Review: Twisted's Grid switch to full blast once again with another collections of what they call 'Head Nodders' but us mere mortals call 'deep, tense, stinky bangers'. Featuring a full cast of familiar Gridsters, the vibes range from the farty party of Jando's opening 'Jaguar Trap' to the Dutch oven noxiousness of Parallel's screaming finale 'Warped Entity'. Between these two points we have the trumpy pumpy ruffage of Damage Report's 'Punch Bag', the trippy steamy vapours of Oli Lewis's 'Just You' and the air biscuit crunch of Jaxx's swashbuckling 'Horses For Courses'. Smelly.
Review: These two cuts are taken from a forthcoming various artists album on DJ Hybrid's Deep In The Jungle imprint, and the boss himself is joined by Mrs Magoo and Conrad Subs for a single that gets right to the core of the label's ethos. 'Back To 96' is a time travel machine that takes you back to the days of rolling reece basses and frantic percussive work, simpler times when all you needed was the barebones to create a vibe. Conrad Subs goes in a funkier direction, with brash brass notes that lead into a wobbling concoction of bouncing basslines and innocent clubland notes. Cracking.
Machine Replicate Your Body Language - (6:09) 172 BPM
No Light Will Shine On - (4:16) 172 BPM
Barbarian - (4:32) 172 BPM
Dark Age (feat Lifesize MC) - (4:28) 174 BPM
Dissent - (4:41) 172 BPM
The World's Spark - (4:36) 172 BPM
Review: Burr Oak is one of the several artists in the Eatbrain orbit who make weird and wonderful sounds, appearing in multiple, ever-shifting forms. This time around its hard neuro and, in true Eatbrain form, these six tunes are abstract but not overly so, with a grounding in that D&B format we know so well. It's all about the sound design and the complexity here, and we especially love the pitched-up synth work on 'Dissent' and 'Barbarian'. It's 'No Light Will Shine On', however, which has really grabbed us and it's partly thanks to the insane drum work (that snare!) that ensconces a broader approach at nastiness, encapsulated by bass flourishes and sub wobbles. Top work.
Review: What a link-up we have here as long-standing collaborators Numa Recordings & Killa's Army link up with XL Mad for a sizzling new creation entitled 'Badman Ting'. As always, Killa's army provides a grizzly selection of vocal additions, over the top of XL Mad's moody instrumental. Although this one is rendered at a slightly slower pace, it loses no energy whatsoever. The project also comes with a fiery addition, entitled 'Ago 'I Got Remix', which takes the original vocal and ups the speed to a more traditional 140 arrangement, coupled with a sneaky instrumental behind, laced with a mystic guitar line and yet more powerful bass work. This is a wicked two tracker, to say the least.
Review: Deep In the Jungle know a thing or two about curating rough and ready beats, and this EP from Crom fits the bill perfectly. Across four tracks, the producer spits out a diverse mix of beat structures that form a singular purpose: dancefloor readiness. The title track is the highlight, as Rider Shafique does his usual business of injecting menace and catchiness in one fell swoop, this time above a stuttering junglist beat and sweeping basslines. 'Sticks & Stones' is our other favourite, a stripped back, no-nonsense tune with clean, powerful percussion and a relentless feel to it that reminds us of Grey Code or HLZ. Big ups.
Review: Here's one of those releases that really doesn't need a lot of explaining - anyone with even a passing interest in nu-disco should be more than familiar with all four artists involved, as well as the label! Hotmood brings the 70s vibes on the string-drenched, guitar-flecked 'You Are A Star', C Da Afro fast-forwards to the 80s boogie era with the shiny-suited 'So Good For Me', while Loshmi arguably gets the most inventive, mixing up Afro, Latin and spy movie soundtrack vibes on 'Regah'. It's the lazy, laidback funk/jazz-funk of Mitiko's 'Back To Dance', though, that takes the gold.
Review: One of Potential Badboy's absolute classic tracks is being given the remix treatment by one of the best rolling badboys in the game - L-Side. The Brazilian has historically worked mostly over on V Recordings, but this time he's banging out the goods on Playaz, and what a set of tools he has to work with. MC Fats and Yush deal the vocal magic on 'Girlz' in a way that must be a dream to produce, and the 'Intro Remix' lays their work down over a diving, sub-heavy concoction of a beat that more than does the original justice. The flip is similar, with barking stab of a bass note that moves with gruff authority - wicked stuff.
Review: BREAKING: Platinum Breaks will do everything for your love. This is great news to be honest, because we'll do anything for his love. An absolute beast on the bangers in recent times, this Artful Dodger alias is doing bits right now. Bits like this classic emotional hurricane that taps deep into the timeless breakbeat sound and hits with a huge vocal from Eden. And if that's not enough Bladerunner has provided not one but two remixes; a slippery and sweet sizzling vocal version and an absolute damager of a dirty mix. This means everything to us right now.
