Review: The Stormtroopers Of Love were born kicking and screaming into this world when Johnny Pulse (boss of Ireland's Bulabeats Records) decided he needed a live band in his life. Described as being 'a live fusion of hip-hop, funk, dancehall and ska', Ape Panic delivers all this and more (especially here on our very own Juno Deluxe version). Highlights include the badass bottom end attack of "Rebel Bass", the nasty breaks jam ""In The Heat", the piano-led shuffle of "Pull The Cord" and the jump up DnB fun of Leygo's remix of "Blast & Blast". Proper good times music!
Review: Despite living in the quaint Southern Irish countryside, Johnny Pluse releases a consistent stream of internationally flavoured urban breakbeat. He's released both solo albums and albums with his band, the Stormtroopers Of Love over the past few years and little did we know that the latter's recent The Skanky Town EP was actually a taster for yet another LP! Well here it is, Dos Tonas, and its boasting 16 party jams to enjoy. Beyond the EPs earlier tracks highlights include the Fatboy-goes-to-Kingston vibes of "Talking About The!" and the speedy DnB skank of "All The Best Now".
Review: Feel your pulse: check. Feel the love: check. Johnny and the lover troopers ride the archives and combine the ultimate 'best of' compendium having announced that this summer's album Dos Tonas will be their final long player together. Smashing the last three years and grabbing their wiliest, wittiest and funkiest jams Storm Troopin For Life is the sound of an Irish collective getting deep into the groove and creating their own unique party-smashing sound. Fused with punk-like spirit and sense of mischief, there's no filler whatsoever... Just drop the sunny-side skanks of "Dos Tonas" and watch the damage for yourselves. Essential for all modern day funk aficionados.
Review: Breakbeat is most definitely back on the up this year, and it is primarily down to the sheer consistency of artists such as Morlack who tireless push forward with new projects on such a regular basis. This latest album episode goes by the name of 'Bluff' and encapsulates everything we love about Morlack's sound, from the stunning instrumental sampling and punchy drum work of 'Colibri Shine' to the dipping grooves of 'Sex Me'. For us, the highlights here have to include both the excellent vocal slicing of '2Be In Family', and of course the horn-heavy riffs of the title track 'Bluff'. Excellent stuff from the breakbeat mastermind!
Review: Having paid homage to cult Mexican gangster film Mi Vida Loca last year, 6Blocc takes time to celebrate another classic movie Boyz In The Hood with another concept album. Taking samples from the film and weaving them into gully floor heaters, 6Blocc shows us his darkest skills with a palette of sounds. "Church Booty" refuses to quit with its relentless back/forth sub ripples, "Crenshaw & Century" is a Tom & Jerry level jungle joint full of twisted amen edits and Ice Cube freshness, "In The Hood" slinks and tickles with "Pulp Fiction" style minimalism while "Mark" flips the mean and moody halftime bird with cosmic grit. These are just a handful of highlights.
Review: A very classy set of instant party starters from the Tru Funk stable, with BMD getting wild with the Isley Brothers' classic "It's Your Thing". Warson & Chudy deliver some serious hip-hop wobble on "Find The Funk" and drop the Slim Shady beat over "Ghetto Bounce". The real gem, however, is Jayl Funk's "Funky Song" - riding a classic call/response soul sample over a rock solid nu-funk beat.
Review: The second album to be reissued by Mannequin and Platform 23 Records of the music from Bourbonese Qualk, Hope saw the politically active musical entity expand on their mix of music, art and politics.
Staunchly independent, doing the recording and design via their Recloose Organisation label, by 1984 the group had occupied a large disused building on the Old Kent Road, becoming the base for the band's activities as well as other creative and political activism.
Recorded at the Ambulance Station, Hope is full of unceasing drum machine rhythms, electro pulses, echoing samples and lo-fi synths matched with strummed guitars and dub bass. The accompanying drones and snarled vocals go beyond any early 80's industrial tag to be something more unique, with the uncompromising, conceptual and avant flashes showing a more experimental buzz, an awkward quasi-funk noisy nuisance.
