Review: Carefully balancing light and dark with every release, DJ Limited's range and scope reflects the diversity of modern D&B. Following releases on Jaydan's Smokin' and Sigma's Life, here comes his biggest release of the year so far. Highlights include the hornet-nest-on-fire buzzes and cathedral arpeggio of "The Addict", the cap-doffing reference to Annix with the screeched-out "Decimal System" and the chunkier, gnarly reese grit and sing-along vocal sample of "Play With Fire". Don't believe the name: Limited's skills are unlimited right about now.
Review: Full throttle jump-up business, Dominator and Nu Elementz finally deliver two of the subgenre's biggest ID requests this year so far. "Dimension" rides with a pulverising drill bass that fluctuates through the tones on every eight. "Spartanz", meanwhile, adds a cheeky breakbeat swing in the background as a darker, oakier bassline takes the lead with a Q&A riff before dropping into a string-laced breakdown from out of nowhere. Deadly.
Review: Filthy Habits? We wouldn't be surprised if Filthy Habits himself had a few of those, not just because it's in his name but because of how downright filthy his tunes are, although they're contrasted on this occasion with the sickening sweetness of its cake-based theme. 'Mr Kipling' is a rush of pitched-up deathy synths that rolls out at max speed and with zero sense of giving a fuck about, well, anything really. The flip side is in the same vein, and 'Keep It Real' smacks of old school Sub Zero with its stabby approach to crafting basses. This is a solid release from a producer who has been on the up recently, and we're looking forward to the next one.
Review: Another year, another sterling slew of toxic jumpy underground darkness, Hizzleguy makes what appears to be his EP debut on Maji's Sweet Tooth. His biggest body of work since last summer's epic nine-track EP on Biological "Pure Energy", it's a six-track serenade to the Devil himself; the glitchy, sense-blurring computer funk of "Mutant", the grizzly high-toned bass spasms of "Carry You" and the skin-melting textures and pass of "Apocalypse" are three of many highlights.
Review: It seems Hizzleguy saves his biggest EPs for Sweet Tooth these days.... Following the perennially chop slapping badness of Drill Claw last year comes this seven piece epic that's fittingly titled "Pull Up Riddims". Each cut screaming reload at the top of its tar caked lungs, highlights include the rowdy bee's nest bass buzzes of "Hadouken", the coiled spring savagery of "Hard" and a particularly insane VIP take on "Drill Claw". Did someone say pull up?
Review: Fire in the hole! Jaydan continues his prolific cavalcade of crucialness with four more savage jams as he makes his long-overdue debut on Maji's Sweet Tooth. Big riff thunder pieces tailored for deep mix head-twisting, across the set we're kicked in the guts by the sandpaper riff on "Pagan Times", pushed into a deep hole with the anarchic atonal grit of "Snitch", our arms are ripped off as we salute too hard to the early Propaganda style "Tear It Down" and we skank ourselves to death with the ace jungle lash out "Run Da Riddim". Shots fired? Shots hired more like.
The Truth Hurts (feat Jessica Luck/VIP) - (4:50) 175 BPM
Destroy (VIP) - (4:28) 175 BPM
Work For Nothing (VIP) - (3:42) 175 BPM
No Return (VIP) - (4:10) 175 BPM
Stranger (feat Jessica Luck/VIP) - (4:35) 175 BPM
Review: When music hits you feel no pain. Right? Wrong... When Maji's in town you feel every ounce of his hurters. And we wouldn't have it any other way. One of the most consistent and long standing rave merchants in D&B (20 years and counting), here we find him taking his last EP and giving each track a raw VIP scuffing. Some VIPs flex subtle melodic twists in the hook ("The Truth Hurts") while others enjoy completely new bullet proof coated basslines ("Destroy") and out-and-out reworks ("Work For Nothing") On-point VIP science and huge potential for DJ creativity if you already have the originals, Maji knocks us out once again.
Don't Let Go (feat Jessica Luck - Voltage remix) - (4:35) 175 BPM
Crazy (Ruffstuff remix) - (3:40) 175 BPM
Shoreline (Nu Elementz remix) - (4:23) 175 BPM
Review: Twenty years is a lifetime in drum & bass. Over those years Majistrate has judged his movements perfectly. Never kowtowing to overblown hype or trend, he's slapped his hammer to his own rhythm and own rules... As proved by his Twenty album just over a year ago. Now comes the all-essential update: "Carnage" gets a muscular VIP twist, Voltage strips back "Don't Let Go" and adds more of a drone to the bassline as it flutters and fluctuates around the delicate vocal, Ruffstuff pays respect to the original grit of "Crazy" while twisting the bassline in new directions and finally Sweet Tooth mainstay Nu Elementz turns "Shoreline" inside out with a hollowed bass tone that's gloomy and ominous enough to make it rain for 60 days.
