Review: Bristol's baddest drum & bass crew are back on the road and back releasing fiercely naughty music that's just packed to the rafters with urban-edged attitude. DJ Gaw has been honing his craft for some time and the work put in is evident in Hand Sign, five-tracker that starts off with a bang and doesn't let up for one second. 'Signal' is superb, as Gaw samples the great David Rodigan, creating a wicked ambience which is then cut through by sharp-edged breaks and bouncing, wobbly stabs. The jungle destruction continues on 'Hand Sign', Joe Burn lays down the bars on 'Hyper' and Disrupta finishes the job with a feature on the superly gruff 'Rasta'.
Review: Conrad Subs has been teasing his next album over the last few weeks and finally it's here, courtesy of Nuusic, and boy what an LP it has turned out to be. Conrad Subs is very confident when it comes to constructing break beats and so it should come as no suprise that they make up a large part of Tides, to excellent effect. 'On a 90s Tip' is an especially potent track, with that classic rave piano sound driving an inch-perfect set of drums and a rolling reece bass. 'Obese' is yet more spectacular stepping sonics, whilst 'Little Vibey Thing' blends R&B vocal infuences with juddering drums and punchy, unforgetablly catchy bass stabs. It's a raw, gritty album and not one to be missed.
Oli Lewis & Teej - "Soundboy's Dead" - (4:26) 175 BPM
Review: Fresh from his appearance on the Weapons Of Choice Wild Bunch compilation, Oli Lewis steps up to Sub-Division with his biggest release to date: the six track heavy "Too Hot" EP. Instantly rattling cages with the ludicrous bassline on "Jeroboam", Oli gets to work on us limb by limb; "32 Papers" nibbles at all our digits as we pull furious gun fingers, "I'm Feeling High" eats us at the knees thanks to its wriggled-out bassline and endless twists and turns, "Too Hot" goes right for the jugular with its ominous hollow tones while "The Fog" scoops out our brain like ice cream with its high frequency bass groans. Last but not least we see Lewis team up with Teej for a full bodied feast on the slinky-but-sinister "Soundboy's Dead". Sizzling.
Review: Pick The Lock continue their ongoing rise to the top of new age jump-up with this single from Diskrete, who has come out the blocks with something seriously special that looks certain to be on repeat for some time. It's 'Harmless' that really shows things off, a bassface-inducingly spacious roller that's infectiously bouncy in the drums and disturbingly potent in its bass constructions. It's rolls, flicks, stabs and knifes its way through and it makes absolutely sure that you know about it. The flip is equally big, a bit steppier in the drums and even more aggressive in its punchiness. Wicked stuff.
Review: Undoubtedly the strongest selling point of Z Records' second set of "Dubstrumentals" (largely instrumental remixes to you and me) is the sheer number of previously unreleased mixes on offer. Sure, the quality of the disco and house cuts on show is uniformly excellent but it's unusual to get so many previously unheard treats in one place. There are some genuine gems, too, including a sparkling Hot Toddy nu-disco instrumental mix of Joey Negro's "Stomp Your Feet", an inspired Saison instrumental of Akabu & Linda Clifford's "Ride The Storm" that features two exquisite extended breakdowns, a must-have "Disco Blend Instrumental" of Joey Negro and Horse Meat Disco's "Candidate For Love", and a stellar, proto-house style dub of The APX's "Sweet Surrender".
Review: Landing just in time for his album on Low Down Deep, Vital takes the reigns for the second Criminal Minds edition on Liondub International. This time soundtrack the vicious work of one Pablo Escobar, Vital rifles us through his most fully-charged packets. "The Creeps" is a screamer, "Road Rage" is the aggy piece, "Alternatives" is the gritty sweaty comedown paranoia while "6 Million" takes a very well known sample and wraps it round a tree in a state of pure paste psychosis. Not to be sniffed at.
Review: Sex sells but Hex smells... And that's just the way we like it. A proper stinker merchant, straight out of Newcastle, he's been killing things on all the right labels in the last 12 months and this Subway Soundz release is no exception. Two tracks of pure grit, "Alive" asks all the questions while "Black Hole" gives all the answers. Subway Soundz smash it once again.
