Review: There are super-collabo and then there are genuinely epic hook-ups like this. Plasma bossman Safire and MC/poet/soulman extraordinaire DRS are the consistent figures across both tracks as two of the best producers in the game join in for each piece. Skeppy takes the lead with the purring, deep breath creeper "With You". The ideal glacial bed for Del's cold bars, if you're not goosebumping to this there's something wrong with your soul. Similarly, if you're not swooning in good vibrations to "Set The Bar" - this time with absolute OG Zed Bias joining them on dials - then you should call a doctor ASAP. What a release.
Dub Sense - "Hood Flow" (feat MC Mel) - (5:23) 175 BPM
Krom & System - "Crackpot" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Review: Logikz Audio are building up a name for themselves as a label who never fail to bring out the big guns with their music. It's always heavy, hard-hitting and built on soundscapes and vibes which are deeply urban. The first track on this VP is no different and it kicks off with 'How We Do', a punchy roller with a bassline that stretches out over the horizon, the only constant being its grinding, coarse nature and the manner in which it constantly mutates and evolves. 'Twisted' is equally as rough but less rolling and more stepping, its structure and nature constantly changes, and it keeps the tune sounding consistently fresh. The rest of the EP is absolute vibes too.
Review: Dub Damage Recordings don't tend to put out music that's weak, thin or otherwise not suitable for the dancefloor. This EP courtesy of Jeopardize & Exile is a testament to that, both cuts do some serious damage and the release overall is certainly on the sharper end of the spectrum. 'Cypher' is the best of the bunch and it's got a rough, Sofa Sound edge that injects a satisfying level of oomph into the arrangement. Exile's remix of 'Cuntroll' is a close second and its incredibly unique concoction of swirling basses and gargling pulsars adds a wicked futuristic element. Top EP from the Dub Damage crew.
Review: Rub-a-dub-dub, a bunch of producers in the tub, none of them are clean because they're all making proper stinkers for Ghetto Dub. And these are a handful of examples. As the label unleashes the parts to some of its many key recent releases to four exciting talents. Man-of-the-moment Sikka takes the lead with a crucial tear-up of Vinyl Junkie & SR's "Peace Pipe" while Ly Da Buddah adds a whole new twist to Rachel EC's "All Rudeboys & Rudegirls" with an immense chainsaw bassline that cuts right through the mix. Elsewhere we get tremendously woozy and wonky with DJ Gaw's remix of Bill & Ed's "These Streets" before Dublic closes the show with an absolutely savage junglised slap-down of "Paradise Lost". Rerub? Rewind more like!
Review: Murky Digital are a label who do what their name might suggest in that they release digital murkiness on a regular basis. Black Lagoon is a various artists release that brings together Jaxx, Euphonique, Vital, Damageman and Tarz, all of whom have contributed dastardly naughty tracks. Vital's 'Bank Robbers' is up there with the best of them and it's all about that bassline, a foghorn of groaning, fiery proportions which rattles its way through the arrangement. Damageman also impresses with 'Low Signal', a sub-heavy roller which will please the more minimalistic heads amongst you. Banging stuff.
Review: Toulouse soul man Julien Salvi returns to The North Quarter with another prize-fighting package of deep, authentic drum & bass. Opening with a smoky intro track that's more jazz than dancefloor, he slowly take us deeper and deeper down his D&B rabbit hole. Cuts like "Fine Again" and "Next To You" breeze with that sad poignant spacious feeling he's made his own in recent years while "Evergreen Dub" (with FD) reminds us of his darker rolling side and "The Rhythm" is a direct homage to the man like Marcus. Stunning through and through.
Review: Representing the vibes and history of reggae culture except with a uniquely British urban twist, Agro & Too Greezey drop a five-track testament to his ability as producer here. We've featured his music in the past and every time we do it's a devilish concoction of force and finesse, an amalgamation of ability and acumen. 'Fled The Scene' is as big as it gets, both in terms of its steppy percussion and driving bassline; 'Shot To Bits' reminds of Kings of the Rollers with a bassline that roars out the stops; title tune 'Time Traveller' combines reggae atmospherics with a rolling finesse. Sick EP.
Review: Alix Perez's mighty 1985 imprint has been taking the D&B world by storm for the past couple of years and it's thanks in part to a series of wicked compilations, some big and some small. This is the second outing in the mini VA series Folio/ and they've pulled out all the stops, roping in a who's-who of forward-thinking music that includes Perez himself, SubMarine, Hyroglifics and others. Perez's contribution is classic Perez: moody, murky basslines and soothing, haunting samples that balance each other out into an equilibrium of pure satisfaction. SubMarine's 'Grunge' is more pure energy, a rippling number that's as fluid as it is devastating - perfect for the dancefloor. Tracks 3 and 4 don't mess around as well, but we're not really very surprised because Scepticz, Lavance, Hyroglifics and Visages are all just so damn good. Pick this one up.
