Review: Big tings on Cave, Biological Beats, ByTheProducer already this year, now Liondub International... Yung Tox here is one what you earthlings call 'a mission' right about now. Once again he continues to develop his style as he fuses different elements into his jump-up blend. From the dark trip wormhole twists and turns of 'Exorcism' to the frankly genius rhythm and percussion of 'Free For All', this is Toxinate in his broadest and baddest form. Fans of his earlier twisted grot won't be disappointed either when they hear 'Cyber Pimp' and 'Hard Times' either. Demon-slayingly savage.
Review: If you couldn't tell from the previous two editions on Liondub International, perhaps 'Criminal Minds Volume 3' will finally make you realise that Vital is above the law. With beats as brazen as these, he's got more diplomatic immunity than everyone ever involved in the Lethal Weapon franchise put together, and still he continues; the ringtone neck-wringing of 'Compulsion To Kill', the swaggering grunts and classic sample of 'Positive Vibes', the tension and paranoia of 'Good To Me' and ruffneck drama of 'Unorthadox' are all so badass they instantly come with a get out of jail free card. Naughty naughty.
Review: Flat T lands on Liondub International with a clubland focused journey through drum & bass' rougher side. This label doesn't have a reputation for holding your hand and this is clearly evident throughout High Rollers Vol 2, none more so than on 'Listen'. With a barebones, stripped back approach that's reminiscent of Digital or Spirit, Flat T combines old-school sampling with a distinct rawness to emphasise the track's low-frequency weight. This style is replicated across the other tunes to varying degrees but there's one constant: unadulterated sounds with the aim of serious dancefloor pressure. If that's your thing, then this EP is certainly for you.
Review: Previously known as Dutty Dubz, G!FT keeps on giving with this epic five tracker on Liondub International's new Uproar imprint. Kicking off with a Gremlins-sampling happy slapper 'Mogwai', he soon pushes down a rabbit hole of dark, tunnelling bass weight. Watch out for the turbine bassline and Q&A on 'Fear', the metallic alien purrs and wheezes of 'Punishment', the theatrical blasts of 'Jungle Horn' and the quacking barmy finale 'Right Down'. Don't feed after midnight.
Review: Fresh from dubiously bootlegging the Thomas The Tank Engine theme, New Zealander Burnzy comes correct with some 'Proper' material on Liondub International. Arguably his biggest release to date, it's a six-track attack that covers a lot of ground. Highlights include the slinky guitar-plucking funk and ludicrously wonky bassline fun of 'Hands Up', the turbine engine ruffness of 'Nobody Else' and the smouldering emotional weight of the finale 'Lying To You'. We choo-choo-choose this!
Review: Time for some premium positivity; Jayline returns to Liondub International alongside friends Smash and Deadlee MC and they're packing some 100% proof venom. 'Star In The Making' pack an anthemic punch as a glistening intro and hook flip into a high voltage scorching 'Link To The Past'-style bassline. It's backed by the even heavier 'Vanity'. Giving foghorns a 2021 reboot, this one rattles with about 50 shades of bass textures and hits like a locomotive, steam roller and tugboat combined.
Review: As ever with the Dungeon Kru, we are happy to see them back at it again, returning to Liondub International for a top quality display of collaborative energy across nine outstanding originals. The team invite the likes of T-Kay, Bandit MC, Yatuza, B-Plexx and more onboard to deliver a wide range of drum & bass and jungle creations, all doused in that classic dungeon energy. There's a lot to take in with this selection, from the super gnarly bassline growls of 'Navy Seal' alongside EzTee and ELE to the super choppy, unpredictable bass slices of 'Number 1' with SUV. It's definitely a project we would recommend exploring on long play, with our highlights including bouncing drum designs and clever dubwise sampling of 'Ganja Riddim' alongside Maurizzle, next to the screaming bass crunches of 'On Fire', which features additional work from Falco.
Review: RISE is on Liondub International and is giving all of us a lesson in how to produce tough, stripped back sonics which carry more attitude than a charging bull. 'Crossbow' is the best example of this, as a no-nonsense drum line penetrates a precisely placed array of gully bass pulls and hair-rising low-frequency pushes. 'Feline' is more classic jump-up, as a potent blast of stabs combine into the type of hands-in-the-air dancefloor action we've come to expect from the genre. Proper stuff.
