Ownglow & Dilemma - "Mercy" (feat Courtney Odom) (5:01)
Review: Ownglow AKA Simon Reeves was barely old enough to legally go clubbing when he made his 2014 breakthrough track, "Gold". These days, he's something of an old hand thanks to regular appearances on leading D&B label Hospital Records. Certainly, Inside The Silence, his first EP of 2017, is a more mature sounding proposition than his previous releases. Opener "Breathe", featuring vocalist Ellie Vee and Disco's Over, sets the tone magnificently, offering a sun-kissed romp through soulful D&B pastures. He joins forces with Mitekiss on the heavier roller "Take Me", before inviting Dilemma and singer Courtney Odom into the studio to collaborate on the punchy, melodious and thrillingly bass-heavy "Mercy". He draws a fine EP to a close with "Glo-Mello-Flow", a superb slice of R&B/D&B fusion that's as slick and soulful as they come.
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: Over the last decade, few drum & bass producers have impressed more than Bristol-based Brazilian S.P.Y. While his default setting seems to be summery, string-drenched and giddily soulful, he's also capable of delivering dark and weighty dancefloor onslaughts. Certainly, that seems to be the idea behind the Alone in the Dark series, which launched earlier this summer. There's naturally much to enjoy on this second double-pack in the series, from the booming sub-bass, scorching beats, wavy vocal samples and twinkling pianos of "Get Up" and aggressive, stripped-back moodiness of "Cold Wave" (complete with both industrial sounding riffs and pulsating sub-bass), to the hip-hop/dark jungle fusion of "Mind Over Matter" and ridiculously heavy opener "Termination".
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.
Not Alone (feat Duckfront, MVE, Frae - album mix) (4:09)
Just Be Good (feat Nymfo) (4:32)
Don't Forget (4:11)
Falling (feat MVE) (4:10)
Solarize (feat Logistics - album mix) (4:34)
Review: Young Dutch firebrand Maduk continues to scorch the D&B landscape with his first full length body of work. Showcasing his full spectrum, we stretch from barbed-soul, heads-down rollers such as "One Way" to the poppier, song-based hand-raisers such "The End" and the pumping filtered funk of the title track by way of off-tempo sideswipers such as the 150 breakbeat cut "One Last Picture". A highly accomplished album: As the entire scene watches his every move, the Liquicity champion continues to make all the right moves.
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".
You Might Not Get Another Chance (feat Pete Simpson) (6:25)
The Points (4:09)
Wind Of Change (feat Karina Ramage) (4:00)
I Don't Wanna Wake Up (feat Karina Ramage)
Sending Back Your Love (feat Pete Simpson)
Expand (feat A-Sides)
Salvation (feat DRS)
Too Late (feat Robert Manos)
You Might Not Get Another Chance (feat Pete Simpson)
Wind Of Change (feat Karina Ramage)
Review: When it comes to making soulful drum and bass and liquid funk, few are quite as good as Japanese D&B legend Makoto Shimizu. Given his status and track record, it's little surprise to find him finally popping up on Hospital Records - a label that seems a natural home for his particular brand of shimmering, summery breakbeat science. Salvation is his sixth solo studio album, and may well be his strongest to date. Packaged with guest appearances from a variety of like-minded producers and honey-throated vocalists - think DRS, Pete Simpson and Karina Ramage - the 14-track set is little less than a kaleidoscopic romp through soaring D&B, piano-laden liquid rollers, soul-soaked jungle and spacey, jazz-flecked dancefloor escapades.
Review: The moment the quintessential rave synths, rolling breaks and cooing female vocals on album opener "North Winds" hit you, you know Krakota's put together something special. Coming on strong like a young Logistics but with his own soul-flecked signature, Krakota has weight, a strong sense of history and scope. The footwork beats and New York sounding synths on "Turn Of Fate", the big band flourishes of "Powder Coated", the writhing jazz snakery of "Elastic" the horror movie spikes and MC venom of "Weirdos & Creepers". Pick a track, any track, and we guarantee Krakota's smashed it. Hospital don't mess around with artist albums... Here's a perfect reminder why.
Review: A long and productive affiliation with the Hospital Recordings operation has resulted in numerous albums and singles for Dan Gresham's Nu:Tone project and now in 2014 he's considered one of the label's stalwarts. A fourth Nu:Tone album reaffirms Gresham's status amongst the Hospital elite, with Future History a sublime trip through classic jungle vibes on this weighty 13 track set, assisted by some high profile guest spots. Logistics, Dynamite MC and Lea Lea all make notable appearances; though it's fair to say they are overshadowed by the presence of Dr. Octagon himself, Kool Keith! The slaloming breaks and deep bass of "Metaphor 6000" are the perfect backdrop to Kool Keith's rap.
Review: Last year, D&B heavyweights Serum, Voltage and Bladerunner joined forces to deliver two rave inspired EPs of heavyweight club jams under the Kings Of The Rollers alias. Here the experienced trio offers up its eponymous debut album, an unashamedly heavyweight affair packed to the rafters with punchy rollers, mind-mangling tech-step tear-outs and gargantuan future D&B anthems. It's a little more varied than their DJ-friendly EPs, with the pandemonium-inducing smashers being joined by a variety of vocal numbers (see the Inja-sporting "M-O-V-E", grandiose "The Sky Is Falling" featuring Lydia Plain and thrillingly weighty MC Bassman hook-up "Rockers") and occasional forays into jazzier and more melodious territory. Yet for all the subtle variety and surprise diversions, it's the sheer club-ready heaviness of the whole thing that really sets the pulse racing.
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...