Led by D&B legends DJ Hype and Pascal, jungle-centric True Playaz gave birth to the legendary Playaz (or Playaz Recordings) label in 2007 to showcase the heavier jump up side to their sound. Over the years London’s Playaz label has been home to respectable names such as: DJ Hazard, Potential Badboy, Annix, Profile, Taxman, Sub Zero, Tyke, Original Sin, Konichi, Decimal Bass and more. Playaz have also released some of the scene’s most iconic tracks, including the infamous screw-face skanker ‘Mr Happy’ by DJ Hazard and D*Minds, as well as stand out DJ Hype records ‘Bricks Don’t Roll’, ‘Time Tripping’ and ‘Killers Don’t Die’. Playaz is also famous for hosting some of the fattest drum and bass nights and room takeovers at London’s iconic nightclub Fabric.
Review: As a real legend of the game, it's always exciting to see new magic from Taxman making its way into the store, with this hard hitting two track display being yet another wicked addition to his mythic catalogue. We open up with some classic, modernised jump up flavour in 'Special Request', a constant flicker between gnarly synthesiser designs and choppy drum textures, broken up by some classic soundclash cuts for good measure. On the flip, the intensity is most certainly upped as the hard hitting bass swoops and expansive LFO textures of 'Out Of Your Mind' cause some serious damage, with a constantly shifting backdrop of drumlines giving us a very nice alternative. Hard hitting stuff indeed!
Review: Wrapping up a serious year of heat, Hype's Playaz look back over their many releases of 2021 and brings them altogether in one place for those who missed out on the label's many big bruisers, bumpers and thumpers. Ranging from Xtrah's trippy, leftfield 'Droplets' to straight-up face-melters like Spaow's 'Amd Planet' with a whole range of fire in between from some of the label's (and the scene's) biggest and most respected names like Taxman, Voltage, Limited, Dunk and of course the mighty DJ Hazard, it's a pretty forthright reminder of just how much clout and musical muscle the longstanding label has - even when half the year was spent with the clubs and raves closed. Playaz ain't playing around!
Review: Sunny side up! DJ Limited returns to Playaz with a mammoth seasonal banger. Featuring the smoky vocals of Lizzy Stringer and lavish orchestral flares, 'Summer Vibes' lives up to its name with serious feelgood vibes and a powerful early-2000s golden era liquid flavour that will work so well in any type of mix. Looking for more grit in the mix? Jump on Limited old Clipz-style Tearout remix. Loaded with a variety of other versions, Playaz aren't messing around on this one!
Review: Dunk AKA 50% of Jam Thieves is back with his biting, minimal take on jump up and this EP - Scamp - might just be his best outing yet. It's on the inimitable Playaz, and the A&R team over there have done a fantastic job and creating the perfect blend of stripped-back and sub-heavy, stabbing and grating. The title tune rests on crunching breaks that flutter in the solar wind, as harsh jagged edges tear mighty holes in the fabric of space and time; it's a proper dancefloor hoofer and should be treated with appropriate caution. 'Pirate Radio' is our other favourite, as a delightfully energetic drum line skips through murderous bass notes without a care in the world, a nonchalant piece of music that packs a punch as well.
Review: One of Potential Badboy's absolute classic tracks is being given the remix treatment by one of the best rolling badboys in the game - L-Side. The Brazilian has historically worked mostly over on V Recordings, but this time he's banging out the goods on Playaz, and what a set of tools he has to work with. MC Fats and Yush deal the vocal magic on 'Girlz' in a way that must be a dream to produce, and the 'Intro Remix' lays their work down over a diving, sub-heavy concoction of a beat that more than does the original justice. The flip is similar, with barking stab of a bass note that moves with gruff authority - wicked stuff.
Sub Zero - "Missing Piece" (feat Roxi Yung) - (4:32) 175 BPM
Annix & K Motionz - "Stutter" - (4:33) 175 BPM
Review: Playaz are rounding out this year with their first compilation for quite some time, and their 2020 roundup relies on a fairly small handful of long-term label stalwarts across twenty tracks. In this case, less is more and the likes of Annix, Taxman, DJ Hybrid and Tyke all come seriously correct in this compilation, their collective decades of experience really shining through. Taxman's 'You Can't See' is absurdly good, with wonderfully stuttering breaks which emerge from shimmering synth lines before cutting into a raucously stabbing bass hits, a proper rowdy collection of sounds which get right to the heart of the Playaz sound. Bristol trio The Sauce pop up on the label with several contributions, including 'Spooked', an eerie roller with choppiness right at its core - big stuff from the crew.
