Review: Mikey B and Krissy B first collaborated under the B Squared moniker last November. Now we finally have a follow-up, better late than never and all that, and they have clearly lost none of their mutual spark. "Never 2 Busy" is a hyperactive 136bpm banger that fuses soulful RnB vocals and chords with demented 2 step and jagged bass. Elsewhere "Fair & Square" keeps up the pace with jackhammer 4 x 4 beats and warbling female vocals, "All I Need" brings us skippy beats with mechanical wobble basslines and finally "Find You" is hard bounce with chipmunk vocals. Knackered yet?
Review: You've not heard of B Squared then? Don't worry - it's the alias of Mikey B and Krissy B's brand new collaboration. Together they've rustled up four dance-floor bombs: the hoover bass shuffle of "It's In You", the skippy hype of "Baby", the jagged 4x4 attack "Wired" and the softer, more melodic "Square Root". We reckon we'll be hearing a lot more from this pair!
Review: Constantly dealing out killer versions on his Soundcloud and teasing us with dubs that seem to be lurking in the A-list forever ("Rizla" anyone?), northern powerhouse Brent Kilner delivers some serious goods on Second To None. With its MC-samples and broken glass bass riff "Shots On The Scene" is a straight up ode to bassline in all its 4x4 glory. "Wheel Up" adds a jazzier twist to the chords that tap into the original UKG foundations while "Earthquake" fuses in a little breakbeat murkery and grime energy. Shots fired.
Vital Techniques - "Front To The Back" - (4:00) 93 BPM
Review: It has been a brief minute since we took in a new drop from the Second To None team, but boy have they relaunched with a bang as we talk into three absolute heaters. Firstly, Brighton resident and rapidly rising DJ: El Laurie kicks us off, with his tight drum expressions and vibrant string work in 'Next Hour', before the chomping dubstep basslines of Hamdi's 'Caterpillar' roll into view, following on from an extremely popular Facebook reveal of the track. Finally, label head honchos: Vital Techniques grace us with the third original, another freezing 140 creation, built around shimmering arpeggios and 8bit drum switches!
Review: Of late Louis Richardson aka bass hero Hypho has started to including two new tracks per release, a sign he's getting more prolific. On the "Hyper EP" we get the smokin', tokin' half-time title track that boasts some urban cred courtesy of Haribou's low-key rap. "Ekko" meanwhile is more your traditional dubstep but with added mechanical intricacies. Remix-wise Vital Techniques perk things up with some steppy dub vibes and Smoked Out Fox delivers the EP highlight - all dark bass throbs and knife-like hi-hats.
Review: Here we have a mini label showcase with Second To None presenting two sizzlers by two top names on their roster. First up Northern powerhouse Brent Kilner slam-dunks the sped-up RnB vocals, big breakdowns and relentless wobble of "What 2 Do" straight into our ears. Meanwhile the shady Onix goes slower and heavier with the percussive 4x4 pounder "Pressure". Fierce beats.
Review: Just when we thought we'd have nothing but The Duke album to listen to all summer, fierce Manchester bass buster Krissi B returns with the messianic "The Christ EP" to keep things fresh. There's less of a footwork vibe here though, instead he's gone back to a ferocious, if a bit old skool, wobble-heavy 4x4 sound on "The Power Of Christ". Things don't let up on the digital flipside either, with "Yeahhh" merging nasty, stabby bass and skittering garagey beats. Dancefloor mayhem!
Review: If anywhere is providing a credible challenge to Bristol's bass crown, it's Leeds and here we have that city's newest contender, Oliver Livsey, with two new jams on the Second To None label. "Disconnected" is an assured 4 x 4 pounder that neatly twists in some subtle 2-step and dubstep breaks into the mix. "Smoke" on the other hand, sees Livsey collaborate with bass hero Mikey B, and is a super melodic jam with skippy beats, female RnB vocals and accelerated catchy basslines. One to watch!
Review: More solid bass goodness here courtesy of the Second To None crew. Livesy clashes here big style with Rude Jude with some seriously funky sparks flying about. The 90s are all over this EP like rash with "Crazy" being the perfect Moschino-clad skippy UKG (with a hint a modern wobble too). Elsewhere "Can We Go There" fuses soulful yearning with thumping speed garage, whilst Pallace turn it into melodic electro-house. The title track also gets remixed, with Palize turning in some classic-sound piano house and Holly finishes with a cheeky hardcore-rave-meets-trap rework.
Review: A couple of monsters here from the enchantingly entitled Megalodon, on the Second To None label, which hark back to a mid-noughties Caspa sound, whilst retaining a unique edge. "Goblin Shark" is all ribbiting bass, tripping metallic breaks and occasional barking SFX, with a weighty bassline adding pressure from below. "West Coast" adds a bit more Skream into the proceedings, with a bubbling, raucous b-line, low-slung sweeping atmospherics and razor sharp snares.
Review: Some say the B stands for brutal. Others say it stands for beef. We reckon it stands for badman as he reminds us once again on Second To None. Digging deep into his Niche roots, cuts like "Endlessly" and "Caught Up" are ruthlessly heavy with their four-beat energy and riffy drive. If you fancy a little more sass to your bash then vocal two-step cuts "Behind Closed Doors" and "Forget Your Name" will both hit your (UK)G-spot. Needs more house? Jump straight on "From Me". You won't be disappointed.
Review: While he might not be a name to receive all the latest hype and background chatter, the UK's Mikey B has been a strong presence on the wider bass scene throughout the last ten years. Coming through with the first mutations of grime into dubstep, the man has been perfecting and refining to achieve the diversity of sounds found on this latest LP. Evolution is a journey, or rather, a DJ set in and of itself; all sorts of bass squelching can be found across its seventeen bangers, all of which have their roots firmly locked onto the dancefloor. In fact, play this whole damn killer out at a party, and you don't even need a DJ. Hybrid cuts for the modern ear - yes, yes, Mikey!
