Review: Audio Addict are one of the most prolific labels in the game and an imprint which we regularly feature in these pages, mostly because of their penetrative ability to get the heart pumping with some dirty jump up. This is the second instalment in their New Addictions series and it's a percy, with contributions from J Select, Kamoh, Erbman , Burnzy and Joely and T Zone. J Select comes out the blocks straight away with 'Glitch', a giant, cavernous stepper with oodles of space in the arrangement for its multitude of coarse basses to blow you away. Erbman has the other highlight, with a growling, wobbling underground of sounds below its skipping drum line. Big stuff.
Review: Tomoyoshi is definitely one of the best producers out there and,with previous releases on a host of other labels, his aggressive sound is back with a vengeance here, as well as being cut through with some lighter bits. Packed with harsh, barking tones and a stripped-back, funky aesthetic, Tomoyoshi doesn't waste any time in laying out the rules: there are none. 'Smooth Groove' is the title tune and its aptly named, with a luscious set of pads and a real feeling of relaxation that's nonetheless underpinned by a powerful percussive set and stonking low end. Wicked.
Review: Bryan Gee and V Recordings do not mess around. They never have in the past, they're certainly not right now in the present and judging by this highly anticipated Future album, they're going to mess around any time ahead. 25 tracks from some of the biggest, best and baddest names in D&B (Dillina, Serum, Benny L, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Roni Size, DJ Marky, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Bladerunner, Saxxon, the list goes on) this one's been a long, long, long time coming... And it's been well worth the wait. From L-Sides massive remixes of Dillinja and Krust to Need For Mirrors super-revved "Lambo" to Benny L's incredible remix of "Days", this sums up why Bryan and his label are as influential and respected in the game as they are today. Don't mess around.
Review: US-born, Netherlands-based soulful D&B nomad Greg Submorphics takes away to sunnier, more wholesome climes on this immaculate debut album. Gilded synths, hazy feels, stacks of woozy warmth, just the right balance of nostalgia; every cut ripples and flexes with a timeless liquid feel. The dusty horns on "Memories Of You", the velvet boogie, silky synths and syrupy dulcets of Big Brooklyn Red on "Daydreaming", the dreamy bounce of "Faded Images", the list goes on. As you'd expect from The North Quarter and Submorphics, everything about this album hits the spot. Close your eyes and think of better times...
Review: Songwriter, singer, MC, producer, absolute G: since landing on Hospital exactly two years ago in 2018 Degs has consistently peppered us with vibes by way of beautiful releases and powerfully energetic and inspiring shows. Now he levels up with his debut solo album Letters From Ndegwa, a widescreen bounty of musical D&B featuring collaborations with the likes of LSB, Phil:osophy, Unglued, Logistics, Pola & Bryson, S.P.Y and many more. Ranging from the touching almost-beatless ballads such as "4 Days" to the outrageous gully energy of tracks like "The Roots" via raw funkular missions like "Levitate Your Mind", this album doesn't just wrap up why Degs is one of the most exciting artists to join Hospital but a shining example of just how versatile and musical D&B artists can truly be. What an album.
Review: Following the likes of Ray Keith, Nicky Blackmarket, General Levy and many artists of high don calibre, Dope Ammo and DJ Hybrid are the next to take the controls as Jungle Cakes' Welcome To The Jungle series. As always, the selection digs deep across the board to include classics, absolute bangers that have been criminally forgotten and no less than 10 exclusives made strictly for this album. From the sun-kissed soul and key-tickling evangelist jam "Salvation" to the absolute rave carnage of "What's Going Down", the boys have gone in on this collection maintaining its still spotless reputation as one of the most consistent and prolific mix series available in the genre. Pay close attention to the Jukebox Jungle track, too. This needs your loving.
Review: Deep In The Jungle have been making some serious waves the past year or so with coverage in UKF and a growing recognition that they're one of the best labels releasing a consistent slew of newly emboldened, moody jungle. Epicentre is on things for them this time around with a six-tracker of frightening proportions, packed full of solid percussive strikes and gravelling basslines. 'Come With It' has a seriously funky rhythmic pattern and a slick array of basslines, whilst 'Dread' takes things in a funkier direction with ragga sampling and a fluid concoction of reese bass magic. Top.
Review: Document One dropped their debut album on Shogun Audio last year and it was packed full of wicked dancefloor anthem, as well a a number of liquid and jungle cuts. Anamorphic is their first outing since then and it's gone down the heavier route whilst also incorporating some junglist tones, a wicked combination that represents the diversity present on Friction's label. 'Rave Culture' exemplifies that best, with a ferocious breakbeat and chopped up vocals combining to make a monstrously heavy and catchy club-focused riddim. Lovely stuff.
