Review: Manchester trio Altered States make their debut on local label Sub-Woofah, and it's a typically pulsating affair. Opener "Ground Zero" laces dystopian bleeps, ragga vocals and thrillingly moody chords over skittering jungle breaks and a deep, dark, extended bassline. In many ways, it's a rush-inducing blast from the past, though its rolling grooves and bass pressure are guaranteed to tear up any contemporary dance. "Disclosed" opts for a more grandiose production style, with classic rhythms and atmospheric textures underpinning electronic blips and chord progressions reminiscent of the KLF's "What Time Is Love". It's probably our pick of a surprisingly strong pair.
Review: "Dystopia"... The EP title says it all. But then if you know Epicentre's output (and you really should by now) then you won't need a bleak title to set the scene. We're talking dark, rolling, timeless junglism on a highly authentic level. From the Sappo-style rolls of "Inside Your Mind" to the Vapour-level hoover flexes of "Yeah Man" by way of the turbo charged grit of "The Program" and outright anger of the ironically titled "Good Times", this is yet another spotless example of Epicentre's command of both studio and jungle science.
Review: Hell bent on making Manchester the - wait for it - epicentre of jungle in 2013, this latest release is the North West newcomer's most accomplished yet. The airy chime and janglingly loose amens of "One Way" blaze the way for a big dirty bassline ready for some serious dancefloor movements. "Champion" fanfares into a mashed-up mix of breaks and low down dirty bass. Bringing the heat to a filthier, nastier incarnation of jungle, there's one thing that you can be sure of - Epicentre ain't going nowhere.
Review: Something tells us this guy wants to do more than just chat. With a big, heavy junglist riddim bursting out of roots samples like a freight train, there's a war following him wherever he goes. Taking that energy and morphing it into something more sinister is Euphoque's remix, a reggae-fuelled horrorscape where jump-up meets echoing organ vamps and vocal snaps before dissolving almost completely into break-laden chaos. Two totally different takes on a theme of dancefloor dictatorship. Take care.
Review: What kind of visions does the word "Slumfunk" bring to mind? Mancunian producer and d&b pusher Epicentre is probably best known in the area for slipping darker sounds into the local consciousness and this release is an example of how his raw-edged stylings match into sleeper-cell junglist knowledge. This man could sleep-walk through a set and still have the floor saluting. "One Way" is less demanding but no less immaculately produced, picking up vintage sounds and breaks and cracking the whip, adding a crisp, no-nonsense ethic to proceedings. Nod your head and get low, because now he's sucked you in you've got nowhere else to go. That's how it goes.
Review: Flexing between some of the best contemporary jungle labels in the scene right now, Epicentre is playing a mean hand this year. Leaping back from Deep In The Jungle, he hits Sub-Woofah with four of his best cuts to date. "Earworm" is a delicious wriggler with a riff that lingers in your head for days, "100 Box A Dub" pays in full in every possible way while "Grey Goose" leans back with a restrained wobble that's reminiscent of early Bassbin material. Finally his insane "Trees" from earlier this year gets a gritty switch up on the VIP stakes. Shake your membrane.
Review: Manchester's Subwoofah is a regional powerhouse for, in their own words, the marriage of school jungle and modern D&B. That's the objective being borne in mind here with Epicentre's remix EP, a release which combines the percussive vibrancy of jungle with the powerful basslines of the current age. The 'Motiv' remix of 'Ear Worm' is a great example and we love the rough edge to its drums almost as much as we dig the attitude-packed bassline. Full of anger, but the good sort. Lovely.
Review: The clue is in the title mate: Ruff Rollerz... Delivered by one of Manchester's most consistent and authentic jungle imprints since Sappo's Advisory. Epicentre grabs our crotch with an iced out riffer, Warhead gives us the finger with some heavily tribalized drum damage, Bou-affiliate Jamoh cooks up a low-swung waspy bassline-riddled Voltage-style shaker while newcomer Kovert Sounds juices up the rave machine and twists up the elements in quite an astonishing way. Finally Buckfast-swigging buccaneer Sl8r returns with another hardcore homage that switches so sexily into a percussive minimal drop you might need new trousers. Get on this now mate.
