Review: Following up a great release last month featuring DeeLayDee, Manchester-based producer Diligent Fingers returns to his very own imprint, Spynal Records, for its fourth release. This one features the roaring jump-up throwdown of "Everything Test Dead" featuring some properly rolling jungle breaks, while the straight-up drum 'n' bass of "Nightshade" closes out the package in fine fashion on this vocal-led stepper.
Review: This single from South Central Recordings is all about the remix vibes, as Coda and Euphonique step up to remix two different tunes from K Jah, Dilligent Fingers and Cheshire Cat. The first - Dutty Like a Bumbo - is from Coda and it's a gargled, rough and ready tune which sounds like an old school Mampi Swift tune with its simple but powerful bassline, and its hypnotic vocal lead. Euphonique steps up for the b-side and it's even dirtier than the flip, with another naughty back end that twists and turns in on itself with powerful ease. Banging.
Review: Fresh from appearing on Pick N Mix's 'The Black Excellence' album, Sub-Division's 'Summer Selection' and '10 Years Of Audio Addict', all in one month, Manchester's Diligent Fingers kicks off another explosive month with 'Boom Blast' on Dutty Bass Audio. Six tracks, six brazen arson attacks; the feels and flavours range from the gritty tear-up title track to the most hypnotic grunt and shift of 'Roller Ball' and the beautiful uplift and mid 2000s style hooky, heady drive of the Muse-riffing 'Take Me'. Featuring Miss Fudge and DeeLayDee, this is one of Diligent Fingers' biggest and most comprehensive EPs to date. Sonic boom!
Diligent Fingers, Jam & SKNGL - "Still Of The Night" - (4:59) 170 BPM
Review: Liquid Lab essentially do what their name would suggest: they make deep music that touches your soul. It's one of the best small liquid labels out there and it'd definitely be worth your time to check out their stuff, starting with this EP from Diligent Fingers. This release is certainly deep, the title track kicking you off with a lovely combination of funky jazz samples and more melancholic ambience. It's a trend that repeats itself over and over, especially on 'Slow Down', which has a gorgeous depth yet feels rooted right in the moment. 'Still of The Night' is the is all about the jazz vibes and it does this very nicely, stretching piano vocals out over a rolling beat.
Review: Manchester murkery: Diligent Fingers comes crash landing onto Erbman & Krunk's Juicy Fruit with four of your five a day. Like any good fruit salad, the flavours range across the board from the rich dark flesh of "Toppa Tops" to the sharp funk citrus of the discofied filtered struts of "Wah Gwarn". Elsewhere we're treated to an ace vocal drop and stinky bassline lick on "What We Deal With" while "Break You" closes with beautiful dusty jazz tones like it's 2001 all over again. Gwarn m8.
Review: Juicy Fruit are back with a juicy, fruity number and on this occasion the production credits are going to K-Jah and S Man, both of whom have delivered very different but no less appealing slices of 170 goodness. K-Jah's remix of Wah Gwarn is rolling and vibrant, with a proper old-school feel the drums and some melancholic synths over the top to give it a slick vibe. S Man has taken things in a darker, more penetrative direction with his remix of What We Deal With, which skips along at a serious pace, pulsating and echoing basses fluctuating beneath. Top stuff.
Review: Dear Diary, today we received a copy of DJ Hybrid's long-awaited debut album Diary Of An International Junglist on Liondub International. It's 20 tracks fat and, as you'd expect from such a prolific and hard working artist, it's well worth the wait. Featuring collabs with the likes of Rider Shafique, Diligent Fingers, Madrush MC, Redders and MC Foxy, there's a lot of next level action to unpack but instant head-slicers include the space age purrs and twists of 'Find Your Way', the menacing darkness and sparse funk of 'Pull Out Ya Piece' and the bouncing and swagger of 'Live For Yourself.' These are just some the many stand-out bangers from an album by one of the scene's most consistent leading lights in the last 10 years. Made for junglists, by a junglist. It doesn't get better than this.
