Review: The man on road AKA Aries is a jungle legend in just about every corner of the UK, his touring with Kelvin 373 is legendary and from all accounts he's the nicest man alive. His album last year was spectacular and now he's back with this, a single featuring remixes from T>I and Unkut who are two producers with serious pedigree. 'Get Some More' is on the upbeat, funky side of the jungle spectrum and it features a gorgeous vocal line and some wicked sampling. The T>I remix essentially takes that and flips it into a dark, pulsating roller with serious brooding undertones and a genuine sense of evil locked away in its depths. Unkut keeps the jungle vibe but injects some more power into its low-frequency notes, making a nice spin on the original. Sick ep and one with something for everyone.
Review: Following December's all-star launch, Original Key returns with two more slices of impeccable jungle fire. Once again it's a trusted crew: veteran and super-respected junglist Aries breaks the seal with a brilliantly bouncy roller that's not dissimilar to the classic Bingo sound 15 years ago. Sao Paulo's Critycal Dub maintains the heat with "Jungle War" - an incendiary halftime stepper with bass so gully it's grown oily wings and a bright orange beak, it's arguably one of Critycal Dub's heaviest and most demonstrative tunes to date. Seriously.
Review: Sub Zero has recently been a man on a mission, his remix of Benny L's 'Monsters' got right to the top of multiple D&B charts and his trademark old-school vibe is sounding very, very good at the moment. This double remix single is in that same vein, the first cut being a pumping, jump-up slice of rolling heaviness that just keeps on giving, each new bar bringing up a fresh riot of bass pressure and surprisingly melodic piano riffs. The B-side is the self-confessed 'roller mix', which isn't that much more rolling but a whole lot dirtier, the bass sounds of the previous being switched into even more dystopic, gnarly and twisted forms. This whole release is just straight up, Sub Zero shaped fire.
Review: Bungle is one of the legends of the scene. He's got bangers going way back, but 2017's Cocooned really hammered home his talent to the ever-broadening D&B audience and showed off his ability to make pummelling industrial soundscapes sound incredibly tempting and serene. Half Way is another industrial release and its harsh tones might not be for everyone. We like it though, especially 'One Shot', a driving piece of low frequency construction that bends and warps as the tune progresses, turning it into a really hypnotic experience that'll certainly impress. Big release from man like Bungle.
Review: Conrad Subs is a regular on this website because he releases such a wide range of music, so consistently and on such a diverse array of labels. This time he's back on Original Key, a German imprint, with a five-tracker that spans the spectrum from rolling techiness to reggae-infused, hip-hop jungle. It's title track 'Babylonians' that really caught our attention and Conrad Subs has previous in long, loping dub introductions that then flip into jungle pressure ('Leave Dem' - look it up). This time around there is less reece bass but even more percussive heat, as a flurry of stuttering breaks intertwine with your own expectations to form a shuddering bed of deeply urban sounds. Lovely.
Review: DJ Sly has spent years earning his stripes in the dirtiest corners of jump up's spectrum, and he really knows what he's doing. This is an EP ready for a rave, with 'Phantom Planet' shining as our highlight, while its main sound is the loud and aggressive ear drum damaging mass of chaos we know and love there's an unexpected influence drawn from the the sci-fi techy edge of the scene which is rarely heard in these here parts, other producers take note; it works! 'Big Trouble' nostalgically and very happily brings us back to the glory days of 08-09 Taxman, Original Sin and Twisted Individual, it's hard hitting, tongue in cheek, and completely fun.
Review: Last spotted on Original Key with MC Foxy, Sly returns with another MC ace up his sleeve... The one and only MC Det. As you'd expect from such heavyweights, it's all fire and no liar: Det does the damage on the builds and breakdown while Sly lays down a hard hitting ever-mutating one note bassline riff that pokes and prods unrelentingly and mischievously. It's a deadly combo. Bring on the drums!