Various - "Toolroom House Party Vol 2" (continuous DJ mix by Wh0) - (1:16:56) 125 BPM
Various - "Toolroom House Party Vol 2" (continuous DJ mix by Gene Farris) - (1:18:15) 124 BPM
Various - "Toolroom House Party Vol 2" (continuous DJ mix by Raumakustik) - (1:17:29) 126 BPM
Review: Toolroom is back with the second instalment of the 'House Party' series, with Chicago veteran Gene Farris, the enigmatic Wh0 and ascendant duo Raumakustik closing out the summer in style with their respective mixes. Featuring 80 tracks from leading international names including Carl Cox who goes for a minimal vibe on his remix of Hannah Wants & Kevin Knapp's "Call Me", Hot Since 82 serves up something different than usual on the summertime vibe of "Rise", Saved chief Nic Fanciulli gets some spiritual and life-affirming vibes in effect on "Virgo", Hamburg disco stu Tensnake gives Dombresky & Boston Bun's "Stronger" a neon-lit makeover and label boss Mark Knight impresses with the funky house anthem "Tonight" ft. Chenai and Mr. V.
Review: Originally released on Playhouse back in 1998, the passage of 22 years has done little to diminish the lustre of Acid Test. Re-released on running back, both tracks also serve as a reminder that Flugel has been a creative force to be reckoned with for over three decades. "Test 1" revolves around swaggering, steely drums and insistent percussion that provide the basis for bleak acid lines that gnaw at the synapses. On "Test 2", Flugel goes down a more abstract path; tweaked 303s splurge their way over a slowed down, low-slung groove and when the snares kick in, a wave of pent-up energy is released.
We Are Nuts! - "Dreams" (feat Sophielou) - (4:14) 130 BPM
KDYN - "The Assault" - (3:48) 127 BPM
Massappeals - "Drowning In Beauty" - (4:03) 130 BPM
Namena - "Gold Chains" - (4:05) 128 BPM
Damzy - "Back To Life" - (3:54) 135 BPM
Wulflock - "Killers" - (3:22) 128 BPM
Tension, Zeppho - "Got You" - (4:00) 132 BPM
Jaikea - "Lightz" - (3:44) 130 BPM
Altered Focus - "Come Get It" - (4:09) 133 BPM
MPH & Burt Cope - "The Massive" - (4:20) 135 BPM
NLMT - "Crazy" - (5:27) 134 BPM
Arc Nade - "Round One" - (4:18) 135 BPM
Cooky - "Behind" - (4:17) 134 BPM
Jay Wall - "Break It" - (3:33) 126 BPM
Zack Shaboo - "Really Hot VIP" - (4:01) 130 BPM
Kudos - "Women" - (3:26) 130 BPM
Vital Techniques - "Ring The Alarm" - (4:55) 132 BPM
Foul Play - "Honey Dip" - (3:03) 128 BPM
D:Power - "Sublime" - (3:14) 130 BPM
Digital Koala - "Cvd" - (4:03) 128 BPM
Review: Well well well, it looks like CruCast are back up to their old tricks again as they assemble a weighty new compilation collection to fill out the fourth volume of their flagship series 'Shake The Bass'. As per, the heavyweights have arrived as we see some incredible creations from the likes of MPH, Burt Cope, NLMT, Massappeals, Vital Techniques and more. However, it is in the more underground names that have found the most excitement, with our highlighted features on this one coming firstly from Namena, who delivers a gnarly, metallic monster with 'Chains', alongside the techy influences of 'Honey Dip' from Foul Play and the charged up melodic bass-driven madness of Cooky's 'Behind'.
Review: In September 2020, Crosstown Rebels main man Damian Lazarus will release his first solo album in almost a decade. To get us in the mood, he's decided to offer up this teaser single. In its original form, "Mountain" is a drowsy, bass-heavy breakbeat affair in which his own atmospheric spoken word vocals combine with gently pulsing, sunrise-ready chords and short vocal snippets from a much-loved Joanna Law classic ("The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", a Balearic-era classic whose acapella is much-loved by chill-out DJs). Tornado Wallace delivers a superb remix in which sparkling synth sounds and decidedly Balearic flourishes ride a dark analogue bassline and bongo-boosted breakbeats, while Tbi Dabo re-imagines "Mountain" as a bumpin', peak-time ready tech-house treat.
