Review: Smooth N Groove churn out a lot of great liquid, but they're not a label known for the long players. Soul Connection is aiming to change that here with this Music Makes Me LP, a ten-tracker that sprawls over a collection of soulful, energetic sounds perfect for those who like their liquid like their desserts: simple but good. The title track is effortlessly flowing and more relaxed than a cat in the sun, a lounging vocal sample sways and moves whilst a pacey percussive line flitters beneath. 'Smooth N Groove' is another highlight, whilst 'So Divine' steps up the funk element with some gorgeous synth stabs. Really gentle, nice bits here.
Review: The Smooth N Groove imprint have become renowned for their expansive compilation projects, bringing together a range of high quality original drum and bass recordings. They continue their hot streak here with volume 2 of their 'Hidden In The Crates' series, featuring belters from the likes of Greekboy, Passive, Wyman, Twintone, Jay Dubz and a host of other names. For us, the standouts are immediately clear, with the harmonic strings and epic atmospherics of A.K.A & soulTec's 'You Should Be Here' being a major standout. The smooth junglist subs and warm notation of 'Adventure Time' from Conrad Subs also deserves a nod, along with the clean drum work of Dave Owen's 'Kiss & Tell'.
Review: Smooth N Groove does exactly what their name would suggest: they purvey high-quality D&B beats which are certain to smooth your soul and make you want to groove. Payback & Greekboy kick things off with 'Islands' and its serene territory, with wistful piano sampling making up the high end of the range and punchy low-frequency pulses occupying the low. 'Deep I Roll'' rests less on the sampling and more on the top-quality synths, underpinned by another wholesome bassline. 'Look I Head' stutters down int lo-fi territory, whilst 'Renaissance' is the funkiest of the bunch due to its moving back end and luscious flow.
Review: Timeless soul rollers from Midland maestro Payback. Restrained and focused, there's a golden, sunset hue running throughout the EP; the slinky sub of "Distant Dream", the woozy pads of "The Remedy", the perkier disco horns and sharper, steppier drum magic of "Seeing Stars" and the classic London Elektricity style sound of Payback's remix of Jrumhand.... It all adds to a repertoire that gradually building with confidence, clarity and stone cold groves. Pay forward.
Review: Don't be fooled by the name; sounds as silky as these are far from Madcap. But that just adds to this young London producer's integrity. In keeping with the previous outings on the US/UK D&B imprint, the emphasis is on the rolling groove as Madcap keeps our toes chiselled with tight percussion and a careful balance of light and dark. From the Marky-edge euphoria of "Mind Adventures" to the Total Science planet-gazing iciness of "Watching You", there's a reason he's appeared on the likes of Mac 2, Celsius and Fokuz in recent times. Join the adventure while there's still time to catch up.
Review: Smooth N Groove records do exactly what their name would suggest. They're purveyors of funky, rolling, smooth liquid tones and their latest release from Chug is a perfect exemplification. Holding On is a sultry envelope of funk and soul that starts from the beginning and doesn't let up until the final second of the last track. The first, though, is 'Nobody': a jazzy piano sample forms the main element, everything else built around it in a concerted effort to make you as happiest as it possibly can. 'Take It Easy' ramps up the percussive weight whilst maintaining that smoothness, the snappy drum hits adding to, not taking away from, this track's mellow vibe and gorgeous ambience. The final two tracks are equally as good - not one to miss.