It’s that time again where yours truly picks out some DNB for you lot to have a little listen and agree intensely haha So without further adieu this month we have tracks from Current Value that were received the night I completed the reviews so proper fresh! Some Agressor Bunx, the latest effort from the maestro that is Alix Perez, a home run of an LP from the Jam Theives and much more to boot, so check it out…
VA – 5 Years of Titan part 2 [Titan records]
5 years is no mean feat in our scene, so having a 2 part celebration of that fact is welcomed and well deserved. The 2nd part in my opinion is vastly better, in that each track is firing. With Agressor Bunx, Cruk, S9, Six Blade and A.M.C creating the beats, you can probably tell that this is a peak time package and it does not fail to deliver the goods. Each track is a dance-floor damager and all 4 are equally good. With that in mind, I will say that two tracks for me are preferred and they are… Sucker punch and Smash it, with Agressor Bunx and Cruk behind these behemoth beats. Heavy, but not just for the sake of it as many tracks are now. This is for the lovers of those dirty riddims and worth shelling out for.
Inward, Hanzo & Randie – Squaremouth EP [C4C recordings]
Always happy to receive a promo from the C4C imprint, you pretty much know what to expect and that sort of quality is always welcome. Including a lovely remix of Gas chamber this is a great little EP. These guy’s may not be household names but if your Neuro fan like me, you will have noticed them on other firing tracks. This EP is some of, if not their best work to date. Clearly the collaboration works as these 4 tracks show. Neurofunk as it’s meant to be made, not just mental sounds and little percussion throughout. Plenty of funk in these bad boys. The standout track is the remix of Gas chamber but also check out Jaws and Sajuuk. Excellent D&B of a banging nature. In particular Sajuuk is the funkiest of the EP and a real skank inducer. The label you will know but if you don’t know these guy’s sure they will now be doing the Neuro label circuit very soon.
Icicle – Differentia EP [Shogun Audio]
When this guy does D&B it’s always stop what you’re doing and listen good. Everyone knows Mr Freeze’s production is second to none, so let’s leave that there. 4 serious D&B tracks on this EP, not gimmicky or shit. The Nothing ft Tasha Baxter is such a good track, lovely vocal intro, funky drop not overbearing and that complements Tasha’s voice and the Piano. The title track is one of those forward boundary pushing beats that Icicle does so well, the beats are classy and it’s minimal but a great tune with some almost indescribable parts. Push back is a full on half time head fuck. Mechanical in the extreme and a great switch up track for the DJ’s. Tune of the EP for me is Ego, has that peak time drop and feel to it from the intro. I really love these tracks, smarter than your average beat. Excellent.
Machine Code – Projection EP [Othercide records]
I make no bones about my appreciation and love for all the guises of Current Value and Dean Rodell. For me both of these guy’s push the Music I love in the direction I like. They are creative, they experiment and they are hard as hell. This EP is a prime example of those values. Uncompromising stuff on this EP, plenty of high end energy and also that strong Techno vibe ensuring zero tolerance for cheese or bullshit. This may just edge on the harder side for some or most even, but for those who appreciate this modern encapsulation of D&B you will love these tracks. The remix of artificial organism by Homeboy is one such track to check out. The melodies are there, if not instantly recognisable and that there is why I love them. So complex and with huge depth to the tracks. Brilliant stuff once again.
Alix Perez – Elephant Dreams EP [1985 recordings]
New label time and when Alix Perez is involved, you know it will not be run of the mill in anyway. My love is the harder beats so when the deeper more thoughtful tracks make it, you need to appreciate how good they must be!! This EP is excellent in that regards. Teaming up with Skeptical on the title track, you know it’s going to be low end bass line rumbler. This is a great track, pure rolling vibes. Now the whole EP is great but special mention is kept for this track, which will be up there in the best of 2016 easily. This guy does the vocal and soulful DNB with such craft and skill, most can’t touch him. I love this track!!! Deep, vocal and with that melodic yet sombre Piano. Such a great tune. If you love Drum & Bass I can’t see how you cannot like this track, it’s so well made and just brilliant. Wonderful music from Alix on this track.
