Review: On Memories we find the Bristolian producer Actraiser letting loose on the evergreen Soul Deep imprint. Both "End Of Us" and "Memories" are trembling servings of vocal soul, polished with a wistful air of somnambulant sonic weight. "Juice Joint" flips the switch for a more rugged, jazzier flex. Not dissimilar to his Bristol forefathers, there's a touch of Full Cycle to the chop-slapping breakbeats and rich warm chords. "69 Sling" shows yet another side to Actraiser with beefier breaks and a cosmic blend of organic instrumental elements. Guaranteed to take you to another place.
Review: Against & Physical kick off their four-track venture on Soul Deep with the clapping, vocal-driven rhythms of "Wish You" with its sonorous vocals and humming b-line - one for the laid back clan. Title track "Summer Rain" is a classic shuffling, soulful ballad of a tune with sultry sax, shimmering vox and a jazz-y vibe. "So Naive" continues in this vein, with lustrous instrumentals and high paced drums, before "The Movie" brings things to a close, bringing in a deep, whirring b-line, gently rippling breaks and plenty of sunshine.
Review: Soul Deep debutant A.K.A gets busy with three stunning originals and one jungle-wise remix, and Soul Fever is a great reminder (if needed) that less is always more. With a precision steppy riddim, dense sub and melodic jazz hook the title track runs circles around you in the same way Adam F did almost 20 years ago while A.K.A and Payback's remix adds more roots roughage to the drums. Elsewhere "Never Give Up" is a straight up jazz and bass piece, all drifty and deep and "Blessings" is more of a star-gazing roller with twinkling arpeggios and a super-loose slap-happy bassline that you can imagine Marky utilising particularly well. Feverishly good.
AKA/Ahzmahtix/Thiago Pery - "Soul Brothas" (Pery Hip Hop version) - (4:24) 174 BPM
Ahzmatix & Thiago Pery - "The Chemistry Of Love" (original mix) - (5:55) 172 BPM
Review: Kooked-out jazz and woozy, dreamlike effects make Pery's hip hop version of "Soul Brothas" a strangely eye-opening experience. Likewise, Ahzmatix and Tiago Pery's "The Chemistry Of Love" is a big rollin' journey through old school vibes and downtown hip hop flavours. Picking up on the liquid drum and bass community's voracious appetite for the unique, Soul Deep have hit another high with this little number. Weird, but in a good way.
Review: Alexus steps up on Soul Deep with the Friends EP - a tidy four-tracker which totally lives up to the Soul Deep aesthetic with lush, blissful tones and gentle sounds a-plenty. Getting things started is aptly entitled "Take A Nap" which is a lilting, soporific ballad with sweeping atmospherics and delicate SFX. Next is "Check Please" which is a curious, experimental cut with weird, quirky SFX and breathy vocals; then we have the title track "Friends" with its shimmying trumpet melody, ticking breaks and murmuring b-line. And then last but not least it's "Sweet Promises" which brings the EP to a close.
Review: Scott Allen & Deeper Connection and Soulculture team up for a sterling collaborative EP on Soul Deep. Expect rattling breaks, jungle-inspired vocals, murming basslines and reggae samples a-plenty across the five-track adventure. "Badness" gets the party started with punchy drum rolls and reggae horns, before Soulculture's jungle riddim "No Heed Dem" kicks in, and then "Some A Dem" with its funky SFX. Scott Allen & Deeper Connection return for "Joke Smoker" with its firm beats and booming bass, and then "Run Away Soundboy" rounds things off.
Review: Manchester's Altered States seem to be on a mission to punctuate the world of drum and bass with soul-cleansing epic tastefulness. It's not enough for these guys to be heavy: they want people to feel the music; Perfect for Soul Deep then who've snapped them for a beautiful two piece banger. Starting off with title track "Submerged", the pair drop into a fathoming-deep bassline that gives the whole track a huge sense of space, despite its relentless hi-hats. "Time" follows on and features the stunning vocals of Sophia Wardman, taking on the more familiar shape of a straight-up liquid roller with some addictive melodies added as an extra treat. One for the sensitive souls.
