Unknown Error - "The Yearning" (Super VIP mix) (9:24)
Review: It's been seven months now since the death of Rob Dickeson AKA Apex stunned the drum and bass community. "Echoes" is the last known track that Dickeson completed and is being released by Hospital Records in order to raise funds for Help Musicians UK's Music Minds Matter campaign. It's rather good, too, with poignant pianos, stirring strings and melancholic chords floating over a snappy, liquid funk beat. It's accompanied on the flipside by a fantastic, floor-friendly "Super VIP" mix of "Yearning", a soaring 2006 cut Dickeson produced alongside Jim Gash as Unknown Error. Top tracks and a worthy cause: this should be an essential purchase for D&B heads everywhere.
Review: In case you've not heard, Kings of the Rollers is a new D&B "super-group" featuring the combined talents of scene stalwarts Serum, Voltage and Blade Runner. This is their debut EP and, as you'd expect, it boasts far more hits than misses. As the Rave Alarm title makes clear, much of the material here is far more raw and intoxicating than your average Hospital release. Check, for example, opener "Euphoria", where razor-sharp electronic riffs bounce above fluctuating sub-bass and punchy jungle drums, and the rumbling gut-punch that is synth heavy title track "Rave Alarm". Elsewhere, Get Set Go is a fuzzy, hot-stepping workout, while closer "Running Man" wraps aggressive bass, creepy chords and ghostly flute lines around a retro-futurist riddim.
Review: Bristol-based Brazilian S.P.Y has been in fine form this year, churning out the hits at a rate of knots. Here he serves up five more slammers to round off the well-received Alone in the Dark trilogy. Opener "Transmission" is undeniably one of his moth forthright tunes to date - a bombastic, riot-inducing anthem fuelled by thunderous electro bass and mind-altering riffs. There's also a tech-tinged feel to the rave-meets-D&B heaviness of "Transmission", while "Dominator Mode" contains some of his toughest drums to date. Elsewhere, "Lockdown" is a buzzing hum of throbbing energy and "Dreaming" tips a wink to the producer's liquid past via a wonderfully sauced-eyed fusion of blissful musicality and tight bottom-end pressure.
Review: Since debuting on the label 18 years ago, Danny Byrd has become one of Hospital Records most reliable and prolific artists. Even so, Atomic Funk - his fourth album - marks his first full-length outing for five years. It goes without saying that he's in fine form, gleefully flitting between heavyweight 21st century jungle revivalism ("Salute", 'Starting It Over", the piano-laden badness of "Roll The Drums"), sunshine ready disco drum and bass ("IDragon", Patrice Rushen-sampling "Holy Star"), shimmering electro-fuelled rollers ("Supreme", "Atomic Funk") and the kind of soulful, radio-friendly fare that's become a hallmark of Hospital releases in recent years ("Hold Up The Crown", "Money Calling Me").
Review: With their spiralling synth melodies, bombastic rhythms and attractive pop hooks, Austrian duo Camo and Krooked are fast becoming one of drum & bass's biggest attractions. Their sound - bold, attractive, brash and shot through with electronic funk - is a perfect fit with Hospital Records' current fascination with festival-friendly drum and bass. This fourth album for Tony Colman's veteran imprint delivers more smile-inducing thrills, offering the kind of fare that should find wider appeal outside the D&B scene. Unashamedly dancefloor-focused, Zeitgeist oozes positivity, from the tropical jungle of "Aurrora" and darkside pomp of "Ruhepuls", to the cut-up white-knuckle ride that is "Vice".
Dip Vertigo & Dr Apollo - "Red" (feat Josh Phillips) (4:47)
Walk:r - "Solis" (5:32)
Review: Three words: "Police In Helicopter"... One of the biggest dubplates last year is finally here, and it's joined by 24 other exceptional bangers as the Hozzy team roll out another absurd stack of "Sick" freshness from across the board. Genuinely on point tune for tune highlights include Pete Cannon's outstanding drumfunk lash out "Ella", Flava D's first D&B tune (the breath taking "Return To Me"), a bone shaking duet from the next gen gems Unglued and Bou ("Ascendant Man"), both Fred V & Grafix's first solo tunes since they split and an absolute neck breaking gully snapper from Lakeway in the form of "War Dub". And that's just scratching the surface, this is a humungous V/A album and it's here in all its glory on vinyl. Hot enough to burn down a cane field or two...