Review: Nussic are developing a bit of a reputation for spewing out some of the most venomous beats in the business and their talent for pushing some of the best artists on the jump-up spectrum is undeniable. Motiv is holding up that standard with his debut EP on the label and he's doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this EP. 'Gallows' reels you in with a lovely intro, it's upbeat beginnings quickly regressing to a really sick wall of pure energy that's reminiscent of Kings of the Rollers and insanity more generally. The rest of the release is equally aggressive, 'Fakes' being another highlight. Sick release.
Review: Hailing from Coventry, DJ Hybrid has firmly established himself over the last couple of years as someone at the forefront of D&B's re-discovered love for jungle-influences and bouncy but hard-hitting basslines. Drawing upon those influences, he's back on Audio Addict for a full-throated six-tracker that kicks off with 'On A Riddim', a gently weighted sine-based wobbler that pushes on every corner of the range. 'Madman' and 'Funk Pulse' have clear Kings of the Rollers vibes, with juddering bass pulses and that recognizable sense of hardware-based rawness. This release has overtones of Manchester and undertones of the South - proper UK underground stuff.
Review: Rene La Vice and Future Cut is, to be honest, quite a strange combination both in terms of their musical history and their stylistic divergence. We couldn't be happier to see them together, though, especially considering how incredible this release is, a three-tracker which packs all the heaviness that Metalheadz has built its reputation upon. 'Nine Strings' lays a soaring vocal over the top of a gully, no-holds-barred junglist break-out, a vibrantly powerful set of elements all working together to create a jagged, punchy track of club-sized proportions. 'Eyes' is incredible as well, a roller with a rolling reece bass and an attitude to match, something carried over into the final tune 'Deenandbee'. Awesome stuff.
Review: Choose Conrad Subs. Choose Deep In The Jungle. Choose a lifetime of being happy-slapped by amens and tickled in the gut by long rumbling subs the size of elephants. Choose collaborations with DJ Hybrid like the swaggering "Rinse It". Choose absolutely slamming Urban Takeover-style 96 era jump-up "Rough Beats" and skank so hard you give yourself a hernia. Choose sexy vocals like the ones on "Through My Eyes". Choose the insanely brutal slammage of "Imperial Roots" and feel like you need to take a long hot shower afterwards and still feel like you're covered in engine oil. Choose this EP and double dropping every track tune fi tune. Choose bludclart jungle. It's the ravers choice...
Review: The bright-light, groovy aesthetic of BLK PRL is back at the start of this year, so get out your Red Stripes and don ya wavey garms because Channel 2 isn't messing around with this one. Four ragga-infused numbers are here for you, uplifting samples abound and suddenly it's not January - it's June, July and August and the sun is shining. This doesn't stop 'Wait' from coming out the blocks in a moody way, though, and neither does it stop 'Boneman Connection' from attempting to knock your hat off. Channel 2 always manage to pull out the stops in a way that makes you nervously smile - this one is no different.
Review: The bright-light, groovy aesthetic of Chopstick Dubplate is back at the start of this year, so get out your Red Stripes and don ya wavey garms because a whole load of artists aren't messing around with their remixes this one. A load of ragga-infused tunes are here for you, uplifting samples abound and suddenly it's not January - it's June, July and August and the sun is shining. This doesn't stop Aries & Jacky Murda's take on 'Soundboy Gone' from coming out the blocks in a moody way, though, and neither does it stop Mozey from attempting to knock your hat off. Chopstick Dubplate always manage to pull out the stops in a way that makes you nervously smile, this one is no different and there's other excellent tracks from Samurai Breaks ,Kleu and DJ Gaw.
Review: Monk Audio have a bit of a reputation for spewing out some of the most venomous beats in the business and their talent for pushing some of the best unknown artists on the jump-up spectrum is undeniable. Erritate is holding up that standard and he's doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this EP. 'Skillet' reels you in with a wicked, tech influenced intro, it's murky beginnings moving into a banging build up and then quickly regressing to a siren-like wail of pure energy that's reminiscent of Kings of the Rollers and insanity more generally. The B-side - 'Sauce Pot' - is just as good and rounds out the release in top fashion for this young, Kent based producer.
