Review: DJ Central presents three new aliases on this elegantly put together 12". Conjuring up the perfect recipe for a DJ Cake, Central blends and explores the likes of pulsating atmospheric techno on the track "Balast", smoothly escalating breaks on "Ko Ko Dak Dak" and hazy crackling ambient on the finale "Daeksel". Unique, inspiring and truly excellent works from the one they call DJ Central.
Review: You don't get much more junglistic than Ed Solo and on this latest release from Jungle Cakes, you've guessed it, some sticky, sweet jungle is the order or the day. "Smoke The Weed" is a classic jungle mashup, and with Canadian bass master Stickybuds on hand to provide some serious breaks it quickly escalates to an all-out skanking session. Before you can pass it on, "Joker Smoker" adds retro brass and guitar to build the reggae funk as the track fragments into not one but two different breakdowns providing the basis for some serious dancefloor workouts. Don't sleep on this.
Review: Sublime retro future breaks from Keysound affiliate Etch. As suggested in the title, none of these breaks have real titles; it's just all about the crisp drum work, vast roominess and old school dynamics from the brushed drum swing of the first slice and the rubber ball bass of the second, right the way through the ghostly vocal tones and MC commands on the fourth slice, this is the sound of a man who knows his foundations inside out. Sneaker Social Club don't release anywhere near as much as they should.... But when they do you should always pay attention.
When The Devil's Paid (Vanilla Dream DnB remix) (8:12)
Review: Here's a spot of unlikely cross-cultural collaboration, as Finnish jazz man Timo Lassy joins forces with veteran Brazilian soul man Ed Motta. The resultant cut, "When The Devil's Paid", is a summery and sun-kissed chunk of gentle samba-soul with Motta providing a typically breezy and emotion rich vocal. Lassy's old pal Jimi Tenor heads up the accompanying remix package, wrapping the original's snaking sax and heartfelt vocals over a hybrid electronic/acoustic groove. Elsewhere, Alex Trebo delivers a sensual nu-jazz rub and Vanilla Dream unfurls a pleasingly punchy and jazzy drum and bass interpretation. When the weather outside is grey and damp, stick this on and all will be well with the world.
Review: Essential damagement jams from one of the most consistent and forward-thinking labels in the contemporary jungle game, "Full Repertoire Vol. 02" features fire from friends old and new. Label owner Law tags up with rising artist Kola Nut once again to ease us into the EP with "Somewhere New" where goodlooking-esque soft arpeggios and pipes disarm us before the darkness unfolds. Eusebeia returns to Repertoire with the pressure cooker hardcore pads of "Shape The Future", newcomer Mani Festo follows his killer Rupture debut with the equally menacing tightly coiled spring that's "Next 2 U" before Necrotype closes with the coldest cut of the collection, all strange humanised noises, melting droplets and complex breaks. Full to the brim.
Black Sun Empire & State Of Mind - "Jack Nicholson"
Review: Given that they've now been bulldozing dancefloors with their distinctively dark, fizzing, tech-tinged take on drum & bass for nigh on 20 years, few will be surprised to hear that Ed Rush and Optical's contribution to the FabricLive series is a bombastic, full-throttle affair. Packed to the rafters with growling basslines, skittish jungle rhythms, subtle nods to rave and nightmarish textures, FabricLive 82 is little less than a lesson in D&B's murkier margins. While there are few surprises - the duo found their niche years ago and have been happily working it ever since - it's nevertheless a hugely enjoyable excursion, somehow squeezing in 39 tracks along the way.
Review: Eliphino continues to explore his emotionally charged, modern sound with this new mini LP for Secretsundaze. Following the trend laid out by his previous turns on Hypercolour, The Love Below and Meda Fury, he unfurls a richly harmonic sound that places emphasis on melodic progression to tell a particularly personal story, ranging from the emotive "Studio Time" to the crooked break-flecked "Old Lemons". "Second Sunday" flirts with electro and "Breaking Up Is Hard" veers towards jungle, but throughout Eliphino's personality binds the record together in fine style. Thoroughly contemporary and unbounded by genre restrictions, this is the sound of someone making the record they want to make.
Review: Med School has said that In Stillness, Etherwood's third full-length excursion for the label, contains "some of the most awe-inspiring and poignant drum and bass" that they've released to date. We tend to agree. Recorded in his home studio somewhere in the Finnish wilderness, the album effortlessly combines heart-aching songs and expansive instrumentation (both electronic and acoustic) with the distinctive rhythmic snap of classic D&B. This naturally results in a string of sublime, mood-enhancing moments, with highlights including the cascading jazz guitar solos and dreamy vocal harmonies of "You're Missing Life", the weighty but icy roller "Bear's Breaches (featuring Anile)" and the intricate, beat-less bliss of "Metsa".