Review: Born On Road is one of the new-school of labels pushing the current moment's gritty, jump-up infused sound, the sound that has captured so many new fans to the genre in the past couple of years and which has catapulted the careers of Ben Snow, AC13 and others. This EP comes from the former and it's an excellent representation of where the sound is at right now, a massive, heavy piece of work that features David Boomah on a wicked vocal feature. The title track nails the sample, before rolling out with the foghorn sound on full display. It's top stuff and we're very much into it.
Too Greezey - "Fled The Scene" (feat Thunda Banton) - (4:26) 58 BPM
Agro - "Shot To Bits" - (4:16) 180 BPM
Too Greezey - "Time Traveller" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Agro - "Dumpers" - (4:38) 179 BPM
Too Greezey - "The Chant" - (4:28) 58 BPM
Agro - "Simple" - (3:39) 175 BPM
Review: Representing the vibes and history of reggae culture except with a uniquely British urban twist, Agro & Too Greezey drop a five-track testament to his ability as producer here. We've featured his music in the past and every time we do it's a devilish concoction of force and finesse, an amalgamation of ability and acumen. 'Fled The Scene' is as big as it gets, both in terms of its steppy percussion and driving bassline; 'Shot To Bits' reminds of Kings of the Rollers with a bassline that roars out the stops; title tune 'Time Traveller' combines reggae atmospherics with a rolling finesse. Sick EP.
Review: A cross-border collaboration here as Austin, Texas-based nu disco producer The Silver Rider joins forces with his Mexican counterpart Fernando Mendoza, AKA The Funk District, for a split EP on Whiskey Disco. The Silver Rider brings us 'Woman', a pacey, looping funk groove with a neat line in rasping bass and spoken, Euro-style vox, and 'Hustle Up', which comes on like a Blaxploitation funk jam. Then it's over to The Funk Rider for 'Imaki Ra Reo', a lively, Latin-leaning affair with a hefty bottom end and some truly wild sax blasts, and 'The Root Of Evil', which like 'Hustle Up' has an understated, soundtrack-y feel.
Review: Sofa Sound specialises in raw percussive power and stripped back, barebones vibes that are best experienced in a dingy, packed out basement. Those are the only environments in which the utter dirtiness of DLR's curation properly hits you, dirtiness like that offered up by the Ukrainian Dub Head on this stellar single. 'Jelly Fish' is classic Sofa Sound, with a funky yet powerful drum line that skips and sslides through a murky undercurrent of basses, constructed with a groaning, wobbling sense of intent. 'Bass Face' is aptly named and you can expect to be pulling one when you hear its jagged edges and cutting, biting progression. More excellence from the Bristolian label.
Review: David Ducaruge, Douglas Pisterman and Henning Specht, collectively known as Mount Kismet, have released just two singles, both in the last 18 months or so and both on Disco Halal, and now they return with two new remixes of the second one, 'Teenage Fantasy'. Both feature the same bubbling 303 bass and haughty, coldwave-style spoken female vocal, but Whitesquare's rub is more angular and attitude-y and likely to find favour with the indie-dance crowd, while Kino Todo's rub has a hazier, more 'epic' feel that means it'd make for a good set-builder in progressive/melodic sets. Look out for their album 'Warmer Lanes', which is coming next month.
Review: Tom Vine AKA Chewy Rubs fires forth four more salvoes from his disco machine gun. 'Disco Hook' gets the ball rolling, a lively affair that sports some killer space disco stabs and a looped "disco music" vocal, and that recalls Joey Negro's work with The Trammps. 'Party Tool (Chewy Rubs G-Funk Disco Dub)' is another one that doesn't take much explaining, given that the relevant keywords are right there in the title; ditto 'Garage Disco IV', which rocks a super-infectious bassline not dissimilar to last year's 'Sombrero' and old-school "jack!" vocal samples, while finally 'Hypnotizin', as you've probably already guessed, borrows from Raw Silk.