Review: The mighty Maji continues to reflect over his double decade shenanigans with another titanic remix set. Heist takes full control with his ravaged texture on the bass riff and edgier kicks on "Feels So Good". Dominator & Logan D completely flip the bassline on "Fallback" with a whole new layer of hench high end weirdness. Pleasure really brings out the euphoria and spine-tingling hype on "Stay With Me" before erupting into a gamechanging drop while Majistrate himself gives himself a gully makeover on the mischievously riffed "Hypnotic VIP"
Review: The mighty Maji takes the controls at his own Sweet Tooth imprint with four peaktime bumpers. Longstanding singer Jessica Luck features twice on the super-hooky "Pressure" and the creepier, sultrier "Dangerous". Elsewhere we have two straight-up slayers: the soaring samurai bass of "Back Up" and the glitch-tripped data spiked bass of "Guillotine". Massive.
Review: The "Bug Crusher" has been a bone-shattering club favourite since 2011 but since then nothing has quite met the mark for many. To end the agonising wait for a rival tune to step forward, Majistrate returns with four almighty remixes to reignite the dance, all of which have stepped forth from the hotly contested Bug Crusher Remix competition. First up, Hedex (named after the migraine medication we presume) pulls the floor from underneath, stripping back the mayhem to reveal a weighty minimal bassline. Dominator follows with a straight-up teeth gnasher, Silent Storm rolls out hard with destructive consequences and Dub Motion gets his teeth into stomping techy beats to match blasts of vintage sampling. It's finally here, so get your dancing shoes on.
What Did You Expect? (Turno remix) - (4:12) 175 BPM
The Sound (Annix remix) - (4:24) 175 BPM
Review: And still the double decade celebrations keep rolling. Two years after his Twenty album, Maji is still pulling in the biggest names for massive remixes from some of the label's many highlights. Sub Zero goes all-out with his twist on "Rise", "Cannot Escape" gets a metallic tech-licked VIP charge while man of the moment Turno turns "What Did You Expect?" inside out and Annix close the show with a creepy, twisted heads-down version of "The Sound". Twenty thumbs up.
Review: And so the Modified Motion & Faction onslaught continues. Shotting out peaktime hype sirens at their most prolific rate to date, they step over to Sweet Tooth with four more high grade cuts. Both the fittingly titled "Nice Tune" and the rougher, looser hurter "Escape" tap into the mid-to-late 2000s jumpy sound where the dynamics were crafted to sweep you off your feet. "Wood Pecker" takes a deeper twist with its harmonic bass and creepy string sample while "Lifeline" seals the deal with a twist on the detuned Prodigy style rave synths. Think later era Bad Company with a dash of Sub Focus - it's that heavy.
Review: Ahead of his debut Prophecy, heavyweight dagger-wielder Nu Elementz shows us his hand with two turbo-charged, super-lean tech-twisted bust-ups. "Chop Shop" stabs gleefully with an alien Q&A and a pirate swagger to the drum swing. "Pablo Escobar" takes a similar approach with its stark question/answer style riff that rips through unique bass textures but the breakdown is where the heat really lies... Spacey, Wild West and thugged all at the same time, this works a treat on a big rig.
Review: It's kinda rare to see an artist delivering a full drum and bass album these days, but that's just how Nu Elementz like to vibe. Prophecy is a complete master blaster of an LP, with thirteen tracks of wild and diverse jump-up steppers charged and motored by devious swarms of mutant bass, reminding us of the that DJ Hazard school of thought that made the Playaz label what it is today. Tunes like "Speed Of Sound", "Evolution", and "Pablo Escobar" are the sort of gear you can break out if you're need of something nasty, something to bump sideways to amid a sea of hungry ravers. There are deeper moments, too, such as "Respect" or "Never Forget" featuring longtime drum and bass don Majistrate. No funny business, just pure rave vibes.
Review: Nu Elementz returns to Sweet Tooth Recordings with just the type of drum and bass you've been looking for - mutant basslines, skatty drums, neo-goth and classical atmospheres to sci-fi effects and hospital bleeps; and killer drops. Both "Trauma" and "Understood" deliver steppy rhythms with the former squealing like a broken cardiac monitor, while the latter blips like devilish crickets at dusk. "Like It" adds a calming female vocal to offset its terror synths while darkly rasta chants fill the void between syrupy splashes of tear out bass and drums in a stripped back "Badman" - whump.
Review: Last spotted on Maji's Sweet Tooth screaming prophecies loud and clear, the unstoppable Nu Elementz returns with more concrete body-slammers. "Operation" blasts with such a venomous hook it could remove your spleen so quickly you won't even notice. Looking for a bassline that purrs rather than screeches? Look no further than the danger-humming "Trainwreck". Looking for a reason to invite the queen to tea? Stick on "Royalty" and watch her throw her crown (and of course shoes) out of the window. Finally we have "Curious". A strange stepper with a wormlike rusty bassline that creaks and groans on every chop-slapping snare, if this doesn't have you questioning mankind's existence you are officially soulless. Good luck with that mate.
Review: Nu Elementz is gearing up for his forthcoming album X. Landing almost three years since his still-thunderous Prophecy album, if this sampler is anything to go by, we're to expect a broadsword smorgasbord of styles. "Streamtrain" adds a new, trippy harmonic twist to the current drone style of basslines while his 2016 cult sledgehammer "Repent" enjoys a VIP upgrade with a whole new springy, cheeky bassline. Tailored for the most insane double drop reactions. X marks the spot!