Review: DLR is taking a break from his recently exclusive dwelling at Sofa Sound to come up with this, the One More Record EP on C.I.A, a three-track jungle EP which sees the Bristolian step over onto the breaksy side of things for the first time in quite a while. Label bosses Total Science step in on the first track, 'Spluurge, which packs rave-piano influences and a tightly bound knot of central percussion that drives the whole thing forward. Title track 'One More Record' is another highlight, with a slightly stripped back approach that seeks to impress, not overwhelm, a tactic that works wonders here. Top release.
Review: Guzi is landing on Sub-Liminal Recordings once again this week with a sophisticated and incredibly fun release, one which, if you hear out live, is certain to get you moving. There's a carelessness and a freedom to these tracks and it creates a tangible sense of kinetic movement. The title track kicks things off in style and it's 'Area 51' that really takes the cake, a winding, subby track that flips between roughshod amen junglist work and a more rolling, stripped back tip, including powerful, punchy basses all the way. It's a wicked track and definitely the highlight of the release. 'I Can't' feat. Zoner is another absolute banger but one that's deep and wispy in all the right ways, as stuttering drum lines perforate over monochromatic bassline injections. Sick!
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.
Review: Oh gosh! Bladerunner touches down with an epic six-track collection on his own Hi Resolution. Running his gully gamut from emotional to electrical to energetical, everything you could possibly need from a Bladerunner EP is right here... The subtle euphoria and piano-touched emotion of "All My Love", the total skin melting sizzles and bassline burns of "Intensity" and the techno-like insistency and dynamism of "Breathe" are just three of many highlights here.
Review: Coming in hot off the back of some great releases is both Sota and label Pick N Mix, who have collaborated on the producer's 8Bit EP, a six-tracker that spans a variety of sounds, all of which are driving and filled with purpose. Title track '8Bit' is a jagged roller with a great flowing feel to the percussion and an arrangement chock a block with funk and soul, despite its constituent elements being far from soulful. That's the sign of a good heavy D&B track and both producer and artist have nailed it.
Review: R-Vee is landing on the Brazilian label DNBB Recordings for his first four-tracker in quite a long time, and you can tell him and the label are from Brazil thanks to the signature lacing of samba and funk influences throughout the whole release. Following in the footsteps of artists like Marky, DJ Patife and more, R-Vee rolls out a soul-sprinkled piece of music which flips wonderfully, time and time again. 'Let It Go' is out personal choice, with a stripped back junglist beat and funky licks floating in and out of the arrangement in satisfying style. Top stuff.
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: When he's not releasing clubbier house wares from the likes of Detroit Swindle, Waze & Odyssey or The Carter Brothers, the Australian-based Kevin Griffiths can be seen releasing what he calls Eclectic Musical Magic via his Isle Of Jura label. Following a stream of releases since 2016, first up for 2020 is a reggae disco cover of "Ain't Nobody" by Jamaican artist Yvonne Archer. Originally released in 1980 (40 years ago!) this release comes packed with a Lovers Rock leaning "Checking Out The Way I Feel" with a Jura Soundsystem edit and dub of the original - stripping back guitars for newer delay techniques, washier vocals and extra groove effects for the first of two licensed releases from John Rubie that will appear on Isle Of Jura this year.
Review: Liquid drum and bass here in all its bright colours with five tracks good enough for a DJ Marky compilation circa 1999. With stepping jungle influences and subby pulsations abound, they hit soft and subby or sweetly distorted, with vocals, detuned and spacious, colliding in an explosion of melody and unison in "Fools Wisdom", behind leading number "Closed Eye Visuals". Cherry blossoms bloom in "Sakura", while melody and amen breaks take up two different approaches to jungle in "M1" and "It's U", touching on subtle strands of cosmic, pop and R&B.
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.