Review: T>I is the man behind many a gully, angry roller with a giant, attitude filled bassline. He has a certain quality to his music which I don't think many can pull off, that truly angry, aggressive pulsation to the edges of his low frequencies. He's back on Grid Recordings, a label whose sound is well suited for T>I, with this heavy hitting single. The title track has a unique structure and well-rounded percussion which sits below the main affairs, a gargantuan, pummelling main bass patch which warps in and out of the arrangement perfectly. The VIP of 'Turn The Page' is a chopping, stabby little thing that also rolls out in tidy fashion, each hit of the main bass line sounding exquisite in its punchiness.
Review: Currently ramping up the vibes on his Informal imprint, Dutta takes time to serve up a slice of cake or four on Digital Terror and it's a bass banquet that's every bit as scrumptious as you'd expect from a man who officially wants to marry BBQ pizza bases. Expect ruffage of every flavour: the spicy ("The Pain" with Sl8r), the glutinous ("Painkillers"), the meaty ("LA Kush Cake") and the sweet ("1608") All best served with some type of fizzy beverage, Dutta's cooking up bare feasts right about now.
Review: Jungle don Benny Page returns to last year's P.U.R.P.L.E album and shares out the parts to some of the many stand-out tracks for some timely remix justice. First up Kursiva plugs "Power" up to the mains and flips it into a high voltage tech-edge shock-out. Zero G follows with his switch-up on "Bless". One of the album's lower tempo dub joints, he supercharges it with skippy breaks, warm skanks and great use of both Sweetie and Eva's vocals. Finally the fast-rising Kleu takes "Should A Know" into brazen new pastures of badness with his absolute shredder of a remix. Boys and girls better know. Dutty!
Review: This excellent collection from Z Records draws together some of boss man Joey Negro's favourite label cuts of 2019, many of which he of course had a hand in either producing or remixing. There are naturally tons of superb multi-track remixes of disco gems old and new (see the versions of the O'Jays, Delia Renee, Tamiko Jones and Double Exposure), as well as fresh revisions of vintage Joey Negro house productions under other aliases (Doug Willis, Z Factor, Foreal People) and a swathe of killer cuts that join the dots between disco and house (Sunkids and Chance, Four80 East and CeCe Peniston, Bobby D'Ambrosia and Michelle Weeks). Throw in tracks and remixes from the likes of Fouk, Crackazat and Lay-Far and you have a superb collection of peak-time-ready workouts.
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: Biological Beats 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 artists on the jump-up spectrum is undeniable. Filthy Habits & Jeopardize are holding up that standard and they're doing it in style, something clear right from the start of this EP. 'Jiggy Jiggy reels you in with a lovely intro, its beginnings quickly regressing to a siren-like collection of stabs which exude pure energy in a way that's reminiscent of Kings of the Rollers and insanity more generally. The rest of the release is equally aggressive, 'The Venom' being another highlight with its gargled expressions of bouncing force. Sick release.
Review: Marc Hype, boss of German 7-inch label Dusty Donuts, mixes up this seventh volume in Bomb Strikes' 'Funk N' Beats' series. It's an eclectic, funked-up selection that ranges freely through hip-hop from The Nextmen and Red Astaire, 'new old' funk and soul from Speedometer, Soopasoul and the Hot 8 Brass Band, nu-jazz from Nicole Willis and Jazzanova and more besides. Highlights include The Traffic's funked-up cover of Daft Punk's 'Harder Better Faster Stronger', Speedometer's cover of The Chi-lites' 'Are You My Woman?' (AKA 'Crazy In Love'), and Hype's own take on electro classic 'Al Faafyish (The Soul)'.
Review: We were rather astonished to discover that "24/7 Love Affair" is Michael Baumann's first album as Soulphiction for 11 years. We were a little less surprised to find that it's superb. In fact, we'd go as far as to say that it could be considered a "best practice" example of the kind of loose, sample-heavy, soul-fired deep house that is all the rage right now. Yet the album's epic length - it comprises no less than 17 tracks - also allows Baumann to mix it up a little too, with a swathe of ocean-deep club jams being joined by search diversions as the morning-fresh broken beat loveliness of "Jus Listen", the stomping disco-funk of "The Mood", the bustling breakbeats of "A Freak" and the blazed instrumental hip-hop of "Good Night Ema".
