Trakker - "Woody The Hood Pecker" - (4:26) 174 BPM
Sikka - "You Know" - (4:56) 172 BPM
SUV & Mood - "Mambo" - (4:08) 175 BPM
Damageman - "Pain Relief" - (4:27) 175 BPM
Stokka - "Venus" - (3:47) 170 BPM
Vytol - "Nelson" - (5:12) 174 BPM
KC - "Bill Kill" - (5:11) 173 BPM
Jaxx - "Hurdles" - (5:11) 175 BPM
Coy & Coda - "Blinded" - (5:44) 172 BPM
Review: Squad up! Natty Dub celebrate 50 releases with this absolutely stinking set from some of their nearest and dearest, closest and bro-sest. Firing from all cannons, every track is a thumper; Saxxon gets his squelch on with "Brockley Fox", T>I is all screams, wriggles and giggles on "Pointless Torture", Sikka delivers one of his best tunes to date in the funk-fuelled form of "You Know", Suv and Mood give us a Bristol kiss with the slinky, hip-twisting "Mambo" and Jaxx nods his cap at the wild west of the mid 90s on the percussion heavy "Hurdles". Timeless, authentic and full of dirty funk - Natty Dub are one of the most true-to-the-core labels doing it right now. Bring on the next 50!
Review: Hailing from Canada, RMS has firmly established himself over the last couple of years as someone at the forefront of D&B's re-discovered love for jungle-influences and bouncy but hard-hitting basslines. Drawing upon those influences, he's back on Original Key for a full-throated five-tracker that kicks off with 'Down' featuring Kumarachi, a heavily weighted sine-based wobbler that pushes on every corner of the range. '90s Soundboy' has thoose wicked juddering bass pulses and that recognizable sense of hardware-based rawness, whilst the junglst vibes are seriously real on 'Mi Fi Tell Yuh'. This release has overtones of Manchester and undertones of the Great White North - proper UK underground stuff.
Review: Last spotted on Euphonique's Subwoofah with the series statement of intent "We Here", Speaker Louis and Grimesy tag up once again for this equally heavy collection on Deep In The Jungle. Four tracks deep, each one a stinker, highlight include the bonafide bludclart jungle ruffage of "Can't Touch", the bounding subs of "Burning" and the full-strength sirens and tidal wave bass surges on the title track. Bad boys for life...
Review: Skore has been on a bit of a roll recently and he's back on Subway Soundz for a stripped back, roughshod single which showcases an interesting blend of the minimal sound with the jump-up side of the scene. This is a style that's been taking off recently and we're very much into it, it's a bit less full-on that jump-up and not as screechy, yet still has the wicked attitude and urban-edged toughness of jump-up. 'Sauced Up' is an excellent example, with an ice-cold demeanour and multiple criss-crossing strands of reverberating bass, an amalgamation of low-frequency textures which just roll out the whole way through. Sick stuff here.
Review: Low Down Deep are regular appearances here for two main reasons. Firstly, they release a hell of a lot of music. Secondly, it almost always hits hard and in good order. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at Sota's three-track single: Bite/Signal/Down. 'Bite' is without a doubt the highlight of the EP, with an infectiously funky arrangement that's grounded in a glitchy sense of progression and movement. It goes hard, but in a way that's not off-putting or over the top. That's the general impression of this EP: jump-up, but not trashy jump-up. Just the way we like it.
Review: Dusky's first outing for Running Back, "Life Signs", was arguably one of their most euphoric and uplifting releases to date, so it's little surprise to find that this much-anticipated sequel explores similar sonic territory. The future anthem is undoubtedly "Metropolis", a shimmering retro-futurist number that layers bleeping lead lines and spine-tingling pads atop a weighty analogue bassline and heavy beats. You get vocal and dub mixes, with the former making great use of a loved-up female vocal snippet that adds to the cut's old school credentials. Elsewhere, "Seed Tray" is a rushing, warehouse-ready stomper smothered in rave-era piano stabs, "Mushroom Samba" adds bleeps to a suitably psychedelic, all-action backing track, and "Fridge" is a nostalgic, retro-futurist romp that defies easy categorization.
