Review: We've been waiting a LONG time for this! Loxy & Resound's most demanded dub since 2008, "New Age" has cult status and it's not hard to hear why; super spacious and so broad and vital in its sound, it still sounds futuristic to this day. "Stone Cold" kicks ass for a 2009 track, too. Once again unreleased and demanded by the heads for the last 10 years, this one takes us deeper down Loxy & Resound's rabbit hole, before that divine vocal cuts through the mix and it's game over. Ageless.
Review: LSB returns with the third chapter in his Footnotes series. Four more originals spanning his stark, restrained style, the title track sums up the spirit perfectly; big strings, a classic rave vocal refrain and a dynamic that will melt your trousers. It's complemented by the much darker, tunnel technoid "Space Stepper", the metallic harmonies and salubrious future funk flare of "Do Your Thing" and the emotion-laden, introspective "Melrose". Get footloose for Footnotes...
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.
Review: To celebrate the tenth anniversary of 'Syncopated City', arguably the best London Elektricity album (if sadly not the best selling), Tony Colman has decided to give the album a light going over. He's called the reissue the "The Director's Cut". It's from that download-only set that these two "2018 versions" of classic album cuts are taken. Like much of the rest of the set, both brilliantly join the dots between Colman's fluid and musically rich take on drum and bass, modern soul and classic jazz. Both "Outnumbered" and the arguably slightly superior "Syncopated City Revisited" are duets of sorts, with guest female vocals sparring with Colman (who, somewhat surprisingly, is actually quite a good singer) over the superb backing of the talented London Elektricity live band.
Review: It's nothing but stark steppery from the off on Transmute as Law & Wheeler sharpen their drums and space things out on a Source Direct level. Driven by the steps but powered by the warped low end, it's a timeless piece that swallows you whole. The consistently on-point Tim Reaper delivers some mind-altering drum edits on the junglised "Floating Through" while Mac 2 affiliate Trex nods his head to the likes of Krust with "Stay High", a cosmic sojourn that develops with increasing layers of trippiness. Powerful.
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: Back in the autumn, sometime Metalheadz regular Lenzman launched his own label, The North Quarter. Here he returns for a second outing, bringing with him a quartet of tasty tracks. IAMDDB lends a hand on the sweet, skittish and soulful opener "In My Mind" - all fizzing D&B breakbeats, tumbling piano lines and evocative vocals - before soul man Steo unfurls a heartfelt vocal on the similarly breezy "Tender Love". On the flip, you'll find the moody, urban-sounding D&B-rap roller "Park Hill" (which may or may not be a tribute to the infamously bleak Sheffield housing estate of the same name), and the jazzy D&B warmth of Subphonics' collaboration "Bayview".
Sara Lugo - "Really Like You" (feat Protoje - Jamie Bostron remix) (5:15)
Sizzla - "I'm Living" (Ed Solo & Stickybuds remix) (5:33)
Review: Ahead of the Jungle Cake's third Welcome To The Jungle collection, Deekline drops two of the album's many heaters; Soulfire soulstress Sara Lugo gets the Jamie Bostron treatment as he retains the warm tones and emotional sentiments of the original while applying a slick rolling breakbeat. Looking for a heavier skanker? Flip for Ed Solo and Stickybuds' bass-flecked twist on the unavoidable Sizzla. Underpinned with a juicy bassline, Sizzla's urging lyrics and the dreamy melodica are both kept in check as we roll deeper into the dance. That's living alright.