Review: A seamless and sumptuous offering here from Amparo; the "Gone Astray EP" blends lush liquid flavours with minimal, sparse soundscapes for the ultimate listening experience. Right from the off "Under A Maple Tree" soothes the soul with its sweeping atmospherics and light, ticking breaks, before are transported off on another sonic cloud in "Call Me" with its gentle, undulating melodies. The title track "Gone Away" is a lovely cut with warm, rolling bass, whilst "Summer Nights" is a dreamy, esoteric offering and "Useless" is full of deep, minimal sounds. "Cruise Line" concludes the EP with a flurry of rolling beats and liquid, chiming SFX.
Review: Expect lush soundscapes and laidback beats to predominate in this release from Andrezz on Soul Deep Recordings. "Compassion", this release's eponymous track, gets things started with a flurry of drum work, explorative sweeps and a gently murmuring b-line. "Landscape" goes deeper down the rabbit hole, going in on a super sparse tip, before "Hopes"returns us to a more sonorous, upbeat moment with pattering beats and quirky instrumental flourishes. "Emotional Pain" is full of impassioned beats, the sound of waves crashing on the shore and lilting, off-key piano keys. Finishing up with "Let The Groove Move", Andrezz finishes the EP on a sultry note.
Review: With just an album and a few EPs under their belt, Aquasion have delivered a mesmerising blockade of jumping, hip-winding, liquid-like breakbeats for the dancehall. This time they appear courtesy of Soul Deep Recordings, and "Ladies Of The Night" opens things up in fine style and with peerless charisma. The jazz influence is notable throughout, particularly on the gorgeous piano keys of "Up All Night", but also on the drum patters and general vibe of the whole four-tracker.
Review: Aristocrats have joined Soul Deep to give us a taste of the finer things in life. Surely we aren't worthy? First track "Pleasure & Champagne" is cheeky and sensual at the same time. Maybe it's the sampling or perhaps the understated hand claps, but there's something quite risque going on here. Add that champagne and it's a totally different experience to your regular sweatbox d&b. "Urban Banquet" comes second, stepping hard with an infectious funky bassline that'll set your head wobbling and your feet moving. A tasty little release that'll take you by surprise; we suggest you go with it.
Review: One for the soulful hearts amongst the D&B community, this latest offering from the world famous Soul Deep Recordings features Baltimore-born Bank playing his heart out to the tune of some seriously uplifting breaks. Playful and filled with live-sounding instrumentation and loose snares, "One For One" reaches new summery heights, "SB Dub" tags refreshing splashes of piano to synthy strings to build up to perhaps the prettiest drop in recorded history, and "Soul Cycle" sits somewhere between the orient and Brazilian summer beach parties, with an unexpected bassline wretching its guts up underneath in case you were worried about it's dancefloor credentials. Finally, "Hard Cache" explores a far more electronic sound, with hopeful piano stabs adding warmth and high end texture to a monstrously low bass. An EP in two minds - it's like the bright sunshine just before the storm clouds roll in.
Review: Sam Bank is no stranger to soundscapes. A film producer by day, a music producer by night, this guy is a one man inspiration powerhouse. Originally from LA and with roots on the American East Coast too, Bank takes old sounds and morphs them beautifully into fresh compositions. "The Wild Time Unseen" is a perfect example of his extreme attention to detail and willingness to stick with a theme until the very end for that dreamy payoff. Some producers make music to dance to - Bank tells stories too.
Review: Ah nice, another heady hit of emotion comes our way from Soul Deep. For the first two cuts Blade has clearly been influenced by Submotion Orchestra, taking two of the band's tried and tested soulful dub pieces and pimping them into drifty D&B rollers. "Wait For You", meanwhile, takes a more Calibre swerve with a lush string-drenched groove. "The Spot" finishes the set with flowing old school sensibility. Stripped back and vibing, this one's all about the slinky bass and spine-tingling build.
