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.
Jamalski, Rocker T & Mr Live - "Put It On" (Liondub & Bluntskull remix) (4:51)
Johnny Osbourne & Marcus Visionary - "Lend Me" (5:17)
Bladerunner & DJ Westy - "Original Bad Boy" (5:57)
Review: What a ting! North America's running wild with drum & bass right now but here are two of the realest, most enduring names: Marcus Visionary and Liondub International. Four tracks taken from Marcus's recent mix album, highlights include aggy dancehall hip-hop fusion of "Put It On" and the utterly disgusting roller "Original Bad Boy" from Bladerunner and DJ Westy. Featuring the likes of Navigator and Rankin Joe, there's some of the strongest voices possible on this collection. The Atlantic gates are well and truly open.
Review: 7th Storey Projects welcome back Necrotype and Tim Reaper for the "Exclusive To Bandcamp EP", which isn't actually available on Bandcamp. It's an adventurous outing that covers all bases - Necrotype takes care of the a side with "Track 1": all pitch-shifted hardcore vocals and rinsing breakbeats with a mellow but euphoric feel, while "Track 2" is similar but with even more energy in the drums. Tim Reaper steps up first for the ravey banger that is "Track 3" before rounding things off with the a blissed out and intergalactic roller ("Track 4)". These two might be young guns, but they certainly know what they're doing.
Review: Through These Eyes come through our ears and into our brains with maximum pleasure results. This time with Italian-in-London Noh Vae who builds on his sterling work with labels such as Modern Ruin and Terra Null with four more unidentifiable beats. "Flow" kicks in with halftime ghetto grit, all mentasms and loopy vocal punches, "Shaka" glides through space with a touch of the Skeppies to its icy off-beat groove while "Double Standards" takes us up to around 170 with a real low-slung purring Vromm-style sense of predator menace. Remix-wise Belgian dub don Digid rips up "Shaka" and rebuilds it on a smouldering 160 halftime beat. Noh Vae... No worries.
Review: Having made a name for themselves creating the most evil drum & bass music the world has ever seen, in recent months Noisia have been seen DJing at house clubs, releasing singles with prominent house labels and most recently remixing for the likes of Robbie Williams! However, it wasn’t long before they decided to go back to the dark side and join forces with good friend Mayhem to come up with something more disgusting than ever. Oh, and they got KRS One to provide the vocal on "Exodus"! A truly breathtaking intro, bursting with evil foreboding, sets the scene, before Noisia and Mayhem unleash the darkness with their signature drum programming alongside futuristic, never heard before beats and breaks.
Review: Long-time sonic sparring partners and kindred fusion spirits Paradox and Nucleus return to their Esoteric imprint for more glacial goodness. "Beatbox" is a perfect example of the two OGs' sonic palette. Unhurried, spacious and colder than an overnight party-for-one in a morgue. "Plexus", meanwhile, takes us even deeper down their rabbit hole. Stripped back to a well-chiselled two step, rolling break, cosmic pads that constantly mutate and a velvet sub bass that really pops when you drop this on a big rig, it's perfect hypnotic fodder for the 4am crew.
Review: Back to 2005! Straight off the heat of their debut album The Esoteric Funk, Nucleus & Paradox release this alarmingly savage 12" and we've been waiting for a reissue ever since. "Love Her" sounds like a swarm of bees trapped in an Akai. Buzzing, high voltage, strange harmonics, grumpy bass groans and flashes of venom amens, it's been a cult classic for 14 years. "Dilenttantes" is even more fitting of their Esoteric title with Foley sounds, strange twisted textures and more precision breakbeats. Two timeless bumps from one of drum & bass jungle's most longstanding and visionary duos - grab this while you can.
Review: Ever the flexible soul-stirrer, Amsterdam's finest vibe merchant Nymfo returns to Spearhead with five of his most charming deep bubblers. "Crystal Clear" is a sunset anthem-in-waiting while "Time Zone" flips the coin with a deep subby rumbling rolling vibe. Elsewhere "In Transit" adds a little dubby mysticism to the EP while "Underwater Life" is a celebration all things dreamy, minimal and funky. Never sitting still creatively, Nymfo really is one of the best in the game right now. Salute!
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: Now THIS is how you launch a label. Response and Pliskin present Northern Front's first release and it contains three highly respected names across the game. First up is a collab with Deadman's Chest, "Control State" sets the glacial tone and some cold hard truths over a hardcore jam that stinks of 1992 before Digital joins the fray and adds a little cosmic poetry, mystical pads and hurricane breaks on "True Story". Finally, Need For Mirrors glides into the mix and brings a deeper, rolling vibe on "Ruins", a track that gets darker the deeper as we progress. Three blinders, three totally different shades. We can't wait to hear what the Northern Front deliver next.
Review: Although Naibu producer Robin Leclair has released some tidy singles over the years, his immersive, dreamy and soulful brand of drum and bass is arguably better suited to the long-playing format. All five of his previous albums have been full of deep and musically expressive treats; "Manoeuvres", his first LP for nearly three years, follows a similar blueprint. Highlights are plentiful, from the weightless ambient bliss of "Float" and hot-stepping, club-ready warmth of "Red Hand", to the poignant vocal D&B-soul of "Distant Light" and the intergalactic symphonic shuffle of "Achille". This is drum and bass to get lost in; we can think of few finer things.
Review: Med School's New Blood series has always executed a simple idea brilliantly. Its concept may be basic - gathering together material from new, up-and-coming and soon-to-breakthrough producers - but the resultant compilations are rarely less than essential. This fourth annual installment is every bit as exciting and enjoyable as its predecessors, and variously touches on string-laden downtempo grooves (Donevan Adams), intoxicating deep dubstep (Hidden Element), dBridge style experimental D&B (Ashjerona), broken beat (Krux) and, of course, plenty of dancefloor drum and bass. It's a testament to Med School's A&R department that there's nary a duffer in sight, and plenty of names we'll no doubt be seeing more of in coming years.
Review: A long and productive affiliation with the Hospital Recordings operation has resulted in numerous albums and singles for Dan Gresham's Nu:Tone project and now in 2014 he's considered one of the label's stalwarts. A fourth Nu:Tone album reaffirms Gresham's status amongst the Hospital elite, with Future History a sublime trip through classic jungle vibes on this weighty 13 track set, assisted by some high profile guest spots. Logistics, Dynamite MC and Lea Lea all make notable appearances; though it's fair to say they are overshadowed by the presence of Dr. Octagon himself, Kool Keith! The slaloming breaks and deep bass of "Metaphor 6000" are the perfect backdrop to Kool Keith's rap.
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