Shine On Through (feat Mountain & Karina Ramage) (4:11)
Kosa (feat Keeno) (5:58)
The Encounter (feat Bop) (5:40)
Miles Ahead (feat DJ Marky) (4:11)
Morning Sunrise (feat Danny Wheeler, G Force & Blu James) (4:55)
Tokyo '96 (feat SPY) (5:24)
Show Me How You Feel (feat Lorna King) (4:52)
Dive (feat Polaris) (5:42)
Liberta (feat Urbandawn) (4:34)
Living For (feat Paul T & Edward Oberon) (5:28)
Transparent (feat Whiney) (4:57)
Mystic Crystals (feat Technimatic) (5:16)
Nexus (feat Pola & Bryson) (4:13)
Merchant Blessing (feat MC Conrad) (4:31)
Review: Makato is often cited as one of the pioneering founders of Japan's drum & bass scene. He's now up to his sixth studio album and it finds his airy, rolling, sweet flowing beats all present and correct. "Tomodachi Sessions" derived from a series of collaborations with close friends who have all played a part in his 25 year career. DJ Marky, S.P.Y, Bop and MC Conrad all feature and lend their own personalities to an album that offers celebratory hands in the air tracks like "Shine On Through" next to more late night dancers like "Transparent" and melodic explorations like "Show Me How You Feel".
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: Rewind to 2014: the duo previously known as Technicolour & Komatic galvanize everything they'd done before with a debut album that boosted them several levels. Four years later and Desire Paths remains a vast and vibrant set rich in emotion in all directions. From evergreen soulful, highly strung roll-outs such as "Beneath The Skies", "Music Is Music" and "Night Vision" to darker pacers like "Innermost" and "Tectonic" via off-piste surprises like the jazzed out "Mucky Jeff", this debut album stands the test of time perfectly. Last pressed two years ago, now's your chance to grab the vinyl if you missed it before.
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.
Review: While Calibre's studio albums are invariably superb, his periodic Shelflife compilations of unreleased tracks and tried-and-tested dubplates are often even better. Predictably, this fifth volume in the series not only hits the spot, but also contains some genuinely grade-A material. Many will naturally gravitate towards high-class DRS hook-up "City Life" and the sought-after Marcus Intalex collaboration "Bluesday" (a typically warm, melodious and soulful affair), but there are plenty of other highlights amongst the 12 tracks on. These largely tend towards the more sun-kissed and breezy end of the D&B spectrum, though there are some tougher and darker workouts (see the low-slung sci-fi growl of "Jaboc") amongst Calibre's waves of dancefloor positivity.
Review: After the game-changing success of his debut album, "Timeless", Goldie could have easily repeated the same trick and cashed in. Instead, he went completely the opposite direction and indulged himself in an hour long orchestral symphony (many years before the current trend for such shows became a thing). Collaborations with Noel Gallagher (the vulnerable "Temper Temper"), personal tracks that address his mother, and a long lost suicide note. Musically, the now 21 year old "Saturnz Return" is mostly dark and broody jungle that will re-wire your brain, though "Digital" and "Fury - The Origin" offer moments of soaring beauty.
Oris Jay & Chris Innasound - "Ghost & Darkness" (5:11)
Krust - "Escape From Finland" (3:39)
Au & Jesta - "Just Don" (5:36)
Danny Scrilla - "Clockwerkz" (4:52)
Von D - "Ah So Let It Go" (4:40)
Akcept & Another Channel - "Don't Believe" (6:16)
Monic - "Storm Doris" (4:53)
Review: Let's just list the amount of stone cold bass OGs on this collection: Krust, dBridge, Om Unit, Danny Scrilla, V.I.V.E.K, Von D, Moresounds, AU, Oris Jay & Chris Innasound and whole load more of soundsystem culture's most innovative craftsman working at the deepest levels of the low end coalface all feature on this immense and forward thinking document. Including the curator Amit himself. Every track is a highlight, each one and abyssal, immersive experience but essential highlights include the toxic bass bounces of Moresounds' "They Can't Handle It", the 23rd century UKG of Oris and Chris' "They Can't Handle It" and Krust's big screen masterpiece "Escape From Finland". Amit deserves a holiday. Or a massive trophy. Or both. Bass compilations don't get much bigger than this.
