Review: The North Quarter has rapidly become the premier destination for 170 sonics which tickle the soul as much as the eardrums, music which aims to speak on a more substantial creative level than most. Lenzman has now brought in Anile for the next chapter in that journey and boy, it's a stunner, 7 tracks of carefully considered, deft music which rolls out with a tangible sense of wistfulness. 'Earth & Mars' is a perfect example, a deliciously deep track that swirls in the low ends and soothes in the high ends, each second gorgeously precise but also noticeable carefree. There are acid vibes, summer vibes and winter vibes; lots of highs and lots of lows. It's a journey in itself and we absolutely love it.
Review: Oh boy, The North Quarter label is back in action and they mean business as usual with this Lenzman remix of "Still Standing" by Children Of Zeus. Remember Jenna G and her beautiful liquid strain of drum & bass back in the mid 2000s? Well, this tune is of that disposition, and we've been missing this kind of contemporary jungle form our charts. The breaks are fast, dusty but gentle at the same time, and DRS' lyrics float ever so well with the percussion and bass, but it's their fusion with Children Of Zeus' singing that really pleases us. A deep and cerebral d&b bombshell.
Review: Three varied cuts here from FD, a house producer with roots in London's jungle and garage scenes. 'Ribs' (feat Issac Rosie & Maverick Soul) is a very noq-sounding affair with insistent shakers, shimmering synths, barely-there party vox that drift in and out of the mix and a neat Rhodes-like piano line. 'Ribs (Interlude)' then drops the pace for 1:18 of downtempo ambience, before the Byron The Aquarius Mix of 'Ice Cream' blends shuffling deep house beats and soulful vox in a way that harks back to UKG's earliest days, its title perhaps a tribute to the seminal label of the same name?
Review: Every time you see a release that's forthcoming under the moniker of The North Quarter, you know it's going to be very, very good. Label honcho Lenzman doesn't take prisoners with his A&R skills and he definitely doesn't do so when it comes to FD's debut album, not that FD needs much oversight in order to be an outstanding producer. Better Days is thus unsurprisingly amazing. 16 songs in length, including preludes, FD takes you on a journey through hip-hop influences, jungle vibrancy and full-on D&B that'll leave you quivering with excitement. 'Better Man' featuring Fox is arguably the stand-out, with serene jazz elements blending into Fox-led funk and bouncing bass stabs. Unreal.
Review: Freddie Dixon AKA FD has been doing his thing across a variety of labels for some time now, but it's in the last couple of years, and under the tuterage of Lenzman's The North Quarter, that he's really begun to shine. Lanta Nights is a couple cuts of gorgeous liquid and then three bassy, naughty rollers that smash of dub and soundsystem culture. It's a potent blend, and Akemi Fox is especially fantastic on 'Lie To You', a lounging, hip-hop endeavour that rolls out with the nonchalance it deserves. It's a superb EP and capped off with The North Quarter's typically well-refined aesthetic. Fantastic.
Review: Ahead of his full EP release on Lenzman's North Quarter, dedicated craftsman FD teases us with this beautiful piano-stroking soul shaker "Always Something". Laced with space, a wry touch of jazziness and groove; serious props go to Fox who provides solid gold soul with his fully-sung chorus and conscious story on the verses. Stunning in its simplicity and straightforwardness, hypnotic in its allure - this is an amazing way to reveal the next chapter from The North Quarter. Blessy.
Review: Leiden's Lenzman reps his Dutch section with a brand new label dedicated to the more soulful fringes of D&B and its rich hip-hop roots. Starting as he means to go on, the debut release weighs in at a hefty 10 tracks ranging from hurricane soul such as the beautiful vocal-flecked "Don't Let Go" and "Down For Whatever", restrained jazzy rolls ("Grateful") and potential tune of the year business with his own remix of Children Of Zeus's "Still Standing". With a cheeky serving of skits along the way, too, it's clear Lenzman is in his element right here.
Review: Following the hugely successful launch last summer, Lenzman delivers another album-sized trove from his new brand The North Quarter. Once again he's in generous mode as eight tracks (including an intro skit and versions) flow like fine soul wine. From the silky dynamics of "In My Mind", where Manchester singer IAMDDB really flourishes with neo soul allure to the darker late night drive of the Jubei-featured "Park Hill" via the delicious smoky piano-lingering haze of the Steo-fronted "Tender Love", this is the sound of Lenzman in his element, relishing in his sound and vision at levels we've never seen before. The North Quarter is shaping up to be something really special.
