Souped Up is a London-based drum & bass label that drips with some of the fattest rollers and wobblers around. Led by D&B badmen Serum and Benny V, Souped Up have been carving their instantly recognisable bass face sound since it burst onto the scene in 2017. The forward-thinking label has so far churned out tunes from the likes of: Voltage, Bou, Dutta, T>I, Need For Mirrors, Mozey, Current Value, Levela, Ego Trippin and more. Rave favourites include Serum’s ‘Chop House’, Bou’s ‘Veteran (VIP)’ (feat. Trigga) and Bou, Simula and Bassman’s weapon, ‘Heavy & Dark’. Souped Up has a clear, colourful and unpretentious aesthetic and each release cover features a statement cartoon character. Reflecting their good humour, the label is also home to steroided-up soup can cartoon mascot, Vinny.
Review: Rusko gets his gaf on the wob AND tells us to pipe down in the process... This is life in late-stage capitalist 2021 - strange, off-kilter and straight-for-the-jugular. 'Shut Ya Mouth' takes the lead with some expertly controlled wobbles and an unrelenting break, 'Real Badman' strips back the drums and brings in a little Clipz style gruffness to the bass tones while 'Your Time's Up' carries a whole sledge of old movie samples and bassline so low-slung it's enough to scuff knuckles at 50 paces. Speak now or forever shut it.
Review: Gear them now! D*Minds return to Souped Up with more fruity ruffage. 'Charlie's Sheen' takes the spicy Hollywood actor to gully new levels with a stern Hazard-esque barking bassline and a sense of tension running throughout while 'Riddem' goes full-on barrel business with an expertly rattling snare and ballistic style bass scuds flying all over the place. Classic D*Minds carnage.
Review: Tik-Tok terrorist, shampoo advert superstar and all-round donnie Mozey returns to Souped Up with four more outstanding slap-abouts. 'Shrugs' takes the lead with its hornets nest bassline and skippy drums before 'Night Buzz' gets busy over a rattling snare and big bulbous sub plunges. Elsewhere we see him link arms with bossman Serum and stroll to the chemist for some foot ointment on the early 2000s Zinc style roll-out 'Trench Foot' before 'Waiting Room' sends us all off to purgatory on a big bag of nutty harmonic basslines with no ETA on when we'll be let out. Party on.
Review: Would you like to play a game? Rohaan would, and he's waiting for you in the Souped Up mansion games room with an array of outstanding pursuits and pastimes. 'Let's Play' reads the rules clearly with its hurricane synth stabs and sudden beat switches, 'Laser' then rips up those rules with its spiralling euphoric cascades and sudden drop into Armageddon while 'Stuck In A Memory' goes all stampy and throws the board off the table in a fit of drama and poignancy. 23rd century gamesmanship.
Review: Two of the most exciting acts around right now have collaborated on this single, as Bristol's The Sauce make their first appearance on Souped Up alongside label founder Serum. The drums are tight and head-nodding, and the basslines are expansive, choppy and full of the not-serious mentality that makes this such a great label. It's the b-side, 'A Truck Load', which really stands out from the pair, as a relentless yet subtly composed bassline barrels through the middle of the track with a feeling of pure inevitability; of course these two acts will make something this good, and of course it will blow your socks off. They wouldn't have it any other way.
Review: Man like Dutta returns to Souped Up with four delicious servings. We kick off with the title track 'Tokyo Drift', a sprightly, shimmering number where the bassline too's and fro's beneath Bone Slim's stylistic bars. It's backed by three more dreamboat jams; 'Explode' hits with a divine house-style piano hook, 'Bag Drop' gets a little murky for the sticky fingered massive while 'Middleman' closes the EP on an introspective jazzy flex. Drift away...
Review: Original Sin - the man, the myth, the machine. Few artists have attained his pedigree and weight in jump-up and here he is reminding us why. Two collabos, two solos: 'Shaolin Fist', with Serum, punches with both artists' weight as their basslines almost fight each other for our attention while 'Headshot' goes right back to the G Dub days with its rasping bassline but with added fire from the one and only Eksman. Meanwhile on the solos, 'Automaton' takes a deeper, darker tearing approach with a series of wobbles echoing out over the distorted bassline and 'King Kong Style' is just pure marching-to-war music. Buckle up bub.
