Ill Truth & Satl - "In Your Soul" (feat Charli Brix - Lenzman remix) (5:17)
Total Science & FD - "3 Way" (4:54)
Review: One look at who's involved here should raise any drum and bass head's eyebrows. All genre A-listers, it's one of those release schedule entries that's guaranteed to get everyone excited, and thankfully the pudding is just as tasty as those ingredients. Break & Kyo lead the charge with 'Past North', a summertime anthem-in-the-making opening on acoustic guitar chords that wouldn't sound weird on a Me One record. Definitely one for festivals, boxfresh percussion ensures it fully fires off once the poppier elements temporarily subside. That said, DJ Marky's 'Hard Hands' trumps it for crisp drum work, delivering some typically exotic vibes. Ill Truth and Satl's 'In Your Soul', or at least its Lenzman remix, keeps the sexy and smooth warmth alive, with '3 Way' closing out on a dub-influenced tip courtesy of Total Science and FD.
Review: Manchester label Natural Sciences launches its new sub label Dolphin Traxx with a sterling effort by Durham-based D. Futers. As the label best describe themselves it's "a pounding two tracker of aqueous goo, molecular body deposits and corrosive laser stains, pressed up loud + harddd (sic)." On the A side we have "I Care" which is a gorgeous serving of feelgood classic house reminiscent of classic Strictly Rhythm or King Street with its pitched up vocals and uplifting pianos over a soulful groove. There is a bit of a curveball on the B side with the liquid junglist roller "Never Givin' Up" which likewise is brazen in its retroverted style tributes; think early Peshay or Alex Reece.
Review: Rewind to 1995: Mark Morris is neck deep in the dark stuff on labels such as Flex and Rinse Out before disappearing for 20 years. Now back and producing with his son, he's dug out four lost DATs from his first wave. All unreleased, covering every base and still sounding fully future proof; Slow and steady 160 jam "Dianetics" takes the lead with its deep poignant soul and lingering keys before "Take It Forward" hurls us deep into the jungle melee with steamroller breaks and trippy off beat layered percussion. Flip for the turbo editions as "Now Massive" kicks a white knuckled mule being chased by spirits while "Jack's Back" closes with a rampant breakcore finale. Spooky textures, horror movie vocals and beats that are so fast they have vapour trails. Dark by name.
Review: Long-serving, jungle-loving experimentalist Christoph De Babalon is on a roll. This rock solid EP comes hot on the heels of his latest inspired album, "Exquisite Angst", which slipped out in early December 2018. The four tracks offered up here are typically bolshy and bass-heavy, with De Babalon mixing and mangling IDM and Atari Teenage Riot style "digital D&B" insanity to suit his own twisted ends. In terms of highlights, we're particularly enjoying the bass-weight, skittish breakbeats and ghostly electronics of "Harakiri" and the more loose and languid - but no less bass-heavy - flipside opener "Shakes and Shivers". That said the dark and apocalyptic "Endless Inside" is also superb.
Review: Dead Man's Chest on MYOR off-shoot Diamond Life... You already know what type of damage this is going to cause before you drop the needle don't you? "Drum Shanty" lives up to its name. Coming on strong like you're coming up during a Ratty or Tango set in '92, there's mentasms, classic sensual vocal samples, a whole smorgasbord of breaks and pads that can shave every hair off your body. "Blue Mountain" (quite possibly a reference to the legendary Stokes Croft venue) is a little more pranged out with its reversed elements, deep shadows between the elements and alien textures that are designed purely to dark you out. Yes you.
Review: Switching a lighter raising ballad with the energy and gusto of a sugar-high kid at Christmas, Delta Heavy's "White Flag VIP" has been anticipated since Andy C started teasing it around his Alexandra Palace show. Already loaded with feels, the new double time drums add even more emotion and euphoria. Flip for an out-and-out electrical fire as they team up with Metrik for a balls-out, peak time slap session. Excruciatingly good.
Review: Taken from their long-awaited debut album Paradise Lost, Ram roustabouts Delta Heavy deliver two distinct party bombs: "Oscillator" is a guttural growler with a staccato riff and tumbling tripletty drums and a second drop that shreds all the way up from Hades itself. "Fun House" shows the duo's more mischievous side as a post-jump-up riff licks with an atonal forked tongue over titanium beats. Immense.
Abducted (Digital's 'Is This A Dream' remix) (5:20)
Review: Blimey! As if Digital's originals aren't heavy enough, here come some absolutely flaming versions. "Waterhouse Dub" gets a savage tonking from Kiljoy that flips the breaks but retains all focus on that iconic riff of the original. US genre-flexers Sight Unseen take "Strictly DnB" to some dark, disturbing places behind those big warm horns while the main man himself takes on his own "Abducted" with a stark stripped back steppy feel that gives the bellowing subs. No one does it like Digital, right down to the remixers he gets on board. Massive.
