Review: Liondub International 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 unknown artists on the jump-up spectrum is undeniable. Dungeon Kru are holding up that standard and they're doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this EP. 'Pushing'' reels you in with heavy, pounding introduction and its inch-perfect drums are ideally suited for the twisting, gargling bassline that pops up around the corner. The other five tracks are all equally as pernicious and they make this one an EP to watch for sure
Review: One of the regular labels we feature are Sub-Liminal, a wicked little imprint that puts out a diverse sound ranging from techy rollers to jump-up steppers and even liquidy numbers. This week they've arrived with an EP from Dunk, who, across six tracks, spans various tones and styles, all of them rooted in a sense of dancefloor aggressiveness and all of them top-notch. 'Bingo' is a highlight, its rolling percussive line isn't the paciest but is loping and satisfying, whilst a stabby bass and sweeping reeces sit just above and inject all the force. 'Silence'' is also a wicked track, with a lovely, stripped back drum line that's full of moody sonics. Top stuff.
Review: Low Down Deep has become one of the premier destinations for UK jump-up, playing host to every big name in the scene over the years. Now a proper flag-holder for the resurgent jump-up movement, Low Down Deep are back and they're repping Slipz, one of the big up and comers right now. He's coming out with the Boss EP and the title track is playful yet devastating, with an upbeat and funky arrangement that lands hard - very hard. 'Infinite' is less subtle, with pitched up synths that pummel the top end of the range and a snapping drum line that nails the bottom end. Yes guys.
Review: Everyone likes a good compilation, right? What's better than having as big a range of artists as possible in one condensed place? It's essentially an album with the ease of listening of a single, so we're all for it. Zombie Recordings UK have come out with the third edition in their Within The Woods series and it's packed full of jump-up bangers, one of those albums which doesn't try to be cool or sophisticated by chucking in a few fillers for the sake of diversity - it's just hard stuff here. It works great, with features from Shadre & Salvage, Nick The Lot, Damage Report and more all getting together for a shakedown. Nick The Lot kills it as per usual and his subby, stabby number is more down to earth and stratospheric. Wicked.
Review: This release honestly doesn't mess around. It carries a serious sense of potency despite its clear lack of 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. Maze
has certainly accomplished that here, I mean just have a listen to the rippling sines, percussive naughtiness and bassline badassery that is 'Rumble', 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: Maze is building 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 Embrace EP on Bulletproof is no different and it kicks off with 'Charlie', a stabby 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. 'Soldier' is equally as rough but less rolling and more jungley, its structure and nature constantly changes and it keeps the tune sounding consistently fresh. This whole EP is absolute vibes.
Review: Following releases on the likes of Dispatch, Flexout, Vandal and Shogun, Sustance lands on Overview with this ravishing five-piece collection. Adding to the ever on-point signature of the young UK label, each cut is slippery, stripped back and primed for butt-wriggling. Highlights include the playfully titled "Squirt" (watch out for that sudden gnarly switch on the bass midway), the fluctuating subs and bold percussion splashes on "Temperance" and that restrained high voltage electric menace on "Shame". More of this please Sustance and Overview.
Review: Gradually honing his sound over the last few years on the likes of Spectre and Shiftin' Beatz, Enta is now a firm member of Fatman D's labels. First Young Guns, now this full EP debut on Biological Beats. Undoubtedly his most focused and accomplished release to date, the EP is held down by a stripped back heavily pressurised sense of tension... Pastry's moody bars on "Formula", the slick slippery drum work on "Revenge", the trippy harmonics on "Sleight Of Hand" and carefully tamed bass grunts of "Lurking". Trust us, there's nothing formulaic about this one.
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: Re-edit collections drawing on the work of a single artist seem to be something of a growing phenomenon lately, and here it's funk legend Rick James that gets the treatment. It's not a job that necessarily needed doing, admittedly - it's hard to imagine there are many DJs out there who play funk but can't satisfactorily programme a Rick James record! But as a tribute and a labour of love this 15-track set can certainly hold its own, and those who've rinsed the originals may well appreciate their getting a refresh here while the EP will also, hopefully, help introduce the work of the troubled proto-Prince to a new generation.
Review: UK duo In:Most deliver their debut album on Soulvent and it's a serious statement of intent. Opening and closing gently with piano strokes and charmed, emotional flurries of "Stay" and "Harbour"), the whole LP covers the full spectrum of drum & bass from classic vocal liquid ("Glimmer"), deep jazzy space-bound grooves ("Silver Lining") and grumpier, star-gazing dark funk ("Do You", "The Watchman") and cuts like "VR" that flip between three or four styles all in one, this is a highly accomplished debut album from a duo who are at the forefront of the new D&B generation. Ready for take-off?