Review: Lynx isn't a name that we would immediately associate with Serum & Benny V's Souped Up label, but the long-time producer and owner of Detail Recordings has used his experience and diversity of sound to come out with an absolute corker of a single. 'Rap Dude' has been produced in tandem with fellow Detail artist Kusp, and the pair have come out with a frantic number that wraps a wallowing bassline around a catchy sample, a tried and tested formulae for clubland euphoria that works incredibly well here. The flip is a Lynx-only production with one of the sickest beat patterns we've heard in a long, long time; a stomping percussive display of pure force that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and doesn't let go. Serum and Benny have flipped the script once more.
Review: Souped Up are always innovating around their tried and tested formula, and this EP is from a young artist the team have been pushing hard: Mozey. He's got four tracks here and all of them are wonderful balances of funky, synth-wave patterns and jagged dancefloor destruction, with Serum, Carasel and Current Value injecting that little extra into the mix. 'Simmer' with Carasel is a proper stomper, with a stepping percussive structure beneath a call-and-response format of shuddering stabs and shimmering, shivering synthetic screams. We love the bright, analogue funk on the introduction to 'Flirt', which creates an atmosphere of approachability far removed from its bassline's tendency towards spasmodic barks and gruff shouts. 'Lady Petrol' is a straight jump-up banger, and its position as the title tracks gives away the mission here: dancefloor pressure. Oh yes.
Review: Dutta is back, using his force to compel you to pull ugly bassfaces and throw your drink with an EP that doesn't hold back. Its not the kindest on the ears but then again it's not supposed to be, it's a monograph in hard-hitting sonics and dastardly tones. 'The Box' feat. MC Bassman is undergirded by a booming snare drum and percussive clarity, but the action happens in the steadily melodic but still raucous bassline, a pitched-up monstrosity of dancefloor proportions. The others feature more big sounds, with emphasis instead on forward movement and gruff, no nonsense textures. Another sick EP from the Mancunian on one of the scene's the best labels.
Review: Just when dnb was beginning to look a little less of a sausage fest, along come Ego Trippin with a whole can of wiener whoop-ass. Frankfurter by name, Frank Butcher by nature, 'Hot Dog' doesn't suffer fools gladly with its brusque breaks and a high freq harmonic riff that'll slap you down if you start taking liberties. 'Dub Plate', of course, pays homage to the crockery that all superstar DJs eat their meals off when they've hit the top league. You haven't been sent yours? Better start cutting more mustard then mate...
Review: When Bassman and Serum invite you to 'The Terrordome' you don't RSVP on nice frilly paper, you don't say 'yeah defo mate' but actually think 'I'll see what else is going on before I decide', you don't ask 'who else is coming?', you don't have to get your mum's permission. You just go there and you soak up whatever hell and tarnation the two monsters are cooking for you. It might make you screw up your face, it might make you shout a rude word or two, it might make you lose your trousers but that's life in the Terrordome and you are most definitely invited. Comes complete with the equally savage tear-up 'You're Coming With Us' with Ego Trippin where Bassman reveals what theologians and philosophers have wondered for centuries... What happens when we die?
Review: Tina Turner had steamy windows. Jilly Cooper writes steamy novels. T>I makes 'Steamy Rollers'... And he wants you to get all hot and sweaty by them, too. Coming at us courtesy of the steamy soundboys at Souped Up, each cut hits so hard you'll lose your undergarments within seconds... Those early Die style slinky bass hums on 'Jungle', those sultry guitar twangs and horrendously murky bassline on 'Paper Clipz', the twisted funk and slow burning build of 'Front End' and the riotous finale 'Steptrolasis'... All designed to get you so hot under the collar you'll disown clothing for the rest of your life. Body heat crew - this one you!
Review: Put some money in their hands! Bou and Trigga's already massive 'Veteran' gets the VIP treatment and it's finally ready for us mere mortals. Classic Bou roughhouse bassline funk, signature story telling from a true Manchester OG, delivered on one of the most on-point labels in the game right now; there's a reason 'Veteran' hit the spot so succinctly in the first place. This VIP makes sure the spot remains hit for a long time to come. Start with your lyrics, sing for your song.
Review: Few rising artists have turned as many heads this year as Mozey. And right here he proves the hype with a raucous night out with the Souped Up lads. First come the pre-drinks at his house. Enjoy a nice "Brandy & Coke" while the bassline sounds like a pack of stray dogs trying to eat your shoes. Next we hit the pub where we meet some very "Bad People" and shoo them away with eerie high frequency riffage and groaning bass textures. "The Mask" sees us hitting the club... Literally. The sound of the bass clanging like we're banging the walls because the music is goshdarned good. Finally we hit the sesh where things get twisted to the tune of "Demons Dreaming". You think you know big nights out? You've never raved with Mozey.