Review: Hi Def are one of the most prolific jump-up labels around. We regularly feature their releases and they almost always smash it out of the park, this time being no different. Access All Areas is a fiery EP, featuring Ego Trippin, Filthy Habits and more, that epitomizes the type of jump-up, but also slightly different flavours as well, that, in more ways than one, has defined D&B over the past couple of years - no-nonsense, uncompromising and proudly nonchalant about what you think. It's just pure attitude, dancefloor-based music at its best and music that simply does what it wants, there's no pretentiousness or image-orientated concerns - it's just D&B. Big, big tunes.
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. Banzai 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. 'Menace' is a highlight, samples leading you in into a fluttering array of jagged synth-lines and boom-bap drum hits, a vibe that's quickly transferred across into 'Showtime' - snapping percussive hits, moody bass notes and melody that oozes power.
Review: Filthy Habits and Jeopardize - two savagely on-point basssmiths usually spotted lurking around the G13 camp - land on Heist's Co-Lab imprint with this absolute barnstormer of a banger. Running drums, big flabby basses and a drive that can cut through any mix and knock crowds off their feet; both acts' longstanding collaborative history can be felt in every detail here. Tracks like this are built to last. They got the key... But what is the secret?
Review: This release honestly doesn't mess around. It carries a serious sense of potency despite its clear lack of pretentious sophistication, because D&B of this type simply isn't about sophistication, it's about making something so filthy the audience won't even understand what hit them. Everyone on this release has certainly accomplished that here, I mean just have a listen to the rippling sines, percussive naughtiness and bassline badassery that is 'Get Some Juice', a beautifully spacious tune that still manages to make you feel like you've been attacked by a dog. This is a crazy release from start to finish.
Review: Logan D's Low Down Deep welcome Complex to the family with these two stinking wallopers. "Tested" takes the lead with its sharp but sweet sense of funk. All one note hits and octave variations, it's a classic alchemy that will drive the dancefloor nuts every time. Meanwhile "Under The Bed" takes things into darker territories with a creepy sample and a wobbled-out bass so strong it could life up your bed while you sleep in it. Don't have nightmares.
Review: Stompz is one of those names that, over the past few years, has seen a growing level of esteem attached to his productions, mostly via labels like Prototype Recordings and more. He's back on jump-up label Informal, the creation of Dutta, for a fiery little single which brings to the table the sound he'd become known for: stabby, punchy and full of jagged energy. This one is for the rollers crew. Where you at?
Review: Nuusic are going back to their roots this week with a properly wicked four-track jungle release from Veak, a producer who flits around the scene, stylistically speaking, from heavier jump up bits to the type of pummelling jungle he's on here. The title tune is our favourite, with a deathly combination of wobbling sines, smacking snare hits and gilded twists of reese bass. it's a fantastically satisfying track with a level of movement that all the best jungle has. The other three tunes all pop off as well, so be sure to give this one a nod.
Review: Given his track record, it's something of a surprise to find that this is Crackazat's first outing on Freerange. It's less of a surprise to discover that it's a superb EP. Lead cut "Valentine" is little less than sublime: a warm and floor-friendly mixture of bumping US garage influenced drums, jaunty jazz-funk bass, spacey synthesizer flourishes and jazzy piano motifs that veer from poignant and heart-aching to celebratory and rush-inducing in the space of five minutes. "Back Of My Heart" is a bleeping skip through bass-heavy deep house while "I Heard You" is a bluesy and jazzy house number straight out of the top drawer. If that's not enough to get you drooling, Patrice Scott's remix of "Back Of My Heart" is a warm, loose and languid intergalactic treat.