Review: Give us a big fat smile and show some teef! Nick The Lot hits our playlists once again with another hefty packet of tracks and he smashes it once again. "Over The Moon" sets the tone; groaning, trippy and full of strange samples and sounds, it's the Brighton badboy on his A-game. So is the rest of the EP from the stuttering, star-gazing twangs of "Gunshot" to the guttural bass and savage breaks of the finale "Break Out". Elsewhere things go mental on "Double Drop", "Away" bends mind with its warped bass and "Back Up" is a lesson in heavy subs and choppy drums. We guarantee you'll be on these before you can say 'petty pilfering'.
The Vinyl Depreciation Society - "Princept" - (9:06) 120 BPM
Review: Each edition of the Four To The Floor series always presents four tracks that are some of the strongest secret weapons from the sets of label co-head Solomun. Now in its 16th installment, be captivated by Lone Romantic Maceo Plex on the epic dancefloor drama of "Mutant Magic" and its killer vocal, Canadian veteran Fairmont is in fine form and serves up the moody tunnel vision of "Plastic Head TV" while Nico Garreaud's "Louisville Lip" (Abaze edit) is aimed squarely at the main room at peak time and The Vinyl Depreciation Society provide more sonic narratives - best heard under the strobelight - on "Princept".
Review: Masterworks Music's latest thoroughly enjoyable EP is a collaborative affair. It sees sometime Midnight Riot artist Ladies On Mars join forces with fellow Beunos Aries resident Gus Fastuca for the very first time. The pair first offers up two versions of "Moody Boody": a rubbery, P-funk flavoured original version built around elastic synth parts, sweet female backing vocals and bustling bass guitar, and a chunkier "Club Mix" that features a tougher, Italo-influenced groove. Elsewhere, "My Baby" is a rugged romp through guitar-sporting disco-funk re-edit territory and "Party People" cleverly combines samples from an early '80s disco-funk cut and a thunderous new, Girorgio Moroder style groove.
Review: The Sauce are one of the most exciting production outfits to emerge for a while, probably because they're not new at all: instead, it's DLR, Hydro and Spinback from Total Science. These three have decades of combined production experience between them and it shows, with both cuts just rolling out in bloody sublime fashion. 'Mr Robot' has been doing the rounds for a while and was featured in the recent Sofa Sound promo mix, its twisting tendrils of force spinning in unmistakeable fashion. 'The Click' is spookier and more stripped back, with ghostly basses that wobble in all the right places. More classic Sofa Sounds from the Bristol crew.
Dub Sense - "Hood Flow" (feat MC Mel) - (5:23) 175 BPM
Krom & System - "Crackpot" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Review: Logikz Audio are building up a name for themselves as a label who never fail to bring out the big guns with their music. It's always heavy, hard-hitting and built on soundscapes and vibes which are deeply urban. The first track on this VP is no different and it kicks off with 'How We Do', a punchy 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. 'Twisted' is equally as rough but less rolling and more stepping, its structure and nature constantly changes, and it keeps the tune sounding consistently fresh. The rest of the EP is absolute vibes too.
Review: Since making her debut two years ago, Lea Lisa has delivered a handful of quietly impressive EPs full of on-point deep house workouts. Here the French producer makes her Wolf Music label debut with what could be her strongest outing yet. "Something For The Dancers" is a deliciously melodious saunter through warm, heavily electronic deep house pastures rich in ear-catching motifs and eyes-closed piano solos, while "From Garage" sees her expertly joining the dots between rubbery nu-disco and late 80s, New York style garage-house. The accompanying remixes of "Something For The Dancers" are superb, too, with Kerri Chandler's bustling, near-perfect take on "dark" remix (which, of course, isn't dark at all but rather warm and immersive) just edging out the more hypnotic and synthetic Black Tone "reshape".