Review: Defining moments don't come much bigger for artists than debut albums and here's Rowney's first ever LP. At long last.zzzz Shadow Demon member, long-time representer and previous G13 label bossman, here he comes correct with this multi-flavoured 17 track beast that shows his true range and breadth. From the housey riff and squelchiness of the opening track 'So Good' through to the emotional and inspiring finale 'Better Late Than Never', this is the sound of an artist going in on every direction from every angle. Featuring collabs with the likes of Joely, Diligent Fingers, Kezman, Sammie Hall, Trigga and of course his Standard Procedure mates Toddlah and TNT, vibes flex from soulful to savage and switch at a flick of a bassline. Definitive.
Review: This various artists release from Born on Road is packed full of twisted sounds for you wrap your noggins around, and there's a sick blend of aesthetics and styles amongst all the filth. 'Turbulent Times' by Gray and Rider Shafique is wobbly and rolling, it packs all of its energy into the sub-bass and just flows out with style alongside some wicked MC work. 'Pieces of Eight' by Trex is a monstrosity of energy, with a superb drum section that packs more character into the arrangement than you can wag a finger at, whilst Bruk edges in over the top with 'Waps', showing what a hefty dose of technoid energy can bring to the beat. Big.
Review: You've tasted Turkish Delight and Angel's Delight, now chow down on these sweet beats... Midlands veteran K Jah explores his dancefloor roots on 'Ravers Delight', a killer debut album on Natty Dub. Cashing in over 20 years as a raver (a good 10+ years of which he's also been a producer) K Jah rattles and slaps his way through timeless jungle dnb work-outs. Highlights include the percussive Skeptical meets Hazard tear-up vibes of 'Ominous', the stripped-back bounce and hoover stabs of the title track 'Ravers Delight', the jazzy feels and sudden operatic flare of 'Aria' and the old school Playaz / Zinc bumps and bounces of 'Different Things'. With a strong 90s / Bristol / hip-hop vibe running throughout, there's a consistency here that you don't always hear on an artist debut. The long game always pays off. Big up K Jah.
Review: Celebrating the fact that many of us have come out of lockdown with a few extra pounds of Terry, Formula salutes the phatter folk of the land with this obese six-track EP on Bagged & Tagged. Flavours ranging from the chubby sci-fi bass lasers of 'Double Crossed' to the porky sub wobbles and heavy stench of 'Hoofs' via the blubbery off-beat savageness of 'Phat Man', there's plenty of weight to move us back on the floor this summer and shed some pounds. Comes complete with the chubby 'Neck Back' with Diligent Fingers. Fat.
Review: Shadow Music are a recently minted label who seem to be doing all the right things, and this latest release is a monster of an EP from Shadre & Salvage. The title track is as foreboding as they come, almost to the extent that it's not quite dancefloor material, it's too brooding, too deeply terrifying and too fixated on being something itself, rather than making you dance. 'I See Through You' continues in that vein but steps up the synths a tad, whilst 'Steady Yourself' is an all out jump up banger. Sick.
Review: Nuusic have been around for a grand total of three years now, and a three-part celebration of that fact is now here. This is the first instalment and it's a beauty, with a whole host of artists from the Nuusic orbit stepping up to lay down some serious heat. That's what's on offer here and it's a cut from Kumo - 'Skeng Riddim' - that really steals the show, as inch-perfect stepping percussion murderously underpins a rap-driven, bloated bassline sound which drips urban force from every corner. Serious Wretch 32 vibes on this one. Conrad Subs has two tracks, including a wicked rework of garage classic 'Bump & Grind', and Teej also has several contributions; 'Hydro' being the naughtiest, a drawn-out roller covered in old-school class. Yes lads.
Review: As the Southpoint team continue to grow and expand their powerful catalogue of original bass music, they welcome the sounds of the much sought after Kiddah, who unveils his quality with a spicy four track masterclass. The title track 'Grip' is exactly what the doctor ordered, fusing together lethal reese action and gnarly drum breaks, kicking us off with a fiery introduction. From here, MRo's sumptuous vocal talents swim into view on 'The Way', another luscious landscape of tasty breaks and vibrant subs. Finally, Kiddah sends the EP down a completely different route as Diligent Fingers arrives for a powerful vocal on the raucous dubstep designs of 'Run Di Place Red'. The combination of these three heaters is something truly special, topped off by the addition of the 'Run Di Place Red' instrumental mix for good measure.
