Review: He's come to Soul Deep a few times before and now Actraiser is back with a sleek and soulful take on liquid rollers. If you're expecting an easy ride, you might be in for a shock, as second track "Divine Inspiration" takes a big swing for cinematic sounds and heart-racing drums that hit spot on. "Forest Of Illusion" takes it darker, adding old school influences to the mix for a late-night, underground feel. Title-track "Soul Priestess" gets an instrumental release as well as with full vocals too, offering waves of positivity and glowing major chords to shine through with or without lyrical persuasion. A solid release from a producer on the up!
Review: High Tea affiliate Aetherial makes his debut on Soul Deep Exclusives with four pristine liquid numbers. "Cosmosphere" opens the EP with an urgent Goodlooking feel as amens surge through the stratosphere and into the cascading stars, "Until Then" brings us back to earth with weeping reverse chords and tender piano touches while "Cold Skies" hums with harmonics and a deep, driving tunnelling feeling. Finally "After The Rain" plunges the introspection vibe to places deep in our soul we didn't know existed. Soul Deep representing yet another exciting new talent; lock down your aerial for Aetherial.
Review: Jazz-splashed D&B of the funkiest order, the shadowy artist A.K.A makes his Soul Deep debut with two scrumptious slabs of breezy breakbeats. "Feelin' Alright" is all about the rich organic instrumentation with brash horns and soothing flutes. "Dig This", meanwhile, takes a famous bass run and subverts every drip of funk juice out of it; slinky, wriggling low-end fun with a nagging sense of mischief, it's an instant party.
Deeper Connection & Scott Allen - "Since You've Been Gone" - (5:58) 174 BPM
Review: Watch out, it's another Soul Deep Exclusive coming at you direct from Colorado and the UK courtesy of two vastly underrated artists locked in on the Soul Deep rollcall. Mixing deep bass with bootyshaking breaks, these tunes were made for dancing. Make way for the collab on the flip; fresh sounding and full of cinematic atmosphere, it's a track that just keeps on giving.
Review: A collaborative LP from two of Soul Deep's most loved artists only means one thing - listeners are going to be looking for perfection. Luckily for these two debonair producers, there's enough talent and perfectionism to go around, as each track delivers something different for the discerning listener. From the sparkling liquid rollout of Down Under" to funky skankathon "Hey Girl"; the blissful, peaceful vibes of "Moonlight" or the impeccably assembled and arranged "Brussels To Athens" (the pair's hometowns) to the rusty, vintage darkness of "Self Confusion" this is an LP of different shades and colours. Not content with finding a formula and sticking with it, they've grown as individuals and made music they want to hear themselves.
Light On The Horizon (original mix) - (5:42) 174 BPM
Eclipse (original mix) - (5:14) 174 BPM
Looking In (original mix) - (5:06) 174 BPM
Light On The Horizon (Furney remix) - (5:20) 174 BPM
Light On The Horizon (Scott Allen VIP) - (5:42) 58 BPM
Light On The Horizon (Low:r remix) - (4:35) 174 BPM
Eclipse (Scott Allen VIP) - (5:32) 174 BPM
Review: It's slightly blurry as to what separates Soul Deep Exclusives, a sub-label of Soul Deep, from its parent company, but what's clear is that this confusion doesn't seem to seep in its artists' creativity. Avalon Rays gets points for a lovely name and even more points for a lovely EP, which features Furney, Low:r and Scott Allen on remix duties, an all-star selection of some of the best liquid artists you haven't heard of. Inside are three originals and four remixes, all of which are softly sample-focused and grounded in an ethereal sense of melancholic progression which injects serious emotion into their simplicity. Top stuff.
Review: Soul Deep continue to traverse the earth, handpicking talents from every corner. Right here we find them landing in Normandy for two velvet numbers from Frenchman Azhot. "Le Monde Est Devant Toi" is a cinematic thriller with roomy echoes of pianos and pads wrapping themselves around a mean-but-reserved bassline. "Moon" takes us deeper into Azhot's mindset by way of cascading pianos that spiral further and further into a deep groove pool that's three parts jazz, two parts classical and a smidgeon of gully. Bien!
Review: So why is this EP called The Ride? At a guess, it's because Bank knows how to set a tune up and let it ride on out into the sunset and some of these are absolute gems. Second track "Tombstone" is especially impressive, moving forward with choppy drums and an evocative vocal sample, taken higher by the lightness of his synth-led atmospherics before deep dubby bass drops. "Smile" is the EP's other showstopper, kicking off with reggae vibes before effortlessly becoming a proper widescreen rollout. Sam Bank has everything fine tuned and on point. Get to know.