Review: Appearing on Soul Deep once more for another helping of 2013-fresh liquid funk, German newcomer C9SMO gets emotive with four tracks wrenched straight from the heart. Rolling smooth and deep, "She's Not There" is heavy on the goosebumps. Taking inspiration from the likes of Lenzman, Marcus Intalex and S.P.Y, there's a techy slant to the record, as "Make My World" steps and claps with a funky bassline breaking up the rollers. The whole release rounds off in a huge way with the irresistibly epic "Transit" rumbling like a far-off electrical storm. More stunners from Soul Deep, get involved.
Review: Expect gorgeous, golden tunes relentlessly pouring from this release from start to finish. Rocking the mellow, liquid vibes right from the start it's an unmistakable Soul Deep family member but there's an edge that sets it apart too. With soulful numbers like "Things I Do" breaking through and the romantic side of Carlo EQ turning out instant classics like "Us Forever" and "Words Fail", it's a perfect addition to any well-stocked liquid D&B library and has enough soul to complement any tuneful set. Get your ears around it.
Review: Soul Deep's D&B crooner packs more soul into one bassline than most producers can muster up in a whole LP. Packed with fresh production, hot, spicy spikes of jazz samples and funky bass, it might be cold outside but this release is hot, hotter, hottest. With plenty of rolling amens for liquid fans to chill to, each tune brings with it a story and its own little world. Featuring a samples from all over including a cheeky lyric by Amy Winehouse (see if you can pick it out), there's a good mix of vintage and crispy new sounds alongside pacy beats and techy synths. There's a lot going on here, but it all works out, like a big, tasty D&B jambalaya.
Review: As the title of this EP suggests, Centrik is not a man who shies away from his emotions. Kicking off this four track stunner with a liquid roller in title track "Need Loving", his soulful influences take from early drum and bass can be heard melting deliciously into more contemporary sounds. "Way Away" constructs quite a different atmosphere, moving slow and keeping that bass way down as found sounds and live percussion finds its way into the mix. "Understood" gets back to basics with a straight-up rolling rhythm and warm piano providing the basis for a Brazilian-themed liquid romp. "Puzzled" heads back over to Centrik's inquisitive, experimental side, with gorgeously light samples laid over crisply produced beats. If liquid is your thing, Centrik is set to rock your world soon, so get involved early.
Review: Funk, soul and sexy rhythms, Serbian beatmaker Drum Force 1 brings it all to the show with "Groovy Shadows", a collection of some of his finest work to date for the ever-sterling Soul Deep label. Kicking off with two jazz-infused stormers, "Lies" gets the party started with smooth guitar licks over rolling amens, while the title track rolls and grooves, channelling summer sun through soaring strings. "All Night Long" takes things deeper, stepping hard into lush bass textures and finally the adorably-named "Little Year" brings back some of that sunny jazz in the form of warped keys, horns and a tasty hook more addictive than peanut M&Ms. You've got to love this.
Review: Wonderfully smooth stuff as usual here from Duoscience, who drop the Saraiva EP on Soul Deep. The cooing title track kicks off proceedings, with gently humming bass, jazzy keys, bewitching hats and even occasional bursts of smoky sax. Up next, "Just For Today" is better still, with Latin keys and strings working off some killer drum programming that is tough and stripped back yet snug at the same time. Two more killers - "Go Back" and "Defining The Note" - round off an essential release.
Review: Soul Deep Recordings comes storming back with the Coming Home EP from Duoscience. Kicking off with the title track, it's all curious, tribal-infused beats and eerie melodies with quirky edits here and there. Next is "Mind Off" with its rolling, peaceful melodies and deep, humming bass, and then we have "One More Night (feat. Sunny Crimea)" which takes us down yet another musical pathway and into another dreamy soundscape with echoing vocal, shuffling drums and spaced out SFX. Last but not least is "For You" with its enticing guitar strumming riff and cooing beats, which brings the EP to a charming close.
