Review: Following his joint drop with Denham Audio, Bristol's Borai fires up the third installment of his Higher Level label with another two precision-tooled rave bombs. Building on a catalogue 10 years deep and a versatile production style that spans deep house, techno, garage and breakbeat, Borai has been busy feeding his heavyweight productions into the scene via his Club Glow project (also with Denham Audio) - first as a mixtape in 2018 and now expanding to encompass events too. As with much of his recent work, HL003 leans heavily on early rave tropes re-figured for flexible assimilation into open-ended, genre-agnostic club music zeitgeist. "Carpet Bagger" has a propulsive 4/4 thrust, but its nightmarish bass drops and stabs are pure darkside. "Sanctuary" (surely shouting out the seminal '90s Milton Keynes spot) takes a sweeter direction - silky smooth chords and diva vocal licks riding over a rolling Hot Pants break. This is classically informed rave tackle given a gleaming finish - heavy in the low end and bright on top for maximum devastation in the dance. Take note too - HL003 also welcomes a new artist into the fold for the sleeve design, Nuff Gal. The Bristol-based illustrator perfectly captures the playful energy of Borai's productions, ushering in a striking new aesthetic for Higher Level.
Review: Bristol-based badman Borai has been quietly issuing some of the city's most immense club wreckers for many years now, sometimes in partnership with October, and sometimes flying solo (as on the crucial Anybody From London for Hotline Recordings). Here he's inaugurating Higher Level with some absolute dance slayers, kicking off with the mammoth pitched-down drum funk and gut-wrenching bass of "Razor" before switching stance for the dreamier but no less rowdy "Predators." Both cuts are a masterclass in classic breakbeat science, delivering the foundational UK sound with panache that sets these weapons far apart from the rest of the pack.