Review: One year later, UVB-76's shadowy collective 4 6 2 5 strike again with two more unique startling schematics. Flexing across the tempo axis, "Sedition" leads with a fast 170 twist as hard pneumatic kicks cut through the dense foggy atmospherics before doubling up the momentum and taking unpredictable twists midway. "Crown Of Nails" maintains the hunchback pressure and that heavy foreboding sense synonymous with each member of the collective, but does so at a cool 105BPM pace giving space for each percussive element to ricochet around your purdy little pranged-out soul.
Review: Adam Shelton returns to his breaks/electro alias A-Future once again with "No Era". Taking off where the launch release "Cybernetic" left us, it's another tense rolling jam that nods back to the very foundations but with added 2020 production punch. Think Tim Wright jamming with Ed DMX and you're on the right path. Remix-wise Alex Jann lays down a pacier, more layered set of rhythm logistics while mysterious alias Secret Universe closes with an authentic jungle reversion, imagine Tim Reaper in a chilled mode and you're on the right star-path.
Review: German beat mutant Acid Lab dents the discogs on provocative burgeoning imprint AGN7 with four cavernous beasts. All flexing around the Samurai/Metalheadz axis in terms of space and palette, each cut hits hard with authenticity. "Secret Weapon" hits like it's 97 but on a halftime flex. "Unleash" is a savage Rupture level piece of breakbeat chaos. "Shadow Recruit" goes on some cosmic 160 Tipper style elastic bass funk while "Before The Storm" takes you right into it eye then blasts you out with a creepy breakbeat hurricane. Serious tackle, this.
Review: Teased with a few cheeky copies at Clashmouth last year, these two unreleased puppies from Adam F's kennel finally get fully let off the leash. "Apocalypse" has a Twin Peaks / "Go" flavour to its chords and eerie feel while "Eastern Spirit" has more of a hardcore feel to it thanks to its stripped back breakbeat nature and iconic psychedelic vocal sample that peppered raves throughout the early 90s. Delivered on J Majik's Infrared, it's another precision excavation from the very source.
Review: Crucial power jams from longstanding Finnish duo on thriving Finnish jungle imprint, Aeon Four are a perfect fit on Straight Up Breakbeat. Four cuts in total, each one explores a different side of the spectrum. Opener "Silence" praises the rave and the hardcore elements, "Essence" smacks of that authentic Goodlooking feel with its pads while "Lion Awakes" takes a well known vocal for a classic jungle feel. Last but not least "Babylon" closes with the ruffest card of the hand as happy slapping breaks keep us running to the very edge.
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.
Review: Artificial Intelligence welcome Austrian duo Air K & Cephei back to the fold with this gorgeous four-tracker. Their first full EP for the label, they've delivered in all directions; "All You Know" is a vocal hurricane armed with an equally hair-raising bassline, "Smiles" is an introspective-yet-sensual piano-tickler while "Reflections" is a genuine cosmic crusade built with layers and textures that go on for days. Finally "My Way" closes the show with a nice bit of closure. With added touches from Concept & Shnek, it's a powerful orchestral piece with all the essential drama you need in a summer set. Epic.
Review: Amar superstar Amit crashes into a new decade with two outstanding bruisers. "Points In Time" follows the hair-raising brute-force damage he's caused recently on Metalheadz and 31; punished steppy beats, deadline-style tones on the riff and a bassline that will eat you alive. "Wake Dub" on the B flips the vibe to Amit's classic dubwise halftime roots with hypnotic melodica blasts and tidal cymbal splashes. Savagely on-point as always.
Review: Developing a pristine name with their digital output, Ronin Ordinance come correct with their first ever vinyl release. It comes courtesy of old friend and ally Antagonist. Every bit as dark and tense as his recent output on Samurai and his own co-run label Discipline, "Gate 9" is an ocean of heavy pressure pads and glacial chords around bone-snapping (but sparingly placed) breaks while "Duat" tells a tale of Egyptian mythology over a tribal, percussive halftime arrangement. Tense sounds for tense times, Antagonist's on the money here.
Review: Here's a piece of history right here; Aphrodite goes back to his first ever release. Fresh from 92, both sitting in the hardcore breakbeat chapter of the UK rave explosion, "Raw Motion" has a big beat hip-hop energy to it while "Dub Motion" is a full-on bongo roller with dreamy detuned rave sprinkles and a vibe still set to max 28 years later. Firm foundations.
Review: Made using field recordings captured by Archiver on a trip to Japan in 2015, i&i Musik 002 is a two track Jungle release with layered breaks, 808 basslines & chopped up samples. "Jinja" meaning shrine in Japanese, uses recordings taken in & around the sacred Koyasan temple complex in Japan. A deep 808 sub bass backbone & classic breaks have been added to complete the picture on this unique amen roller. On the flip side, "Echo Park" combines snippets from a walk around Shinjuku Gyoen park in Tokyo, with it's echoed announcements & footstep sounds, together with recordings taken from some of Wakayama's temples & shrines. Layered classic breaks & an 808 bassline complete this distinctive track. Written & produced by Archiver & mastered by Loz at Fat As Funk. Individually lathe cut by Archiver & released as a limited edition run of 55 hand stamped & hand numbered 10" dubplates. An exclusively vinyl only affair, with no digital release. Design & artwork by Risa.