Review: Lush, lilting liquid rhythms preside across DV8's Call My Name EP as Soul Deep live up to their namesake once again. First up is the title track, which is full of soft, breezy vocals, chiming keys and gently pattering drums. Next is "Crazy" which is a more unnerving number, shaking things up with juddering rhythms and glistening SFX, and then there is "Music Solves The Problem" which is another enticing cut with rolling beats, lush melodies and plenty of feel-good factor. "What About Us" brings the EP to a finish with hissing hi hats, rolling b-line and contemplative questioning.
Remember To Forget (feat Chantelle Rowe) - (6:20) 174 BPM
Good Habits - (5:28) 174 BPM
Hand To Hand - (5:01) 174 BPM
Review: With titles like this, you can normally expect to hear some future-thinking, emotional drum and bass, and Polish newcomer Rafau Etamski does not disappoint. Taking to the piano for some seriously epic keys, the title track of this stunning EP also features the heartbreaking vocals of Chantelle Rowe. Talk about dem feels. "Good Habits" picks up the mood slightly, but only after a fittingly dramatic piano-led introduction. Big, bold and full of swooping atmospherics, it's also a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Final tune "Hand to Hand" is the most likely to grace the dancefloor, giving that deepness and some percussive bite. It's different. We like different.
Coming Back To Life (with Ncamargo) - (5:47) 174 BPM
Review: St. Petersburg-based producer Eugenics Eight has got a lot of influences in that head of his. In "Immersion into Memories" it's clear that he's singing from the Calibre songsheet of cool, creative but soulful drum and bass, but there's the hint of Brazilian flava in there too, picking up on what Soul Deep often does best. Moving through the EP there's experimentation with deeper sounds, silkier synths and techier drums, all tied together with his dream-like atmospherics and sense of dancefloor fun. There aren't enough producers around who like to put a bit of fun into their music - if liquid is your thing but you like it on the experimental side of the spectrum, this could be your buy of the year.
Review: Serbian D&B team Euphorics have been solely responsible for some of the most exciting new liquid releases over the past few years. Now they return to Soul Deep with an orchestral slant, picking epic string loops to fire over huge rolling beats. Swapping the epic tone for smooth soulful bass and shimmering synth textures on the title track, the EP quickly takes a turn back to deeper percussion and epic instrumentation, with huge jazzy brass filling out the melody in "That Stuff" and more epic dreamy strings in the crisp, surprisingly dancefloor-friendly "Forget Not". Lovely stuff.
Review: All fin-bearing puns aside, Fishy brings something deep and delicious to the table (sorry, we're done now) with these few cuts of luxurious rolling D&B. "I Said I Know" in particular is a standout track, pulling deep, forward-driven bass upfront, dragging with it the soulful vocals and piano with a real feeling of momentum. Showing off a more technical side in "Still Waters Run Deep", Fishy manages to create a darker sense of mystery while maintaining those trademark rolling hi-hats. For the emotional amongst us, "Forest Sunlight" is a beautiful piece of emotive D&B, played on pretty piano and given a big bassy workover. Lovely stuff.
Review: Having impressed us with his release on Med School's New Blood 011 last year, Flame comes up trumps with this delightful new offering on Soul Deep Recordings. A two-tracker of 172bpm bliss, the Solitary Shores EP kicks off with the title track, which is a trumpet-tooting, shimmying slice of soulful D&B, with sonorous vocal snippets, warm, undulating bass and booming subs. Chiming instrumentals add even more delicacy to the proceedings. The accompanying "Love Slow" is another smooth number, with R&B vocal, polished piano keys and gently tripping beats.
Review: Beautiful laid-back vibes from one of Soul Deep's choice purveyors of flowing gorgeousness. With the carefree attitude of a Cafe Del Mar sunset and the beat of a beach party, "Loving Me" is a slice of summer served up just when we all need it most. "Make me Say It Again" continues on a romantic theme, proving that for every heavyweight tune out there, there's a light touch filled with breezy interludes and sweet melodies to counteract. Finally, "Keep Your Head" moves into soul territory, offering up a playback of true motown flavours mixed with meaty bass and more relaxed grooves. So smooth and chilled.