Review: Although Naibu producer Robin Leclair has released some tidy singles over the years, his immersive, dreamy and soulful brand of drum and bass is arguably better suited to the long-playing format. All five of his previous albums have been full of deep and musically expressive treats; "Manoeuvres", his first LP for nearly three years, follows a similar blueprint. Highlights are plentiful, from the weightless ambient bliss of "Float" and hot-stepping, club-ready warmth of "Red Hand", to the poignant vocal D&B-soul of "Distant Light" and the intergalactic symphonic shuffle of "Achille". This is drum and bass to get lost in; we can think of few finer things.
I Adore You (feat Natalie Williams & Ulterior Motive) (6:04)
I Think Of You (7:11)
Truth (feat Jose James) (4:55)
Tu Viens Avec Moi? (8:47)
The Ballad Celeste (5:10)
This Is Not A Love Song (6:25)
The River Mirrored (5:38)
Tomorrow's Not Today (4:30)
Run Run Run (6:05)
Review: It would be fair to say that excitement has been building since Goldie announced the release of The Journey Man earlier this year. You see, the expansive, triple-vinyl full-length is the Metalheadz man's first album since 1998's patchy Saturnz Return, and is being trumpeted by those who've heard it in full as a triumphant return to form. It naturally features some sweeping, classical instrumentation, but there's nothing as self indulgent as the hour-long "Mother". Furthermore, Goldie has wisely delivered a set of high quality drum and bass that ticks numerous boxes - dancefloor darkness, jungle revivalism, liquid funk warmth - with a string of suitably impressive collaborators (Ulterior Motive, Swindle, Jose James, Natalie Williams, Terri Walker) swinging by to ensure the set oozes soul.
Review: Austrian twosome Camo & Krooked have become genuine drum & bass heavyweights since making their debut back in 2006, thanks in no small part to a string of well-received albums on Hospital Records. Now residing on the similarly established Ram Records, the duo regards Mosaik as their most intricate, well-produced and musically expansive body of work to date. It's hard to argue with this assessment. Weighing in at 13 tracks deep and chock full of collaborations with guest vocalists and fellow producers, the tracks not only fizz with their usual colourful synths and punchy, minimalist D&B rhythms, but also the simmering beauty of sweeping orchestration, the familiar jangle of acoustic guitars, and all manner of ear-pleasing flourishes. DJs will be happy to hear that they've not left the dancefloor behind, with all but a handful of the tracks being primed for club play.
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: 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: Alix Perez rallies up the troops once again for another smouldering selection of futurism from a truly all-star cast ranging from Tsuruda to Bredren. Playfully writhing amid that dark but so fertile bass hinterland that joins jungle, hip hop, beats and all shades in between, once again we run the gamut from somnambulant soul (Halogenix's super deep "Trouble") to lively steppy warped D&B (SubMarine's "IWY", Razat's "Simplicity", Monty's "Decisions") by way of the unclassifiable (Alix's switchy swampy beast "Poison Ivy", Deft's "Trips"). And we do say so with that awesome sense of unknown, unease and tension that Alix, his label and his equally innovative affiliates have made themselves known for. Welcome to the future.
Review: Shogun duo Technicolour and Komatic cut their third album to deluxe wax comprising two white 12"s and two coloured 10"s... And it sounds every bit as good as it looks. Soulful yet varied in its scope and range, it's the most confident and clearest LP the duo have given us so far as it ranges from the darker, gnarlier minimal twists of "True Believer" to the more signature flourishing orchestration of cuts like "Weightless (feat Lucy Kitchen)" and naked introspection such as "The Nightfall (feat Jono McCleery)". And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Potential drum & bass album of the year.
Review: Med School has said that In Stillness, Etherwood's third full-length excursion for the label, contains "some of the most awe-inspiring and poignant drum and bass" that they've released to date. We tend to agree. Recorded in his home studio somewhere in the Finnish wilderness, the album effortlessly combines heart-aching songs and expansive instrumentation (both electronic and acoustic) with the distinctive rhythmic snap of classic D&B. This naturally results in a string of sublime, mood-enhancing moments, with highlights including the cascading jazz guitar solos and dreamy vocal harmonies of "You're Missing Life", the weighty but icy roller "Bear's Breaches (featuring Anile)" and the intricate, beat-less bliss of "Metsa".
