Review: Sub Terrain One is the first in a series of split EPs featuring high tempo bass music by ffliktion & dreamlogicc. Three cuts from ffliktion on the A side pair classic jungle breaks with hazy atmospherics and weighty basslines. Two cuts from dreamlogicc on the B side touch on hypnotic trance progressions with deep spacey textures.
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.
Review: Rewind to 1995: Mark Morris is neck deep in the dark stuff on labels such as Flex and Rinse Out before disappearing for 20 years. Now back and producing with his son, he's dug out four lost DATs from his first wave. All unreleased, covering every base and still sounding fully future proof; Slow and steady 160 jam "Dianetics" takes the lead with its deep poignant soul and lingering keys before "Take It Forward" hurls us deep into the jungle melee with steamroller breaks and trippy off beat layered percussion. Flip for the turbo editions as "Now Massive" kicks a white knuckled mule being chased by spirits while "Jack's Back" closes with a rampant breakcore finale. Spooky textures, horror movie vocals and beats that are so fast they have vapour trails. Dark by name.
Review: Long-serving, jungle-loving experimentalist Christoph De Babalon is on a roll. This rock solid EP comes hot on the heels of his latest inspired album, "Exquisite Angst", which slipped out in early December 2018. The four tracks offered up here are typically bolshy and bass-heavy, with De Babalon mixing and mangling IDM and Atari Teenage Riot style "digital D&B" insanity to suit his own twisted ends. In terms of highlights, we're particularly enjoying the bass-weight, skittish breakbeats and ghostly electronics of "Harakiri" and the more loose and languid - but no less bass-heavy - flipside opener "Shakes and Shivers". That said the dark and apocalyptic "Endless Inside" is also superb.
Review: Dead Man's Chest on MYOR off-shoot Diamond Life... You already know what type of damage this is going to cause before you drop the needle don't you? "Drum Shanty" lives up to its name. Coming on strong like you're coming up during a Ratty or Tango set in '92, there's mentasms, classic sensual vocal samples, a whole smorgasbord of breaks and pads that can shave every hair off your body. "Blue Mountain" (quite possibly a reference to the legendary Stokes Croft venue) is a little more pranged out with its reversed elements, deep shadows between the elements and alien textures that are designed purely to dark you out. Yes you.
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: 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.
Horace Andy & Marcus Visionary - "Sound Killer" (Jungle VIP) (6:25)
Visionary - "Hustlin" (feat Camp Souljah) (6:26)
Truespirit - "Deep In The Jungle" (4:06)
Review: Reissue time! As New York jungle pillars Liondub International celebrate 10 years they've put together some of the hardest hitting bangers of their previous "Jungle To The World" collections on this powerful piece of wax. All the right vibes in all the right places, these all sound future fresh: DJ Hybrid's swashbuckling Dread bass backflips on "Special Request", the absolute bashy bless from Horace Andy and Marcus Visionary on "Sound Killer", the warmer reggae soul bubbles of Visionary's "Hustlin" and Truespirit's purring late 90s two-step homage "Deep In The Jungle". No filler in sight whatsoever.
Review: Brand new Marky! It's about time... Four years after his "My Heroes" album landed (and two years after his last single - "Silly VIP") the Sao Paulo don returns with two perfect soulful D&B gems. "Should I" looks back to the early 2000s with its powerful sample and Bingo-style bubbling bassline while "Love Break" takes off where "Silly" left us; swooping instrumentation that will have you leaping behind the decks and a break that will never ever quit. Don't leave it so long please Marky!
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: For the latest club-rocking adventure on his re-born Skeleton Recordings label, DJ Monita has decided to showcase cuts from two different artists. Reading resident DJ Vapour handles the A-side, first serving up the powerful sub-bass and revivalist jungle drums of "The Water Board" before turning his hand to bone crunching hard-step on the paranoid and creepy "Insomniac". Mecca steps forward on side B, offering up two similarly dark and bombastic cuts. Our pick of the pair is the horror movie-inspired insanity of "The Gentle Man" - all ghostly electronics, weighty sub-bass and scattergun breakbeats - though plenty may prefer the even more intense and full-throttle ride that is "Evocation".
