Review: Every now and then, you just want a release that slams start to finish. No frills, no pretence of trying to be something that it isn't, just solidly banging D&B that gets your head nodding and your feet moving. Slipz has done that here and this single is a run of attitude-packed jump up, all of which would sound fat through a sound system. 'Hurt' is a highlight, bright light synths and god vibes leading you in into a fluttering array of bouncy sonics and boom-bap drum hits, a vibe that's quickly transferred across into 'Too Quiet' - snapping percussive hits, moody bass notes and melody that oozes power.
Review: Biological Beats screams grass-roots underground, an imprint which consistently pushes the gnarliest sides of what the bedroom producers, local promoters and biggest names across the UK have to offer. They rock it, too. Live In The Present, courtesy of Klay, is their newest offering and it's a doozy. 'Digital Heroin' follows on from your classic sample, jump-up vibe, giving the spooky backdrop to an already scary bit of bass work and accompanying drum lines. The title tune is equally naughty, diving runs of bass force jumping out the blocks with ferocity and a glitchy backdrop injecting that classic jump-up feel. The rest of the release slams equally hard - well played Klay.
Review: Pyro is unleashing an onslaught over on Unauthorized Audio with a tight sounding four-track EP. 'You' is a dark, moody stepper that doesn't care about rules and certainly doesn't care about feelings. The main bass on this tune oozes quality and packs some serious weight, reminiscent of the Souped Up crew. 'Smoke' is slightly less crazy but it definitely is still on the crazy end, as gargled bass notes inject a whole load of force into the arrangement and there's a wicked bit of MC work to boot. "I Luv Girls' is downright nasty, and 'Frequency' combines a sub-heavy bit of minimal work with some dirty foghorn business. Tasty.
Review: Liondub are really rolling out the guns with this one and label founder and namesake Liondub is involved himself, which is when you know stuff is popping off. He's joined by Patexx and Kumo and the trio have concocted something deeply rolling, a release which lunges out over four tunes, including two Kumo VIPs, and keeps things banging the whole way. Our pick of the bunch is Kumo's 'Roller Check VIP', a double-kick laden stomper that keeps things punchy in the percussion and twisted in the low frequencies, it reminds us of Workforce's 'Don't Tell' and that's an extremely good thing. 'Caan Touch' is also deliciously funky whilst keeping thins heavy, a tough balance to strike and one well struck here.
NC - 17 - "City On Fire VIP" (feat Replicant) - (5:22) 173 BPM
Review: Viper have been smashing things over on the dancefloor side of the scene for decades and a big part of that is their yearly annual, a compilation which celebrates some of the best releases from the year. One of the best pics of the annual without a doubt is the Annix remix of Pulsation by Mefjus & Insideinfo, a big task for the duo to take on considering how relentlessly classic the original is. But Annix have smashed it with their drawn-out and suspenseful jump uptake, one which sucks all the air out of the room and then releases it as a smorgasbord of warped out energy and choppy force. There are tonnes of other great picks here too, including from new blood Millbrook and others.
Review: With Hazard rounding up another killer year for Hype and Pascal's label with his first release in five years, Playaz take stock of 2019 with this savage showdown from all their main mandem. From the eerie gurgles and scraps of Annix & Kanine's "Jackpot" to the flabby wobbles and groans of Limited's "Soldier" to the sweet seduction twist of Jam Thieves' "Love Forever" this 25-track pack covers the entire spectrum of proper rave-primed drum & bass with all manner of curveballs and boundary-pushing badness. No compromises, a healthy balance of elder statesmen, new headliners and young talent and a sound that's distinctively theirs, Playaz are about to bulldoze into a new decade... And this is how it all begins.
Review: DJ Sly is getting back to business this New Year, with a sick EP that fully represents the harsher, tougher side of the scene. 'Back To Biz' opens with steppy drums that pan out underneath a peng sense of sample-laden ambience, but the serenity of the opener gives way on the drop to something a lot more expansive and dark, tying the knot on a quality drop. Classic old school vibes abound on 'Mash Up' but their nostalgic nature doesn't stop DJ Sly from sneaking in a naughty, 2020-worthy pitched-up back end in there that underpins the track and gives it a nice weight. Solid EP.
Review: Dub Justice has absolutely smashed this one. Brand new on Eternal Digital, Jungle Demon is a minimal collection of forceful tones and subby wobbles, each track has this funky, stepping feel to it and there are some seriously dirty bass touches. 'Selecta' is exactly that, with a rolling and excessively clean drum line, this track just rolls out and out with a wicked progression that takes you on a tour through futuristic, grating soundscapes. That's the theme throughout the release and Dub Justice hasn't provided a variety, but he's bloody nailed what there is - excellent stuff.
