Review: Vandal Records is a french drum and bass label founded in 2004 by SKS which is devoted to the dancefloor. Sub-label "Vandal Limited" was founded in 2014 by SKS with Redeyes and is dedicated to liquid and deep music. Their compilation Grand Royal is back with it's fourth edition of footwork, jungle and halftime flavours on Vandal LTD with a massive volume featuring Balatron from Iceland who serves up the deep and deconstructed drum and bass creeper "Missplaced" (original mix) , Hast from the UK with some wonky deep dubstep on "Beat Canon" (original mix) , DJ Madd from New York with some blunted bass inflected hip hop on "Cheeky Steppa" (original mix) plus Crimes! from Portland USA with the absolutely wicked "Beetleborg" (original mix) with bassline so razor sharp it will potentially tear up your speakers so beware!
Review: Call the cops. Crimes! is back on Vandal and he's raising absolute ruddy hell. From the moment those spiralling synths do a medieval dance around your senses on "Hevee" you know there's some serious warrants out for his arrest. With its ravey detuned twist "Fuqusound" is all about the trespassing into more neighbouring genres than you knew possible, "Witchside" is a proper joyride for a brawl two towns over while "95" is an open and shut case of pure regicide as majestic tones get flipped into a loosely-shaken pool of wobbly gully. Make no mistakes, Crimes! is a lifer. Let's hope they never find the key.
Review: Belgian b-boy J Nomad makes his debut on Vandal with four tracks of break-busted mischief. "Diamonds" sets the scene with a bumping 160 juke-style stepper laced with sweet femme vox that wouldn't go amiss on Astrophonica, "Bounce" is your classic low rider that springs with a ghettotech edge balanced perfectly by sweeping blissful synths, "Bring Me Down" shows Nomad's sensitive side with soulful chords and sudden drops into slinky halftime while "Chrome Hydraulics" brings home the bacon on a venomous halftime vibe, all dark warps and twisted jungle elements. Diamonds are forever.
Review: Kabuki might not release beats as prolifically as he used to. But when he does, it's always worth paying attention. Here we find him on key French leftfield jungle imprint Vandal with a range of tempos and perspectives; "Mad" is a sludgy 150 jam with trappist tendencies while "Bounce" is the bites with a rolling ghetto attitude before dropping into the sweetest synths of your dreams. Deeper again we hit the barbed harmonics of Fox on the cosmic beat trip "Change" and conclude with the slimy-walled cave delving dub sojourn "Magic". Four tips, one crucial release.
Review: France's Vandal Ltd are never limited to one genre or style, that's just not the way they operate. Instead, they like to experiment across all corners of the bass spectrum and, from tripped-out d&b to militant dubstep, they always seem to call the shots. This right here is the third instalment of the Grand Royal series, and the cast is clearly up for causing a bit of damage through the lower end of the hertz range. Our picks from the bunch are Signs' gnarly bass stepper "Bluntwraps", Hast's neo-grime escapade called "Badder Than Dem", and Stayhigh's closing tune "Don't Leave Me", a futuristic jungle bullet wrapped in an r&b flow. Another fine Vandal release.
Review: Vandal's Modern Soul compendiums are now a summer essential. Writhing in the softer focus hazier feels of their family's output, it's a chance for guys who usually roll out, roll up instead. And no one's rolling looser than the fast-rising Shield who's "Skippy Vinyl" is a horn-squeezing, day dreaming neo soul, bottom-heavy jam of the highest order. Lenzman, meanwhile, adds a little Dutch magic to "What She Wants" by re-focusing the vocal and adding a little more weight behind the harmonies. Good for the soul.
BSN Posse & ReDraft - "Who The Best" - (3:41) 82 BPM
Review: We do love a good unique beat pattern, one that moves away from the genre norm and which injects an element of originality, of uniqueness. Fresh beats are good, basically. Redraft has come out with something exceptionally fresh, however, as he's joined by some other collaborators on this absurdly cool jungle/160 EP for Vandal LTD, the sublabel for Vandal Records. His VIP of 'Keep It' is the pick of the bunch, with a lovely vocal sample that sways in and out of the mix, before flipping on the drop into a flurry of breaks and diving reece basses. It's proper jungle vibes, but with an element of soul, of funk, Lovely.
Review: French D&B finesse: Vandal update their "All Cities" series with another sweet set of international groove luxury. Soul:Motion leads the charge with a roll-out of liquid twinkles. He's instantly contrasted and complemented by Joakuim who lays down a dangerously sharp stepper that recalls the most formative days of proto D&B. Digging deeper and we strike amen gold with Tim Reaper's "My Own Flying Island". Rolling at a slower 160, it's an emphatic headnod to the legacy left by Moving Shadow and the drum-sample science of artists like Paradox. Ending this spotless collection on a trippy jazzy flex, Austria's Protone and Roygreen give us "Laser Cats"; a sexy, spaced-out groove that's powered by the wonkiest triplet you'll ever hear, it will instantly whisk your floor to a faraway dreamlike state where both lasers and cats couldn't be further from your mind if they tried.
Review: It's vibe o'clock at Vandal HQ this season as they gracefully lay down a brand new Modern Soul collection from their nearest and dearest... And every track is a total gem. Shield provides the ultimate opener with the jaunty horn-hazed "Skippy" before a rainbow of softer, jazzier and deeper tones continue to assault our souls... Bossman Redeyes gets a breezy flip from erstwhile Headz running mate Lenzman on "What She Wants", veteran break sculpter Kabuki lets his hair down on the hip-hop jam "Home Run", Satl cosmicifies his step arrangement on the dreamy "Miss U", Monty brings some warm textured keys, Gerra & Stone add a little murk to GLXY while Arkiak cooks up some kicks that are wider and heavier than your house. And they're just some of the many highlights.
Review: Vandal's Modern Soul series of LPs has for a long time been a breeding ground for a wide variety of drum & bass, including formative tracks from Shield, Monty and others. This time around it's number five and the quality continues, kicking things off with a gorgeously light liquid number from Phase and Lameduza that brings old school vibes right to the forefront. Tech wizard Rizzle is known for his liquid depth too as 'Levitate' has a sumptuously mystical back end that falls and falls, whilst fellow minimal heads Invadhertz equally try their hand at wispy pads and far-off vocal samples. Monty makes an appearance, as does Amoss, SKS and Arcatype. A tour de-force.
Review: It's safe to say that the Vandal LTD founders: SKS & Redeyes have certainly done themselves proud on this one as the label brings us the goliath Grand Royal LP. This selection is fantastic, incorporating everything from experimental hip hop to juke to the furthest borders drum & bass can find classification. The whole project just breathes originality, particularly on tracks such as 'Explicit' by NGHT DRPS, which is a very creative half time jungle roller. Another pair of instant favourites are Alerstorm's 'Bak' and 'Zero Caliber' from Balatron, both of which ooze electronic creativity and sound design prowess. This compilation is a phenomenal body of work from start to finish.