Review: Yet again, it appears that Nipponeer Japan have pulled out a box of magic as they welcome The Darrow Chem Syndicate in for a super groovy four track selection under the EP title 'Ghosn Attaches'. They have selected four potent remixes for our enjoyment, kicking off with Kid Panel's spicy rethink of 'Men In Soggy Sorrow', overhauling the twanging western vocals with silky breakbeat action. Next, Kuplay unleashes a vibrant roller rework of 'Breakin' For You' alongside Rory Hoy's rave synth heavy emulation of 'Hymn Of The Moog'. Finally, Macho steps up for a drum heavy take on 'The Bully', rounding the project off in style.
Review: Drop your pants, shake ya hair! Smoove's ode to thy has landed (RIP Phife Dawg). Replete with vocal snippets from both Dave's Letterman and Chappelle, to all matter of rappers, talk show hosts and MCs, Smoove's two-part A Quest Called Tribe EP cuts a stroll through the funk and sample-based pastures of instrumental hip hop and beatmaking. Acid jazz and mixtape progressions to boot!
Review: Invadhertz are one of the best acts working on the more minimal side of the spectrum right now, with releases on Flexout, Context and more, and now they're flying the Italian flag on Delta9 Recordings. This is a sweet EP, featuring a stinking remix from fre4knc, that stretches out over six tracks of pure stripped back, industrial sonics. There's a range of sounds, from the minimal forces of 'Neo Tribes' contrasting with the rolling liquid sounds of 'Take Me Places'. This is a piece of quality from Delta9.
Review: So at this point in time, it's hard to imagine Alix Perez making a stale tune, as he lands here on the wonderful 1985 music for another twisted collection of heaters. We kick this one off with a look at the spooky overtones and warbling synthesizer growls of 'Ravana', before the shivering LFO designs and glitchy melodic plucks of 'Lifeline' stutter into play. Next, 'Post-Mortem' arrives with more lethal reese bass action driving the stripped back drumwork forward in a blaze of system energy, before rounding off with the catchy arpeggiator flexes of 'Ends' alongside Headland. What a project this is!
Review: We are always excited to see the Foundation Audio team unveil a new project, with the A&R skills of Chad Dubz remaining at a constant high level. This latest project sees them unveil Mikrodot for an epic dubwise episode, kicking off with the minimalist bass twists and horn lines of 'Big Sound'. Following this, the marching percussion and potent sub-lines of 'Conquering Lion' push themselves forward, before the classic reggae-style chord syncopation and warbling LFO designs of 'Jamaica' emerge, dragging the EP in a different direction altogether. Finally, the haunted overtones and sub rattling basslines and of 'Monolith' rounds off a very impressive collection!
AC Slater & Young Lyxx - "Ready To Pop Off" (NuKid remix) - (3:46) 128 BPM
AC Slater, Jack Beats & Sinden & Flowdan - "Boss Like That" (DALCO remix) - (2:54) 122 BPM
AC Slater & Murkage Dave - "Every Pigeon Is A Dove" (Drinks On Me remix) - (2:51) 130 BPM
Review: As one of the leading forces in worldwide bass music, AC Slater returns to his home imprint of Night Bass to unveil a fabulous selection of remixes, working directly off his critically acclaimed 'Hi8' album project. The line up is spicy to say the least, with the likes of Flava D, Sammy Virji, DALCO, NuKid, CID and more all getting involved for one the biggest remix projects bass music has ever seen. The two real standouts for us come from two brits however, as Bushbaby's colourful relick of 'Attitude' from AC & Taiki Nulight immediately catches our ears, alongside Drinks On Me's smooth and well thought out overhaul of 'Every Pigeon Is a Dove', featuring the wonderful vocal layers of Murkage Dave.
Review: Now with dubstep compilations, it's often the case that we will see projects stacked up with a couple of bangers and a bag of average creations, however this latest fifteen track body from the For The Heads gang consists of nothing but pure steppers flavour. The line up alone is immense, pulling together some of the biggest new school names in dubstep as a whole, including: WZ, Kali, Ome, Mistah, SBK, Mungk and more. If we had to pick a pair of favorites, it would have to include the delicious delays and marshy bass textures of 'Deep Meditation' from Teffa, alongside the glittering LFO's and scattered drum beats of 'Curren't from Sedan. Awesome stuff!