Review: According to Integral head honchos Artificial Intelligence, their latest EP "comprises four exhilarating episodes that will take you on an exhilarating journey". It is, then, a box set of sorts: a short season of all-action cuts designed to entertain from start to finish. They fittingly begin with something suitably filmic - the sweeping cinematic movements, head-in-the-clouds atmospherics, punchy beats and sumptuous vocals of "Degrees of Separation", before fusing elements of soul and neo-classic on superb liquid roller "Missing Piece". The experienced duo cleverly ratchet up the tension on the creepy, heavy and intense B-side opener "Tannan", before reaching a triumphant conclusion via the smooth and life-affirming brilliance of "Street Scense".
Review: For his first release of 2020 ASC pays homage to mother nature's strongest push-me-pull-you - the "Zenith & Nadir" of the universe... And he does so in the form of a score to a movie that's yet to be made. A smouldering slo-mo analogue weave of synths and drum machines; from the synth-wave subtle triumph of "Anthe" to the unnerving, skin-rippling intro "Cryogenic" to the melancholy finale "The Milankovitch Cycles", he provides the sounds - you create the pictures.
Review: Fresh from offering up an IDM, techno and electronica informed album - the must-check "Realm Of The Void" - James Clements AKA ASC returns to the dancefloor via a two-track missive of deliciously dreamy drum and bass futurism. Side A boasts "Clear Skies", a deep, sunrise-ready roller full of punchy jungle breakbeats, ambient chords, Good Looking Records style picturesque electronics and melodies so warm and positive you might want to take them home to meet your parents. If anything, flipside "Nimbus" is even deeper and dreamier. Clements builds suspense via an elongated ambient intro before introducing snare-heavy early D&B drums, rich bass and some suitably sunrise-ready melodies.
Review: B Traits unleashes a brand new alter ego: Baby T. Catapulting herself back into the breakbeats she came from, via the mighty Samurai, her entrance is brutal. "Portra" is an ice cold slab of dark jungle that comes in a whole range of flavours and forms from the militant jungle mix to the breath-taking ambient mix via Homemade Weapons' war-primed twist. We can't wait to hear what Baby T's got lined-up next.
When I Drop Dem Bass (feat Kenny Boothe & Daddy Freddy) (5:08)
Lazer Beam (feat Awesome Don) (5:00)
Review: With a title like "When I Drop Dem Bass", you'd expect this single from Bazooka to doff a cap to the early years of jungle culture, and specifically the ragga-fired, soundsystem-busting records on which the scene was built. That's exactly what you get, with veteran mic men Daddy Freddy and Ken Boothe adding rapped and sung vocals to a punchy backing track rich in Amen breaks, powerful bass and reggae style piano stabs. The retro-futurist fun continues on side B, where a stabbing, mind-altering melody and dub-wise sounds rise above a suitably filthy rhythm track and pulverizing wobble bass.
Review: Liondub's 10 year anniversary celebrations continue with this savage slab of ragga jungle. This time the captain Liondub takes to the controls himself alongside fellow US jungle veteran Jah Boogs while vocal guidance comes from one of the most distinctive MCs in the game: Bristol's Blackout Ja. Here we find him in fiery form as "Touch Up The Key" brocks out in all directions over a precision-tuned subby bass wobble. "Dread" flips for a sunnier side of the stack as Blackout pays homage to his roots with more of a melodic flow to his signature gravel-toned bars. Loaded!
Review: "Death Row" was Blame and Justice's first ever 12" release way back in and now it gets reissued for the first time. It's a hard hitting melange of big drum breaks, spoken word snippets and barrelling drums that is fun and high impact jungle of the highest order. "Murderin' M.C." is a darker tune with a rumbling bassline and shooting lasers synths that bring a more electronic and futurist feel, but still designed for club destruction. Big ups Modern Urban Jazz for the work on this one.
Review: The Narratives lads Blocks & Escher are back spinning another fine yarn, and you'd be wise to pay attention. "Mr Parkers Voice" sees them teaming up with old friend, the somewhat elusive Rhyming In Fives. So simple in its elements yet so soulfully effective, everything is in the chord progression and space and sporadic elements. Pure future. For something with just a smidgeon of past jump on "Drum Machine". A grizzled techstep damager, there's a strong Trace and DCi4 vibe deep in the evil mix here. These guys seriously never fail.
Review: Already big weapons in Dead Man's Chest sets, Bluematter unleash their second EP together following last year's powerful emergence on E-Beamz. The joined forces of Jozef K and Thomas Ragsdale, Bluematter sees the two experimental artists join forces to make some seriously interesting contemporary jungle from ominous heavy pressure rave dynamics ("Bunker") to meditative ambience ("Crystal") by way of deep dreaming Good Looking-flavoured tackle ("Zeus") Nothing to be blue about here, no sir.
Review: Russian donny deepsmiths Bop and Subwave team up for the first post-Med School (RIP) signing to Hospital and it's a bit of a special one. A full showcase of styles, it gives us much more than you'd ever expect from either individual. "Teardrops" is a glistening oceanic steppy, all spiralling, cosmic and sensual in all the right places, "Space Warp" is the dancefloor bomb of the package with its swooping droning bassline, "Don't Wake Me Up" takes us into shoegazing, head-tickling indie dance territory while "The Touch" closes on a sexy UKG tip that none of us would expect from the duo. What an impressive debut collaborative EP statement, we can't wait to hear what's next.