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.
Review: Classic alert! Doc Scott revisits his NHS alias for this very special release on 31. The minute you hear that dark, groaning, ultimately evil, bassline you're whisked straight back in the smoky mists of 1996 - even if you were there at the time or not. Still dropped heavily by DJs to this day, this remastered revisit comes with a storming contemporisation from the on-point Om Unit. Identifying the creative potential between the bassline and his trademark halfsteps, it's one of the best D&B modernisations you'll hear all year.
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: Monstrously massive D&B! Netsky returns with a brand new label deal. While Ultra and Sony are now taking care of the Belgian's business, his old homestead Hospital are still taking care of the vinyl duties. And they've smashed it right here; complementing the hands-in-the-air original are killer rubs from Wookie (UK funky style drums with a garage sensibility and lush keys on the breakdown), Fred V & Grafix (breezy D&B dreams and sumptuous synths) and Todd Edwards (classic TE style harmonic choppery.. Every bit as funky as you'd expect!)
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: Dutch trio Noisia revisit one of the title tracks from their recent album and enlist some A-list remixers across four sides of vinyl. The filtered disco punch of the original is countered by D&B legends Ed Rush & Optical with a relentless remix that tears through its origins. Dubstepper Bar 9 adds some schizophrenic funk stabs to his remix of "Split The Atom" and Noisia finish off with the demented machinegun rave of "Browntime" which has a hint of Oizo in its madness.
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: They hit the limit... The limit hit back! Everything about this EP is awesome: firstly, the partnership of two of drum & bass's most on-point production teams. Secondly, "Mouthbreather" has been on all god-fearing neurofunkologist's wishlist for several years and it doesn't disappoint. Thirdly, "Dead Limit" one of the grizzliest, unruly tunes you'll hear all year. Fourthly, "Inverse" is the ultimate definition of elastic D&B funk. Fifthly, "Omnivore" contains some of the strangest, captivating sound design ever processed for the dance. Sixthly, the artwork is bang on point too. Trust us; this hits hard!
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: 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.