Review: Following releases on the likes of Formation, Innovate, Audio Addict and appearances on previous Deep In The Jungle albums, Sikka makes his full EP debut on DJ Hybrid's label with this epic six-track EP. Opening with the rush-caked hurricane "Fire Man Dem" (with DJ Hybrid) the EP rolls out into all of the darkest corners of modern drum & bass jungle with highlights including curmudgeonly bass groans of "Nothing But...", the evocative string sample and pure murderation drop of "Trueschool Lion" and the grand finale "The Hologram". Another clash-primed damager with bossman Alex Hybrid, it's an incredible burn-up that highlights Sikka as someone who will make major waves in 2020. Follow him.
DJ Hybrid - "Underground Style" (Lavery Back To 94 mix) - (5:27) 164 BPM
Kayaman - "Diva" - (6:19) 164 BPM
Murder Most Foul - "12bit Technique" - (5:04) 164 BPM
Riffz - "Junglist Gal Dem" - (5:34) 168 BPM
DJ L.A.B. - "Loud & Clear" - (6:09) 168 BPM
Murder Most Foul - "Can You Stand The Rain" - (4:43) 164 BPM
Hmr - "Curfew" - (6:42) 162 BPM
DJ Hybrid - "Boom In 93" - (4:14) 168 BPM
Review: Deep In The Jungle Records is a UK jungle imprint that have been making bigger and bigger waves over the past several years, a big part of which is their affinity for fat compilations that straddle numerous sub-genre boundaries and which represent lots of different artists. This next one is about classics and it features artists like Conrad Subs, Kumarachi, DJ Hybrid, Kartoon and more. Conrad Subs is a favourite of ours and his cut, Takeover, is a wicked, deep rolling piece of work that packs a sick bassline, one which makes you think of late-night raving at its finest. This is a top compilation from a star label of the new wave.
Review: Second albums are meant to be difficult but you tell that to Survival and Script and they'll laugh in your prudy little face: Scar's follow up to The Orkyd Project is another remarkable body of work. The first of a three album deal the London duo have with Metalheadz (the first ever deal the label have ever offered any artist) High Fives & Devil Eyes is a powerful jolt of timeless D&B that dig deep into every corner of the genre. From the alluring intro of "Circle Of Trust" to the deep, introspection of the finale "Eternal" via the wonky-assed "Pauline", the scuzzy gritty bass of "First Sound" and trippy funk of the album title track, the only difficult thing about this second album is working out which tune you want to play in your sets first. High fives all round!
Review: Lion Dub have reached a decade of activity. A decade! To put it in perspective, if someone was born the year Liondub started, they're about to enter high school/secondary school. It's a crazy achievement and one matched by the craziness of the music they have on offer to celebrate, a four-part journey through their past, present and future. This instalment is all about their past and it's exemplified best by Serum's VIP of Sound The Alarm, a Liondub classic, which Serum has flipped into a characteristically badboy, stabbing little roller. The vocals float above in a haze of reggae smoke, whilst the beat pulsates below. Awesome stuff.
Review: DLR is taking a break from his recently exclusive dwelling at Sofa Sound to come up with this, the One More Record EP on C.I.A, a three-track jungle EP which sees the Bristolian step over onto the breaksy side of things for the first time in quite a while. Label bosses Total Science step in on the first track, 'Spluurge, which packs rave-piano influences and a tightly bound knot of central percussion that drives the whole thing forward. Title track 'One More Record' is another highlight, with a slightly stripped back approach that seeks to impress, not overwhelm, a tactic that works wonders here. Top release.
Review: It's always exciting to see a new Exit release drop into this store, especially when they are as beautiful as this latest collection from Lewis James, under the EP name 'The Death Of Habit'. From start to finish, this one is a glittering display of soundscaping genius, combining the gentle harmonic bliss of 'The Sorrow In Ronan' with the outstanding vocal displays of Alia Fresco on 'Worth The Pain' and gnarly tech flavours of 'Acidize' alongside DBridge to kick us off in style. Next, 'Triangle' provides more experimental drum work and epic spacey pads, before Lorn's exceptional input on 'No Team' ties us up nicely.
Review: It's the album that spawned Benny L's "Police In Helicopter" remix... Hospital hooking up with one of the most prolific reggae importers in the UK during the 70s - 90s opens up a whole trove of roots and connections between the genre and its soundsystem roots. As such as the whole album is awash with classics remixes by many of the label's best artists and friends. Highlights include T>I's soul-slapping sing-along take on Alton Ellis's "I'm Still In Love", Nu:Tone's broader than broadway bump-up of Barrington Levy's "Here I Come", London Elektricity's hurricane soul switch up of "Skylarking" and Saxxon's insane twist of John Holt's "Ali Baba". A truly unique collection that celebrates the full culture.
Review: Four-to-the-floor, let us hear you roar... Fracture's Astrophonica goes into techno overdrive with this crucial collection of 4x4 inspired jams. With cuts from the bossman himself, Lewis James, Addison Groove, Moresounds, Sam Binga and Om Unit (under his Philip D Kick alias) all running rampant at around 160BPM there's a heavy stench of hardcore rolling throughout this unique collection. Highlights include the acid funk frenzy of Addison Groove's "Redeye", the ghettotek badness of Binga & ONHELL's "A Mighty Quest" and the late night 23rd century car chase vibes of Lewis James' "Kit5000". These are just a handful of examples of the truly unique fusions on offer here. Astrophonica are way ahead of the game right here.