Review: A cheeky teaser ahead of his second maxi-EP chapter from The North Quarter, Lenzman lays down another delicate soul sermon. "In My Mind" is a salubrious roller sprinkled with deft keys, pinned by a treacle-thick sub and coated with a velvet vocal that's delivered with a cool off-beat jazz-like way courtesy of Manchester's rising neo-soul star IAMDDB. Following in the spirit of his huge Children Of Zeus remix, it's yet another crisp, heart-warming original from the Dutch craftsman. Bring on the full EP.
100 Porsches To The Stars (feat Hus Kingpin) - (1:46) 188 BPM
Keep On (feat GLXY) - (4:42) 174 BPM
In My Life (Refix) - (1:51) 176 BPM
We Were Kings (feat Lenzman) - (4:58) 170 BPM
Outro - (1:27) 54 BPM
True Colours (feat SKS - instrumental) - (4:10) 174 BPM
Keep On (feat GLXY - instrumental) - (4:42) 174 BPM
We Were Kings (feat Lenzman - instrumental) - (4:58) 170 BPM
Review: Ol' Redeyes is back! Usually spotted fraternising and flexing on his own Vandal imprint, here Lenzman invites him to the North Quarter for the first artist-signed EP... And he doesn't disappoint. Once again it's an extended affair as the Toulouse talent weaves and glides us through the hip-hop/D&B conscious. From the smoky Cali-style "100 Porsches To The Stars" to the glistening strings and unhurried golden rolls of "We Were Kings" by way of overwhelmingly soulful "Keep On". Another genuine gem from Leiden.
Review: Toulouse D&B OG Julien Salvi returns to Lenzman's The North Quarter with his third album Broken Soul. An album rooted in heartache's slow recovery, it's his most personal and hard hitting long player to date, and also his most eclectic. Laced with poignant tones and textures throughout, tracks such as the DRS-led "The Hurts" and "Late Night Jam" with Tyler Daley really capture Redeyes soulful D&B foundations but there's more than enough space for hazy house steppers such as "All Blues" and a strong presence of hip-hop via cuts such as "Oooo Laaah" (with KinKai) and "Blessed" (with Abnormal Sleepz and HMD) that create the most honest and authentic picture Redeyes has painted to date. Another premium dispatch from TNQ.
Review: Toulouse soul man Julien Salvi returns to The North Quarter with another prize-fighting package of deep, authentic drum & bass. Opening with a smoky intro track that's more jazz than dancefloor, he slowly take us deeper and deeper down his D&B rabbit hole. Cuts like "Fine Again" and "Next To You" breeze with that sad poignant spacious feeling he's made his own in recent years while "Evergreen Dub" (with FD) reminds us of his darker rolling side and "The Rhythm" is a direct homage to the man like Marcus. Stunning through and through.
Review: Teasing us ahead of his major EP on Lenzman's North Quarter, Toulouse soul vandal Redeyes unleashes the soulfully charged "Keep On". Tagging up with GLXY and Tyler Daley, the result is a super smooth sensation that's coated in rich harmonies, soft melodic details and a heart-skipping groove that's given momentum by soul-stirring pianos. Instant summer classic... Bring on the full EP!
Review: The North Quarter welcome another kindred spirit to the family; Satl. One of the most exciting newcomers to emerge since LSB, there's a soul and depth to his music that's won him friends like Digital and TNQ bossman Lenzman. This is his most comprehensive and revealing EP to date as he goes to town on the blank canvas with more shades than you might know him for; as well as the poignant ("Supposed To Be", "Coming Back") and the soulful ("All My Life") and the blissful ("Self Reflection") there's also some exciting variations in tempo ("Modern Jah" hits like a Dominic Martin record and "Aadje" is pure modern dub) and shades of Marcus-inspired techno in the mix ("Drifted")... Trust us, this man is just warming up and TNQ is the best place to give him freedom and encouragement to reach the next level.