Review: Nu Elementz is one of the many rising stars in the newly invigorated jump-up scene at the moment and, despite being a stalwart of that scene for years now, his popularity has surged in tandem with his production skills. His new album - titled X (very catchy) - is evidence of that shift and we're loving it, a ten-tracker packed full of the type of bangers that've seen him performing all over Europe. The surprise of the bunch is 'Didn't I', a sample-laden liquid track that rests on some seriously nice sampling and a gorgeous atmosphere of nonchalance and relaxation. With the others, however, it's back to business as usual - you don't need us to describe it to you.
Review: Would you like to play a game? Nu Elementz return to Sweet Tooth for an old family favourite "Mouse Trap"... With a twist. Instead of playing a board game you get skanky to the laser bass and totally sucked away by the sci-fi breakdown. Everyone's a winner! Especially us because there are three more tracks on offer; "Smokin Barrels" is an infectious high-harmonic bass wriggler, "Hyrule" is a warped, stretched groaners while "Holding On" (with US duo Sub Killaz) plays the roof-raiser of the pack with its twisted squealing bass and sultry vocal sample. Game on!
Review: Nu Elementz is one of the big success stories from the new school of jump up producers and he's risen to prominence on the basis of a stabbing, aggressive tonality of production which has resonated superbly in recent times. With 'Lucky', a forthcoming single on Sweet Tooth Recordings, he strips things back and this one could easily be an Original Sin track from the late 2000s, with booming stabs popping through the range and gully sense of roughed up aggression emanating from all corners of the arrangement. It's a proper club tune and we're looking forward to hearing it out.
Review: It's been a while since Sweet Tooth cooked up an "All You Need" EP feast. But the wait has been worth it as five of the label's most exciting artists deliver electrifying new twists on the jump-up sound. "Murderah" is all about the high-end Hazard-style bass lickage, "Route 66" croaks like an angry, addiction-riddled frog who's run out of glue to sniff, "Side Effect" takes us back to Dreamscape at its 1994 prime with its paranoid-drenched synth stabs, "Could Be" wriggles with Majistrate's trademark wobbly charm while "Phenomena" toys with some of the most enduring aspects of late 90s D&B with a tearing mentasm, old school samples on the breaks and an interesting key change midway. Exceptional.
Majistrate & Pleasure - "No Way Out" - (4:55) 174 BPM
Cabbie - "Cut The Talk" - (5:11) 175 BPM
Review: Pleasure, Turno, Guv, Majistrate, Dialogue, Cabbie... Could Sweet Tooth possibly fit more heavyweight jump up barons onto one EP? Pleasure presses the ignition with the cold and unforgiving "Bushwaka" before Turno switches the game to chaos mode with another one of his trademark atonal hard-scuff basslines. Elsewhere we find Dialogue balancing classical strings with classical jump-up sub wobbles ("Hold Your Hats"), Guv getting lively with hype-charged risers and a snappy hornet bassline ("Wu Tang") and Majistrate and Pleasure going toe-to-toe in an ardent no-holds-barred gully bass battle ("No Way Out"). Cabbie closes the show with the no-nonsense "Cut The Talk". Game over.
Review: Sub Killaz make their debut on Majistrate's Sweet Tooth with four absolute stinkers. Heavy but not so bashy they scare away half the crowd, the San Diego duo have found the perfect balance between power and funk with a soul that feels like it takes root in Bristol around the early 2000s or Playaz around the mid to late 2000s. Highlights include the raw soulful lead and the groaning bass of "If This World Were Mine" and the utter riff damagement of "Cry Baby". You dancing? We're asking...
Review: Expecting a booty call? How about a call from your mum? Maybe you're waiting for a call about a new job? Well it ain't gonna happen because they've all the "Wrong Number" and we have Tsuki to blame. Four reasons to never call anyone again, Tsuki once again reminds us how wide his range is; "Wrong Number" is so heavy and rolling it could flatten a phonebook, "Run" rasps with such sinewy high tones it could rip a phonebook up by its own bare hands, "Restart" is so fat it could eat three phone books (without so much as a splash of vinegar) while "Back To You" (with Subsonic) is such emotional fire it could burn down a whole warehouse of phonebooks. Play the numbers game...
Review: Non-stop manoeuvres: Turno's gripping the game by cohones this year. Flexing full axis, you never know what to expect, which makes every release even more of an exciting prospect. Fresh from laying down the law with Majistrate on Playaz, here he returns to Sweet Tooth with two left-of-centre jump up cuts: "Get Back" gets its funk on with a croaky bass and alien lasers while "Cattivo" goes for a deeper bass riff that doesn't sound a million miles away from early Clipz. Definitely no bad thing.
Review: Turbo-charged slammage from two of UK jump-up's finest freshmen: "Secret Technique" struts out with a heavily swung rhythm and a scowling blender bassline that scratches with the same level of insistency you might witness on a Majistrate record. "Miracle" takes us deeper into the groove with a similar funk to the beats but a deeper, groanier bassline. Heavyweight.