Review: With the All Out label grooming Glasgow talent Casement for successive releases on labels like 1Forty, Deep Cover and a 2018 album for Wile Out, it's the Nice Up! label up next that delivers three dubby variations of urban and club sounds from the UK. Dubstep leads the charge in "Shards" with syncopated drums and stepped percussion submitting to stabs of huge reverberating bassline rave, with touches of baile funk nestled in behind cosmic melodies of synth in "Cables". "Night Garden" adds a solid trip of tropical weightless grime to the EP as well, and a nice left field alternative for the dancefloor or club.
Review: There are quite a few reggae labels doing fantastic things at the moment, but the high quality levels of Nice Up! are near enough unrivalled at the moment, with this latest album release from the wonderful Escape Roots being a perfect example of that. The project as a whole is a perfect fusion of the old and new, the traditional and experimental, welcoming in a ridiculously strong list of collaborators including Tenor Youthman, Galak Spiritual, Parly B, Cian Fnin, George Palmer, Tom Spirals and more. The full track listing sees so many styles of reggae and dub music fused into one fabulous selection, with our favourites being the sneaky horn structures and colourful harmonies of 'Feel Good' alongside Skari, with the other being 'One Step At A Time', a masterclass in new school digi-dancehall featuring a top quality vocal assist from Black Warrior.
Review: Blind Prophet & Self Evident's burgeoning new Folding City project makes its debut on Shepdog's Nice Up! with climactic results. "What It Is" busses up sexy R&B vibes with some fantastic drum choppage as the breaks get diced and spliced to smithereens amid a whole sea of tropical tones. Dig deeper for "Knife & Fork" where a little trappist drama provides a white knuckle build into a stripped back dancehall stepper jam. Don't ask what, ask why not?
Review: As a project, the team at Nice Up! have been continuing to deliver top notch releases for the whole of 2019, with this latest two track offering from Folding City being no different. This one takes an old school UKG vibe as we kick off with the shuffling, old school drum vibes and Big Apple sounding LFO structures of the title track 'Torrential', a track perfect for adding a touch of spice to garage dances around the UK. The flip for this one takes us down a more experimental UK funky direction, as we embrace the scattered percussion and tripletted drum slaps of 'Exit Stage', all sat beneath a super catchy vocal slice.
They Wanna Know (The Hempolics remix) - (4:04) 178 BPM
Review: Reviewed by Jungle Strikes: Nice Up has been killing it lately. They always seem to get the right balance between vintage Reggae and dancehall vibes but with a modern feel. Something they hit spot on with this release. All three mixes are cool, Redhifi bring the modern dancehall 808 and horn feel whilst Hempolics vibe it out to great effect but the huge Kursiva Remix is the one for us. With that heavy bass and skanking guitars alongside the 'wanna Know' vocal hook, it's aimed straight at the dance floor. Delivered in a way that reminded us of Ed Solo productions or Shy Fx at their skanking best.
Review: Bristol nu-funker Benn gets up close and dubwise on this horn-soaked party joint for Nice Up. Conjuring serious hype for the likes of Toddla T, Serocee's toasting talent is fine-tuned to the max as Benn tweaks the sizzling bass and slobbering drums. Remixes come in all shapes and sizes. King Yoof goes for the jugular with a super-swung breakbeat rub, Tomb Crew get lively on a tropical flex while Jstar adds a little dubstep fun. Get to know!
Review: Famed for their lower tempo jams, Nice Up flip the switch with something a little different to their usual nu-funk, dubwise output. "Sky High" is a rampant, uptempo parcel of contemporary dancehall that promises to tear a hole in any dancefloor within a mile radius. Complete with slamming tropical beats, a nagging electro-inspired hook and quality vocals from both Eva and Illaman, this really lives up to its name. Massive.
Review: Nice Up! are at it again here as they continue their journey into the unknown, this time employing the talents of Noh Vae who arrives with three parcels of absolute weight. We kick off with the title track 'Look At U', a precisely design jukey masterpiece, with incredibly crispy drum arrangements and subtle bass tones leading the way, before the more emotive atmospherics and vocal stabs of 'Days & Days' roll into play. Finally, we take a more experimental D&B route as 'Perception' again deploys incredibly fine drum work to round this project off with some major finesse.
Review: Nottingham's finest Origin One comes correct with his debut album. And if so much as your little toe loves rootsical flavours then you need to tune in. A heady melting pot of dub, reggae, dancehall, soul, afrobeat and hip hop, all wrapped up with strong beats and features from the likes of Spyda, Irah, XL Mad, Peppery, Parly B, Gardna, Nanci Correia, double-O badman Origin One has cooked up something special. From the flabby bass of "Where You Come From" to the juiced up jungle skanks of "Tribute" via the system-melting skanks of dubstep stamper "Dread & Buried", sitting somewhere between The Bug and Dub Pistols, this is serious piece of work right here. Listen up. Nice Up.
Review: Nice Up live up to their name with a trio of speaker-melting takes on Origin One's most recent release; the fragrant herbal homage "High Grade". First up are no-nonsense next-gen junglist Selecta J-Man and Kelvin 373 whole flip the gritty dancehall original into a turbo-charged jump-up hybrid, mysterious Manny collective Think Tonk get all wavey and stampy while Canadian operator flips things into a cosmic halftime workout where K.O.G's gritty gravel vocals really shine. Nice work.
Review: Nice Up!'s longest standing jungle representative Origin One returns with another skank-packed breakbeat bubbler. Loaded up with powerful vocals from the legendary Spyda and long-time collaborator K.O.G, it's lives up to its name perfectly and pays tributes to UK dance music's deepest, realest roots. There's even more to pay tribute to, too... Zero T is on board with an absolute belter of a remix, all purring bassline and dubby spaciousness. Looking for a little digidub danger? Head for Sub Alpine's remix. Salute the "Tribute!".