Review: Sultry warm disco sessions for the open air this season with this swift four-pack from Paper Disco combi Anoraak & Luxxury. "Fire Inside" swoons a summer disco vibe with Lauren Turk's breathy lead vocals - reminiscent of a certain Linda Clifford circa-79 or pop starlet Kylie (circa-99) - while look to Anoraak original "Up To You" for a percussive, cosmic and instrumental burner. Staccato guitars and drum machine sequences collide with the odd space pong and warehouse sized vocal processing in The Emperor Machine's remix, supported by a straight up free and easy 'Fire Side" instrumental with subtle chorus line. Hot hot hot.
Review: Next up from the ever-ready Burke we see him move back onto his solo imprint for an extremely haunted four track selection, headed up by a title track named 'Cross The Line'. The combination of dissonant harmonic layers and grizzly, gnawing low end textures on this one send shivers down the spine before the creepy-crawly sounding percussive layers and pulsating subs of 'Detail' send us in a completely different direction. From here, the drill-like bassline and plucked melodies of 'Harps & Home' send us again into completely new territory, before rounding off on the monumental basslines and scraped bass textures of 'Craic Fiend', putting the cap on a fiery selection.
Discoteca (Heavy Fun instrumental) - (7:36) 124 BPM
Review: FAR are excited to bring Chris Coco and DJ Rocca to the label for this release. Meeting at La Casella festival in Italy in the summer of 2019, the duo decided to team up in the studio resulting in the ''Discoteca'' EP, a shimmering slice of Balearic, Disco House containing all the right ingredients and forward motion required for maximum sunshine or nightime connection. Discoteca (The Heavy Fun Dub Mix), they manage to create a heady cocktail of synth riffs, ARhodes and Guitars all underpinned by a solid bass line, nodding to the Jazz funk of Atmosphere with the edge of Dinosaur L recording in Italy circa 1982. AAntonio prosper turns up on vocals, whispering, and chanting, evoking imagery of a night out in the mid-summer heat somewhere in southern Europe.
Review: Jack it up, jack it in, let us begin... DS2B's Audio Overload deliver their first VA collection and it's an absolute banger-fest. Representing many of the label's exciting new-gen artists, and even more off the label's far-reaching sounds and styles, across the set expect to be KO'd by the sound rampant sounds of Lowlife, anticipate high levels of energy from man like Jedi (especially the reverse mindwarper "Popcorn Playa"), enjoy some feisty VIP action from Midst and plenty more chaos from the likes of Pruf, DEEb and Falco. Jack it on, jacket off - let's get to work.
Review: If you really like to rock the funky beat... Then you'll really like Tomoyoshi. A mainstay on Original Key and a mainstay on most discerning D&B DJ's radars, here we find the Japanese-in-Germany artist tapping into that loose-drum style of funky dancefloor D&B that was championed by Micky Finn and Aphrodite best around the mid to late 90s. Stripped back, addictive, and super fun. Somebody in the house say hell yeah.
Review: Some 40-odd years since the legendary New York nightclub's late 1970s heyday, Studio 54 has decided to launch a label. Its first project is "Night Magic", a multiple-part release that features a crack team of contemporary NYC disco musicians delivering 21st century cover versions of tracks that once made the infamously hedonistic dancefloor move. EP one begins with long-time collaborators J Kriv and Adeline offering up a typically authentic (if slightly beefed up) re-imagining of Don Ray's "Lovin' Is Really My Game". The virtual B-side sees RickExpress add his effortlessly soulful vocals to another killer J Kriv production built around his famously expressive and rubbery disco bass: a delay-laden, bongo-heavy "Dub" of "Souvenirs", a track first made famous by Voyage. Both cuts are celebratory, addictive and very, very good.
Review: Sadly we fear more than love may be needed to fix 2020, but those plucky Midnight Rioters are on hand to give it a go anyway, as they serve up a 19-track compilation of disco, nu-boogie, disco-house and soulful house grooves, with the emphasis firmly on dancefloor thrills and belt-along vocals. Some of tracks are re-edits (Musta's 'I Like Dance', for instance, reworks Cheryl Lynn's classic 'Got To Be Real'), some are original productions; all are built with slinky hips and dancing feet in mind, and with cuts from the likes of Situation, Andre Espeut and Natasha Katt, not to mention Rony Breaker's soulful anthem-of-the-moment 'Change', disco dollies will be more than satisfied.