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: After 12 years in the game, Spanish D&B stable Melting Pot hasn't lost its appetite for promoting rising talents. Here, they offer a vinyl debut to Adrian Moreno AKA Voltage Voodoo. Significant contains four tracks from his recently released debut album of the same name, and is as punchy, raucous and industrial-fired as you'd expect. Choose between the fizzing, concrete-clad electronics, rolling breaks and mutilated rock riffs of "Significant", the bass-heavy jungle-rap of MC Mood hook-up "Make Up", the savage sub-bass and percussive aggression of "No God" and the Nine Inch Nails-goes-D&B growl of closer "King Kong".
Review: Madrid's man in London Vromm has already made some resounding moves on the likes of Critical and Doc Scott's seminal 31 imprint but this could be his boldest move to date on this Cosmic Bridge debut. "For The New Age" is a powerful future soul slicker, all shiny, hopeful and sprung with jazzy flourishes, "Restart" switches to a slimline, jittering cosmic jungle aesthetic while Cosmic Bridge builder Om Unit himself taps in for a beautiful collabo finale "Stargazing". Freeform in its feel and focus, it's a near 10 minute trip that's once again tinged with a jazz mindset thanks to its heavy layers and percussive variations. Beautiful.
The Guyver Meets Threshold - "Pain" (Jedi Hifi remix) (5:59)
Tim Reaper - "Redux" (5:24)
Skitty - "Get Away" (5:55)
Prophets Of Soul - "Young Sinners (Street Crime)" (5:30)
Enjoy - "Criticize" (6:10)
Alpha Omega - "Atmosphere" (6:53)
Equinox - "Feelin' You" (7:37)
Threshold - "Bad Nah Bloodclarrt" (Theory remix) (5:22)
Djinn Album Mix (MP3 CD)
Review: Fire in the hole! Stretch's AKO Beatz stable levels up with their first full V/A album. Taking off where the Unknown Elements series left us, the album brings together AKO affiliates and like minds to form a who's who in jungle in 2018. Double O's dreamy "Regions", Kyam's jazz licked stepper "Home Time", Tim Reaper's funk slapped "Redux" and Enjoy's wild break wizardry on "Criticize" are just a handful of the many peaks on this massive four 12" vinyl bounty. Essential.
Review: Deep in the trenches of the acid house revolution, Fabio & Grooverider were experimenting with a darker blend of sonics week in, week out at Rage, one of the UK's formative acid house nights. Detroit and Belgian techno, US house, UK breakbeats, hip-house, Sheffield bleeps were all in the mixing pot as they started to pioneer a sound that would eventually become jungle. Celebrating 30 years since this seminal event, they've curated a series of albums that join the dots between the movement's cornerstones. From Frankie Bones' "Just As Long As I Got You" (from his fabled Bonesbreaks series) to the much darker side of Balearic king Nightmares On Wax in the form of "Aftermath", these are some of the many key records Fabio & Grooverider dug for to create a culture that's just as strong now as it was when it began 30 years ago. One of a four part series, each one is a keeper.
Review: When he was asked to put together the fourth volume in Dekmantel's brilliant Selectors series, Joy Orbison decided to use the opportunity to pay tribute to the rich history of UK dance music. Predictably, his on-point selections join the dots between the past and the present, moving from the London beat poetry of James Messiah and hard-to-find 1991 UK hardcore of R Solution's surprisingly deep and melodious "Skinny Long Git", to the crunchy, mad-as-a-box-of-frogs IDM of JP Buckle's 1998, Rephlex-released oddity "One For Da Laydeez". Along the way, he finds space for the sparkling early D&B of "Lush" by Oblivion (AKA Source Direct), the low-slung, bass-heavy deep house/acid house fusion of L.E Bass and the analogue techyno idealism of Beatrice Dillon.
Review: Alix Perez rallies up the troops once again for another smouldering selection of futurism from a truly all-star cast ranging from Tsuruda to Bredren. Playfully writhing amid that dark but so fertile bass hinterland that joins jungle, hip hop, beats and all shades in between, once again we run the gamut from somnambulant soul (Halogenix's super deep "Trouble") to lively steppy warped D&B (SubMarine's "IWY", Razat's "Simplicity", Monty's "Decisions") by way of the unclassifiable (Alix's switchy swampy beast "Poison Ivy", Deft's "Trips"). And we do say so with that awesome sense of unknown, unease and tension that Alix, his label and his equally innovative affiliates have made themselves known for. Welcome to the future.
