Review: Some 15 months after the first multi-artist "Folio" EP landed in stores, 1985 Music has dropped a sequel. It's another all-action affair, with all four cuts hitting home hard. Label founder Alix Perez kicks things off with "White Lies", a minimalist roller where metallic percussion hits and evocative soul vocals rise above a thoroughly filthy, wobble-powered bassline. Label favourites Submarine step up with sub-heavy hot-stepper "Grunge", before Scepticz and Lavance take things up a notch or two via the industrial strength distorted bass, mind-altering electronics and punchy beats of "Flatline". To round things off, Hyroglifics and Visages get together on the skewed but energy-packed creepiness of "Searching".
Review: The mysterious Bakground returns to Lobster Theremin and he's rolling with esteemed company as Sangam adds his deep threads to the weave. "90s Living" lives up to its name; big immersive atmospheric jungle, all loose around the edges but held together so firmly. "Intermission" provides no respite - the only break is the one that rolls beneath the shimmering keys. Meanwhile the flip "Keeper Of The Lost" takes us down to 150 on a robust set of rolling breaks before "Carousel" brings us back down to earth softly, deeply and ambiently.
Bladerunner - "Sound Killer" (feat Blackout JA & Da Fuchaman) (4:54)
Brian Brainstorm - "Call The Police" (feat Da Fuchaman - album mix) (6:04)
Run Tingz Cru - "Go Back Home" (feat Da Fuchaman & Wippa Demus) (4:28)
Serial Killaz & Run Tingz Cru - "Jungle Love" (feat Da Fuchaman) (4:48)
Serial Killaz & Run Tingz Cru - "Bun Babylon" (feat Tenor Fly & Blackout JA - DJ Hybrid remix) (5:14)
Run Tingz Cru - "Women Dem" (feat Top Cat) (5:05)
Review: Bristol's Run Tingz Cru look back over the last year or so of releases, precision select their bubbliest, bumpiest bangers and cut them to limited 12". Featuring the likes of Bladerunner, Serial Killaz, DJ Hybrid, Brian Brainstorm, Top Cat, Tenor Fly, Blackout JA, Da Fuchman and of course the RTC themselves, vibes are high throughout as we're schooled in breakbeat science. From the opening warped dread bass wobbles of Bladerunner's "Sound Killer" through to Run Tingz Cru and Top Cat's grand finale silky sub roller "Women Dem", this whole 12" is bulging with timeless jungle goodness. Strictly limited; grab this while you can.
Ill Truth & Satl - "In Your Soul" (feat Charli Brix - Lenzman remix) (5:17)
Total Science & FD - "3 Way" (4:54)
Review: One look at who's involved here should raise any drum and bass head's eyebrows. All genre A-listers, it's one of those release schedule entries that's guaranteed to get everyone excited, and thankfully the pudding is just as tasty as those ingredients. Break & Kyo lead the charge with 'Past North', a summertime anthem-in-the-making opening on acoustic guitar chords that wouldn't sound weird on a Me One record. Definitely one for festivals, boxfresh percussion ensures it fully fires off once the poppier elements temporarily subside. That said, DJ Marky's 'Hard Hands' trumps it for crisp drum work, delivering some typically exotic vibes. Ill Truth and Satl's 'In Your Soul', or at least its Lenzman remix, keeps the sexy and smooth warmth alive, with '3 Way' closing out on a dub-influenced tip courtesy of Total Science and FD.
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.
Review: You don't get much more junglistic than Ed Solo and on this latest release from Jungle Cakes, you've guessed it, some sticky, sweet jungle is the order or the day. "Smoke The Weed" is a classic jungle mashup, and with Canadian bass master Stickybuds on hand to provide some serious breaks it quickly escalates to an all-out skanking session. Before you can pass it on, "Joker Smoker" adds retro brass and guitar to build the reggae funk as the track fragments into not one but two different breakdowns providing the basis for some serious dancefloor workouts. Don't sleep on this.