Review: 4x4 fire in the hole! Second To None mainstay Mikey B returns with Nu Wave murker mandem DJ Direct for this one-track wounder. Complete with a big classic house-style soaring female vocal and an emotional, heavily harmonised bass riff, it's an instant peaker guaranteed to raise spirits, vibes and every hair the back of your neck. Gully.
Review: Generally busy with production partner Mikey B, solo outings by Sketchi are rare as hen's teeth. So it's all the more exciting when they do arrive, and here on first-single-in-ages, I Know, he doesn't disappoint. His aforementioned co-producer even makes an appearance on the dreamy off-kilter house of "Don't You Care?" Elsewhere he's left to his own devices but equally shines on the likes of the brooding, tribal UKF monster "Axe Kick" and the sweeping melancholy of spacey 2-stepper, "Conquer". A class above.
Review: Usually found remixing the likes of Skream with his production pal Mikey B, rare solo Sketchi outings are a more basic to basics gig. Here the bass and grime meister serves up two lean and mean left hooks - the spacey wobble of "Ak's" and the deep doom-dub of "Badman".
Review: For this one, Leeds based bass outfit: Second To None team up with the rapidly rising local sounds of Sketchi & Bluff for a vibrant single entitled 'Shaolin Shadow'. As a composition we are driven down a grimey route, accompanied by shiny 8bit synth patterns, loosely sliding square wave synths and skippy drum routines. This release also comes complete with an electrifying drum & bass rethink, bringing together a collection of crazy synths for a jump up jamboree.
Review: Founded back 2010 by duo Vital techniques, Second To None, was born with the intent to promote 'the sickest...130-140bpm bass' from around the UK. They've certainly done that here, presenting 12 bleeding edge cuts for listening pleasure. Highlights include the linear, up-and-down hoover bass joint "Live My Life" by Deadbeat UK, Mikey B's heavy and eccentric 2-step gem "I Wonder" and Vital Techniques own deep bass workout, "News To Me".
Review: Second To None Music have chosen the right name for their label. These guys should not be underestimated, and their output is among the best UK bass, garage and funky that we have heard recently. This statement compilation is simply putting them on a lot of people's radars, and getting the to know that absolutely nobody at their HQ is messing around when it comes to relaxing fresh bangers for the UK's dance floors. The music is wild and diverse, ranging from pure bassline to UK funky, and there are certainly plenty of noticeable artists and known faces here, including neb-dancehall specialist Deadbeat, Mikey B, B Squared, and Hypho. If you're into the British way of doing house, then this twist up will surely satisfy.
Review: Straight out of the heart of Leeds, Second To None Music has been setting some serious pace across the breadth of 2018. Headed up by founders: Vital Techniques, we see them assemble a mighty host for the first edition their band new 'Head Gone' compilation series, showcasing some of the best in bass music right now. We see inspired appearances from bassline heavyweights such as Deadbeat UK, Brent Kilner, Spectrum, Pavv and more, with particular highlighted flavours coming from man of the minute: Sammy Virji, on his super vibrant roller entitled 'Thunderclap'. Dr Cryptic also makes a stellar appearance on 'Little Roller', with Vital Techniques themselves supplying some skippy heat on 'Wasted'.
Review: Second To None headmasters take us back to school with three broadsword 130 bass four-steppers "Spin The Dubplate" kicks with classic strutting UKG beats but rumbles the horns and harmonic bass of grime while MC Pean spits down the law chapter and verse. "Mucky" dips much lower into the bass swamp with a classic organ-style squelch guiding us through spacious, switchy drum arrangement. "Cloud 9" flips the contrast button with a superb breakbeat garage roller laded with crisp soulful vocals. Hypho brings the damage on his "Spin The Dubplate" for bonus grades. Power up.
Review: Leeds duo Vital Techniques clearly believe in quality not quantity. Working hard on a follow-up to February's Bad Man Ting, their Battleground EP has finally arrived. The title track starts things strong, with swaggering brass stabs, rat-tat-tat drums, delirious spinouts and oodles of bass frequencies. Next, "Clear Vision" sees the guys pair up with Mikey B for some lively UKF fire - all wobble bass, skippy beats, a sprinkling of 2-step and lots of pitched RnB vocals. "Something Happening" meanwhile is a harder beast; delivering tough and fast 4 x 4 action with relentless bass mayhem and aggro MC flows. Edgy!
Review: Following a well deserved festive break, Vital Techniques began 2016 with one-tracker, You. Now they getting fully back up to speed with the hard-hitting bass blitzkrieg of the Big Man Ting EP. There are three new tunes here that have already gained support from the likes of Marcus Nasty, Flava D, Hatcha and Dappa: "No Way" is fast and furious 4 x 4 with buzzsaw bass, with swishy pads, bouncy kicks and string stabs, "Jenga" is slower, deeper and more mystical and finally the title track is on full rave alert -big drops, merciless bass frequencies and speedy beats.
Review: Vital Techniques have had a top draw year so far, dropping some of the scenes biggest releases across both the grime & bassline spheres. Here they return for a high energy two track bass party, beginning with the old school sounds of 'All The Time' which smashes together electronic vocal slices and almost eski-like lead subs, resulting in a super groovy movement. On the flip, the more UKG inspired composition of 'Be Real'; takes hold, which focuses on classic organ chord progressions, vocal melodies and some seriously skippy drum arrangements, rounding off a great two track project.