Review: Artificial Intelligence's Integral label is a scene leader is releasing atmospheric yet driving liquid D&B, the evidence for which is truly bountiful if you take one quick flick through their prestigious back catalogue. Air.K & Cephei now have their first full length release on their label, a four-tracker that is grounded in lighter sonics but isn't afraid to take things a bit darker when it feels like it. Title track 'All U Know' is the ideal example, with a pop-influenced vocal that sits beautifully above its rolling exterior and a heavy second drop to die for. Fellow label member Edlan also makes an appearance, rounding off what is a typically strong EP from the camp.
Review: Integral Records owners Artificial Intelligence launch a new series on the label, dedicated to futuristic sounds. "Degrees of Separation" is a mellow affair, with soulful vocals and atmospheric melodies unfolding over understated drums. On "Missing Piece", the pace is faster and the drums more urgent, but it also features mournful, distended vocals and soft-focus musical elements. While "Tannan" has a slightly darker edge thanks to its slivers of moody bass and tight, insistent break beats, in the main Season 1 is a deeply soulful affair - best typified by the beautiful piano lines that play out over "Street Scenes".
Review: Artificial Intelligence wrap up their album-sized project The Series with a fourth and final dispatch "Outtakes". While outtakes are usually the sole preserve of bloopers and things not good enough for the final cut, here we find Glen and Zula in flip mode as they serve up some of their tastiest dishes of the whole project banquet. "Even Though" ripples like the most soulful tide you've ever dipped your toes in, "Inwards" soothes with a layers of textured vocal elements, "Tainted Soul" is a trip beyond the known universe on a rocket made of sadness while "Masonics" sends us packing with unhealthy doses of lilting pianos and rumbling subs. Classic AI business through and through.
Review: Artificial Intelligence and their very own Integral Records are to liquid D&B what hydrogen is to the universe - everywhere. Their unique brand of soulful, rolling music has given unforgettable moments to so many, both in terms of their own productions as well as on their label. The Series: Season 2 is the latest, a four-tracker that exemplifies their sound with pure style. 'B.A.D.A' is wispy and emotional; 'Waiting Room' combines a luscious vocal with intricate depth; 'Smoke Screens' is pulsating, wide and full of ambience; 'Boxed In' fills up the range with dream-worthy pads and crisp percussive lines. This EP is an essential for anyone who loves their D&B on the lighter end of the spectrum.
Review: Integral by label name, integral to the scene full stop: Glenn and Zula's AI partnership has been a prominent and consistent voice since the early 2000s. Since 2010 we've seen them dig deep into the album artform with Stand Alone kicking off a slew of LPs, currently climaxing with The Series. Delivered over four parts - two last year, two this year - the full set spans their full gamut touching deep daydream rollers such as "Savour" to much darker, heavyweight pieces such as "Isolate". Each made for the club but executed with depth and restraint to that lends itself to any scenario, it's a great way to sign out of this decade and prime us for what's to come. Integral by nature.
Review: Artificial Intelligence's Integral imprint hits its second "Glow" volume and once again loads it with total D&B futurism from friends old and new. The bosses take the lead with a heavily textured stepper that's weighed down by a breath-taking reverse lead sound and processed vocals on "The Need", Air K & Cephei sprinkle some mountain fresh Austrian emotional gold into the mix with "Way Home", Satl & Djah flex on the low swinging soul vibe where the sample chimes softly just below the perfectly tuned rolling break and Serpico closes with the majestic soul-out "Illusion". Glowing.
Review: The Kazakhstani liquid funk king, Command Strange, steps up for the 19th release on Integral for a couple of sterling bassline rollers that will light up dancefloors across Europe and beyond. First up "Bingo" pairs ticking breaks with disarming chirrups with a punchy, growling b-line. A slick breakdown adds some atmospheric magic to the proceedings before the rolling riddim returns. Accompanying this, "Mr Lonely" adds some melodic mystique with sweeping SFX and yearning, pattering drums that have a touch of High Contrast circa "Tough Guys Don't Dance" about them. A lovely release for the liquid man dem.
Review: The only problem we've had with Dawn Wall so far is not being able to work who they are. Until now... "Problems" is the anonymous act's most diverse and far-reaching EP to date. The title track adds even more mystery to the Dawn Wall story as it bombards us with a shredded bassline that's not dissimilar to SpectraSoul at their heaviest. "Never Say" plays a cool contrast with lush soulful breezes, spiritual feels and a light-footed feel to the riddim while "Shy" is all about the head trip with its soft harmonic keys and shimmering pianos. Further into the journey we're struck with overwhelming, soaring textures and skin-bubbling bass on "Nomad" and the triumphant soul finale "Lemon Dogs". Impeccable, once again.
Review: Artificial Intelligence's Integral brings out our inner glow with their consistently-impressive new V/A series. Satl (who's appeared on every "Glow" so far) kicks off with a long-awaited remix of dBridge's classic lament "So Lonely" he debuted at Sun & Bass in 2018. He's backed up all the way by key label friends and affiliates: Facing Jinx and Soligen get all dreamy on the dark subby roller "So Much To Do" while Dexcell weave multiple instrument layers with sweeping waves of emotion above a pretty dark, foreboding bassline. Finally Macca & Vector wind down proceedings with the star-leaping intergalactic soul hurricane finale "All The Time". Unleash your inner glow...
Review: Edlan is back. He's back! The Dutch boy wonder has first full length release on the legendary Integral Records, Artifical Intelligence's label and an imprint which is dedicated to the purveying of high-quality liquid and rolling beats. Alumni include Lenzman and Alix Perez, so Edlan is in good company. He clearly deserves to be there though, the production levels are through the roof on this one and it's definitely his best work. A lovely addition is the fearsome 'Tree of Life', the heavy track on the EP and a Dawn Wall-esque banger which rolls out deliciously. Bigups Edlan.
Review: Last year Artificial Intelligence's Integral Records started a new series - Glow - which aims to showcase some of the best forthcoming talent in the Integral radar, as well as music from some of their more established roster acts. We're now in the third instalment and the series is still going strong. Edlan & Djah are two very exciting young Dutch talents and their tune 'Fragile' is typical Integral: wispy pads, featherweight drums and serious sense of ambience. French maestro Redeyes also makes an appearance in similar fashion with 'I Can't Wait', a gorgeous piece of sampling work and precise melodic construction that rolls out for days. Fluidity and Integral regular Satl hold up the rear and they do it well - make sure you check this.
Review: Dawn Wall's mysterious siblings-in-arms Mohican Sun return with five more beguiling pieces of deep D&B soul. Instant warmth hits you from the moment "Don't Wait" glistens through the speakers while "Cold Earth" takes us on an emotional roller ride with mild twinges and star gazing sci-fi. Deeper into the EP we glide to find the alluring and mind-melting mystical brew of "Spiralled", the soft dreamy ebbs and flows of "Calgary" and the restrained, dynamically arranged soul of "Living This Way". Earthy.