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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Liondub's 10 year anniversary celebrations continue with this savage slab of ragga jungle. This time the captain Liondub takes to the controls himself alongside fellow US jungle veteran Jah Boogs while vocal guidance comes from one of the most distinctive MCs in the game: Bristol's Blackout Ja. Here we find him in fiery form as "Touch Up The Key" (and its complimentary VIP version) brocks out in all directions over a precision-tuned subby bass wobble. "Dread" flips for a sunnier side of the stack as Blackout pays homage to his roots with more of a melodic flow to his signature gravel-toned bars. Loaded with instrumentals too, this is the full package.
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.
Review: Achtung baby! Cologne's Brain Brainstorm returns to Liondub with this powerful seven-piece collection. Dubby flavours, hazy skanks, junglist beats and toxic levels of bass all play a lead role throughout: "Kill A Drum Pan" hits with tidal textures, "Forward" strips us back even further to the drum groove, "Moving On" fuses some expert cosmic drum work and sensual soul from Lady D-Zire, "Inside The Vaults" is all about the contrast between the euphoric pads and sizzling Lomax-style bass riffs while "Red Eyes" hits with an emphatic and heavily conscious vocal. Finally we're treated big horn magic on "Let It Go" (don't worry it has nothing to do with the Frozen song of the same name) before concluding with the rippled waves and tightly plucked guitar of "Brooklyn Dub Pt 2". An impeccable collection of modern jungle - this is close to a whole album. No filler in sight.
Review: Brain-basher number one: German heavyweight Brian unleashes the parts of last year's massive "Forward" EP to a whole host of super-respected peers. The results are every bit as forward-thinking as you'd hope. Highlights include Bassface Sascha & Phlex maintaining the piano-laced vitality of "Inside The Vaults", Serial Killaz adding heavy layers of jungle murk to "Kill A Drum Pan", Bou continuing to show expert trippy science on his take on "Red Eyes" and DJ Hybrid stretching the elements for a roomy skanked out jungle twist on "Moving On". That's the tip of the remix iceberg. Time to push things forward...
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: 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: '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: Supporting the long-awaited debut album from Italian bass mainstays Numa Crew, Liondub International presents a double-A side featuring the one and only Dub FX on the mic. "Bass Hater" is a Frankenstein's monster of classic drum & bass and hip hop with its fusion of half-tempo rhymes and up tempo drums, showing off ultramodern production built around tightly wound bass burbles, minimalist drums and fine musical details. The instrumental flipside "B.M.X" leads with plucked strings suddenly run into the digitizer once the beat drops, a tense track of modern beat science at its finest to show off the Crew's most experimental side. Get involved.
Review: Featuring a debut vocal appearance from original ragga badman Daddy Freddy, Liondub presented the talents of Mexican producer Isaac Maya earlier this year. Returning to the scene with remix pressure from Nu Elementz and Profile and Portugal's own Dirty Skank Beats, the digital carnage unfurls with Nu Elementz and Profile's remix, which opens in a classic reggae style that turns dirty in all the best jump-up ways. The next reinterpretation is left to Dirty Skank Beats, who removes the original production entirely and replaces it with down and dirty heaviness and hard hitting horns, leaving the majority of the vocals intact. Nicely does it.
Review: From Mexico to Jamaica to London, "Original Jungle Sound" covers serious ground with a serious sound. Isaac Maya's rifle-like beats and teeth-baring bass reference jungles roots with futuristic production flourishes while Daddy Freddy gets guttural with forked tongue toasting in a way only he knows how. Remix-wise we head to Canada as Marcus Visionary adds his own brutal take on the original. Massive.
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: Soul quenching jungle juice from a veritable don on the Liondub label. Digital continues to kick seven shades of sonic shizzle out of the year with these two unruly shakers! "Sound Bizness" is a straight up power jam, all rusty amens, tight edits and even tighter twists on the drums. "Come Again" takes us back to the hardcore era with instant-impact detuned synths, bubbling basses and a snare that slaps so hard it needs an ASBO. Heaviness.
