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: 2019 is a year which has seen a major shift in the landscape of music, both in regards to the status of the genre worldwide, and the evolution of the sound itself. One of the leading projects in the more tearout corner of bassline is of course CruCast, a label that remain at the forefront of the sound, shutting down raves around the country every weekend. This latest helping from them comes in the form of a twenty track strong compilation project, featuring some absolute heat from the likes of Papps, Moda, Tengu, JGE, Jay Faded and more. There are a couple of clear standouts for us, with the super original bass rhythms of 'Don't Bother Act' from Tekraw and Dread MC being an immediate earworm, along with the super oldschool niche vibes of 'On My Mind' from Vamos.
Review: It has been quite a year for the Toolroom institution. Celebrating their 15th birthday last year, they weren't ones to rest on their laurels, instead going full steam ahead with a bunch of genre defining compilations this year. But most importantly they have been instrumental in the comeback of funky house after a 20 year dormancy, with killer releases by the likes of Weiss, Cashio and boss man Mark Knight himself. Add to that one banging party at Chicago Social Club for Amsterdam Dance Event and it's evident that these guys are proper 24 hour party people. With a glorious year sadly coming to an end, celebrate a wonderful one that was on Best Of Toolroom 2019 with highlights not limited to: the rework of the Cevin Fisher classic "Freaks Come Out" by Jack Back, Hannah Wants & Kevin Knapp's deep down and dirty "Call Me" (extended mix), UK heroes Alan Fitzpatrick & Wheats delivering the certified banger "M27" and New York legend Todd Terry teaming up with Tuff London on "Psychodrama" featuring Jasmien Nanhekhan. If that was not enough, ascendant producer Maxinne delivers two mixes compiling all the tracks: one smooth House mix followed by a thumping Tech House mix.
The Three Chimneys (feat The Black 80s) - (4:57) 80 BPM
Out Of The Pain - (3:37) 108 BPM
We All Try (feat Mike Leary) - (5:25) 126 BPM
Fear Is Gonna Be A Player In Your Life - (5:20) 129 BPM
1+1 (feat Thomas Gandey - album mix) - (3:50) 129 BPM
Wanna Do Right, Wanna Do Wrong - (6:48) 130 BPM
I May Be Dead, But One Day The World Will Be Beautiful Again - (3:20) 128 BPM
Waking Up From Anxious Dreams (Metamorphosis) - (4:08) 166 BPM
Dia Uno (The Beginning Of A New Era) - (3:08) 140 BPM
La Coherencia De No Ser Coherente - (3:47) 129 BPM
Happiness? Go Ahead - (2:07) 130 BPM
Volare - (6:12) 132 BPM
My First Pill (feat The Horrorist) - (6:08) 133 BPM
Unite (feat Gabriella Vergilov) - (7:02) 132 BPM
Insania - (2:54) 190 BPM
Review: While Suara is one of the most prolific techno labels out there, its owner, Coyu has taken a back seat recently with his own productions. This is changing with the release of his debut album, You Don't Know, which also coincides with him broadening out his sound. Tracks like "Out of the Pain" and the melancholic "1&1", featuring Thomas Gandey, sees him explore mournful, down tempo sounds, while on "Insania", the Suara boss veers into abstract mode, with rattling percussion. While there is no shortage of dance floor material - most notably the throbbing, acid-soaked "Volare" - the most impressive material tends towards the downtempo melodic vein, audible on his excellent broken beat collaboration with Moby, "'I May Be Dead, But One Day The World Will Be Beautiful Again".