Review: A bunch of furry murderous Russians on Serum's Souped Up... What can possibly go wrong? Total carnage from the off, "Bun Dem" is serious sandpaper funk. Gritty, growling and unrelenting; it's not just rough around the edges, it's rough right down to the core. And it's back up with three more audio nasties... "Excited" is a staccato riff damager that nods to the mid 2000s jump-up where everything was maximal. "Beggar" follows suit but comes with a more sinister edge; like it's asking you for change but is actually ripping off your whole identity. Finally we hit "Knock Knock", a track rife in organic drums and scary bassline textures, it sets everything up for the all important punchline... You have no choice but to deliver.
Review: Do as he says, not as he does... Number one father for justice Voltage lays down the ground rules with this stinking slab of parental heaviness. You thought lockdown was bad? Just wait until you see what happens under your new poppa's regime: The groaning bassline on "Space Station" will ground you for a week, the pace, tension and growls of "Gyal Chat" will stop your pocket money for three months and the gruffness and ruffness of "Cold Air" will send you to bed with no tea every night for a fortnight. It's not all punishment and gunishment, though; "Spare You" (with MC Bassman) shows Voltage's kinder, softer fatherly side and he lets you drink cider and stay up till 3am watching horror films. Way to go dad-dad-daddio.
Review: It's all kicking off at Souped Up HQ. First they tell us Voltage is our real dad and it seems Dutta is being ousted as our naughty uncle coercing us into god knows what type of mischief with some of his most cantankerous sounds and flavours yet. "Tiger Claw" is pure drum riot funk, "Reload" (with Jakes) is insanely smooth, "Wash Away" (with Serum) packs all the raffish thrills and spills of an early Hazard joint, "Woah" is a deep sci-fi roll-out that takes off where "Trooper" left us the other month while "OG" closes on venomous growl flex. Wowzers... These will singe your trousers.
Review: The ever mutating, broadsword sounds of Need For Mirrors land on Serum's Souped Up once again and, as always, it's an eclectic selection. "Bubbles" is in the same vein as "Peng" last year with its steppy drums and rapid fire MC bars, it's followed by the sublime simplicity and dreaminess of "Thugga" and the disorienting organ-parping bassline and techno twangs of "Emoji Crash" before "Black Bags" closes the EP on a G tip once again. Moody pitched down bars, murked riddim, classic gutter grooves from Mr Lambo as always.
Review: Bedmo band leader Dr Meaker strips right down to his bare bassline essentials and jumps in a deep hot bath of pure Brizzle grit. The results are both high flying and full of natural grace; "The Falcon" glides through the thermals by way of a grunty riff before swooping for its prey by way of big disco samples. "Birds Flying High" maintains the airborne action thanks to a ridiculously playful riff and more precision sample magic. It's a new dawn, it's a new banger...
Review: Bassman a talking, no propaganda! The man with the most famous finger in dance music returns to Souped Up with more murderous words of wisdom in the form of "Power To Kill". Two versions, two absolute jams: Serum and Voltage take the lead with a classic addictive riff that bumps and wriggles and a cheeky key twist on the second drop. Manny mandem of the moment Dutta follows with a grittier flex to the bassline. Full on turbine business, it's a one-inch-punch of a bassline with full distortion and maximum overdrive in the energy stakes. Killing it in all directions, both mixes provide the perfect space for Bassman's distinctive martial law.
Review: The Souped Up crew are back in town and they have an offering, courtesy of Original Sin. It's a fiery, no-nonsense release that sits in the familiar vein of Souped Up influenced music, with an emphasis on the pummelling and the urban-edged knack that only jump-up D&B has. Remixing Serum himself, 'Earth Rot' has a punching, pitched-down back end that pulses and sways alongside its percussive cousin and to great effect - this one would go down well on any UK dancefloor. There's a genuine feel of aggressiveness here that only prooducers with the old-school credentials of Original Sin know how to cultivate, and it sits very nicely on the Souped Up release roster.
Review: The artwork for this release is typically Souped Up with its upbeat, cartoonish style and bright, saturated colours. The music is an equally pleasant assault on the senses and assault is the right word because, with Harry Shotta in tow, Serum & Benny V are launching an attack through sound. 'Let's Go' is quintessential Serum & Benny and the punchy, stabbing arrangement is complimented ideally by Shotta, who's renowned flow floats across the top end of the range to provide extra ammunition for the battle below. Proper Souped Up bit of sickness.