Review: Flowrian steps up for the Memorized EP - a four-piece journey into modern day liquid D&B compromising of hushed, lucid melodies, gentle ticking breaks and soulful vocals. First up, Flowrian rides solo for opener "Balanced" with its gnarly b-line juxtaposed against swirling rhythms and delicate SFX, then it's on to "Recharged" - a stepping, shimmying number with plenty of mellifluous tones. Teaming up with La Meduza for the final two tracks, "Flow Back" is all nostalgia-steeped sounds and bongo beats with jungle chirrups and pervasive exoticism, whilst "Inside (2010 Remix)" rounds things off nicely with a more uplifting, dancefloor vibe.
Review: Bulgarian producer Funkware has created magic for Soul Deep before, but this time he's slipped it up a gear. Adding hip hop vocals to sultry brass and a sexy rolling bassline, "Bad Etiquette" oozes sophistication. If a track could schmooze with you, this one would just about do it. "Feel Good" is exactly what it purports to be - a feelgood track so full of soul and energy it could raise the recently deceased. Jazzy organ fills the space between funky bassline and soaring strings and as it rattles along it's hard not to think that everything really is fantastic. It's seratonin in a tune - what more could you want?
Review: Jazzy intelligence is where it's at with Bulgarian newcomer Funkware's latest release. A fully-fledged EP has been on the cards for some time now and this little beaut has been worth the wait, offering more jazz than your average soulful release dares to share. After the jazz delights of "Musique Liquide" and "The Fugitive", "Junior Jumpin'" is a fun little number, bouncin' and rollin' over a funky bassline, with plenty of splashy breaks to keep up momentum. Final track "Three Phase Interface" takes funky bass to the next level, adding soulful keys and a fast-paced feel to those rolling rhythms. If this doesn't get you dancing, you might not have a pulse.
Ji Ben Gong - "Deeper In My Soul" (original mix) - (5:48) 175 BPM
Anth M - "Twice" (Ji Ben Gong remix) - (5:18) 175 BPM
Ji Ben Gong - "Heaven & Earth" (original mix) - (5:23) 175 BPM
Elka - "Journey Of Love" (Ji Ben Gong remix) - (6:51) 174 BPM
Review: Liquid vibes a la Francais... Ji Ben Gong's been building his repertoire with some serious gold of late, and these four tracks are no exception. "Deeper In My Soul" boasts beefy beats that are balanced with spirally pianos and a well-known vocal sample. His remix of Anth M's Supremes sampling "Twice" is equally stunning as he switches the original's guitar-sparkled vibe for a deeper, rolling affair. Further on we hit string-coated bliss in the form of the steppy "Heaven & Earth" and Moby-style emotion on his remix of Elka's "Journey Of Love". Deeply delectable.
Review: Soul Deep's latest success story Greekboy brings his own tweaked take on rolling liquid heart-stoppers with this loaded EP. Switching styles from soulful to chopped and quirky and everything in-between, after a few releases where he was finding his feet, there's something about tracks like "Wake Up" that show he's really got it covered now. Drawing on influences from the old school and placing them against his own magical sound design, it's awesome to hear an artist striving for originality in what can often be a saturated scene. Final track "Faster" is the perfect example of this in practice, mixing playful invented sounds with Amens to create a new world sonic. All eyes on Greekboy.
Hosta - "When You Were Mine" (VIP mix) - (7:10) 174 BPM
Jodi & Merdz & Hosta - "End Of The World" - (7:32) 174 BPM
Review: The next offering from Soul Deep comes from Hosta who serves up a couple of tasty tracks in the "When You Were Mine EP". First up is a VIP mix of the title track - expect lush soundscapes full of billowing atmospherics, echoing vocal snatches and epic atmospherics to dominate for the first part of this gorgeous track. As it falls into the drop, the warm, undulating b-line takes over with the whispering SFX and gentle drum rolls driving things along for the duration. Then Hosta teams up with Jodi and Merz for "End Of The World" - another top notch track full of lilting, liquid vibes, tinkling atmospherics and soothing, soulful vibes a-plenty.