Review: Classically trained D&B business from Hocus Pocus conjurers Dawn Raid. "Poor Live Trife" could have easily come our way on Full Cycle or Dope Dragon around 1998 thanks to its loose drums, light dusting of jazz and hooky chubby-boy bassline. We're back to similar era for "I'll Be Good" but with more emphasis on the MC vox, rushy synths, widescreen sub and heaven-sent vocal. Both cuts would have killed it 20 years ago, they'll kill it in 20 years time and, most importantly, they kill it now.
Review: Manchester magicians Dawn Raid lay down the Hocus Pocus heaviness again with two timeless D&B history flexes; "Booby Traps" jumps with a classic early 2000s DJ Die sound that's all funky and loose while "Amnesia" goes further back in time to the mid-'90s when Total Science were taking no prisoners. Both executed with Dawn Raid's unique style and energy, these are special.
Review: More black magic from Hocus Pocus conjurers Dawn Raid. Consistently on-point, here we find the Northern duo expressing two perfectly contrasting but equally explorative vibes: "Fatal Attraction" hits hard like an old Moving Shadow joint with its Dom-style drums, bellowing subs and soulful vocal. "One Brick" continues the heritage tones with a jungle style sample-n-subs twist up where a dusty hook drops into pure amen energy. Timelessly class.
Review: This is such a lovely single because it takes things back to basics, there's no attempt to be fancy and Dawn Raid has dialled in exactly what he wants: stripped back drum & bass and jungle that draws upon the heritage of dub and reggae. 'Love Sound' is a mixture of sounds you'll definitely love, it's classic jungle and it walks the line perfectly between heaviness and funkiness, a trademark of the genre and one evident in this tune's bouncy bassline and infectious drums. 'Ez Skankin' is the roller of the pair and strolls along with a nonchalance that will imbue into your mood - proper sunny tune. Wicked work from the Hocus Pocus crew.
Review: Hocus Pocus might be a phrase associated with magic, but there's no other worldly forces at play with the Masters of Illusion Volume 3 EP. No, it's something much more exciting: well engineered, well curated, exceptional dancefloor drum & bass. It features four different producers and in different ways they all bring a bit of themselves into the equation, starting with 'Cretins' by Dawn Raid, which snaps and crackles its way through a stepping arrangement and tangled basss nodes. K Jah is deep in the hood on 'Deep in The Hood', urban samples litter the arrangement and the vibe is one of a concrete jungle: hard, with nowhere to hide. Unparalleled.
Review: Behold Dawn Raid's latest magic trick as they and three friends will change an EP into an entire festival before your very ears. The Manchester label owners cast the first spell as "Bela Moca" conjures up sunset vibes so strong you can smell the campfire while Nian Dub charms us deeper into the night with "Glow Stick Riddim" where soulful vocals and strident Quadrophenia style rave stabs. K Jah's sonic potion us into the cheekiest of hours with some all out jungle ruff on "Power Of Darkness" while Margaman casts the final incantation as he sends us off to bed in the dawn haze with a slithering snake like bassline. Abracadabra and all that.
Review: High five on the title. And with a name like Erbman, you know "Long Rizla Blues" isn't an homage to Muddy Waters. Rather, it's a sticky icky jazz-licked roller with double bass wrapped up in brown paper. "Live & Direct" has a similarly classic Bristol sound with its stripped back dynamic, a classic Bob James sample and full focus on some exceptionally polished drums. Smoking.
Review: Last spotted on Hocus Pocus two years back with Sudden Def, UK bubbler Fire Syne returns to heat up the dance with his most comprehensive release to date. "New Tokyo" is a sci-fi thriller as its sustained bass tone saw over a dense web of lumo textures and sirens. The theme of contrast and balance continues "Equinox" as occasional jazzy keys stroke up an itchy, scratchy classic late 90s neurofunk riff while "Diva" counters the chaos with far-away vocal cries that yearn over tastefully old school chords. Finally "Black Keys" takes us back to the turn of the century with its waspy bassline and precision key strokes in all the right places. This is the sound of an artist coming correct.
