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: 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: Swapping previous collaborator Krafty Kutz for the Beatvandals on the latest in the Insane Bangers series of hip-hop/breakbeat bootlegs, A Skillz brings home two more battle weapons and party-starters for your delectation. "Hot Dogg" lays the acapella from Snoop's "Drop It Like It's Hot" over some nicely rounded beats and bass, while "Money Banger" has a lot of fun with the O Jay's "For The Love Of Money", blending in cuts from MOP's "Ante Up" and Frankie Cutlass' "Puerto Rico" for good measure.
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: Hot on the heels of Tru Thoughts' recent Tasty Beats compilation, the firmly party orientated label has rustled up a tenth instalment of their Party Breaks series. Now it's time to shake it up at every house party you can find this summer! Highlights include Bang N Mash's funky old skool Eric B mash-up "I Got Soul", Chudy's "So What?" which intertwines the Tom Tom Club and Destiny's Child to sizzling effect and finally DJ Clairvo who fuses big beat, ragga and vintage organ stabs on "Here Me Now All Massive". Boom!
Review: Canadian vibe masters ReSoul recruit some die-heard funk soldiers for their third "Fully Loaded" EP and each track is a wise move. The unavoidable Basement Freaks gets devilish with a dubstep bass and funky breakbeat with a deft slice of Cypress Hill. Funkanomics digs deep for a lavish string-hook that never stops shimmering. Slynk & SkiiTour rediscover the BeeGees with added electro boogie bravado. Wood 'n' Soo pull your trousers down for a savage bass spanking while Defunk's "Banjo Blues" finalises with a very clever nod to Blackstreet. ReSoul we salute you!
Review: As you might've guessed, Bluntskull ain't no Clinton, this guy inhales and doesn't care who knows it. He has a similar approach to his music and here he invites everybody all back to his for the "Bluntskull & Friends EP". We get four such friendly jams here (the first two are solo cuts), "Gun Gospel" being a killer hybrid of 4/4 breaks and reggae gangster vibes, whilst "Whine Ya Waist" is a hypnotic slice of 21st century digi-dancehall. Chris Crucial gives the former a '90s urban make over and El Bomba gives the latter a pumping party orientated twist.
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: 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.