Review: For an artist with a name as old school as Pharoah, this man sure has some futuristic sounds. Following his previous epic dispatch on Liondub International ('Mirage'), once again he hits with more cosmic feels. Funky, forward-facing and full of surprises, there's a young Bensley or Whiney deep in the mix when you hear the glitches and shiny soul of cuts like 'Party' or 'Threshold' while darker sounds like 'Ganjaman' or 'B.I.G' show plenty of promise on his gullier aspects. First dynasty levels of talent here. Keep your eyes on this king.
Review: The life of Brain: get up, make a banger, sleep, repeat. An inherent vibes man, he's clearly not tied by any one subgenre and just makes straight up dnb heaters from the soul. It's been this way for a long time for the German gully merchant and Liondub International have been part of the journey since the very early days. Now comes the latest chapter; five originals with some of the finest vocalists in the widest jungle circles: Daddy Freddy ,Brother Charity and Yemi Bolatiwa. Highlights include the utter ruffness of 'Original Wicked Man' and the velvet soul of 'Off My Mind'. Lighta crew!
Review: Bassface Sascha and DJ Phlex are back on the fast-moving train that is jump-up and once more, they've proven adept at bringing to the fore some forward-thinking sounds in that regard. They're a name we know and the name of this release - Pioneers - hints at their long-standing role and is certainly a promising sign. Glitchy and with a satisfying sense of lagged out travel, 'Frozen Solid' starts strong and certainly bites hard, doing so in a fresh, unique manner. 'Burst a Bubble' is step-up in sophistication and nastiness, a snappy, stepping drum line pushing up into its metallic bottom line, this one is a proper creeper and it's such a shame that it won't be heard in the rave anytime soon.
Review: Everyone's favourite tea leaf returns, this time with a special release on Liondub International. Five tracks in total, all powered by his usual bulldozer charm and funk, this is one of this broadest EPs as we cross the gully board. From the sweet sultry vocals and soul of 'Holding Back' to the late 90s tear-up sound of 'Sound Business', Nick runs us through his highest and lowest emotions across the EP. Other highlights include the oddball off-beat growls and groans of 'Freak Show' and the warm as toast title track 'Bullet'. You're nicked son.
Review: The dust has barely settled from their destructive Riko Dan collaboration, but Lost City maintain the fire with this incredible link-up with another iconic MC. This time is Spyda taking the mic reigns as he calls for jungle unity over a premium bounce beat. Bashy, fat and stamping, it's got more than enough space for Spyda's sermons and -like all essential soundsystem shakers - it comes with a collection of equally crucial versions. We can't get enough of this one!
Review: 'Glory' glory hallelujah, we're barely a week into 2021 and Conrad Subs has already dropped a humungous EP on our laps. Coming via the ever-consistent and check-on-sight label Liondub International, it's a full-spectrum exploration as the Ipswich artist digs deep across the board. 'Higher & Higher' starts us off on a deeper note before 'Glory' goes all in with a raw, rough Dread-style sound before 'Ultron' straps us into a rocket and shoots us beyond the known galaxy. Wrapping up the EP we have the techno influenced 'Scatter' and the cheekiest, junglised head-chopper of the set: 'Murda Style'. Killer material.
Review: It's been a hot minute since we last saw a brand new dancehall project that excited us as much as this one as Blackout JA teams up with Liondub International for a twelve track selection, channeling dancehall music into 2021. The list of collaborators for this one is the first thing that stands out for us, with the likes of Daddy Freddy, Ranking Joe, Blakkamoore, Echo Minott, Sophia May, YT, Ricky T & a bag more all getting involved with wicked contributions. It's an album that represents why dancehall still holds a key place in dance music in 2020. There are a couple of clear highlights for us across this release, with 'Love Dancehall' alongside Navigator & Sophia May being a really cool throwback to the original toasted dancehall sound, followed up by the super crunchy arrangements of 'Hidden Truth' with Souls Liberation providing a perfect outro track.