Reprise & Ray Keith - "She's Gone" (feat Nathan Thomas) - (5:21) 150 BPM
Jungle Dub - (6:40) 174 BPM
I Love 94 - (6:40) 58 BPM
Solid State - (6:44) 175 BPM
The Storm - (8:13) 175 BPM
Reprise & Ray Keith - "Arabian Nights" - (6:28) 180 BPM
This Is My Sound (Bonus Track) - (6:15) 189 BPM
Review: Boom! The first BIG drum & bass album of the decade has landed... Ray Keith's long, long, long-awaited album. His first since 2012's I Am Renegade, he's making up for lost time with 31 tracks that cover his entire style and comprise collaborations with likes of DRS and Reprise. As always, Keith covers the board and showcases the true breadth and range of the genre. From the absolute slaughter jams such as "Darth Dred", "Master Assassin" and "I'm A Souljah" to classy sample-based ultrafunkular sweetness ("Don't Look Any Further") and proper songwriting and real heartfelt vibes and sentiments from the bottom of his pioneer's heart such "You're My Angel". The full range, the full flavour, the wait has been worth it.
Review: Monrroe is one of a spate of new signings taken up by the Shogun team in their effort to stay one of the most relevant, cutting edge drum & bass labels in the game. Monrroe is the ideal candidate for this task, a producer who blends the soulful with the biting and the flurid with the respectable. Endless Change is his first full release on the label and it's wicked, with a combination of vibes and an endless changing repertoire of sounds. Jinadu features on the gorgeously rolling 'Horizon', whilst things get stupidly deep and dark on 'Your Lives', the highlight of the release. An excellent start to his Shogun career for the young producer.
Review: Kumo is landing on Gyro this week with a sophisticated and incredibly fun release, one which, if you hear out live, is certain to get you moving. There's a carelessness and a freedom to these tracks and it creates a tangible sense of kinetic movement. The title track kicks things off in style and it's 'Psycho' that really takes the cake, a winding, subby track that flips between roughshod work and a more rolling, stripped back tip, including powerful, punchy basses all the way. It's a wicked track and definitely the highlight of the release. 'Incarcerated' is another absolute banger but one that's deep and wispy in all the right ways, as stuttering drum lines perforate over monochromatic bassline injections. Sick!
Review: Cor blimey governors! Zero T and Beta 2 don't muck around when they get together, do they? Last spotted on a collab flex on Dispatch last year, here the pair lay the foundation smack down on Headz with this massive six track EP. Tapping right back on the classic deep jazz sound the label has always celebrated and championed as the much as heavier stuff (think Hidden Agenda, Sci-Clone, J Majik) each of these cuts will whisk you away to places you didn't even know existed. The gilded Rhodes on "In My Head", the slinky, lithe bassline of "Misdemeanour", the star-gazing poignancy of "Stacks", the list goes on. Yet another exceptional EP from the mothership.
Review: Filthy Habits? We wouldn't be surprised if Filthy Habits himself had a few of those, not just because it's in his name but because of how downright filthy his tunes are, although they're contrasted on this occasion with the sickening sweetness of its cake-based theme. 'Mr Kipling' is a rush of pitched-up deathy synths that rolls out at max speed and with zero sense of giving a fuck about, well, anything really. The flip side is in the same vein, and 'Keep It Real' smacks of old school Sub Zero with its stabby approach to crafting basses. This is a solid release from a producer who has been on the up recently, and we're looking forward to the next one.
Review: Born On Road roll into a new decade in style as Lupo & Jappa join the fray with this savage slab of darkness. Groaning basslines, soundsystem vibes and subtle MC chatter; "Nuff Girl" hits every spot you need it to. It's backed by more heavy artillery: "Flee" now comes in VIP form with its trippy staccato bass burps, Lupo goes solo on the super-spooked out "Minefield" while Jappa closes down the show with M-Tek on "Tuff". Absolute murderation.
Review: Welcome to "Funk Town" a civilised utopia where the streets are lined with pure bounce, everyone dances with each other to say hello and man like Smooth is president. Leading with a sound and an energy that could smash down walls (rather than build them, like other presidents) it's another ball-busting affair from the Slovenian veteran where highlights include the tear-out gully of "Strictly Vibes", the warm disco-fied bounce of "Funk Town" and the strange wriggly synth squiggles of "Grains". Make yourself at home.
