Review: The super prolific Master Error returns with more masterplans, this time on Gradient. As the title suggests, there's a strong game of balance here as we veer and steer between bonkers and pure grot. On the bonkers side we have scatty riffs like that of 'Just A Game', the much deeper, twisted faraway soul of 'Need You' while on the grot side we have the disgusting title track, the rusty Cortina starter engine funk of 'Why Waste Time' (with Flint), the laser blazing craziness of 'Who You Messin With' (with Gino) and the corroded toot toots of 'Magenta'. Terroriffic.
Review: Following up some impressive releases by the likes of Euphonique, Xav and Bruk, UK drum and bass label Audio Addict returns with this intense offering by Akas aka Steve Wise. It is titled Reset and features the euphoric liquid drum and bass vibe of the title track, "2 Many Times" is a more emotive number nails that Marcus Intalex vibe of old, while things take a much darker turn on "Fall Out" (a collaboration with Ovadose) and finally going out all guns blazing on the snarling techstep of "Here We Go".
Review: While many folk went and got a dog during lockdown, yung Teezy here went and made his own 'Puppy'. Much cleaner than a mutt that bites all your furniture and makes a mess everywhere, this puppy growls softly and jumps buoyantly over the chiselled beats. There are plenty more dogs in the kennel, too; 'Denial' is a sleek Doberman of a tune, all pointy, pacy and tense, 'Heaven' is a golden retriever, all sweet when it wants to be but deep down a working dog , 'Bass In Ya Head' is a loyal staffy, all bubbly and up for mischief while 'Acknowledge' is a Dachshund, all snake like and with a bassine that yaps away cheerily before 'Rolling Deep' roars in like a rottweiler, all beefy and bulky but doesn't have to say much to make its presence know. You gonna bark all day little doggy?
Review: Just like when you put a shell to your ear and hear the sea, if you put one of these 'Shellerz' to your ear it will actually slap your nan. True story. Just ask the Born On Road crew. Coming out the lockdown locker with a whole stack of new-gen banger craft, this is the first in a series and the name says it all; yung Toxinate will shell your chubby cheeks with his junglized 'Bumbaclart Wobbles', J Select will shell your grey matter as he rolls you up and sparks you alight with 'Skunked', 4K will shell your bare hide with the outstanding bassline and surging harmonic MC vocals of 'Murda Ross' while Toby Ross will shell your soul and make your bones rumble with 'Respect'. Get shelled soon.
Review: Shake what your momma gave ya! Shake your booty to the well-tamed but still vicious vibes on Addicted's addition to Liondub International's long-standing new-talent breaking Street Series. Shake your head at the breathlessness and techno elements of 'You Got', shake your first in the air at how ruff and stampy 'Let It' (with Warhead) is, shake your feet to the bubbly, swampy groove of 'Bop', shake your braincells to the ridiculous roughage of the bassline on 'With You' (with Tee). Wake and 'Shake'.
Review: As the title suggests, this fantastic - and let's face it, pleasingly epic - compilation showcases some of the many disco-centric cuts in the Z Records vaults, throwing in a few exclusives (see Dave Lee's fantastic, hybrid disco-boogie rework of Firefly's 'Love is Gonna Be on Your Side') for good measure. Such is the high-quality threshold that picking stand outs is tough, but our picks of a very strong bunch include the slick, boogie-funk brilliance of Crackazat's 'Sensationalized', Larry Levan's vintage, delay-heavy synth dub of Johnny Dynell's 'Rhythm of Love', the stomping disco-house release of 'Gotta Thing (2021 Remaster)' by Foreal People, Taana Gardner and Dave Lee, and John Morales' epic rework of Sean McCabe's 'Love For Life'. As the old saying goes, this is all killer and no filler.
Review: From Toronto to NYC, Dungeon Kru land on Liondub International once again with another trove of gully treats. Five tracks, five completely different takes on the stripped-back minimal sound. Highlights include the hardcore-influenced pitched vocal pace and late 90s Full Cycle style bassline stamps of 'Loaded', the space ping-pong trippiness off 'Everytime', the ominous hollow bass tones and a theatre of 'Seriously' and the awesome twisted vocal and off-beat funk of 'Exactly'. Premier Kru.