Sara Lugo - "Really Like You" (feat Protoje - Jamie Bostron remix) (5:15)
Sizzla - "I'm Living" (Ed Solo & Stickybuds remix) (5:33)
Review: Ahead of the Jungle Cake's third Welcome To The Jungle collection, Deekline drops two of the album's many heaters; Soulfire soulstress Sara Lugo gets the Jamie Bostron treatment as he retains the warm tones and emotional sentiments of the original while applying a slick rolling breakbeat. Looking for a heavier skanker? Flip for Ed Solo and Stickybuds' bass-flecked twist on the unavoidable Sizzla. Underpinned with a juicy bassline, Sizzla's urging lyrics and the dreamy melodica are both kept in check as we roll deeper into the dance. That's living alright.
Rawmance - "Mondonotte, La Mattina Dopo" (Security re-drums) (3:30)
Review: La Beaute Du Negatif's fourth multi-artist EP arrives with little fanfare or fuss. Instead, the Rome-based label has decided to simply offer-up the EP and let us come to our own conclusions. For what it's worth, ours is that it's well worth checking - especially Monomorph's blissful, acid-flecked IDM opener "Rystal", which previously appeared on a hard-to-find CD way back in 1996. There are plenty of highlights elsewhere across the EP, though. Head first for the sparse, spacey cheeriness of Brainwaltzera's "Phos Harbinger", before getting your ears around the ambient jungle-techno brilliance of "Opener" by The Jaffa Kid. This is followed on side B by the shuffling, sun-kissed downtempo grooves of SSIEGE's "Sogno In BB" and a drowsy, mind-altering chunk of late 90s Warp Records style electronica by Rawmance.
Review: More 20/20 goodness from longstanding Dutch imprint Fokuz. First up is a Total Science refix of Phaction's 2015 liquid vocal workout "Stratos" where the duo add more weight to the drums, space between the elements and big dubby plunges to the bass. Flip for a brand new original from label mainstays Malaky, Sati and Silence Groove. Blessed with breathy vocals, slinky drums and big washy textures, it's a great warm-up device that builds with cinematic effect throughout.
Pola & Bryson - "Find Your Way" (feat Charlotte Haining) (5:17)
Glxy & Gzb - "Yes Jah" (5:13)
Mitekiss - "Some People" (4:34)
Signal - "How Will I Know" (3:57)
Review: Shogun Audio dig deep into the vaults once again for a collection of long-demanded vinyl outings. Taken from right across the label's broad spectrum, we kick off with Pola, Bryson & Charlotte Haining's anthem sing-along "Find Your Way" before GLX follow with one of their darkest steppers to date "Yes Jah". Meanwhile on the flip Mitekiss's piano-massaging dreamweaver "Some People" before Signal's hurricane vocal headbutt "How Will I Know You" shuts down the session in timeless style. Grab it while you can.
Review: Refreshingly far-out beats from the ever-understated Profane. "Guardian" jitters like a robot on a pogo stick in a sea of bass sludge and there's a touch of the Dilla on "Iceberg 74" as the Torontarian artist splices a rattled-snare and hot tin roof break with faltering dreamy waves. Flip for some darkside pummelling from Shift: "Juju" is a rattling roller with heavy cymbal accents and freaky loose string bass twangs, "Totem" flexes a fretless bass and more sinewy drums. Speaker shattering.
Review: Moscow murkery! S.Kid follows the likes of Kid Lib, Tim Reaper and Dwarde with this outstanding Amenology debut. On the A side he asks us to delve into his cranial matter by way of glacial rush-riddled pads and savage breaks before a big sensual rave vocal softens the necksnap blow. On the B side he reminds us of the reality of the situation with the even choppier, bashier marching jam 'So Real'. Downpitched vocals, pranged out textures and a sub that's chubbier than a politician's wallet. Never miss a brain day.
Review: Original Commix member Conrad Whittle returns under his Saikon alias via BCee's Spearhead and the results speak for themselves. Proper authentic foundation jungle D&B, loaded with pensive moods and tension, each cut is an instant back huncher; "Badman Can't Dance" paints a contemporary scene using colours strictly from a classic hardcore palette, "Subway Writers" rolls with dreamy charm courtesy of some of the warmest drums we've heard on Spearhead in years while "Shadows Of The Sun" whips a classic Alex Reece style vibe, laced with a perfectly measured haunting sensation. "Years Gone By" seals the deal with a lavish breakbeat and big jazz feels in every chord and majestic harp flurry. Timeless to the core, Conrad's comeback stinks of longevity. Essential.
