Review: C.I.A are the kings of organic drum & bass that's ingrained into the core heritage of the genre, and this EP from Minor Forms is a perfect example of drum & bass that's simple yet devastating. Wrapped around a potent blend of breaks and rolling percussive lines, Minor Forms strips everything back to the bare essentials, focusing your attention on what really matters. 'The Hunt' is among the toughest on offer, a pacey dancefloor cut with a classic array of bending, twisting low frequency textures that remind us of early 2000s techstep, a golden era for the genre this track encapsulates yet also improves upon. 'Big Style' is in the ilk of new school jungle, a movement C.I.A have been pushing hard with the likes of Myth, and this tune is right up there with the best of them; bone-shattering bass sweeps and precisely engineered, extremely satisfying percussive work. Big.
Review: Zero T is back on CIA, a label he's worked with frequently over the years and an imprint which is well suited to his blend of light and dark sounds. MYWRLD is exactly that, and contained within are pointed breaks, rolling basslines and luscious atmospherics, the full Zero T package that we know and expect. The title tune is a dagger of a jungle cut, with expertly crafted drums which chop and change, flipping the momentum over and over to create a superb percussive basis. 'One More Chance' is more rolling, with an excellent diving bassline that goosebump-raising in its subtle low frequencies, and 'Radical Step' is an inch-perfect stepper with crispness at its core. A wicked three-tracker from the Irish master.
Review: Hot on the heels of his Subtitles debut last month, Ill Truth's Myth gate-crashes the CIA party with four more certy heavers. Proper back-to-the-roots Bristol-flavoured bassline business, each cut smacks with timeless grit and funk. Highlights include the wild fluctuating wobbles on "Pathological" and the big diva vocal snippet and high voltage bass snarls on "No 1 Else" with Madcap. There are no limits to this man's gulliness.
Review: Total Science's CIA take a moment for reflection as they look back over the decades of hard service they've done and cherry pick a few old gold favourites. As with previous Select Files collections, the range is widescreen and full of authentic, timeless, honest D&B. You want highlights? You best start going through every track... Everything from Calibre's 2009 snarling bongo-buster "Understand" to some of S.P.Y's earliest cuts such as "Dark Age" and "Magic Hour" and the VIP of Total Science's evergreen ballistic rave weapon "Defcom 69" still hits the spot like they did the first time round. Get selective.
Review: More saucy sounds from Bristol's most brazen lords of the ring. Fresh from revealing their Shy FX remix, once again we find DLR, Smithy and Hyrdo taking things back to the roots: "Kiss The Ring" wraps around you like a well-fitted sovereign, all chunky and unapologetic. "WUT", meanwhile, sounds like the title suggests. A gurgling guffy bassline that scratches it knuckles along the ground while dreamy pads and warm punch drums do all the groundwork. Kiss it!
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: Computer Integrated Audio or CIA (the better one) don't release terribly frequently but when they do, you know you have to pay attention. Total Science curate the label and this time they've sourced a seriously cool four-tracker from Myth, who has smashed it out of the park with his wicked combination of breaksy steps and rolling beats. All of the tunes here are exceptionally well produced but not over-engineered, they still pack a rough edge and they don't sacrifice rowdiness on the altar of clarity. The title track is the standout, with a punishing array of drum hits and a spacious bassline that wobbles its way into your heart by the end of the track. Top stuff here from the CIA crew.
Review: Oh gosh. Total Science ante up for the summer with this exceptional V/A EP on their CIA imprint. Kicking off with a crucial new remix of their classic "Nosher" by their new hybrid gang comprising themselves, DLR and Hydro, full breadth and variation abounds as we dip into the gilded soul of Zero T & Phase's "Talk To Me", the gnarled grizzles and dubby danger of their own "Devil's Gate" with Scar member Script and the grand finale; a heavyweight purring roller from two of the most respected newcomers in the game right now: Ill Truth and SATL. Each one a persy for different chapters of the night, any further information is classified.
Review: The rule of three... In maths it describes the way of finding a number in the same ratio to a given number as exists between two other given numbers. In writing it's a structuring principal that leads to a more effective message of punchline. In drum & bass it means a sick new EP on Total Science's CIA. Ironically it's a from a duo and it's four tracks long but that hasn't stopped the Bristol pair running amok through the styles; the bubbling, Bingo Bass style funk of "So Addicted", the creepy graveyard funk of "Ghouls", the spine-melting break-ravaged "Bounty" and the tunnelling dubby synths of "Rule Of Three". Rules are made to be broken.
