Review: A joyous and soulful D&B tune from production duo Total Science, who have great form with releases on Metalheadz, True Playaz and DJ Marky's Innerground label. "Redlines" is a proper standout, largely thanks to the soft and seductive vocals of Riya which balances out the beats nicely. With the vocals syncing so sweetly with the chopped up chords of "Redlines", Total Science thankfully let the track breathe and don't over egg the tune at all. "Flipside Skinz" makes the perfect companion - coming in harder with more attitude via some sick basslines and drums. Another quality cut from a team who know the art of drum and bass back to front.
Review: It seems the full CIA cast list has come out for this entirely massive release and holy moly is it a large one. Kicking things off with the legendary Total Science guys and the one and only S.P.Y headed up by Chroma on remix duties, "Whoonga" is a relentless roller, pushing on through dark bass and sparks of light from harsh pads and electric samples. In "Stoned", Calibre calms his intensity levels for a chill roller packed with lucid dreamy sounds and tight percussion. Riya joins old friends Total Science to lend her sultry vocals to a crisp, soulful stepper in "Walk The Same Lines" and Utopia henchman Mako
Review: While the mighty Aswad once told us "Don't Turn Around", the even mightier Total Science have now advised us to "Turn Around"... And with its dreamy cosmic synths, surging vocal and classic snare rolling jungle break, we know whose orders we're going to believe. The fun doesn't stop there as the all star cast continues... Break joins the party for the bone-rattling Headzy tear-up "Big Time Winners", Calibre jumps on the remix tip with a delicate lilting twist on the Riya-fronted "Walk The Same Lines" and DLR taps in for the heads-down, purring-sub stepper "Too Close For Comfort". Heavyweight and high grade, this is an incredible EP.
Review: Double trouble: Riya's critically received debut album from summer 2015 enjoys a deluxe twist with double the amount of tracks on. As well as the album itself there are 13 fresh cuts including new originals such as the Gill Scott-style street soul pieces with Maverick Soul "Bittersweet" and "We Belong", the perfect piano-powered gospel roller "Everything" and the grizzly, groaning techy roller "Silhouette". Killer new remixes such as Pola & Bryson's subby switch of "Lost Friends", Break's spotless drums on "Confessions" xxx . Plus a few floor-melting VIPs: the relentless bass pump of "Fear Bites" and the cosmic touches to "Wears Me Down". Deluxe and demonstrative - this is a great addition to an already remarkable album.
Review: Not just one of drum & bass's most iconic female vocalists, but also one of the most respected... Riya's work behind the scenes goes back around 15 years. As a result she's got serious reference points, a genuine understanding of proper drum & bass and a really impressive debut album that features some of the best names in D&B. Ranging from the sci-fi soars and twinkling synths of "Misunderstanding" to the out-and-out gutter slaps of "Piece Of Me" via the soul jazz jungle lushness of "Don't You Know" and the already massive lighter-raiser "As Soon As". Released at a time when a lot of female features are popping up in D&B for all the wrong reasons, Riya is the real deal... And so is this album.
Review: Kicking off with a VIP of one of the killer 90s jungle nostalgia anthems of 2010 - Bladerunner's "Back To The Jungle" - it's a great start to the next Critical compilation. Moving through the tough, percussive sounds of Break, soulful dub tinged efforts of Breakage, the blissed out Calibre in "Rockafella" to the sounds of man-of-the-moment, hotly tipped Enei with his fantastic "Forgive Me" around the halfway point, it's immediately apparent why Kasra's label has garnered such respect from his peers. Lomax - one half of Loadstar - provides a deeper incarnation to his Ram bangers in "Innocent X" and elsewhere, Rockwell's "Underpass" makes a re-emergence as does ubiquitous anthem "Redlines" which closes this utterly superb compilation.
