Your Body (feat Jemimah Read - Bladerunner remix) (6:43)
Black Sky (feat Thomas Oliver - Lenzman remix) (4:54)
Had It All (feat Logistics - Monty remix) (5:15)
More Than Words (feat Charlotte Haining - Seba remix) (5:59)
Review: As the matter-of-fact title makes clear, this expansive EP offers up freshly remixed versions of tracks from Bcee's fine 2017 album Northpoint. LSB is first up to the plate, offering up a wonderfully warm and summery take on soulful roller "Surfacing" that's marked out by suitably loved-up build-ups and breakdowns, before Anile wraps fluid piano lines around a punchy rhythm on a beautifully judged revision of "Northpoint". Bladerunner provides a dose of doom-laden bass and cyber-sonic synths on a rip-snorting revision of "Your Body", while Lenzman's take on "Black Sky" is a soulful, liquid D&B delight. Elsewhere, Monty reaches for the heavy sub-bass and aggressive neuro-funk electronics on his remix of "Had It All" and Seba brings the curtain down via an anthem-like vocal take on "More Than Words".
Review: Utopia are back with a long-awaited release and what's more, it's from the mighty Break! Pretty much only seen on his Symmetry label these days, here he returns to Mako's buy-on-sight imprint with two sides to his universally loved sound. "Gunpowder", as you might expect, is a snarling, gnarly electrified piece of high voltage tech-edged rollage while "The Way Things Are" is much deeper, spacious piece where the drums scream jazz and the subs do more talking the louder you play this. Near perfect.
Conversations (feat MC Fats & Cleveland Watkiss) (3:49)
Review: Break's fifth album Another Way is about drop and this is the second teaser of what's to come. First up is "Conversations", a spacious digidub wonder that taps into Break's classic reggae sound (think "Love So True") and is charmed to smithereens by Fats and Watkiss. Meanwhile "Alpha" goes right back to Break's relentless tear up sessions with one of the most brutal basslines he's done in years. And we thought his previous release "Keepin It Raw" was big...
Ill Truth & Satl - "In Your Soul" (feat Charli Brix - Lenzman remix) (5:17)
Total Science & FD - "3 Way" (4:54)
Review: One look at who's involved here should raise any drum and bass head's eyebrows. All genre A-listers, it's one of those release schedule entries that's guaranteed to get everyone excited, and thankfully the pudding is just as tasty as those ingredients. Break & Kyo lead the charge with 'Past North', a summertime anthem-in-the-making opening on acoustic guitar chords that wouldn't sound weird on a Me One record. Definitely one for festivals, boxfresh percussion ensures it fully fires off once the poppier elements temporarily subside. That said, DJ Marky's 'Hard Hands' trumps it for crisp drum work, delivering some typically exotic vibes. Ill Truth and Satl's 'In Your Soul', or at least its Lenzman remix, keeps the sexy and smooth warmth alive, with '3 Way' closing out on a dub-influenced tip courtesy of Total Science and FD.
Superior Selectionz & Ben Soundscape - "Justa" (5:37)
Roygreen & Protone & Ben Soundscape - "Ruffneck" (5:39)
Luch & Joakuim - "Lifespan" (5:41)
Review: Since 2003, the Intrigue crew has been providing Bristol clubbers with regular doses of liquid funk and musically expansive drum and bass, first at their regular parties and, since 2008, on their offshoot label. Predictably, there's much to enjoy on this celebratory 12". Old pal Break steps up first with a veritable warm summer breeze of a roller, "Mind's Eye" - all punchy, snare-heavy beats, acoustic guitars, rumbling bass and dreamy freestyle vocals - before Superior Selectionz and Ben Soundscape join forces for the slightly more weighty but no less attractive "Justa". Over on side B, Soundscape returns to action alongside Ryogreen and Protone on the wobble bass-propelled stepper "Ruffneck", while Lurch - a lesser-known stalwart of the Bristol scene - delivers some delicious, Afro-tinged liquid funk alongside Joakuim. Rock solid.
Review: The seventh volume in Beat Machine's ongoing "Swinging Flavors" series of singles arrives on vibrant turquoise vinyl. This time round, it's a relatively new artist at the controls: Breaka, whose debut 12" on Holding Hands tickled our fancy earlier in the year. Happily, "Damn Hot" lives up to its title, brilliantly joining the dots between the snappy drum machine snares, cut up vocal samples and incessant hustle of Chicago Juke, the crunchy breakbeat since of old school jungle, and the futurist intent of contemporary drum and bass. It's really rather good, all told, with Danny Scrilla's flipside remix - a spacey fusion of intergalactic synthesizer melodies and ruffneck early '90s jungle tropes - also hitting the sweet spot.