Review: Feel the wrath of Blackout Ja and friends as he tags in long-time friend and collaborator Liondub for an empowering version flex. The beat is 'Rocking Time Riddim' from Liondub and Jugganaut. A dancehall vibe, warm and rolling with funk and roots samples in equal measures, it's a bop unto itself but for most it's all about the title track 'Wrath Of Supreme'. Lead by a reflective story on life's highs, lows and the need for gratitude and humility, Blackout is joined by Blakkamoore and Ranking Joe for a powerful piece of music that sounds great now... And will sound all the sweeter through a system when we can finally dance again in the future.
Review: Liondub have a history of blending ferocious cross-genre sounds with penetrating vocal lines, and this EP from Lost City and Riko Dan is no exception. 'Soundboy Calling' is the main item, a stepping, punchy number with an almost afrobeat vibe to the drums, a funky groove that belies its swelling bassline and frenetic energy. There's a JNGL remix and instrumental versions of both, and the JNGL flip amps up the movement and injects a tonne more energy, turning the original into a straight-up breakbeat banger. Vibes inside.
Review: Times they are a turning, and a changing, and a turning some more these days. But don't worry, Liondub International and Exile are on hand with a fiery five-piece of bassline grizzlers to distract us from impending doom. Highlights include the cool contrast of trancey arpeggios and raw grunting bass on the title track 'Turn Of The Times', the horny, breezy funk of 'Choices Choices', the pacey energy and classic vocal sample on the fills of 'Beat Drop' and the insane beats and Sweet Shop-style bassline on 'Break It Shake It'. Time's up, ready or not.
Review: The team over at Liondub have been on a serious roll over the last few weeks, supplying us with some seriously exciting new releases, with this new corker from Blackout JA and Kandiman being no exception. The pair join forces for a classic-sounding dancehall shellout over Liondub & Rumble's explosive '2020 Skandal Bag Riddim', deploying sharpened snare slaps and digital blips alongside a lethal bassline rhythm. It's dancehall in 2020 perfectly summarized and we simply can't get enough of it!
Review: Last spotted on Drumsound & Bassline Smith's Technique (and, before that, streaming live sets with an IRL live drummer) Tesen has definitely made his mark on 2020. Throw in his most comprehensive release to date on Liondub International and you've got yourself some serious talent right here. Highlights include the screaming harmonics and raw tension of 'Ignite', the wonky funk and juicy subs of 'Final Straw' and the UK-style slammage drums and big horn theatre of the album-only exclusive cut 'Wookie'. Turn that growl upside down.
Review: Link-up, look smart; we've connected with one of the most exciting labels in dnb for a collection of their biggest hitters, rising stars and highest sellers: Liondub International. Headed up by Eric Liondub in NYC, Liondub International have broken and nurtured more new talent than most put together, and these first few volumes showcase. First up come these 15 examples as the likes of Kumo, Bou, Jayline, DJ Hybrid, Saxxon and many more all deliver timeless heaters. Highlights include Sub Killaz' broadsword skank-up 'Murderah', Brian Brainstorm's junglised slash-up 'Kill A Drumpan' and Bladerunner & Johnny Osbourne's ever-sweet 'Night Fall Dub'. All this and plenty more; whether you've been following Liondub since day or you're new to their consistent onslaught, there's plenty to catch up on here. Selector!
Review: Reload and come again: our 'Juno Download Selects' edition with the mighty US dnb HQ Liondub International continues for another session. Once again featuring an A-list rollcall of now household names, it's another reminder of how much heat Liondub International have cooked up over the years, supporting artists from their earliest moves. Highlights on this set include the turbo slammage and necksnap switches on Jayline's 'Anglo Saxxon', early hurly burly from the man like Macky on 'Black Widow' and the always-devilish bubbles of Motiv's 'Vultures'. And that's just three of 15 crucial example's of Liondub International future-focused benchmark. Get to know!