Can't Get Over You (feat Lenzman - instrumental) - (5:26) 172 BPM
Weather It Out (instrumental) - (4:29) 172 BPM
Review: Lenzman's The North Quarter smashes it once again with another XXXL soul dispatch. This time Submorphics is at the controls. Best known for his work in SGN and Hospital, here he takes a deeper dive into the soulful sound across hip-hop ("Hot Ish"), dreamy early AI-style power liquid ("Don't Be So Cold") sensual hazy steppery ("Watchudo" with the one and only T.R.A.C) and all-out gutsy vocal gold ("Can't Get Over You" with Big Brooklyn Red and Lenz himself) Loaded with interludes and instrumentals, it's another ridiculously on-point collection from the hottest soulful D&B label in the game right now.
Review: US-born, Netherlands-based soulful D&B nomad Greg Submorphics takes away to sunnier, more wholesome climes on this immaculate debut album. Gilded synths, hazy feels, stacks of woozy warmth, just the right balance of nostalgia; every cut ripples and flexes with a timeless liquid feel. The dusty horns on "Memories Of You", the velvet boogie, silky synths and syrupy dulcets of Big Brooklyn Red on "Daydreaming", the dreamy bounce of "Faded Images", the list goes on. As you'd expect from The North Quarter and Submorphics, everything about this album hits the spot. Close your eyes and think of better times...
Review: What a year it's been for Lenzman's North Quarter. Putting the extension back into extended player, every release has been a gold mine of drum & bass, hip-hop and soul. Following the label boss, FD and Redeyes comes LA's Submorphics with mate Satl flexing an equally shimmered shaker. Wavy jazz-tinged chords, woozy backing vocal licks, a loose, restrained drum arrangement and a killer flow from man of the moment T.R.A.C, it's yet another precision piece for TNQ... And, we suspect, is likely to lead to another full-strength EP imminently. We can't wait.
Review: The North Quarter have their first full label VA coming very soon and the third sampler preceeding the launch is here, featuring liquid giants Submorphics and Pola & Bryson on a collaborative tip, the result of which is 'Albion Road'. This tune is simply gorgeous, with fluttering drums that perfectly underpin its idyllic blend of atmospheric pads and tentative, caressing piano chords. It's a soulful number to say the least and presages a fantastic LP from the label.
Review: The full set is finally here... Having teased us with the surprise guerrilla drop of EP1, Tokyo Prose presents the entire 13 track album Wild Grace. And it's every bit as beautiful, touching and textured as the hype as foretold. From the emotional chords and halftime slink of opener "Ascension" to the last brushed drum jazzy breeze and amen wheeze of the finale "Gusts" and all vibes in between, the New Zealand artist has excelled himself. Other highlights include the long awaited "Trick Of The Light", the smouldering soul of "Runaway", the heart breaking pianos of "Innate Motion", sunset shakedown of "In The Breeze" and so much more. Once again The North Quarter have smashed this out of the park.
Review: Lenzman's imprint serves up its first V/A right here with Quarter To Quarter. Featuring exclusive tracks from the likes of FD, LSB, Total Science, Kyrist, Tokyo Prose, Break, Zero T and so many more, it's a full spectrum representation of the label that ranges from sublime, sun-kissed soul such as Redeyes' "Lust", Atlantic Connection and Steo's "Night & Day" to bouncy, vocal high-vibe affairs such as Break's remix of "In My Mind". Along the way expect stunning strident, cosmic hypnotic workouts (Tokyo Prose - "Rescue"), dubby dreamers (Kyrist - "Untrue") unlikely rudeboy slappers (Total Science - "Killa") and every other authentic, genuinely crafted D&B sound you associate with the label. Quarter To Quarter ... No half measures.
Right Stuff (feat Need For Mirrors) - (5:00) 174 BPM
Let It Rain (feat DRS) - (4:53) 174 BPM
Feel The Need (feat Colonel Red) - (5:01) 66 BPM
Lazybones (feat Lenzman) - (5:15) 174 BPM
Tears (instrumental) - (5:18) 174 BPM
Let It Rain (instrumental) - (4:52) 174 BPM
Review: For this one, drum and bass revelations Zero T and Unitsouled join forces on a smooth, liquified composition entitled 'Baby Grand'. The guys at The North Quarter have struck gold with this one as luscious chords are dual wielded with precisely layered subs to form a perfect high energy harmony.