Review: You can always rely on Soul Deep for introducing us to fresh talent. This month: Bert H. Little is known about him - for now - but if these two soully rollers are anything to go by then we'll definitely hear more from him in the future. "Lazy Bastard" ripples with Rhodes keys while a precision rap extols the virtues of half-step over a rolling drum arrangement. "Emerald" is more of a heads-down piece laced with an evocative vocal and a bassline so warm it could cut your heating bills.
Review: Serial collaborators from Moscow; Bert H and High N Sick complement each other neatly with their shared eye for spatial, star-gazing dynamics. Previously their tag team work has been spotted on Liquid Tones but here we find them making their collaborative debut on Soul Deep. "Dreaming" is the hazier cut of the two thanks to its far-away vocal placement and thick, otherworldly pads. "Dare" is more dancefloor-direct thanks to its prominent humming sub, tight two-step and ace repurpose of Nexus and Veela's 2013 "Another Dare" vocal. Strong.
Review: Soul Deep offer up the goods once more, this time with Good Looking and Telluric favourite Blade. British born and Bristol Based, Blade's sounds have been catching the attention of heads in the D&B scene for years thanks to constant support from leading man in the game LTJ Bukem. This EP is a dazzling example of him at his liquid D&B prime, rolling forward with deep, driving rhythms and sweet, tuneful melodies. No stranger to techy rhythms, each track has a distinctly edgy vibe owing to Blade's on point production. Bringing power behind every beat, not only is this release soulful, but it's big enough to command any room. Full of surprises, this one.
Review: LA based label Soul Deep always come with the goods and of course this release from Blade is no exception. 'Blackbird' see crisp breaks cascading like a rampant, unstoppable waterfall, broken by occasional bursts of nostalgic rave vocals and waves of euphoric sound. 'Bella L'amore' is a twinkling drop of rolling liquid gold, the drums and fast and ferocious and completely juxtaposed to the melody and the soft warm bass.
Review: In a culmination of influences and creative brainwaves, Blade & Conspire have got together and created something really special for Soul Deep Exclusives. Rather than the uplifting liquid often enjoyed from the label, this release is darker - somehow deeper and richer sounding, and with more references to the past. Pushing an old school sound without sounding hackneyed is difficult, but "True Pioneers" (we hope it's a pun), is a beautiful mix of old and new, blending dusted-off breaks with a futuristic soundscape. "Signals" packs far more of a junglist punch, and "9 To 5" thankfully forgoes Nashville to bring minimal, futuristic sounds based around a dampened scaffolding of beats. High grade.
Review: Working in some deep, old school vibes on "Dreaming Of Darkness", Scott Allen takes extra care to make sure his warm fuzz of a bassline has just the right level of impact. It's a cleverly created track, sounding fresh and familiar all at the same time but the attention to detail is what gets our vote. Blade joins Scott Allen for a sunnier approach with "Emotions". Hard rolling and full of soulful samples, it's the perfect addition to any liquid fan's collection.
Review: Swedish beatmaker Blastikz and his Rotterdam counterpart Daybreaks have come together to create this beauty of a bumper EP. As per the Soul Deep manifesto, smooth rolling beats are the order of the day and these two never disappoint when it comes to soulful melodies. Taking it in turns to bring the sounds of summer to your speakers, each track is a tightly produced sliver of sunlight. Don't let the airy musicality fool you though, there are some seriously deep basslines at play in tracks like "Dust" and "End Of Time", giving these guys the edge over their soulful drum and bass counterparts. Ones to watch.
Review: Last spotted on Soul Deep 18 months ago brandishing an entire album - and since appearing on the likes of Liquid Brilliance and In:Deep - Carlo returns to his liquid spiritual home with a quartet of sunset grooves. "Keepin' On" flexes a dreamy vocal over snuggly 100-tog pads and brushed drums, "Sky High" takes the rolling soul vibe even deeper again with a subtle reverse string/key texture while "IfCloudsMadeSounds" lives up to its sky-high breezy, rush-maxed moniker in every way. "Sky In Your Eyes" closes the show on a light, skippy vocal finale. With a Darrison or Stamina-style baritone, delicate pianos and late 2000s style bassline, it's a timeless reminder that not all vocal D&B tracks have to be chart-primed.