Review: For the 12th edition of Vintage Music's "Selection" compilation series, label founder Sunner Soul has dug deep into the archives and offered up 12 of his most potent reworks. While he built his career on summery, sun-kissed slo-mo revisions and baggy, near Balearic workouts, the material here is almost all energetic, peak-time ready and gleefully celebratory. Amongst the many highlights you'll find the shirts-off disco camp of "Bad Boys Disco", the gently housed-up deep disco-blues of "Couldn't Tell You", the Salsoul-goes-house bump of "Dr Love", the punchy horns, swirling strings and rubbery grooves of "Flying Violins" and the super-sweet disco-house bump of "The Mystery of Loops".
Review: Latte might not be everyone's cup of tea but we guarantee that one blast on these latest hellraisers and he'll most definitely be your cup of coffee. Hot, frothy and enough energy to keep you awake all day, this young newcomer is full of all the right flavour... The aromatic whiffy angst of "Fuming", the nutty grit of "Manners" and the full-bodied badness blend of "Arbzilla" are just three examples. Dark, rich, heavy; just like a good Latte should be. Don't ghost this one.
Review: Gella can really make music and his latest piece of work is out over on Super Sharp Recordings. This single is an energetic piece of jump-up construction that doesn't hesitate to punch you in the face and its exemplified by the A-side, a bass-filled expression of dancefloor hatred which moves in mysterious yet obvious ways. It bangs, basically, as does the B-side, with special mention going out to all the sweet hip-hop samples for their contribution to the excellent 'The Next Shit'. Top stuff
Review: Iron Fist is an appropriate name for the label behind this collection of VIPs and, listening through them, you can hear why. This release is a solid envelope of four tunes which demonstrate a serious understanding of jump-up's nastier end, the type of jump-up which some hate but which inspires a passionate love for the genre in others. Jaydan's VIP of Say Nothing is the best example of this, its pointed, jagged-edged basslines are cutting and penetrating at the same time, snappy drums lie underneath and the whole tune is packaged with effortless finesse. Check out the others for some of the hardest-hitting D&B around.
Review: Liondub's Street Series is one of the longest running and best introductory series' in the business, pulling through some lesser known talent on an almost monthly basis with condense yet expansive collections of music. This time it's the turn of Cool Hand Flex who lays down the gauntlet from the outset with 'London Groove' - a huge rolling number with towering high points that tumble down into jarringly cool low points. It's a bit of a ballad to be honest. 'Sight & Sound' is the other highlight, a pummelling jungle tip with a wobbling sub and deliciously satisfying percussive snaps.
Review: Mella Dee bounces back on his Warehouse Music label with this club-primed release. The title track leads the listener on a journey through 90s minimal techno, with chattering percussion accompanying analogue yelps and a wiry rhythm. The tempo moves up a few gears on "Toast" and "Sidewalk Surfer", with Dee applying roughly the same hardware-driven approach, albeit set to more pace-y backing tracks. "Maplins" resounds to grainy kicks and raw percussive ticks, sounding like it was inspired by Neil Landstrumm's 90s work for Tresor, while on "Rockport Xcs", the singular techno producer delivers detuned chords against a skippy, rolling groove.
Review: Vital Elements has built up a name for himself as someone who never fails to bring out the big guns with his music. It's always heavy, hard-hitting and built on soundscapes and vibes which are deeply urban. His newest EP on V2E is no different and it kicks off with 'Is It Enough', a Serum-esque roller with a bassline that stretches out over the horizon, the only constant being its grinding, coarse nature and the manner in which it constantly mutates and evolves. 'Bass Monster' is equally as rough but less rolling and more fragmented, its structure and nature constantly changes and it keeps the tune sounding consistently fresh. The rest of this EP is absolute vibes, too.
Review: The man, the myth, the sofa-loving animal; DLR dives deep into 2020 with two corkers on Doc Scott's 31. "Banana Bread" is every bit as tasty as its name suggests. There's an old school house vibe to the rising chords and string line as it builds slowly towards to the ruffneck scrappy bassline on the drop. "Busy" is an equally addictive affair. Once again the intro fools you ahead of the twist; dreamy, deep and skippy, no one expects the dark, techno-like groove when it finally kicks in. Go bananas.
