Superior Selectionz & Ben Soundscape - "Justa" (5:37)
Roygreen & Protone & Ben Soundscape - "Ruffneck" (5:39)
Luch & Joakuim - "Lifespan" (5:41)
Review: Since 2003, the Intrigue crew has been providing Bristol clubbers with regular doses of liquid funk and musically expansive drum and bass, first at their regular parties and, since 2008, on their offshoot label. Predictably, there's much to enjoy on this celebratory 12". Old pal Break steps up first with a veritable warm summer breeze of a roller, "Mind's Eye" - all punchy, snare-heavy beats, acoustic guitars, rumbling bass and dreamy freestyle vocals - before Superior Selectionz and Ben Soundscape join forces for the slightly more weighty but no less attractive "Justa". Over on side B, Soundscape returns to action alongside Ryogreen and Protone on the wobble bass-propelled stepper "Ruffneck", while Lurch - a lesser-known stalwart of the Bristol scene - delivers some delicious, Afro-tinged liquid funk alongside Joakuim. Rock solid.
June Miller - "Robots & Romans" (audio remix) (5:53)
Kryptic Minds - "The Truth" (Insideinfo remix) (5:54)
Rene Lavice - "The Calling VIP" (4:53)
Review: Andy C's mega-label Ram celebrates the big 200 in style: triple vinyl in trifold sleeve with etched sixth side, each of the five cuts represent Ram's dark, start extremes. The touching depths of Culture Shock's long-awaited "Piano Dark", the Noisia-level antics of Audio on his June Miller, InsideInfo's deep throat bass on "The Truth" and the add bass fluctuations on Rene's VIP. 200 singles deep and still killing it, Ram have put together a serious package here.
Review: Oof! It's finally here; two east London mic dons link up over a heavy Chimpo beat on Jamakabi's Rhythm Rollers for a name that truly lives up to its name. Doing the rounds in various forms since last year, "Wickedest Ting" touches wax in two perfect version; the body-slamming original and a bashing jungle twist from the Ghosty Men. Wicked.
Review: Metalheadz might be celebrating 25 years in the game in 2019, but they are not spending too much time looking back. Instead, Goldie's vital label continues to serve up forward looking drum & bass, this time from Jem One. A year after his debut on the label he's back with another varied three tracker. Form the swirling pads of liquid roller "Lotus" to the more angsty, tightly coiled drums of old school jungle cut "Transpose" and on to darkened minimal stepper "The Hardcore", there is a lot to love here.
Review: The second cheeky sensation to come on Jungle Cakes this week, wherein the mysterious JFB gives The Luniz "Five On It" a savage bass battering and The Champs' "Tequila" a gentle breakbeat update. The former is a powerful dance smasher that wouldn't go amiss in Andy C's current Alive rampage. The latter is less raucous but equally bubblesome: Think warm up rather than the sonic showdown that's on the A.
Review: The Head Hunter is back! An early jungle protagonist and consistent boundary pusher, Tony Justice returns to his less-is-more Modern Urban Jazz imprint with a brand new crop of timelessness. "Fried" sets the scene, all amen guns blazing, a gritty bass oozing like treacle beneath and cosmic arpeggios. Straight out of the book of 95, it grabs you hook, line and stinker for the rest of the EP: From the mournful synth lines and classic breaks of "Late Night Sweep", those early rave pads of "Edge Of Space" to the jungle techno style 4/4 bumps and jazzy keys of "Melt", this is top shelf material. Let's hope more is in the pipeline very soon.
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: While he may have released a multitude of singles since making his debut on Metalheadz way back in 1995, "Full Circle" is only James Spratling AKA J Majik's second album (his debut full-length, "Slow Motion", was released in 1997). It's a fitting title, all told, because the majority of the ten tracks on offer recall the kind of punchy-but-dreamy jungle/early D&B fusion that marked out Spratling's earliest releases. That means a succession of killer cuts that wrap deep space chords, ambient synths and heady electronic melodies around bustling, jungle style breakbeats and booming, mind-altering basslines. It's a giddy, unashamed blast from the past, but one that's certainly in keeping with the D&B scene's current wave of misty-eyed nostalgia.