Review: Moscow-based Okbron Records has been doing a terrific job in serving up long lost and previously unreleased cuts from the formative years of jungle and drum and bass. Their latest white label 12" offers up two tracks from long-serving quartet Pariah, which were recorded during the late 1990s around the time when they were weighing up a "major deal" with LTJ Bukem's "Good Looking Records". Bukem used to rinse the dubplate of "Urban Score", a wonderfully warm, spacey, bass-heavy and dreamy chunk of intergalactic drum and bass underpinned by the classic Amen break. Flipside "Montage" is, if anything, even more intergalactic in tone, with an extended ambient intro making way for bustling electronic beats and wavy, supernova synths.
Review: Hugely prolific pioneer Persian Prince returns with yet another haul (and indeed pull) of unreleased DATs from the foundation era. His breakthrough "Persian Inna Jungle" track takes the lead with a dubplate remix never-before-released. It's back by pure gully fire as "Drum & Bass Soldier" takes us straight back to 95 and Kool FM absolutely running things. Deeper into the mix "Interlude" takes us on the scenic route with some very spacey treatments on the breaks while "Truth" plain shaves our head off with serious amen pressure. Finally, "Desertism" drops us in the middle of the Sahara with only a drum kit to keep us alive. Mystical business.
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: Proc Fiskal used to run a party called Shleekit Doss that was ecstatic and transcendent while still being fun and silly. He tries to capture the magic of the party on this new EP and does so admirably. The 6 tracks on the EP feels clever but charming. It's a collision of hardcore flurries, warped synths and day-glo keys that is often chaotic but also comforting. Drum & bass, rave, future grime and more all colour its grooves, but the resulting sound is pretty much impossible to define (in a good way).
Review: Seba and Paradox... If ever there was a D&B dream team, it's these guys. With collabos going back to 2005 on labels such as Hospital, Critical and Bassbin (to name but a few) their complementary vibes reach a new height as they set up a label strictly for them. And it starts right here. "Over Now" is pure cosmic soul sent from the year 2319, all planet-bounding breaks and hazy atmospheres, while "Jupiterize" whisks us off on a dreamy magic carpet ride around the galaxy as a jazzier spring is added to the evocative mix. Precision tag-team business, both men bring their a-game as always.
Review: It's been 10 years since Alix Perez blessed the world with his debut album "1984". To celebrate, Shogun Audio are re-releasing the album with all tracks available on vinyl for the first time and it sounds every bit as good as you'd hoped it would. A stark statement of intent that's aged incredibly well, this is where the London Belgian sowed some of his deepest seeds; from the beat variation and playful twists of space on tracks like "Voices" to the evergreen soul of "Forsaken" (still the only Peven Everett-fronted drum & bass track to this date) via the glitchy grime of "Calm Of Cast", it was clear, even back then, that Alix would go on to set whole new levels and benchmarks. This is a pivotal slice of history.
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