Review: Acid Lab gets all two-face on this new EP for burgeoning jungle imprint Convoluted Records. First up are two collabs under his Ahmad alias; "Grinder" sees Gremlinz join the fray with a nasty hornets nest bassline and pitched breaks that seem to melt through the LFOs while Parallel helps him unleash the soul of Beelzebub himself on "Judgement Day". "Jericho" closes on a savage jungle note with haunted choral effects and broadsword breaks. For a label called Convoluted, this sure cuts straight to the point.
Review: If you know anything about Steve Digital, you'll know this; he flipping loves a co-lab. And here, to kick off another big year for Function, are three. "Out Of Control" sees him team up with Sight Unseen for a sizzling reese piece that's not dissimilar to Digital's work with the late great Spirit. Keygenlog tags in for more of a techno inspired jaunt all sinewy acid and splashing cymbal power while Gremlinz feeds Digital after midnight to create a church level piece of rolling emotion. Also included is a crucial slab of venomous jungle ruffage "Bitter Switch". Pow.
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: Don't fear this Reaper... Reaper Recordings is a mysterious brand new label with little information besides their dedication to the jungle craft. If this launch release from Ghosty (AKA Hungry Ghost) is anything to go by, they're not mucking around. "Dead Already" is a powerful subby slammer with eerie top lines and drums that could pierce concrete while "Forward" takes more of a sassy soul approach on the musicality but still drops deep into gully science when it needs to.
Review: Transmute continue their climactic return to form with this hair-raising V/A three-tracker. Hot on the heels of DJ Trax' EP earlier this year, once again it's a powerful document that nods sagely in all jungle directions. Greanleaf takes us back to a Moving Shadow mindset with lush airy breaks and jazzy touches while Drum Cypha unleashes his inner beast with a white knuckle hardcore homage. Finally Contact Lost gets dreamy with a little techno sensibility in the hypnotic chords. The story ain't over yet...
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.
Redders & Sam Binga & Hyroglifics - "Vintage" (feat MC DRS) (4:50)
Review: MC-focused EPs aren't particularly common in D&B. They're even less common on Critical. In fact this is the first. And it's a delight from the off as Redders teams up with mates old and new for a body of work that's more album than EP. "No Go" is all space-funk oddness with barely a bar in sight, "96 In One" is rapid fire storytelling over a dancehall version, "Dem Ones" is Redders' take on a dry-humping love song while "Sexy Or Sweet" sits somewhere between Toddla T and Barry White. Winding up "Aphasia" sees Redders and Sam flip Ruffhouse's dark tribal stamps into a carnival killer and "Vintage" sees the Bristol-based MC go toe-to-toe with the best MC in the game. One of a kind.
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").