Review: It's been a long time coming, but we are very excited to now see the 1Forty imprint dropping their releases through Juno, with this latest compilation project being the latest, showcasing just how strong they have become as a musical imprint and brand. They here return to their grimey, 140BPM roots with four absolute heaters, kicking off with a high energy, war-ready combination between the legendary Killa P and rapidly rising Fork And Knife. Next up, NothingNice arrives on production duty with more heavyweight flavours, over which Dizzle Kid & Killa P provide the vocal artillery before 9TRANE teams up with Fork And Knife for a monstrous 4x4 roller, dripping in OG grime energy. Finally, Hayz takes old school to an entirely new level as he employs super nostalgic synths and melodies over minimal, authentic drum patterns on 'High Top', to put the finishing touches on an awesome selection!
Review: Ever-prolific Italian Laligna serves up six cuts here that are heavily sample-based but probably still more fairly described as new productions rather than re-edits, especially as he's eschewed any obvious sample choices. The EP opens with the jazzy Blaxploitation flavas of 'On My Soul' and closes with the moody 'Family Funk', which has a smoky, late-night air, while in-between you'll find four more tracks that capture that 70s funk/soul vibe perfectly, from the rock geetar squall on 'Buddy Show' to the barrio funk feel of 'Take To The Top' and the honky-tonk boogie of 'Feel The Blues'.
Review: There are super-collabo and then there are genuinely epic hook-ups like this. Plasma bossman Safire and MC/poet/soulman extraordinaire DRS are the consistent figures across both tracks as two of the best producers in the game join in for each piece. Skeppy takes the lead with the purring, deep breath creeper "With You". The ideal glacial bed for Del's cold bars, if you're not goosebumping to this there's something wrong with your soul. Similarly, if you're not swooning in good vibrations to "Set The Bar" - this time with absolute OG Zed Bias joining them on dials - then you should call a doctor ASAP. What a release.
Review: Nick The Lot is definitely one of the most promising producers over on the jump-up side of the scene, with a load of releases on Grid that have been blowing people's socks off. This time though he's on Zombie Recordings with a deadly six-tracker, and if you love a good foghorn as much as we do, then this release will definitely tick your boxes. Final track 'Origin' is wicked just for its rhythmic diversity, with stuttering drum breaks all over the shop and grating, satisfying basses filling in the gaps. The title track is another highlight, as is 'Manners'. Overall, very sick stuff from Nick here.
Review: FKR's in-house re-edit crew return with four more reworks of vintage funk and soul nuggets. 'God Soul' is up first, a laidback groove that loops up a couple of lines of vocal from Supreme Jubilee's 1979 soul/gospel cut 'It'll All Be Over'. The original sources of the other three cuts remain a mystery, but the more upbeat and sunny 'Love With You (Part 1)' has a looping scat vocal, and 'Into The Groove' ain't nothin' but a funky shuffle, while completing the EP is 'P.E In Effect' that loops up a jaunty piano riff. Last two tracks in particular are all-instrumental affairs and would work well as warm-up material on funk/soul floors
Review: There have been few labels that have impressed us at Juno Download more than Strictly Flava this year, primarily due to their incredible levels of consistency. This latest drop is a fantastic way to demonstrate that as they unveil the first of the 'Strictly Flava Allstars' series, with Brenz starting proceedings with a super groovy vocal mashup entitled 'Lingerie Music'. Next, Tuff Culture touches down with a big room roller entitled 'Vibrations', before the colourful melodies of Para's 'Promise' and old school LFO work of Pepe Elle's 'Fresh Pillow' roll out. Finally, we find ourselves with a really original piece as Sensa lays down some refreshing sub work, alongside smart vocal assists on 'Let It Go' to polish this one off with some serious finesse.
Review: In sporting terms, statistics tell us that teams do better on "home turf". It seems a fitting title then for House of Disco's latest multi-artist extravaganza, which is the musical equivalent of a thumping 5-0 home win with free beers and hugs at full time. The standard is uniformly high throughout, from the bounding bounciness of LPM's rap-sampling disco-house cut "Get With It", to the impeccably warm and sun-kissed jazz-house vibes of Purple Ice's "Adeus". In between you'll find the rolling, synth-heavy warmth of Mix & Fairbanks' deliciously loved-up "Shergar's Revenge" and "Me, You, Us", a chunky sample-house number by Shee full of swirling strings, looped guitar riffs, hazy chords and righteous spoken word samples.