Review: As we all should know by now, Original Key have been bringing serious fire for just over a year now... And now UK dons Sly and Foxy back this up with even more evidence. "Fire We Ah Bun" lives up to its name in every way; spiked-out riffage, thundering drums, guttural energy and sharp-tongued lyrical heat from Foxy himself, it's yet another original piece of jump-up drama from the on-point German label.
Review: New German label Original Key continue to fire the big guns on their third release: DJ Sly continues to chow down on the quarter pounders with another epic plunging bassline on "98 Style" that just tears through everything else in the mix (including the cheeky string sample on the fills) For the second track OKey invites fellow German titans Bassface Sascha and Feindsoul on board for a grunting, jumpy bassline-focused b-boy session. Die saga geht weiter...
Review: Dutta is the young Mancunian on a mission. Part of a broader cohort which includes the likes of Bou, Kanine and others, Dutta nails the tough, rough and urban-edged sound that's proliferated so much at the moment. This release is exactly that, a dirty expression of urban grit but one that's still pointed through with a certain element of playfulness and lightheartedness. A lot of music takes itself to seriously, not this release. The first track is called 'Nutella', which tells you all you need to know. It's a banger as well, with a swirling whisper of wobbly frequencies underpinning its stomping percussive lines. Stompz also makes a feature on the release - big stuff here.
Review: Original Key ain't letting up. Four releases deep and every one a peach, this time Habitat takes the reins for two junglised hooky grooves. Continuing the vibe theme set on Ruffneck Ting earlier this year, both cuts smack with a fresh energy and wily, zero-fox dynamic as "Pump Ya Fist" infects with a big bassline riff while "Warehouse" slams with a physical wall-of-sound bassline and well-chiselled old school stabs. Both absolutely slay the dance - everyone is on their A game right here.
Review: Easily one of the best newcomer labels in the game, Original Key return with two more savagely on-point shake-ups. Once again it's down to Habitat to deliver the goods. A man fast establishing himself in the same league as Voltage or Serum or Heist in terms of just how versatile and creative he is with the dancefloor form, once again he doesn't disappoint; "Gun You Down" stabs with a Charge-style riff but kicks with a Bristol touch while "Salutes & Signals" rattles with a really interesting funk that's both angular (thanks to its sharp two-step) and warm (thanks to its juicy bassline) Neither disappoint. Get in key.
Review: Pure D&B venom right here from the duo Lowriderz. "Skank" sets the scene with another pair-up with previous collaborator Claws (no relation to Santa apparently). Multi-layered grainy bassline bashment business. This won't just make you "Skank", it'll make you slap several elderly members of your family too. "Soundbwoy" follows the same rampaging trajectory but with more of a groan and rumble in the bassline and fractionally less attitude. Another absolute barnstormer from the Original Key crew.
Review: Original Key have got a really nice little single coming your way in the shape of Timeless/You Are Not Machines, courtesy of LY Da Buddha and T:Base, two producers who definitely know how to make a big D&B number. 'Timeless' features a fat main drum line and a brass-based main melody, both of which synergise really nicely to form a slick rolling tune. The flip is more stripped back but still packs a similar roughshod drum sound, underpinned this time by a pulsatingly strong low frequency backdrop. Top top.
Review: You know those tracks where the vocals are reverbed up all nice and sweet and there's a ghostly but alluring texture to them? Well this is exactly what we have here on "Event Horizon", a slinky alien funk groove with sharp shades of neuro and tech. Looking for a classic Bristol-style bassline roller? Look no further than "Focus", straight out of the Dope Dragon bible, there's a timeless funk to this that will mix with any tune. Stay focused.