Bcee - "Back To The Street" (feat Philippa Hanna - Bcee's remix) (5:02)
Saikon - "Eastern Shimmer" (4:50)
Johnny L - "Bass Break" (Nu Tone remix) (5:09)
Villem - "Reflections" (feat Jevon Ives) (5:01)
Airshots - "Can't Catch Me" (feat Ben Shemel) (4:51)
Seba - "My Love" (6:37)
Anile - "Turn Around" (4:49)
Bcee - "Hand On My Heart" (4:55)
Riya - "We Belong" (feat Maverick Soul & Frank H Carter III - Bcee remix) (5:23)
Low R - "Other Side" (feat Anna Pancaldi) (5:19)
John B - "If U Need Anything" (5:17)
Utah Jazz - "Handle It" (feat DRS - Pola & Bryson remix) (5:18)
Dexcell - "Missing Pieces" (5:16)
Macca & Loz Contreras - "One Love" (5:14)
LSB - "My Squeeze" (6:22)
Zerozero - "Before" (feat Lameduza) (4:53)
Bcee - "Wanderer" (Black Barrel remix) (6:01)
Villem & McLeod - "The Sea" (feat Heidi Vogel - Bcee remix) (4:24)
Walk:R - "Wallflower" (5:39)
The Vanguard Project - "Is This Love" (feat Lucy Kitchen - Dexcell remix) (4:59)
Review: 14 years after he launched the label via a collaborative 12" with pal Lomax, BCee's Spearhead Records has finally notched up a century of releases. To celebrate, the veteran producer/label owner has gathered together a killer selection of previously unheard cuts. There's plenty of gems to be found within the 24-track selection, with highlights including the dub-wise D&B skank of Bungle's "Northern Dub", the elongated sub tones, jazzy breaks and dreamy melodiousness of Redeyes' "Outlines", the angular bass-weight and sunshine shuffle of John B's "If U Need Anything" and the drowsy deep jungle revivalism of Technimatic and LSB's "Sight Lines". As you'd expect, there are some great contributions from BCee dotted throughout, including a sublime personal "re-fix" of his own "Back To The Streets".
Oris Jay & Chris Innasound - "Ghost & Darkness" (5:11)
Krust - "Escape From Finland" (3:39)
Au & Jesta - "Just Don" (5:36)
Danny Scrilla - "Clockwerkz" (4:52)
Von D - "Ah So Let It Go" (4:40)
Akcept & Another Channel - "Don't Believe" (6:16)
Monic - "Storm Doris" (4:53)
Review: Let's just list the amount of stone cold bass OGs on this collection: Krust, dBridge, Om Unit, Danny Scrilla, V.I.V.E.K, Von D, Moresounds, AU, Oris Jay & Chris Innasound and whole load more of soundsystem culture's most innovative craftsman working at the deepest levels of the low end coalface all feature on this immense and forward thinking document. Including the curator Amit himself. Every track is a highlight, each one and abyssal, immersive experience but essential highlights include the toxic bass bounces of Moresounds' "They Can't Handle It", the 23rd century UKG of Oris and Chris' "They Can't Handle It" and Krust's big screen masterpiece "Escape From Finland". Amit deserves a holiday. Or a massive trophy. Or both. Bass compilations don't get much bigger than this.
Dip Vertigo & Dr Apollo - "Red" (feat Josh Phillips) (4:47)
Walk:r - "Solis" (5:32)
Review: Three words: "Police In Helicopter"... One of the biggest dubplates last year is finally here, and it's joined by 24 other exceptional bangers as the Hozzy team roll out another absurd stack of "Sick" freshness from across the board. Genuinely on point tune for tune highlights include Pete Cannon's outstanding drumfunk lash out "Ella", Flava D's first D&B tune (the breath taking "Return To Me"), a bone shaking duet from the next gen gems Unglued and Bou ("Ascendant Man"), both Fred V & Grafix's first solo tunes since they split and an absolute neck breaking gully snapper from Lakeway in the form of "War Dub". And that's just scratching the surface, this is a humungous V/A album and it's here in all its glory on vinyl. Hot enough to burn down a cane field or two...