Review: Prolific producer Christoph De Babalon has always been hard to pin down. In recent years, his releases have tended towards experimental electronica and techno, though he started out in the '90s making scattergun drum and bass on Alec Empire's Digital Hardcore Recordings. It's these roots that he returns to on "Exquisite Angst", his second full-length of 2018. Starting with the unearthly ambient sounds of "Gaseous Invertebrate", De Babalon fuses sharp, ruffneck jungle rhythms, creepy field recordings, out-there electronics, IDM melodies, fuzzy hip-hop beats, sludgy sounds and scattergun percussion hits. The result is an inspired, mind-altering sound soup that rewards repeat listening sessions.
Review: Many years and many more 12"s have passed since Coco Bryce's last full album slapped us around the senses, but the wait has been worth it. "Night On Earth" captures the flying Dutchman in his most lucid state as he rolls out his acutely on-point contemporary jungle across two 12"s. Highlights include the dreamy breezes and cosmic touches of "Vertigo", the trippy Vibertisms of "Killing Me", and the darker steppier paranoia of "Polar" but let's face it; if you've so much as sniffed at a Myor release in your life you'll already know that every track is a highlight. There's no stopping Bryce right now.
Review: What's better than a Phace record? A Phace record the features some of his most exciting creative contemporaries. Each track tells its own unique tale; "Bang Bang" leads from the front with its great use of rhythmic vocal shots and dynamic arrangement, "Drawback" is as heavy and teeth-clenching as you'd want a Phace and Noisia record to be, "Wild Thing" is more understated than you'd expect a Current Value collaboration to be while "Yes!" sees Rockwell and Phace counter their four-year-old banger "No!" to great effect. Genuinely epic; buy this and you'll have friends for life.
Review: Bristol-based basssmith Binga comes correct with his debut long one: a tightly-stitched suite of beats, flavours, cultures and vocalists, it's an immense listen whether you come at this from a jungle perspective, a beats point of view or a straight-up D&B angle: from iced-out instrumental rollers such as "Dark Day" and the chubby-bass ridden "I Tol U" to twisted future dancehall like the title track "Wasted Days" and trippy turbo grime "Badman Skin". Complete with an all-star cast of mic caressers - TT The Artist, Rider Shafique, Warrior Queen and Binga's long-term compadre Redders - this is a heavyweight document that really showcases both Binga's capabilities and the creative potential of future genre smelting. Don't waste any more time.
Review: Two of the most rated men in D&B's next generation league, Emperor and Mefjus collaborations are always worth your time. Neither happy to conform to the rules established by peers, both relish in ending tracks with wry skits, both seriously on point with everything they've done in the last few years, naturally this follow up to their collaborative debut "Hello World" is just as firesome. All loaded with heavily sprung bass funk and oddball noises and designs that come in from nowhere, both originals are as original and distinctive as you'd want them to be. Comes complete with two long awaited versions; Emperor gullying the dickens out of "Dissuade" and Mefjus taking a hammer to "SMPL", rebuilding it in his own twisted way. Gloriously dark.
Review: From the label: Jakarta based Jonathan Kusuma delivers a new EP on Cocktail d'Amore Music. After his European debut on Cosmo Vitelli's I'm A Cliche, followed by a successful EP on Berlin's imprint Love On The Rocks, the Indonesian artist keeps carrying the vessel of the Far East sound. The title track Black Magic is a fat disco-tribal inspired groove that builds fast, eventually climaxing with a cloud of acid synths and mystical vocals. Japanese duo Mascaras, Chida and Cos/Mes' 5ive, straighten up the groove giving a 4/4 beats restyling. The result is a Proto-Techno, Trance influenced soundscape, for foggy late-night dancefloors. Urban Sorcery is an Italo inspired maze of proto-acid synthesizers, sounding like an enchanted concrete-covered forest. 90's house inspired Redvox is an experiment of cosmic influences. As the vocal becomes part of the groove, the long pads fuel this spaceship pushing it to the borders of time and space.
Review: St Petersburg drum and bass producer presents us with his fourth album of high tech engineered drum and bass, guaranteed to deliver some serious future shock. There's some real dystopian themes overshadowing this album, but Aleksei Ergachevnov has the right knack for sound design to pull of the concept and album as a whole. There's some undeniable influences from some of the masters of the craft, such as Ed Rush and Optical and Peshay, but he's definitely representing the new garde of breakbeat science pretty damn well. Highlights include the subterranean sonar transmissions of "Iron Curtain", the jazzy liquid breaks of "Moment Of Now (feat Frank Carter III", the evil futurist minimalism of "Just One Look (Feat. Charli Brix)" and the peak time destroyer "Between The Split". One for the heads.