Review: As if his "Divided Mode" EP wasn't quite enough dark fire for us this year, OG Critical fam Enei comes correct with another multi-track blast up. "Sinking" takes the lead on a mean techno tip as thundering 4x4s do all the driving as Enei plunges us deep into his alien bass pool. Deeper into the EP we hit pure techy roller territory on the pranged-out "Ghost Boat" while "Get Closer" reminds us of the Russian's more emotional side as he leaves heaps of space for singer-of-the-moment Charli Brix to purr pure dulcet velvet into the mix. Finally "Dark Move" shuts down the shop on a mean, gritty, stripped-back minimal one. Watch out of the creaky, creepy off-beat cascades midway... The devil always makes the darkest moves.
Nothing Will Be The Same (feat Type One) - (5:16) 173 BPM
Review: Shouts to all the lifetime skankers! Jayline is here for you... "Eternal" pays homage to those ravers who will never stop with this savage quartet of insomnia anthems. The title track lays down the message. Big gritty riff, paranoid voices and a ferociousness we've come to expect from the Midland murker. Elsewhere "E-115" takes us deeper down a bassline rabbit hole with a big drone bass and more twisted humanised elements while "Stupid" is pure space-age minimal menace with growling bass textures and more vocal prangs matching the bangs. Finally we hit the deep wobbles and Bristolian flavours of "Nothing Will Be The Same". Think early 2000s but 2020 class, Jayline has smashed it right here.
Review: Oh gosh!! Giant-among-men Swift finally drops the biggun we've been waiting YEARS for. And it's clear from the opening filth-flinger "Dogs Of War" (with Gino) that this album is the full-fat uncut high grade LP message we've been longing for. 20 tracks (including remixes of classics by the likes of Serum and A.M.C), this packs more punch than a night out MCing to naff jump-up with Tyson Fury. Seriously, from the militant charge of "Freebass" to the cheeky riff swagger of "Creeper" via the Virus-style techy thunder of "Origin", the savage jungle techno homage "Loftgroove" and the heavy 110 BPM slo-mo rave messiness "The Gully" this leaves no stone unturned whatsoever... And this is only the first part. Wow. Swift ain't messing around here.
Review: Killaz by name, killer by nature; Vital Elements and Tobie Scopes' continue to set the agenda as DJs, artists and as label owners. This third annual mix-up is certainly no exception as they plough through 59 tracks - many of which are brand new exclusives - to paint a picture of exactly where drum & bass is at right now. A thick smelly melting pot, everything is thrown into the mix: Upgrade's spine-trembling harmonics on "The Voice", ruded-out bassline badness from Voltage ("My DJ"), various jump-up hybrid creepers from Russian newcomer Ozma, brand new dark wobble lava from Serial Killaz themselves ("Rudebwoyz") the list goes on and on. This is a huge package and it comes with a superb mix too. Treat yourselves or defeat yourselves.
Review: Having appeared on Logan D's other imprint Subway Soundz earlier this year Skore returns to the Low Down Deep mothership with two twisted murderation missiles. "Formants" is all turbines and heavy machinery on full-pelt, blazing and burning with more drama on every 32 while "Blown Fuse" whips us off track with a wonky robotic funk vibe that nods back to the early 2010s. You know the Skore.
Review: One of the most popular labels we feature is Sub-Liminal, a wicked little imprint that puts out a diverse sound ranging from techy rollers to jump-up steppers and even liquidy numbers. This week they've arrived with an EP from RV who, across five tracks, spans various tones and styles, all of them rooted in a sense of dancefloor aggressiveness and all of them top-notch. 'Grey Matter' is a highlight, its rolling percussive line isn't the paciest but is loping and satisfying, whilst a gargling bass and sweeping reeces sit just above and inject all the force. Top stuff.
Review: Liondub's renowned Street Series continues in full force and this next instalment is courtesy of Dispoze, a producer who comes with some serious junglist heat on this one. All five of these cuts mean business and our favourites are the steppy bits, 'Doubts' especially, which combines apocalyptic vibes with urban sonics to create a powerful patchwork of force and energy, all underpinned by a broken percussive line. The other four are also strong and we're definitely looking forward to hearing these out and about.
Review: Good4Nothing Records always tend to put out music that rests on the foundations of UK underground, the cross-over influences of jungle and D&B. it's always a fresh sound and it always brings up connotations of Boomtown, free parties and sunny afternoons. Twisted, gnarled jump up is the main focus here in the second part of their 10-year anniversary celebrations and Complex is a good example of how it goes down, his track 'Night Time' blowing and flowing through with all the power of the winter winds. Danger's 'Falling' is yet more filth, with a powerful drum line and punchy sub-bass that bangs in and out of the range. Excellent compilation.
Review: Blackley is the DJ and producer who originally became known for his trademark mixing style across 6 CDJs, a fast and furious style that saw him chop and change between subgenres, tempos and producers. That diversity has come to life on this Cre8 Dnb Music remix ep, featuring Sub Zero. Harley D, Tyke and Jaydan, four producers who certainly know how to make a jump up record. The story here is one of flexible force, from the old-school studded stabs of Sub Zero's take on 'Actions', to Tyke's garbled funk on 'I Like IT', all the tracks have flair, they move well and hit hard. Lovely.