Review: 2020 isn't all bad... Annix finally deliver their long-awaited debut album and every shade of grot and wonder you'd expect from one of the most influential D&B duos of the last decade. Masters at space, weirdo funk, unique sound design and the dark art of switch-flipping, it's no surprise this album is loaded with more twists and turns than an underground tube map. Highlights include the broken glass funk of "Stutter" (with K Motionz) the trippy turbine driller jam "Clapper" (with Skantia) and the curveball blast-ups like the techno-style marching title track "Tunnel Vision" and the beautiful euphoria of "Behind Time".
Review: DJ Limited signed up to The Playaz camp a year or so ago with a pledge to bring the big beats to Hype's label, and he's come good on that pledge and then some. This single has a rework of his acclaimed track 'The Elephant' from last year on the A-side, and he's managed to craft an even more dastardly piece of dancefloor construction from the potent elements of the first version. The flip - You Got - is a stepping, punchy number with serious weigh behind it. Banging.
Review: Quite possibly the most consistent artist Playaz have ever known, Taxman is always there for you when you need him. After his monthly assault of tunes last year he returns with yet more fresh goods in the form of "Can't You See". Breezier and lighter than his usual sledgehammer signature, the sensual vocal, dreamy chords and subtle rave elements roll-up together with total uplift... And allow just enough space for a stinky bassline to cut through in all the right places. One for the dancefloor dreamers.
Review: With Hazard rounding up another killer year for Hype and Pascal's label with his first release in five years, Playaz take stock of 2019 with this savage showdown from all their main mandem. From the eerie gurgles and scraps of Annix & Kanine's "Jackpot" to the flabby wobbles and groans of Limited's "Soldier" to the sweet seduction twist of Jam Thieves' "Love Forever" this 25-track pack covers the entire spectrum of proper rave-primed drum & bass with all manner of curveballs and boundary-pushing badness. No compromises, a healthy balance of elder statesmen, new headliners and young talent and a sound that's distinctively theirs, Playaz are about to bulldoze into a new decade... And this is how it all begins.
Review: Jam Thieves are the Brazilian duo who make simply sumptuous, minimal, rough and tumble rollers and they do so with an excessive amount of power and finesse. Love Forever is their latest EP and it's four more slices of sub heavy techy goodness, each individually packaged in an attempt to get your head moving in the dance. Title track 'Love Forever' is our favourite because it samples Marvin Gaye, but also because it's just proper minimal naughtiness, with in point drums and a chest-bashing sub bass. Excellent stuff.
Review: DJ Limited is the newest signing to DJ Hype's Playaz label and he's arrived with his first full length EP on the label. Based on his debut single and his track record, this release was always going to be on the naughty side and DJ Limited hasn't disappointed. Title track 'Minefield' is an expansive, steppy number with stripped back drums and a moody attitude, each new phrase brings with it an evolution or change and the sounds are constantly engrossing. 'Don't Be Afraid' is more choppy, rough-and-tumble madness and it's another highlight, alongside the vocal-laden rolling styles of 'Soldier'.
Review: One of the most delightfully unpredictable producers on the Playaz roster Tyke returns with two more flip-switching jams that will fit into any style, shape or size of set; "Lion Of Judah" harnesses the power of Jah and fires it across a ribbed bassline that scutters and jitters like a slug having a fit. "Seperation", meanwhile, shows off Tyke's soulful edge with a sunny-side dubwise vibe, heavenly vocals and a groove that flips between basslines like your mum flips through cakes when no one's looking. Naughty.
Review: Teddy Killerz are the cute, furry-faced bastions of horror and they've teamed up with Nais and the Playaz crew for this full-throttle display of dastardly sound design, monstrous bass construction and downright disgusting choonage. 'Twinge' is our favourite of the two, with a drum line that's constantly shifting and morphing across different patterns and punchy synth stabs, it's sharp on all edges and fiercely no-nonsense. The flip packs even more energy and it's what we've come to expect from all parties involved in this sick little single.