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: A time for reflection: Total Science closes down their 20th year of C.I.A case files with another precision reflection over past conquests and gully accomplishments from their collection of labels. Ranging from one of Calibre's first ever cuts (the raffish, wonderfully unkempt "Tempo Dub") and Bad Company's stupendous grime-funk twist on "Champion Sound" to Break's 2012 gritty slapper "Rare Earth" and Digital's life-changing, amen-smashing bassline slammer "No Reality", Spinback and Quiff have dug deep through the ages for some absolute gold here.
Dark Shadows (feat Rene Lavice & Total Science) - (5:14) 175 BPM
Step & Flow - (6:22) 173 BPM
Back To Basics (feat Diane Charlemagne) - (4:55) 172 BPM
Cold Harsh Air (feat Total Science & Grimm) - (4:53) 175 BPM
Rise Again (feat Suku Of Ward 21) - (4:18) 173 BPM
Redcliffe - (4:37) 173 BPM
Brooklyn Dub - (5:33) 175 BPM
Riding The Void - (5:58) 175 BPM
Skyzophonic - (5:20) 175 BPM
Jelly Belly - (5:01) 173 BPM
Double Trouble - (5:54) 175 BPM
Stardust - (4:46) 175 BPM
Manicured Reality - (4:58) 172 BPM
Heavy Metal - (5:42) 58 BPM
Lost Orbit - (5:04) 175 BPM
Guidance - (6:11) 173 BPM
Mucky Business - (4:56) 175 BPM
Frozen - (5:35) 58 BPM
Twilight Zone - (5:10) 170 BPM
Scruffy Bugger - (4:22) 175 BPM
Baconhead - (4:46) 175 BPM
Perth Sunset - (5:41) 175 BPM
Back To Basics Bundle (continuous DJ mix) - (1:03:32) 175 BPM
Review: In the slim chance you missed these last year, or you've only just got into drum & bass, Hospital have compiled both of S.P.Y's albums from last year into one massive 24 track bundle. Representing S.P.Y's broad palette and crystalline vision of jungle past, present and future highlights can be found in every track, notably the inner city reflectivity of "Dusty Fingers", the rolling dreamy soul of "Cold Harsh Air" and the brutal classic electro switch on "Brooklyn Dub". Complete with a mix of the tracks by S.P.Y himself, this is the perfect time to play catch up on one of the genre's most respected and talented artists.
Review: Total Science's CIA take a moment for reflection as they look back over the decades of hard service they've done and cherry pick a few old gold favourites. As with previous Select Files collections, the range is widescreen and full of authentic, timeless, honest D&B. You want highlights? You best start going through every track... Everything from Calibre's 2009 snarling bongo-buster "Understand" to some of S.P.Y's earliest cuts such as "Dark Age" and "Magic Hour" and the VIP of Total Science's evergreen ballistic rave weapon "Defcom 69" still hits the spot like they did the first time round. Get selective.
Review: CIA are bringing out the big guns with this intense selection of stone cold classics and fresh new sounds. Not content with already leading one of the finest talent-led subgenre revolutions, Computer Integrated Audio have brought together some of the biggest names around to lay out the future of drum and bass for all to see. From Smyla & Script's massive floor destroyer "Stockpile" to the unforgettable "Soul Patrol" from the men themselves Total Science and featuring acts like Enei, Spy and Riya, Serum, Break, Digital and Nymfo along the way, it's a thing of wonder to behold. Don't get caught out.
Review: The Kaiju duo first signed to Deep Medi Muzik back in 2015, and the great Mala couldn't have picked a more on-point production pair for his label. Although the two artists are not from the Far East, their music and style seems to have something innately Japanese at its core, a subtle swing that carries the tracks from side to side like a samurai's swing of the blade. The opener "Envy" is the perfect example of Kaiju's ninja beats, swift and conniving licks of percussion that fit perfectly with the r&b vocals emanating from the deeper end of the mix. We're also big fans of "Sloth" because it reminds of the Brixton Mass golden days of DMZ, and "Wrath" for its sliding, metallic folds of pseudo jungle drums. Top gear.