Review: One for the romantics out there, this release from Soul Deep favourite Carter is a soulful take on love and longing from a D&B perspective. "If You Let Me Down" is a shimmering beauty of a roller, taking jazzy influences and adding a contemporary twist. "Shinin' Smile" is the most summery tune we've heard all year, pushing classic breaks together with intricate layers of atmosphere and sampling to create an airy-light soundscape for that grooving bassline to roam free. "Lost In You" ramps up the atmospheric theatrics, moving fast and fresh with live jazzy guitar, and finally "Fallin'" (no relation to the Raiden tune of the same name) is a cinematic tearjerker to get hands raised. The soundtrack to a thousand 2014 sunsets. Let it in.
Review: Time to lie back on the couch and share your innermost thoughts with doctor Carter as he offers to nurture your "Emotional Mindset". Supportive, understanding and empathetic; every groove he crafts, every sample he weaves, every spell he binds gives nothing but comfort and warmth. Following from his golden work on Paul SG's Jazzsticks each of these four tracks hits the sweetest spots of your psyche; the wafting pianos and squiggled FX on the fills of "Heart On Hold", the unhurried feels and balmy bubbles of "Mr Nobody", the jazzy ripples of "Since You Left" and the loose limbed freedom of "Standing Alone", the list goes on...
Review: Lush rollers from Carter are never a disappointment. Bringing another dimension to his talents with this, his first release of 2015 shows off a more romantic side. Who said drum and bass couldn't offer up love songs? From the light and refreshing "You Love me" to the deep, bassy undulations of "What I See" VIP edit, it's a journey through Carter's record collection, filtered through his head, and produced with his own styles in mind. You've got to love that Soul Deep creativity shining through.
Review: Picking us up where he left us with "Chapter One" a few months back, Carter shares more of his hidden thoughts. "Drifted" is all about the strings and autonomic-style halftime, switchy drum programming, "Rain" is a picture perfect portrait of modern soul thanks to its slinky double bass runs and rippling synths, "Show Me" ups the funk ante thanks to some expertly executed wah-wah guitar tones and cascading flute stabs while "The Touch Of You" brings us to a jazzy climax that's to meandering piano elements and a very well positioned vocal texture with subtle but warm dubby motifs. With thoughts this strong it would be criminal to keep them hidden...
Review: Carter is described as many things: soulful, prolific, unique. What he's brought forward with this latest Soul Deep collection is a new, edgier side to his productions. Still playing with emotive sounds and rolling vibes, there are definitely deeper meanings behind the melodies, so delve in. Crisp, deep and bassy-as-you-like, tracks like "When It Burns Inside" and "Take Me Away" are showing a real progression in Carter's style - something that's really exciting to hear. Roll on Chapter 02.
Review: Last spotted on Soul Deep sharing his "Hidden Thoughts", Carter returns to respected LA soul stable with four more sweet and silky workouts. Each one as dreamy and widescreened as the next, throughout the EP we're treated oceanic, ear-massaging pads ("Ever Free"), church-shaking vocal velvet ("On & On"), glistening, spectrum stretching guitars ("Changes") and finally soft skanks and subtle amens on the deliciously dubby "Rise Or Shine". Bliss
Review: Soul Deep ally Carter returns to the evergreen soul stall with two subtly moody compositions. The titles should give you a clue... "Grey Skies" is brazenly stripped right back to let the naked drum elements slink around the soft jazzy chords and rippling synth textures. "Mighty Rain" hits with more minor chord pressure as gusty pads breathe deeply over the well-polished beats. With generous filter touches to the sample and rolling sense of momentum, it washes over you just as the name suggests. Get wet.
Review: Carter is a mysterious guy - he's produced some of the most beautiful soulful drum and bass around over the past few years, but there's not much out there to tell you about the man himself - he prefers to let the music do the talking. "Nothing" sparks up this elegantly produced three-pack with an expertly balanced mix between layered melodies and the deep rumble of a well-appointed sub. Moving into darker territory for the remainder of the release, he uses wide open spaces and dark bass to underpin otherwise chipper musicality in "Riding After Sun" and although more upbeat, there's something of the melancholy about "Remembered". A master of his art - if you don't know, get to know.
