Review: Sneaker Social Club are not messing around! Following their previous outings from the legendary trio 2 Bad Mice comes remixes from two impeccably forward thinking break crafters; Sully takes "Gone Too Soon" into some fantastical places as the breaks scream jungle but the big breeze pads scream Alex Reece but both elements work together emotively. Falty DL, meanwhile, gives us a hardcore schooling on "Limit Of Paradise" with its heavily layered breaks, wall of sound pads and dynamic drops into spacious hooks. Bad to the (clear vinyl) bone!
Review: One year later, UVB-76's shadowy collective 4 6 2 5 strike again with two more unique startling schematics. Flexing across the tempo axis, "Sedition" leads with a fast 170 twist as hard pneumatic kicks cut through the dense foggy atmospherics before doubling up the momentum and taking unpredictable twists midway. "Crown Of Nails" maintains the hunchback pressure and that heavy foreboding sense synonymous with each member of the collective, but does so at a cool 105BPM pace giving space for each percussive element to ricochet around your purdy little pranged-out soul.
Review: Alien atmospheres, bassy sonar blips, crackling ambience, fizzing white noise and a barely-there groove makes the A-side of this second Nautil 12" a delight for ambient, industrial, drum and bass, techno and by and large experimental lovers alike. 943 has all the hallmarks of a Felix K production only without the rolling D&B beats, but who needs them when you have spatial textures like this! Toolshop drums with the rhythm of a hammer hitting a nail out of time provides the B-side with a awkward groove while dubby stabs form and disappear in the background behind the sound of hissing pistons from a make-believe steam works.
Review: Fresh from her Med School missions, Moscow's A.Fruit maintains the leftfield beat heat with another savage session, this time on Om Unit's evergreen Cosmic Bridge. "Make Them Shake" is a loopy ghetto/technoid mutant barbed with all manner of strange squelchy textures while "Polykarp" flips the motion sensors with a surprise drop into iced soul chords and skippy breaks. Meanwhile on the B we're struck with more beguiling gold: with its jazzy chords and pneumatic kicks "Deep Insight" stalks like a cat but punches like a bear while "Before You Go" brings us home on more of a mystic, percussive spacious trip. Crucial through and through, neither A.Fruit or Cosmic Bridge are messing around here.
Review: US skateboarding magazine Jenkem Mag has long hosted DJ mixes in a range of styles on its website, and in 2017 the spin-off Jenkem Records launched with a multi-genre compilation called 'Beginnings'. Now, over two years later (we're clearly operating on 'skater time' here), the label's second release is this four-track EP from Brooklyn duo and recently announced Rinse FM residents AceMoMa, and it's almost as eclectic as its album-length predecessor, taking in off-kilter melodic house ('Ethereal Stepping'), deep tribal techno ('Nothing Crazy') and drum & bass (the retro junglism of 'Lucky Number 12' and the Bukem-esque 'Soul Deep Management').
Review: It's been a crucial year for German breaksmith Acid Lab. Fresh from releasing his album A Matter Of Time on Soul Intent's Dope Plates and launching In Reach's new label and appearing on new label Next Phase, he now teams up with fellow German Scale for three dark designs on Monita's Skeleton. "Warriors" sets the tone with a rim shot blasting 45 King break and crypt delving atmospherics, "Environment" sets an even starker tone with eerie warped textures and a Krust circa "True Stories" style drum arrangement, "Underdog" wraps up with a dangerous dichotomy; the drums say jazz, the bass says gully. We know what your feet and head will say, too...
Review: Acid Lab gets all two-face on this new EP for burgeoning jungle imprint Convoluted Records. First up are two collabs under his Ahmad alias; "Grinder" sees Gremlinz join the fray with a nasty hornets nest bassline and pitched breaks that seem to melt through the LFOs while Parallel helps him unleash the soul of Beelzebub himself on "Judgement Day". "Jericho" closes on a savage jungle note with haunted choral effects and broadsword breaks. For a label called Convoluted, this sure cuts straight to the point.
Review: The start of what many fans are hoping will eventually be an album later this year, Andy C let rip into 2016 with a brand new jump-up party track that smacks of "Twist 'Em Out" era jump up mischief (before things got a little too silly on that side of the genre). Now finally enjoying a vinyl outing, its ballsy sub matches the spiky riff with a dynamic that was seemingly written with wax in mind. The VIP is an interesting approach too; rather than being wilder than the original, it's actually deeper and more heads-down. Classic Andy C subversion... Let's hope it does build to an album.
Review: Previously spotted flexing his deep dark wares on Med School and Hospital, Kent craftsman Anile is now officially part of Lenzman's North Quarter collective. And he fits right in with his own sound and his own take on the currently unstoppable TNQ movement. Heavier and more spacebound than previous releases on the label; across the EP we're flatted by the rolling "Nothing Makes Sense", we're rocketed around the solar system on the already massive "Earth & Mars" and brought back down to earth with more soulful, piano laced charms of "Back On Days" before "Vitalogy" closes this stunning clear vinyl story with a creeping sombre twist. As with all TNQ releases; this pushes some serious buttons.
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: According to Integral head honchos Artificial Intelligence, their latest EP "comprises four exhilarating episodes that will take you on an exhilarating journey". It is, then, a box set of sorts: a short season of all-action cuts designed to entertain from start to finish. They fittingly begin with something suitably filmic - the sweeping cinematic movements, head-in-the-clouds atmospherics, punchy beats and sumptuous vocals of "Degrees of Separation", before fusing elements of soul and neo-classic on superb liquid roller "Missing Piece". The experienced duo cleverly ratchet up the tension on the creepy, heavy and intense B-side opener "Tannan", before reaching a triumphant conclusion via the smooth and life-affirming brilliance of "Street Scense".
