Review: Last spotted learning to fly, Hugh Hardie touches down once again with more new material: 'Dream In Green', another four track delight on Hospital. 'No Compromise' takes the lead and hits with a vibe that's reminiscent of early Nu:Tone. It's in good company as three more double-H nuggets bounce our way... 'Dream In Green' is stunning sunset soul with filters and strings in all the right places, 'Overture' brings a little jazz into the mix while d.e.o.n lays down introspective lyrical gold while 'Repeater' closes the show on steppy, switchy juke vibe that's not dissimilar to Sinistarr or Thys. Dream big.
Review: Released in 1999 by Lenny Fontana, remixed by Nu:Tone in 2005; 'Spread Love' is an absolute anthem in both house and liquid circles and has been a standard ever since. Now it's story continues into the new decade as Makoto and Pete Simpson cover it with total respect and charm. Still like sticking your head in the middle of gospel choir, still one of the most positive tunes you could ever play, this special cover to mark Hospital's 25th anniversary is faithful in every way. Comes complete with a rough and ready amen slap-about 'Contact'. Spread the word.
Review: 25 years! The big H celebrate a quarter of a century in the drum & bass game with this phenomenal collection of remixes, reboots and revisitations by some exceptional names from firing new talent to the sagest of OGs. From Dillinja's remix of Urbandawn's 'Come Together' to Makoto's flip on Nu:Tone's classic remix of Lenny Fontana's 'Spread Love' via L-Side's immense remix of B-Complex's 'Beautiful Lies' and A.Fruit's dusty jazz take on the early 2000s 'Beautiful' from Phuturistix, the whole Hospital rave rainbow is covered by one of the best talent line-ups outside of their festivals. Whiney to Winslow, Remarc to Ray Keith, this is a fantastic document that reflects both Hospital and drum & bass on the widest possible level. Happy anniversary!
Review: Celebrating 25 years in the game, Hospital unleash a brand-new concept: 'Future Symptoms'. Echoing similar symptoms to their late great Med School label, the focus is on the sound of tomorrow and headliners in waiting. On this inaugural volume we're soothed by Winslow's powerful soul on 'Amore', we're slapped into shape by the crucial drum work, sudden switches and sweet vocals on Mozey's 'Sometimes' (with Shady Novelle) and taken off to far-off lands on the dreamy junglised excursion 'The Maker' by Villem & Alpha Rhythm. The final cherry on the cake is Zeitgeist and Nia Archives' 'Move On'. Pure soul with a strong sense of Brazilian magic to it, it leaves us wanting more... Bring on Future Symptoms Vol 2!
Review: Following his beautiful collab EP with Soundwave last year, Russian donnie Bop returns to Hospital with a very special EP: 'Perehod'. Flexing his non dnb muscles across five tracks, here Bop takes us to a whole range of delicious places from the 155BPM cosmic breakbeat dreamweaving of 'Hiding' to the silky smooth dubby UKG 'Beach Simulator 3D' by way of the crucial dungeon-bounced dubsteppery that is 'Skolzkaya Dorozhka'. All this and plenty more; we'll go as far as saying that this is one of Bop's finest releases to date!
Review: One of Hospital Records' most renowned liquid craftsman is back. Nu:Tone has been a foundational artist on the label, releasing his first album in 2005 and following it up with four more seminal LPs. Little Spaces is arriving after a long break of 7 years, and we're ecstatic to see him return in such good form. It's an album that stays true to the Nu:Tone and Hospital traditions of bubbly, feel-good music and this entire piece of work ripples with the sort of good vibes that we all need right now. 'Souled Out' is a perfect example, a nonchalant track grounded with a simple four-note melody that slowly progresses amidst luscious guitar flicks and deft rhodes riffs. 'Girl On A Bike' is more stepping funk, and the album weaves through vocal features from DJ Rae, Ed Scissor, Lalin St. Juste and Lea Lea. An absolutely gorgeous piece of work.
Review: Hugeness on hugeness; as if Camo & Krooked and Mefjus's game-changing 'No Tomorrow' could possibly pack more of a punch, now come the versions. First is a bombastic rendition from the Red Bull Symphonic Orchestra who take the track to the most dramatic places it could possibly be. Then we have the case of Tom Finster. A very exciting name emerging in bass music right now, here the Frenchman surges and slides between halftime and drum & bass with sweeping emotional rushes and textures. Absolutely immense.
