Starting 2016 as we closed 2015…D&B still powering on!!! We have a LP from Genotype, Agressor Bunx, Slang Banger plus lots more…
Aggressor Bunx – The Order EP [Eatbrain]
Great to see Aggressor Bunx on Eatbrain, their addition to the Artist list is a positive. This is a really good EP, its less full on Neuro mania and more thoughtful Dark vibes. With some of the Neuro of late purely going for mental heat and lacking thought, this is much welcomed by me. 5 tracks well produced, adding their own brand of D&B to the hugely respected Eatbrain stable. Some stand out tracks: Dangerous Amnesia with it’s minimal fuck roll out, Free Machine – deeper and more intelligent style of D&B, Rhodium – Full on Dark Electro sounds and of course the title track the Order. This is what I hope 2016 will bring in regards to Neuro, I love this style. Not needing to impress with outrageous sounds, being a staple and pushing the defining traits to make really good D&B as Aggressor Bunx have with The Order. Hard enough to please and intelligent enough to last.
Prestige – Life & Death EP [New Playaz]
Happily new stuff from New Playaz is good. Last year they really turned up the output for me, they had some excellent EP’s towards the latter end of the year. Prestige on the duties this time. Still one of my favourite samples ever from Tyke & Prestige on Cowboy Desperado. 7, yeah 7 tracks on this EP! Undeniably Jump up in some tracks, others not so. Again, more thought and effort on this for me to just say Jump Up and leave it there. Some tracks are crossover or less definable. So what I will say is check out these and make your own mind up. Some peak time fierceness for you! Further from the Truth is a gritty banger, Freak is funky as fuck stepper with clear filthy rotten intentions, Delusions is a classy stepping roller with melodic vibes and the title track is just filthy. A real set changer vibe. Looking forward to more from New Playaz in 2016.
Gran Calavera – Deludamol EP [Blendits]
No link to this as yet. It’s not released until Feb but it’s in my Jan picks as thats when I have it fresh. Now last year Blendits had some quality out put and I reviewed it, they have a nice buzz with the Heads who know. They were one the best labels of 2016, notice a trend!?!? So eagerly I listened to this. Again, huge quality from this Australian outfit Gran Calavera, think my first introduction may have been on Flexout, but I digress. This is pure quality as D&B goes. So think Metalheadz, not at all being dismissive to other labels but this really is D&B. Not a sub genre to impress a group, this is no messing straight up D&B. Beats, Bass, Dirty stepping at its best. That is my description of the title track btw. Noted is a heavier Tech track with some Monstrous sounds and to top of the quality on this, they put out a lovely rolling liquid track called Safe. Each worthy of its own release but the 2 tracks Deludamold and Noted are what I want to hear more of in 2016. Less gimmicks, more quality. Shout to all involved on this!!
Himalia – Distances remixes [Pegdoll records]
7 tracks on this remixes record. Only 2 are D&B which I will review in a sec. But please take the time to broaden your horizons with some of the other remix efforts as they are really good as well. Now to the D&B one of the tracks was good enough to inspire me to get in touch and interview. Won’t mention who, but it will be up later this week. Soligen & Type 2 back again with their take on Falling. An atmospheric deep roller, using great production as these 2 guy’s from Lincolnshire always do. Remixing the Title track is Despicable Youth. From the fantastic intro with uplifting eye closing sounds. Wistful memories from last Summer spring to mind and quickly rolling into eager expectation of the first Sunny days of Spring. Now if that doesn’t say listen to me or buy me even then I don’t know what will. Deeper heads this one you!!!
Genotype – No remorse LP [Nurtured Beatz]
This is one of the best releases I have heard from Nurtured Beatz. If you know the guy’s or like the forward thinking D&B output this really should be the top of your purchase list. I am a fan of Genotype, lovely guy and creates some serious D&B. This is an excellent LP, just missed out on my Best of 2015 as well. Hence it’s inclusion here. 10 Quality tracks, covering the new age Techy styles, Deeper and the experimental in 80’s play. A great tune. That said its the more peak time tear outs I liked such as Chaos, a steppy little track. The title track with that RAW (need to start hashtagging that shit haha) and my favourite Shins. That is how to do a stepping roller people!! Love the beats on show here. Shout to the lads at NB and Genotype, great LP mate.