Review: Pass the pizza ar kid, Marky's heading up north and he's after something spicy! Teaming up with Dutta for the first of a two part release, this is a seriously tasty dream team where both artists characters' can be heard very clearly and vividly in the mix. "Mochi" flips between sandpaper bass licks and soft funk stabs while "Waffles" flips between a grumpy Bristol style bass and perky piano rolls that gradually get creepier and creepier. Feeling peckish? This will feed your family for three weeks and still have plenty left over.
Review: Every now and then, you just want a release that slams start to finish. No frills, no pretence of trying to be something that it isn't, just solidly banging D&B that gets your head nodding and your feet moving. Exile has done that here and this single is a run of attitude-packed jump up, all of which would sound fat through a sound system. 'Hysteria' is a highlight, moody samples leading you in into a fluttering array of jagged sonics and boom-bap drum hits, a vibe that's quickly transferred across into '321 Gravitate' - snapping percussive hits, moody bass notes and melody that oozes power.
Review: Nussic are developing a bit of a reputation for spewing out some of the most venomous beats in the business and their talent for pushing some of the best artists on the jump-up spectrum is undeniable. Motiv is holding up that standard with his debut EP on the label and he's doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this EP. 'Gallows' reels you in with a lovely intro, it's upbeat beginnings quickly regressing to a really sick wall of pure energy that's reminiscent of Kings of the Rollers and insanity more generally. The rest of the release is equally aggressive, 'Fakes' being another highlight. Sick release.
Review: Heist & T>I are two of the best guys around for the dirty, attitude filled side of the scene which blurs into the techier bits on the one hand and the pure jump up bits on the other. This release fills in the gaps in all the right ways and it comes on Heist's own Co-Lab Recordings, a seminal imprint. 'Ointment' is grating and harsh in its guttural funk and approach to destruction, with an array of stabs and basses all mashing together in harmony. 'Packet Monster' is more classic T>I sounding basses, laid over a snapping, snarling drum line. Excellent stuff here.
Review: Filthy Habits and Jeopardize have been collaborating quite a lot this year. Following tag-team tear-ups on G13 and Biological comes this epic four track that runs the freaky gamut and back again. The title track sets the scene with its groaning, rolling bassline grumpiness and a very well known vocal sample. It's backed by plenty more freaky fire as "Strange" gets all pranged out with a chainsaw Halloween style riff, "Gangster" fuses droning bass with dubby washes and trippy elements while "Necklace Of Death" signs out another solid year for Low Down Deep with a hooky harmonic high-toned riff that you'll be humming well into the next decade. Freak out!
Review: Bomb Strikes, the UK hip-hop/funk/soul/breaks label headed up by Mooqee & Beatvandals, celebrated their 15th birthday in 2019 with a fantastic compilation album, and to further celebrate the success of the label in 2019 they're releasing another compilation featuring 15 of their best cuts from the past 12 months. What's most impressive is the variety on offer, ranging from straight-up hip-hop from Alexander Norman Prosper & Stabfinger, to party breaks from Ali B and Krafty Kuts, to 'new old' soul from Flevans, to the fairly self-explanatory 'Disco Weapon' and 'Mirror Ballin'' (by Shaka Loves You and X-Ray Ted, respectively. Tons of fun for festive season funkateers of all ages!
Leaf - "Dup Up The Dance" (BassBrothers remix) - (4:06) 175 BPM
Saxxon - "Long Haul" - (4:48) 175 BPM
NiteRider - "River Monster" - (4:23) 175 BPM
Fena - "Audible" - (4:34) 172 BPM
Meladee - "Connoisseur" - (4:23) 175 BPM
Review: Niterider, Saxxon and more are landing on Murky Digital with the Wolf Man EP and, as you can probably tell from the name of the label it's coming out on, it's a seriously murky bit of work. This is obvious from the first tune, a BassBrothers remix of Leaf's 'Dup Up The Dance', which expands hugely down into the back end with penetrating force, swaying and moving as it goes. The rest of the release is powered by the same relentlessness and 'Long Haul'' carries an expansive back end that undergirds a sequence of menacing sampling, whilst 'Audible' possibly has the most creative bassline on the release in a wicked display of dancefloor heat. Sick stuff.
Review: Bulletproof have a bit of a reputation for spewing out some of the most venomous beats in the business and their talent for pushing some of the best artists on the jump-up spectrum is undeniable. Danger is holding up that standard and he's doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this EP. 'Paperchase' reels you in with hip-hop driven, rolling energy, that quickly flips into a siren-like wail of pure, stabbing energy that's reminiscent of Annix and insanity more generally. The rest of the release is equally aggressive, 'On My Back' being another highlight, and we especially love the glitching funk 'Human Error'. Sick release.