Review: We've come accustomed to the Helliker-Hales brothers delivering dusty, musically intricate deep house that tends towards the jazzier and more dub-flecked end of the spectrum. It's therefore something of a surprise to find that their latest two-tracker is an altogether bolder and more warehouse-ready affair. Title track "Come Together" features distinctive, alien-sounding lead lines, trance-like female vocal snippets and stabbing, warehouse-ready riffs rising over forthright drums and a chunky, retro-futurist bassline. If anything, "Digital Sound" is even heavier, with dub-wise vocal snippets, bleeping electronics and foreboding chords dancing around heavy tribal drums and the kind of muscular riffs that were once a hallmark of Junior Vasquez and Danny Tenaglia's mid-90s productions. In other words, it's a suitably sizable "big room" record.
Review: Bulletproof have been featured quite a few times on this site and it's because they tend to know how to roll out the punches, both in terms of consistency and also the pure venomous nature of their music. Dub Sense is up this time around and he's banging things out the window with his Raise Hell EP, a four-tracker that constitutes familiar territory for all those who love a good dancefloor. 'Shot Ya' is the first track and it's also our favourite, a deeply distorted riff of gargled bass notes and twisting emphases, it's gnarly stuff and effortlessly heavy. Wicked.
Review: Mexico's Deep Sense serve up a six-track EP that shows there's more than one way to go about repurposing a classic. Rather than simply looping up chunks of the original, the edits here get a little more creative - Sauco & Manuel Costela's 'Are We Ready?', for instance, takes the vocal from Fatback's 'Bus Stop' vocal and places it over a fresh (and utterly irresistible) funk backing, while on 'Last Nite' Tony Disco uses a similar trick to reinvent an InDeep classic in altogether sultrier, jazzier form. An equally well-known chanted vocal tops the brass-tastic 'Flamingo' from Hot Mood, and there are three more very playable nuggets where those came from!
Review: Knee Deep In Sound chief Hot Since 82 is still riding on the success of his wicked '8-Track' LP, and not content to rest on his laurels, he's back in action with a single taken from the album - the dancefloor thriller "Tilted". A euphoric and mesmerising cut with progressive house influences, this one is sure to work the floor into a higher state of consciousness with its razor sharp bassline, neon-lit melody and altogether powerful groove. If that was not enough, Egyptian producer Raxon gets onboard with a riveting remix, taking the track down a slightly moodier and definitely adrenalised route with added dancefloor dynamics - it's a sure shot to drop right before the peak time.
Review: With such a star-studded line-up of old and new talent involved, it's little surprise to find that De La Groove's latest multi-artist EP is seriously good. Check first the breezy and soulful US garage revivalism of Art of Tones' impeccable "So Sweet", before turning to the slightly more UK garage influenced "A Quiet Love" by Scott Diaz, a track that somehow manages to be both deliciously bouncy and seductively soulful. Elsewhere, Cody Currie's "As of Yet (featuring Joel Holmes)" is a vibraphone and Rhodes-heavy chunk of deep house dreaminess, Pontchartrain's "Don't Change Up" is a loopy slab of bespoke disco-house and Goddard's "Almasti" sounds like a nu-disco era riff on Pepe Bradock deep house classic "Deep Burnt".
Review: Germany's Daniel Klein is a scene veteran whose career dates back to the early 90s, and who's DJ'd everywhere from Manumission to Tresor. Latterly, in his SIRS guise, he's been exploring retro disco and funk territory, which is where we find him on this, the project's debut long-player. The album as a whole can safely be filed under the 'nu disco' umbrella but there's enough variety on offer to ensure things never get dull, from soul- and boogie-infused nuggets like 'Night Wind' and 'All Night Long', to a Stee Downes-vocalled electro-disco cover of Tony Di Bart's 90s club fave 'The Real Thing'.