Review: If you know anything about Steve Digital, you'll know this; he flipping loves a co-lab. And here, to kick off another big year for Function, are three. "Out Of Control" sees him team up with Sight Unseen for a sizzling reese piece that's not dissimilar to Digital's work with the late great Spirit. Keygenlog tags in for more of a techno inspired jaunt all sinewy acid and splashing cymbal power while Gremlinz feeds Digital after midnight to create a church level piece of rolling emotion. Also included is a crucial slab of venomous jungle ruffage "Bitter Switch". Pow.
Review: Ding ding, round two. Following the long-awaited "Deaddial" and "Revolution", Digital & Spirit's latest EP continues to shatter a second slab of wax. "Phantom 2018" brings their 1999 game-changing bleep hypno-hurter "Phantom Force" up to speed with a full rebuild on all the elements that punch with a perfect balance of modern weight but the classic Digital & Spirit wall of sound feel. "Small World" is a brand new construction laced with their signature fabrics. Pummelling breaks, treacle subs and a strident dubby synth hook that's tailored for 3am+ moments. No one does it like these guys.
Review: The mighty Digital delivers the second vinyl instalment of his Total Control album and it's a devilish dark affair. The moment those drums on "Total Control" hit you with hardcore mischief, you know what type of mood Digital is in right here. No prisoners taken! Dig deeper for the crystaline rave ripples "To Meeeeeee" with long time compadres Spirit and Q Project before "So Fine" closes the show with crafty rolling breaks and dubwise dynamics. Digital is in a good place right here.
Review: Dom returns to his Dubs Dungeon once again and re-opens the Dillinja crypt for two more long-coveted dubplates. "You" is fresh from 94 with subs so thick and misty they'll freeze you to your bones and breaks so sharply edited you now have pierced ears just reading this short review, this was a major missile for the AWOL massive. "King Of The Beats" is a year or two deeper into Dillinja's unmatchable discography with a killer b-boy sample, rocket fuel drums and a waspy bassline that stings from a 10 mile radius. Jungle royalty.
Review: DJ Central presents three new aliases on this elegantly put together 12". Conjuring up the perfect recipe for a DJ Cake, Central blends and explores the likes of pulsating atmospheric techno on the track "Balast", smoothly escalating breaks on "Ko Ko Dak Dak" and hazy crackling ambient on the finale "Daeksel". Unique, inspiring and truly excellent works from the one they call DJ Central.
Persian Prince - "Revolutionary Junglist" (CS mix) (5:21)
Review: Those DATS keep getting unearthed and remastered as Dlux and Persian Prince hit the fifth volume in the series. Once again, it's an open and shut case of music that was decades ahead of its time. Spacey to the point of psychedelic, freeform to the point of jazz; Dlux was a master at those lean unpredictable grooves that have stood the test of time so well. Highlights include the sudden chops into funk breaks on "Drummer's Return" and the frantic gamey 8 bit bubbles of "I Gotcha Part 2". Ageless slammage.
Review: Two weeks after Off-World Colonies' launch mission, we plot Gaff & Cityspeak's journey through the jungle stars once again... Eight minute monster "Snake Scale" is all crunchy 150 hardcore before dipping right the way down to 120-ish on a vibed out house mid-section, "Procession" is a nutty acid jungle workout complete with a swooning emotional breakdown, "Jah Focus" is a deep dip into jazz with its loose rattling drums before "Rhythmic Desire" goes supernova with some insane drum edits and divine vocal sample that literally gives you the finger. Serious jungle business.
Review: Brand new Marky! It's about time... Four years after his "My Heroes" album landed (and two years after his last single - "Silly VIP") the Sao Paulo don returns with two perfect soulful D&B gems. "Should I" looks back to the early 2000s with its powerful sample and Bingo-style bubbling bassline while "Love Break" takes off where "Silly" left us; swooping instrumentation that will have you leaping behind the decks and a break that will never ever quit. Don't leave it so long please Marky!
Review: Dona's Plant Texture lays down more fresh produce in the form of the left-sided Italian beat selection. Dona takes the A-side with three versions; his RaveONine blend is a warped, woozy joint that tips a subversive nod towards to the trippier side of Detroit, his jungle mix lives up to its name with some classic breakwork while the Slow08 version takes us right into the middle of a gluey dancefloor, all slo-mo and sedative. Flip for three twists from fellow Italian Simoncinco; a wriggling acid groove, a thundering bleep-style dub and some rolling 909 drums for add creative mix pleasure. What a package. Ready for takeoff?
Review: If bustling, bass-heavy jungle sweatiness is your thing, head this way. First released digitally way back in 2016, this joint EP from DJ Shadowplay and Vital Link offers up quartet of floor-pounding peak time anthems rich in unashamedly weighty sub bass, fizzing old school breakbeats and heady samples. The brew is arguably at its most potent on opener "The Box Remix", a raw and powerful revision of a track by fellow Kemet artist Human Being. The bass-weight and rhythmic pressure continues elsewhere on the EP, from the sampled Balearic guitars and insane beats-and-bass of "Man Child", to the overheard phone chat and aggressive bass of "Code 64" and Roy Ayers-sampling sunshine-jungle of "Jungle Life".