Review: Following the success of Shaka Loves You's previous compilations on Bombstrikes, the label has offered them the chance to launch a new series all of their own. Named in honour of their radio show and regular parties in Glasgow, Joints & Jams offers up a hugely entertaining (and largely floor-friendly) mixture of funk-fuelled hip-hop (Bastien Keb, Fort Knox Five, Andy Cooper), skanking reggae (The Nextmen and Gentlemen's Dub Club sing-along 'Done It Again'), flash-fried funk breaks (the Allergies), tropical goodness (DJ Nu-Mark's hook-up with Quantic), and various fusions of disco, boogie and funk (see the cuts from Kraak & Smaak, X-Ray Ted, Pablo & Shoey and Shaka Loves You themselves). The result is a brilliantly mixed-up collection of tried-and-tested dancefloor bombs.
Review: Pick N Mix need no introduction. Sticky fingers, stinky bangers; TJ's imprint is at the very forefront of dnb's exciting new generation. Now they raise the game once again, amplifying their message with arguably the most important album in the genre this year: 'The Black Excellence' is 100% created by artists and creatives of colour from the artwork to activation and it slams down any question of lack of diversity in the game. Featuring the likes of Amplify, BLCKHRY, Dilligent Fingers, Kyst Cortez and so many more, it runs the entire range of sounds from deep and soulful ('Be Free') to dark and slinky ('Settle') to savage and rasping ('Legion') and reflects how exciting and wide-range the dnb sound is when it comes from a diverse place. More albums like this, please.