Review: Unofficially the baddest hombre of the KOTR cartel, Bladerunner steps over to his mate Serum's souper imprint for two understated stinker sessions. "48K Soundboy" huffs and heaves with a nicely distorted bassline that's almost guitar-like in its natural strokes and drums that have a live rattled feel (and some ace pitching on the fills) Multiverse, meanwhile, takes us back with a BC style sci-fi aesthetics and a Charge-style stab in the main riff. Impeccable, as always.
Review: Badman Bou is in the house! Making his debut on Serum's impeccable label Souped Up label, it's nothing but four tracks of absolute sonic lava. "Mankind" is all drone and no moan as a metallic bass textures scrapes itself over some slinked-out rolling breaks, "Higher" sees him teaming up with Current Value (who he actually inspired to write a whole album without realising) for a technoid pumper with venomous springy stabs, "It's A Trap" is all about the rubber ball bass shots and flagrant cheekiness before "No Love" bids us adieu with another powerful tunnelling metallic bass drone. Lovely 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: Man of the moment Bou is joined by Sub Killaz on Souped Up for a riotous single that lands squarely on the pulse of today's D&B landscape. Head nodding drums and glitched out samples bring you in for the title track 'Starbust' before the trademark Souped Up style punches you on the nose with a fluctuating bounce of bass stabs. "Pressure' adds some more powerful drums in what is jump-up revamped, its stabbing, pointed knuckles lumped into each other for a groovy run of low-frequency style that'll be instantly recognizable for fans of Serum. This release rides the genre's wave of popularity with an effortless style deserving of some of Manchester's hottest talents.
Review: Current Value on Serum's Souped Up... Even as recently as a year ago this would have seemed like an odd partnership but right now it feels just right. CV brings dynamics and textures like few others can but much more importantly he understands the funk and groove and when to hold back, too. As a result each of these four tracks is an absolute keeper; "City Syndrome" sparkles with strange spatial textures before flipping into a guttural grainy riff, "Of Truth" hits with a classic old school emotional synth intro before flipping into a growling metallic bassline. "Relinquish" takes us to much darker pastures with a grizzly rolling bassline with "Sluv" ends with foundation tones so rich and evocative but an energy and aesthetic so futuristic and crisp, it's like being in a rave in 1990 but dancing in trainers made in 2090.
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: 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.
Review: Manchester's Dom Utley, better known as Dutta to his peers, is up next on Serum's Souped Up with a new bunch of personal dubs that follow up great releases on Faceless Audio, Dubz Audio and Liondub International. Featuring the fierce tech-stepper that is "Dominos", he then goes deeper into the morning hours on the moody "One Round" (feat T>I) reminiscent of classic DJ Krust and "Cookie Monster" - a true roller with relentless junglist style breaks throughout. Follows up some great releases on the label by Bou, Bladerunner and Current Value.
Review: Dutta is a young Mancunian on a serious mission - a mission to make big tunes. One of the emerging wave of talent that Serum is fostering with his Souped Up imprint, his raucous approach to the Souped Up sound has already begun to give him a bit of a name of himself. This EP looks set to confirm that as it's a slick five-tracker. The title tune sits above a bed of solid percussive force, and there's a nice juxtaposition between funky stabs and a dark, satisfying bassline that moves and sways with serious precision. 'Hot Box' has a similar back end and is another highlight from the release, but perhaps not as much as 'Pepperoni Passion' featuring Inja, which also combines smooth jazz samples with a dirty bottom end. Big stuff from the young upstart.
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: MCs don't come much more legendary than Birmingham's Bassman, labels don't come much more on point than Souped Up: Everything about this release stacks up in our favour. And that's before we get to the fact the remixes of Bassman's 2009 classic are none other than Serum and Bou & Simula. First up we find the label boss diving deep with his signature sheet metal groans while men-of-the-moment Bou & Simula get jiggy with more of a trippy, haunted rippled effect. Remixes don't come much more hench than this.
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: Instant shoe-off material: "Start The Killing" is Serial Killaz and Souped at their rawest and heaviest. An immense motorised groan that rips through the speakers with a strong pungent whiff of early 2000s, this is guaranteed to have you flinging your footwear all over the gaff. You can file "Spread Out" in your 'stinker' playlist while you're here, too. Once again armed with a droning, deep scream speaker ripping bassline but a little more of Serial Killaz' signature dubwise elements, this will spread like measles in a hippie commune. Total murderation!