Review: It's been three years since Session Victim's last album, the rather fine "Listen To Your Heart" on Delusions of Grandeur, so this fourth full-length excursion is definitely well overdue. As you'd expect, the music contained in it is as warm, musically rich and intricately detailed as ever, though there are fewer nods to disco, boogie and Balearica than we've come to expect. Instead, they've delivered a smoky, atmospheric and intoxicating collection of cuts that attractively shimmies between drowsy late night house, dreamy electronica, jazz-fired downtempo jams, dusty breakbeat shufflers and the kind of stoned, ultra-deep fare that used to get showcased on F Communications' ace "Mega Soft Office" compilations back in the 2000s.
Review: They've bounced around in their "Bootleg Clarks" long enough! It's time for bredrins Exile and XTC to go in properly with their debut collaborative EP. One legend, one fast-rising new name: together they fuse the perfect edge of contemporary, no-BS D&B. "Soothes My Soul" starts the engine on a big diva balls-out vibe, "Burning Up" ups the euphoria to even higher levels while "Morse Code" is pure heads-down batteridge. Finally "Oh Yeah" ends on a moody note where grunting shred basslines drop in and out while a heavy percussive break shunts with techno grity. Schooled.
Review: Oh gosh. Last spotted on the mothership label in 2015 on Mikal's "Where They At EP", Danger Dutchman Nymfo returns to Metalheadz with his first full EP for the label. It's every bit as heavy and badass as you'd hope it to be. "Sting Blade" rolls out with a skinny-fit break and a bassline so flabby and bulbous it folds over the edges. It's backed by two more monoliths; "What's Happening" sees fellow Dutchy Martyn join the action with just a touch of classic Blue Note style jazziness, "No Choice" settles the matter on some 23rd century twisted Optical style funk and "Lie Detector" shuts things down on a deep purring emotional one. Incredible. Easily one of Nymfo's finest moments so far (which is saying something).
Jonny L - "In A Jungle" (BCee remix) - (4:53) 58 BPM
Review: Spearhead are coming out with a huge compilation that seeks to be a statement of intent for 2020, combining a load of new tracks with some of the choicest cuts from the Spearhead back catalogue. There is old school talent like Need For Mirrors, Bcee, Carlito & Addiction & Saikon, as well as recruits from the new school like Whiney, Black Barrel, Monrroe and Walk:r, all of whom have done a wicked job walking the Spearhead stylistic line between hard and soft. Need For Mirrors' 'Zxana' is the ideal example; it's stripped back and minimalist in its percussion but expansive in the low-frequencies, with a hypnotic feeling of movement and a seriously solid piece of sound design. The rest of the LP is typically epic as well, so shout out to the Norwich crew.
Review: Pick N Mix: A place where full fat variety comes as standard and you're guaranteed to leave with a blazing sugar high and the stickiest fingers imaginable. Since launching last year they've been responsible for a whole barrage of on-point fire jams from the most exciting names in the new-gen D&B movement and for their 10th release they've levelled up the selection in a major way. 20 fresh tracks from 20 killer new talents, the vibes here are so palpable you could chew them. Highlights include the techno-like insistency and of Alex SLK's "Gorillaz", savage tear-out in the form of Vital's "The Game", Zoro's Dread-bass warp wonder session "Buss It", Magenta's MC-fronted bash-about "Purpose", the list goes on and on. Sweet!
Review: Nuusic are a fairly new label that really don't mess around and their output tends to land on the tougher, more dancefloor orientated end of the spectrum. Akuma by Teej and featuring Jappa, Disrupta and Riko Dan continues that trend, with four big cuts that are definitely set to blow up the dance. 'Akuma' has a distinctly Serum vibe to it, with a stuttering jungle break and a warped, stabby bassline that contorts itself around every corner of the range. 'War Cry' takes things more rolling with a wicked, snapping snare and a wobbling wall of sine basses to back it up, bringing a lovely clean feeling that's also on '16 Speakers'. Wicked.
Review: Dope Ammo have a seriously unique sound and it's meant that they've stayed remarkably consistent for quite a while, with this EP coming packed full of remixes from Dope Ammo's album from Dope Ammo, Audiomission, Sublow HZ and more. The Audiomission remix of 'Take Me Back' is probably the biggest on the release and has a wonderfully curving bassline that blends and moves with a real feeling of power, if you've heard many other tunes by this man you'll know what we're talking about. The Sublow HZ remix of 'Stir It Up' is lovely and funky yet packs a ferocious jungle bassline on the drop that'll leave you heaving for more. Wicked stuff.
