Review: Ray Keith's Dread Recordings has one of the longest pedigrees in jungle music, it's been around for decades and their collection of music is suitably vast. This EP from FleCK - another longtime producer - is coming on the Dubplate sublabel, which is reserved for tracks that have been around for a while yet have never seen the light of day. FleCK's talent is on clear show here and the overall vibe is one of rough and tumble jungle, jungle that's made for grotty basements and underground spaces with a special commitment to the roots of the genre. It sounds fresh, though, especially 'Living a Lie' featuring Ngaio, which opens with sultry vocal lines before flipping into an altogether darker affair, a seamless transition that FleCK has made seem easy. 'Lover' has fantastic gravelly bassline, whilst the VIP of 'Ganja Day' is a funky, upbeat number that's breath of light in a grungy release. All of these are umissable for those who love their jungle.
Review: Conrad Subs is a man on a serious roll out the moment. Having just dropped his album on Nuusic, he's now putting forth a shedload of dubs on Ray Keith's dubplate dread sublabel, a heritage and bassline-rich label that seems perfect for Conrad's fractious style. It opens up with 'All Day, All Night', which is simple in its construction but devastating in its effects, a clattering break sitting easily above a sub-heavy wall of bass. 'Dub Assault' is stabby and pointed; 'Minotaur' is deep and steppy; 'Pretty Dangerous' is spacious and wobbly - the list goes on. This is a proper EP for proper heads.
Review: The Book of El - not to be confused with the AAA movie by a similar name starring Wil Smith - is courtesy of Dubplate Dread and it's a raw, jungle inspired journey through sampled soundscapes and urban, dance music culture. The snares are tough, the breaks are gruff and the overall vibe is one of a by-gone era of cutting houses and Fabio on BBC Radio 1. It's nostalgic and yet sounds fresh, especially the liquid tones of 'Soundsystem', and it's a combo that we dig.
Review: One of jungle's most influential players, Ray Keith has been back on his A-game this year as label owner, band leader (check his recent "Renegade" single) and, most importantly, as a kick-ass producer. Here we shows us why he's still relevant with two timeless shock-outs "1994" is a grunting step-heavy workout with a well known vocal sample that's taken from Jamaican film Rockers and used, most notably, by Serum. Flip for the "The Bongo Tune". A quintessential roller, it could just as easily be called "The Sub Bass Tune" thanks to amount of juicy low-end rumblage. Think Deep Blue's "Helicopter Tune"