Review: Metalheadz might be celebrating 25 years in the game in 2019, but they are not spending too much time looking back. Instead, Goldie's vital label continues to serve up forward looking drum & bass, this time from Jem One. A year after his debut on the label he's back with another varied three tracker. Form the swirling pads of liquid roller "Lotus" to the more angsty, tightly coiled drums of old school jungle cut "Transpose" and on to darkened minimal stepper "The Hardcore", there is a lot to love here.
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: Following his "All Four One" EP at the start of the year, Frankee returns with two more startling shock-outs. "Downtown" shows the Londoner at his softest, most emotional side as Simon Franks delivers a vocodered vocal over an almost trance-like dynamic. Floaty, evocative and rolling, its lighter-raising power is up there with the best work of Sub Focus and Culture Shock. Flip for "Power", a bassline damager with a toxic hook that's reminiscent of Mampi or Dillinja. Benchmark business.
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.
Review: Whoever put DC Breaks and Prolix in the same room should take the week off. Ridiculously good work there... As proved by these two insane dancefloor scrappers. "Infinity" is a real drama session with Upbeats-style drones on the fills, neuro tones in the bass and a breakdown that will crush you. "Embargo" is almost punk like in its unruly raffishness. Suzzy, distorted and fizzing with badness, this will slay any floor from any corner. Incredible scenes.
Review: Powerhouse Ram collab business as Anglo-Dutch duo June Miller play a mean head-butting game with Russian trio Teddy Killerz. "Rock 'N' Roll" has one of the best intros Ram have released in a while before dropping into a sweaty, moshy, air-guitar-snapping halftime groove. "Wildlife", meanwhile, is a sharp, steppy jump-up jam with staccato bass and a powerfully funky breakdown with big percussion and cinematic horns. A near-perfect example of collaboration science.
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: The latest Critical Music drop pairs the fresh faced with the established, as newcomer Foreign Concept shares twelve inch billing with label boss Kasra. Shotgun calling duties fall on Foreign Concept with the finely sculpted excellence of "Mob Justice" which pairs drums that slap you in the face with sub bass. Flipside and Kasra allows some reverberant melody the space to breath over the tightly wound liquid drum step on "Show You" with the dark splurges of bass matched by the slightly ominous vocals that float around the shadows of the mix.
Review: Critical is a label synonymous with quality drum and bass and Kasra's latest signing, Stray, isn't about to disappoint. Kicking off with an eerie, horror movie style atmosphere and stripped down beats, the intro on "Erase" sets the mood nicely. With a growling bass, sprinkling of breaks and a dark, moody vibe, this minimal track drops heavily with enough weight for the dancefloor. "Locked Up" on the flip side is a much more uplifting affair, with thought provoking melodies, rolling breaks and a warm bassline..
Review: A much loved figure across the D&B spectrum, Break brings us his next utterance on none other than Critical Music, who are enjoying their time in the limelight at the moment, following Kasra's recent Fabriclive mix. Here, we see Break doing what he does best in "Here We Go" as he goes in hard and fast, with pounding bass; those unmistakable Break er, breaks; and plenty of fury in the grinding synths which pepper this spectacular release. "Soundwaves", in some ways a slightly less intense cut, pairs a muffled reggae vocal, with almost impenetrable sub bass and low-end frequencies.
Review: Icicle's trademark stepping beats, sci-fi samples and big
bad bass are here in abundance on 'Lost Hours' on Critical.
Support has come from all sides of the scene: Friction, Logistics,
Cyantific, Nu Tone, Break and more have been exposing smart ears
to the sound.
Review: Chris Su is from Hungary while Concord Dawn hails from New Zealand. Using technology which doesn't involve wires they managed to make the wonderful "Sacrifice", a prime slice of dancey magic. "To Heal", on the flip side, is a more typical Chris Su fare. He goes it alone for a neuro infused deep roll out. Support from all that know, High Contrast, Cyantific, Logistics, London Elekricity, Total Science, Dkay and more.