Review: One of several remastered releases from Kniteforce, rave legends Hyper On Experience are in the midst of a major reissue spree right now and dancefloors are all the better for it. Originally released 1994 on Moving Shadow, "Deaf In The Family" was the final chapter of the duo's family-flavoured series and it sprawled right across the rave spectrum. "Timestretch" was all about the tension and sense of panic while "Lord Of The Null Lines" is straight up early D&B. Elsewhere, the Smiley Rock remix of "Imajika" goes in hard on the breaks before stripping back to a breakdown from heaven while "Thundergrip" closes the EP with some serious mania that teeters on the happy side of hardcore while remaining hard as nails.
Review: Back to 93! Rave duo Hyper On Experience were absolutely dominating the sets of DJs like Seduction, Carl Cox, Slipmatt and Phantasy and anyone paying attention to the then-fledgling Moving Shadow imprint. Now part of a major remaster and reissue campaign from Kniteforce, their third EP enjoys a timely evaluation: "Disturbance" is the mischievous opener, all impish and no sense of direction (in the best way possible), "Monarch Of The Glen" takes us more into happier territories with some goosebumping pianos and cool halfbeats while "Lil Ruffion" nods heavily to a European drum, all techno and flighty. Reload.
Quadrant, Iris, Ulterior Motive - "Intuition" (6:04)
Review: Guidance strike again! Two sides, two vibes: first up the label bossmen Ulterior Motive continue their ripping vein of form with the weapon's grade stepper "Trip Hammer" that hits with serious space around every gritty funk element. Flip for a hook-up with dynamic US duo Quadrant & Iris as we're taken down a wormhole of dark delights at a white knuckle pace that doesn't let up. Huge shouts to Guidance right here.
Review: Last year's hair-raising adventures of everyone's favourite jungle superhero Action Saxxon continue to see the light of day as Liondub drops this second EP of album favourite on 12". Running the full range, we kick off with gritty atonal groans with DJ Limited ("Way Back") and end with one of the fattest, distorted rollers the Norwich man has mustered ("Rollcall"). In between we're treated to sensual jazzy flutters ("Cherry On Top") and a wobbler so flabby it often swaps wardrobes with your dad. Action stations!
Review: If ever there was a record that warranted a one-track single-sided pressing, it would be this one. The legend of this track harks back to the golden years of dubplate culture, when a track's infamy could be felt months before it dropped. Sherelle lay waste to the place when she dropped Fixate's utterly devilish bootleg of Double 99's timeless garage classic "Ripgroove," which artfully nudges the track back into the rudest jungle styles the original made such good use of. It had to get an official pressing, and who better than original label Ice Cream Records to do the business? This one is going to fly out, so don't hang around.
Review: The ever versatile and innovative Martyn goes back to his bass roots again with three explorations into three of the UK's most important offerings to the dancefloor: UKG, D&B and dubstep (the genre in which Martyn first made his name) The title track is an industrial strength two-step vibe-out with gloopy, oily textures around the molten steppy rhythm. "BC 2", meanwhile, takes us back to the late 90s/early 2000s. Think Photek, Johnny L, Source Direct and you're in the right dance. Finally "Rhythm Ritual" takes us back to 2008 with a bright bashy technoid twist on the ever-evolving dubstep schematics. Timeless.
Review: Nodding to the days of widespread dance anonymity, where the focus was firmly placed on the music rather than reputations and brand hype, Bring Back's fourth release is soaked in hardcore and jungle tones in keeping with both the mysterious artist tip and the label's name. Basically music to make you sweat. 'Night Selector' is perhaps the least rave-y of the lot, and that's saying something considering its stretched amens and mysterious, futurist ambience. 'Light In Ghetto' throws itself fully into the revivalist movement, beautiful female lyrics and pitched vocal cuts crying out over a rhythm section that's stripped enough to make room for choppy, distorted keys. 'Lobster', meanwhile, plays with time signatures, paying respect to the roots of these sounds- dub and soundystem culture- in between full-throttle nastiness.
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.
Jamalski, Rocker T & Mr Live - "Put It On" (Liondub & Bluntskull remix) (4:51)
Johnny Osbourne & Marcus Visionary - "Lend Me" (5:17)
Bladerunner & DJ Westy - "Original Bad Boy" (5:57)
Review: What a ting! North America's running wild with drum & bass right now but here are two of the realest, most enduring names: Marcus Visionary and Liondub International. Four tracks taken from Marcus's recent mix album, highlights include aggy dancehall hip-hop fusion of "Put It On" and the utterly disgusting roller "Original Bad Boy" from Bladerunner and DJ Westy. Featuring the likes of Navigator and Rankin Joe, there's some of the strongest voices possible on this collection. The Atlantic gates are well and truly open.
