass wobbles, it's a track for the true D+B soldier. Approach with caution!
Review: Dread Recordings unleash their fifth mixtape of dancefloor stormers, and with 17 massive tracks to choose from, they're not mucking about. Spanning the entire genre of drum and bass from its old school beginnings to modern minimal and everything in between, there's something for every picky sub-genre bass aficionado. This tracklist of rising stars like Excalibur, Mara Man and Deploy sit alongside the likes of Savage Rehab and Renegade Live to pull off the biggest D&B event of the year. Hold tight, this is gonna get messy.