Review: irst released on vinyl three years ago and now finally available on digital download, this must-check EP showcases a quartet of killer re-rubs of back catalogue tracks by L.A-based Afro-Latin funk fusionists Jungle Fair. The headline attraction is undoubtedly a pair of reworks by Ashley Beedle and Rob Mello's reborn Black Science Orchestra project - their first revisions for over 15 years. They first serve up a wonderfully percussive, analogue bass-propelled deep Afro-house remix of 2014 cut 'Culebro', before reaching for the delays and delivering an arguably even better dancefloor 'Dub'. You'll also find JKriv re-imagining 2013 single 'Firewalker' as a bumpin' chunk of horn-heavy dub disco, and a cracking Latin disco take on 'Village Hustle' courtesy of Bosq.
Review: This two-track single from Stillz is packed full of twisted sounds for you wrap your noggins around, and there's a sick blend of aesthetics and styles amongst all the filth. 'Outside' is wobbly and rolling, it packs all of its energy into the sub-bass and just flows out with style. 'Dubplate Beater' is a monstrosity of energy, with a superb drum section that packs more character into the arrangement than you can wag a finger at, whilst Grafta MC edges in over the top with all the menace that a good MC can bring to the beat. Big.
Review: Hot Gorilla's latest must-check missive brings together two rising stars of the nu-disco and edit scenes: label regular Conan The Selector and sometime Tropical Disco, Super Spicy and Disco Balls contributor Toby O'Connor. In its' original form, 'Starlight' is a sparkling slab of anthemic nu-disco that combines 21st century synths and classic disco instrumentation with a stellar lead vocal from guest singer Sulene Fleming. Bold, celebratory and exciting, we expect to hear it lots when British clubs reopen later in the year. Also impressive are the solo dub mixes offered up by each of the producers. First Conan The Selector delivers a deliciously low-slung disco revision rich in rubbery bass, tipsy trumpet solos and Chic style guitar licks, before O'Connor smartly emphasises the beats and bass.
Review: Speaker Louis and Epicentre team up and barge down the doors of Nuusic HQ with four absolutely blazing releases. Each track hand-raised with large amounts of studio venom and sonic ruffage, highlights include the skin-scorching bassline and breaks and sunny-side skanks of 'Dead Sound' and the horn-heaved blasts, stuttering savageness and rave nostalgia of the EP title track 'Unity'. Elsewhere our souls are nourished by the vocal-led 'Out Here' and the soundsystem slapping tear-up 'The Gorgon Stare'. Peace, bangers and 'Unity'.
Review: This line up acts are all people who you've probably been seeing more and more of recently, as their own distinct brand of jump-up inflected sounds are starting to garner attention and turn heads. Stillz is at the helm of this particular journey, a six-tracker that hits hard and doesn't any prisoners - not even useful ones. This is exemplified best by the 'Way Out', which just goes, any time you think it's going to break down it just comes back bigger and better. 'Twisted' will certainly make you want to take some, a grating mash of pure energy that's matched in the subtlety of 'Business Hours', which takes things down in terms of loudness but up in terms of sophistication and production value. It finishes things off with 'Space Boy' and boy, what a finish, as glitching, techy stabs rattle all over the place and shove you along with them. Sick EP.
Review: Nothing can stop Conrad Subs, the man just pumps out so much music, on such a regular basis and with an incredibly wide and diverse array of sounds. This one-tracker on O.R.C is steppy, with jagged basslines that cruise through the arrangement with all the subtlety of a freight train, a dancefloor focused cut that lands harder than you can really comprehend. Shouts to Conrad for this.
Review: Fittingly, the first musical missive of 2021 from the In Dust We Trust label showcases the album's co-founders, Chaos in the CBD (New Zealand-born brothers Ben and Louis Helliker-Hales) and Jon Sable. The trio offer up two collaborative cuts, both of which give different spins on the fusion of dub techno and hypnotic deep house. There's opener 'Mahia Madness', a thickset, late-night number that's as dubby and hazy as any Deepchord record, and the gently picturesque, Sprinkles-esque 'To Puke Thunder'. The EP also boasts a solo track apiece, with Chaos in the CBD opting for non-stop, energy-packed deep techno hypnotism ('Coral Castle'), and Sable reaching for dreamy deep house chords and rubbery broken beats ('Ascension Island').
Review: Honey Dijon's first outing of 2021, 'Downtown', sounds like a summer 2021 anthem in the making. A retro-futurist house workout featuring vocals from Annette Bowen and Nikki O (whose lyrics celebrate the joys of dancing to underground music), the edited and extended versions of the track are powered forwards by a heavy and hooky synth bassline and warm electric piano stabs. Honey Dijon's versions come backed with an equally inspired suite of remixes from Masters at Work man Louie Vega. There's a sersiously sunny, glassy-eyed nu-disco-meets-happy house revision (the 'Frisco Disco Dance') and a Mood II Swing style 'Raw Dub Mix' - both of which are available in edited and extended forms. A near perfect package: don't sleep!
Review: The Sauce & Fox: One of the most flavoursome trios in D&B right now link up with one of the most respected and versatile MCs in the game for 'Everything Boss'. With its jiggy bassline, Fox's smoky vocals, aggy hoover tones and killer drums, it's already developed big bubbler status with those lucky enough to have a copy over the last few months. Loaded with full vocal and dub version that doesn't include the full bars and ready for a hopeful summer of the rave's return, 'Everything Boss' is a candidate for one of the tunes of the year so far. Woi.