Review: One of the great joys of James Clements' music as ASC is its thrilling unpredictability. While his productions have always been rooted in drum and bass, he's released little straightforward D&B for the best part of a decade. His latest outing on Samurai is dark and hard to pigeonhole, offering tracks that variously mix and match elements of intense acid, Autechre-style IDM, the sub-weight of D&B culture, the aural haziness of ambient and the skittish post-D&B rhythms that have long marked out his work. Our picks of a very strong bunch are the buzzing experimental techno psychedelia of acid-laden closing cut "Currents" and the sparse, sub-heavy haziness of opener "The Siren", where high tempo acid lines bubble away above a suitably hazy and paranoid backing track.
Review: Now The Future sees the return of Ram's heavily tatted neuro-monster Audio, offering up his first 12" salvo of 2016 for the drum and bass juggernaut and boy does it pack a punch! The sinister tones of the title track take you into the mind of Audio's twisted vision of the future, percussive elements ticking away under petrifying atmospheres, building up into an unstoppable bassline offensive. Complementing this, is the spine chilling "Drop It Human", a track that thrusts into a sonic array of growling mids and low end sub grit, delivering a devastating blow. Audio's precise, sharp, stepped trademark drum sound forms the backbone, marching the track through to inhuman perfection.
Review: Busta Rhymes has Flipmode, but Audio has Beastmode! After a slew of heavyweight albums on Virus, Audio is returning to the format with Beastmode forthcoming on the mighty RAM with this 12" sampler the first of many tasters. "Overdose" sets a high marker for the album, finding Audio returning with a brutish, rolling bassline, diced up with gritty drum loops and underpinned by quaking subs. Face down and Audio's signature RAM cut "Ultron" is given the Mefjus treatment, resulting in the sort of techy soundscape the Austrian producer reigns over. Mefjus moulds the original around the unfaltering guns of his peddled drums and wavering bassline.
Review: A brand new label from Deep Space operator Aural Imbalance (aka long-time contributor Simon Huxtable) Dedicated to the future-fringes that are often overlooked in the pursuit of something more instantly heavy-hurting, this launch release is the consummate mission statement: "Nine Tease" is straight of out of the Omni Trio book with its lavish hooky melody skipping over the space-aged beats, "Spiral Divide" continues the cosmic theme with a little more jazzy, loose-limbed drum magic while "Alpha Protocol" is an abyssal stepper soaked in dense atmospheres and twinkling hooks. More of this.
Review: More spatial exorcisms from the BFDM family. New and old faces alike, all French, it's the label's broadest and heaviest V/A wax to date. Basses Terres takes us deep in the machine with a well oiled slo-mo pneumatic break, Comic Sans-slinger C.R.K cooks up a spicy gumbo of militant apocalypse electro while Jonquera continues the electroid theme with a devilish pitched snare roll and wry synth slap bass pops and twang. Elsewhere Lastrack insists we travel to Jupiter by way of the Amazon while Daxyl's Jean Redondo closes the show on a schizoid broken techno freak out. Stark.
Your Body (feat Jemimah Read - Bladerunner remix) (6:43)
Black Sky (feat Thomas Oliver - Lenzman remix) (4:54)
Had It All (feat Logistics - Monty remix) (5:15)
More Than Words (feat Charlotte Haining - Seba remix) (5:59)
Review: As the matter-of-fact title makes clear, this expansive EP offers up freshly remixed versions of tracks from Bcee's fine 2017 album Northpoint. LSB is first up to the plate, offering up a wonderfully warm and summery take on soulful roller "Surfacing" that's marked out by suitably loved-up build-ups and breakdowns, before Anile wraps fluid piano lines around a punchy rhythm on a beautifully judged revision of "Northpoint". Bladerunner provides a dose of doom-laden bass and cyber-sonic synths on a rip-snorting revision of "Your Body", while Lenzman's take on "Black Sky" is a soulful, liquid D&B delight. Elsewhere, Monty reaches for the heavy sub-bass and aggressive neuro-funk electronics on his remix of "Had It All" and Seba brings the curtain down via an anthem-like vocal take on "More Than Words".
Bladerunner - "Sound Killer" (feat Blackout JA & Da Fuchaman) (4:54)
Brian Brainstorm - "Call The Police" (feat Da Fuchaman - album mix) (6:04)
Run Tingz Cru - "Go Back Home" (feat Da Fuchaman & Wippa Demus) (4:28)
Serial Killaz & Run Tingz Cru - "Jungle Love" (feat Da Fuchaman) (4:48)
Serial Killaz & Run Tingz Cru - "Bun Babylon" (feat Tenor Fly & Blackout JA - DJ Hybrid remix) (5:14)
Run Tingz Cru - "Women Dem" (feat Top Cat) (5:05)
Review: Bristol's Run Tingz Cru look back over the last year or so of releases, precision select their bubbliest, bumpiest bangers and cut them to limited 12". Featuring the likes of Bladerunner, Serial Killaz, DJ Hybrid, Brian Brainstorm, Top Cat, Tenor Fly, Blackout JA, Da Fuchman and of course the RTC themselves, vibes are high throughout as we're schooled in breakbeat science. From the opening warped dread bass wobbles of Bladerunner's "Sound Killer" through to Run Tingz Cru and Top Cat's grand finale silky sub roller "Women Dem", this whole 12" is bulging with timeless jungle goodness. Strictly limited; grab this while you can.