Review: Parly B is a vocalist who doesn't need much introduction, his releases over nearly 10 years have done that for him. He's landing on Liondub for an album and blimey, it's a big one. He's roped in a wide range of artists on production credits and the results are predictably fearsome, especially 'Black Lives Matter' featuring Sikka, who stretches out Parly's vocals over a stepping, funky yet bad boy beat. FleCK knows how to lay things down, and Parly is at his best on 'Lyrics Spree'. Big stuff.
Review: Liondub is doing what it does best with this EP: fusing the heritage of dub and reggae with tougher, more modern sounds. The original is a stepping ragga record that lopes on its percussive base, providing the infrastructure for Blackout Ja's vocals which land with menacing intent. JNGL is on the remix and he flips the original upwards into 170 territory, rolling out the drums whilst keeping the vocals true to the original. There are also two instrumental versions to go along with the single, allowing those of you who like things more stripped back to get your fix as well. Generous.
Review: Spaow is back doing his always rough and ready thing and this time it's over on the mighty Liondub International, a label for whom the lack of raves has meant anything but a decline in heavy music. Spaow's ability to murk up the dance has never been in question and Jungle 3000 is another verification of his dancefloor credentials, especially the title tune, which flips from a multitonal, driving bassline into chopped up stabs and murderous breaks. 'Dog Mouth' flies the flag of old school, punchy jump-up, whilst '1997 Street Art' steps with the beat of the streets and 'Sun Yourself' is just bloody good fun. Well played.
Review: It's been a long time since we have been anywhere close to disappointed with a new Liondub International release, with this latest heavyweight collaboration continuing to apply the pressure, as Riko Dan, Trigon & Dave Gee join the Lion Dub team for a hard hitting new single entitled 'War Dub'. Right from the off we can tell we are in for a raucous affair as demonic horn lines and sizzling sublines provide the perfect skeleton for Riko Dan to run riot upon, unleashing a blistering display of clash-ready lyricism. This drop comes complete with the instrumental version for good measure, making it a must grab for any 140 DJ.
Review: Liondub mainstay Lost City teams up with Moia Bri for another class example of dancehall, afrobeat and D&B action. Big vocals, even bigger set of drums, there's a sass and soul to this that transcends the usual genre boundaries. Looking for more danger? Flip for the JNGL mixes where the drum set is switched for some roughhouse breakbeats and the bassline tears up your speakers like a lawnmower. Danger danger!
Review: Calling all gyalists! Rumble, Mr Lexx and Suku Ward have teamed up on Liondub International for a carnival-ready dancehall jammer "Gyalis" which is flipped in a multitude of ways by some of the best in the game; Filip Motovunski gets his low-slung swagger on, UK hip-hop legends The Nextmen get busy on the bashy tip, Lost City finds his way with a powerful tribal halftime twist while Sao Paulo's finest L Side provides the headshot with the immense roller version. Think "Night Flight" on a ragga vibe and you're in the right dance.
Review: FACT: Norwich is currently 100m below sea level these days due to the pure heaviness of its many D&B residents such as T>I, Upgrade, Limited, Saxxon and Pharoah to name a few. Here we find Pharoah in a very generous mood as he returns to Liondub International with six almighty skin-blisterers. Armed with a deft knack of vocal manipulation and gut-punching bass, his cuts play with the contrasts with mischief and might. Highlights include the clipped string plucks, skippy beats and trippy pads of "Find You", the savage bass and funky vocal cuts on "Mirage" and the playful gunfinger-slinging, double-bass strumming "John Wayne." Ride 'em cowboy!
Review: As always, we are thrilled to see a new drop from the Liondub International crew as legendary soundsmith: Marcus Visionary makes his return with a bag of classic rootsy junglist revamps. Featuring ten spicy reworks, we see the master remix the likes of Bunny General, Sugar Minott, Johnny Osbourne, Little John and more, making it a star spangled line up from the off, with the whole release taking on a real clash-ready feel. For us, the smooth vocal tones of Hopeton James on 'Number One Sound', alongside the system ready rolls of 'Murder', featuring the wonderful Pad Anthony. What a selection this is.
