Review: This new one on Martyn's 3024 might be a various artists affair but the tracks sit rather well together, which is even more remarkable given the diverse backgrounds of those involved: Noire with his super hard drums, Metalheadz affiliates Gremlinz & Jesta who link here with Sin, and Parris who makes some truly bonkers club music. Martyn's own "Frozen Bread Snaps" is the opener that most impresses with its delicate and skeletal drum programming and heartfelt chords. Elsewhere, "Door Of Guf" is a high octane rough rider while "Ballas" is perfectly off kilter and funky. "Dusty Glass Bubbles" somehow sounds exactly like it should with that title.
Review: Boom: 7th Storey bossman Tim Reaper slams down his unavoidable hammer once again. This time on the blink-and-miss Lickshot series. Going right back to the roots for this, both sides are crusty, clattering and rougher than a cat's tongue. Just the way we like them. Real reggae samples, warm dubby bass, unpredictable twists and more groove than a carpenter's worktop; this is proper jungle. Don't fear the Reaper... and don't sleep on this!
Review: Brazilian producer Coastdream has been seen previously on the likes of Deeptrax, Paling Trax and Renascence and now shows up on London purveyors of dreamy lo-fi house X-Kalay. The title track will take you back to that Second Summer Of Love with its retro euphoric vibes, as will the deep tribal house of "Oh La La". It's over to The Windy City circa '89 on the dusty and saturated emotions of "About You" while "La Esperanza" throws a right curveball at us launching a dark junglist stepper circa '94 right at ya. An EP that joins the dots between several seminal moments across dance music history in fine fashion. Tip!
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: 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.
Review: Om Unit takes it to the bridge once again. His label's first V/A collection since its evergreen "Cosmology Selections" in 2017, it's another vast plain ripe in sonic depths and textures from some of the most left-minded, boundary-fusing captains in the bass game. Featuring two crucial link-ups from the bossman himself with two kindred spirits Djrum and Synkro plus a whole cosmic cornucopia of voyages from the likes of Danny Scrilla, J:Kenzo, Vromm and stacks more, every track is a highlight in its own beguiling way. No label flares with the same level of dark vitality, there's more than enough for our brains to chew on right here.
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: 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.
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.
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...
Review: Having set our world alight with his third Ilian Tape 12", 2012, back in the spring, Munich man Skee Mask delivers another essential collection of loose-limbed, broken techno workouts. Typically, he's on point from the word go, enveloping swinging, off-kilter techno breakbeats with swirling chords and cascading melodies on brilliant opener "Inti". His love of African-influenced polyrhythms is explored further on the ghostly, percussion-rich club cut "Kappelberg Chant" (which, incidentally, makes great use of choral chants), while "Routine" is a warm, loved-up and evocative tribute to rave-era British breakbeat-house. His debt to British dance music's formative years also comes to the fore on killer proto-jungle jam "Skreet Lvl Dub".
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.
Review: Classic alert! Doc Scott revisits his NHS alias for this very special release on 31. The minute you hear that dark, groaning, ultimately evil, bassline you're whisked straight back in the smoky mists of 1996 - even if you were there at the time or not. Still dropped heavily by DJs to this day, this remastered revisit comes with a storming contemporisation from the on-point Om Unit. Identifying the creative potential between the bassline and his trademark halfsteps, it's one of the best D&B modernisations you'll hear all year.
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.
Right Here Right Now (Friction One In The Jungle remix) (4:03)
Right Here Right Now (Friction & Killer Hertz remix) (4:16)
Review: D&B lynchpin Friction switches up the Fatboy classic anthem in two ways. He goes wild with his One In The Jungle mix on the A; a dark rolling jam with all the classic underground touches and a vibes heads-down feel. As for the Friction and Killer Hertz remix on the flip? Let's just say, with their BBK style XXXL size riff damager they deserve medals for their service to remixing. But you knew that already because these have been some of the biggest D&B remixes in recent years.
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: 1985 is a London based platform for forward thinking electronic music, basing its roots in 170/85 BPM and beyond. Label head honcho Alix Perez takes charge of the label's next release alongside label staple Montgomery Brimley from Toulouse (aka Monty) and London based Jeroen Snik aka Icicle (Shogun Audio/Entropy Music). Perez first flies solo on the darkside techstepper "BXL", while "Caligo" (with Monty) builds the suspense with its industrial edged atmosphere. On the flip, "Live With It" (with Icicle) is minimalist breakbeat science with a futurist edge, featuring pitch shifted and melancholic vocals, with a sub-bass that tears through your speakers like a chainsaw.
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.
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: 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".
Review: LSB returns with the third chapter in his Footnotes series. Four more originals spanning his stark, restrained style, the title track sums up the spirit perfectly; big strings, a classic rave vocal refrain and a dynamic that will melt your trousers. It's complemented by the much darker, tunnel technoid "Space Stepper", the metallic harmonies and salubrious future funk flare of "Do Your Thing" and the emotion-laden, introspective "Melrose". Get footloose for Footnotes...
Review: Goodness gracious; UVB-76 sublabel Droogs rises for the first time this year and it does so with these two troves of utter darkness. Both sides as tense and immersive as each other, coming from two rising new-gen artists, both "Carrier Wave" and "Echos" hit home hard. Holsten's former takes a while to set the misty theme before cutting through with a breezy rolling breakbeat while Artilect's latter kicks with more of a techstep bounce but heavily swung and wrapped up in taut strings and grizzly distorted bass. Absolute wounders.
Culture Shock vs Josh Parkinson - "No More" (4:50)
Steam Machine (4:53)
Rush Connection (4:31)
Review: Culture Shock releases are notoriously sparse... With upwards of a year passing between dispatches (and epic five-year hype times between ID clips of Ram boss Andy C playing them and them actually being finished and released) fans have learned to make hay while the sun shines. Like now... Originally released digitally in December, these four tracks are finally available on vinyl and every one of them is a thriller: from the Detroitian textures of the synths on "Tangents" to the all-out bull charge of "Steam Machine" and the vocal beauty of "No More", Shocky's sun is shining brightly right now. Time to make hay!
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!