Review: The GS Dubs team, being an offshoot of the incredibly consistent Garage Shared collective, are always pumping out exciting new drops, with this new compilation selection being one of the strongest in a hot minute. In anticipation of the clubs and raves reopening properly, they have gathered together ten original dancefloor anthems for garage DJ's the world over to enjoy. The tracklisting and roster is pretty monstrous, featuring tidy new creations from the likes of Tuff Culture, Chimpizm, K9, Deja, Aki and more of the active Garage Shared. There are a couple of real highlights for us, including the super spicy VIP mix of Miss L.A & Bunka's 'My Love', which was already a belter to begin with, alongside the choppy chord progressions and skippy percussive textures of 'Carbon' from Howden and system busting wobbles of ADuki's 'Make Noise'. With additional killer creations from Oh My Daze, Rebz & Ollie Weeks, this is definitely not a compilation to miss.
Review: Agro is Ben Carvin, a drum & bass DJ/producer from Brighton and founder of Sub-Liminal Recordings. After nine years in the game, he has decided it's high time to release a full length - culminating in Bad From Morning. It features 14 killer tracks, many of them in collaboration with some hot names in the UK underground. From the title track; a moody sci-fi roller featuring Flowdan's wicked vocal delivery, to the dark side jump-up throwdown of 'War' (Ft. Dreadnaught & MC Foxy), mad steppa "Head Top" featuring Devilman is reminiscent of that classic Full Cycle sound, while "Everybody Down" with Flirta D is sure to give your subwoofers a good shakedown, as will "The Prophecy" featuring Velocity.
Review: Brazilian badman Critycal Dub touches down on DJ Hybrid's Deep In The Jungle with four slices of Latin dnb fire. 'Jungle Rock' opens the show with the emphatic David Boomah-style vocals of Yush before things take a darker turn; 'Recovery' skips with vital rave energy, 'Must Remember' hits with a much heavier, sterner edge thanks to Madrush's stern bars, 'Nuff Talkin' slaps us silly with some expertly finessed drums. FInally 'Serial Killa' closes the show a cheeky, quite theatrical twist. Murderation never sounded so sweet.
6blocc & Capitol City Rockers - "Budda Bye 2014" (feat Johnny Osbourne - vocal mix) - (4:26) 160 BPM
Various Artists - "Benny Page, Deekline & Ed Solo Present Welcome To The Jungle" (continuous DJ mix) - (1:26:44) 177 BPM
Review: Jungle Cakes shake us and bake us once again as label owners Deekline and Ed Solo lure long time friend Benny Page into their lair for this incredible 58 track collection. Created as a mix but all tunes available for your own persy armouries, as always with the 'Welcome To The Jungle' series, we're treated to sounds and styles across the entire dnb spectrum. Expected everything ranging from Benny's own bubblers to more dancefloor styles such as Blaine Stranger's 'Dragon' and Octo-Pi's 'This Sound' via rugged jump-up uppercuts such as Lockerz 'The Funk', crucial jungle licks like Exposure's remix of DeJay's 'St Paul's Jammin' and pure futurism like Filip Motovunski's 'Ninja'. And this isn't even the tip of the jungle iceberg here, there's so much to digest here. Huge.
Review: Attention drum and bass heads this Modulation EP explores all four corners of the genre with an extra stepping collab between Dunk & Mjay called "Too Bad" - killer micro-tear-outs. For a dash of liquid grooves it's all about the steady and hi tempo rhythms of "Deep Blame" that step up to meet the gnarly metallic pulses and skittering percussion of "1986". This saves both "Galaxy Buds" and "Zulu King" for something snare heavy, frenetic and head bobbing (if you can't get those knees up). But for the real adventurous DJs out there it's all about the crazy drum programming, pulses of roaring bass and wicked vocal samples in "Modulation".
