Review: Oh gosh!! Giant-among-men Swift finally drops the biggun we've been waiting YEARS for. And it's clear from the opening filth-flinger "Dogs Of War" (with Gino) that this album is the full-fat uncut high grade LP message we've been longing for. 20 tracks (including remixes of classics by the likes of Serum and A.M.C), this packs more punch than a night out MCing to naff jump-up with Tyson Fury. Seriously, from the militant charge of "Freebass" to the cheeky riff swagger of "Creeper" via the Virus-style techy thunder of "Origin", the savage jungle techno homage "Loftgroove" and the heavy 110 BPM slo-mo rave messiness "The Gully" this leaves no stone unturned whatsoever... And this is only the first part. Wow. Swift ain't messing around here.
Review: Killaz by name, killer by nature; Vital Elements and Tobie Scopes' continue to set the agenda as DJs, artists and as label owners. This third annual mix-up is certainly no exception as they plough through 59 tracks - many of which are brand new exclusives - to paint a picture of exactly where drum & bass is at right now. A thick smelly melting pot, everything is thrown into the mix: Upgrade's spine-trembling harmonics on "The Voice", ruded-out bassline badness from Voltage ("My DJ"), various jump-up hybrid creepers from Russian newcomer Ozma, brand new dark wobble lava from Serial Killaz themselves ("Rudebwoyz") the list goes on and on. This is a huge package and it comes with a superb mix too. Treat yourselves or defeat yourselves.
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: Pyro is unleashing an onslaught over on Unauthorized Audio with a tight sounding four-track EP. 'You' is a dark, moody stepper that doesn't care about rules and certainly doesn't care about feelings. The main bass on this tune oozes quality and packs some serious weight, reminiscent of the Souped Up crew. 'Smoke' is slightly less crazy but it definitely is still on the crazy end, as gargled bass notes inject a whole load of force into the arrangement and there's a wicked bit of MC work to boot. "I Luv Girls' is downright nasty, and 'Frequency' combines a sub-heavy bit of minimal work with some dirty foghorn business. Tasty.
Review: Bagged & Tagged are a regular here on Juno and for good reason, their proclivity for steadily releasing rough but energetic, whole-hearted cuts is strong and their small size doesn't prevent the release of top-quality music. They've roped in the Belgian crew for this one and 'Market' is the strongest on the release, with a Low Down Deep-esque feel to its cracking percussion and a torn, broken back end that rips across the range with style. The other 3 cuts go down a similar, wicked jump-up route and, if you like B&T, this is the release for you.
Review: With Hazard rounding up another killer year for Hype and Pascal's label with his first release in five years, Playaz take stock of 2019 with this savage showdown from all their main mandem. From the eerie gurgles and scraps of Annix & Kanine's "Jackpot" to the flabby wobbles and groans of Limited's "Soldier" to the sweet seduction twist of Jam Thieves' "Love Forever" this 25-track pack covers the entire spectrum of proper rave-primed drum & bass with all manner of curveballs and boundary-pushing badness. No compromises, a healthy balance of elder statesmen, new headliners and young talent and a sound that's distinctively theirs, Playaz are about to bulldoze into a new decade... And this is how it all begins.
Review: Now entering its 20th year of gully manoeuvres, Grid Recordings unleash another set of remixes of the bossman's tracks through the ages. First up Jayline gets out his stick and whacks "Last Days Of Rome" within inches of its life with a big high voltage bassline, Grid regular Nick The Lot flips "Danger Zone" into a much crunchier, rasping affair and Argentinian newcomer Yatuza adds whole new levels of trippiness to "Edge Of The Dome". Last but not least Matt View and Marvel Cinema go right back to 2003, grab Pony Pleasure by the scruff of its neck and give it a good scrub with cosmic soap. Nice and bubbly.
Review: Good4Nothing Records always tend to put out music that rests on the foundations of UK underground, the cross-over influences of jungle and D&B. it's always a fresh sound and it always brings up connotations of Boomtown, free parties and sunny afternoons. Twisted, gnarled jump up is the main focus here in the second part of their 10-year anniversary celebrations and Complex is a good example of how it goes down, his track 'Night Time' blowing and flowing through with all the power of the winter winds. Danger's 'Falling' is yet more filth, with a powerful drum line and punchy sub-bass that bangs in and out of the range. Excellent compilation.