Review: One of the most consistent and hardest working platforms for new-gen D&B talent in the last 10 years, DJ Hybrid's Audio Addict has a golden tracklist for breaking new names with the likes of Kumarachi, RMS, Agro, Section and Mr Hybrid himself all coming through the label. Now comes the new chapter. A new logo, a new approach with larger V/A releases that celebrate the most exciting names emerging but the same mission applies: to devastate your sets with the most contemporary and up front examples of this thing we call D&B. It starts right here with this crucial six-pack. From the moment Newcastle's Hexa opens with an electro-flavoured growler "Flourish" to the moment T Zone closes the EP with the dramatic strings and foul bassline of "Killers", this is the sound of Audio Addict kicking into a new decade stronger and more consistent than ever before.
Review: The Vanguard Project combines Bcee and Villem, two long-time liquid titans who have their debut LP as a duo out very soon. A self-titled piece of work, The Vanguard Project brings 12 new tracks alongside 14 classics from their joint back-catalogue, a sprawling release which dips its toes into virtually every flavour imaginable. 'Everyday is Stolen' feat. DRS was the first single to be released and we can see why, a standout track that beautifully combines his talent for spitting with singing. 'The Unknown' and 'Wicked Man' are both perfectly weighted jungle tracks, full of soul and bursting with the character of music which packs edge and funk at the same time. Dynamite MC and Leo Wood also both feature, the latter is a regular on Spearhead now and 'Elevate' is a driven, bass heavy track that frolicks with vocal touches and funky guitar flourishes. Unreal stuff here from two legends of the game.
Review: Can we get a 'wicked?' Jungle Cakes continue to team up with some of the biggest donnies in the game with this latest Welcome To The Jungle collection. This time curated and fronted by the General himself, as you'd expect this is a full-on jungle assault that covers every single angle and every single era. 47 tracks and one killer mix, hosted and toasted by Levy himself, this is one of Jungle Cakes most comprehensive collections to date: From the foundation-setting, historic vibes of "Incredible" through to contemporary bangers from the likes of Kursiva, DJ Hybrid, Jam Thieves, Benny Page and all things in between, everyone involved has delivered something special. Massive.
Review: On his first new album in three years, Kieron Hebden aka Four Tet proves why he is such a rare talent. Tracks like "School" and "Baby" see him merge ambient and electro-acoustic sounds together with vocal samples and tight dance floor rhythms, while on "Love Birds" he delivers tight drums and melancholic keys. What makes this so impressive is the fact that the dividing line between the organic and the electronic is imperceptible. Of course there is an accessible side to Hebden's style - the effortless warbles of "Teenage Birdsong" and the evocative "Harpsichord" being the stand out tracks - but in the same way that he blends the organic with the synthetic, Four Tet never lets this album dip into rampant commercialism.
Review: Coming in with the reggae, junglist vibes this week is Chopstick Dubplate, who are releasing on their own label alongside Natty Campbell, an MC and vocalist who, if you don't know, sounds absolutely mint above a ragged jungle beat. 'Chicken Shop' is the title tune and deservedly so, featuring a bubbling, bouncing and banging bassline which sits perfectly beneath the flowing lyrical business being conducted by Campbell above. This EP stretches to seven tracks and highlights well the reputation that Chopstick Dubplate have cultivated over years in the game. Top stuff.
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: Now let's be real here. There aren't many people matching up with Deep Dark & Dangerous when it comes to dubstep release quality. This last 18 months has been a display of extreme dominance, with this latest five track project being yet another example of that. Featuring 10 steaming originals, from the likes of Oxossi, Sepia, Taiko Dalek One and more heavyweight names, they really aren't playing around. Highlights for this one have to include the horn-heavy LFO ramblings of Angelic Roots' 'Thunder Dub', alongside the subtle eastern twinges of 'Cobra Shake' from Khanum and the slapping percussion of REZ's 'Adidas'. Lovely stuff.
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: Grubs up! Twisted Individual's cooked up a feast of undead delights for the first Zombie Recordings V/A collection and everyone's invited. Chewy, spicy and full of gully victuals, across the collection we're treated to all range of flavours; the peppery aftertaste of Filthy Habits & Jeopardize's "Mind Transfer", the fruity funk bursts of Imaginary Friends' "Rooftop Jam", the gamey aroma and meaty chugs of Yatuza & Nick The Lot's "Mystic Ways" and the sweet and sour textures of Alex SLK's "Kluture" are just some of the many highlights on the menu. Gunfinger-licking good!