Review: Dub Force teams up with longtime Ray Keith cohort Bladerunner on this latest slice of junglist action from the Liondub crew. No surprises here as we are taken deep in with the familiar "Jah Jah is coming" sample offset with some seriously hefty bass pressure and liberally sprinkled hectic amens on "Jah Jah Dub". "Give Me Your Love" slows the pace with hammond organ, reggae chops and dubwise samples all framing a Lover's Rock style yearning vocal and oscillating bass. One for the jungle soldiers.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: What's a better cure for the February blues than a bit of Marcus Visionary and Interface rocking up with Jah Cure? There isn't one. First up is Interface's remix of "Never Find" and he's taken it to bits, revving up the tempo and adding a touch of pitch-shifting insanity to the lung-bursting chorus. Marcus Visionary takes a different path, reimagining Jah Cure's club favourite with a laid-back junglist twist. If you're not smiling by the end of this tune, you might need another Red Stripe.
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: 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: 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: Liondub are really rolling out the guns with this one and label founder and namesake Liondub is involved himself, which is when you know stuff is popping off. He's joined by Patexx and Kumo and the trio have concocted something deeply rolling, a release which lunges out over four tunes, including two Kumo VIPs, and keeps things banging the whole way. Our pick of the bunch is Kumo's 'Roller Check VIP', a double-kick laden stomper that keeps things punchy in the percussion and twisted in the low frequencies, it reminds us of Workforce's 'Don't Tell' and that's an extremely good thing. 'Caan Touch' is also deliciously funky whilst keeping thins heavy, a tough balance to strike and one well struck here.
Review: Jahdan Blakkamoore and Metric Man have some serious fiscal fears. So they decided to team up with leading bass-smith Liondub to get their message out there. Thanks to the rich warm skank, gargling bass licks and sprightly synths, their thoughts about the evil paper are made loud and clear. With remixes from Noah D and Marcus Visionary, their broadcast is galvanised furthermore. The former adds a cool, funky west coast synth slides to the vibe while the latter gets slap happy with a cheeky dancehall riddim. Heavy.
Review: LA junglists Noah D and No Thing get AAA access to the Liondub vaults and are told to do their damage with their unique fusion of dancehall, digidub, jungle and bass. Subverting 11 of Liondub's wide-reaching releases, the album-sized results are exciting, unique and full of surprises such as the vocalised synth layers on "Control", the rich vocal focus of Bunny General on "Soundwar" and the out-and-out badmanisms of "Nuke A Soundboy". A really interesting remix concept that works just as well as whole as it does as a collection of serious floor-firers.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Expect quintessential modern day jungle/D&B vibes in this collab between Navigator and Bladerunner. New York imprint Liondub can always be relied upon to deliver the goods and this is no exception. A crisp, crunchy intro with prerequisite reggae vocal leads into a lovely, lilting track, with a velvety bassline snaking below as jungle chirrups and fast paced vocals add to the Serial Killaz vibe. Spreading the age-old message of "Peace, Love & Unity" this is an essential track whether you choose the vocal version or the unadorned riddim. Time to skank out!
Review: Reggae drenched jungle vibes here from Navigator and Noah D on the Lion Dub imprint. "Inequity Worker" kicks off with an evocative Jamaican style vocal spitting politicized lyrics in an urban, stripped back context, though the rattling breaks and a modern day bass boom bring it firmly into the present. There's a big nod to the rave in the remix version with rallying cries "Yo, junglists!" and "Junglist massive" and smashing drum kicks which will ensure D&B fans stand up, salute and skank out all night. The riddim retains a more heads down, hoods up potency, with the beats left to breathe alone. Big.
Review: Another huge release from Liondub - seriously guys, keep 'em coming. This little slice of nasty comes in first off with Code Red's remix of "Kingston 11", a track you'll have heard smashing up systems around the country if you've been stepping hard enough. Next up to the plate Code Red rips "Inequity Worker", another one with sub-heavy bass and dark weighty sounds fit to send entire cities into the dance. This is a monster straight from the underground ragga and dub influences of Kingston 11 dragged screaming into the harsh strobes of D&B - you're gonna love it.
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: Four massive remixes and the original "Inna Mi Draw" reach our eager ears in this blazer from Liondub Int. Messing with the smooth reggae and dancehall vibes of the original stylings, Potential Badboy add a swagger and sway for the first rework. The legendary Serial Killaz push their junglist flex, Curfew Steppas take things a little bit leftfield with on-point off-beat riddims and finally, Voltage twists the original into his own jump-up fantasy. A blistering release from one of the best labels of its type out there - get on it!