Ya Dun Know (feat Diligent Fingers) - (4:56) 175 BPM
Review: Grid Recordings 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. Shadre & Salvage are holding up that standard and they're doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this single. 'Stay Put' reels you in with a lovely introduction, it's synthy beginnings quickly regressing to a siren-like wail of pure energy that's reminiscent of Kings of the Rollers and insanity more generally. The rest of the release is wicked as well, as the flipside 'Ya Dun Know' features the vocals Diligent Fingers over a choppy bassline and funky synth work.
Review: Vision are just full of surprises right now. Straight off the back of Noisia's "Armajet" OST comes this gully-AF quartet from Machinedrum and EDM/trap producer Holly. Neither artist is known for making drum & bass (although you can hear elements of it in many of their past productions) but it sounds like they've been bending breaks at 170 forever. From the rave tension of "Berry Patch" to the glacial textures and experimentalism of "Bramble" to the underwater Rockwell soul "Goji" and the Salvador Dali style bass of "Yangmei", this is the absolute business.
Review: There aren't many people better to remix your track than A.M.C, the man who recently dethroned Andy C as the Best DJ at the Drum & Bass Arena Awards and who is just generally an absolute beast at both production and spinning. He's on remix duties for K-Motionz and the result is a penetrating, deeply heavy wall of pure fire, one which jumps out the gun with the momentum of Usain Bolt and which matches him on sheer impact. 'Gunshot' is exactly what you'd expect - wounding - and A.M.C. has flipped this one into a DJ weapon we assume he's been getting ample use from.
Review: In a reggae laden expression of the stylistic backing behind Jungle Cakes, Blackout Ja and Wishmaster are teaming up with Dr Meaker for a really sick single. Both tracks roll out with all the intent of three artists who know exactly how to blend dub-infused tones with a rolling 170 beat, as they have done many times the past. This time is well-trodden ground for them, but the shimmering brass notes and funky vocal lines don't sound any less wicked. 'Eyes Of The Lion' is stabbing and sharp, whilst 'Mash Up The Place' is wobbling and steppy, a proper dancefloor number that's dying for a double drop. Wicked.
Review: Motiv is definitely one of the better up and coming producers out there and, with previous releases on a host of other labels, his aggressive sound is back with a vengeance here. Packed with harsh, barking tones and a stripped-back, industrial aesthetic, Motiv doesn't waste any time in laying out the rules: there are none. '40hz' is one of the heavier cuts, with a punching back end and an obstinate feel of solidness that reflects down all the way onto the rest of the tune. 'Warzone' is the title tune and you can see why, with a KoTR-esque approach to drawn out basslines and tough sonics that's underpinned by lovely metallic drums.
Review: It's almost exactly a year since Grey Code's last EP on Headz and how time has flown, the young Bristolian has clearly matured his sound since Reverie and the result is Helios. Spanning five tracks, Helios is more expansive sound design and penetrating percussion, created not only to damage dancefloors but to excel in its intricacies as well. From the pulsating acid vibes of 'You & I' to the furious, footwork influenced scurrying of 'Dante' feat. Becca Jane Grey, Helios is exceptionally good. 'Juniper' takes the cake for us though, with a ferociously creative beat pattern and absurdly well-made drums that bang even harder than we thought possible. Excellent.
Review: Brand new UK duo Bunnerz make their debut on Pick N Mix with this punchy, varied stink-fest. The healthy vibe range is clear from the off as opener "Settle Down" kicks off with spiky jump-up intent before "10 Stripes" follows on a moody, groaning sewer note. Other highlights include the rifle-like midrange bass fluctuations on "Reaction", the cheeky swagger and funk of "Recon OG" and the hectic twists and turns of "Merked". An impressive debut; keep Bunnerz on your radar.
Review: Bites have absolutely bloody killed it with this one. Featuring 4 cuts from Blckhry, Kendrick, Dispute and Spyraxx, New Generation is a collection of pure, gully rollers that all sit comfortably within the scene trends at the moment and which aim to show off the new talent on the label. All four of these could be talked about it in detail, but 'Bite' by Blckhry stands out for the sheer audacity of its bass, a wobbling, pulsating wall of energy that pushes out into all corners of the range. 'Filthy Animal' by Dispute is also top stuff, with a wonderfully solid percussive line and a grungy, gargling back end that'll have any head screwing their face up. Bangers!
