Symmetry Recordings – Break – 10 Years of Symmetry LP – [Review]

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A decade marks a proper milestone, worthy of being celebrated in style and in taking good pride of the achievement at hand. In this instance, we commemorate Ten Years Of Symmetry Recordings with Break.

Ten Years Of Symmetry LP is comprised of twelve tracks by yours truly, who also started the label, exactly a decade ago. This album sees Break whipping up some massive and sickest joints that made us see flames through the speakers, and into our poor but happy ears.

Six of them are joints that Break chose to do solo, such as; the sizzling ‘Ain’t No Turning Back’; and the smashing ‘Who Got The Funk’; as well as the last track ‘Not Forgotten’ with one interesting intro, dropping to a neat Jungle style. The other half of the LP is made up of really awesome collaborations by some of the great and well-established artists in the D&B industry that we’ve always known and loved since way back. One of the overall godfathers, MC Fats makes an entry in the form of Break’s version (remix) of ‘Free Your Mind’. But, it does not end there; there is another remix he did together with DLR i.e. NC17 & KC’s ‘Slimeville’.

Other key players leaving their musical mark in this dope album are namely; CIA Recording’s Total Science; the Spectrasoul duo and; possibly Break’s favorite vocalist, Kyo coming through and laying in her lovely singing and those strong, message-filled lyrics right at the top, titled ‘If I could’. Here, Break came together with Boston. She makes a second appearance that marks the half-way mark through the album, in a song called ‘Give In To Me’. Three words to describe this jam; soulful, hard and, progressive.

Break delivers his versatility without sacrificing his renowned artistic signature that made him a chart topper, and a classic hit maker, with records selling out. Ten Years Of Symmetry LP is bringing the heat this season and, is already a classic.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela

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Metnem Records – War – Bismuth ft SK4NZ/Lesser Evil – [Review]

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Samy Ponsar A.K.A War is a French producer who’s coming out this November on the Metnem stable. Known to work very closely with Horizon Music’s Hydro; and Mateba in some projects, he excused himself for a short while to drop this double-single.

The first single we look at, features and lends a contribution from his mate Sk4nz, who says it was “made drunk af with the bro War”. It is titled ‘Bismuth’ and, it packs serious heat. It begins with the drums creeping up before it drops to a nice 1-2 hook. When the bass line kicks in and dominates, that’s where the song properly runs. It also plays an eerie pad and other sounds that create such a haunting effect.

‘Lesser Evil’ also carries the same dark spirit and atmospheres as the first but, it has a bit more dope vibe to offer and, we like it a bit more with its cool futuristic and mystical feel, added with that tribal touch. All in all however, both are an awesome pair of banging tunes to jam to strong.

War raises the Drum & Bass flag in France with what he does for this is a glimpse of his creative talent. His music is impressive, and definitely to look out for now, and in the near future.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela

Audio Addict Records – Kumarachi – Flashback LP – [Review]

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Kumarachi has been in the D&B and Dub-Step scene for a while, and has dropped some tunes out; now the Nottingham-based producer, Kumarachi drops his debut LP titled Flash Back on Audio Addict Records.

It took close to a year to produce and complete this album and, it must be said that, it is indeed a good listen. Here, Kumarachi shows off his musical freedom and creativity without any bounds, through a span of fourteen songs in total. Included, is a song he did with the well-known vocalist, Liam Bailey titled ‘4am Where Are You’ which is a definite hit for the stations and dance floors out there. His voice here plays as the catalyst that takes the listener to “that” level.

The first track, ‘Shifting Sands’ is the first single that brought the attention to the advent of the LP; with a special, harmonic intro that runs for close to a minute and a half before it drops. There’s also some Jungle in the form of ‘Murder’. Other cool joints that we liked herein are; ‘Heat It Up’; the title song, with its crazy bass and old-skool keys and; ‘Ease The Tempo’ which is also an interesting listen to peep as well, with percussions and a dope, deep, dipping bass. The energy in most of these songs is unbelievable and exciting.