Pola & Bryson - "Find Your Way" (feat Charlotte Haining) (5:17)
Glxy & Gzb - "Yes Jah" (5:13)
Mitekiss - "Some People" (4:34)
Signal - "How Will I Know" (3:57)
Review: Shogun Audio dig deep into the vaults once again for a collection of long-demanded vinyl outings. Taken from right across the label's broad spectrum, we kick off with Pola, Bryson & Charlotte Haining's anthem sing-along "Find Your Way" before GLX follow with one of their darkest steppers to date "Yes Jah". Meanwhile on the flip Mitekiss's piano-massaging dreamweaver "Some People" before Signal's hurricane vocal headbutt "How Will I Know You" shuts down the session in timeless style. Grab it while you can.
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: What a year to be a Threshold enthusiast: first came his crucial "Blackboard" EP on AKO Beatz, now his return to Fresh 86 with four more singular cuts. As the title suggests, it's a deep space mission from the off; those big paranoid chords and foreboding organs on the title track, the zero gravity breaks and textures of "Velvet Pum", the turbine bass and creepy harmonics of "Talking Reece" and the all-out asteroid bounding jungle finale "Mars Attacks". Galvanised by a strong nod to Moving Shadow but done packing a 2020 punch, Threshold's on an incredible roll this year.
Review: Med School's travelling wilbury Etherwood delivers his first collection of originals since last year's album "In Stillness". Written on the road throughout summer 2018 in his van, each piece depicts an entirely fresh view that ranges from the azure waters and soft sand of "See The Sky" to much darker, tense rollers such as "Driving Out". Highlights include the soft introspection of "Clouds", the delicate pianos and meany moody bass groan on "Lulerain" and the skippy bliss of "Away From It All". Time to get lost...
Review: Back on wax by popular demand (this time green), OG producer Chatter B's return to the game enjoys a re-boost and it still sounds every bit as vital; "Smoke Da Weed" has that bubbly Breakage feel that just hums through a system so sweetly. Elsewhere "Jam Hot" hits with a little more Bristol flavour, all minimal and bouncy, while the reggae-topped "Burn Down Da Dance" hits with much chunkier beats and more of a modern D&B feel. That's before we even get to the ravey jam from OG solider Potential Bad Boy. Jump on it or wait two years for another reissue.
Review: Artificial Intelligence welcome Austrian duo Air K & Cephei back to the fold with this gorgeous four-tracker. Their first full EP for the label, they've delivered in all directions; "All You Know" is a vocal hurricane armed with an equally hair-raising bassline, "Smiles" is an introspective-yet-sensual piano-tickler while "Reflections" is a genuine cosmic crusade built with layers and textures that go on for days. Finally "My Way" closes the show with a nice bit of closure. With added touches from Concept & Shnek, it's a powerful orchestral piece with all the essential drama you need in a summer set. Epic.
Review: And the Shogun album heat just keeps on coming... Fresh from launching Ed:It's album series, Friction's label flings Document One's debut upside our features. And it's another essential addition to our collections. As an act renowned for covering the spectrum and subverting the styles, the album format is perfect for the Oxford duo as they guide us through the spectrum... Launching with sing-along sunny-side jungle ("Shutdown") and closing with epic Sigma-esque gospel business ("Newborn") they pack every shade and style in between from soothing chime-laced deepness ("Temporal"), introspective soulful steppers ("Fortitude") and absolute grizzlesome grit ("Holy Moly") A highly accomplished debut album.
One Tribe - "Is This All" (feat Gem - Instinctstrumental) (7:07)
Lennie De Ice - "We Are IE" (5:01)
Zero B - "Lock Up" (2012 Remaster) (5:32)
Wots My Code - "Dubplate" (3:52)
Foul Play - "Being With You" (6:40)
Noise Factory - "The Future" (4:31)
Fallout - "The Morning After" (Sunrise mix) (8:31)
Review: This year marks three decades since the launch of Rage, the weekly London club night that not only made Fabio and Grooverider stars, but also proved hugely influential in the development of hardcore and jungle. To celebrate, the long-serving DJ duo is offering up an epic compilation of Rage favourites split over four double albums. Part One offers a great introduction to the series, flitting between familiar favourites (the throbbing, bass-heavy Dub of Leftfield's "Not Forgotten", Lennie De Ice's hardcore anthem "We Are I.E"), lesser celebrated gems (the dreamy deep house of One Tribe's "Is This All"), proto-jungle classics (Wots My Code's sub-heavy, bleep-sporting "Dubplate", Foul Play's lusciously hazy "Being With You") and genuine rude boy smashers (Noise Factory's "The Future").