Review: Glass in hand and bottle within easy reach, Dominic Angas - and his trusty Roland hardware - is ready to give us a taste of the good (Beach Bum) life. As you'd expect, the track itself is blessed with punchy, floor-pounding D&B drums and fuzzy, bowel bothering bass, but it's the other sonic elements he fixes to them - most notably some languid, Peter Green style electric guitar solos and the calming sound of lapping waves - that make the audio brew so potent. Given the track's intended Caribbean connections, it seems fitting that flipside "Dred Sound" is a bombastic stepper smothered in ragga MC vocal samples, paranoid noises and sub-bass so weighty that it could shake the foundations of even the sturdiest Jamaican rum warehouse.
Review: Since re-launching three years ago, pioneering jungle imprint Kemet has offered up a mixture of unreleased '90s cuts, timely reissues and new tracks inspired by the formative years of drum & bass. This EP from long-serving contemporary producer Julian Flowers AKA Drama1 fits into the latter category, offering up four authentic jungle rollers that recall the Halcyon days of muddy outdoor raves powered by colossal soundsystems. Opener "Dub Fi Dub" is deliciously raw, weighty and loose like the best early jungle cuts, while "Eternity" pairs bombastic Amen breaks with long, elongated sub-bass. "Need For Love" sees Flowers doff a cap to early dreamy D&B tracks (with sun-kissed success), before "Beliefs (Bonus Beat)" closes proceedings with a heady mixture of silly samples, big breakbeats and even bigger sub-bass.
Review: What's the Storey Globex glory? Usual suspects Reaper and Dwarde get back to the foundations once again for this awesome series of untitled tracks. Rough, heavy and authentic without any unnecessary dewy eyed nostalgia, each cut salutes and stings in equal measure; "Track 1" is pure jungle drumfunk, edits and chops galore, "Track 2" brings the floaty factor thanks to some beautiful pads and neat melodic frills on the fills, "Track 3" brings much more of a hardcore edge with those rolling kicks and crushed snares and a breakbeat/rewind-splashed massive boost up on the main groove, "Track 4" continues the 4x4 flavour and does so with some almighty transitions and sudden melodic layers, "Track 5" is the sound of you putting the needle down for another listen.
Review: 7th Storey deliver the Globex goods once again as Tim Reaper recruits the label's usual motley lot for an en mass exploration of hardcore / jungle fusion. Each track untitled as standard, Dwarde joins the fray to bring the tension on their hunchbacked prang roller on "Track 1" and the velvet deep jungle sojourn that is "Track 3" while Mr Sensi tags in for the jungle techno, more four-beat oriented bulldozing on "Track 2". Finally, "Track 4" sees Dwarde, Reaper and Gand getting mucky in hardcore heaven. Play the corporate game!
Review: Oof! It's finally here; two east London mic dons link up over a heavy Chimpo beat on Jamakabi's Rhythm Rollers for a name that truly lives up to its name. Doing the rounds in various forms since last year, "Wickedest Ting" touches wax in two perfect version; the body-slamming original and a bashing jungle twist from the Ghosty Men. Wicked.
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: Since kickstarting the Existence Is Resistance label back in 2011, Persian has been on a mission to offer up sleazy, forthright and downright inspired UK bass music. He's at it again on "Revolution", joining forces with various like-minded fellow producers to lay down more scintillating and searing sounds. He first joins forces with DJ Staf for a bombastic revivalist jungle affair (the ace "Revolution"), before inviting Nick Dunton to help wrap wild electronics and gentle melodies around a more off-kilter D&B rhythm on "Milton 21". Elsewhere, Lauryn adds evocative vocals to the dreamy breakbeat flex of "Not Nuff Time", while solo salvo "D Dub Retwist" sounds like a more sub-heavy take on the mid-90s Ninja Tune trip-hop sound.
Review: Now THIS is how you launch a label. Response and Pliskin present Northern Front's first release and it contains three highly respected names across the game. First up is a collab with Deadman's Chest, "Control State" sets the glacial tone and some cold hard truths over a hardcore jam that stinks of 1992 before Digital joins the fray and adds a little cosmic poetry, mystical pads and hurricane breaks on "True Story". Finally, Need For Mirrors glides into the mix and brings a deeper, rolling vibe on "Ruins", a track that gets darker the deeper as we progress. Three blinders, three totally different shades. We can't wait to hear what the Northern Front deliver next.
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: 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.