Review: You may have noticed, that over here we're big fans of Los Angles based Soul Deep Recordings. Perhaps the reason for this connection is the imprints ethos, and tireless will to provide us with timeless tracks which touch our soul. Cnof is a young producer hailing form Russia who's really beginning to make moves, 'The Way You Do' sets the tone for his talents, with the old style soul vocals, happy horns and well loved jungle samples layered over crisp, shuffling amens the track reminds us of the feel good vibe of 'Mutt'. 'Vibe & Sound' is sultry and sexy, effortlessly smooth twinkling piano and enticing trumpet ignite images of a romantic crooner, ready to lull you into a trance while MC Astro brings a conscious hip hop style of spitting to the mix.
Review: Sampling Jeremy Storch's "I Feel a New Shadow" - infamously sampled by DJ Shadow for "Building Steam With A Grain of Salt" - Colossus turns the classical opening passages of a folk song made by a Messianic Rabbi into a piano-driven D&B roller, adding extra heartfelt vocals for that extra nuance of pained melancholia. High noted piano keys also play a role in "Abbie's Song" as they're filtered in and out over roaring and sometimes squabbling basslines and downbeat drums in a killer two-track release.
Review: A beautiful, leveled-out collection of flowing liquid tunes from Leeds-based producer Toby Tinwell. Bringing precision and class to soulful melodies and soaring atmospherics, from the icy lushness of "Foundations Of Love" to the deep bassline and jazzy inflections of "Icarus" featuring sexy vocals from DnBethh, this is a strong release from one of Soul Deep's most exciting new proteges. Delicate and touching but somehow deep and weighty enough for (admittedly more chilled) dancefloors, this is something special. All eyes on Colossus.
Review: Soul Deep return to the heart of the UK for their latest chapter in fresh talent repping. Appearing on the label once a year since 2014, Shrewsbury-based Conspire keeps on dishing up serious timeless goods. For this EP his dynamics range from Omni Trio-style dubby jungle rolls ("Free Your Mind") to Bukem-style intelligentsia ("Funky Flute") to Moving Fusion style squelchy low-end funk ("Middle Lane"), each cut rooted in the past while staring boldly into the future, Conspire is developing a serious signature right here.
Review: Conspire has been popping up on labels both liquid and otherwise for quite some time now, and if you haven't checked out his back-catalogue we definitely recommend you take a dive one quiet evening. He's next up in the Soul Deep Artist Spotlight series and damn, what an instalment number five is as the man himself rolls out some soul across varying drum patterns and vibes. 'Jazz Fusion' takes the funkiness of Peshay or someone similar and chops it into bits, gullying things out whilst keeping the overall feeling upbeat and energetic. 'Alone With Nature' is also a highlight, another jungle number, this one packs melancholic piano chords and a stuttering drum break which flutters in tandem. Lovely.
Review: Hardworking midlands DJ Conspire comes correct with this collab-heavy Soul Deep debut. Highlights include the swooning chords and rattling drums of "Deeper High", the skippy, breezy "If We Ever" vibe to "Dreams", the wafting, oceanic '80s synths on "Haze" and the tight relationship between the snare and sub on "Take It Back". Clearly working well as solo operator or in partnership, Conspire's pressing all the right buttons here.
Review: Recently spotted locking horns with the one and only DJ SS, Cosmology returns to Soul Deep with two sensational, instrumental shakedowns; "3 Piece Funk" is all about the flute blasts, hammering the staccato riff over a bubbled-out bassline that's not dissimilar to early Peter Nice Trio joints (look 'em up) "Just One More Thing" pushes with more of a jungle break drum arrangement and thick waves of woozy oozing horns that melt all over the place. Piece and love.
CPH & Jay Dubz - "Shadow Of The Past" - (6:02) 172 BPM
Review: Previously spotted on Soul Deep's Unsung Heroes LP last year, D&B freshman CHP presents his official debut EP for the LA label. "Never Again" is a classic example of deep bass soul where the heavy subs and delicate melodic elements balance each other perfectly in a smooth solid way. "Shadow Of The Past" sees him teaming up with jungle compadre Jay Dubz with a darker, hurricane roller with a shadowy bass and an iciness that's not dissimilar to an old Commix cut. Never say never.
Review: Peaking off an exceptional year, Atmomatix bossman Critical Event follows a seriesa of releases on the likes of Influenza, DNBB and Celsius with this beautiful three-way on Soul Deep. "5th Move" hits with moody linger chords and occasional dreamy piano flourishes keeping momentum in all the right places, "Nostalgia" brings us right back to the essence of soulful drum & bass with lavish space around every element, soaring pads and a late-entering subtly gully bassline. "Silhouette" closes with a stunning jazzy high. Soft focus and laced with poignancy, it's one of Critical Event's most moving pieces of music to date. Sweet dreams.
