So 2017 is here, D&B not slowing down one bit and with some excellent tunes this month from the likes of Jam Thieves, Mean Teeth, Gydra and Agressor Bunx…
VA – Selects #5 [Demand]
Demand have come back with the fifth instalment of it’s Select series. Featuring the following Artist’s: Grey Code, Skylark, Wingz and Owneath. This is a collection of high calibre beats, excellently crafted and with some deep weaponry in it’s midst. Each track is a very good, but the 2 with Grey Code (one a collaboration with Skylark) are excellent. Echelon, the said collaboration with Skylark is a proper deep roller, with some menacing darkness added. Pick of the release is Grey Code – Making marks. This has a harder sound from the offset, with rapture like horns and menacing vibes. This drop’s into a big D&B tune, building throughout and fuck off in size!! These weighty little treats should be given due consideration. Demand, always quality not quantity.
Aggressor Bunx – The Spirit/ Interchangeable [Trendkill]
Both Aggressor Bunx and Trendkill, kicking of 2017 as they left 2016. Making and releasing, class Drum and Bass of a harder persuasion. Slightly reluctant to use the word Neuro this year, so much is labelled as it and is just bollocks sounding shit. This however is neither, it’s dark, tormenting stuff. Great use of atmospheric sounds and samples, Interchangeable is the big hitter for me, it’s tough as it comes with out being absurd. The Spirit a little more accessible but nonetheless, a fat track. More bass driven on this, some great use of samples again. The switch at 1’29 makes the track for me. Please continue kind Sir’s…this calibre of tune is greatly appreciated!!!!
Billain – Batbots/Manifold the Remix EP [Bad Taste]
Just put the original Batbots on while I compose this. Now I loved the original, dropped it many times and know many others did too. So when this popped up in my emails, I was very excited! I am happy to say that the artist’s on remix duties did not disappoint. Such Artist’s as…Neonlight, Malux, Mindscape and Pythius. Each producer does it’s remix justice, but Neonlight and Mindscape go above and beyond. They create tracks of magnificence in their own right. Mindscape’s rework stealing the show for me. Some delightful Drums and Basses on this release. Bad Taste long remaining to be one of my favourite labels, thanks to all involved for this little beauty.
Deskai – Atemporal EP [Scientific Records]
Talk about atmospheric!! Not a style or vibe I generally go for but in this instance, love. The production is great, the vibe, the flow…likewise. 4 tunes that are a proper DJ’s wet dream. So no standard 32,64 bar intro business. No need to double drop it to death as the tracks are bringing all the flow you need. Tracks are long, they build, they progress and they are delightfully deep and yet Tech Step where it’s applicable. These tracks are a joy!! Check out both Night Owl and Keiko. The breakdown on Keiko and the proper Tech Step styling of Night Owl are just lovely. This release is right up there for this month. Shout to all involved, keep it coming.
VA – We are 21 [Hospital]
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was cooing over We are 18 from Hospital, with Nu:Logic’s remix of Birdy – Wings one of many I loved. So 2 years down the line, they have put out a huge compilation of high calibre tracks. This is why Hospital is not only still relevant but at the forefront of the Scene. Too many artist’s, tracks or re-mixer’s on this to mention all. So instead I will pick a few that for me standout. Anile is having a blinder at the minute, his remix of Royalston People on the Ground is exquisite. That coupled with his VIP of Losing my Mind, another bit of deep love. Urbandawn is on top form also with his remix of Thomas Oliver’s – If I move to Mars. Always a sucker for an emotive track, both S.P.Y and Etherwood collab on Because of you. Piano intro, dropping into a vibey roller. Now for some dirtier beats… Phase – The Motion is a lovely little roller. TI – Bad Man is a dirty little tune. Now with all that, there are two stand out tracks and respect due to all involved. First the big fuck off track by Serum ft Inja…Blow Dem Away. This is just a peak time bang your face to fuck track, really liking this. Bar’s are on point with this and it just works and should be an Anthem if not already. Last but not least my favourite of a great selection. Makoto and Blu Mar Ten collaborating on Eldervine. It’s just a pristine piece of beautiful D&B. Deep and meaningful rolling from these two giants of the liquid and deeper vibe. All in all, another excellent turnout from Hospital.
Jam Thieves – Hackers EP [Playaz]
Hmmm… doesn’t seem that long ago that I was raving about Minimal Funk from these guys, still with one of the best of 2016, can they replicate that success?? Hell yeah!! Different idea behind this release and it has a more raw and gritty set of beats. These lads are prolific, producing 12 new beauties to contend with and most are diabolically good. These guy’s along with others on Playaz rosta are hailing a new era for the label. One I fucking love!! So if you liked the new Playaz bits, Minimal Funk and such, your gonna love this. Picks from the LP are the title track Hackers. A foul little track, dark and grimy as they come. Trigger is one of the high energy styled tunes, Tech in essence. Ghost lab…just listen to it!!! Just realised I like too many so will stop there! The pick of this outstanding LP is Checkmate. If this doesn’t give you instant bassface, your deaf!!! What is left to say, except that Jam Thieves are an exceptional talent. Just keep grafting lads, your Music is loved.
Impish – Fighter EP [Fokuz]
This guy has been getting better and better. I really love his crafted beats, they are easily some of the best anyone has to offer at present. This release is a melodic affair mostly, with one fire track. The tracks of note, of which there are two, are as follows. I love both of them. Tell me, is a up beat liquid….ish kinda track in the drum funk vein. The very best of the EP for me, is a cheeky remix of another production duo I rate highly, Soligen & Type 2. Their track Butterfly ft Amelia, is remixed and improved in my opinion. It’s a jazz tinged, vocally sublime roller. Should get many plays from the deeper and liquid crew. Impish is a talented producer, someone budding producers could look to for inspiration, certainly where beat production is concerned. Lovely EP.
Mean Teeth – Abnormal EP [Kill Tomorrow]
This is one of the month’s releases, if it wasn’t for the major talent on show here, it would be THE release. But as it stands there are too many to pick from the inbox this time round. Watch this space about info on Mean Teeth 😉 Kill Tomorrow have steadily been building their releases and this is a big step up. This is a five star release. 3 tracks and each one is great. Starting with the title track Abnormal, this is a big big track. A perfect intro track for the Neuro and Darker sets. Darkness personified from the off. A half time start, but then dropping into a full tech step banger at 1’50. Next up is Give up, another big track. Peak time drop, the funk switch on this tune is fucking wicked. Last and the pick for me is Nomad. This is the less hard of the 3 tracks, but what it lacks in ball kicking bass, it replaces with seriously excellent Tech step vibes. These guy’s are talented and will be big in 2017. I for one cannot wait for more bits from them.
Gydra – Unhinged EP [Cause4Concern]
These chaps are another productive little outfit, having really liked several of their latest bits, I can safely say this is the best of their work thus far! 4 extreme energy pulsating tracks. C4C clearly getting the best of these guys. This is high energy stuff, Neuro in essence but with a more Tech Step production on the beats, which I fucking love. Rampage is a real intense tune, with a lovely breakdown. The title track is another big one, Unhinged is as it sounds, just a relentless tune. The best of the EP is Noise of the Machine, this is just Naga chilli hot. The build up is just insane and you know the drop is as pounding as it gets, it’s got plenty of switches in it to keep you occupied and its just a great track to wipe those Winter blues right out!!! Gydra another set of people who will have a great year, keep them coming. Great start for one of my all time top labels too.