Review: The second chapter in Deep in the Jungle Anthems 7 is upon us, and there is yet another cacophonous blend of fractious jungle riddims inside. Drawn from artists across the scene both old and new, this LP is the second leg of a journey that's pull you deep through the spiky, rough edges of a the jungle. The crashing force of K Jah's 'Quest' is a good example, as repetitive breaks needle their way into your soul amidst a wobbling sub and jazzy samples. Bish is on remix duties for label boss DJ Hybrid and his tune 'Badboy', which samples possibly one of dance music's most iconic film lines and does so amidst a relentless, rolling instrumental. Sick - there are over 30 tracks inside so get involved.
Review: Sub-liminal take a moment to look back over almost six years of hard graft at the future talent coal face. Having been responsible for so many bangers from so many now household names, it's a mean feat boiling it down to this mere 50 heavyweight highlights. All the label's key names are on board; Guzi, Dreadnaught, Nick The Lot, Too Greezy, Kumo, Version, Vital, Pyro, Motiv and many more dust off their past heavers, hurters and head-slappers to reflect on everything Sub-liminal has stood for and encouraged so far. From the deeper, more subtle bubblers (Sam Harris - 'Coffee Machine') to the most outrageous funk-ups (Warhead - 'Cranked') this EP has everything. When the Riddim hits you, you can't say no...
Review: The second sampler ahead of Deep in the Jungle's 7th Anthems album is here and gives us another glimpse into what is sure to be a superb collection of vicious jungle weapons - they always are. This one features Crossy on remix duties for Epicentre and Diligent Fingers, and he's turned 'Run Up' into a vibrant track with a gorgeous set of hi-hat studded drums and a luscious, deep bassline that packs plenty of attitude. 'Run Dem' by Hybrid is stepping in its percussion and lands with a seriously heavy amount of downwards pressure, whilst Bish remixes Hybrid's 'Badboy' to great effect. Toby Ross and K Jah both kill their tunes as well, and to say we're excited about this album would be an understatement.
Review: It appears that the Ghetto Dub Recordings team has assembled one hell of a roster for this one as they unleash the fully unmixed version of the Dubz: ReRubbed album project, allowing us to enjoy each and every tune in its full majesty. We find the perfect balance of high intensity dancefloor danger and more stripped back rollers throughout the compilation, from the Phibes remix of Wrecked from Vinyl Junkie & Sanxion giving us a gritty, synth lead smackdown to the much more junglist inspired recreation of Java's 'Screwface' from Aries. There are a few standouts throughout this eclectic selection, including Epicentre's monstrous sub-driven rework of 'We Up There' from Bill & Ed, alongside Veak's neurotic overhaul of Subcriminal's 'Mack 10' and the system rattling recreation of Flat T's 'Proceedings Closed' from Durban. What a selection this is!
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.
Review: This is an album for any discerning D&B head who has been locked in to the sounds of D&B this year. Featuring the likes of SL8r, Kumarachi, DJ Hybrid, Bou and Stompz, this big LP touches right onto the pulse of where the D&B scene is at the minute: long basslines, raucous atmospherics and downright dirty vibes. Bou provides that from the very start with his remix of 'Raised In The Jungle' by DJ Hybrid and MC Haribo, a full-throttled run through the Mancunian space in the Bou fashion that we all already know and love. 'Liberation' by RMS is another highlight, slightly more stripped back than some of the other offerings but still with plenty of force to go around. This is a fat release.
Review: Not to be confused with the Julia Roberts classic, the Sound of Nuusic isn't a Bavarian epic but instead a UK underground epic of compilation sized proportions, with a whole raft of underground talents offering up a diverse concoction of jungle flavours. With Conrad Subs making several appearances, his stand-out contribution is 'Leave Dem', with a funked-up loping introduction that's seriously smooth but which quickly devolves into a stuttering balance of breaks and reece bass action. There's wicked jungle contributions from Kumarachi and RMS as well as Sheffield upstart Charla Green, whose knock-down breaks carry some serious weight. This is a must-listen for anyone who likes their jungle music.
Review: Agro is back on Sub-Liminal for a six-track EP that is Sofa Sound-esque in its emphasis on rough, vibrant percussion and rolling, dastardly basses. Every track on here is perfectly crafted for the dancefloor and it's all rooted in that wicked UK D&B sound that we know and love. The title track features Killa P on vocals, his tones wafting above a wobbly and pummelling back end which switches up into jungle for extra damage. 'The Cut' is similar but even heavier, with the obligatory Wu-Tang Clan sample that grounds it in a sense of history and nostalgia. Banging stuff.
