Review: Gently opening the door of 2018 with the able assistance of vocalist legend Tali and newcomers Paramount, Ben Soundscape kicks off Intrigue's year with the style and class we've come to expect from him. "Keepsake" is a delicate roller with minimal elements, trippy pianos and subtly gullified bass while "Imaginary Enemies" pries deep into our psyches with Tali giving us the counselling we all need but don't deserve. Intrigue never fail to beguile.
Review: Consistently fresh: Intrigue slide into the new year with two beautiful slabs of deepness from two familiar faces to the label - Joakuim and Lurch. Lurch rides solo on the dangerous, jungle-minded "Rudeboys". With its far-away horn and flute sample over sub-laden breaks, there's a cool air of Future Cut to proceedings as we dig deeper and deeper into the molten step groove. "Thoughts Of You" sees the pair combining forces with a delicate dusty old sample where pianos lilt and flutter around woozy horn textures. Stunning.
Review: Ben Soundscape's Bristolian Intrigue Music imprint is one of the most highly regarded smaller labels in D&B and its especially known for its annual compilations, which display some of the best-made high-brow D&B in the game. This is the second part of their 16th anniversary collection and its just as top-notch. Mako & label boss Ben Soundscape team up on the inimitable 'Uplift', a snapping, steppy tune which combines a classically Mako drum pattern with Ben Soundscape's characteristic wispy ambience. New Intrigue artist Mosaic chimes in with a stunning contribution, 'Airspace' has crisp, metallic drums that roll out inside a swirl of pads and deeply rich synth textures, a seriously melancholic track that ramps up and back down at various points. Stunning stuff here.
Review: Mosaic is a fairly new artist who has been brought through the watchful eye of Ben Soundscape over at Intrigue Records, with regular features on their Intrigue releases over the past year or so. This EP shows off his darkest work to date and it's arguably his best, with four cuts of vibrant, rolling D&B that hits both heavy and melancholic notes. The title tune is a straight banger, with a torn, broken bassline that emits a guttural sense of movement and floods the arrangement with character. 'Trueform' is a sub-heavy roller, 'Radius' brings things back to the proper darkness and 'Deep Ellum' rounds of the release with a gorgeous bit of depth, featuring hip-hop flips, jazz leads and vocal shimmers. Unreal.
Random Movement & Ben Soundscape - "Dreaming" - (5:24) 175 BPM
Isola Dusk - "Waiting For You" (Ben Soundscape remix) - (6:30) 175 BPM
Review: Intrigue founder Ben Soundscape lays down two blissful rollers in the form of a collaboration and a remix. "Dreaming" sees him joining forces with the inimitable Random Movement where the two try and out-soul each other their groove elasticity and sense of pace and restraint. "Waiting For You" sees Ben remixing Isola Dusk's 2013 future bass roller into a 2016 slippery D&B roller with warm pads, humming bass and light, brushed drums. Genuinely beautiful.
Review: Last spotted together on Intrigue's eleventh anniversary album, Bristol-based Ben S and New York-based Raw Q collide once again with two deliciously funky rollers. "Song That We Love" bumps with one of those bulbous basslines that's at once in your face and far away. Dipping into jazz territories in the breakdown, it's a lesson in jungle subtlety. "Start It Up" is juicier again; with a loose, fretless (brown paper) baggy bassline, it rolls and rolls until your entire floor are in submission. Authentically timeless.
Review: The Insiders are Ben Soundscape and Static, both Bristolian producers who make drum and bass on a soaring, cinematic tip. "Falling" is a gorgeously huge slice of rolling liquid, sliding majestically through warm bass and flickers of light from atmospheric samples. "Pathways" is a total change-up in style thanks mostly to fresh vocals from Ryder Shafique. As he expertly winds his story through tribal percussion, there's no doubt that this tune is going to be a set piece for years to come.
Review: The fourth instalment in this year's Intrigue Music album is here and it features some of the best in the game. These albums always combine liquid sultriness with a harder edge, and if you like your old school rollers with a balance of light, dark, fast and furious, this EP will certainly be for you. Random Movement is one those present and boy, he's nailed this one. In his own usual style, "Paw Prints' is delightfully earthy with a synthy vibe that still feels organic and natural, topped off with a lovely vocal sample that just ripples out over the tune. Joakuim comes in with the other highlights, a calibre-esque hypnotic combination of rising synths and sweeping pads. Gorgeous stuff.
Review: Intrigue Music presents a brand new LP to mark 12 years of legendary club night Intrigue. Featuring exclusive tracks from genre-forming greats like Break, Randall, Zero T, Random Movement, Jaybee, Raw Q and label owner Ben Soundscape, the crew's support across the scene for this has been incredible. Whether you've been an Intrigue local over the past decade or you just love a good old fashioned roll-out, this compilation puts together some of the very best sounds from the label right now into one neat, but massive package.
Randall & Ben Soundscape - "Nightfall" - (6:21) 175 BPM
Superior Selectionz - "Halcyon" (VIP mix) - (5:08) 174 BPM
Ben Soundscape - "Focus On You" - (5:38) 174 BPM
Joakuim - "Pale Ale Citizens" - (4:53) 173 BPM
Larigold - "Don't Wanna Stay" - (5:16) 170 BPM
Review: Happy birthday Intrigue! They're celebrating 14 years of their Bristol club night (and nine years of the label) in style with this beautiful collection of 14 exclusives that sum up the collective's vibe, spirit and energy perfectly. Deep, soulful but not afraid to slap you silly with grit or funk across the set we're treated to triplet-teasing elastic double bass freakery from Raw Q, total soul magic by Philth, SolidFrame and Collette Warren, cloud-leaping amen bliss from Ill Truth and white knuckle space funk from the daddy Randall and label bossman Ben Soundscape. With more from the likes of Phase, Random Movement, Break and loads more, this really is a special collection. Don't sleep!
Review: Club night-turned-label Intrigue has been part of the Bristol drum & bass landscape since 2003, and continues to lead the way for those who like their junglism jazzy, deep and attractive. To celebrate their 13th birthday, they've put together this rather fine anniversary compilation. There's plenty to admire throughout, with local lad Break's previously unseen "Winter Rain" - all jazzy breakbeats and twinkling keys - proving an early highlight. Veteran Bristolian and frequent early party guest Lurch delivers some thrillingly experimental flavours on "Tangents", while resident DJs and label bosses The Insiders get in the celebratory mood on two tasty tracks. Fittingly, the set finishes with Joakuim's "Cenzontle", which is little less than a classic chunk of liquid D&B gold.