Original Gang Original Key (feat MC Foxy) - (5:28) 178 BPM
Philosophy - (6:19) 175 BPM
Pueblo - (5:12) 175 BPM
White Beach - (5:14) 175 BPM
Review: Tomoyoshi's Danger EP is a statement of intent. The five tracks cover a range of bases, starting with the title track featuring MC Fearless, which adds exoticism through some oriental sampling, a romantic feel that's swiftly dashed by a concoction of Serum-esque bounciness and aggressiveness. Original Gang soars out of the blocks with a sumptuous string sample and whilst MC Foxy sounds sick over the top, the main attraction is its gritty bass interspersed with sine wobbles, forming a wicked combination of jump-up and more liquid vibes. Philosophy is a smoother addition to the EP, creative layering in the intro easing in the skippy funkiness into the drum line, creating a tasty lighter number. Yet more banging drums are to be found in Pueblo, with swirling harp-esque flicks tastefully evolving into plodding bass stabs that press home wonderfully. White Beach is last but arguably the strongest tune on the release, a sweet talker packed full of luxurious textures and rolling energy. More cutting sine wobbles abound here, pitched up and down to perfection. A quality EP all round.
Review: This is the sampler for Tomoyoshi's album, which is just in the process of dropping on Original Key. The album is a full fifteen tracks, but for this sampler they've picked out two: 'Money' and 'Ghost'. The former kicks off with a raft of funky reggae samples, before flicking these over a really nicely put together build-up that lovers of High Contrast will recognise, which drops into a stabby number. The flip involves more top class sampling, but is altogether spookier and eerier, with an expansive, ghostly bassline to top off the sampler. Wicked.
Review: oKey's Original Key imprint continues to deliver fresh produce as they invite Tokyoite-in-Berlin Tomoyoshi for two classically informed rollers. "Killa Soundboy" rattles and pops with a Clipz style harmonic riff and the development of big two-tone horn riffs but it's "Old Radio" that will be the pick for many thanks to its stripped back "Night Flight" style groove. With wobbling subs, dubbed out instrumental textures and all-round ageless groove, this one is not to be slept on!
Review: Tomoyoshi is building up a name for himself as someone who never fails to bring out the big guns with his music. It's always heavy, hard-hitting and built on soundscapes and vibes which are deeply urban. This full-length album on Original Key is no different and it kicks off with 'Showtime', a stabby roller with a bassline that stretches out over the horizon, the only constant being its grinding, coarse nature and the manner in which it constantly mutates and evolves. 'My Life' is equally as rough but less rolling and more jungley, its structure and nature constantly changes and it keeps the tune sounding consistently fresh. This whole EP is absolute vibes.
Review: No questions asked: when Tomoyoshi tells you to get funky, you flipping do it... Especially when he's delivering obscenely good floor fire like this. So simple, stripped back but loaded and coded with wry groovemanship, "Get Funky" is all about the classic wet fart bass and fluttering, wobbled subs. "Mad Jazz" continues the funk with a classic Bristol-style brock-out. Tunnelling, tubular subs and a slight whiff of Clipz-style relentlessness, this is Tomoyoshi at his heaviest and hairiest... And we love it. Don't mess around with this one.
Review: Original Key are here with their first release of the new year, a two-tracker from Tomoyoshi with Jaybee on the remix for both. This label always - repeat, ALWAYS - bring out the goods with their tunes and this release is no different, sitting very nicely in the modern, up-to-date brand of attitude-filled D&B pioneered by the likes of Serum and Bou. 'Mad Jazz' exemplifies this perfectly, with a rough and diving bassline that will definitely sit well with the discerning D&B head. 'P' is another creative cut, its spooky bassline definitely setting it apart from others.
Review: This is a hell of a compilation from the Original Key crew, celebrating 3 years of being in the game. To do so, they've roped in some seriously big names including Sub Zero, T>I, Aries, Dutta and the one and only Bungle. Bungle's contribution is a powerful, rolling number with a solid drum break and swirling, hypnotic low frequency oscillation that'll have you nodding in agreement. Voltage & Nicky Blackmarket come correct on 'The Magnificent', DJ Sly and MC Det smash 'Jungle Drums, and there are many more huge tracks on here from equally huge artists. One to remember.
Review: Catch-up time! If you've yet to experience the vibes of OKey's Original Key imprint, now is the time to get acquainted... Launched in Germany this time last year, here they've put all their releases so far in one handy package. Ranging from Heist's percussion-flickering funk on "Seems Risky" to DJ Sly's horn-blazed skanky switch-up "98 Style" via Bassface Sascha & Feindsoul's badboy blaster "Sage" and Tomoyoshi's Clipz-style Q&A fireworks on "Killa Soundboy", this collection is testament to what a great year it's been for OKey... And drum & bass in general.
