Review: One year later, UVB-76's shadowy collective 4 6 2 5 strike again with two more unique startling schematics. Flexing across the tempo axis, "Sedition" leads with a fast 170 twist as hard pneumatic kicks cut through the dense foggy atmospherics before doubling up the momentum and taking unpredictable twists midway. "Crown Of Nails" maintains the hunchback pressure and that heavy foreboding sense synonymous with each member of the collective, but does so at a cool 105BPM pace giving space for each percussive element to ricochet around your purdy little pranged-out soul.
Review: One of the great joys of James Clements' music as ASC is its thrilling unpredictability. While his productions have always been rooted in drum and bass, he's released little straightforward D&B for the best part of a decade. His latest outing on Samurai is dark and hard to pigeonhole, offering tracks that variously mix and match elements of intense acid, Autechre-style IDM, the sub-weight of D&B culture, the aural haziness of ambient and the skittish post-D&B rhythms that have long marked out his work. Our picks of a very strong bunch are the buzzing experimental techno psychedelia of acid-laden closing cut "Currents" and the sparse, sub-heavy haziness of opener "The Siren", where high tempo acid lines bubble away above a suitably hazy and paranoid backing track.
Review: He's back at the controls! Breakage has been in his element since launching Index, rolling out jam after jam after jam. Rooted in the foundations, stripped back to the bare bones and designed to make both you and your speakers shake, everything he's delivered on the label so far has been prime mixing material and supported across the board. These are no exceptions; "Yeah" is a cantankerous shakedown with all the funk you'd expect from the man, "Liff Up" is minimal, bouncy and unhurried in its momentum while "Wicked" closes with a snaking sub that will both squeeze and bite you. Wicked and indeed bad, respect to Breakage.
Review: What's the Storey Globex glory? Usual suspects Reaper and Dwarde get back to the foundations once again for this awesome series of untitled tracks. Rough, heavy and authentic without any unnecessary dewy eyed nostalgia, each cut salutes and stings in equal measure; "Track 1" is pure jungle drumfunk, edits and chops galore, "Track 2" brings the floaty factor thanks to some beautiful pads and neat melodic frills on the fills, "Track 3" brings much more of a hardcore edge with those rolling kicks and crushed snares and a breakbeat/rewind-splashed massive boost up on the main groove, "Track 4" continues the 4x4 flavour and does so with some almighty transitions and sudden melodic layers, "Track 5" is the sound of you putting the needle down for another listen.
Review: 7th Storey deliver the Globex goods once again as Tim Reaper recruits the label's usual motley lot for an en mass exploration of hardcore / jungle fusion. Each track untitled as standard, Dwarde joins the fray to bring the tension on their hunchbacked prang roller on "Track 1" and the velvet deep jungle sojourn that is "Track 3" while Mr Sensi tags in for the jungle techno, more four-beat oriented bulldozing on "Track 2". Finally, "Track 4" sees Dwarde, Reaper and Gand getting mucky in hardcore heaven. Play the corporate game!
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: 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: Phil Tangent & Philth - AKA the two coolest Phil's since Mr Mitchell of Albert Square - return to Artificial Intelligence's imprint Integral with four more heart-massagers. Glistening with a selection of much-loved and precision-positioned samples, "Eclipse" takes the lead and has potential to be one of the biggest tunes this summer. It's backed by the equally delicious and soulful "Consequence" where plucky guitar strums and a gilded vocal join forces to bring you to your knees, the heads-down and contemplative Soul:r-style dreamer "Star Song" and the powerful drum-led celestial wounder "Meditation". Phil up while you can.
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: A year has passed since Script and Survival last blessed us with their rugged wares but the wait, as always, has been worth it. Four tracks of authentic, bulletproof block-knockery, it's the sound of two men who love the 90s rudiments as much as they love their machines; "Stalker" lives up to its creepy name, all dark, creepy and persistent. The tension-wrought "Hide In Plain Sight" takes a cinematic twist with its sample, drawn out strings and grainy synth squiggles, while "Sleep Talk" takes us down a much darker, tribal route that nods more towards the Samurai style of the craft. Last but definitely not least, "Hey You" finishes the EP with the most emotional, soul-stirring piece of the EP. Lingering pianos, unhurried, deep-breath pads and bassline so warm and voluptuous you want to live in it; like all Scar releases it leaves us hungry for more... Let's hope they don't leave it a year to wait.
Review: Shogun duo Technicolour and Komatic cut their third album to deluxe wax comprising two white 12"s and two coloured 10"s... And it sounds every bit as good as it looks. Soulful yet varied in its scope and range, it's the most confident and clearest LP the duo have given us so far as it ranges from the darker, gnarlier minimal twists of "True Believer" to the more signature flourishing orchestration of cuts like "Weightless (feat Lucy Kitchen)" and naked introspection such as "The Nightfall (feat Jono McCleery)". And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Potential drum & bass album of the year.
Joy Orbison Vs East Connection - "Ready Mngo" (3:17)
Skepta - "Man" (Yung Bingles & Lil Chimpz Rebax) (2:44)
Review: Bristol / Manchester duo 'Yung Bingles & Lil Chimpz' (guess who?) go toe-to-toe on a one way rocket to cheeky version central. Two strictly limited vinyl only grime / jungle anthems, both tested around the world in the most demanding raves on road - "Ready Mngo" takes Joy Orbison's 2009 anthem and gives it the jungle rodgering it always deserved, while "Man" takes a dash of Skepta and takes him to the gulliest of north quarters. Grab it while you can, man don't hang around.