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.
Review: A fierce n' firing D&B four-tracker here from Joe Rossiter and Liam Bailey, better known collectively as Chromatic, a UK duo who've appeared previously on Dope Plates, New Playaz, Formation Records and Flexout Audio, among others. Opener 'The Prayer' (feat Tim Cant) brings the mid-90s jungle vibes, while liquid, minimal and jungle influences collide on 'Roots' (feat Soul Intent). On the flip, 'Kavos' (feat RV) is another old school-sounding roller, and then finally 'Blend' itself is a smoother ride - liquid in feel without being all wishy-washy about it. It all adds up to an EP that'll do the pair's ever-growing reputation no harm whatsoever.
Review: Deep in the trenches of the acid house revolution, Fabio & Grooverider were experimenting with a darker blend of sonics week in, week out at Rage, one of the UK's formative acid house nights. Detroit and Belgian techno, US house, UK breakbeats, hip-house, Sheffield bleeps were all in the mixing pot as they started to pioneer a sound that would eventually become jungle. Celebrating 30 years since this seminal event, they've curated a series of albums that join the dots between the movement's cornerstones. From Frankie Bones' "Just As Long As I Got You" (from his fabled Bonesbreaks series) to the much darker side of Balearic king Nightmares On Wax in the form of "Aftermath", these are some of the many key records Fabio & Grooverider dug for to create a culture that's just as strong now as it was when it began 30 years ago. One of a four part series, each one is a keeper.
Review: Prepare to fire! Skeppy's got a brand new cut and he's and everyone's allowed a cheeky buzz on it. Yes it's finally time to get your grubby paws on the long-awaited "Musket". One of the Exit Records artists' most divisive of tunes, unlike his darker deeper tackle it's a jaunty, spiky jump-up tune. Addictive, fun to mix and guaranteed to get the crowd all wound up, this has all the hallmarks of a festival D&B anthem this summer. Grab it while you can.
Review: Oh gosh. Total Science ante up for the summer with this exceptional V/A EP on their CIA imprint. Kicking off with a crucial new remix of their classic "Nosher" by their new hybrid gang comprising of themselves, DLR and Hydro, full breadth and variation abounds as we dip into the gilded soul of Zero T & Phase's "Talk To Me", the gnarled grizzles and dubby danger of their own "Devils Gate" with Scar member Script and the grand finale; a heavyweight purring roller from two of the most respected newcomers in the game right now: Ill Truth and SATL. Each one a persy for different chapters of the night, any further information is classified.
Review: He's back at the controls! Breakage has been in his element since launching Index, rolling out jam after jam after jam. Rooted in the foundations, stripped back to the bare bones and designed to make both you and your speakers shake, everything he's delivered on the label so far has been prime mixing material and supported across the board. These are no exceptions; "Yeah" is a cantankerous shakedown with all the funk you'd expect from the man, "Liff Up" is minimal, bouncy and unhurried in its momentum while "Wicked" closes with a snaking sub that will both squeeze and bite you. Wicked and indeed bad, respect to Breakage.
Review: Skee Mask, who only recently was found out to be called Bryan Muller, comes through with his second LP to date, making a wonderful follow-up to 2016's Shred. Compro is, ironically, comprised of a much more explorative palette of sounds, with many corners of the album veering off into otherworldly ambient, often through a striking new-age sensibility. The most impressive element of this album is its flow and evolution across its 12 tracks, sounding a lot more like one single-minded thought rather than a collection of disparate dance-not-dance tunes. The quality of the recording is noticeable, too, with tracks like "Rev8617" or "Via Sub Mids" sounding professional, both in vision and style. Through an intricate collage of breaks, samples, polyphonies, and subtle electronic manipulations, Skee Mask has truly mastered his own art, and is giving a new direction to the wider 'UK rave' sound. BIG.
Review: Well hello there Mr Monty. One of the many super-talented producers to emerge from the thriving Toulouse scene in recent years, he returns to Alix Perez's 1985 with four new fire-ups. Arguably his best material to date (which is saying something), the EP takes up from the viper-like rattles and slithers of the lead track to the epic cavernous deep rollage of "Intoxication". In between we're treated to glacial soul ("Limbo" with Visages) and proper sandpaper funk roughage ("Legion") Never say goodbye...