Review: We've featured Veak's music a lot on this site and it's because it always comes with a distinct feeling of anger and aggression that translates into seriously banging D&B, either in a jump-up format or something altogether more rolling or jungley. The latter of these terms certainly applies to 'Easy Man', a sick, reggae influenced jungle number with a stabbing, punchy bassline. 'The Mist' flips the vibe on its head with a powerful set of synth lines and basses, all of which come together to make something that's genuinely heavy. We're assuming this is a sampler for an album, so we look forward to hearing that.
Review: Veak - after a short hiatus - is back with a full length LP and it's pretty impressive stuff and a welcome sight after his little break. The title track is wide, forceful and ceaselessly crazy, an arrangement of limit-breaking synths coming together in a surprisingly melodic arrangement - one for the raves. 'Consequences', 'Hypnotic, Moon Kush' and 'Step Up' are all in a similar vein, just pure dancefloor killers with the energy to keep you going once the sun starts hitting your face. It's good to see Veak stepping up into a longplay, so this is worth a listen for sure.
Review: When life is bleak, reach for the Veak. Guaranteed to melt your skin and leave you feeling fresher than a Halloween pumpkin, there's an air of aggressive vigour about his productions... Especially now he's building up to an album. Entitled Ayahuasca, it's every bit as life-changing and brain-ironing as it sounds: "P.L.S" is an alien laser blazers, all gurgles, sirens and rusty breaks. "The End Of Truth" also hits with a sinister edge - tense, groaning and laced with outerplanetary twangs and deliciously hypnotic percussion. Bring on the next part...
Review: Representing the vibes and history of Jamaica except with a uniquely British urban twist, Veak drops a five-track testament to his ability as producer here. We've featured his music in the past and every time we do it's a devilish concoction of force and finesse, an amalgamation of ability and acumen. 'Blazing' is as big as it gets, both in terms of its steppy percussion and driving bassline; 'I Need You' reminds of Kings of the Rollers with a bassline that roars out the stops; 'JNGL' is the jungle naughtiness the ep needed; title tune 'Kingston Town' combines reggae atmospherics with a rolling finesse. Sick EP.
Review: Veak is being given the remix treatment of his Kingston Town EP by a whole load of legends, including Bungle, AK12000, Vital Elements and RMS. The result is varied, moody release that touches beautifully upon all the elements of urban-edged dance music, including naughty rollers, stuttering jungle tracks and everything in between. Bungle's remix of 'Blazing' very much falls into the latter category, with a rigid but solid break that underpins the wispy sense of ambience provided by the constant pads looming over the arrangement. The others are equally sick - check em out.
Review: Vital Elements is a long-time stalwart of the rougher side of the scene, the side of the scene that perhaps doesn't get as much flashy publicity but that day-in-day-out plays host to raves, bedroom hang outs and after parties up and down the UK. Vital Elements is that guy who'll be at the party, spinning tunes and having a good time and this single encapsulates that no-nonsense, fun-at-all-costs approach. 'Mass Projection' is a bouncing leviathan that rests on naughty snare-action and lives up with its jagged bass notes; 'Smoke of Calii' is more of a rolling beast, it's back end stretching out and lumping you in the face. Another top release from man like Vital Elements and this big one comes in at a cool eight tracks. Lovely stuff.
Review: Now this is how you launch a new label... You get three names ranging the full spectrum and timeline of drum & bass. Man of the moment Voltage and original OG Nicky Blackmarket continue their jazz tickling with the leftfield bass jitters of "The Magnificent" where an offbeat does this cool, funky understated stretch while mildly cosmic twangs lick up in the background. Unique. Heist, one of the most dangerous freestylers in the entire game, brings up the rear with an understated shaker that reads the Bristol book of 99 very closely. You couldn't get a more authentic, roots-affirmed launch release for a D&B label if you slapped a DJ