Review: There's no stopping Manchester's Bou right now. If he's not slapping us silly on the likes of Critical, or whipping us with one-offs on Hospital he's, drenching us in thick gloopy gully on Serum and Benny V's Souped Up. Following the heat of his "Habibi" EP last year, "Scorpion" comes with the sting its name suggests. It's backed up by the devilishly cheeky Trigga-fronted "Veteran" before he links up with Serum for "Superstar", a warm bouncy riffy cut that's crying for an Inja-style MC topline. Finally we hit "Spook". Recently spotted in the sets of both Noisia and Skrillex, need we say more? All say 'woo' for Bou
Review: Badman Bou is in the house! Making his debut on Serum's impeccable label Souped Up label, it's nothing but four tracks of absolute sonic lava. "Mankind" is all drone and no moan as a metallic bass textures scrapes itself over some slinked-out rolling breaks, "Higher" sees him teaming up with Current Value (who he actually inspired to write a whole album without realising) for a technoid pumper with venomous springy stabs, "It's A Trap" is all about the rubber ball bass shots and flagrant cheekiness before "No Love" bids us adieu with another powerful tunnelling metallic bass drone. Lovely stuff.
Review: Man of the moment Bou is joined by Sub Killaz on Souped Up for a riotous single that lands squarely on the pulse of today's D&B landscape. Head nodding drums and glitched out samples bring you in for the title track 'Starbust' before the trademark Souped Up style punches you on the nose with a fluctuating bounce of bass stabs. "Pressure' adds some more powerful drums in what is jump-up revamped, its stabbing, pointed knuckles lumped into each other for a groovy run of low-frequency style that'll be instantly recognizable for fans of Serum. This release rides the genre's wave of popularity with an effortless style deserving of some of Manchester's hottest talents.
Review: Quick quick call a doctor, Bou's been so busy rinsing the year out with some of the finest stinkers and rollers he's gone and caught himself a cheeky flu. Hotter than a set of twin ladies, "Fever" licks and tickles with a warm purring harmonic bass texture that's not dissimilar to a young Clipz and some wafting jazz pianos. "Only One" continues the rolling funk feels with a tubular bassline, subtle jazz samples and even more space around the elements. Rinse and repeat for a clean bill of health.
Review: American bass label Digital Terror is back, after impressive releases by Pish Posh, Sub Killaz and Dutta. 2018 has proven to be a landmark year for the NYC/LA joint venture - pushing a slew of hard hitting tunes from the drum'n'bass landscape, while supporting both new and established artists alike. Always one to combine forces and create its own identity beyond the average, the collaborative projects in DTR's back catalogue sport some heavyweight combinations and the latest pairing of Eazy and Bou leaves no warning. From the wonky "The Shimada Clan" which is reminiscent of classic DJ Zinc, the gnarly techstep shenanigans of "Snakes & Blaggers" or "Karate" (Eazy Remix) featuring the most razor sharp sub-bass we've heard all year - all killer, no filler.
Review: Manchester is fizzing with new-gen bassmiths right about now, and Niterider is leading from the front. Joining him on his first Cre8 EP is fellow Manny mandem Bou who kicks off with the wild reggae fusion on "Tumble Weed", elsewhere we see the 'Rider get mean with a waspy Q&A on "Fame" then pure savage with the rattling techy jumpy hybrid "The Niterider". Finally we head south to Kettering for a grimey alien shockout with Meladee. Watch the ride.
Review: Clawhammer let rip into 2016 with a deadly dail-turning cranking collection. As always with Jamah and Carl-Lee's imprint, it's an uncompromised affair with focus squared strictly on the darker side... First up, Aweminus & Danger pay homage where it counts on "Get Ya Respect" while Indiekai's "Monsta Skank" jumps wildly on some fine-tuned two-steps and a slippery alien bassline. Bou's "Bounty Bar" is the quirkiest jam of the set with its old school pads, sirens, JB-style soul cry, warhead shakers and off-beat squelcher bassline while Nightfang lays down a "Work For Nothing" style halftime workout. Finally Dub General provides the roller of the set with a bullet-busting groaner. Shots fired!
