Review: Five years have passed since AI's debut album Stand Alone. Five years worth waiting: After a string of universally received samplers, Glen and Zula finally unleash the whole set. Clearly in journey mode, the LP works really well as a listening experience as much as it does in the dance. From the gentle wafts and breezes of "Aroma" to the much darker DRS-drenched designs of "Pass The Buck" and the gritty, Metalheadz homage "The Source" back the majestic touches of two Dawn Wall collaborations, this is Artificial Intelligence at their most comprehensive and clear. Attention to detail has been paid to the finish of each track, ensuring a sheen and consistency that you really don't hear in drum & bass albums that often. Timeless.
Review: Five years have passed since Artificial Intelligence last gave the world an album. The world of drum & bass has changed vastly since then, but they continue to plough their timeless path uncompromisingly. Like the first sampler, this EP features some very well selected guests (Terri Walker who has worked extensively with Spectrasoul and Swindle and the anonymous Dawn Wall) but the real stars are Zulu and Glenn. "Is This Real" is a purring double bass glider a la Full Cycle, "Scrolls" is a majestic diva-peppered dreamer (think early High Contrast or Logistics) "Justify" is a big old soul shock-out that's up there with their modern-classic "You Can Dream". Album hype doesn't get more beautiful than this.
Review: Drum&Bass Arena: The longest-standing, and one of the most respected, platforms for all things jungle D&B celebrates an impressive 20 years in the game with this ridiculously hefty document that pays respect to the genre's every twist and turn. From scene-shattering megahits ("Tarantula", "Feel The Love", "Rock It", "Afterglow") to unarguable historical underground scene-smashing megabangers ("Machete", "Aztec", "Nasty Ways", "The View", "Champion Sound", "Turbulence", "Up All Night", "Deadline", Ram Trilogy's remix of "Pacman") by way of tracks that may have slipped under the radar ("Defcom 69", "What's Wrong", "Song For Lovers") the whole album is loaded to the lips with some of the most important records the genre's enjoyed in the last 20 years. Time to get nostalgic, time to fill those holes in your collection, time to educate your dancefloor. Here's to another 20 years!
Review: It's that time of year again! The scene's longest-standing platform Drum&BassArena step up with their annual flagship album and once again it's a fitting salute to all corners, all shades and all styles of the rich, wide scene. 60 tracks deep comprising absolute bangers and bliss-outs from the likes of Chase & Status, Noisia & Phace, K-Motionz, Rockwell, DJ Hybrid, GLXY and Seba, it's also home to exclusives from Kyrist, Brookes Brothers, Bou & Simula, Kanina, Kove and A.M.C & Turno. From jungle to jump-up, liquid to dancefloor and complete with three killer mixes for life when you're not practicing your double/triple/quadruple drops, Drum&BassArena continue to celebrate the widest possible scene.
Review: Exclusive overload: while some labels like to solely wrap up their existing content into a compilation, Hospital request freshness from their troops. In amongst the 60 tracks on offer (yeah, 60!) there are no less than 25 brand new cuts previously unavailable until now. From the breathy, horizon-glaring bliss of Fred V & Grafix's "Constellations" to High Contrast's first original in well over a year "Calling My Name" by way of Krakota's pulsating gully stepper "Lust Thrust" and Ulterior Motive's darkside creeper "Oddness". This is - without question - one of the biggest, most bountiful Hospitality albums so far. And let's face it, they're always pretty special anyway.