Review: Biological Beats are turning fifteen years old and, like any good anniversary, it's being celebrated with a proper knees-up, hands-in-the-air type compilation of jump-up heavy hitters from a slew of wicked artists. This is that celebration and DJ Limited, Puppetz and more are in the place, whilst Enta and more make a feature as well. Enta turns up the heat with a screamer with 'Ear Dis', Puppetz takes things heavy on 'Reborn' and Traumatize drags proceedings into a bouncier place with his stormin VIP of 'Joker'. All round, an excellent showing from the crew and an excellent example of how to pull off a big compilation.
Review: Is there a doctor in the house? Hospital kick start the new decade with another stupendously massive V/A collection in the form of its latest Sick Music compendium. An album series that consistently lives up to its name, Sick Music 2020 does not disappoint in the slightest; from the powerful soul thrust of Degs and Unglued's "Levitate Your Mind" to the deep pads and sultry kicks of Tolima Jets' "Clams" via Urbandawn's truly electrifying euphoria/gully head shock "Egregor", this one covers the full spectrum from an exciting and super diverse range of artists. Look out for some fantastic remixes lurking in the mix, too; S.P.Y absolutely crushes Kings Of The Rollers' "You Got Me" and Serum flips Todd Terry's house classic "Bounce To The Beat" with a new sense of funk and groove. And these are just a few examples; this is a fantastic snapshot into how 2020 will sound... And it sounds great!
Review: As we move further into the new decade, we are thrilled to see that the Encrypted Audio team are continuing to keep up the pace, as they welcome one of 2019's standout producers: Cartridge. He kicks off this powerful four track collection with the colourful melodies and smooth grooves of 'Daffodils In February', followed by the incredibly gnarly tones of 'Isham'. Next, eastern patterns are combined with scratchy drums on 'Riot' with excellent results, alongside the final track 'Stubble', which uses chiming melodies and swirling sub textures to round us off nicely. Tidy work!
Review: The juggernaut that Audaz's 'Lolita' series of re-edit EPs has become lurches on remorselessly, with two more 10-track collections landing in stores this week alone. With the series now comprising a whopping 150 tracks, it's not suprising that this latest installment sees 'Lolita' digging deeper than ever for source material: '137' reworks Syreeta's 'Can't Shake Your Love' from 1981 (a Larry Levan classic) while '139' loops up Lowrell's 1979 soul jam 'Mellow Mellow (Right On)' to devastating effet, but that's about as much as we can tell you! Still, if its party-starting disco, boogie and 80s pop flavas you're after, you'll find them in abundance here.
Review: The artwork for this release is typically Souped Up with its upbeat, cartoonish style and bright, saturated colours. The music is an equally pleasant assault on the senses and assault is the right word because, with Harry Shotta in tow, Serum & Benny V are launching an attack through sound. 'Let's Go' is quintessential Serum & Benny and the punchy, stabbing arrangement is complimented ideally by Shotta, who's renowned flow floats across the top end of the range to provide extra ammunition for the battle below. Proper Souped Up bit of sickness.
Review: When rocking the V's Edits guise, Valique has a bit of a soft spot for spoonerisms and chuckle-some tweaks of artist names and track titles. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out the identity of the vintage rockers whose tracks have been given the touch-up treatment on "Rock We Dance - The Brits". Billy Idol classic "White Wedding" is the first to get a good going over, with Valique turning it into a confirmed indie-dance smasher thanks to some beefy new beats, weightier bass and wiggly, TB-303 style acid lines. Deep Purple's "Hush" is then turned into a psychedelic disco-rock bumper, before the veteran DJ/producer offers up "Starlit" by "Fuse" - a deeper fusion of moonlit psychedelia, nu-disco colour and club-focused grooves.