Review: This is your mission, should you choose to accept it: Check out these highly classified C.I.A bangers and slap your dancefloor silly with them as soon as possible. All weapon's grade material, each tune hits with the soul, sentiment and weight you'd expect from Total Science's now-21-year-old label. Villem switches up "False Alarm" with a little barbed swing, Critical Impact collides with Jakes for a deadly metallic roller on "Geeks & Geezas", Total Science add a little jazz to the riot while Arcatype brings the assignment to the poignant end it deserves. Each one direct and deadly when dropped at the right time; the mission is there should you choose to accept it. The message will self destruct in five seconds.
Review: There are two things you need to know about Riya... One: She's one of drum & bass's longest-standing and authentic singer/writers. Two: she works with dopest of producers. "Hurt Heals" is the best example of her range and her collaborator flexibility since her Sublimation album a few years back as the likes of Villem & Mcleod, Nyfmo & ZeroZero, Alibi, Phaction, Random Movement and Maverick Soul all get involved and create perfect beats for her dreamy, introspective soul. Highlights include the warm jazz feels of "Left Behind", Phaction's groaning bass on "Never Wrong", DRS's bars on "Ships" and the big feels slo-mo flip of "Numbers". Here's another thing you need to know about Riya... She's awesome.
Review: Three generations of drum & bass craftsmen combine to form a mean Voltron; OGs Total Science, DNAudio alumni Hyrdo and relative newcomer War fuse to fire up four authentic wallshakers. Highlights and mesmerising moments fly from every corner; the layered rolls of percussion and fluidity of "Denial", the rasping electrified bass gurgles of "Straight G", the wily drumfunk and jazzy twangs of "Deluge" and the vibe-flipping euphoric electronica waves on the breezy soul roller "Aegean Blues".
Review: Following CIA bossmen Total Science's remix of Phaction's "Stratos" on Fokuz last year, the two acts consummate their relationship with the Bristol-based artist's first full EP on their label. And it's arguably his most comprehensive and confidently explorative EP to date; "Should Have Known" is the sultry sunset jam of the set that would be perfect for Sun&Bass "Tonight" has a rougher breaky feel while "Signature Moves" is reminiscent of Brookes Brothers early material. The gems continue to glitter the very end as "Solar Meditation" submits our souls to deep hypnosis and "I Have You" steps out with a spellbinding double-bass rattling jazz vibe. Dope moves.
Review: While the mighty Aswad once told us "Don't Turn Around", the even mightier Total Science have now advised us to "Turn Around"... And with its dreamy cosmic synths, surging vocal and classic snare rolling jungle break, we know whose orders we're going to believe. The fun doesn't stop there as the all star cast continues... Break joins the party for the bone-rattling Headzy tear-up "Big Time Winners", Calibre jumps on the remix tip with a delicate lilting twist on the Riya-fronted "Walk The Same Lines" and DLR taps in for the heads-down, purring-sub stepper "Too Close For Comfort". Heavyweight and high grade, this is an incredible EP.
Review: A time for reflection: Total Science closes down their 20th year of C.I.A case files with another precision reflection over past conquests and gully accomplishments from their collection of labels. Ranging from one of Calibre's first ever cuts (the raffish, wonderfully unkempt "Tempo Dub") and Bad Company's stupendous grime-funk twist on "Champion Sound" to Break's 2012 gritty slapper "Rare Earth" and Digital's life-changing, amen-smashing bassline slammer "No Reality", Spinback and Quiff have dug deep through the ages for some absolute gold here.
Review: Jungle's favourite shagoholic Nymfo steps up to Total Science's CIA for the first time in several years and he's making up for lost time: four tracks of forthright D&B, each one catered for a different chapter of the night. "Something Tells Me" eases us in with soulful prowess as Riya coats the liquid riddim with honey, "Barfly" is much more of a bar fight with its tribal-like vocal sample switches, "Stop Motion" is late night Renegade around 2001 with its dense drum work and unforgiving pads while "Bread & Butter" closes the show on a next-century funk tip. Beautiful.