Aggressor Bunx – Colony EP [ProgRam]
Agressor Bunx is peaking right now, signed to many labels and putting out arguably the best so far in his career. I have long been a fan and have reviewed a fare few of the releases over the last couple of years. This is a quality EP and as ever, showcasing the harder styles but without the nonsense that other producers seem to relish right now. A perfect example of that Dark/Neuro flavour without the added ridiculousness. ProgRam have long been a great label, getting the best and let’s say more underground sounds from some eminent producers. This is another great example of this. Clever DNB and not lacking in the bite because of it. Colony has this eerie bee like vibe, Time shift has that excellent Industrial steppy sound that I love but there can be only one pick…That is Hottah!! Inconspicuous intro before “burn hottah” and deliciously dark roll out with plenty of Tech elements. The production values increase each time, the percussion and Drums used for these tracks are rarely the same and it’s noticeable. Agressor Bunx is firmly on the rise.
Jam Thieves – Minimal Funk Project [Playaz]
Playaz over the last year or so have really come out with some exceptional bits, some of which may not be for everyone’s tastes, however this little beauty should be. 10 tracks and as the title suggests, with Jam Thieves take on some Minimal beats. These style tracks are really resonating for me at present and mostly due to the insanity of the mainstream’s take on my beloved Neuro. So with great Joy and appreciation I welcome this effort and so should you. It may be created with a Minimal Funk but the tracks have way more about them. I would have gone through a couple of the tracks but when it downloaded the track titles didn’t show. Nonetheless this is probably my pick of the month if honest. So many tracks are good on this and covers the deeper, minimal rollers and also the more Techy styles. An all-round great LP this, hats of the thieves of Jam!!!!
HumaNature – Bring it Back EP [Fokuz]
Yet again my inbox is filled with delightful beats from Fokuz, this time its HumaNature’s Bring it back EP. This has had some excellent response from people I respect in scene, so by default it’s better than what most will share or promote. Bring it back is a great track, not unlike a Break tune but far from identical and using the Break comparison so you can get what the track is about. No shames is a lovely deeper track and has a great vocal to compliment the deep rolling vibe. Whisper is an uplifting minimal track, it has this feel as if you have heard it for years and it’s a grower. The tune of this release however is one more time, its summer vibes on this. That floaty sort of track with plenty of non-cheese uplift. An excellent release from both the creator in HumaNature and Fokuz.
Freqax – Meant to Believe [Otherside records]
This guy appears to have just come out of nowhere with this LP but I am sure that is not the case, as with many people the PR machines swamp you with beats you don’t really want to hear. This however, you should want to hear and I hope you support as well. Freqax has given us an LP full of power tracks, with dirt, grit and filth. Not Neuro, Dark or any of the ordinary defining genres for the more fire tracks about. Instead this is Freqax sound, these dirt producers are often for me lacking in production skills. Freqax is not and as such has made an excellent filthy, hard hitting and uncompromising selection for the LP. Check out Sick, Dark Times or Meant to be and it should become apparent what I mean. There are some more straightforward Neuro beats too, so do not despair Neuro heads. This LP is really good, many great tracks and that can only ever be good!!
Current Value – Partition EP [Terminal]
I was almost about to finalise the Essential DNB and a fresh promo from Terminal with Current Value halted that. Well I do not mind singing his praises one bit and once again the German menace has smashed it out the park. Terminal have a top quality release here, CV’s style is instantly recognisable in some aspects but this EP he stretches what we think we know about him that bit further. Terminal for me have exceptionally quickly risen to one of my favourite labels and with the labels in question expertise it’s no surprise. This EP is a master class in pushing boundaries. As an example try and pigeon hole Bad Data if you dare!!! Every track is excellent and for me this one track just has the bad boy funk in its riddims… Orbital Decay is such a tune, fucking love it. What a bass line. This is proper fresh so only this link below so far but trust me, the other tunes are so good as well. Current Value and Terminal doing it the right way, well done gents.