Violent Circuit Autonomy (feat Lewis James) (5:11)
Your Bit Crushed Heart (4:48)
Lost In A Memory (2:07)
Filtered Scenes (6:23)
Wij Zijn (feat Lewis James & Kid Drama) (4:38)
UR A Star (feat Alia Fresco - reprise) (5:17)
Review: Ten years after his debut solo album Gemini Principal, Exit bossman, D&B sage and ardent futurist Darren White tells us where he's at with his sophomore A Love I Can't Explain. Taking us several thousand leagues into his abyss, the vibe is heavy, moody, pensive and synthetic. Created on a whole arsenal of outboard machines, and not a sample in sight, this is dBridge in his most creative and narrative; political themes can be felt in the slo-mo autonomic purrs and glides of "Monitored Meanings", tension, pressure and hope combine somewhere in the distant future on the Lewis James collaboration "Violent Circuit Autonomy" while "Nachtlus" takes us even deeper into the machine where the distortion and textures are so strong you sense you can feel the circuits throbbing around you. Closing with his regular set opener "UR A Star" (a cover of his brother Steve Spacek) he leaves you writhing in the sudden twist of light at the end of a long dark tunnel. Immense, perplexing and built to last... This is an album we'll keep coming back to for years to come.
Review: Fracture rounds off 2018 by pushing at the boundaries of drum and bass via a sensational return to Exit Records, an imprint he last graced back in 2016. He begins in fine form via "Soundboy Get Nervous", where echoing and heavily manipulated soundboy vocal samples bob above mind-altering electronic motifs, rumbling sub and skittish, off-kilter D&B beats, before peppering a fast-paced, gabba style drum track with sharp rave stabs and weirdo vocal samples on stomper "Turbo Toms". Turn to the flip for "Makes Me Wonder", a futurist take on jungle packed with wonky bass and fizzing electronics, and the cut-up riddims, ghetto-house style samples and pulverizing low-end electronics of "No Screwface".
Review: This wonderful two-tracker arrived at Juno HQ just at the point when Storm Gareth was battering the UK, raising our spirits via warm vibes, melodious electronics and punchy, club-ready grooves. All credit to Metalheadz regular Jubei, because "Cold Heart" - the bustling cut that opens this Exit-released EP - is a near perfect fusion of dreamy, sun-kissed chords, intergalactic electronic motifs, rumbling sub-bass and crunchy, snare-heavy D&B drums. Almost as impressive is the even weightier, mind-mangling flipside "Little Dubplate", whose searing sub-bass and punishing drums come laden with delay-heavy reggae vocal samples.
Review: Mark System's last outing on Exit, 2015's Final Approach LP, was almost universally praised for its pleasing fusion of bombastic, tech-step influenced bottom end and dreamy, ear-pleasing liquid D&B elements. The long-serving producer has taken a similar approach on this belated follow-up EP. While opener "Break Glass" is a little creepier than previous efforts - if no less punchy and bass-heavy - it retains System's instinctive grasp of the dynamics of light and shade. "600K" brilliantly joins the dots between classic jungle, modern tech-step and 8-bit games soundtracks, while "Obnox" dips crunchy beats in wild electronics to brilliant effect. Best of all, though, is closer "Dissolve", a superior deep space roller that sounds like it was recorded using some vintage electronic hardware.
Review: Last year, Ashley Tindall aka Skeptical treated us to his first full length, "Enjoy This Trip", and it ended up being one of the best bass music LPs of 2018. It's too early to tell whether "Fibonacci Sequence", his first outing since, will be a 2019 standout, but we can confirm that it's certainly impressive. Check first opener "Charge", a moody and razor-sharp D&B stepper full of metallic drum hits and elongated analogue bass before turning your attention to the experimental D&B/IDM fusion of "Snail Trail". The producer's quality threshold remains high on side B, where the bustling, stripped-back heaviness of "Mechanism" is followed by the creepy, atmospheric and surprisingly tribal title track.
Review: Don't be fooled by the title; this ain't no sampler from Skeppy's fantastic debut album Enjoy This Trip, these are two fresh new tracks that remind us the Exit artist depths and versatility. His first 140 jams in a while, "Paper House" shudders under the weight of DRS's crystaline poetry while "Nebula" shoots us to the edge of the sub bass cosmos on a rocket made of spacious, skippy beats and shows us no way of returning home. It's the trip that keeps on giving...