Review: Finally! After what seems like an eternity, Souped Up bossman Serum unleashes one of his most long-awaited dubplates 'Lumberjack'. Often topped with a killer flow from Inja, here it is in all its hooky, ever-mutating glory. It's backed with an equally riffy wriggler "Square Root". Bleepy and weird but a hell of a lot of fun, it's like spending a night camped out in a transistor radio with some high quality rum. Serum's a lumberjack... And we're okay!
Review: VIP time! Souped Up unleash some of the bossman's biggest specials from the last year. If you've seen him or Kings Of The Rollers play you'll already know them... Especially the hype riddled Inja fronted take on "Lumberjack". "Heavy & Dark" gets two crucial treatments, too; one gurning, crying VIP from Serum and a killer version with Carasel who brings a whole new vibe and narrative to one of the biggest tracks of 2018. Essential.
Review: Souper douper danger: Serum takes the controls for his label's second release with three more killer jams. "Earth Rot" pings and zips with a high frequency metallic rubber ball bassline while "Ripped Open" lives up to its name tears us all a new one as it stabs hard with a Mampi-style sense of focus and drama. Finally "Pulse-S" represents Serum's more leftfield sense of funk with a tin-of-bees bass buzz that wobbles raffishly off the kicks. Yet another soup filled with at least three of your five a day, once again Serum smashes it in his own unique way.
Review: Oh Serum, how many pieces have you smashed 2017 to? Our last count was a billion but we may well be looking around the trillion mark with this new Souped Up special. Funk, humour, darkness and brute force are all at play here as we're treated to three more floor-burning classic Serum buzzes: "Hunchback" takes us back to Bingo's golden age with a riff so bouncy you'll be putting stabilisers back on your bike, "Nomads" is a little darker in its texture but just as funkily persuasive while "Road Dog" takes the Bristol sound, adds a hundred barking Staffies and lets them off the lead and right in to your face and ears. Tremendous stuff that's both classic, timeless and one of a kind. Salute to Serum!
Review: If Serum's new label Souped Up was an actual soup what flavour would it be? A minestrone perhaps? Full of chewy textures and a wholesomeness that instantly hits the heart. How about a mulligatawny, all hot and rich? Or maybe a classic oxtail? Intense and beefy. Whatever flavour you can compare it to, like all soups, it does what it says on the tin and it's best served piping hot. Here are two more cases in point Serum and fellow roller king Voltage; the rocket-launching Charge-like chiselled riff on "Mission Control" and the slinky jungle stepper which nods at Full Cycle sound with its mild wafts of jazziness, loose drums and continuous bass mutations. Chewy, wholesome, hot, rich, intense and beefy: Souped Up is every drum & bass flavour right now... Get it inside you!
Review: Men of the moment Serum & Voltage press the red button on Serum's nuclear new label: Souped Up. The results are as bright, bashy and bad-ass as you'd hope them to be: "8-Bit" hits with a nasty rasping riff that grizzles on the top-end and sizzles on the bottom while "Gunfingers" shoots and whips with an anthemic bass melody that's so strong you feel you've known all your life. Already massive in the dance with those lucky enough to have it dub, this is the way all new labels should launch.
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: T>I on Souped Up... It was only a matter of time before this alignment of gully stars occurred, and of course it's 100 percent stankage. "Dye Migration" is a juggernaut driving up behind you with full beams and 1000 horns blaring up your keister before he launches into a couplet of caustic collabs; "Swington" with Serum is a low riding, knuckle scuffing groaner while "Blue Lagoon", with Current Value, takes us down lovers lane for a breezy roll out that's loaded with equal levels of grit and emotion. Finally "Bullnose" sees T>I wrapping up the EP solo with nothing but a bucket load of pure filth and bleeps. Absolute gold... But would you expect anything less of the Drum&BassArena Award winning label?
Review: The bumchin badboy is back, and he's packing a platter of greasy riff pies. But be lively, these are so fresh they're jumping off the plate! "High Frequency" is all about the ping pong ball bassline that ricochets around the mix like a hyper puppy who's been given grown up Pedigree Chum while "Entity" adds instant contrast with grumpy bass guffs and a beat the rolls with absolute perfection and works in pretty much every single mix we've tried. Deeper into the EP we find Souped Up's head chef Serum getting in the mix for two collaborations; "Circuits" is a proper grumpy one with just a smidgeon of BC peppering the mix while "Pitch Forks" gathers the rabble and comes charging out of the gate towards whoever's made the most recent public upset. And by the sounds of that flabby bassline and those graveyard pads they're not stopping until blood is split. Rabble rabble!