Remastered by Rude 66, this is music as much for then and today, a radical, revolutionary cultural force that acts as a positive social charge.
Review: 6Blocc's inexhaustible output continues... And it does so while poking and prodding new exciting areas. Here we find him paying homage to the mighty Wu. Unravelling their mysteries and messages and building them back around the breaks, Blocc busts a range from dubstep to D&B by way of prototype 160 jungle, paying respect to The Clan with authority all the way. Highlights include the added drama of "Chessboxin'", the classic jungle subversion theme to "WWO" and the really clever twist of Method Man's "Release Yo Delf".
Review: Wu homages don't come much classier than 6Blocc's recent all-genre bass chamber explorations. First came the full vocal refixes, now come the leaner instrumental twists where the Wu Tang love is still abundantly clear thanks to the fact RZA's sample craft is as sharp as their lyrics. Some hit hard from the off such as The Charmels hooks on "Ca$h Rule$" while others take a while to tease such as "Wwo" where 6Blocc's classic jungle breaks roll and flex before Method Man's smoky croaks are used as a percussive device. From dark dub ("Suicide") to breezy footwork/jungle ("Wrek Room"), 6Blocc has repurposed Wu Tang with well-crafted style right here.
Review: Speak Recordings might be Henry Maldonado's own imprint, but the majority of his releases that have surfaced under his Son Of Sound alias have come through labels such as Local Talk and District 30. The self-titled Son Of Sound LP is the artist's debut full-length, and it's just about as complete as you can get for a house LP. Wondering somewhere between the planes of jazzy deep house, and more pumped up jack-beat, Mike delivers quality throughout. Piano keys, soothing strings, brittle percussions and low bass tones make for a sublime listening experience: not to mention the moments where he verges on a little but of neo hi-hop, too! Definitely worth a good listen.
Review: The Artist Series Volume 1 sees Actual Sounds gather together a bunch of their artists to provide an expansive selection of bootleg breaks, ghetto funk and jungle reworks of tracks from well-known artists, namely Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, The Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill. While there's a certain drunken office Christmas party silliness to the Fab Four reworks, the more hip-hop inclined reworks are much more successful. There are plenty of confirmed party-starters, from the synth-heavy P-funk breaks of Funky Wah Wah's "Beastie Noise (That's Resin Funk)", to Big Bang Breaks' multiple reworks of "Insane In The Brain" (the first of which, a straight-up party hip-hop take, is the bomb).
Review: Premium booty-busters Actual Sounds unleash their mysterious in-house reversionista for this staggering 35 track compendium. Oozing references that sing back to dance music's most formative funky days, across the collection we're treated to versions of every possible dancefloor fave. From the bass-belching breakbeat take on Goldie's "Inner City Life" to the swinging filtered funk flex of Michael Jackson's "Off The Wall" via a roof-demolishing rip off Baby D's "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" Actual Phantom has a repertoire that will make all music lovers smile with both nostalgia and total hedonism. Bootlegs are ten a penny in this game, but few are crafted and packaged with as much care and attention as this.
Review: Known by many in the drum & bass scene as one of the most important seminal albums in the history of modern D&B, This Too Shall Pass was released in 2006 on Bassbin to widespread critical acclaim, followed by a slow-burning reverence from fans new and old over the years. The tracklist is dotted with tunes many bassheads would class as up there with the greatest: from the dubby lilt of "Lead Me On" and the intricate driving Amens and synthy static of "Morning Star" to the washed out swing jazz of "Unireverse" and the beautifully mournful reverb of "Black Sunshine", this is a re-release that's been a long time coming. RIP Bassbin, and thank you Rohan for making masterpieces such as this available to the buying public once more.
Review: Brazilian beat fetishists, Beatnik City, are back proudly presenting a long player from Rio De Janeiro's best kept secret, Dr. K. They claim he's literally the city's best-kept secret - having tirelessly produced sizzling hot bossa nova infused beats for almost 15 years! this new album should change all that, boasting 17 fresh jams that fuse samba rhythms, a pinch of big beat goodness, a smidgeon of brass and lashings of carnival-friendly retro Latin vibes.