Review: Landing just in time for his album on Low Down Deep, Vital takes the reigns for the second Criminal Minds edition on Liondub International. This time soundtrack the vicious work of one Pablo Escobar, Vital rifles us through his most fully-charged packets. "The Creeps" is a screamer, "Road Rage" is the aggy piece, "Alternatives" is the gritty sweaty comedown paranoia while "6 Million" takes a very well known sample and wraps it round a tree in a state of pure paste psychosis. Not to be sniffed at.
Review: Liondub are experts at blending the heritage of drum & bass with that of dancefloor and reggae music, and there are few better MCs for the job than Rider Shafique, whose CV covers both traditions and who comes seriously correct on this EP. It consists of four versions of a single tune and it's the original which really stands out, as 'Focus' moves expertly from stepping halftime-come-dancehall sounds into more jungle-flecked territory, all the time underpinned by subway kick drums and vibrant basslines. There's an instrumental version, and then JNGL rolls out the remix into a more recognisable 174 number. Excellent.
Review: Sheeesh, Liondub International aren't messing around this year. Proffering an onslaught of gully, regardless of any lockdown restrictions, it's been one of their best years in a long time... And it's just got even better now Toronto collective Dungeon Kru have served up their second extensive EP on the label. Like "Genesis" in April, the EP covers the full spectrum with vibes swinging from intoxicatingly funky (the double bass slapping "Sedative") to absolutely hellraising scattiness (the chainsaw bass buzzes on "Shut Ya Mouth") Elsewhere we've got a remix from the Young Guns championed Master Error, a VIP of "Impossible" and the beautiful finale "Dis Sound". Let's move forward....
Review: Liondub International have a very important release out this week, as they pay tribute to Sugar Minott, who died exactly ten years ago this week. Tribute does exactly what its name would suggest, as a Liondub come out with eight remastered and remixed cuts from the singer himself. It's a touching piece of music that's matched by Minott's wonderfully smooth vocal talent, from the remastered version of legendary reggae cut 'Praise His Name' to the hard-hitting jungle VIP of 'Borderline' by Minott and Marcus Visionary. There's dub, reggae, jungle and drum & bass all wrapped up into one. Superb.
Review: Based out of Brooklyn, Toronto, London and Kingston, Jamaica, comes the Revolution Liondub International label. Adding to the build up of Blackout JA & Liondub's forthcoming Love Dancehall LP (as Blacklion Movements) comes a dubwise preview in "Revolution", a 90s digi dub remake of a classic Derrick Harrriott riddim called "Tonight". With Blackout and UK legend Daddy Freddy going verse for verse in the ragga-tipped original, this 'tune about life' is described by Blackout himself as something uplifting for dreadful times.
Review: When it comes to representing the future of dub and dancehall music, we can safely say that Liondub International have been doing a spectacular job. This latest offering sees the deadly duo of Lost City & Ward 21 link up for an electronic dancehall delight entitled 'Sicko'. The lead track is a certified piece of dancefloor dynamite, with emotive vocal sing-alongs and electrifying drum punches, making it an ultimate turn up riddim. The project comes with a killer JGNL remix as well, adding a new dimension to a stunning single. We can't wait to take this on a system.
Review: Pharoah is one of the best recent talents in the current smorgasbord that is the D&B scene, his rough and ready sound blends jump up currents with jungle stutters and it's ideal for any situation. Origins carries on that trend on Liondub International and blimey, it's pretty damn good. 'Once' is our favourite, with a hypnotic sample that grounds its cracking percussive knocks within a framework of bassy shudders and groaning sweeps. It's top stuff the whole way through, and Pharoah shows off his diversity in production with the almost-liquid bounces of 'No Other', all the way through to the neurofunk injection of 'The Omen'. Next level.
Review: Mass is back, once again, onto Liondub International and this time it's with the Murder EP, an exemplification of his production ability, as well as that of the A&R people over at Liondub. He's a regular feature both on Juno and on the label family and you can see why, his ability to craft hard-hitting jump-up beats reflecting well the new primacy of jump-up within the D&B scene. 'Gats in Ya Raps' is a highlight, it's snapping, steppy drums supporting a rough, gargled bassline that chokes its way down the range. 'Cartoon is another highlight, the introduction is wicked and the build-up is exquisitely put together. Top stuff.
