Review: Swiss mandem Qbig & Zenith B have undergone a total re-focus and re-branding to return as QZB. And this heavyweight, multi-flavoured beast is this is their crucial opening statement. Covering more ground than they have in the past, but all with a consistent signature that's both powerful and stark, across the EP we're treated to space-age minimal rollers ("WYGD" and "Valhalla"), ghetto-busting footwork funk ("Apollo"), gritty riff steppery ("Turning Point") and sublime soul-burning halftime ("Revenant") Make no mistakes: the Basel boys have just upped several gears... This should not be slept on.
Review: Flexout dig back through the annals and throw up a cool switcheroo; Swiss soundsmiths QZB take Vorso's breakthrough stab-fest "Needle" from last year and give it a skippy rolling double-time shake up that retains all the venom of the original version. Meanwhile man-of-the-moment Vorso gives QZB's icy 2016 grizzler and an absolutely savage halftime flip. Loaded with big synth flurries on the fills, there's a cool stench of 2010 to behold as the track develops. Massive.
Review: Time for a freshness flex: Shogun return to their new and rising talent series Point Of Origin and once again it's a big deal with 15 crucial cuts from 20 outstanding and future-shaping artists; from the already established and massively respected such as Serum, Paul T & Edward Oberon, who follow up last year's massive "Take My Breath Away" with the deep space slinker "Burning", and Paul SG with his decidedly wobbled-out drumstick snapping roller "Holy Moly" right the way through to exciting new energies in the dance like Phaction, with his ghostly-vocalled soul-out "Distant Lovers" and Neve & Crimson's beautifully blue-notated jazz drum dark-out "Solar Rain" and so many stunning cuts in between (Mitekiss, Gerra & Stone, Was A Be, Macca & Loz Contreras, the list goes on) this is Shogun at its most exciting and forward-thinking.
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.