Review: Holy moly! This is how you smash open a new decade; a 50 track album absolutely drenched in stinkage. Now a tradition for DJ Hybrid's label, this anthem collection is one of the biggest to date with names and vibes across the spectrum. Epicentre, Kumarachi, Conrad Subs, Stompz, Veak, RMS and many more all bring their fieriest artillery with highlights bursting from the seams. Every single track slaps the dance from the stripped back drumfunk and demented mentasms of Substrate's "Throwback" to the mystic sitar twangs and heavy bass bangs of Euphonique's "Moksha" via ruded up Dread bass badness of the bossman's own "Lost In The Jungle". And that's not even the tippiest tip of this anthemic jungle iceberg. Don't dilly dally.
Review: One of the regular labels we feature are Sub-Liminal, a wicked little imprint that puts out a diverse sound ranging from techy rollers to jump-up steppers and even liquidy numbers. This week they've arrived with an EP from Agro, who, across six tracks, spans various tones and styles, all of them rooted in a sense of dancefloor aggressiveness and all of them top-notch. 'Claap Up' is a highlight, its rolling percussive line isn't the paciest but is loping and satisfying, whilst a gargling bass and sweeping reeces sit just above and inject all the force. 'Data Entry' is also a wicked track, with a lovely, stripped back drum line that's full of moody sonics. Top stuff.
Review: So it doesn't feel like we've had much of a summer this year. It also feels like the arts are being hung-up to dry right now. But at least the good folk at Sub-liminal care for us.... To mark the (albeit raveless) sunny season, they've put together a 50 (yes, fifty) track collection from some of the most exciting names in the game. From Dunk to Xav, RV to Warhead, Agro, Guzi, Shayper, Damage Report and so many more, this is the 'Summer Selection' we all totally need and deserve right now. Highlights include the Remarc levels of badness on Guzi's 'Area 51', the tension and staggered creepiness of Yatuza's 'Clich?' and the broadsword swathes of Motiv's buzzy bumper 'Necroplasm'. And that's just three out of 50. Thank you Sub-liminal. We need this more than ever right now.
Review: Everyone likes a good compilation, right? What's better than having as big a range of artists as possible in one condensed place? It's essentially an album with the ease of listening of a single, so we're all for it. Subliminal have come out with the 2020 edition in their Riddim Return series and it's packed full of bangers, across a range of styles, and it's one of those albums which doesn't try to be cool or sophisticated by chucking in a few fillers for the sake of diversity - it's just hard stuff here. It works great, with Sam Harris' tendency for muscular minimosity coming on loud and clear on Boom Ting, a wickedly devilish and driving roller.
Review: Euphonique lands on Audio Addict with a fiery EP. Kicking off with 'True' is crunching halftime drums that skitter away into a drop of rattling percussion that fills up the range in a full-throttled run of high quality energy. 'Siren' carries on the trend of pummelling kick drums and suspenseful ambience, with a sick vocal lead and wicked little drum switch ups. 'Gangster' brings the pulsating low-frequency wobbles at the bottom of the range as skippy, pacey drums lead out over the top - you'll recognise the sample on this one. The ragga vocals on 'Booyaka' smack of that classic Manny sound as a Serum-esque switch-up bumps into stabby bass bounces that scream character. 'Killah' ties things up with a clean drum line and diving bass pulses and yet more sublime wobbly action - a real stinker to finish off the release.
Review: The epic decade celebrations continue as DJ Hybrid's Audio Addict continue to reflect over the last 10 years at the forefront of the dnb game. Like the previous classics collection, once again we dive deep into the label's rich history to find career-shaping tunes from some of the best in the game such as Kumarachi, Warhead, Euphonique, Replicant, Nectax and many many more. A perfect chance to get up to speed on the last 10 years, or fill a few gaps in your collection, highlights include the forthright rudeness of Nectax's flutter-bass roll-up 'Labyrinth', Gravit-E's twisted growler 'Side Bitch', Scudd & Crinnion's skank-happy 'My Town' and the massive 'Takeover' VIP from the bossman himself. Massive.