Review: Polish wunderkind Satl returns with his debut on the mighty SunAndBass and not a moment too soon. "Bravehearts (feat Dan Stezo)", a track that's been on dub and on heavy demand since he debuted it over a year ago, finally lands in all its Dan Stezo-fronted fire-tongue glory and it's back by two more beauties; "Acid Trip" is all about the squelchy 303 drizzles and warm pneumatic kicks while "Low End Theory" closes with a resounding subby purr and church-like chords that burst into the track like the first rays of sun. Subtle, restrained yet heavy as hell; Satl's killing it right now.
Review: Last year's hair-raising adventures of everyone's favourite jungle superhero Action Saxxon continue to see the light of day as Liondub drops this second EP of album favourite on 12". Running the full range, we kick off with gritty atonal groans with DJ Limited ("Way Back") and end with one of the fattest, distorted rollers the Norwich man has mustered ("Rollcall"). In between we're treated to sensual jazzy flutters ("Cherry On Top") and a wobbler so flabby it often swaps wardrobes with your dad. Action stations!
Review: Seba and Paradox... If ever there was a D&B dream team, it's these guys. With collabos going back to 2005 on labels such as Hospital, Critical and Bassbin (to name but a few) their complementary vibes reach a new height as they set up a label strictly for them. And it starts right here. "Over Now" is pure cosmic soul sent from the year 2319, all planet-bounding breaks and hazy atmospheres, while "Jupiterize" whisks us off on a dreamy magic carpet ride around the galaxy as a jazzier spring is added to the evocative mix. Precision tag-team business, both men bring their a-game as always.
Review: This release comes from a misterious guy with two untitled tracks on the a-side that have the intention to open the project and marking guidelines and sounds that you will hear on the whole series. On the b-side you find the remix of the track "Untitled 02" by the swedish artist Rivet and the "Secret Rave Mix" of "Rhythm Sticks" by G-23, originally released on London based label No Logo, done by the same author of the two originals.
The graphic of SECRET RAVE 01 is composed with a photo by Molly Macindoe. Heavily influenced by her father, a world traveller and architect, and her mother, a university lecturer and author, she developed a love for international travel and visited many faraway places - documenting the many diverse cultures she encountered. However, her attention was always drawn back to the free party community and, since 1997, she has participated in and documented the underground scene. Also she has already released a book called "Out Of Order" that is the culmination of ten years of work and a photographic celebration of the free party scene. Only 300 pressed....
Review: Fresh from releasing a massive co-lab album "Underground Vol 1" with the mighty Peshay, Sense jumps on J Majik's blueprint-setting Infrared imprint with two authentic jungle bashers. "The Edge" is a bonafide brockout, all pitched drums singing and elephantine reverse wobbles while "Let You Go" flips for a deeper experience. Velvet pads, sensual vocal samples and breezy skippy breaks. Both absolutely slay a dance. Don't sleep!
Review: Part of a series of releases on the legendary Basement, Shadow Cartel pay homage with a two part suite dedicated to the Blue Note school. Steppy, stark, spacious and icy, all attention is on the sub, moody atmosphere and minimal rhythmic elements working together. Pay attention: part two is where the drums perform magic tricks before your very ears.
Review: Sicknote's been on absolute fire this year what with his dubplate cutting business and a whole slew of collaborations firing on the likes of PAWS and Sonic Force. Here we find him returning to Abstract Illusion's 2017 "Lo Fi Selassi". The original (if you were lucky to get it) still cuts heads clean off to this day and Sicknote's maintained that tradition with even more bass rawness and savage amens. "Swiftly", on the B, sees him tagging in longstanding mates Dissect and Justice for more of a jazzy, spacious work-out. It's dreamy... But you know with these guys dreams can turn into nightmares very quickly. And we love it when they do. Limited so don't hang around.