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: Hospital offshoot Med School has long served as a breeding ground for future D&B heroes. The latest to graduate is Coventry-raised youngster Whiney, whose debut album, Talisman, should be filed under: "quietly impressive". Largely punchy, energy-packed and club-ready in tone, the set's strongest selling point is the subtle variety evident across the 12 tracks. Compare, for example, the surging sub-bass, red-raw jungle percussion and spacey synth-strings of "Portal" (or, for that matter, seriously weighty opener "Talisman", the exotic, skewed post-dubstep beats of "Minds Collide", and the slowly building, sunrise euphoria of liquid roller "The Farthest Shore". As debut albums go, Talisman is pretty darn good.