Review: Hospital Records' most talented liquid producer is back on the label with his latest exercise in deft touches and soft strokes, as Mitekiss stretches his legs out across four utterly sublime cuts. The title - Night Bus Stories - evokes imagery of melancholic early mornings gazing out the window at the city beyond, and it perfectly aligns with the aesthetics of this EP. 'City Angels' is our highlight, as as Milo Merah and RSWT cover both bases of soulful melancholia and urban spoken word, the vocal element to an instrumental that's luxurious in its depth and and nonchalant in its sophistication. 'Rain (Falling Down) is even more stripped back in its approach to liquid, 'N68' is, we assume, Mitekiss' local night bus and its represented by devilish bass notes and fractious breaks. It rounds up on the eccentricity of 'Ring Alarms' feat. Javeon, and will leave you feeling all wistful, warm and squishy inside. Beautiful.
Review: Every day he's bubbling; Whiney loads up another EP in his awesome series. 'Headlines' takes the lead with Subten guiding us through the shadows riding smoothly over a classic Whiney heads-down bassline. Elsewhere Whiney shows off his deeper side as 'Freedom' brings a rush of emotion to our lockdown ravaged souls with its lush chord progression and scorching bassline, 'Mirage' beguiles us with poignant jazzy flourishes and 'Yesterday' brings the EP to a beautiful twinkling close. We're bubbling over right here.
Review: Keeno is back on the album trail. Following the closure of Med School earlier this year, the Bristol-based producer has migrated over to the main label and this, his fourth album, continues his unique, orchestra-inflected sound. It's a style that he manages to keep fresh, and I Live, I Learn blends vocal smoothers with deeper, more melancholic jungle cuts. 'Antiphony' is a peachy example of the latter, with deft piano touches forming a rippling main melody that's perfectly balanced on a bed of crisp, cutting break beats and gentle basslines. Telomic features on the other standout, 'Listen Close', probably the deepest tune on the album and one which builds from an atmospheric introduction into a cracking set of drums and effervescent low frequency wobbles, a pensive combination that lends itself well to any DJ set. Big ups Will.
Review: When Fred V split off from Grafix a year or so ago, we were all concerned that it might mean less music from the young producer. Fortunately no such drop off has occurred, and Fred has flourished under his new solo project and this single is the latest installment in that journey. It's a two-tracker in the Hospital tradition, and it's one which also resonates deeply with all of those over the years who became familiar with Fred's penchant for touching melodies, highly strung vocal notes and sweeping soulful ambience. The B-side, 'Atmosphere', is the pick of the bunch and vocalist Lottie Jones lends her warm, dulcet tones to Fred's floating, celestial instrumental that balances perfectly upon clouds of synthetic funk and spacey melodic work. Lovely stuff.
Review: Whiney has been specialising in bubbly beats for the last few months and part two of his Bubblers EP series keeps that flag raised high. The winds are strong but the beats here are stronger, as all four tracks land with a mixture of urban-edged funk and precisely engineered dancefloor force. 'Deep End' feat. Ben Verse smacks of the techy end of the scene, with widely regarded MC Ben Verse as the vocal feature to accompany its wobbling bassline, a choppy affair that injects a load of funk. 'Caught Up' is stepping in its percussion, whilst 'Old Flame' takes a pop vocal and flips it with aplomb. Parly B features on 'Roll Out' to top things off - big release.
Review: 2020 may well be the worst year we've all experienced so far, but when gems like this land, you know it's not a total wipe-out. Not just any old new Netsky album, 'Second Nature' is the sound of Netsky returning to drum & bass. Delivered on his old stomping ground Hospital, it's the LP many have wanted to hear since his album 'II' back in 2012. What's more, he's delivered. Running the complete dnb spectrum, one moment he's cooking up savage funk with Urbandawn ('Power'), the next he's wooing us with solid gold soul ('Everybody Loves The Sunshine'), the next he's going back to that seminal era of early 2000s sample-slapping liquid ('I Choose You') while the next he's going all hardcore with Darren Styles on neon fast lane jammer 'Look At Me Go'. Complete with major league collaborations with the likes of Rudimental, Sub Focus and Hybrid Minds, Netsky has gone beyond expectations here.
Review: It's hard to believe that Hospital Records have reached the 400th release milestone. It's an unbelievable achievement and one that reflects their dominance over drum & bass for the best part of three decades. NHS400 is a collaborative release featuring joint production from a slew of the label's most consistent producers, including new boys on the block BOP X Subwave and old hands like S.P.Y and label founder London Elek. It's Keeno and Polaris, however, that really nail things to the wall with 'Leviathan', a huge track that lays pounding basslines beneath eerie, choral vocals to create a mash up between dancefloor flavour and the orchestral sounds Keeno is so known for. Whiney and Mitekiss team up alongside Ruth Royall to produce a liquid masterclass, whilst the synthy, upbeat tones of Fred V and Logistics sound as fresh as ever. Superb.