Review: Hexa is landing on the always consistent Pick N Mix with a full-length LP for your ears. 10 tracks long, Point of Contact blends more rolling and melodic sounds with the groaning, jump-up influenced bits that we know well from both him and the label. 'Magento' features the always good Sydney and it packs fantastic drum work, with snapping snares interlocked with shakers and big kicks to propel the vocals and bass onwards. 'The Korubo Tribe' is more massive and made for the dancefloor and it's in this area that the LP excels, especially alongside tunes like 'Cosmos' and 'Point of Contact'. Wicked.
Review: Low Down Deep has become one of the premier destinations for UK jump-up, playing host to every big name in the scene over the years. Now a proper flag-holder for the resurgent jump-up movement, Low Down Deep are back and they're repping Ego Trippin, a duo who have been round the block and then some. They're coming out with their second full-length LP, a rare thing these days, and track one 'Bad Girls' is playful yet devastating, with an upbeat and funky arrangement that lands hard - very hard. 'Baby Blues' is less subtle, with pitched up synths that pummel the top end of the range and a snapping drum line that nails the bottom end. Yes guys!
Review: Coming in hot on DLR's Sofa Sound, the duo of the moment that is Ill Truth, fresh off the back of their Flexout EP, are landing with a proper stomper. Combining the Sofa Sound mantra of hard hitting, funky beats with their own tendency for low-frequency oscillation, Jay & Haden have smashed this one out the part. The title track features DLR & Gusto and is excellent, but it's on track three 'The Syndicate' that the release hits its peak, as riotous percussion murders its way through bars of pure energy to hit its optimum conclusion. No doubt this one will be getting played a lot across the airwaves.
Review: LSB and DRS: combos don't come any stronger than this! We already know this from incredible tracks like "The View" and "New Day" but The Blue Hour is a whole other level of their soulful prowess. Jazzy, smoky, thoughtful and blues to its very core, there's a musicality and spirit to this album that transcends any genre thanks to both Del's disarming lyrics and barbed charm and Luke's natural soulmanship and sense of groove. From the smoke-stacked horn-based dream "Umbrellas" to stunning cosmic risers like "Keep The Time" and "Could Be" and to every other planet that orbits in between, this is one of the best albums in the D&B sphere this year. We will look back on this as a timeless classic. Essential.
DJ Monk - "I Spy (Eye Nu See)" (Conrad Subs remix) - (5:09) 175 BPM
Java - "Retreat" - (4:33) 175 BPM
Opius - "Naughty Call" - (5:51) 175 BPM
Pablo G - "Ya Dun Know" - (4:50) 175 BPM
DJ QT - "Guitar Lick" (remix) - (4:59) 175 BPM
Midway - "Kill A Bwoy" - (5:25) 172 BPM
Tribe Steppaz & Dagga - "Down" - (6:26) 58 BPM
DJ Monk & Tico - "Good Body Girl" (Stevie Sp 2019 Relick) - (5:37) 175 BPM
Review: KLP Records are turning 25, a crazy achievement that puts them right up there with Metalheadz et al, and so they're celebrating with a big compilation of tunes. Nicky Blackmarket, Klips & Outlaw kick things off on remix duties for DJ Monk's Touch Me, Tease Me. It's a classic combination of artists and the end result is equally timeless, with a sense of vocal softness descending into hard percussive knocks and grating jump-up synth work. It sets the tone for the rest of the album, which features contributions from Dublic, DJ QT, DJ Vapour and a load more. Unbelievable.
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: Liondub International's 10 year celebrations continue with a sense-shocking body slam into the future of the label and its ever-growing family of talented artists. Hitting hard like the label's ever-on-point Street Series, the rollcall reads like a who's who in gully talent: Dutta, Bou, Jayline, Vital, BlckHry and loads more. Whether you want to be completely twisted and spat back out by a brass section (Pharoah's "Fire In The Hole") you'd prefer to be hoovered by a jet engine then shot up into the stars (Jayline's "1408") or you're more into the idea of being rattled around in a big tin bassline can (Danny The WildChild's "Body Moves") this future shock has every physical experience contemporary (but heavily rooted) drum & bass can offer. And there's even more to come. Big up Liondub!
