Review: High R8 Digital are a regular here on Juno and for good reason, their tendency for steadily releasing rough but powerful, whole-hearted music is strong and their small size doesn't prevent the release of top-quality stuff. This EP from Metal Work is in that exact tradition, as across five tracks he tears you limb from limb with dancefloor focused jump-up precision. 'Stronger' is the strongest on the release, with an almost neuro feel to its cracking percussion and a torn, broken back end that rips across the range with style. There is more excellent work on the fat snare of 'Join Us', and this one is not to be missed.
Review: You think being on lockdown is hard? Trying a sentence in the 'Gulag' and then say something. Hard times call for hard music as the currently unstoppable Metal Work continues his 'Gulag' EP with six uncompromising grunters. 'Gulag Survivor' takes off where part one left us; working to the bone while being pummelled by rifle-like bass. Other punishments include the high voltage sizzles and grizzles of 'High Tech', the pure abrasion and trippy, warped bass grit of 'War' and the out-and-out drama of his remix of last year's nasty 'Losing Myself'. Sentence complete, now lockdown feels like Disney Land. R8ing this one m8.
Review: High R8 are keeping up their streak of releases with this grating, gully monster from Metal Work, who has had a very prolific couple of years on a whole host of different labels. The title track to this release says it all really, with a fiery injection of energy at all levels alongside an all-encompassing sense of purpose and drive that lends the track a superb quality. 'Losing Myself' steps things up a notch, with a rambunctious foghorn that bends, twists and distorts throughout the whole tune, carrying the listener with them as it goes. Overall this release is industrial and not to be messed with - top work.
Review: High R8 isn't a label we're intimately familiar with but, based on this fiery release from Metal Work, is an imprint that puts out hard-hitting music that's packed full of attitude. There's certainly no sugar in this release and 'No Sugar' confirms that, with a deliciously solid percussive line underneath a glitched-out flurry of basses and synths, all of which are packed with the type of energy we've come to expect from the jump-up scene. All of the others are in a similar vein, making this release solid all round.
Review: Fresh from his Rogue album on Multi-Function, Envenom makes his debut on High R8 with four sharp sonic slappers. Electrified with his signature high end style, each track really blasts with a hair-raising energy and laser-frazzled aesthetic. "Panic Room" lives up to its name with prang-inducing iciness and franticness, "More" twists with a little more Q&A riff funk while "Can't You See" plays a cool contrast between the soulful vibey breakdown and a razor blade riff that slices first and don't even bother to ask questions later. Finally "No Mercy" brings the most twisted highlight with a brilliantly warped, crying bass weep that flutters forlornly yet furiously. Let panic commence!
Review: Spaow gets busy on High R8 once again and it's nothing but pure Belgian badness. With its militant snares, "Rasta Warrior" is less of a soldier and more of entire troop of metallic bulletproof rastas marching into the fearful unknown. "Dorador" takes a techier track with its samurai bass swathing down over the triplet-based power drums, "Jumbot Machine" has a nuclear laser bass with a half life of a million while "Enjoy Yourself" teases with a hazy sexy swoon before hurling us into android lions. Bare knuckle business.
Review: A regular face at the High R8 estate, Hoogs returns with two highly charged slabs of bassline pressure. Dark in tone, rampant in energy, serious in sentiment, "Entertainment Licence" commentates on the sad state of club closures with a ruff, dog bark distortion bass riff. "Rise From The Ashes" takes everything you know about Hoogs and amplifies it by 20. One of the gnarliest yet totally controlled basslines ever, there's a bullish poetry to the demolition this will cause. Alarmingly heavy.
Review: Milton Keynes High R8 Digital are back with more dark side drum and bass shenanigans courtesy of their most recent recruits. Starting out with Hoogs' "The Comet (Majistrate remix)" which is reminiscent of classic Andy C or DJ Zinc from the early noughties, there's honourable mentions also to Sub Killaz with their stripped back and absolutely sketchy offering "Horror (Nu Elementz remix)" and of course Filthy Habits' "Hidden Secrets (Upgrade remix)" which is a seriously wonky journey through the dark side of breakbeat science. His remix up next of Dub Berzerka's "Born Bad" likewise demonstrates that this fella certainly 'ain't messing around!
Review: Two straight-up slabs of undiluted nasty: 535 bossman Hoogs lets rip on Milton Keynes-based High R8. "Soundboy Champion" flexes on an industrial strength pneumatic two-step as two gutter-chomping basses play Q&A amid a sprinkling of precision samples. "Garbage Day", meanwhile, has a much broader, rolling drum set, a grainy array of basslines and a string-soaked breakdown that should leave even the most po-faced raver swooning. Two styles, one massive release.
Review: German D&B with all the toxic bass smog of a Volkswagen: Dub Berzerka follows his summer-smashing "More Than Human" EP with another feisty fiver, this time on R8. Ranging from the late night bass screams of "Dripped Blood" and the itchy bass scuffs of "Higher" to the techy scrappage of "Sentinel" and the hammer horror of the laser-blazing "He Gets U", it's another rampant document from one of Europe's most promising names in jump-up.
Review: High R8 have been putting out a reliable stream of D&B since 2011, but it's only now they've released a compilation, and if you were to acquaint yourself with the sound of the label it's here. Filthy Habits feature twice with their tracks "Robot Wars", a grizzly bassline driven burner, and the rolling caustic sounds of "Pitch Black". Other highlights include Total Recall's climbing "Zelator", Cino's "Relocate", Spaow's heavily effected and twisted "Hard Work" and Version's deep and cruising "Weak Sauce". Get stuck in.