Around The Sun (feat Robert Manos) - (5:26) 172 BPM
170 Untitled - (6:27) 170 BPM
Ghetto Chemistry (feat Lystone) - (4:48) 58 BPM
Just A Moment - (5:52) 174 BPM
Review: Following his debut on CIA in autumn 2015, US artist Adred continues to show the breadth of sonic span and abilities on the equally respected Soul:R on their so-far-spotless "Fourfit" series. Each cut showing balancing restraint and weight with a strong emphasis on jazzy textures and tones, we're sideswiped by Manos's vocals and the strong "Oblique" feels of "Around The Sun", we're soothed with equal measures of nostalgia and synthetic soul on the Goodlookingesque "170 Untitled" before getting deep, dark and minimal on "Ghetto Chemistry" where Lystone adds a unique US hip-hop feel. Finally we walk the plank into Adred's deepest, oceanic cut to date where the waves are high, voluptuous and all consuming. Stunning.
Review: Fresh Calibre - is there a finer thing? And in this disappointing summer of damp barbeques and dead beer gardens, there's nothing we all needed more right now than this, a quadruple helping of thick-bassed freakiness. Kicking off with "Bogeyman Bullshit" for some deep bass wobbling, "Smother" gathers the techy nuances of Marcus Intalex and Bricktop and "Multi-Tasking" bangs and whomps its way through hard stepping kicks and rolling snares. Final tune "Dream Of You" brings in vintage dub heaviness alongside retro synths for a seriously deep slice of originality. Serious banger!
Review: While no D&B album is complete without at least one DRS-fronted banger, these are the Manchester MC's first solo outings since his 2012 earthquake-inducing album I Don't Usually Like MCs. With Jubei and Marcus Intalex on production duties, you already know this is going to bang... "The Puppeteer" is a vicious, late night shredder spiked with sharp-tongued lyrics and even sharper bass. "Emergency", meanwhile, is a skank-factored bouncer over which DRS shows he can sing just as well as he can spit. Looks like album number two is well en route... Bring it.
Review: Fresh from the massive "Missing You" with LSB, DRS returns to his first artist release since his album Mid Mic Crisis. On a serious mission to spread positivity amid the scary climate, "I Will" is undiluted soul vocally, and musically as Patife dusts off the ivories with finesse. "Your Name" unplugs for an acoustic barbed tale from Skittles while "Sin" brings us back up to drum & bass with Utah Jazz laying down true drama in the groove. Finally Calibre creeps into the fray with a funk groove that's almost jaunty in its swing and dubbed guitar echoes. DRS respectfully joins in mid-way, really letting Dominck's groove settle in deep. Untouchable.
Review: DRS working with Enei and LSB was music to our ears before we even heard the track. Drop Tyler Daley's blistering vocals into the mix too and you've got yourself a release that's 100 per cent drum and bass purity. "The View" starts things on a euphoric high with LSB rolling out those lush vibes he does so well. Tyler adds his vocals and what results is a cinematic love story played out at 170bpm. Enei prefers things strictly dark so when "Count To Ten" starts its militant march it's evident there's no escape. Abstract, tribal and earth-shatteringly heavy, DRS whips up the mood with agile aggression. Two tracks, two worlds. Choose carefully.
Review: Bless up Marcus Intalex! Whilst he's engaged on delivering techno tools of the highest order as Trevino, the Manchester man is not letting his Soul:R empire slack one bit. Here the prospering Fourfit series returns and it sees a full release from the excellent LSB, who delivered a soulful highlight of the last edition. Much the same can be said of the four tracks here, with LSB really showcasing the breadth of his production palette. Lead cut "Snap Funk" rolls with an alluring darkness, whilst "Mist Of You" possesses some quite beautiful piano tones. Deep junglist vibes run through the pensive roller "Walking Blues" whilst "Omega" stands tall with brushed steppah vibes and industrial strength basslines.
Review: Slow and steady: LSB has been known to heads for years now but he's never hurried himself, he's never carved out identikit formulas for the sake of fans, he's never played the predictable games. In true Soul:r style (a label he's now fully signed with) he's focused on ensuring he only releases his very best material since day one. Naturally his album is no different; the gentle fades of "Lydian", the raw emotion of "Circle", the outright epicity of the 8-min "Blinding", the sad farewells of "Missing You"... Every second of the album has been considered and delivered with real thought and detail. Contented? You will be.
Review: The pairing of LSB and DRS is up there with wine and cheese. Having smashed 2015 with "The View", the pair return with another beautiful, emotion-soaked gem "Missing You". With its soft pianos and space for DRS to ruminate, it's another soulful smash that will stand the test of time. "Tumult" shows the complete flip of LSB's ever-perennial skills as he rolls out a darkside roller with a serious hurricane bassline that's powerful enough to take you back to the 2001. With his debut album around the corner, both tracks do well to remind you just how on-point LSB is.
Review: This is a special release. It's the last piece of music ever to be released via Soul:R, as the label is closing its doors after a long, rich history. It's fitting that Mako is the one responsible and he's done an amazing job at encapsulating the gritty, upbeat and vibrant sound that made the imprint special within a single EP. 'Come Down' is desperately steppy and full of texture; 'Message Music' features Marcus Intalex and that trademark Intalex tendency to drawn out an intro with perfect progression. All four tracks are special and all four pay homage to a truly iconic record label.
Review: It's about time... Fresh off the heat of his Trevino album, Marcus returns to the D&B source with a full-fat foursome on his label's spotless Four:Fit series. Each cut a 24 carat diamond, shining in its own special way: "Mixed Bag" is a DRS-polished soulful addition to the ever-growing halftime annals, both "Step Forward" and "Stingray" are brittle two-step heads-down headbutts while "Jupiter" is an amen-rattled jungle shake-up. Timeless, deep and spacious; Marcus never fails.
Review: Two massive tracks from 2015 get the all-important 2016 re-lick. "The View" was, without question, one of drum & bass's most unifying, heavily rotated tracks of last year. The only way to top its success is by getting a remix from the soulful don himself - Calibre. Naturally he's delivered... And he's done so with a spacious blend sprinkled with additional instrumentation. "Bun Ya Too", meanwhile, gets the machine-lick from Russian tech fiend Enei. Powerful.