Review: The seventh volume in Beat Machine's ongoing "Swinging Flavors" series of singles arrives on vibrant turquoise vinyl. This time round, it's a relatively new artist at the controls: Breaka, whose debut 12" on Holding Hands tickled our fancy earlier in the year. Happily, "Damn Hot" lives up to its title, brilliantly joining the dots between the snappy drum machine snares, cut up vocal samples and incessant hustle of Chicago Juke, the crunchy breakbeat since of old school jungle, and the futurist intent of contemporary drum and bass. It's really rather good, all told, with Danny Scrilla's flipside remix - a spacey fusion of intergalactic synthesizer melodies and ruffneck early '90s jungle tropes - also hitting the sweet spot.
Review: With praise for his wonderfully leftfield but formidably floor-friendly "Ever Orbit" EP on Exit still ringing in his ears, Alex Godoy AKA Itoa pitches up on Italian imprint Beat Machine Records. Appearing on a 7" single - a rarity for a D&B release - "Strange Attractor" sees Godoy wrap indigenous Amazonian flute lines, madcap electronics, metallic percussion noises and creepy strings around a punchy, revivalist jungle rhythm. Long-serving bass-head Sully provides the flipside remix, stripping the cut back to the bare bones (think booming bass, sharply edited mid'90s jungle beats, and those haunting flute style melodies) with impressive results.
Review: Big Hands, big heart, big ideas; Milan man now based in London Andrea Bonalumi blesses us with his biggest release to date on Beat Machine. Fractured, frazzled and fried in future innovation, we're blindsided by the offbeat bubbles on "Prequel" and shunted and stuttered by disco freakery on "More Than Love". Elsewhere the title track boils things down to a much sludgier, warped and weird shuffle, "Tensegrity" reimagines rave for a modern day jilted generation while "Kick Blood" kicks us down a twisted UKG rabbit hole. "Blood" concludes this extensive extended player both in its breakbeat original form and gun-toting instrumental grime take from Walton. Big.