Unknown Error - "The Yearning" (Super VIP mix) (9:24)
Review: It's been seven months now since the death of Rob Dickeson AKA Apex stunned the drum and bass community. "Echoes" is the last known track that Dickeson completed and is being released by Hospital Records in order to raise funds for Help Musicians UK's Music Minds Matter campaign. It's rather good, too, with poignant pianos, stirring strings and melancholic chords floating over a snappy, liquid funk beat. It's accompanied on the flipside by a fantastic, floor-friendly "Super VIP" mix of "Yearning", a soaring 2006 cut Dickeson produced alongside Jim Gash as Unknown Error. Top tracks and a worthy cause: this should be an essential purchase for D&B heads everywhere.
Review: A brand new label and brand new chapter for Ulterior Motive. Guidance was the name of the night they held in Bournemouth as they cut their teeth and chowed down on their craft. Now the Headz alumni return to these roots with four stark, stripped back and roughened constructs; "The Wobbler" takes the lead with its woozy synth hits and SP's distinctive flow. "Clap Ya" is all about the sci-fi bashy steppery while "Anode" sees them sparring with Icicle on a brittle, sinewy one-note jam that gets very messy very quickly. "Kamakura" sends us packing to the Orient for the final excursion as eastern strings and scales shroud a wriggling, spacious drum arrangement that smacks of the duo's originality. We need more Guidance like this.
Review: It's now official: Future Cut are back and they're not mucking around. After years in the pop game, making number one hits for more songs than you care to sing along to in the shower, the Renegade Hardware renegades return to D&B on wax with the able co-piloting from Bournemouth's do-no-wrong duo Ulterior Motive. The result is three cuts that cross the entire breadth of jungle's craggy landscape. "Flash Mob" an all-out, balls-out roller with menacing late 90s undertones, "Bagleys" is a Spirit-esque stepper with sublime percussive Q&A "Second Nature" closes the show on a beautiful Bristolian funk flex. Welcome back Future Cut, big up Ulterior Motive. History has been made right here.
Quadrant, Iris, Ulterior Motive - "Intuition" (6:04)
Review: Guidance strike again! Two sides, two vibes: first up the label bossmen Ulterior Motive continue their ripping vein of form with the weapon's grade stepper "Trip Hammer" that hits with serious space around every gritty funk element. Flip for a hook-up with dynamic US duo Quadrant & Iris as we're taken down a wormhole of dark delights at a white knuckle pace that doesn't let up. Huge shouts to Guidance right here.
Review: Nodding to the days of widespread dance anonymity, where the focus was firmly placed on the music rather than reputations and brand hype, Bring Back's fourth release is soaked in hardcore and jungle tones in keeping with both the mysterious artist tip and the label's name. Basically music to make you sweat. 'Night Selector' is perhaps the least rave-y of the lot, and that's saying something considering its stretched amens and mysterious, futurist ambience. 'Light In Ghetto' throws itself fully into the revivalist movement, beautiful female lyrics and pitched vocal cuts crying out over a rhythm section that's stripped enough to make room for choppy, distorted keys. 'Lobster', meanwhile, plays with time signatures, paying respect to the roots of these sounds- dub and soundystem culture- in between full-throttle nastiness.