Review: Southport-based junglist warrior Erbman Hustlin produces some of his finest fragrant dubs for our skanking pleasure. Coming up first is a gritty little blazer, running fast and loose around jangling guitar blasts and reggae stylings. On the flip is more serious tune, feeding into the darker, deeper vibes of D&B. Still bringing the jungle breaks but adding tense pressure from a dark rolling bassline, this is the full package. Get to know.
Review: Sub Woofah boss Euphonique doesn't grace her label with her own productions anywhere near as much as she should, so make heavyweight hay while the sun shines and dig deep... "Wicked Soul" rolls with timeless jungle flare (think Sappo's consistent output) and a cheeky Eek-A-Mouse sample. "Run" takes us into deeper heads-down territory while "Million" purrs with chubby subs, dubby textures and neat horn blasts from the off-side. Complete with a wobble-jacking 4/4 bassline dub mix of "Wicked Soul", let's hope Euphonique doesn't leave it so long until her next Sub Woofah outing as this business really does bang.
Review: And now for something completely different. Euphonique brings the true flavours of jungle to two blistering bass-injected tracks, hot off the press and ready for the dancefloor. As one of Manchester's most successful junglists in recent years, she's won competition after competition for her unique stylings and tune selection. What we're talking about here though is on-point percussion, consistently individual samples and a passion for keeping it diverse. On the flip, S Man's remix taps into a bubblier vibe, taking things darker. You need this.
Review: Following their most prominent and active year to date, Sub-Woofah kick off a new year of releases with a brand new jungle-focused series "Jungle Xplorers". Serious shots are being fired from the off; label boss and leading lady Euphonique kicks off with big Buju-biting damager "Big Man Don't Cry", Omega kicks up with an awesome warbling bass rattler while Erbman kicks out with a horn-tooting floor-shattering roller. Deeper again SynthForce & DJ Ransome get twisted on a Mind Vortex-style bass freak-out and Sl8r chops, pops and double drops with the stuttering, glitched-out Think break led stepper. Long may Sub-Woofah's explorations continue...
Review: Subwoofah are rolling things out nicely here with a joint four-tracker from Grimesy and Speaker Louis, who manage to combine riotous jungle with more considered tones to great effect. 'It Was' lands more on the side of the former except it smashes out the jump up stabs over a staggered, junglist undercarriage which injects a whole new dynamic of broken, torn energy to create a proper choon. 'What You Do' is a bit more stripped back, a bit more focused on the drum side of things and it works really well, sub-bass stabs abound in the gaps and its all just very sick. Top work you two.
Review: Manchester's thriving drum & bass scene is showing no sign of slowing up, and why would it? With some of the most promising new artists pitching up in the city as well as established figures maintaining the Northern end, folks like Jinx and K Jah are in good hands. The Sub-Woofah crew's events have been a mainstay in the D&B and jungle hubs around the country, so off the back of that deep knowledge of the scene they've created a label that taps into what the ravers want. As you'd expect then, from the '90s breaks of "Can't Think" to the huge bass wobble of "Unity Rollers", this is a release that perfectly sums up the feel of a jungle/D&B clubnight right now. Big sounds for big soundsystems.
Review: What do you expect when you're cracking open something fresh from Junglord? If it's on Sub-Woofah, you'd better be looking forward to some huge breaks, devastating bass and a lot of cheeky extras thrown into the mix. "Jungle Ingredients" contains all you need to create your very own jungle masterpiece, complete with helpful hints from a rather well-spoken gentleman. On the flip is a cheeky little number filled with bounce, bass and plenty more of those delicious breaks. More please.
Review: Junglists unite. Euphonique's Sub Woofah hits another new height with its best remix package to date. Returning to K Jah's 2014 EP with four heavyweight remixers, each cut is brought up to date with ease and class.... Aries adds crisp drums and refocuses the vocal loop on "Dub Dun Already", DJ Hybrid adds a little Dread magic to the rolls of "Fix Dem", Gold Dubs retains the classic detuned piano hook of "Bad Vibrations" while adding a whole new bassline that's much more jungle than jump-up. Finally "Can't Think" whisks us back to 2013 as Junglord rebuilds an even earlier K Jah co-lab with superbly polished breaks and some twisted edits. No messing around here.