Review: He's back at the controls! Breakage has been in his element since launching Index, rolling out jam after jam after jam. Rooted in the foundations, stripped back to the bare bones and designed to make both you and your speakers shake, everything he's delivered on the label so far has been prime mixing material and supported across the board. These are no exceptions; "Yeah" is a cantankerous shakedown with all the funk you'd expect from the man, "Liff Up" is minimal, bouncy and unhurried in its momentum while "Wicked" closes with a snaking sub that will both squeeze and bite you. Wicked and indeed bad, respect to Breakage.
Review: Boy oh boy has Breakage found his jungle groove again. Deep, playful, dark and everything in between, after years of experimenting in the electronic ether, he's returned to his cornerstone rolling signature with a vengeance. The brilliantly-titled "Ric Flair Strut" hits with pure swagger and a buzzy electrified bass that flickers up at the end of every eight. If it doesn't have you showing off your hairy chest and saying 'whoo' a lot, nothing will. Flip for the equally forthright "Sanctuary". Dubby funk with slapping drums and a breakdown that takes you right back into the rushing heart of rave ground zero, its venue namesake would be proud of this homage. On-point.
Review: One of Break's most consistent and striking vocal collaborators, Kyo gets the Symmetry spotlight with this A-list collabo EP. "Who Decides" sparks up the dance with an electrified high voltage sneering bassline and loose percussion that only Break can cook up. "Murder Tonight" is a lot sexier than its title suggests thanks to Kyo's surging tones and Total Science's expert manipulation of the think break. "Where I Stand" sees Kyo teaming up with Mikal for the most stripped back and steppy affair while DLR and Mako's OneMind unit join her for the final, and darkest, chapter of the EP "Play To Lose" where Kyo hits her gutsiest, rawest soul notes. No decision necessary.
Rawmance - "Mondonotte, La Mattina Dopo" (Security re-drums) (3:30)
Review: La Beaute Du Negatif's fourth multi-artist EP arrives with little fanfare or fuss. Instead, the Rome-based label has decided to simply offer-up the EP and let us come to our own conclusions. For what it's worth, ours is that it's well worth checking - especially Monomorph's blissful, acid-flecked IDM opener "Rystal", which previously appeared on a hard-to-find CD way back in 1996. There are plenty of highlights elsewhere across the EP, though. Head first for the sparse, spacey cheeriness of Brainwaltzera's "Phos Harbinger", before getting your ears around the ambient jungle-techno brilliance of "Opener" by The Jaffa Kid. This is followed on side B by the shuffling, sun-kissed downtempo grooves of SSIEGE's "Sogno In BB" and a drowsy, mind-altering chunk of late 90s Warp Records style electronica by Rawmance.
Jamalski, Rocker T & Mr Live - "Put It On" (Liondub & Bluntskull remix) (4:51)
Johnny Osbourne & Marcus Visionary - "Lend Me" (5:17)
Bladerunner & DJ Westy - "Original Bad Boy" (5:57)
Review: What a ting! North America's running wild with drum & bass right now but here are two of the realest, most enduring names: Marcus Visionary and Liondub International. Four tracks taken from Marcus's recent mix album, highlights include aggy dancehall hip-hop fusion of "Put It On" and the utterly disgusting roller "Original Bad Boy" from Bladerunner and DJ Westy. Featuring the likes of Navigator and Rankin Joe, there's some of the strongest voices possible on this collection. The Atlantic gates are well and truly open.
Review: When it comes to sunny, summer-fresh drum and bass, few producers are quite as capable as Spearhead Records supremo Steve "BCee" Jefroy. Further proof of his mastery of soulful-but-punchy D&B comes courtesy of Jefroy's fifth solo full-length, "Shouting About Nothing". Highlights come thick and fast, from the gentle pianos, rolling breaks and stunning vocals of "Sincerely Yours (feat. Leo Wood)" and the weighty low-end rumble of "All Fired Up", to the ruffneck early jungle/vintage D&B fusion of "For All Your Worth", cinematic drum and bass soul of "Wanderer" and the dub-wise, hot-stepping dancefloor skank of the title track "Shouting About Nothing".
Review: Since debuting on the label 18 years ago, Danny Byrd has become one of Hospital Records most reliable and prolific artists. Even so, Atomic Funk - his fourth album - marks his first full-length outing for five years. It goes without saying that he's in fine form, gleefully flitting between heavyweight 21st century jungle revivalism ("Salute", 'Starting It Over", the piano-laden badness of "Roll The Drums"), sunshine ready disco drum and bass ("IDragon", Patrice Rushen-sampling "Holy Star"), shimmering electro-fuelled rollers ("Supreme", "Atomic Funk") and the kind of soulful, radio-friendly fare that's become a hallmark of Hospital releases in recent years ("Hold Up The Crown", "Money Calling Me").