Review: Dutch drum and bass lynchpins Noisia clearly believe their latest release Dead Limit, a joint effort with irregular collaborators The Upbeats, is something special with a limited 12" double-pack edition featuring a poster and t-shirt. Those who prefer their Noisia in binary form will not be disappointed with just the music as these four tracks find them in rip-roaring form from the very off. The title track does that special Noisia trick of starting off quite calm before swiftly unleashing all manner of sonic hell, whilst "Inverse" deftly weaves between intense soundscapes and tightly wound beats. "Omnivore" is the type of track you deploy when you want a dancefloor to explode whilst "Mouthbreather" is the sonic equivalent of encountering a hungry great white shark in a bad mood.
Review: Outer Edges: One of 2016's best drum & bass albums just keeps on giving. First came the whopping remix collection from some of the biggest and best names in the game. Now come rubs from the top cats themselves (plus a few classic VIPs thrown in for good measure)... "Voodoo" gets the 172 treatment with a snare-slapping bashment riddim, "Dead Limit" is torn to pieces by a gurning halftime switch-up and "Surfaceless" enjoys a new industrial strength coat of arms. Beyond the outer edges we have 2011's classically-trained "Tommy's Theme" getting deaded 2017-style and "Diplodocus" finally rising from dubplate status in all its gritty, sheet-metal-bending glory. Five slices of serious remix toxicity. Essential.
Review: Twenty eight tracks, 12 exclusives, one mix... Viper smash down the doors of 2016 with an all-encompassing document that portrays D&B broadest, baddest landscape in great detail. Among the out-and-out classics of last year ("Dead Limit", "City Of Gold") you'll find some of Viper's most exciting smashes of the last few years ("One's Own", "What R U Doing?" "Universes") and, most importantly, 12 tracks that have yet to be releases before... Ranging from J Majik's muscular, monster-stomping return ("Drop It") to Toronto Is Broken's savage, skippy tech funker "Zero One", Viper aren't messing around at all on this one.
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: 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.
Review: 48 tracks, six exclusives, two mixes: Viper have already developed a strong-armed reputation for compilations over the years but this is taking things to a whole new ridiculous level. Investigating bass music's widest corners, the heady concoction of tracks ranges from premier league bangers (Wilko's remix of The Prodigy, Noisia & The Upbeats "Dead Limit", Andy C's "New Era VIP") to fresh-baked underground rollers (Dossa, Locuzzed and NC-17's drone-jump buzz-cut "Ninja", Dub Elements' deep space neuro-edged shredder "Metaverse") to lower tempo tear-ups from the likes of Pex L, Au5, Flux Pavilion and Doctor P and Specimen A. With heaps more in between, this accurately reflects just how exciting and closely linked all bass-laced genres are right now. Venomously immense.