Review: Bristol by way of Oxford's Computer Integrated Audio return with their latest cache of drum and bass weapons, courtesy of label heads Total Science whose track "Fallen Angel" receives a techy and rolling dose of restrained fury by Leonardo de Jesus Silva aka L-Side. This also happens to be his debut CIA Records release. The next execution comes directly from the Brazilian hot shot himself in the form of the darkly dystopian and atmospheric stepper "Untouchable" which is reminiscent of classic No U Turn or Virus material from back in the day. Serious!
Review: Berlin banger man Smuggler pinches our souls and takes them across state lines with this exceptional collection on Liondub International's coveted Street Series. You all know the drill here; a generous collection of dancefloor blaze-ups from an exciting new gen artist with no holds barred and a full reflection of where they're at musically. With the breezy emotional euphoria of 'Cherry Blossoms', the despicably ruff funk of 'Some Ain't Right' and the high voltage sizzles and wonky slaps of the finale 'Can't Help It', it's safe to say Smuggler's definitely delivered. And that's only half of the collection. Let's hit the streets once again.
Review: Just when you thought Sl8r couldn't get any funkier, and Slay couldn't get even sharper, along comes 'Danger' and it's naughtier than ever red light district in Europe combined. Straight up rudeboy rudiments; shoulder rolling juicy funk with such natural bars, 'Danger' is a summer anthem in waiting. And if that's not quite enough badman sass along comes Chimpo and joins the pair for another jazzy, light-footed-but-heavy-bellied bumper 'Falling'. Pure juice!
Review: Celebrating the fact that many of us have come out of lockdown with a few extra pounds of Terry, Formula salutes the phatter folk of the land with this obese six-track EP on Bagged & Tagged. Flavours ranging from the chubby sci-fi bass lasers of 'Double Crossed' to the porky sub wobbles and heavy stench of 'Hoofs' via the blubbery off-beat savageness of 'Phat Man', there's plenty of weight to move us back on the floor this summer and shed some pounds. Comes complete with the chubby 'Neck Back' with Diligent Fingers. Fat.
Review: Established in 2011, High R8 Digital is a Milton Keynes based drum and bass label, aiming to bring you quality tracks from producers around the world. Their next release is the debut of Amplify, with a massive six track EP titled Enemy Of The State featuring collaborations with some esteemed label staples. The title track is the gnarliest, sci-fi inspired techstep we have heard this side of Ed Rush & Optical, while the dark and stripped back stepper "Boss" is another original track, and "Optimal" sees him team up with Master Error. On the particularly impressive roller "Depth" he buddies up with Clarkey.
Review: Calling all scallys! Calling all wags!! Kleu and MC-du-jour Deefa link up for this raucous collaborative fourpiece. The highlight for many will be '7 Days Straight' where Deefa reads our post-lockdown, rave-hungry minds and says it like it is, but every track is a scorcher; 'Scallywag' is a dark, moody slice of tension, 'Ronin' is pure drama and tension while 'Merlin' is pure black magic as the bassline swathes up and down like a bewitched chainsaw. Lets make up for lost time.
Review: Take your head out of the stars and keep your focus on the critters; aliens are heading your way and Hoax has the ultimate battle plan. 'Space Invaders' is a straight-fire shoot-em-up with its rising riff cascading up and up like rifle fire. 'Pyramids' gives you something to hide behind as they return fire. Robust and rolling, it provides ample coverage. 'Big Up' is the ultimate return fire with its obscene bassline bending and lolloping all over the spacious breaks before Skantia comes in and cleans up the situation with his remix of 'Space Invaders', a track that doesn't just wipe out alien invaders but most planets in a 50 million light year radius. Big up indeed.