Nothing Will Be The Same (feat Type One) - (5:16) 173 BPM
Review: Shouts to all the lifetime skankers! Jayline is here for you... "Eternal" pays homage to those ravers who will never stop with this savage quartet of insomnia anthems. The title track lays down the message. Big gritty riff, paranoid voices and a ferociousness we've come to expect from the Midland murker. Elsewhere "E-115" takes us deeper down a bassline rabbit hole with a big drone bass and more twisted humanised elements while "Stupid" is pure space-age minimal menace with growling bass textures and more vocal prangs matching the bangs. Finally we hit the deep wobbles and Bristolian flavours of "Nothing Will Be The Same". Think early 2000s but 2020 class, Jayline has smashed it right here.
NC - 17 - "City On Fire VIP" (feat Replicant) - (5:22) 173 BPM
Review: Viper have been smashing things over on the dancefloor side of the scene for decades and a big part of that is their yearly annual, a compilation which celebrates some of the best releases from the year. One of the best pics of the annual without a doubt is the Annix remix of Pulsation by Mefjus & Insideinfo, a big task for the duo to take on considering how relentlessly classic the original is. But Annix have smashed it with their drawn-out and suspenseful jump uptake, one which sucks all the air out of the room and then releases it as a smorgasbord of warped out energy and choppy force. There are tonnes of other great picks here too, including from new blood Millbrook and others.
Review: There's no doubting the fact that there's been a distinctive stylistic movement within D&B in the past couple of years, a noticeable strand of the scene that's cultivated a particular style of sharp-edged yet rough rollers. Nu Elementz is an obvious example, but Alphaze is landing in a similar vein here with a fiery five-tracker than hits hard- seriously hard. 'Wonderland' exemplifies the bare-bones approach taken here and its works well as its gargantuan main bassline reverberates across the range with the desired effect. 'Smash The Gaff' keeps it low-key on the introduction with funky sampling, before a siren-like back end brings the tune home with wailing force.
Review: "Quando Tu Dances" was a hit for Micky Milan back in 1982 when it came out on Salsoul, and it has that seminal label's brand of disco funk spilling out of every bar. Now Faze Action have drafted a strong serving of remixers to bring a few deft touches to some of Milan's biggest hits, leading in with Willie Graff and his tasteful edit of the title track that lets the original vibe shine through in all its sunny finery. Faze Action themselves take on "C'est Une Bombe" - another slick '80s jam with plenty of boogie licks to complement the warmth of the guitar and Latin percussion. Finally we get an untouched original, the more spaced out cosmic pop jam "Les Vacances On S'eclete, On S'evade".
Review: You're only five years old once, so why not celebrate in style? And here Warrington lad Danny Worrall's disco and re-edits label Masterworks Music do just that, with an anniversary collection packing a whopping 50 back catalogue nuggets. You'll excuse us the full track-by-track, then, but suffice to say that this is the label that helped launch the careers of Dr Packer and Natasha Kitty Katt, both of whom feature here, and with names like Ziggy Phunk, Rayko, Alkalino, Chuggin' Edits and Fabiolous Barker also on bill, you should already have a pretty good idea what to expect. Classy stuff all round, and a great VFM package - here's to five more years!
Review: Dusty, slammed down disco-house cosmiq. Whatever you wanna call it; space western discoteque pop from the techno future is still fun too. With dub trailing atmospheres streaking across the face of tracks like "The Light", all three here surf the skywaves of Detroit techno and Chicago house, lifting key notes and aquatic stabs from somewhere deeper in between too. Ripping key-tars and twangs bring the funk in "Volpi Polari" with "Fluto" going to Eiffel tower heights of Jean Michelle Jarre trance and '90s warehouse beats to lift you high.
Drawn The Line (feat Lucy Kitchen) - (5:25) 174 BPM
Rose Coloured Stained Glass Windows - (4:39) 170 BPM
Review: BCee and Blu Mar Ten are pushing off into 2020 with their first ever collaborative EP, a fact which is a bit surprising but still very welcome. Grow is exactly what you'd expect, a soulful collection of tracks with a number of excellent vocal features from long-time collaborators Lucy Kitchen, Charlotte Haining, and DRS. There's an element of minimality to these tunes that's expertly offset with an equal serving of soul and funk, a combination bleeds sophistication across all areas of the music. DRS' feature -- Protected Secrets -- is our pick of the bunch, with Del's by now all-too-familiar blend of rapping and singing tying the knot on a superb instrumental.
Review: Barely a month has passed since Dan Corco's Robsoul debut, "Dance Therapy", hit download stores, but already the long-serving - if frustratingly little-known - producer has delivered a sequel. Like its predecessor, there's much to enjoy, from the supple, loose-limbed shuffle of "U Can Try Tonight" - all electrofunk synthesizer flashes, soulful male vocal samples and chunky deep house grooves - to the hypnotic disco-house loops and bass breakdowns of closing cut "Tchoz". Sandwiched in between you'll find the bombastic peak-time bounce of boompty style workout "On The Bit" and the fluttering, synth-laden filtered disco-house excitement of "Phasys".