Review: Now this is a truly interesting project as we see the well respected production crew: Hexagon Dubs get to work on rebuilding some of most classic original dubstep tunes there has ever been with this brand new 'DMZ Rebuilt' EP. Firstly, Grey.scale unleashes his production wizardry for a moody recreation of 'Mud', before Sheik unleashes the breakbeat bullets for his tidy take on Loefah's 'Ruffage'. Aranha then switches the vibe up immensely, unleashing some silky pad textures for his 'Demilitarized Bootleg' of the anthem 'Anti War Dub', before Rafe & Umpah get busy with their potent overhaul of Mala's 'Lean Forward' classic. It's a dangerous job to remix cult classics, but we feel the Hexagon Dubs team have done the originals proud!
Review: Rhode Island-based Katakana Edits bring us the 98th installment in this long-running series, and once more we're in the hands of Morlack, who's contributed no fewer than 14 previous volumes. The French DJ/producer has dug pretty deep for source material: 'Cali Style' bites Eddy Grant's 'California Style', the Jimmy Castor Bunch's 1975 novelty funker 'King Kong' gets a light-touch refix and 'L.Cats' gives The Cure an unexpected breakbeat makeover, but that's about as much as we can tell you! The rest of the EP draws on unidentified soul, funk and boogie nuggets, many of them with non-Anglophone vocals.
Review: Sometime Sound Exhibitions sort Noil Rago has a solid track record when it comes to serving up off-kilter nu-disco, celebratory house and beefed-up re-edits. This EP - a collection of "Unusual Disco" - is his first for Hot Digits and, unsurprisingly, there's much to enjoy throughout. Perhaps the most alluring track of the lot is "Sambao", a 102 BPM trip into organ-rich revivalist Afro-Cosmic territory full of funk-fuelled guitar riffs, rolling percussion and bubbly electronics. Later in the EP it's given the remix treatment by Fingerman and Bellabouche, who smother it in dub disco delay and add a hypnotic, beatdown style groove. Elsewhere, "Not By Change" sees the Naples-based producer brilliantly fuse nu-disco, Afro-Cosmic and dub disco, while "Stop" is a robotic trip into nu-disco/NYC electrofunk fusion.
Review: Don't be fooled by the title here. While there's definitely a strong African influence to the six tracks featured on this EP from Greece's Timewarp, you don't need to be a lover of complex polyrhythms or breathy, chanted vox to appreciate them. Instead, ever-prolific Italian producer Lalinga looks to African funk and jazz of the 1970s for inspiration. 'Nasty Shit' comes at the sound from a hip-hop perspective and 'Rebellie' is the EP's most overtly house-leaning cut, while 'Afrikaanse Waansin' is the most traditional-sounding, but all six will work well on the floor and will have particular appeal for the breakers and jazz dancers.
Review: These re-edit EPs from Audaz usually feature a mix of the familiar and the obscure, with forgotten disco nuggets or hidden Afro treasures nestling alongside reworkings of massive pop and rock hits. There have been volumes that kept things more resolutely underground, though, and so it is here, on a 10-track EP that seems to draw largely on late 70s/early 80s Eurodisco for inspiration. The precise source material has our disco detectives beat this time around - though the familiar-sounding jaunty piano riff that backbones '222' has been driving us mad all week - but disco- and boogie-loving floors will find much to enjoy here.
DMVU & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Dem Fi Kno" - (4:13) 140 BPM
CITY1 & Deep Dark & Dangeorus - "Pomboo" - (4:36) 105 BPM
Ternion Sound & Deep Dark & Dangeorus - "Funky Shit" - (4:34) 140 BPM
LOST & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Hexagon" - (5:06) 140 BPM
Dank Frank & Deep Dark & Dangeorus - "Great Wall" - (2:57) 67 BPM
DayZero & Deep Dark & Dangeorus - "Submarine" - (4:36) 140 BPM
Computerbeats & Deep Dark & Dangeorus - "Arc" - (3:39) 140 BPM
SubDocta & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "The Spirit" - (4:14) 140 BPM
Review: Part three is upon us as Deep Dark & Dangerous unveil the final piece of the puzzle in their latest release line with 'Dangerous', showcasing the most rawcus sounds on their roster. The line up for this one is sublime, with heavyweight names such as CITY1, Ternion Sound, Lost, Dank Frank, DayZero and SubDocta all being drafted in to showcase their unique skill sets. The project as a whole bleeds creativity and musical innovation, with particular points of interest coming in DMVU's incredibly swampy 'Dem Fi Kno' original, which unleashes a wash of pungent synthesizer sweeps and impactful percussive inputs, alongside the unpredictable electronic brilliance of 'Arc' from Computerbeats. This compilation series has been truly magnificent to take in and is a real testament to the DD&D commitment to pushing dubstep forward.