Review: With the Lolita re-edit series reaching its 22nd installment, you should be familiar with the general vibe/ethos/MO by now, so we'll dive straight in. For '212', read Skatt Brothers' 'Walk The Night' from 1979, while '214' bites L'Ectrique's 'Struck By Boogie Lightning' from the same year. '215' reworks Space's classic 'Magic Fly', '217' revisits Bionic Boogie's 'Risky Changes' (1977) while Shakatak's 'Easier Said Than Done' (1981) is reinvented on '219'. The rest of the EP draws on unidentified Eurodisco/Italo/coldwave sources, with the obligatory curveball coming in the form of '220' - Bob Dylan's 'Lay Lady Lay' as you've never heard it before.
Review: For this bumper of a VA, Juicy Fruit have roped in Redline, Erbman, Rival Technique and more for the 2nd instalment in their Juicy Gang series. Featuring 7 street-focused cuts, there's a plethora of styles here that make this EP an easy win for anybody who appreciates the diversity of music the scene has to offer. Redline lands with the old-school, junglist cut that isn't the most glamorous but which gets the job done in a fashion only the old school can. Kovert Sound and Bill & Ed take things up a notch in terms of heaviness, whilst Hannibal Selector gets all funky with an wicked set of samples and some stuttering rolling drums. Wicked, wicked.
Review: We love releases that are dusty and murky, the sort of releases you find stowed away on an old vinyl in your nan's loft but which turn out to be proper gems. Although this one is brand spannking new and so we doubt your gran will have a copy in her loft, it's appropriately wicked, stretching out as it does over two jungle inflected tunes. The A-side, 'The Assassinator', is grounded in a celestial soundscapes and punctuated through the middle by rustic snare hits and stabbing bass wobbles, making a really atmospheric number. The flip is more traditional jungle territory, with a stomping break that's permeated through with anarchic ambience. Wicked.
Review: Sub-Division have absolutely bloody killed it with this one. Featuring 5 cuts from Shayper including features from Guzi and Substance, Infiltrate is a collection of pure, gully numbers that all sit comfortably within the scene trends at the moment. All 5 of these could be talked about it in detail, but 'Nagato' stands out for the sheer audacity of its sub bass, a wobbling, pulsating wall of energy that pushes out into all corners of the range. 'Rever' 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: Next up, from the ever-prepared Bomb Strikes, we see them welcome in a legendary selection as Krafty Kuts returns for a new collection of breakbeat goodness. We kick off with the title track 'Masterplan', alongside the rave-ready sounds of Dynamite MC, who lets loose a barrage of party starting verses with typical efficiency. Next up, the soiree intensifies as 'Boom' lands with a major impact, delivering big room synthesizer bangs and bouncy drum arrangements, before the uber groovy soul sampling of 'Superbad' sees the EP round off with a dash of serious finesse. Lovely stuff!
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: Although he's occasionally made guest appearances on other labels - most notably Rekids, Money $ex and Vertv - Quentin Leroy AKA Mad Rey has been a key member of the D.KO family since the label's launch six years ago. Here he returns to the French imprint for the first time in two years with a predictably solid collection of cuts. Four of the six cuts are designated as dub mixes, with the French producer variously offering up techno-tempo loopy deep house ("Never Know"), Mella Dee style techno-disco ("Bon Souvenir"), warehouse-ready ghetto-tech sleaze ("Go Fast") and lo-fi Chicago jack on steroids ("Balle Perdue"). Elsewhere, "Le Dermier Mot" is the kind of drowsy deepness found on Aphex Twin's "Selected Ambient Works Volume 1", while "Make It Right" is a breezy piano-house treat.
Review: Safely curating from Montreal a line up of disco, electro and dancefloor tracks to rise from the ashes of the early 2010s, Thomas von Party, aka Tiga's brother, has curated a discography that includes the likes of Zongamin, Golden Bug, Jamie Paton to Sascha Funk and Red Axes. Hybridism presents a second record for Cruz in 2020 and this five-track drop sees the French-Ecuadorian drum up a dubby and jazz-tipped assortment of lo-fi, exotic percussion and space rhythms that remain slow-mo while maintaining their chuggings pulses. 5 stars.
Review: Walking Dead Recordings are a regular here on Juno and for good reason, their proclivity for steadily releasing rough but energetic, whole-hearted cuts is strong and their small size doesn't prevent the release of top-quality music. 'Luminoth' is the strongest on the release, with a Dispatch-esque feel to its cracking percussion and a torn, broken back end that rips across the range with style. The flip-side goes down a techier, more futuristic route with a load of power in its deadly synth work - one for the dancefloor. Mad one.