Lewis James - "Your Love Is A Power" (feat DandansK) - (6:31) 174 BPM
Fracture - "Take You" (feat Lucie La Mode) - (4:35) 160 BPM
Philip D Kick - "Vibe Off" (feat DJ Spinn) - (3:35) 160 BPM
Client_03 - "Hope Repeater" - (4:30) 160 BPM
Fracture - "Big Up The Ladies" - (3:28) 160 BPM
DgoHn - "Lost & Found" - (5:34) 164 BPM
Review: As always with Astrophonica, we are in for a treat with this one, as they get busy with a top quality compilation selection, unveiling twenty pulsating originals under the name '20'. Whilst examining the vibes on this one, we noticed that it really does cover all the basis when it comes to high tempo bass music, from the grizzly roller arrangements of 'Hull Breach' from Fracture & Neptune to the bouncy footwork flavours of Dawn Day Night's 'Voodoo Vibe'. There are most certainly some clear standouts, with Fracture, Rider Shafique & Sam Binga pulling together for a spicy original on 'Back It Up', alongside Sully's super colourful junglist roller 'Flock' and the eerie flute work of 'Flocon' from Moresounds. A very interesting listen!
Review: Fresh from fine outings on Editorial, Spa In Disco and Midnight Riot, Frank Virgilio pops up on Hot Digits with a quartet of warm and seductive workouts. He kicks things off via the sun down beauty and woozy grooves of "Your Whisper", before joining the dots between beatdown, Italo-disco and dancefloor Balearica on the bubbly and hypnotic "Get Now!" Title track "Donde Estas" is an impressively warm and groovy shuffle through pitched-down samba disco territory, while closing cut "Beautiful Sister" is a slightly bolder (but no less deep) mixture of drifting melodies, head-nodding house beats, groovy bass, select vocal snippets and enveloping chords.
Review: If the January blues have hit you hard, we'd suggest diving into this celebratory label compilation from Springbok Records. At 15 tracks deep it's something of an epic, with the collected cuts blurring the boundaries between re-edits, remixes and original productions. There's plenty of chunky, filter-heavy disco-house cuts to be found throughout, with highlights including Andy Bach's piano-laden "Systematic", the bassline-driven brilliance of Curtis Scott's "The Truth" and the livewire peak-time excitement of Moggy Bee's "Satisfaction, Body Action", which breathes new life into a boogie-era disco classic. Elsewhere there are rock solid re-edits from Hp Vince, J.B Boogie, C Da Afro and Dave Leatherman and Bruce Nolan.
Review: M-Zine is a Belgian producer who has been popping up in all the right places for a number of years now, building his profile up and raising the bar of his production capabilities. Dispatch, Utopia, Lifestyle and more lie in his past and now Sofa Sound is in his present, DLR's imprint and one which just gets it right, time and time again. Fractals is bent, broken and ragged, a forceful expression of tangled sonics and a three-tracker which starts hard and doesn't stop. 'Axiomatic' is relentless and pounding, a tunnel of blackish movement which you travel down at full speed, with the lights off and the seatbelt round your neck. There's something satisfying, almost Techno-esque, about tracks which are this consistent and it's a highlight from an absurdly good release.
Review: Midnight Right's Afrobeat, Afro-funk and Afro-disco inspired "Riot In Lagos" compilation is arguably one of the label's standout releases of the last few years, so it's exciting to hear that volume two is on the way. To give us a taste of what's to come, the Yam Who-helmed imprint has offered up this rock solid sampler. Krewcial kicks things off via the jaunty, sax-heavy brilliance of "Mabina" - a kind of swinging, bass-heavy disco tribute to Fela Kuti - before Get To Know cheerily dance through mid-80s Nigerian boogie/synth-soul pastures on the wonderful "Fugar" re-edit. The EP also boasts two versions of Situation's Afro-centric cut "Wonky": a deep and jazzy Afro-house version by Frank Situation rich in glistening jazz guitar solos, and an even hazier and more hypnotic Mr Mulatto take.
Review: Jan Schulte aka Bufiman drops his debut album on Dekmantel, and it's a thing of cosmic beauty. There's the odd ball groove of "Galaxy", on "Sara Sara", he tackles electronic boogie with great flair and "Hoolock Rock" is a superb slice of spaced out disco. However, Schulte's project is not just concerned with revisiting existing styles, and he seems to be just as content when teasing out weird and wonderful new hybrids. These are articulated most impressively on the frazzled acid and steely drums of "Blow Your Mind", the dreamy down tempo drums and tropical sounds of "News From The Treetops" and the sludgy electro funk on "Langsam Aber Slowly".