Review: Launched at the end of 2015, Kent based Profound Beats is still very much in its infancy as an imprint, but this five track EP from Bou featuring his regular collaborator Dutta shows they're ready to play with the big kids. This EP is massive! 'Ganster Whistle' will have you pulling all types of bass faces while bussin' the one foot skank, trust us it's not optional the low end is just magnetic. 'Landscape' is one of those tracks that really stands out in a set, its distinguishing feature is it's high pitch, modern jump up melodic pattern, but the metalic, gritting grind between the bars brings something fresh. "New Beginnings' is our favourite track of the release, it's all about that pulsating low end. 'For The Moment' is stripped back dancefloor, cowbells, train horns and a dirty sub. 'Midnight' builds with a head bobbing, clapping and tapping drum pattern, but the glory of this track comes with melody, it's fun and party ready.
Review: Home is where the heat is: G13 rally up troops old and new for a straight up sesh of UK heaviness. Co-boss Rowney takes the lead with the savage "Still On It", setting the scene for the new breed to smash down. Bou, Leaf & Dutta go all jazzy and harmonic on "Waterfall", Niterider gets all low-swung and switchy with "Fire Emoji", Jammin brings the mystic pressure with "Marijuana", Salvage gets classic with the cymbal-crashing, bass-mashing grunter "Don't Stop" while newblood Tringy finishes on the spooked-out wobbler "Poltergeist". Stinking.
Review: Here's the 411... Say some gangster is dissing your taste in drum & bass, just give them one of these bangers. Yes, the ever-creative (and hugely prolific) Bou has shown us that drum & bass truly has Moe limits if you're coming from the right place. Other highlights across the epic six-track spread include the necksnap breaks and death frog bass texures on "Blame It", the percussive-focussed riff on "Time & Place" and the hornets' nest bassline that buzzes murderously on "Clash". Arguably one of Bou's best EPs to date.
Review: "Rejected" is a banging, nu-era d&b melter that's taken Audio Massacre onto the map for good. The tune has been swimming around our charts and, as expected, is now being mashed up by all of the label's top signings and new recruits! "Colluda" strips down the bass and fires off some sharp angles on his mix, Bou goes for the minimalistic digi-jungle flex, Nightfang spins the rhythm into a half-step lurker, Magness is all about the liquid vibes on his version, and Illament provides some much needed wobble to the equation. For fans of modern Playaz sounds, and the foundational work by DJ Hazard.
Review: Nottingham meets Manchester on this bouncy-bottomed banger doublet from Slipz and man-of-the-moment Bou. Fresh from the Souped Up school of thought, with heavy tendrils of early 2000s Zinc, it's all about the big rubber ball bass riffs Q-ing and A-ing with toxic infectiousness. "Everything Good" is real heads-down floor sweeper with minimal elements while "Can't See This" wobbles with a touch more skank factor. It's all good.
Review: We are huge fans of Kenji, he's been producing some real jump up bangers, which still have a sense of musicality to them, which we all know is not a common theme. There's so much to love about 'Get Down' the background high pitched buzz, similar to something 'Tyke' would pull out of his hat is set against a sub which sounds like it is floating and decorated with wizzes and pops, the track is pure twisted magic. 'Al Capone' comes to us courtesy of Kenji & Bou, with a similar floating vibe to the bass accompanied by clicky and bleeping beats, this is another one for the floor.
Review: Clawhammer return for more madness with Manchester lad Dutta and the hard to pin down Bou, two fresh faces added to their growing repertoire. Mixing funky little melodic samplings with the filthiest bass he can get his hands on, Dutta rakes up the filth in "Optical". On the flip, Bou takes a rap-fuelled rampage around tweaked bass and jump-up stepping sensibilities. Two massive crowd pleasers from two up and coming producers.