Review: As is now traditional, Heist Recordings has kick-started a new year by asking their artists to remix each other. Boss men Detroit Swindle set the tone with a gorgeously positive, synth-heavy remix of Fouk's "Need My Space" before Makez re-imagines Perdu's "Sacramento" as an acid bass-propelled bounce through melodious deep house pastures and Fouk adds a little loose-limbed swing and dirty bass pressure to Demuir's percussive and warming "The 3nity Returneth". Perdu reaches for the psychedelic acid lines and squelchy synth-bass on a Latin-tinged remake of Detroit Swindle's Lorenz Rhode collaboration "Music For Clubs", while Demuir beefs up Makez's breezy and melodious "Random Visits".
Review: Don't be fooled by the title; D&B pioneer A Sides hasn't gone all Christian Grey on us, 50 Shades Of A is actually the sound of him celebrating his 50th birthday with eight crucial new tracks. "Raise" cuts the first slice of badboy birthday cake with a nod to the classic Bristol style, all rolling and rough around the edges. It's followed by slice after slice after slice... "Edge VIP" sees him update his 2018 Chronic banger with added bass venom, "Tower" is a pure breakbeat hurricane, "Ribs" is a twisted paranoid stepper while "Imperial" nods to a Headz style sound with dramatic cinematic tom-thumping drums. Elsewhere "Million" takes us on a dreamy vocal vibe, "Ashby" shows us A Sides' most sentimental side while "Principles" closes on a beautiful jazzy touch and ensures every flavour A Sides has been crafting since day one is repped in true style. Happy birthday A Sides.
Review: Humdruma Recordingz always try their best to replicate the no-holds-barred, anarchic nature of life on the 19th century, American frontier and they do so via the aggressive tones of modern D&B. This is a best-of compilation of tracks that have come out through the label and it puts that ethos on good display, featuring some seriously weighty acts like Coda and Ikon B. The former's contribution is especially potent, a gargling display of production intensity and a lesson to all budding artists out there in how to create a knockout jump-up track, its biting bass stabs teaching you all you need to know. Ikon B's tune - 'Really' - is equally as naughty but it rests on a much more potent set of drum hits, giving it an extra oomph that you can certainly hear. The others are just as good - check em.
Review: Cre8 Dnb Music are one of the most prolific jump-up labels around. We regularly feature their releases and they almost always smash it out of the park, this time being no different. Part Of Me is a fiery EP that epitomizes the type of jump-up, but also slightly different flavours as well, that, in more ways than one, has defined D&B over the past couple of years - no-nonsense, uncompromising and proudly nonchalant about what you think. It's just pure attitude, dancefloor- based music at its best and music that simply does what it wants, there's no pretentiousness or image-orientated concerns - it's just D&B. Big, big tunes.
Review: Rene La Vice and Future Cut is, to be honest, quite a strange combination both in terms of their musical history and their stylistic divergence. We couldn't be happier to see them together, though, especially considering how incredible this release is, a three-tracker which packs all the heaviness that Metalheadz has built its reputation upon. 'Nine Strings' lays a soaring vocal over the top of a gully, no-holds-barred junglist break-out, a vibrantly powerful set of elements all working together to create a jagged, punchy track of club-sized proportions. 'Eyes' is incredible as well, a roller with a rolling reece bass and an attitude to match, something carried over into the final tune 'Deenandbee'. Awesome stuff.
Review: French outfit Mangabey team up with New York vocalist Kosmo Kint on two tracks that blur the boundaries between deep house, Balearica and neo-soul. On 'Time No More', Kint's R&B vocal, which recalls the likes of Usher or Shaun Escoffery, tops a languid, west coast-tinged deep house groove, while 'Get Lost' is a more laidback, summery affair with echoes of 80s pop. And if the vocals are a step too far into R&B pastures for you, don't worry, because both tracks also come complete with instrumental mixes, allowing the arps on 'Time No More', in particular, to really shine through.
Review: Juiceman and Jubbz come correct once again with their Beat Merchants alias. This time packing a full EP, across four tracks the duo dig deep into the roots with some magic results. "Mandelah" is a potent piece of minimalism that swings like a Die track and is coated with all manner of little details. Elsewhere "Juju Man" gets militant on a steppy halftime dancehall vibe, "Mbe Mbe" is pure jungle music while "Zumuzah" concludes the EP on a dreamy, springy flex. Deep, rolling, heavy and authentic; Beat Merchants aren't messing around. Get to know.