Review: Someone call the fire brigade please, Bryan Gee's V camp is literally on fire right now. If it's not the massive tracks coming from the now 26 year old V flagship imprint, it's this stunning collection of remixes from the collective's soulful arm of operations Liquid V. Digging deep into the vaults, there's some immaculate refixes on display... L-Side's midas touch continues to sparkle with his rumbling switch-up of "Try To Understand", Need For Mirrors' own wobbly-bottomed relick of "Son Of Sorrow" does absolute damage and the VIP of Cater & Paul SG's "Jazz Cigarette" will blast your wig off with its crisp horns and cosmic vibraphone flurries. And that's just the tip of liquid iceberg. Get in shape yo!
Review: German percussionist Kolja Gerstenberg makes no attempt to hide his love for the drums on this razor sharp drop for Lumberjacks In Hell, building on his previous outings on Suol and Smile For A While. The drums are sizzling hot on "Feel Yo", tastefully overdriven and embellished with some MPC-style sample juggling that should satisfy those who like their house tracks hot as Dante's inferno. "Where They're From" is no slouch either, keeping the pressure up with a liberal dose of soul poured in for good measure. The keys and live bass on "Want You" add to the feverish mood, and then "Get Over" sends things spiraling out on a Latin-spiced cosmic journey.
Review: The biggest moves in Newcastle and the north east of the UK since Gazza cried in some football match (and the world cried with him) are happening right now. A storming wealth of D&B talent is all blazing through right now and Stompz is right up there at the front. This debut on Serum and Benny V's Souped Up is a great example of his dexterity and utter gulliness. Five tracks of twisted, bassy weirdness and dark toxic funk, highlights include the insane melted bass weirdness of "Derringer" and the farty trippiness and sudden BCUK-style fills of "Borehole" but to be honest the entire EP is killer. Do the world a favour and slap anyone who says foghorns are dead, then play them this. Big up Stompz.
Review: Shady scalpel field Lolita clearly has a vast archive of edits just waiting to be unleashed, as this bumper collection of tried-and-tested reworks follows hot on the heels from several other seemingly expansive volumes. So what you we expect this time round? It begins with a warm, drowsy and sun-kissed slab of soft focus soul ("051") and ends with a decidedly Balearic shuffler full of glistening, delay-laden guitars ("060"); in between, you'll find a mix of re-tooled classics (the piano-heavy disco stomp of "059", the slap-bass propelled brilliance of peak-time workout "056" and the party-starting goodness of "055") and rearranged obscurities (the Italo-disco/new wave throb of "057" and the deep disco bliss of "053"). From start to finish, it's an excellent collection of tasty, floor-focused revisions.
Review: Brothers in bass and real life, Phibes follow up releases on Bomb Strikes, Jungle Cakes and their own self-titled label with this massive LP follow up to their debut album Change Of Late last year. 12 tracks in total, the collection delves deep into every corner of their sound, providing certified scuds for any hour of the dance you're asked to play. From the crafty balance of euphoric light and dank dark bass on "Let Me Go" to the out-and-out stinkage of the savage dancefloor-focused "I Don't Give A F**k", this is the sound of two artists who are fully off the leash and writing what the heck they like. Other massive highlights include the rudeboy riddim "Dub Service", the toxic bass and mid 2000s Playaz vibes of "Amadeus" and the gritty groans of "Bombz". Fire in the hole!
Review: Melinki has been dishing out the goods on labels like Fokuz for a few years now, as well as running his own 'Four Corners' imprint, but he hasn't done many projects like this. The S.T.L project is a full, album length collection of collaborations with producers all over the scene. T>I is on remix duties for previous Melinki banger Dancehall Sound, flipping it into a spaciously destructive bit of work, whilst HLZ is present on the sub-heavy and drum-excellent 'Nemea'. Softer notes abound on 'It's Over' featuring Macca & Maverick Soul, a soft and deftly rolling vocal slice of liquid action, a trend repeated on 'What's Real' with Low:r. This is an expression of scene strength and an excellent one at that.
Ironlung - "The Void" (Nu Elementz remix) - (4:23) 175 BPM
Review: The next instalment in the Iron Fist Audio remix series is here and it's four weighty cuts in the style the label has become well known for, with Nu Elementz, Jaydan, Ironlung and Total Recall coming through in style on this one. We especially love the Total Recall remix of Tsuki's 'Deranged', which packs a sweet flowing drum line (mate that snare though...), an addition that carries the whole tune forward and is complimented by a diving, swelling back end that takes no prisoners whatsoever. Jump up big gun Jaydan also performs well here, with a spinning take on synthetic force that inches and stabs its way into your ears. Proper moody this.
Review: Conrad Subs is a regular on this website because he releases such a wide range of music, so consistently and on such a diverse array of labels. This time he's back on Original Key, a German imprint, with a five-tracker that spans the spectrum from rolling techiness to reggae-infused, hip-hop jungle. It's title track 'Babylonians' that really caught our attention and Conrad Subs has previous in long, loping dub introductions that then flip into jungle pressure ('Leave Dem' - look it up). This time around there is less reece bass but even more percussive heat, as a flurry of stuttering breaks intertwine with your own expectations to form a shuddering bed of deeply urban sounds. Lovely.
Review: Like its predecessors, Re-Loved's fifth "All Stars" EP is packed to the rafters with peak-time ready fare provided by some of the re-edit scene's most reliable producers. Leading the charge is Discoweey chiefs Hotmood, whose EP opener "We Got It" is an infectious chunk of orchestrated disco whose wild synth solos and rolling groove make it a tried and tested treat. Elsewhere, C Da Afro's "With You" is a loopy, nu-disco tinged disco-house bumper, Da Lukas's slap bass propelled "Be Freak" sounds a little like one of Todd Terje's classic dub disco reworks, and Di Saronno's "Mademoiselle" is a French Touch style re-edit full of rich horn lines, dewy-eyed female vocals and energy creating filter sweeps.
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.
Review: Launched earlier this year, Murkt is Villem's dirty little bit on the side. While he's best famed for the more soulful styles with McLeod and keeping us on our toes with BCee as one half of the full-genre flexing The Vanguard Project, Murkt is where he unleashes his darker side jams. And boy they've been corkers so far. This 002 release is no exception: Teaming up with Creative Source OG Addiction, "Tunnel Vision" is all snake-like in its sinister edge, "Stream Of Consciousness" plays a mean game of contrasts with cosmic light and proper gully dark intertwining liberally throughout, "Break Neck" brings McLeod into the mucky Murkt mire with a savage sizzling roll-up while "Palpitate" closes on a thundering halftime flex. Time to get murky... Again!
Review: Following releases on the likes of Formation, Innovate, Audio Addict and appearances on previous Deep In The Jungle albums, Sikka makes his full EP debut on DJ Hybrid's label with this epic six-track EP. Opening with the rush-caked hurricane "Fire Man Dem" (with DJ Hybrid) the EP rolls out into all of the darkest corners of modern drum & bass jungle with highlights including curmudgeonly bass groans of "Nothing But...", the evocative string sample and pure murderation drop of "Trueschool Lion" and the grand finale "The Hologram". Another clash-primed damager with bossman Alex Hybrid, it's an incredible burn-up that highlights Sikka as someone who will make major waves in 2020. Follow him.
Review: Nick The Lot and Warhead are back, back again and it's once again on Grid Recordings, the label which ceases to pump out music which pummels you, pleases and you and punishes you in equal measure. This time around the pair are working on a joint single and it's a percy, with two slices of trademark damage that tread a wicked line between over-the-top jump-up and moody rollers. 'Shoplifters' is the best example of that, as the drums roll out into oblivion and a gargling expression of bass energy lights up the top end of the range in stabby, serious fashion. Energy, energy.
Review: Russian donny deepsmiths Bop and Subwave team up for the first post-Med School (RIP) signing to Hospital and it's a bit of a special one. A full showcase of styles, it gives us much more than you'd ever expect from either individual. "Teardrops" is a glistening oceanic steppy, all spiralling, cosmic and sensual in all the right places, "Space Warp" is the dancefloor bomb of the package with its swooping droning bassline, "Don't Wake Me Up" takes us into shoegazing, head-tickling indie dance territory while "The Touch" closes on a sexy UKG tip that none us would expect from the duo. What an impressive debut collaborative EP statement, we can't wait to hear what's next.
Review: It's been 15 years since Shogun Audio burst into life on the South Coast and under the watchful eye of Ed Keeley AKA Friction, as well as K-Tee, it's grown and grown into one of the best labels in the business, without a doubt. From the classics like Perez's seminal 1984, to more recent, futuristic numbers from the likes of Koherent and Document One, the label is truly diverse and that's represented extremely well in this 15 Years Of compilation. Featuring a litany of acts both old and new, including Technimatic, Pola & Bryson and Friction, this one is for the proper fans. Document One's 'Vibration' is a favourite of ours, with a stupidly cool, distorted bassline that packs a tasty hardware edge, undergirded by a click-and-snap drum line. Pure quality right here.
Crossing The Line (feat Killa's Army) - (4:36) 142 BPM
Send Out - (4:33) 142 BPM
Crossing The Line (feat Killa's Army - radio edit) - (3:42) 142 BPM
Review: Wait wait wait, Pinch, Kahn, Tectonic AND Killa's Army? Just take my money. This is a fantastic link up from start to finish as two Bristol legends combine in style across two powerful originals. We firstly check out the deep, rolling sub tones and high energy vocal displays of Killa's Army on the hard hitting 'Crossing The Line'. You can hear this in a Kahn set of any kind, any day of the week. Things get even darker on the flip however as 'Send Out' lands with more gnarly sub tones, creating a seriously spooked out atmosphere through its use of space and choppy drum movements.
Review: Now many have guessed that this one has been in the works for a while, but that makes us no less excited to unveil this tasty new album projct from J:Kenzo, who returns to his home imprint of Artikal Music for 'Taygeta Code'. From start to finish, the album is a true exploration into electronic music, primarily of course focussed around 140BPM. It's got bass pressure on 'Desired State', it's got acidic originality on 'Hoodwinked', it's even got a weighty guest vocal from the legendary Flowdan who returns on Kenzo's Darkside VIP mix of 'Like A Hawk'. This is an excellent showcasing of J:Kenzo's ability within a crowded dubstep scene.
Review: It's been a superb year for Crucial Recordings, who continue to push fresh and original dubstep music, almost weekly at this point. They here invite Sleeper to do what he does best across four hard hitting steppers stompers, with the creepy textures and wibbling bass tones of 'Shudda' landing first. The distorted delights and dubwise drum devices of the title track 'Militant Focus' follows in style, before the shimmering LFO's and heavily reverberated rhythms of 'Franklyn' join the party. We found off 'Fish Tea', a more subtle roller, tying this one up nicely.
Review: Almost three years have passed since Philadelphia duo Superprince debuted on Razor 'N' Tape with a vinyl-only EP of rather good re-edits. Here that four-tracker finally makes it to digital download. It's worth picking up, if only for the flute-laden, horn-heavy bounciness of down-low disco-funk rework "Strong Feeling" (a fine revision of Morning, Noon & Night's "Feelin' Strong"). The highlights down end there, either, with "Down On Bitter End" providing a chunky, peak-time-ready revision of a Vicki Sue Robinson disco anthem, "Start Again" offering a breezy new spin on a lesser celebrated One Way cut and "Up Up To The Sky" turning Silver Convention's "Fly Robin Fly" into a hypnotic chunk of mid-tempo disco hedonism.
Review: 2019 has been another exceptional year for drum & bass albums and Dossa & Locuzzed's three-years-in-the-making debut is a great example of this. One of Viper's most diverse and full spectrum spanning acts right now, their style and skills are showcased in glorious technicolour over 14 tracks. From the silky synths and soulful vocals of the opener "Blinded" to the immense warmth and funk of the closing finale "Sandbox", the album leaves no sonic stone unturned as the Austrian duo really dig deep into their sound and influences. Highlights include the already massive bassline thumper "Get Nasty", the big disco walloper "Tha Bird" (with the one and only DK Marky) and the wriggling futuristic groove workout "Brainfunk"... And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Don't sleep on this, it's the sound of Dossa & Locuzzed maturing from bangersmiths to full album artists, and they're doing it in style!
Review: There's something impressively "matter of fact" about Audaz's "Lolita" series, which offers up numbered, untitled re-edits with no information about their origin or the producer behind them (it's most likely label boss Alkalino, but that's not been confirmed). This fifth selection brings offers up another 10 slabs of dancefloor heat that ranges from sneaky revisions of well-known party anthems (see Prince re-rub "042" and the vaguely familiar 80s soul goodness of the D-Train style synth warmth that is "043"), to strong rearrangements of lesser known boogie, Italo-disco and AOR disco workouts. Highlights include the breezy disco-funk of "044", the end-of-night haziness of "046" and the snaking sax lines and Latin rhythms of "047".
Review: Just when you thought Kove couldn't get any more uncompromising than his summer stinker "Motor", Kove lets rip with an absolute stone cold scorcher to end his busiest and most musically heaviest year since he emerged in 2012. Taking a classic rave vocal and thrusting it into the future with a ravaging tear-up bassline and heavy dancefloor overdrive, Kove reminds us once again why the longstanding genre ambassador Drum&BassArena have championed him so much in the last two years. Moving stuff.
Critical Event, Askel & Monika - "U & Me" (Scott Allen remix) - (5:55) 176 BPM
Matt View, Marvel Cinema & Dan Guidance - "Innuendo" - (5:13) 175 BPM
Review: Fokuz release some of the best compilations around, partly because they have a large contingent of affiliated artists to draw upon but mostly just because the curation team over there is top-notch. This time, it's the fourth instalment in their excellent Collaborations series, a series in which Fokuz artists team up with one another on collaborative efforts (duh). Simplification and Electrosoul System are back together on Multi Funk, with a great, old-school and funky drum line and bouncy, soulful bass nodes which warp and wobble through a really cool arrangement. Askel & Becca Jane Grey feature on the delectable VIP of Goodbye, whilst Fokux regulars Scott Allen, Monika & Askel roll things out alongside Critical Event on U & Me. Top stuff.
Dalek One - "What Are You Saying" - (3:46) 140 BPM
Review: As ever with the Duploc team, they have assembled an EP of pure quality as they invite a cohort of their finest into the fray for the second chapter of 'Duploc Selects'. From the off highlights include the regal horn tones and catchy melodies of 'Cumulus' from Cartridge, before the gnarly bass tones and crispy drum slaps of 'What Are You Saying' land, courtesy of Dalek One. Drumterror also combines sharp drums and chiming patterns in 'Mineral' before Feonix fuses experimental drum arrangements and super-deep sub pressure on 'Lost & Direct', with the glitchy plucks and wavy leads of Ghostek's 'Seek War' putting the icing on the cake. A very strong selection indeed.
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: Second albums are meant to be difficult but you tell that to Survival and Script and they'll laugh in your prudy little face: Scar's follow up to The Orkyd Project is another remarkable body of work. The first of a three album deal the London duo have with Metalheadz (the first ever deal the label have ever offered any artist) High Fives & Devil Eyes is a powerful jolt of timeless D&B that dig deep into every corner of the genre. From the alluring intro of "Circle Of Trust" to the deep, introspection of the finale "Eternal" via the wonky-assed "Pauline", the scuzzy gritty bass of "First Sound" and trippy funk of the album title track, the only difficult thing about this second album is working out which tune you want to play in your sets first. High fives all round!
Review: From Cologne with badness, man-of-the-moment Submarine comes correct on label-of-the-moment 1985 with his best release to date. Four tracks deep, each one reflecting just how exciting drum & bass is right now. "Fate" takes the lead with its crunchy groove and gruff 40-a-day bass grunts, "No Sleep" is a barbed drifter with an air so solemn it'll have you wearing black for the rest of your living days and "Return Of Enel" gets all snake-like in the bass department while the drum sounds flicker and morph on every 32. Finally "Pastell" closes with its purring subs and glacial pads. Coming on strong like a homage to the sound and attitude of Perez's label, it leaves you hungry for more...
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.
Dub Sense - "Hood Flow" (feat MC Mel) - (5:23) 175 BPM
Krom & System - "Crackpot" - (4:28) 175 BPM
Review: Logikz Audio are building up a name for themselves as a label who never fail to bring out the big guns with their music. It's always heavy, hard-hitting and built on soundscapes and vibes which are deeply urban. The first track on this VP is no different and it kicks off with 'How We Do', a punchy roller with a bassline that stretches out over the horizon, the only constant being its grinding, coarse nature and the manner in which it constantly mutates and evolves. 'Twisted' is equally as rough but less rolling and more stepping, its structure and nature constantly changes, and it keeps the tune sounding consistently fresh. The rest of the EP is absolute vibes too.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a brand new album from sometime Classic Music Co contributor Eli Escobar, a producer who has proved to be one of the most distinctive and consistent in house music over the last few years. "Last Summer" contains a mixture of short interludes and inspired, almost uniformly dancefloor-friendly workouts that bring together a range of complimentary influences. Our picks include the atmospheric and acid-fired deep house warmth of "Flashing Lights", the muscular peak-time Moroder-isms of "(All Night) Rhythm", the melodious, sun-kissed Balearic house brilliance of "Blu" and the woozy warmth of "Last Night".
Review: Golden Dawn Arkestra, an Austin, Texas-based collective led by Ethiopian-American Zapot Mgwana, come to Razor-N-Tape touting a couple of tracks taken from their 2018 long-player of the same name, complete with a bunch of new remixes. In their original form, both 'Children Of The Sun' and 'Cosmic Dancer' are authentic-sounding homages to 70s Afro-funk, with the latter adding a little Theremin-fuelled lounge-y flavour. Austin Ato's remix takes the title track into deep, dreamy house territory, while JKriv and Dicky Trisco rework 'Cosmic Dancer' into a psychedelic nu-disco jam ? la The Phenomenal Handclap Band and a midtempo disco-Balearic roller respectively.
Review: It's a Newcastle thing! Kastro and Scudd land on Serial Killaz with this massive five track collabo-fest. Each cut hits with the gruff rolling goodness both individuals (and their north eastern mates like Skantia, Stompz and Nectax) are known for. Highlights include the warm dubby horns and Die-style wobbles on the bass of "Ease Out", the dark abrasive horns of the title track "LDN Ting" and the dramatic staccato hook of "Who We Are". With both men shooting out original solo tracks on the EP too, this is a major step up for all concerned. There's something big bubbling in the north east right now. Pay attention.
Review: Jam Thieves are the Brazilian duo who make simply sumptuous, minimal, rough and tumble rollers and they do so with an excessive amount of power and finesse. Love Forever is their latest EP and it's four more slices of sub heavy techy goodness, each individually packaged in an attempt to get your head moving in the dance. Title track 'Love Forever' is our favourite because it samples Marvin Gaye, but also because it's just proper minimal naughtiness, with in point drums and a chest-bashing sub bass. Excellent stuff.
Review: Born On Road is one of the new-school of labels pushing the current moment's gritty, jump-up infused sound, the sound that has captured so many new fans to the genre in the past couple of years and which has catapulted the careers of Ben Snow, AC13 and others. This EP comes from the former and it's an excellent representation of where the sound is at right now, a massive, heavy piece of work that features David Boomah on a wicked vocal feature. The title track nails the sample, before rolling out with the foghorn sound on full display. It's top stuff and we're very much into it.
Review: Sota has developed a reputation for tough, urban-edged sonics over several years now of cultivation and curation and, a fairly substantial number of tunes later, he's landing hereon Low Down Deep. He's diverse in his capabilities and Frontin / One sees him returning to his jump up-ier side, something we're definitely very keen on, especially when it's on a label like Low Down Deep. This release is wicked and 'Frontin'' is a highlight, with a snapping percussive line forming around its inching, creeping basses and eerie background ambience, all of which builds up to a ridiculously heavy top synth line, which is as choppy as they come. Top stuff right here.