Review: S.P.Y - can look back over his career with Hospital Records, Shogun Audio and Metalheadz and feel pretty good about his contribution to drum and bass. Looking to the future, DARKMTTR is the artist's new label project dedicated to contemporary, new forms. Keeping the piano rolls fresh and drums liquid in "I've Been Missing You", the groove stays the same in "Alpha Centauri" only with a heavier bassline added to compliment its menacing atmospheres and low end swagger. Breaking it down some in the title-track with rip-roaring synths and tear-out breaks, a slightly stripped back but loaded number of low end frequencies thrum underneath a barrage of chaotic drums, white noise and epic drops in "Bad Monday". DARKMTTR has arrived.
What The Future Holds (Special Edition DJ mix) - (53:47) 177 BPM
Review: "What The Future Holds" is the highly anticipated debut album from Brazilian born, London dwelling D&B producer S.P.Y. With releases on numerous labels such as Metalheadz, Spearhead and Soul:r he signed exclusively to Hospital late last year. Long term fans will be pleased to hear that he hasn't deviated from his signature sound at all and in fact, a range of flavours are covered here - from deep, rolling cuts such as opener "You" to techy, neuro influenced pieces like "Back Again" to uplifting, vocal led bangers such as "Hammer In My Heart". Key featured vocalists include Diane Charlemagne and Jazz vocalist Ian Shaw. This is seriously good D&B.
Loving You Is Easy (Infuze remix) - (3:52) 128 BPM
Loving You Is Easy (Pomrad remix) - (5:01) 124 BPM
Armageddon - (4:58) 87 BPM
Review: This Austrian super duo recently dropped their fourth full length LP, Zeitgeist, back in September. For a D&B album, it was particularly varied - including the almost French touch banger "Loving You Is Easy". Now it's back for more as a single boasting a host of killer mixes. The new radio edit is pure "Get Lucky" vibes, Spy ups the pitch for some poppy D&B, Infuze goes for some epic fidget bass and Pomrad pushes the LP version 's filtered loop approach even further. Also non-album track "Armageddon" ends things with a hypey Chase & Status-esque frenzy. Rad!
Review: Next up from the impeccable roster arranged over at CR2 Digital, we take a welcome look into the third edition of their 'Basslines' series, a flagship compilation to rival the previous two, featuring an incredibly wide range of electronic musical stylings. From the 4x4 flavours of Low Steppa, Skapes, Jay Robinson and more, to the high energy D&B reworks of S.P.Y, DJ Marky, A Sides and more, there really isn't much ground this EP doesn't cover. Across the twenty two tracks we have been able to pick out some very specific highlights however, including the nostalgic chord progressions and shuffling drums of 'Seek & Find', a wicked collaboration between Paul Rayner & FevaSoul. We also see Don Diablo's 'Animale' given the once over by The Prototypes in explosive fashion, with our third highlight coming from My Cat Snoop, with a vibrant moody roller by the name of 'Yo Mama'. Awesome work!
Review: Bryan Gee and V Recordings do not mess around. They never have in the past, they're certainly not right now in the present and judging by this highly anticipated Future album, they're going to mess around any time ahead. 25 tracks from some of the biggest, best and baddest names in D&B (Dillina, Serum, Benny L, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Roni Size, DJ Marky, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Bladerunner, Saxxon, the list goes on) this one's been a long, long, long time coming... And it's been well worth the wait. From L-Sides massive remixes of Dillinja and Krust to Need For Mirrors super-revved "Lambo" to Benny L's incredible remix of "Days", this sums up why Bryan and his label are as influential and respected in the game as they are today. Don't mess around.
Review: Hospital's newest dynamic duo finally have their long-awaited album coming next week, and with Playing In The Dark the pair have exceeded all expectations. This LP moves across dub-influenced bounce, breaksy hip-hop sounds, soulful liquid and straight dancefloor heat. It's a palette befitting the history of both MCs and the range of producers they've roped in is unsurprisingly impressive, with LSB, Calibre, Diemantle, S.P.Y, Chimpo and more all stepping up. Calibre has two contributions, including a vibrant junglist cut, but Villem & Bcee's 'Playing In The Dark' might be the most memorable and we challenge any of you not to bop to this absurdly infectious tune. 'Tectonic Plates' by Diemantle is another absolute stomper, as the breaks-focused duo bring their cross-genre appeal with full throttle and birth a concotion of pounding subs and stepping, inch-perfect drums. This is a truly sensational album.
Review: Like some kind of Human Traffic soundtrack to 2020, Hospital's annual House Party VA has arrived. Fresh for a summer of social distancing, house parties and clandestine diversions, it's a soundtrack that will get any D&B head through the lockdown status, BBQs permitted. Top and tailed by the poppy, liquid, sample based and acoustic sessions of both Villem & Leo Wood's "We Had A Sing" and Whiney's "Better With You", find playful aggro in MC LowQui's "Middle Finger" to some hyper fresh material in Degs' "Pressure Cooker". Aggy half time once more in tracks like "Saturn's Strings" with gnarly basslines in Voltage's "The Prophet" and Logistic's "Playing With Fire" bringing the heat.
Review: Is there a doctor in the house? Hospital kick start the new decade with another stupendously massive V/A collection in the form of its latest Sick Music compendium. An album series that consistently lives up to its name, Sick Music 2020 does not disappoint in the slightest; from the powerful soul thrust of Degs and Unglued's "Levitate Your Mind" to the deep pads and sultry kicks of Tolima Jets' "Clams" via Urbandawn's truly electrifying euphoria/gully head shock "Egregor", this one covers the full spectrum from an exciting and super diverse range of artists. Look out for some fantastic remixes lurking in the mix, too; S.P.Y absolutely crushes Kings Of The Rollers' "You Got Me" and Serum flips Todd Terry's house classic "Bounce To The Beat" with a new sense of funk and groove. And these are just a few examples; this is a fantastic snapshot into how 2020 will sound... And it sounds great!