Review: If you only buy one drum and bass EP this week, it should 100% be this one. There is something for everyone, we tried to pick highlight but we just can't, each track is so different and so good it would be nigh on impossible to come up with a fair comparison. 'Back 2 Basics' is like nothing we've ever heard the little piano section is amazing and completely juxtaposed to the rest of the dancefloor track. While 'Freeze' is a creepy techy roller with sharp highs and waves off metallic sounding subs. 'Not Going Down' is just, for want of a better word, an absolute banger. The vocal paired with the almost vertical drop is breathtakingly good.
Review: Bou-Tanging, banger-flinging, vibe-smashing upstart Bou has amassed a serious body of work over the last two years. Now making his Wobble Infection debut with another comprehensive, widescreen EP, it showcases even more vibes and styles than he's previously shown. "Donut" and is a fine example - silky and restrained, it's a deeper side to the gully professor you might expect. Elsewhere we get perfect soul/savage counterpoint on "Purple" while "Pot Of Gold" is an exercise in bass designs and "Last Chance" lulls gently before a sneering but carefully tamed bass drone sweeps your feet. "Depth" brings us to a fitting end as Endo writes D&B the love letter we've all wanted to write but could never find the right words.
Review: Funky jump-up is the order of the day as Bou and Dispoze collide for the first time on Smoke Signal Audio. Sparking up with a light bossa-style synth pattern and sparse string twangs, we're then blasted off a devilishly cheeky bassline that's straight from the Kartoons playbook. Simple but deadly and fractured by rattling drum fills, this will work in pretty much every double drop scenario imaginable.
Review: Liondub are celebrating a decade of existence and they're doing a three-part compilation series covering the past, present and future of the label. By definition, then, these series' feature plenty of talent from all across the spectrum and time period of the genre. One of our favourite of the 26 cuts is Bou's VIP of Keep Away, a deliciously double-bass infused number that is both funky and heavy, the ideal combination, and he's flipped up the arrangement here with some precisely placed note changes. There are also features from Vital, Euphonique, Dutta, Marcus Visionary and more, with the overall vibe being one of toughness and power. Top stuff.
Review: Lion Dub have reached a decade of activity. A decade! To put it in perspective, if someone was born the year Liondub started, they're about to enter high school/secondary school. It's a crazy achievement and one matched by the craziness of the music they have on offer to celebrate, a four-part journey through their past, present and future. This instalment is all about their past and it's exemplified best by Serum's VIP of Sound The Alarm, a Liondub classic, which Serum has flipped into a characteristically badboy, stabbing little roller. The vocals float above in a haze of reggae smoke, whilst the beat pulsates below. Awesome stuff.
Review: It's that time of year again! The scene's longest-standing platform Drum&BassArena step up with their annual flagship album and once again it's a fitting salute to all corners, all shades and all styles of the rich, wide scene. 60 tracks deep comprising absolute bangers and bliss-outs from the likes of Chase & Status, Noisia & Phace, K-Motionz, Rockwell, DJ Hybrid, GLXY and Seba, it's also home to exclusives from Kyrist, Brookes Brothers, Bou & Simula, Kanina, Kove and A.M.C & Turno. From jungle to jump-up, liquid to dancefloor and complete with three killer mixes for life when you're not practicing your double/triple/quadruple drops, Drum&BassArena continue to celebrate the widest possible scene.
Review: Hospital Records do compilations better than most, partly because there's always something for them to celebrate. This time around it's the second year of Hospitality in the Beach, their new 4 day exercise in beach-based beats, featuring some of the best artists in the game. A huge album, the LP has 33 tracks - 25 of which are brand spanking new. Whiney's remix of Etherwood's 'Begin By Letting Go' is a highlight, the original's smoothness roughly transformed into a pummelling display of techy force. With Bou, Kasra, BOP and others making an appearance, this LP has all bases covered.
