Without further delay, we have this Months picks. Another strong Month and bumper addition. I had to stop myself from doing twenty!! With the likes of Royalston, Annix, Fourward and something a bit special from DJ Hybrid…
Royalston – People on the Ground [Med School]
The promo for this LP came out of the blue, with little hype. Something that always shocks me a little in our scene, when the excellent releases can be missed with out the likes of us shouting about it! Let me just say that Royalston does his own thing, this LP showcases that perfectly. I love this LP. His Electro fuelled take on D&B in this LP is audacious, but he pulls it off in fine style. All in all 11 tracks that are good to excellent! One of my favourite LP’s of 2015 easily. Never afraid to try something this is a unique collection of great D&B. Stand out tracks for me are: Blight Mamba – A High energy, Tech House kind of sounding banger. Pure vibes on it! Give me the world ft Hannah Joy (Loving her Voice!) – The D&B that makes it in to Top 40’s should sound like this, less cheese! The excellently named Wrath of Mr. Sparkles – Immense minimal Tech sounds. Leaving only my pick of the LP… People on the Ground. Again featuring the classy voice of Hannah Joy, this is my perfect starting track for a mix. Excellent intro, minimal drop at the 1st with amazing vocals and Piano. The 2nd drop I just love!!!! This is lovely track. A great LP, by a highly underrated producer in my opinion. Royalston doesn’t fail to impress me.
Impak/Cause4Concern– Try again/ Time stopper (Impak remix) [C4C recordings]
Always pleased to see new C4C promo’s. This is no exception. This is one of the better releases from them. Impak may not be known to all you, but again should be. With releases on Red Light records and Ammunition, if your a purveyour of the tear out Neuro you should know this guy. Try again is one such tearing Neurofunk banger. I do love how these producers have such misleading intro’s. This drops like a motherfucker wanting to hurt you. Sorry for the outrageous explietives but listen you will understand. Impak then remixes C4C Time Stopper. Again causing more mayhem in the process. These are 2 fast paced, Neurofunk beasts. Not for the the feint of heart! Love it!
VA – Methlab // 1 [Bad Taste]
I can not rate Bad Taste highly enough. For a number of years now they are consistently putting out quality D&B. Pushing the sound forward and daring to be different. They are one of my favourite labels. So when another set of individuals I respect, Methlab are signed to Bad Taste I get excited. This EP, I hope the 1st of many is a collection of tracks from some of the Top producers right now. Silent Witness, MachineCode, Signs and Allied. What’s not to like. This is a 10/10 quality package. Each track is great. But as I always do, I pay special attention to the one’s that I get the most excited about. No surprise that Evacuation and Less is more are those tunes. MachineCode can do no wrong right now, this encompasses their sounds excellently. Again Less is more does the same for Signs. Who right now are on fire, this is one excellent track. Each track is cutting edge D&B sound. Shout’s to all involved in this at both Bad Taste and Methlab. Excellent work!
Instinkt – Focus EP [Lifestyle]
These guy’s are featuring heavily in 2015’s selections and its because they are running the Darker D&B styles. Lifestyle a long favourite of mine, securing one of Instinkt’s better EP’s. This is a really good selection of 4 great tracks. The fire has been turned down just a tad, but happily replaced with more Techy sounds. Some of their best work for me. Levitate is a Heads Techy roller, just dark enough to induce the purists to have a long overdue skank. Crock, a harder track with heavier bass and beats. One of my favourites. Nebula, is that rare thing nowadays. The Neurofunk track, that actually retains the the Funk element. Arse moving stuff!! Focus is a rolling kinda track. Each track has switches in the production, which I love. It’s not cut and paste shit. This is a quality EP from Quality producers on a Quality Label. Check this out, its serious D&B. Shout to Rune, Kaiza and Lifestyle.
MachineCode – Alpha Barrier ft Lockjaw/ Abyss ft Allied [Subsistenz]
While the guy’s involved on this release should need no introduction, the label may have slipped by unnoticed by some. Not everyone spends hours a day on trawling through the wonder of the W.W.W for everything D&B as I do. Not everyone is lucky enough to get sent the little treasures that PR people send out. Failing that it’s up to people like me to shout out wildly, that you need to check out Subsistenz!! They have been included before this year. They are releasing some amazing stuff. Right, need I mention that MachineCode aka Dean Rodell and Current Value are without doubt are at the top of their game and D&B’s? Current Value is the best producer this year for me. Joining forces with both these warriors are more D&B warriors!! Lockjaw is a class act, as is Allied. These guy’s will not make shit D&B. It stands to reason that this release is special and it is. So stop reading and press play, then write it down on your need these tunes list. Yes we all do that!!! Buy it.
VA – RA011 EP [Rise Audio]
Really pleased to see Rise Audio putting out new material. Another High quality label. Forward thinking D&B output always. This EP, is more of the same. Featuring established artists Dextems, MachineCode & Lockjaw (what can I say, they are fucking on fire!!!) Anode and future star Signal. Rise Audio do not put out average D&B for the masses. This EP is a strong one by their standards. Cry me, MachineCode & Lockjaw’s track is a funky little number. It’s deeper, more wistful than the hard hitting sounds we come to love. Assuming that’s Lockjaw’s influence. Regardless a great track for those a little reluctant to kill people in the dance haha However for people like me who are not afraid of a death or two, check out Vacuum by Dextems. This track is growing on me more and more each time I hear it. It’s one of those tracks that just exudes masses of Energy, the percussion on this track is tight and it all works so well. Feel like your playing a high intensity car game on a PS3/4 and totally engrossed. Any tune that takes somewhere is excellent. This tune is the best on the EP. Sighting by Anode is another great track for the deeper heads. Last but not least the new kid on the block and say kid literally as Signal is amazing at 16, assume he still is. Anyway this kid is going places. Teamed up with Lockjaw producing the Heavy rolling sound of a Neuro Behemoth that is Vollzeit. Shout to Kulak and those at RA. Check this out.
