Review: Some 15 months after the first multi-artist "Folio" EP landed in stores, 1985 Music has dropped a sequel. It's another all-action affair, with all four cuts hitting home hard. Label founder Alix Perez kicks things off with "White Lies", a minimalist roller where metallic percussion hits and evocative soul vocals rise above a thoroughly filthy, wobble-powered bassline. Label favourites Submarine step up with sub-heavy hot-stepper "Grunge", before Scepticz and Lavance take things up a notch or two via the industrial strength distorted bass, mind-altering electronics and punchy beats of "Flatline". To round things off, Hyroglifics and Visages get together on the skewed but energy-packed creepiness of "Searching".
Superior Selectionz & Ben Soundscape - "Justa" (5:37)
Roygreen & Protone & Ben Soundscape - "Ruffneck" (5:39)
Luch & Joakuim - "Lifespan" (5:41)
Review: Since 2003, the Intrigue crew has been providing Bristol clubbers with regular doses of liquid funk and musically expansive drum and bass, first at their regular parties and, since 2008, on their offshoot label. Predictably, there's much to enjoy on this celebratory 12". Old pal Break steps up first with a veritable warm summer breeze of a roller, "Mind's Eye" - all punchy, snare-heavy beats, acoustic guitars, rumbling bass and dreamy freestyle vocals - before Superior Selectionz and Ben Soundscape join forces for the slightly more weighty but no less attractive "Justa". Over on side B, Soundscape returns to action alongside Ryogreen and Protone on the wobble bass-propelled stepper "Ruffneck", while Lurch - a lesser-known stalwart of the Bristol scene - delivers some delicious, Afro-tinged liquid funk alongside Joakuim. Rock solid.
When The Devil's Paid (Vanilla Dream DnB remix) (8:12)
Review: Here's a spot of unlikely cross-cultural collaboration, as Finnish jazz man Timo Lassy joins forces with veteran Brazilian soul man Ed Motta. The resultant cut, "When The Devil's Paid", is a summery and sun-kissed chunk of gentle samba-soul with Motta providing a typically breezy and emotion rich vocal. Lassy's old pal Jimi Tenor heads up the accompanying remix package, wrapping the original's snaking sax and heartfelt vocals over a hybrid electronic/acoustic groove. Elsewhere, Alex Trebo delivers a sensual nu-jazz rub and Vanilla Dream unfurls a pleasingly punchy and jazzy drum and bass interpretation. When the weather outside is grey and damp, stick this on and all will be well with the world.
Review: Essential damagement jams from one of the most consistent and forward-thinking labels in the contemporary jungle game, "Full Repertoire Vol. 02" features fire from friends old and new. Label owner Law tags up with rising artist Kola Nut once again to ease us into the EP with "Somewhere New" where goodlooking-esque soft arpeggios and pipes disarm us before the darkness unfolds. Eusebeia returns to Repertoire with the pressure cooker hardcore pads of "Shape The Future", newcomer Mani Festo follows his killer Rupture debut with the equally menacing tightly coiled spring that's "Next 2 U" before Necrotype closes with the coldest cut of the collection, all strange humanised noises, melting droplets and complex breaks. Full to the brim.
Review: It's nothing but stark steppery from the off on Transmute as Law & Wheeler sharpen their drums and space things out on a Source Direct level. Driven by the steps but powered by the warped low end, it's a timeless piece that swallows you whole. The consistently on-point Tim Reaper delivers some mind-altering drum edits on the junglised "Floating Through" while Mac 2 affiliate Trex nods his head to the likes of Krust with "Stay High", a cosmic sojourn that develops with increasing layers of trippiness. Powerful.
Review: Back in the autumn, sometime Metalheadz regular Lenzman launched his own label, The North Quarter. Here he returns for a second outing, bringing with him a quartet of tasty tracks. IAMDDB lends a hand on the sweet, skittish and soulful opener "In My Mind" - all fizzing D&B breakbeats, tumbling piano lines and evocative vocals - before soul man Steo unfurls a heartfelt vocal on the similarly breezy "Tender Love". On the flip, you'll find the moody, urban-sounding D&B-rap roller "Park Hill" (which may or may not be a tribute to the infamously bleak Sheffield housing estate of the same name), and the jazzy D&B warmth of Subphonics' collaboration "Bayview".
Review: To celebrate the tenth anniversary of 'Syncopated City', arguably the best London Elektricity album (if sadly not the best selling), Tony Colman has decided to give the album a light going over. He's called the reissue the "The Director's Cut". It's from that download-only set that these two "2018 versions" of classic album cuts are taken. Like much of the rest of the set, both brilliantly join the dots between Colman's fluid and musically rich take on drum and bass, modern soul and classic jazz. Both "Outnumbered" and the arguably slightly superior "Syncopated City Revisited" are duets of sorts, with guest female vocals sparring with Colman (who, somewhat surprisingly, is actually quite a good singer) over the superb backing of the talented London Elektricity live band.