Review: After one of their busiest festival seasons to date, Josh Lear - AKA Selecta J-Man - ramps up the Born On Road heat with this crucial five-tracker that ranges the full sound system spectrum he's become known for. "Round Here" is the centre piece thanks to an almighty bassline and the stern purring tones of man like Rider. Highlights deeper into the EP include the Bingo-style bubbling bass on "Cuss Cuss", the big euphoria pads and V-style funk of "Worldwide" and the riotous, early Clipz-style damagement of "Drum Song" with Fleck. Selecta!
Review: Grid Recordings have been on an absolute tear the past year or so, with everything that comes through their doors sounding slick and firmly on the pulse of D&B in 2019. This time around it's a compilation featuring some of their most reliable producers, who, characteristically, have come through in a big way. Jayline & Macpherson's 'Look & Listen' is a spacious, atmospheric creeper than packs a serious punch, one that emerges through a soundscape of celestial tones. Nick The Lot definitely has one of the standout tunes with 'This Planet', keeping up the space theme and also keeping up the trend of twisting, expansive basslines that ripple with energy - proper roller this. KY's 'Dreams' is in the same vein and even more futuristic and techy, which shows that Grid can do things in all styles. Head Nodders indeed.
Review: Pure D&B venom right here from the duo Lowriderz. "Skank" sets the scene with another pair-up with previous collaborator Claws (no relation to Santa apparently). Multi-layered grainy bassline bashment business. This won't just make you "Skank", it'll make you slap several elderly members of your family too. "Soundbwoy" follows the same rampaging trajectory but with more of a groan and rumble in the bassline and fractionally less attitude. Another absolute barnstormer from the Original Key crew.
Review: The latest release on LSB's label is finally here and it's worth the wait. Anile's famously stripped back, creative sounds are laid out over four tracks that span a characteristically wide range of speeds and styles. From the rolling soul of Constant Reminder to the guttural bass rattles of Riggers, this is a wicked EP that shows off exactly why Anile is considered one of the most talented producers in the game. It's the first release on Footnotes from an artist that isn't LSB, and it certainly doesn't disappoint.
Review: Oh gosh. Total Science ante up for the summer with this exceptional V/A EP on their CIA imprint. Kicking off with a crucial new remix of their classic "Nosher" by their new hybrid gang comprising themselves, DLR and Hydro, full breadth and variation abounds as we dip into the gilded soul of Zero T & Phase's "Talk To Me", the gnarled grizzles and dubby danger of their own "Devil's Gate" with Scar member Script and the grand finale; a heavyweight purring roller from two of the most respected newcomers in the game right now: Ill Truth and SATL. Each one a persy for different chapters of the night, any further information is classified.
Review: Oh gosh! Current Value hits us hard with his 11th studio album 'Puer'. Released on Serum's Souped Up, it's a no-holds-barred exploration of the jumpier side to his far-reaching range. Big basslines, wily funk, zero-effs-given rave music, it's the German producer at his most playful. Highlights such as the sizzling harmonics of "Contemplate", the deep drones and savage kicks of "Chariot", the rising grainy riff and KO fills of "Pitting" and the reunion with man-of-the-moment Bou on "Running Your Mouth" are just some of the tracks that will melt your skin right down to your bones. And if that's not enough, he's about to drop album 12 on Methlab too. No one's doing it like Current Value.
Review: Guidance remain in full control this year as yet another powerful EP from Ulterior Motive's label lands. This time it's from Was A Be, no longer signed to Shogun and now just a solo act, it's another bold statement. "Passive Aggressive" takes the lead with, ironically, no passivity whatsoever. Subverting a ravey riff over a real growler of a bassline, it's another certy stinker from Italian stallion. It's back by three more gully blunderbusses: "Mirrored" (with Visages) strips things back and drags us down the bassline sewer with one of the grumpiest basslines you'll hear all season, "Shell" follows suit with more low-end toxicity and a sweet roll to the drums while "Double Tap" takes the Was A Be to some pretty cosmic, warped places. Last but not least we have the dramatic "Blue Roots" where more of a techno influence can be felt in the pulsating bassline. Immense.
The Outside Agency - "Asteroid Belt" - (5:01) 175 BPM
Neonlight - "Wormhole" (Entering Part 1) - (4:12) 174 BPM
Neonlight - "Wormhole" (Leaving Part 2) - (3:30) 174 BPM
Review: Let it Roll is the biggest D&B festival in the world and it takes place twice a year out in the Czech Republic, a hedonistic outpost of pure 170bpm madness. It's also known for its no nonsense approach to the opening show and the collection of built-for-purpose, novel tunes are coming out on the festival's label and, long story short, they're wicked. Hybrid Minds and Insideinfo team up for their second release of 2019 and it's a percy, with Grimm on vocals adding the soul and a gritty, sweeping bassline adding the force. There's plenty more force to come on the rest of the EP as well, as Abis, Icicle, Neonlight and Th Outside Agency all contributing ridiculously heavy Neurofunk tunes. Oh yes.