Review: A fierce n' firing D&B four-tracker here from Joe Rossiter and Liam Bailey, better known collectively as Chromatic, a UK duo who've appeared previously on Dope Plates, New Playaz, Formation Records and Flexout Audio, among others. Opener 'The Prayer' (feat Tim Cant) brings the mid-90s jungle vibes, while liquid, minimal and jungle influences collide on 'Roots' (feat Soul Intent). On the flip, 'Kavos' (feat RV) is another old school-sounding roller, and then finally 'Blend' itself is a smoother ride - liquid in feel without being all wishy-washy about it. It all adds up to an EP that'll do the pair's ever-growing reputation no harm whatsoever.
Review: Essex-based DJ Trax has been churning out the hits since 1993 (first hit single "High Time on Moving Shadow), making him one of jungle's survivors. He doesn't release that much these days, but what he does put out tends to be rather good. "20,000 Beats Under The Sea", the title track from this first solo single since 2014, is a wonderful blast from the past: a punchy, party-starting fusion of original jungle drums, jazzy samples and the kind of dreamy electronics frequently found on late '90s Good Looking Records releases. You'll find more ballsy, bass-heavy jungle pressure on the cracking "This Station" is a head-in-the-clouds early D&B roller built around metallic carnival percussion. On "No Name" KJ Sawka (Pendulum) delivers his live drums!
Review: It's been a while since both Pennygiles and Tempo have served up any gold, but they've both made up for lost time with these three understated rollers. "Looking In" hammers with a really interesting snare sound, unrelenting kicks and buried vocal texture not dissimilar to Break or Digital. "Without Worry" is a jazzier, heads-down affair that wouldn't go amiss in a 3am Marky slot while "Lie Through Me" has that minimal, sparse construction that LSB does really well too. Classy.
Review: Digital (Function Rec) protegees Response and Pliskin collide on Frodo's Tempo Records for more dark drum funk. "OT Blues" is straight out of the good book of Paradox, slap-happy amens and a cold lead texture that raises more hair on your back than you'd care to mention. "Seal Clubba" lives up to its cruel title thanks to a thundering kick/snare combo, wrapped tightly in a gritty, guttural bass tone alongside "Inta" vocal samples. Finally "Future Uncertain" looks to the past with hurricane pads, iced out piano delicacies and a steppier drumset that's reminiscent of Marcus Intalex/ Doc Scott / Blu Mar Ten's star-gazing output. Outstanding.
Review: Some fierce drum 'n' bass from the darkside that deconstructs and reconstructs jungle era breakbeat science on the Give Me A Dub EP by Nottingham's (now London based) Soul Intent on Tempo. Appearing for a change outside of his usual home, Lossless Records, he throws down three killer tracks here. First up the title track smashes through the audio spectrum like a battering ram with the kind of drums that even Dillinja would stand up and notice. "The Dread" is more minimal and stripped; the kind of stuff that DJ Krust was throwing down back in the day. Finally "Heaven" is definitely the most highly engineered offering; a futurist techstep journey with an emotive atmosphere and liquid breaks.