Review: Pass the pizza ar kid, Marky's heading up north and he's after something spicy! Teaming up with Dutta for the first of a two part release, this is a seriously tasty dream team where both artists characters' can be heard very clearly and vividly in the mix. "Mochi" flips between sandpaper bass licks and soft funk stabs while "Waffles" flips between a grumpy Bristol style bass and perky piano rolls that gradually get creepier and creepier. Feeling peckish? This will feed your family for three weeks and still have plenty left over.
Review: The biggest moves in Newcastle and the north east of the UK since Gazza cried in some football match (and the world cried with him) are happening right now. A storming wealth of D&B talent is all blazing through right now and Stompz is right up there at the front. This debut on Serum and Benny V's Souped Up is a great example of his dexterity and utter gulliness. Five tracks of twisted, bassy weirdness and dark toxic funk, highlights include the insane melted bass weirdness of "Derringer" and the farty trippiness and sudden BCUK-style fills of "Borehole" but to be honest the entire EP is killer. Do the world a favour and slap anyone who says foghorns are dead, then play them this. Big up Stompz.
Review: Oh gosh! Current Value hits us hard with his 11th studio album 'Puer'. Released on Serum's Souped Up, it's a no-holds-barred exploration of the jumpier side to his far-reaching range. Big basslines, wily funk, zero-effs-given rave music, it's the German producer at his most playful. Highlights such as the sizzling harmonics of "Contemplate", the deep drones and savage kicks of "Chariot", the rising grainy riff and KO fills of "Pitting" and the reunion with man-of-the-moment Bou on "Running Your Mouth" are just some of the tracks that will melt your skin right down to your bones. And if that's not enough, he's about to drop album 12 on Methlab too. No one's doing it like Current Value.
Review: Current Value's relationship with the Souped Up crew has become one of the best subgenre cross overs in recent times, with his glitchy Neurofunk sound transitioning perfectly over into Serum's drawn-out, jump-up infused tones. 'Remorse' features Coppa on vocals and it's a naughty, rolling number with a tight sub bass and a general atmosphere of aggressive hedonism and dancefloor orientated funk. Good stuff.
Review: There's no stopping Manchester's Bou right now. If he's not slapping us silly on the likes of Critical, or whipping us with one-offs on Hospital he's, drenching us in thick gloopy gully on Serum and Benny V's Souped Up. Following the heat of his "Habibi" EP last year, "Scorpion" comes with the sting its name suggests. It's backed up by the devilishly cheeky Trigga-fronted "Veteran" before he links up with Serum for "Superstar", a warm bouncy riffy cut that's crying for an Inja-style MC topline. Finally we hit "Spook". Recently spotted in the sets of both Noisia and Skrillex, need we say more? All say 'woo' for Bou
Review: Oh gosh. Fresh from his recent Critical endeavours, Levela makes his debut on Serum and Benny V's souper sharp shooting Souped Up with "R.A.W". A track so devilish in its intent and intensity - thanks to a sheet metal-slamming, insistent spoken vocal and layers of percussion - it more than lives up to its name. It's back by three more raffish fire blends; "Drunk" features the unstoppable Current Value and swaggers with deliciously loose drums and a punky bassline, "Meat Grinder" grizzles uncontrollably under a thunderstorm of distortion and harmonics while "Full Clip" closes this meaty message with a schizoid bassline that rattles and shakes with dangerous degrees of heaviness. Rare, raw, ready to feed festivals all summer; Levela is levelling up in a major way this year.
Review: Need For Mirrors is one of the most prolific producers in the game and now he lands on Souped Up with his debut full-length release on the label. Need For Mirrors has always had an incredibly unique sound and on Peng it collides with the tones of Souped Up, Serum's influence gets refracted through Need For Mirrors' production style and the result is fantastic. The roller mix of 'Peng A Leng' just does absolute bits, with a rambunctiously solid percussive underpinning that forces you to take notice early on, leading you into a huge bassy, brass stab line that'll blow your socks clean off. NFM has smashed this one, yet again.
Review: Dr Meaker is without a doubt one of the most unique artists in the scene. Known for their live-band approach to D&B that utilises a litany of different vocalists and instrumentation, their two albums are some of the most beloved. But recently Dr Meaker has gone in a more dancefloor-friendly direction and has been repping the Souped Up take, with plenty of big basslines and rolling hooks. That's what this single is and it's definitely a heavy, well-made piece of work. We hope it's not the end of the older sound, but regardless we're loving this newfound grittiness.