VA – L.T.D EP Vol 1 [Soul Trader]
Another little EP which could get under your radar and shouldn’t. This EP has some excellent tracks from the likes of Skynet, Random Movement and Digital. It has one of may favourite tracks as well right now by Skynet. Random Movement goes for a old school rolling flavour with Chop shop burn. That tune as I mentioned by Skynet is Fractal, I love this track. Techstep is on the rise again and putting right all the issue’s we currently have with the weaker Neuro which lacks the Funk. This track just builds and builds, you must hear this. Digital doing what he does best, darkening the fuck out of a track with the remix of Switch 2 suspense. Heads track that. Scent again on the last track, this time remixing Chewy Jetpack’s Mars. Doing a great job and sure I reviewed this previously or I am going mad. I certainly have liked this track for a while! Again Techstep is alive and well and coming for all those who love the fire!!!!
Fourward – Electrik EP [Shogun]
Shogun again in my essential D&B. They really have had a great 2015. This time it’s the 4 gents out of Austria, Fourward. A long time fan of these guy’s sounds, this EP is one of their better releases. Standard 4 tracks, that’s where the standard stops. The selection of the tracks on this really pleased me from the off and I knew they would be in this months. The title track Electrik had a lot of hype and rightly so. So will spend the time I have covering the other beauties in the EP. Starting with Spike. This is the better of the harder tracks for me. The Funk is present in this track, it’s not as hard hitting as Electrik but that is why it’s better for me. Sticks & Stones is another funky track, that slow stepping kinda funk, from Dark/Neuro style. It’s another good track. Each track is really good, that said the best track is Memories of You ft the marvellous Grimm. I love his vocals. When I first heard this, I thought I got the track wrong. Surely this is like Seba, Bcee or Hybrid minds?!? Not the hard hitting Fourward. This is one beautiful track. The Vocals and Piano combine to create a seriously vibey piece of D&B. One that I play almost daily. Now don’t get me wrong I love the power tracks, but this is just classy. Can we have some more like this on your future EP’s!!! More class from Shogun and Fourward.
DJ Hybrid – Mixed Origins [Audio Addict]
I am going to be quite blunt here…I do not like modern Jungle or any of those styles that try to be Jungle. I am from the era that Jungle come out, it was made well then. That said, its not just Jungle’s modern variants I dislike. Pretty much anyone trying to replicate those older styles, I usually dislike their efforts and have to restrain myself from being overly critical. Again, to understand this. I have been listening to our Music since 1991, I have followed it’s early inception like a serious trainspotter. So I will come to the point, DJ Hybrid…take a bow!!! This guy has in my opinion has laid a foundation for anyone trying to recreate those vibes gone by. He has done it so well. Enough of the critiquing and arsekissing!! This is 14 tracks, as mentioned with a proper old school vibe and Jungle flavours. So many great tracks in this, its getting huge support from the people like me who review. So guess what, its gonna be fucking worth the money trust. It’s well made, it’s pure vibes on every track. Check out You First, a 94/95 sounding rolling track that Hype could have dropped down AWOL. It’s Murder VIP, serious Valve tearout stuff. Run away ft Sinead McCarthy is a classic Rolling vibe. Just sounds like crisper haha. Timeless, honestly sounds like 93 intelligent stuff. Boom in 93, yeah its that original Jungle styling. Finally the best of the tracks and they are all good, is Lost in the Music. This Ft Junior Red, it’s an apt name for the track and I think a better name for the album, as Hybrid clearly is going over music a hell of a lot to get this all right. It’s the most modern vibe of the tracks, its roller and large one with that. One of the best of 2015, totally out of the blue for me and leaves me nostalgic! Respect to you DJ Hybrid.
VA – Neuroporn EP [Audio Porn]
This had to be included. Tracks from Fade, James Marvel, The Clamps, Intraspekt, Velos, Fat loaf, Yanntek and Bl4ck Olwz. Title says it all really, this is Audio Porns foray into the Current beast that is Neuro. 8 tracks all pleasantly hard hitting from the Audio Porn stable. Stand out tracks are Fade with Epizode, FatLoaf’s Elbows up which is a banger, Velos has that Techy styling to the Navigator. The pick of the bunch was getting some serious love on Social Media… Elephants by James Marvel. This is one big fat fuck off track!!! Really good to see and hear this from Audio Porn.
Calyx & Teebee – Cloud 9/Panic attack [Ram]
More from these guy’s, wetting our appetites nicely for the LP. Coming soon. Cloud 9 is that typical C&T style, warped mad Bass lines, great production. Excellent use of the vocals. You know! Now the real reason this is here, Panic attack. From the intro, you can tell the guy’s had been through some Red Bulls or something. It’s insane from the off. Dirty dirty Bass teasing you from the off, hard Kick intro building into the drop and your off. This track is serious energy, love the beats and the bass switches make this one funky fucking peak time banger!!! Love it. Keep an eye out for more fire from these guy’s.