Review: Sub-Woofah return with more junglist deviations of an old skool flavour with the appropriately named Bad Vibrations EP from K Jah - if rolling amens fused to crisp 808s and speaker-demolishing basslines are your thing then this should be right up your street. From the frenetic riddims of the title track through the abstract vocals and siren tones of "Fix Dem", screwface bass of "Dub Dun Already" and playful saxophone sample of "Rapido" there's something here to get any floor moving.
The Darkness (feat Diligent Fingers) - (5:19) 174 BPM
London - (6:13) 175 BPM
Review: Bearing the instantly recognisable name of the American hip-hop legends, you'd be bang on the money if you assumed that this release was a Wu Tang-sample laden raft of heavy D&B. It's a simple concept, but one that's executed with nasty precision. 'Wu Tang' is the title track and arguably the best on the release, an instantly recognisable shaolin shadow-boxing sample dropping off into a catchy yet forceful main riff of bouncing bass notes. 'Velocity' is equally as forceful, an intricate tapestry of various percussive elements underpinning an expansive, warming set of low-frequency feelings. 'The Darkness' and 'London' are somehow just as good, particularly the former - what a release this is.
Review: Young Manchester up-and-comer Motiv returns to the scene of the crime as he appears on the label where it all started for him in 2015: fellow local stable Subwoofah. Older, wiser, gullier, everything about this EP is a level up: "Suicide Thing" is all about amazing frazzled and loose off-beat bass grizzles, "Dead Reckoning" is pure bass venom while "Circumstances VIP" creatively flips a percussive texture into a full riff. Finally we have "Havoc" that packs a cool turn of the century Bristol punch to complete the set. Dark and delicious.
Review: Not to be confused with Roger Sanchez's S-Man alias, S Man is all about the heritage jungle vibes. Making his Sub-Woofah EP debut, here he lays down four unruly examples of D&B damage. "Rava Flava" lives up to its name with detuned synths and a bassline so full fat S Man needed doctor's approval before bouncing it down to audio. "Fire" twists up ragga chats with big jazz chords in the same way Jumping Jack Flash did 20 years ago, "Brain Funk" tickles with a funkier stick and an array of strange, twisted sound design while "Give You" tugs on the emotional heartstrings with its delicate piano and whirring shakers. Rewind.
Review: Manchester mandem: S-Man puts the S back in SubWoofah with a fresh original, one remix and two crucial VIPs of established bangers. "Jungle Junkie" is an open admission to the addiction many of us proudly suffer day-to-day. With its bashy scattered breaks and guttural ragga vocals, it's an instant call-to-arms and complete disclosure that you'll never find him in rehab. VIP-wise "Brain Freeze" scuffs up the euphoric dynamics of the original for something grainier and distorted while the perennial "Rava Flava" gets extra muscles in the drums. For more of a stripped back bassline-focused take on "Jungle Junkie" check his Rolling remix. Clue's in the title.
Review: Get that summer zing back with Subtifuge, whose sunkissed sounds come straight from the heart of Kingston. You'd never guess he was from Portsmouth. Vintage jungle and ragga blend together in the title track while sweet reggae vocals smash it perfectly with light-hearted dubby bass bringing out a cheeky vibe. On the other side, "Lick Di Plum" brings more of that trademark naughtiness with a fun and funky skanked out sound and raspy ragga vocals. Plenty to get your move on to.
Review: There really aren't enough flutes in drum & bass. We know this. You know this. Verdikt knows this... And on "As We Go" he tackles the issue head-on with a quirky flute toot or two before dropping into a classic Urban Takeover style jump up vibe. The result is something that would have sounded great in 97 as well as today. For more timeless jump up vibes head for his long-awaited "Pussyclart Bass VIP". Switching out the walking-style bassline for something hookier and more direct, it's the consummate example of VIP subtlety.
Review: Allow Subwoofah to present Verdikt, a newcomer from the UK with a big sound on his shoulders. Pumping out jungle vibes through a new-age filter, "Kill A Soundboy" takes classic breaks and creates something destructive and dark. Add a heavily manipulated bass and you've got yourself a hurter. "Pussyclart Bass" sounds just as deadly, but don't let a title override your judgement. Crisp future sounds abound from the offset, joined by a big womping bassline and little else to get in your way. Stomp it out, that's what dancefloors are for.