Review: Murderation: Ruffneck Ting affiliate ventures north for a supreme selection on Dawn Raid's vibe-conjuring Hocus Pocus imprint. It's big belly business from the off as "Final Duel" does the 187 wobble with a crafty sample and fat-arsed b-line. "Break It" throws a little soul in the mix as the vocals ghost in and out over late 90s Die-style groove and "Time Is Now Believe" is a real soul-arrester, drift-out track with layers of pure space-gazing elements. Finally "Replay" brocks the heck out with some serious classical riff dynamics that instantly nod at the Movement days. Heavily authentic.
Dawn Raid - "Come Get Yours" (Nian dub remix) - (6:02) 175 BPM
Review: Manchester duo Nian Dub smashed it with their debut Aftermath EP on NB Audio back at Christmas. Now they've returned, more confident following this recent conquest. They're certainly getting a heavy reputation for forging out a new future DnB sound and here on "Templar" they really push things forward. The track begins deceptively with deep and dubby vibes before the lasers and pounding, repetitive bass notes arrive to clean up the dancefloor. The mayhem continues on their own remix of Dawn Raid's "Come Get Yours" which features machine gun beats, a few blink-and-you-miss-them amen breaks and brain melting loops. Boom!
Review: It's a Manchester thing: Nian Dub crash-land back on Dawn Raid's Hocus Pocus with a clutch of powerful tech-laced hurters. "Histories" whirls and punches like a late 90s Headz joint, "Farsight XR-20" is all about the breaks with a madcap Paradox feel laced throughout while "Conquer Dem" takes us right back to the Timeless Records era with some stunningly spliced drums. Trex joins the fray with a twisted remix of 2016's "Templar" for good measure. Welcome to the future...
Review: Some say RMS stands for Really Mean Soundboy. Others say it stands for Ruthless Man Slappage. All we know for sure is that whatever label he's spotted on (Deep In The Jungle, Dubsoul, Innercity Dance, Back To The Jungle etc) RMS is dishing out some respect-commanding jungle right about now. "Let It Be" is an electrical stampede zipping and sizzling with a waspish filtered bassline while "Voodoo Magic Man" takes us deep into the 3am zone with stripped back arrangements, an alluring dub vocal and eerie atmospheres. Rolling. Mean. Sensational.
K Jah - "Deadly Isotopes" (feat L Rock) - (5:37) 175 BPM
Dawn Raid - "Come Get Yours" (Nian Dub remix) - (6:02) 175 BPM
Erbman - "Long Rizla Blues" - (5:05) 59 BPM
Dawn Raid - "One Brick" - (5:23) 175 BPM
Rawtee - "Higher Ground" (VIP) - (3:45) 58 BPM
K Jah - "Turbo Royale" (VIP) - (6:23) 58 BPM
Review: And now for their next trick, Manchester's finest murk magicians compile some of their finest moments since their last Vanishing Act album, hurl them at you at a rate of 175BPM... And your life will disappear before your very eyes. Authentic D&B jungle rooted in the past but flexing in the future highlights hang off every neck snap beat and gully bassline: the electrifying sizzles of Fire Syne's "Equinox", label bosses Dawn Raid's rave hymn "Amnesia", the frazzled trippy weirdness of K Jah's "Deadly Isotopes" and the venomous viciousness and reverse warpery of Rawtee's "Higher Ground" are just some of the many killer jams on offer here. Here's to another five years of black magic... Bippity boppity BANGERS.
Review: Pocus imprint delivers yet another exciting collection of international banger-brandishing talent. Symptom kick off with a classic vocal sample on ?Come On Strong?, what follows is an immersive blend of all-style bass hedonism: tribal rolling drum thunder (Nian Dub - ?Usurper?), dagger-funk jump up (Dan Miracle?s ?Poseidon?s Wrath?) potty-drum amen-snapping jungle (Jinx ? ?Days Gone By?) and straight up roughage (Sterling Sound ? ?Murder Capital?) all play a role in this 10 track adventure, meaning you?re guaranteed to find delights whichever sub-genre you enjoy shaking a stick at the most.