Slang Banger – Fling Rock Stone EP [Program]
Ram’s sister label was a little quiet to the end of 2015 for me in its output. Happily Slang Banger put’s this right for 2016, saying that this may very well have been received prior in 2015 but seeing as I spent pretty much most of Dec past 20th drunk, its hard to recollect. So standard 4 track EP. All the tracks have that RAW that I have noticing creeping back into D&B and been eagerly awaiting each promo. So firstly shout to Slang Banger for that. In case you missed me bang on about the RAW I mean the breaks, the vibe and not perfect clinical sounds. Retaining the elements needed to just fucking have it in the dance. These are heavy tearing little Beauties, all worthy of that special mention us reviewers love. That said I am old school and any track named after the Sweaty madness of Bagleys is going to be a standout track. I loved this track from its haunting intro, use of old school bits and bobs, dropping into a frenzied track. I should have said the tracks have several nods to the origins of our beloved music in Jungle era tracks. Check it out.
VA – RAMM200 [Ram]
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was buying the vinyl for RAMM100. Where does the time go!! So huge label with huge Artist rosta, unbelievable Back Catalogue other labels would die for. Needing to impress as it’s a biggie the old 200th release. Lets be clear Ram is still the big daddy when it comes to labels in D&B, its responsible for more iconic tracks than I dare mention. So it’s not a complete shock that with all the unreleased dubs and firepower at their fingertips, that this is included. It’s big, its brash and its got some excellent tracks. Culture Shocks – Piano track is peak time beaut, Rene LaVice VIP’d the Calling, Mind Vortex who pretty much ensure single handedly that Andy C has great double dropping intro’s are on form, Audio absolutely slays the remix of Robots & Romans. Leaving only Insideinfo’s shut your fucking mouth remix of Kyptic Minds – The Truth. I called it the shut your fucking mouth remix, not because Paul did, but because the drop is open mouthed Heaviness!!!!!! Sampling the Matrix, and with a insanely mental set of stabs and other maniacal sounds this is my current favourite track. It’s so good!!! Just check it out people, you know it makes sense.
Signal – Indirect/In Motin [Lifestyle]
If you read my reviews and you don’t know about London’s Lifestyle then you need help!! I bang on about them quite a bit. They release pure quality. I have mentioned 2016 going to be a huge year for Signal, the quality of this young producer is clear to see on this. Without calling out some longer known well established Artist’s this guy is formidable. Two fantastic quality D&B tracks I dare not pigeonhole . I don’t want to label it Neurofunk as such. It’s smarter than that alone. It’s future D&B, using excellent influences from both Tech and Neuro, but retaining this element of quality that has been lacking in some of the more recent output of Neuro styles. I would compare it to the new Neuro styling of Trilo for an example. Anyway, these two tracks are quality Drums and Basses for 2016. Out now, show them some love.
The Force – Life Cycle EP [Ruffneck Ting]
I am not a huge lover of the modern take on a style I love, in Jungle. However I am happy to follow up DJ Hybrids LP with some more this month!! Veterans in the scene Ruffneck Ting, put out a great Jungle EP from the Force. Jungle for me, mixed the fun of the Hardcore with the more serious elements of production spawned from the Darkside tracks with in essence created D&B. What does that mean for you young whipper snappers?? It means its banging but not too serious and it is thing in D&B to be pretty serious. So don your MA2 and Classics, put this on loud and enjoy a little moment when 94 comes bang up to date with lovely vibes and fat old B lines!!!!
Damage Inc– Blackball remix EP [Future Sickness records]
I get a lot of tunes sent, I also spend some time searching for beats when not doing stuff for Nu:sounds or raving and drinking. Even with that a tune I have heard on a mix, that I love and couldn’t find out what it was, gets the remix treatment. Even before I could figure out the original!! Thanks to CMPR for solving this problem haha Now these are very hard D&B, potentially a little Crossbreed (Still not really sure what that is tbf) as well. Ignore all that and check out the original which is heavy but not too much. That said, Gancher and Ruin (another duo I tip for 2016 to be a good one for!!!) do a good D&B remix but Cooh steals the show with his right side of filth remix. Retaining the madness of the original, including the “your all going to die tonight sample” and heaviness. I really do like the heavyness on this. It’s got its musical elements as well but its not for the feint of Heart.