Review: Double decade business: Total Science celebrate their label's big two-oh with an on-point collection of ageless constructs from friends old and new. Naturally, everyone arrives to the party in their sharpest finery; Break's cheeky rave references on the juiced up "Unified", the ugly undertones and system-melting weight of Total Science, Digital & Spirit's incredible "Apply The Pressure", Calibre's cosmic ping-pong jam "The Trot", Nymfo's dreamy harmonic heaven "Game Of Love", The Invaderz swashbuckled drum session "Be Around"... Not one player has tailored a shabby garm, ensuring well-suited jams for decade to come.
Review: 20 years: time flies when you're busy being Total Science, one of D&B's most consistent banger outlets of all time. Celebrating two decades of their influential label, here they deliver four tracks that won't appear on their anniversary album; DLR provides two versions of Quiff's 93 agenda-setter "Champion Sound" while Calibre does what he does best on the piano on "Under Bars" and Total Science themselves lick up a dubby system shocker that tips a wry nod at the likes of Digital and Spirit.
Review: Having laid down the jungle law on Renegade Hardware and Program in the past, UK trio Chroma get busy once again on Total Science's CIA... "Outline" rattles with precision shakers that sit perfectly in the mix, driving your hips to do things you didn't think was possible. "Hodrull" is a roof-leaping legend of a cut where demonic reverse bass textures land like Boeings on fast-forward while "Cutthroat" takes a pinch of ragga, a dash of tech and a huge dollop of timeless jungle and slow bakes them at 170 Celsius. Remix-wise Break takes a bite out of Chroma's last CIA outing to ravishing affect. Proper.
Review: Player central: Not one artist on this EP doesn't command serious respect. Ed:It and Pennygiles's 2014 firecracker gets the treatment from Ulterior Motive, adding just a lick or two of shade to the already solid groove. ST Files and Response follow with a beautifully restrained deep stepper that's not dissimilar to erstwhile ST collaborator Marcus Intalex. Total Science and FD maintain the deep theme with a soulful rolling track that's not dissimilar to their Funky Technicians material. Villem and McLeod anchor the EP with a unique halftime roll that balances dark and light tighter than your nan's 1950s television. A truly spotless EP.
Review: More solid soul gold from the man like Dominick Martin: "Another" spins on the axis of two really well chiselled vocal samples and a bassline that hums so heavily you think a tank is following you where you go. "Posh Boy" reminds us of Calibre's darker side with its teeth-baring bassline and mean minimal attitude. "Dreamz Dub" starts as a sub-soaked minimal monster before subtle strings emerge mid-mix with emotional effect. "Believe It" plays the consummate show stopper with light-to-moderate pads and another precision placed vocal. In a nutshell: lush. But we wouldn't expect anything less from Calibre.
Review: Owners of CIA and long-time legends Total Science team up with long time collaborators Quadrant, Iris and Kid Hops - this time around for two slices of razor sharp breaks. "Pushin' Your Luck" delivers on every level, maxing out vintage drums with decrepit sampling decor. "Obsolete" kicks back slightly, opting for a fresher take on new age drum and bass breaks with the type of ebullient bass that just keeps bubblin' under the surface. Two tunes to salute.
Review: CIA are bringing out the big guns with this intense selection of stone cold classics and fresh new sounds. Not content with already leading one of the finest talent-led subgenre revolutions, Computer Integrated Audio have brought together some of the biggest names around to lay out the future of drum and bass for all to see. From Smyla & Script's massive floor destroyer "Stockpile" to the unforgettable "Soul Patrol" from the men themselves Total Science and featuring acts like Enei, Spy and Riya, Serum, Break, Digital and Nymfo along the way, it's a thing of wonder to behold. Don't get caught out.
Review: It seems the full CIA cast list has come out for this entirely massive release and holy moly is it a large one. Kicking things off with the legendary Total Science guys and the one and only S.P.Y headed up by Chroma on remix duties, "Whoonga" is a relentless roller, pushing on through dark bass and sparks of light from harsh pads and electric samples. In "Stoned", Calibre calms his intensity levels for a chill roller packed with lucid dreamy sounds and tight percussion. Riya joins old friends Total Science to lend her sultry vocals to a crisp, soulful stepper in "Walk The Same Lines" and Utopia henchman Mako