Review: Choose Conrad Subs. Choose Deep In The Jungle. Choose a lifetime of being happy-slapped by amens and tickled in the gut by long rumbling subs the size of elephants. Choose collaborations with DJ Hybrid like the swaggering "Rinse It". Choose absolutely slamming Urban Takeover-style 96 era jump-up "Rough Beats" and skank so hard you give yourself a hernia. Choose sexy vocals like the ones on "Through My Eyes". Choose the insanely brutal slammage of "Imperial Roots" and feel like you need to take a long hot shower afterwards and still feel like you're covered in engine oil. Choose this EP and double dropping every track tune fi tune. Choose bludclart jungle. It's the ravers choice...
Review: When we heard the news that Cimm had an album on the way, we could barely contain our excitement. When we then learnt it was to be featured on Sentry, our expectations tripled, and boy does Cimm deliver! The project takes the name 'Unknown Caller!!' and is a perfect embodiment of what today's deep dubstep scene represents, from the irresistible sub pressures of 'The Corner' alongside Rider Shafique to eastern-dub hybrids of 'Blue Sapphire' and lower tempo bass quakes of 'I Am Jack Travis'. The collaborations are fruitful on this one, as Cimm also invites Youngsta, Mr K, SGT Pokes, Riko Dan and Animai to take part in what is undoubtedly one of the strongest dubstep projects of the year.
Review: Marc Hype, boss of German 7-inch label Dusty Donuts, mixes up this seventh volume in Bomb Strikes' 'Funk N' Beats' series. It's an eclectic, funked-up selection that ranges freely through hip-hop from The Nextmen and Red Astaire, 'new old' funk and soul from Speedometer, Soopasoul and the Hot 8 Brass Band, nu-jazz from Nicole Willis and Jazzanova and more besides. Highlights include The Traffic's funked-up cover of Daft Punk's 'Harder Better Faster Stronger', Speedometer's cover of The Chi-lites' 'Are You My Woman?' (AKA 'Crazy In Love'), and Hype's own take on electro classic 'Al Faafyish (The Soul)'.
Review: LSB and DRS: combos don't come any stronger than this! We already know this from incredible tracks like "The View" and "New Day" but The Blue Hour is a whole other level of their soulful prowess. Jazzy, smoky, thoughtful and blues to its very core, there's a musicality and spirit to this album that transcends any genre thanks to both Del's disarming lyrics and barbed charm and Luke's natural soulmanship and sense of groove. From the smoke-stacked horn-based dream "Umbrellas" to stunning cosmic risers like "Keep The Time" and "Could Be" and to every other planet that orbits in between, this is one of the best albums in the D&B sphere this year. We will look back on this as a timeless classic. Essential.
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: Guzi is landing on Sub-Liminal Recordings once again 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 'Area 51' that really takes the cake, a winding, subby track that flips between roughshod amen junglist 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. 'I Can't' feat. Zoner 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: KLP Records are turning 25, a crazy achievement that puts them right up there with Metalheadz et al, and so they're celebrating with a big compilation of tunes. Nicky Blackmarket, Klips & Outlaw kick things off on remix duties for DJ Monk's Touch Me, Tease Me. It's a classic combination of artists and the end result is equally timeless, with a sense of vocal softness descending into hard percussive knocks and grating jump-up synth work. It sets the tone for the rest of the album, which features contributions from Dublic, DJ QT, DJ Vapour and a load more. Unbelievable.
Review: Subwoofah are rolling things out nicely here with a joint four-tracker from Grimesy and Speaker Louis, who manage to combine riotous jungle with more considered tones to great effect. 'It Was' lands more on the side of the former except it smashes out the jump up stabs over a staggered, junglist undercarriage which injects a whole new dynamic of broken, torn energy to create a proper choon. 'What You Do' is a bit more stripped back, a bit more focused on the drum side of things and it works really well, sub-bass stabs abound in the gaps and its all just very sick. Top work you two.
Review: Brothers in bass and real life, Phibes follow up releases on Bomb Strikes, Jungle Cakes and their own self-titled label with this massive LP follow up to their debut album Change Of Late last year. 12 tracks in total, the collection delves deep into every corner of their sound, providing certified scuds for any hour of the dance you're asked to play. From the crafty balance of euphoric light and dank dark bass on "Let Me Go" to the out-and-out stinkage of the savage dancefloor-focused "I Don't Give A F**k", this is the sound of two artists who are fully off the leash and writing what the heck they like. Other massive highlights include the rudeboy riddim "Dub Service", the toxic bass and mid 2000s Playaz vibes of "Amadeus" and the gritty groans of "Bombz". Fire in the hole!
Review: Conrad Subs is a regular on this website because he releases such a wide range of music, so consistently and on such a diverse array of labels. This time he's back on Original Key, a German imprint, with a five-tracker that spans the spectrum from rolling techiness to reggae-infused, hip-hop jungle. It's title track 'Babylonians' that really caught our attention and Conrad Subs has previous in long, loping dub introductions that then flip into jungle pressure ('Leave Dem' - look it up). This time around there is less reece bass but even more percussive heat, as a flurry of stuttering breaks intertwine with your own expectations to form a shuddering bed of deeply urban sounds. Lovely.
Review: It's been 15 years since Shogun Audio burst into life on the South Coast and under the watchful eye of Ed Keeley AKA Friction, as well as K-Tee, it's grown and grown into one of the best labels in the business, without a doubt. From the classics like Perez's seminal 1984, to more recent, futuristic numbers from the likes of Koherent and Document One, the label is truly diverse and that's represented extremely well in this 15 Years Of compilation. Featuring a litany of acts both old and new, including Technimatic, Pola & Bryson and Friction, this one is for the proper fans. Document One's 'Vibration' is a favourite of ours, with a stupidly cool, distorted bassline that packs a tasty hardware edge, undergirded by a click-and-snap drum line. Pure quality right here.
Review: Second albums are meant to be difficult but you tell that to Survival and Script and they'll laugh in your prudy little face: Scar's follow up to The Orkyd Project is another remarkable body of work. The first of a three album deal the London duo have with Metalheadz (the first ever deal the label have ever offered any artist) High Fives & Devil Eyes is a powerful jolt of timeless D&B that dig deep into every corner of the genre. From the alluring intro of "Circle Of Trust" to the deep, introspection of the finale "Eternal" via the wonky-assed "Pauline", the scuzzy gritty bass of "First Sound" and trippy funk of the album title track, the only difficult thing about this second album is working out which tune you want to play in your sets first. High fives all round!
Review: Liondub are celebrating a decade of existence and they're doing a three-part compilation series covering the past, present and future of the label. By definition, then, these series' feature plenty of talent from all across the spectrum and time period of the genre. One of our favourite of the 26 cuts is Bou's VIP of Keep Away, a deliciously double-bass infused number that is both funky and heavy, the ideal combination, and he's flipped up the arrangement here with some precisely placed note changes. There are also features from Vital, Euphonique, Dutta, Marcus Visionary and more, with the overall vibe being one of toughness and power. Top stuff.