Fred V X Logistics - "You Keep Me High" - (4:46) 174 BPM
Keeno X Polaris - "Leviathan" - (5:50) 57 BPM
Review: It's hard to believe that Hospital Records have reached the 400th release milestone. It's an unbelievable achievement and one that reflects their dominance over drum & bass for the best part of three decades. NHS400 is a collaborative release featuring joint production from a slew of the label's most consistent producers, including new boys on the block BOP X Subwave and old hands like S.P.Y and label founder London Elek. It's Keeno and Polaris, however, that really nail things to the wall with 'Leviathan', a huge track that lays pounding basslines beneath eerie, choral vocals to create a mash up between dancefloor flavour and the orchestral sounds Keeno is so known for. Whiney and Mitekiss team up alongside Ruth Royall to produce a liquid masterclass, whilst the synthy, upbeat tones of Fred V and Logistics sound as fresh as ever. Superb.
Review: Here we have the first ever release from Polari, a new label set up by Northern Irish DJ/producer Cormac, and doing the honours is London producer Kiwi, whose work has previously graced imprints such as Future Boogie, Needwant and Optimo. 'Hit Me', the standout for this reviewer, is an uptempo instrumental that sits right on the house/disco cusp and sports some very 'Star Trek'-like synths as well as a euphoric hands-in-the-air piano line. 'Schulze' is more electronic-sounding and veers towards Italo, while finally 'Clack The Fan' is an almost archetypally Balearic affair that comes with or without a 80s-sounding male vocal snip that repeats throughout (or doesn't).
Review: Tis the season! Hospital get into the festival spirit with these three special gems from some of their nearest and dearest. Makoto follows up his album with another collabo stunner, this time with old friend Robert Manos; "Invisible" is a timeless piece of soul with big breezy pads, lilting chords, stand-up bass and beautiful vocals. It's backed by two long-awaited VIPs from two 2016 Hozzy bangers; Keeno's piano-charged heart-stopper "Futurism" gets a new barbed edge while Polaris's VIP of "The Light In Your Eyes" ensures the future sound of Canada remains very much in the future. See you on the other side.
Review: Hospital have ramped up their "Future Sound" series in a major way this year... America, Holland, Brazil, now Canada. It's a decidedly deep and techy cross-section of flavours, too: Gremlinz brings the ice with the angular fury of "Tactical Rail", Schematic delivers some mountainous vocal soul on "Learn From The Past". Those looking for a more contemporary / Manchester style halftime drum arrangement should jump on Levrige's "The Legend" while Stranjah closes the show with a timeless Commixian heads-down roller "Gideon". Powerful.
Review: Following a fine debut release from Mellow Cat and Kathy Diamond, Comfort Food has turned to debutant Poolside Polari, a DJ/producer who has been turning out Balearic mixes for almost a decade. "Random Blocks" is a rather confident debut, all told. It sounds like the kind of sensual, synthesizer-heavy chunk of audio sunshine that should be sound-tracking slow motion, soft-focus montages of beautiful people reclining by a pool somewhere hot. This is particularly true of the vocal version, where an un-credited female singer beckons us to find her "at the bottom of the ocean" and "behind the clouds". That said, we've also been enjoying the original instrumental version, where chiming electronic melodies, crystalline chords and sun baked piano flourishes bob and weave around a tactile Balearic synth-pop groove.