What can be said about this album as a whole is that, it’s meant to be a bass-filled experience, and a masterpiece. After all, what is a long play album if it is not a masterpiece? Flash Back LP is a Nottingham classic.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela

Mainframe Recordings – This Was Open Air Festival LP 2016 – [Review]

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Following the festival that happened last month at the Arena Wien in Vienna, comes a banging VA (various artists) album, courtesy of Mainframe Recordings. Similarly with the fest; this LP packs a serious artist line-up.

This Was Open Air Festival 2016 is in simple terms, a mash-up of artists, who came up with jams ideal for that kind of fest. However, it does contain differing tastes and styles throughout the songs whilst, it manages well to stick with the theme. I mean, from the get go, with Dorian kick-starting things with ‘Come Closer’; and having the godfather of the Brazillian D&B scene, the legendary DJ Marky following up with some power in ‘Electrified’. We could go through the track list step-by-step if this was anything either than a brief glimpse. However, the list goes on; there’s TR Tactics closing it with the last tune; Protune; Aaronic; and Breakpitt with some ‘Watchdogs’ to keep the heart pumping some more.

There’s also three duos and collabos that come out as dope, heavy hitters namely; ‘Beatfunk VIP’ by Dossa & Locuzzed; Chris.SU & Mindscape with ‘Talk To Me’; as well as Hybris & Subtension slowing things down to a head-boppin’ beats with ‘Fay’. Lastly, there’s the dance hall influence behind Transparent’s ‘Double Up’ to get your freak on to.

This was compiled and mashed for the heads especially, those who love to go buck on the dance floor. We’re quite sure that, for those who’ve jammed at Mainframe’s Open Air Festival, this album will surely bring back the memories.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela

Eastside Records – A-Sides – Quart Sector 3 – [Review]

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A highly honorable and revered member of the global D&B/Junglist community, A-Sides has not ceased to keep it progressing through the eras of the music and the scene. Quart Sector 3 comes following with full force, a month right after Sector 2 dropped.

A-Sides shows us a brilliant display of his versatile artistry throughout five songs. In the whole mix, there are two songs that have features namely; the first track, ‘Electric’ taking it back, with Daz making some Toaster styles with sound electrocution that it brings and also; coming together with Cool Hand Flex, to bring you the interesting ‘Legacy’ making its mark on track number three.

Something to wet the dance floor with while breaking a serious sweat is the mean bass synthesis, and force behind ‘Groan’ which, does nothing but draw a mean bass face on a Raver. Things then lighten up on the last track titled ‘Dreamworld’ which seems to be partly inspired by the song ‘Come Close’ by the rapper Common and, also includes an extract of a couple of lines from the very same song, beautifully sampled and included when it breaks; as well as a few times thereafter. No lie; it is one jolly, feel-good kind of song that deserves a smile when you move to it, a sure perfect way to end Sector 3 on such a note.

For iconic figures in the game like A-Sides, with such extensive and hot releases behind their names, there’s no second-guessing the good music you find in every release from back then, until today and, Quartz Sector 3 is no different and is a collector’s.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela

AGN7 Audio – Mantra/Vignette – [Review]

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AGN7 Audio = SPKTRM + Ronin Selecta… that’s the equation to take note this October, with a debut release from the label that possesses the same name. This is a sonic journey that explores some dystopian funk.

This debut release as a record label and duo contains two singles, the first being ‘Mantra’; as it enters with the intro, with tribal percussions; and uplifting vocal melodies that are expectant of something laid-back and simply harmonic. That all changes when, the drums make an entry, surfacing from under and adding an overall medium-to-hard beating to the whole as it goes and; sounding so natural and acoustic at that. The song has an interesting play meaning; it explores the patterns instead of a constant loop.

Next up, is ‘Vignette’ with a sound like a war is about to break out on the battle field, compliments of the blaring horn adding its significance. If we were to put the song into a class, we could simply say it is a Jungle tune via the drum track otherwise; it has a nice and peaceful vibe, if it went for the two instruments mentioned above in fact, when we first heard it, we thought it was a Minimal-styled tune.

The two singles are meant for the seasoned Drum & Bass head because; the elements in the sound are old-skool, as much as they are avant-garde. However, that does not stop the AGN7 sound from blending in easily.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela