Review: One of the most respected men in the game, Hazard returns with four blinding slabs of seismic sonics. Don't be fooled by the title, "Bricks Don't Roll" really does roll thanks to some unique drum programming, a harrowed hook and a sub that echoes its every peak and trough. Dig deeper for the head-turning, triplet-twisted hype riser "Mk Q", the subversive alien trippiness of "Death Sport" and the spacious reverberations and epic hollow-bass drop of "Meen Time". Hazard doesn't release EPs that often, but when he does the scene bricks it. This is beyond solid.
Review: What is there to say about Shogun Audio that hasn't already been said at length directly into your ear at 3am? Friction's brainchild has become one of the scene's biggest, most successful and perhaps most importantly one of the most highly-regarded labels in recent years. A decade might not be a long time in D&B talk, but 10 years has been long enough for Shogun to put its stamp on almost everything making its way from the underground and into the blinding light of day. From the experimental sounds of Alix Perez, Rockwell and Icicle to the spellbinding Technimatic, right through to the chart-bothering escapades of Camo & Krooked, this is a flip through the highlights of Shogun's life. In case you forgot, it's been a brilliant one so far. Roll on the next 10 years.
Review: Known by many in the drum & bass scene as one of the most important seminal albums in the history of modern D&B, This Too Shall Pass was released in 2006 on Bassbin to widespread critical acclaim, followed by a slow-burning reverence from fans new and old over the years. The tracklist is dotted with tunes many bassheads would class as up there with the greatest: from the dubby lilt of "Lead Me On" and the intricate driving Amens and synthy static of "Morning Star" to the washed out swing jazz of "Unireverse" and the beautifully mournful reverb of "Black Sunshine", this is a re-release that's been a long time coming. RIP Bassbin, and thank you Rohan for making masterpieces such as this available to the buying public once more.
Review: Jump-up connoisseur and head of his own brand new label Keep Jumpin' Records, DJ Alpha could be one of the busiest men in hard D&B right now. Garnering support from the likes of Kenny Ken, Serial Killaz and Grooverider, his debut EP on Playaz' sister label G13 isn't about blowing heads off, it's about smashing up those dancefloors. Brutal bass and minimal percussion fuse with choice sampling to create "500 Gallons", as "Music So Wonderful" tears through with blistering percussion and seriously heavy bass. Get your dancing shoes, you're gonna be home late tonight.
Review: When news of the Systems offshoot of Critical Music was first announced, label CEO Kasra was quoted as saying it would follow the Modulations series as the next phase of "music that stands tall on its own but also as part of the Critical family". First up in the series is Halogenix -a Critical regular both in a solo capacity and as part of the production trio Ivy Lab - and this four track release sets a high standard of quality for any subsequent contributor to follow. "Her Waves" is a quite sublime production to kick things off, and from here Halogenix shows his range with real confidence. Eveson collaboration "Baby" sounds like a 21st C UK update on Timbalaand in his prime, whilst "Too Good" is a brisk exercise in icy vocal drum and bass and "Porcupine" is as spiky as the title suggests.