Review: With too much good music to release in one collection, Toolroom present the second volume of its coveted Ibiza compilation. The list of artists included runs like a roll call of the most exciting producers in electronic music right now with highlights such as: ascendant Brit Weiss on the uplifting vocal house anthem "Let Me Love You", Bristolian bass house hero Will Clarke doing his thing on "Tricky", the ever impressive Eli Brown nailing that peak time vibe on "Always", Hannah Wants getting deep down and dirty on the Kevin Saunderson sampling "Love Somebody" and Toronto's finest DJ Sneak & Demuir doing their thing on "Good Ol' Days". Add to this three continued mixes that cover Poolside, Club and Afterclub, and you have a collection that encapsulates the electronic spirit of Ibiza like no other.
Review: With the sun finally making its presence felt in the UK, it seems a fitting time for Slightly Transformed to unleash this epic compilation of "Summer Numbers" - cheery, disco-fired chunks of positivity tailor made for al-fresco sets and celebratory shindigs. Featuring a mixture of tried-and-tested re-edits and sample-heavy original compositions, the 19-track set boasts a pleasingly high number of highlights. These include - but are no way limited to - the talkbox-sporting '80s disco/jazz-funk fusion of Shit Hot Soundsystem's "Be With You", the warm and woozy, synth-laden bliss of Chuggin Edits' "Floating", the slow and steady head-nod of Old Chaps wonderfully soulful "Flight With Love" and the fizzing disco rush of Limpdisco's "Gimme Mo". Get To Know's "Music" - a chunky revision of a jazz-funk era dancefloor destroyer by Dayton - is also excellent.
Review: Some years back, Laurent Garnier's F Communications label released a series of compilations under the title "Megasoft Office". These gathered together deep, groovy and downtempo cuts that made an excellent musical accompaniment to your working day. Irma's latest collection, "Work With Balearic Music", takes a similar approach. Wisely, the storied label group has dipped into their archive of original Balearic-era Italian productions, offering up dream house classics and rarities from the likes of Keys & Tronics Ensemble, Montego Bay, Belladonna, Don Carlos, Notenshun and Soft House Company. Throw in some jazzy downtempo grooves and a handful of recent productions and you have an expansive, on-point set rich in classic cuts.
Review: It's been a decade since producer Smoov and singer Turrell put together their live band. To celebrate the fact, the popular combo has put together this fine career retrospective. It's full to bursting with dancefloor hits plucked from their sizable catalogue, as well as fan favourites that inspire rapturous responses when performed live. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the high-octane thrills of "I'm A Man" and funk-rock fizz of "You Could've Been a Lady", to the Hammond-heavy stomp of "I Can't Give You Up" and the Motown style Northern Soul rush of "Lay It On Me". It's also nice to get another chance to wallow in the band's punchy, breakbeat-powered funk cover of Yazoo classic "Don't Go".
Review: Well, it look as if Bomb Strikes have caused a ruckus yet again here as they look set see out the year in style. This 6th edition of their now infamous 'Funk N' Beats' series sees them bring together a collection of twenty high powered insta-classics, all packed to the maximum with old school flavours, crunchy riffs and explosive grooves, perfect for chopping down any party. This project sees appearances from the likes of Smoove, Torpedo Boyz, Groove Armada, A.Skillz, Chrome, The Traffic and many many more, who all deliver the goods. This project also comes complete with a full continuous DJ Mix.
Soothsayers - "Watching The Stars" (feat Julia Biel - Lagartijeando remix) - (5:28) 86 BPM
Review: Wah Wah? Woah Woah more like... Scrimshire & Dom Servini's evergreen funk/soul imprint digs deep into its vaults and recruits a whole rollcall of talented names for this massive remix stack. Highlights include pretty much every version on here but if you're a person on the move and time, to you, is money then you might want to invest all your stocks and shares on The Reflex's percussion chugging piano slapping twist of Henri Pierre Noel's "Funky Spider Dance", Books slinky uptempo twist on Dele Sosimi's Afrofunk gem "I Don't Care" and Steve Cobby's warm-as-toast twist of Soothsayers' "Dis & Dat". And that's not even scratching the surface. Look at the names on here; this sums up all of Wah Wah's musical strengths to their max. Essential.