Review: Last spotted on Liondub International's much-loved and respected "Street Series" collection over four years ago, Latvian junglist Kenji makes a long-awaited return with five absolute fire jams. All strictly focused on the most visceral aspects of D&B, once again Kenji delivers some serious aggy magic with grizzly bassline funk ranging from the sexy drawn out subby tones of "Next" to the much grittier grumpy shreds and moans of "Drop". "High Rollers" by name, savage rollers by nature...
Review: Blackout Ja has teamed up with label boss Liondub for a dubby (no surprises there) double sided outing on an imprint which bears all the hallmarks of a classic UK label, with jungle, drum & bass and dub music intertwined the whole way. This respect for the history is apparent on Rize Again, as two loping, plodding cuts of funky, upbeat music come at you with the grace of a stoner and the enthusiasm of one too. The title track is lovely in its percussion and Blackout Ja has nailed the dancehall vibe on the vocal line - you won't forget this one.
Review: Liondub International have a bit of a reputation for spewing out some of the most venomous beats in the business and their talent for pushing some of the best unknown artists on the jump-up spectrum is undeniable. Dungeon Kru are holding up that standard and they're doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this EP. 'Pushing'' reels you in with heavy, pounding introduction and its inch-perfect drums are ideally suited for the twisting, gargling bassline that pops up around the corner. The other five tracks are all equally as pernicious and they make this one an EP to watch for sure
Review: Vital by name, Vital by nature... "Criminal Minds" sees the young UK producer return to the NYC imprint with the start of an exciting new series. Delving deep into a fat sack of gully, each of these cuts rep Vital at his darkest and most uncompromising. "Criminal Minds" takes the lead with a classic vocal sample and a Serum-style naggy bass riff, "Acid Rocker" goes full-on foghorn fire with its big farty turbine bass roars, "Patterns" adds a little late 90s tech danger in the synths before dropping into an absolute sewer bassline while "Recognise" closes the EP with a little trad jump-up craftmanship. Riffy, addictive and laced with just a touch of soul on the vocal. Killer material; being a criminal has never been so much fun.
Review: Have US jump-up duo Sub Killaz just dropped an album in disguise? Last week they gave us the feisty six-track "Ghetto Blaster" EP, now they're dropped another seismic sixer in the form of "Block Party". Just as forthright and banger-laden as the previous, highlights include the grizzly high end frequencies of "Pussycat", the much deeper steppy clangs and bangs of "Dis" and those sleazy west coast style synth leads on "Culture". Closing with the pure grit and savagery of "Rewind Mi Selecta", whether this is an album or just a massive bundle of tracks dropped on us over the space of a week we're not sure but we've loved this experience. Killaz by name...
Review: Liondub International have a bit of a reputation for spewing out some of the most venomous beats in the business and their talent for pushing some of the best unknown artists on the jump-up spectrum is undeniable. Sub Killaz are holding up that standard and they're doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this EP. 'Hands Up' reels you in with heavy, pounding introduction and its inch-perfect drums are ideally suited for the twisting, gargling bassline that pops up around the corner. The other five tracks are all equally as pernicious and they make this one an EP to watch for sure.
Review: Jayline is landing on Liondub in a hot minute, off the back of his 2019 Street Series release on the label and his 10 year anniversary tracks, he's come up with the Lion & the Unicorn, a four-tracker which rests on the laurels of the scene's current boon for foghorns and it does so with style. 'The Unicorn' is our favourite, with a funny load of sampling on the introduction that let's you know what it's like to be a unicorn, a dream that's burst on the drop: shattered into an array of drawn-out bass shards and shimmering sine wobbles. It's big and forebodes the rest of the release.
Review: Blackout Ja and Liondub unleash the first of their Blacklion Movements project and it's a big one; "Greatest Treasure" sees Blackout rolling out his distinctive gravelled tones, going toe-to-toe with another vital voice in modern day dancehall YT, while Liondub lays down a slinky, sexy dancehall rhythm. Weighty enough to buss up a system, roomy enough for both MCs to give all ladies in the dance a heartfelt salute, intimate enough to get everyone dancing up close... With Valentines Day en route, the timing of this could not be better. Treasure this.