Review: Three words: "Police In Helicopter"... One of the biggest dubplates last year is finally here, and it's joined by 24 other exceptional bangers as the Hozzy team roll out another absurd stack of "Sick" freshness from across the board. Genuinely on point tune for tune highlights include Pete Cannon's outstanding drumfunk lash out "Ella", Flava D's first D&B tune (the breath taking "Return To Me"), a bone shaking duet from the next gen gems Unglued and Bou ("Ascendant Man"), both Fred V & Grafix's first solo tunes since they split and an absolute neck breaking gully snapper from Lakeway in the form of "War Dub". And that's just scratching the surface, this is a humungous V/A album. Hot enough to burn down a cane field or two...
Review: 2018 is the second year in a row that Critical Music dropped a surprise release for us on Christmas Day, 2017 seeing the Modified Sonics album full of VIPs and exclusive remixes. New Energy Vol.1, however, is a totally different deal and that's because it's 18 brand new, exclusive tunes from those deep inside the Critical camp and those just entering it. The whole roster is represented: Kasra, Enei, Mefjus, Emperor, Foreign Concept, The Upbeats - and so on. But, excitingly, there's new talent in the form of Bou, Synth Ethics, Simula, Kanine and more. Mefjus' remix of 'Projections' arguably takes the cake as the best tune on here - absolute murderation. This is Critical's statement of intent for 2019.
Sub Killaz X Bou X Dutta - "Jitterbug" - (4:49) 175 BPM
Review: Digital Terror galvanise their vaults with this absolute stormer of a collection. Bulging with some of the biggest names flexing in the fertile badlands between jump up / rollers, the whole album smacks of premium, uncut timeless D&B from the likes of Hoogs, Bou, Dutta, T>I, Taxman, Macky Gee, Rawtee and many many more. If you've been following Digital Terror you'll already know that every track is a highlight but stand out thumpers include the sinewy metallic ripples on Danger & Nightfang's "Turbulence", the blistered breaks and flabby bass wallops on Dutta & Raz's "Spectacular" and T>I's super slimy shakedown of Hoogs' "Jungle Bad". Stinking!
Review: What a label Diamond Audio is shaping up to be. Four releases deep and they're already two albums and two massive EPs deep. Just look at the tracklist and you know we're right on the forefront of nex-gen drum & bass. Bou, T>I, Klay, Aweminus, Rawtee, Version... The list of hotly tipped future headliners here is impressive. Highlights include T>I's sweary stepper "Pull Up", Klay's radio-melting trip-out "Clap Back", Aweminus's gamey retro pacer "It's Ok", Rawtee's hornets nest bass and barbed soul on "Searchin'" and Version's cascading kicks and harrowed bass on "Facades". 10 diamonds in the rough... These will last forever.
Review: It's about time drum & bass made a statement about dangers of drugs, and who'd have thought it would be a pair of killers to do it' "Dealerz" gets high on its own supply with uncut grit and danger while "Jitterbug" warns of the tragic after effects of narcotics as you won't stop shifting and skanking for weeks. Elsewhere they foretell the dangers of the herb with the menacing, staccato bassline bruising "Ganja Man", the perilous problems with euphoria and goosebumps on "Feeling You" and send us off to rehab with the savage organ-squeezing, robot pleasing twisted laser bass crescendo "Through The Clouds" Just say yes mate.
Review: Bou & Dutta's Diamond Audio cuts through the noise with laser like charm on their latest V/A collection. A signature since the label's launch last year, this is their most supersized batch to date as it includes more fresh names and a full spectrum of underground styles; the footwork pace of Aesthetics opener "Questions", Bou's barking groaner "Frequencies", Jeopardize's matchless trippy funk stepper "Contemporary", Leaf's wonky woodblock knocks and freaky funk on "Watch It" and MelloDrama's hospitalizing space stepper "Thrill" are just some of the many album highlights. Shiny shiny.