Review: Hugh Hardie is back and Hospital's premier soul merchant is doing what he does best - rolling down the windows and rolling out the funk. 'Said & Done' features DJ Marky, a natural partnership for Hugh, and the pair have excelled together, as sumptuous piano notes pepper the ground alongside its diving sub and smooth vocal, courtesy of Cimone. The other track which really stands out is 'Darjeeling', which samples traditional Indian sounds that gentle coalesce into a warm, deep concoction that would serve your living room and the dance floor equally well. Welcome back Hugh - you've still got it.
Review: Netsky's back in the D&B lane baby... Following 'Mixed Emotion' comes another delight ahead of his forthcoming album, this time linking up with the equally esteemed pop D&B fusioneers Rudimental and Afronaut Zu. Fully-loaded with a heaving horn section and vibey lyrics from AZ, it's all in the dirty funk bass guitar and subtle key peppering the background. Growing more and more euphoric throughout the track, it's the feel-good flavours we sorely need right now. Mix and blend!
Review: Hospital's most prolific vocal talent - Degs - is back on the label this week with the follow up release to his sensationally good debut album Letters from Ndegwa, a fitting remake that takes the best elements from the original and flips it in style. There's heavyweight drum & bass flavours courtesy of Bladerunner, AC13 and more, whilst Kikuyu Soul takes things downtempo in serious style. It's the latters remake of 'Colour My Soul' that really stands out, as loping hip-hop drums nonchalantly stroll beneath Degs' supremely soulful vocal overlay. Winslow also takes a crack at the tune, flipping it into a classic Hospital roller replete with sub-heavy bassline and euphoric, hands-in-the-air moments. Bladerunner gets dark and bouncy on 'Sleepless', whilst dreamteam Phil:osophy produce the basis of another sick sprayout version. Top release.
Review: One of Hospital's newest signings, Voltage has stepped out of the full Kings of the Rollers team and lands on the label with his first solo album since 2015's More Than Luck. It's by far his most diverse and mature work to date, as Voltage lays down the usual dancefloor pressure but intersperses it with fragrant 80s textures and deep, ambient soundscapes. It's a testament to his journey as a producer, as well as the cross-section of influences he's been exposed to as a part of the Hospital roster. That duality of sound is expressed best in 'Make Me Feel', a stripped back roller with finger click drums that's spacious and soulful yet punctuated through by a guttural, honking bass sound that's right in the KoTR tradition. 'So Close' kicks off proceedings with funk synthwave; 'Endless Dreaming' is a sumptuously deep, almost-liquid number with fantastic vocals from Bulgarian Goddess; and 'Moonshine' and 'Conscious' are ambient cuts that put on full show his newfound depth and breadth. Big album.
Review: Flava D is Hospital's star signing from last year and her foray out of bassline and into drum & bass has been a wicked addition to a scene in need of more crossover talent. She's well at home on Hospital Records and on this three-track EP brings to 170 the type of aggy business she made her name with at 140. The title tune blends classic Hospital chords - a soulful, rising piece of instrumentation - with a stabby, bouncing arrangement that perfectly sits on the boundary lines between club and home music. 'Horizen' is deep and flowing, a night sky full of stars that twinkle and gleam in the glare of a full moon, whilst 'What You Mean 2 Me' ends the EP on a heavier note with its crunching bass notes and twirling sine touches. Big.
Review: Hospital's force to be reckoned with has now been on the label for a couple of years and although he's losing his newcomer status, it's being replaced by a broadly recognised consistency in producing fire beats. His jungle heritage is audible in lots of his music and Total XTC is no different, with a title tune that shivers with rave vibes and shudders under the weight of its breaksy, junglist foundation. 'Got 2 Have' is a furious, impatient roller that ripples with low frequency funk, whilst Whiney and Truthos Mufasa step up on 'War Dance' to create a carnival anthem that is as choppy as it is heavy, Finally, 'Pigeon Funk' comes in last to arguably steal the show, an outrageously naughty tune that bounces over your head and spits down your neck on its way. Superb.
Review: Hospital's newest dynamic duo finally have their long-awaited album coming next week, and with Playing In The Dark the pair have exceeded all expectations. This LP moves across dub-influenced bounce, breaksy hip-hop sounds, soulful liquid and straight dancefloor heat. It's a palette befitting the history of both MCs and the range of producers they've roped in is unsurprisingly impressive, with LSB, Calibre, Diemantle, S.P.Y, Chimpo and more all stepping up. Calibre has two contributions, including a vibrant junglist cut, but Villem & Bcee's 'Playing In The Dark' might be the most memorable and we challenge any of you not to bop to this absurdly infectious tune. 'Tectonic Plates' by Diemantle is another absolute stomper, as the breaks-focused duo bring their cross-genre appeal with full throttle and birth a concotion of pounding subs and stepping, inch-perfect drums. This is a truly sensational album.