Review: Previously taking us on trips into the unknown, Hungarian soulsmith D.Amadeus returns to Soul Deep HQ with four more breath-taking workouts. Flickering between the delicate pianos of "Inconsistency" to the soaring hands-up momentum and dubby echoes on "Above The Sky", the young artist paints a vast canvas with rich colours. Don't sleep on the outstanding collabo with Rolfey where some of the softed, springiest keys bubble and pop around a haze so strong you'll need a lie down afterwards.
Review: Blazin' by name, blazing by nature: the unstoppable US junglist Dave Owen makes his debut on Soul Deep with a superlative four-tracker that triumphs in showcasing both his on-point range and Soul Deep's ever-reliable status as premier LA groove dealer. "Blazin' Arrows" is all about the rolling breaks, pure Randall material. "Makin' Plans" fuses up slick emotional rap with jazzy muted horns and another set of precision rolling drums while "Soul Purpose" instantly flares up with a jaunty ragtime jazz piano riff. Finally "Slave 2 The Game" is a trip back to 96 on the Good Looking express. Slave to authenticity, more like. Vibes.
Review: Super consistent US representor Owen flies free with his second substantial EP of the month: "A Love So True" on Soul Deep. As you'd expect from the title "A Love So True" is a total dreamboat. Floating, harmonic wooziness at its very best. Deeper into the EP we hit subtle grit on "Easy Does It", we dust off the jazz hands for the summer-swinging soul slider "The Get Down" and totally zone out on the delicious breakdown of "Do What It Do". Understated soul at its shiniest, Dave Owen is making all the right sounds.
Review: Not much is known about newcomer John Daze but what he lacks in marketing presence, he more than makes up for in severe rolling swagger. Joining Soul Deep Exclusives for a shot at one of the year's most surprising EPs, Higher Love is an exploration of this producer's sound which ends on the totally sublime harmonies of "Your Love". It's a track which deserves to be a set closer that sends shivers up spines and jogs memories for decades to come.
Review: Deep, pensive and rolling. It's how good, serious drum and bass should be. "Searching" holds on to a Reece bassline needily while beautifully picked out and modified vocals give colour alongside fresh and minimal piano. It's a bit of a breathtaker. In fact, every track on this stunning EP is moving in its own way, from the light and optimistic "True Lies" and "La Sol" with its intense atmosphere and unique vocals to final track "Slam Funk" which could be Jon Daze's biggest dancefloor missile yet. Unmissable. Get into it now.
Review: Recovered from his titanic co-lab with label boss Scott Allen earlier this year, Cornish crusader DC lays down two more of his signature liquid rollers. "Organic" lives up to its name thanks to its simple-but-hypnotisingly-effective sample that waves back and forth over naturally developing drums. "Summer Groove" also lives up to its name thanks to its breezy pads and drifting horns. November isn't the most obvious time to release a track with such a name but vibes like these know no season and it guarantees a long lease of life as we stash it for 2016's summer weapon.
Review: LA looks towards mainland Europe for its next fresh talent excursion as Czech and Slovakian artists Dephzac and Smote take up a track each on this soul-rolling doublet. Dephzac takes us back to early 2000s Creative Source material with his one-strike piano hook, subtle soul vocal texture and texturally elastic bassline. Smote backs up previous Good Looking and Secret Ops backing with a delightfully emotional string sweep and chord structure that swoons with natural ease of the tight rolling shaker-sprinkled break. Stunning.
Review: Working together once more on some soul-soaked vibes, "Soul Delivery" is the perfect way to get dRamatic & dbAudio back into your collection. Track one is a laid back lazy roller, driven by the crack and jangle of high speed amens and hi-hats - a perfect ode to the old school. On the other side, things get a little darker and a little colder. Distant strings back up a lyrical synth line and icy production gets things punching hard and crisp. Add to that a big beautiful bassline and you've got yourself a winner.
Review: When Soul Deep catch up with a new producer, you know they're something worth writing home about. Techy and crisp, the Sao Paulo-based beatmaker has been creating tunes for a little while now, but it's only with this EP he's really showing his true colours. With punchy beats and a keen ear for detail, there's a touch of early '00s club tracks to some of his tunes, making them all them more valuable in dancefloor currency terms. Mixing it up through jungle breaks and even more experimental bassy productions, this definitely marks him as a man to watch.