Review: Biological Beats mainstay and LionDub International high roller Flat T arrives on Murky Digital with a little slice of everything. At six tracks large and extensively deep, the artist doesn't shy away from a bit of snarling bass in "Everything I Taught You" and heavy riffs in "Nooks & Crannies". Stripping it back a little more with some added percussion in "Now Inside" next to some stand out snares in "Fill Me In" - the stand out track here is no question "Shuttle". A number that takes in Flat T's entire sound-world that's full of tempo, edgy liquid rhythms and falling atmospheres. Blast off.
Review: Over the years, Liondub International really have established themselves as one of the most exciting imprints to work with when it comes to incredible new drum & bass creations, with this new five track collection from Dunk offering up exactly that. We begin with the neurotic bass growls and sharpened drum punches of 'True Funk' which kicks us off with an energetic introduction, followed by sub-busting basslines of 'Alien Family' which sweeps between haunted atmospheric drips and vibrant drum crunches throughout its wavy journey. Next, Illament joins the party for some additional work on the pleasantly distorted bass tones of 'Taken' before 'Total Love' strips the drums back for a swaying sensation, topped with more of those juicy basslines. Finally, the powerful drum processing and clinking percussive slaps of 'Riddim' gives us one hell of a finale, rounding off this wicked selection Dunk with a suitable bang.
Review: As always with the now infamous 1985 Music imprint, they have assembled the great and good to explore the darker realms of electronic dance music, primarily focussing on dubstep and neurotic drum and bass flavour through this fabulous new 'Atlas' compilation. The names involved are pretty mind-blowing with a roster including the likes of Alix Perez, Drone, Headland, Foreign Concept, Safire, DRS and many more heavyweight names. The entire project has a touch of finesse and musical class about it, from the beautifully processed drum clanks of 'Nibiru' from Visages to the stunning vocal processing of 'Do Me No Good' from Nymfo. There really isn't a low point to this project with the sweeping soundscapes and electronic destruction of Deft's 'Scars' original being a real high point for us!
Review: Both behind the decks and in the studio, Joe Moses' sonic innovation has earned him a reputation as one of the scene's leading artists. One of the brains behind London's most influential club nights Soul In Motion (with Bailey) it expanded to create a record label/agency, as well as his own imprint - Zoltar. His next release comes courtesy of Germany's SUNANDBASS titled Ultra Violin. The title track is an expression in truly intelligent drum 'n' bass, that features an emotive string section playing centre stage to a backdrop of immaculately programmed rhythms. There's also the emotive roller "I Dip" and the fierce techstep riddims of "Refactory"
Review: Fresh from appearing on Flexout's recent 'X' first parter, Trail returns to Bassi's imprint with four of his best tunes to date. Kicking off in soulful earnest, both 'Act Like That' and 'Shojo Bookshop' hum with velvet finesse and nod at a sound we all loved and knew from Soulr. Deeper into the EP we glide to find some of Trail's more signature tense sounds as 'RIC9' pickles us all with its heavy layers of tension and big bassline sweeps of doom before 'Obey' shuts the shop with some severe 140 teachings. Trust us, by the end of the track you most definitely obey.
Review: Dispute is not a man to argue with! Here he is, back on Bites with some serious artillery. 'Contract Killer' is pure sniper business with its pugnacious high frequency riff leading the charge. It's backed by equally heavy weapons - 'Afraid' is ominous, tense and growly, 'Murder' is more about the bounce and the groove while 'Paralysed' is all about the jumpy, nagging riff before 'Shut Up' offers the final word on the matter with its barking style bass tones. Simple but effective and to the point. Efficient, like all good contract killings should be.
Review: Pick The Lock Records is a drum 'n' bass record label owned by Nick The Lot, located in the UK. He presents the label's first various artists compilation here titled 'Back Of A Lorry Vol. 1' featuring six rising young producers within scene, such as Devonshire luminary Amplify with the classic techstep vibe of "Sleep", Cardiff-based DisKrete delivers a minimal stepper in the vein of DJ Krust on "Time's Up", while Germany's Cramz nails that classic Ram Recordings sound on the tough roller "Revolver" and Manchester's Kormz (WA3 Collective) hammers the message home in style with the sci-fi beats of "Mind Trap".