Review: Southpoint are back at it again here as they revive one of their older series in Integrate, to showcase their latest dubstep selections. They here employ the full force of their 140BPM arm as Opus first prepares to knock the house down with the incredible bass pressures of 'Grassfruit', before label founder KXVU and long standing multi-genre wizard 9TRANE take it to the dungeon with the quirky sub slaps of 'Lugdush'. Next, Bristol based stepper supreme: Muttley gets to work with his Asian-inspired chopper 'Sokodu', before Jakebob and Drax team up in style to round off the project with Cave. Top top work from the Southpoint team as per!
Review: Sota has developed a reputation for tough, urban-edged sonics over several years now of cultivation and curation and, a fairly substantial number of tunes later, he's landing hereon Low Down Deep. He's diverse in his capabilities and Frontin / One sees him returning to his jump up-ier side, something we're definitely very keen on, especially when it's on a label like Low Down Deep. This release is wicked and 'Frontin'' is a highlight, with a snapping percussive line forming around its inching, creeping basses and eerie background ambience, all of which builds up to a ridiculously heavy top synth line, which is as choppy as they come. Top stuff right here.
Review: Dec James has developed a bit of a reputation over the past couple of years for his outlandish approach to making jump-up that sounds, well, bloody insane. He never holds back and this release on Ten Ton Beats is definitely not close to being more restrained, with Dec James experimenting with across several different styles and textures. 'Skyline' is interesting, with hypnotic stabs making up the main arrangement in a stripped back roller. Check these out to hear something properly wicked.
On About (Remix) (Citrusfly remix) - (4:27) 175 BPM
Review: Coming in hot off the back of some great releases is both Sota and label Pick N Mix, who have collaborated on the producer's 8Bit EP, a six-tracker that spans a variety of sounds, all of which are driving and filled with purpose. Title track '8Bit' is a jagged roller with a great flowing feel to the percussion and an arrangement chock a block with funk and soul, despite its constituent elements being far from soulful. That's the sign of a good heavy D&B track and both producer and artist have nailed it.
Review: Since joining Toy Tonics last year, the Phenomenal Handclap Band has served up some of their greatest material to date. Predictably, their third outing for the label is another winner. You'll find the band's original mix of "Remain Silent" - a wonderful slab of off-kilter revivalist disco rich in attractive lead vocals, authentic instrumentation and spacey synths - tucked away at the end of the EP. The headline-grabbing remixes once again come from Ray Mang, whose "Extended Mix" and "Instrumental Mix" both offer a slightly tighter, polished-up feel that's arguably more suitable for club spins. The EP also contains rather good "Remix" and "Dub" takes from Superpitcher which subtly strip the track back and give it a more spaced-out dub disco feel.
Review: Dub Damage Recordings don't tend to put out music that's weak, thin or otherwise not suitable for the dancefloor. This EP courtesy of Jeopardize & Exile is a testament to that, both cuts do some serious damage and the release overall is certainly on the sharper end of the spectrum. 'Cypher' is the best of the bunch and it's got a rough, Sofa Sound edge that injects a satisfying level of oomph into the arrangement. Exile's remix of 'Cuntroll' is a close second and its incredibly unique concoction of swirling basses and gargling pulsars adds a wicked futuristic element. Top EP from the Dub Damage crew.
Review: Eazy is a producer we've featured quite a lot on this site before and it's because he has an impressive talent for producing gargling, powerful beats that hit hard and don't look back when they step over your stunned body. It makes sense that he's on Bagged & Tagged, then, as his Khufra EP shows off the capabilities of both him and the label. The title track is the standout, a chopped-up amalgamation of energy and purpose, custom-built for the club and very much in tune with the strength of the scene at the moment. The rest of the release slaps as well - check it out.