Review: Holy moly! This is how you smash open a new decade; a 50 track album absolutely drenched in stinkage. Now a tradition for DJ Hybrid's label, this anthem collection is one of the biggest to date with names and vibes across the spectrum. Epicentre, Kumarachi, Conrad Subs, Stompz, Veak, RMS and many more all bring their fieriest artillery with highlights bursting from the seams. Every single track slaps the dance from the stripped back drumfunk and demented mentasms of Substrate's "Throwback" to the mystic sitar twangs and heavy bass bangs of Euphonique's "Moksha" via ruded up Dread bass badness of the bossman's own "Lost In The Jungle". And that's not even the tippiest tip of this anthemic jungle iceberg. Don't dilly dally.
Review: As always with Astrophonica, we are in for a treat with this one, as they get busy with a top quality compilation selection, unveiling twenty pulsating originals under the name '20'. Whilst examining the vibes on this one, we noticed that it really does cover all the basis when it comes to high tempo bass music, from the grizzly roller arrangements of 'Hull Breach' from Fracture & Neptune to the bouncy footwork flavours of Dawn Day Night's 'Voodoo Vibe'. There are most certainly some clear standouts, with Fracture, Rider Shafique & Sam Binga pulling together for a spicy original on 'Back It Up', alongside Sully's super colourful junglist roller 'Flock' and the eerie flute work of 'Flocon' from Moresounds. A very interesting listen!
Review: Bergsonist aka Selwa Abd follows 2017's From Dualism To Monism long player with this collection of left of centre tracks. Drawing on her Eastern roots, Middle resounds to organic drum sounds. At times chaotic and dense, audible on the title track's clattering arrangement, in other instances club-friendly and direct - just check "Gaza Border Violence" or the electronic groove of "Otology" - it marks her out as an artist with a unique approach. In case you are in any doubt about Bergsonist's capabilities, on "Magnesium" she deconstructs beat down house and adds extra, textured layers that are nothing short of hypnotic.
Review: Conspire has been popping up on labels both liquid and otherwise for quite some time now, and if you haven't checked out his back-catalogue we definitely recommend you take a dive one quiet evening. He's next up in the Soul Deep Artist Spotlight series and damn, what an instalment number five is as the man himself rolls out some soul across varying drum patterns and vibes. 'Jazz Fusion' takes the funkiness of Peshay or someone similar and chops it into bits, gullying things out whilst keeping the overall feeling upbeat and energetic. 'Alone With Nature' is also a highlight, another jungle number, this one packs melancholic piano chords and a stuttering drum break which flutters in tandem. Lovely.
Review: Jan Schulte aka Bufiman drops his debut album on Dekmantel, and it's a thing of cosmic beauty. There's the odd ball groove of "Galaxy", on "Sara Sara", he tackles electronic boogie with great flair and "Hoolock Rock" is a superb slice of spaced out disco. However, Schulte's project is not just concerned with revisiting existing styles, and he seems to be just as content when teasing out weird and wonderful new hybrids. These are articulated most impressively on the frazzled acid and steely drums of "Blow Your Mind", the dreamy down tempo drums and tropical sounds of "News From The Treetops" and the sludgy electro funk on "Langsam Aber Slowly".
Review: With the All Out label grooming Glasgow talent Casement for successive releases on labels like 1Forty, Deep Cover and a 2018 album for Wile Out, it's the Nice Up! label up next that delivers three dubby variations of urban and club sounds from the UK. Dubstep leads the charge in "Shards" with syncopated drums and stepped percussion submitting to stabs of huge reverberating bassline rave, with touches of baile funk nestled in behind cosmic melodies of synth in "Cables". "Night Garden" adds a solid trip of tropical weightless grime to the EP as well, and a nice left field alternative for the dancefloor or club.
Review: Emotional Rescue presents the music ensemble Man Jumping, with a reissue of their experimental, post-minimalist meets pop debut album Jumpcut, to be followed by 2 special remix EPs featuring Khidja, Bullion, Reckonrong and more. Formed in 1983 out of the disbanded The Lost Jockey (Les Disques Du Crepuscule), Man Jumping's aim was to move on from the unwieldy nature of that collective to combine the 'systems music' of Steve Reich, Terry Riley, LaMonte Young etc with rock, funk, dance and world music and create a new cross over. Consisting of studied musicians and created from theory as well as technique, the liberation from formal restrictions took shape over four years that spawned 2 albums and one 12". Released on Bill Nelson's 'Cocteau' label in 1985, Jumpcut's was critically praised but destined for more discerning ears. The 8 songs - including here a 12" mix of Aerotropics - developed from 16 stave manuscript into live recordings straight to tape, with no sequencing to keep their live feel intact. Carefully planned but made in the moment, members Charlie Seaward, Glyn Perrin, John Lunn, Orlando Gough and Shaung Tozer's legacy is demonstrably durable, a testament to their originality of thought to an idea of what might be rather than an imitation of what has been.
Review: London-based soul singer Izo Fitzroy released her debut album 'Skyline' on Jalapeno just over two years ago. Since then, we've had the Dimitri From Paris-produced 'I Want Magic' earlier this year, and now here comes 'Blind Faith', a track that'll appeal to fans of contemporary soul artists such as The Dap Kings, Smoove & Turrell or Stone Foundation. Supplied in simple Original and Radio Edit mixes and richly embellished with horns and strings, 'Blind Faith' features some truly sumptuous production, and while it may all be a little 'polite' for some, crossover success certainly can't be ruled out.
Cream Of The Crop (feat Natty Campbell) - (3:36) 68 BPM
Cream Of The Crop (feat Leroy Horns - Horns Cut) - (3:39) 68 BPM
Review: Fresh, original, reggae music. What more could we ask for eh? This time around we take a look at Dub, Sweat & Beers as they unveil this fantastic two tracker from Dub Cavern, kicking off with the sumptuous sub designs and rolling chord progressions of 'Cream Of The Crop', featuring the incredible vocal prowess of Natty Campbell. On the flip-side, Leroy Horns provides us with another heavenly version of the track, running riot on the expansive horn section in a classic dub mix style. Amazing work from all involved on this one.