June Miller - "Robots & Romans" (audio remix) (5:53)
Kryptic Minds - "The Truth" (Insideinfo remix) (5:54)
Rene Lavice - "The Calling VIP" (4:53)
Review: Andy C's mega-label Ram celebrates the big 200 in style: triple vinyl in trifold sleeve with etched sixth side, each of the five cuts represent Ram's dark, start extremes. The touching depths of Culture Shock's long-awaited "Piano Dark", the Noisia-level antics of Audio on his June Miller, InsideInfo's deep throat bass on "The Truth" and the add bass fluctuations on Rene's VIP. 200 singles deep and still killing it, Ram have put together a serious package here.
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: 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.
Review: Despite beginning their ascent through the bass music ranks in 2010, it was 2016 brilliant debut album "Paradise Lost" that turned Delta Heavy into global underground stars. Since then, anticipation has been building for this belated follow-up. Happily, there are no signs of the duo succumbing to "difficult second album" syndrome; in fact, "Only In Dreams" is, if anything, even more effervescent than their lauded debut. It's still rooted in drum & bass and dubstep, but this time round they've blurred the boundaries between disparate styles of bass music even further, with an impressive list of guests and collaborators - Kuuro, Rae Hall, Zeds Dead, Muzzy and Modestep included - taking turns to make their presence felt.
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.
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: 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.
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: 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: The moment the quintessential rave synths, rolling breaks and cooing female vocals on album opener "North Winds" hit you, you know Krakota's put together something special. Coming on strong like a young Logistics but with his own soul-flecked signature, Krakota has weight, a strong sense of history and scope. The footwork beats and New York sounding synths on "Turn Of Fate", the big band flourishes of "Powder Coated", the writhing jazz snakery of "Elastic" the horror movie spikes and MC venom of "Weirdos & Creepers". Pick a track, any track, and we guarantee Krakota's smashed it. Hospital don't mess around with artist albums... Here's a perfect reminder why.
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: 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.
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.