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.
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.
Review: Back to 93! Rave duo Hyper On Experience were absolutely dominating the sets of DJs like Seduction, Carl Cox, Slipmatt and Phantasy and anyone paying attention to the then-fledgling Moving Shadow imprint. Now part of a major remaster and reissue campaign from Kniteforce, their third EP enjoys a timely evaluation: "Disturbance" is the mischievous opener, all impish and no sense of direction (in the best way possible), "Monarch Of The Glen" takes us more into happier territories with some goosebumping pianos and cool halfbeats while "Lil Ruffion" nods heavily to a European drum, all techno and flighty. Reload.
Review: In what might be something of an unexpected reissue move, early rave belter "Sweetness & Light" from Australian duo Itch-E & Scratch-E gets a fresh airing for the 21st century no less than 25 years after it first landed in a hailstorm of bright melodic lines and raucous tempo. In its original form "Sweetness & Light" is everything you could possibly want from an early trance stormer, all plush layers of harmony reaching an emotional crescendo over an irrepressibly bouncy beat. The "For Life" remix meanwhile flips the script with a blissed out, chord-heavy version that slows the pace right down, possibly for the original fans of the tune who need things a little slower now.
Review: For those of a certain age, listening to this white label outing from debutants Millie may result in giddy flashbacks or serious pangs of nostalgia. You see, Millie's inspirations mainly revolve around jungle-era hardcore, a time when sped-up breakbeats, pitched-up chipmunk vocal samples and hammered out piano riffs were all the rage. There's a certainly a rushing "back to '94" feel about A-side "So High", where "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" style piano riffs, bonkers synth stabs and a variety of cheeky vocal samples ride a galloping, high-octane breakbeat. "Back II Reality" works with similar inspirations, peppering another bombastic breakbeat with razor-sharp rave samples, rumbling sub-bass and choice snippets from Soul II Soul's most celebrated tune. Dennis Sulta will love it.