Dub Shotta Recordings – Benny Page – Champagne Bubbler – [Review]

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The man who brought you the 2006 smash anthem, ‘Turn Down The Lights’ is out there in Jungle with another debut, only this time he has come through with a new imprint, Dub Shotta Recordings.

Champagne Bubblers is a four-track EP made “… for the gurners” because it packs some thundering shots in the quietness of the Jungle.  Starting with the crispness of the title song; from the get-go it’s hyped up with excitement, cheeriness, and positive vibes.  Like the title goes, it is indeed a feel-good joint that gets you high from its euphoric elements.  ‘Pon De Body’ also on the same tip and, continues the strong energy with this Dancehall type of banger, filled with that electric buzz that makes it twice as nice to vibe and flow to.  It is then followed by the flow of the clean 1-2 Step and the Jump-Up beats of ‘Bad Inna England’ which must be highlighted and noted as a definite smasher in fact, it must stamped and certified as an anthem.  Plus it bears an interesting and memorable title that can be reflective in multiple ways.  As for the testimonial voice of the song itself, it guarantees this with all due respect, enough said.  And then, comes in a special dedication to all the Sound Boys out there, before the EP is shut down with ‘Kil Sound’.  We guess that’s what inevitably happens at the end of the Rave.

Champagne Bubblers EP is strictly for a good time therefore, it is sure to bring down a God-dammed rain of fire and thunder upon the dance floor.  A Benny Page production is truly on another level.

Words By: Tsheola Asavela

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Function Records – The VIPS – [Review]

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One of the pioneers in spearheading the D&B music scene, Digital and his stable Function Records is out with this exclusive EP loaded with Variation in Productions (VIPs) of his bangers.  This release in a way, celebrates a milestone of forty releases by Function Records thus far.

This collector’s item has four VIPs namely; three solo titles by the man himself and; a single collaboration he did with Drumsound & Bassline Smith about a year ago.  The latter, titled ‘Bail Out’ (First World Problems EP) comes as the first track, with Spirit turning it into some Raving Jungle vibes on an Apache.  Next is Benny Page’s rework of the 2008 release, ‘Calling’ (Fist Of Fury 2 EP) who; has kept the song’s essence but, tweaked and tuned it to this present-future tense, with his pinch of flavouring to the mix.  From his first album (Dubzilla) back in 2002 and obviously a classic, is the joint ‘Daylight Robbery’ honorably given to J Kenzo to make further magic out of, before S.P.Y rounds up the mix with a single called ‘Deadline’.  This one has a remix as well, and earning a spot in the Classic Beatport charts in 2015, compliments of Dub-Phizix.  S.P.Y has managed to uphold the song’s status, too without any argument.

To conclude, we would like to add emphasis on the first statement in the above paragraph.  This EP also goes well with the collecting and possession of the original mixes, for they are carefully selected classic tunes who, in this project, were resurrected for yet another classic and iconic life as an album to have.

Words By: Tsheola Asavela

Wrec Records -Habitat – Distant/Orbit – [Review]

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Wrec Record’s fourth offering comes in the form of literally, a couple brought to you by Bournemouth’s Wrec Records and Habitat (UFD and Foundation Nights) who; has seen releases from numerous huge imprints in his growing career.

‘Distant’ and ‘Orbit’– both titles can be phrased as one so therefore, the idea here is that we are taken away, straight into “distant orbit” by the music thus, we timelessly dwell in this different habitat for a nine minutes of a constant head-bopping and limb-moving trance state.  Both songs have the same style and vibe to them to express the theme however, they sound like they have different “atmospheres” from one another in terms of a setting that comes to mind.  ‘Distant’ is picturesque of a scenario in another world far from ours whilst; ‘Orbit’ is set in infinite extent of deep, dark space and travelling at parsecs to the furthest reaches.  Otherwise, we have a double-dose of fast-paced, progressive tunes that showcase their own style and taste in D&B music, not to mention baring the concept of “imaginative music”.

After listening to these two joints, Habitat and Wrec Records deserve a stand-ovation for this release, fair and square.  It comes as no wonder that the ‘Young Junglist’ has gotten support from the legends in the Jungle game.

Words By: Tsheola Asavela

Kill Tomorrow Records – Mean Teeth – Abnormal EP – [Review]

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Kill Tomorrow Recordings is a huge family, with notable members such as Tomtek (founder); Tobax; Nickbee; ChaseR; and many more.  Mean Teeth is part of the familia and, has dropped something crazy titled the Abnormal EP.

With the eleventh episode of the label’s podcast series mixed by the Mean duo to commemorate this awesome release, the work itself (including the album art) is just dark, abstract, and just goes its own way.  The title song is welcomed with a grand entrance by the buzzing of the weird horns and a voice clip, soon joined by a play of break-beats and a saw bass, stretching for a bit to allow for a shift into a  D&B drop.  From there, the track fluctuates between heaviness and lightness while still maintaining the same feel.  ‘Give Up’ is an ideal club warmer with its interesting energy and bouncy tones and lastly; ‘Nomad’ completes the trio with a calmer, lighter approach to the sound elements and is one to pay close scrutiny to.  In the beginning, it boasts a mystery as to how it’s going to turn out and, when it does get into it; it is a cross between Drum-Funk and some Techy, Neuro-Funk.  With just a triplet, it’s interesting to note that the duo display a taste of how versatile they can be with their music.

After all is said and done, we reckon Abnormal qualifies in executing and fulfilling Kill Tomorrow’s mission which, “is to push the boundaries for dark and funky Drum & Bass”.  The statement just about summarizes what we heard in this EP.

Words By: Tsheola Asavela

Eatbrain Recordings – Synergy – Helion EP – [Review]

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If you had been living under a rock for whatever reason for the past couple of months and are totally unaware who Synergy is, well, I take this opportunity to enlighten you a little bit. Synergy is the combination of two forces which are set to bring you a Super-Saiyan of production prowess in their establishment. And that is Segment & Concept Vision. This is their first offering under this Alias with a full EP. Their very first tune under their new Alias was “Rage” on Neodigital’s Neurofunk V2. Now, to get underneath this EP on Eatbrain and evaluate…

Helion, the 5 track adrenalin inducing caliber of Synergy is set to etch their dynamic to further extreme degrees as a solidified duo. First on the block is ‘Arkana’ which opens up slowly with an enigmatic intro, then pacing up to drop into an unexpected strident synthesis but well embellished. Well showcasing the Eatbrain style and that of the artists.

Getting into the swing of things to this EP as we move onto the second track. Titled ‘Destroyer‘, from which you can tell from the intro that there’s sufficient suspended intensity which is set to blow up the moment the track drops. And without fail the tune is a menacing fire-ball and unlawful with its sporadic cuts.

The follow up to this is ‘Warrior Sound‘ which employs the vocal work of “Miss Trouble” with a steady delivery. The track takes a much slower approach than the other two previous tunes. Displaying half-time tones and sufficient grit so that you’re not too comfortable.

Then comes in the title track ‘Helion‘ eagerly awaiting its turn if I may say. A grand intro is just a standard for such a name and it being the title track. The cinematic soundscape plays out, unveiling a vocal sample disgorging a caution to take heed upon. Then the track lashes out into electrifying whips with the second drop sending out spastic waves. depicting finesse.

Then we come to the final track on the EP. ‘Scarecrow‘, a track set to cut your breaths by half cause of the twisted articulation it brings that will have you in disbelief. The EP shows nothing much has changed but the progression of the sound they’ve always been known for working together. Also, could we just give props for the ever stellar artwork that always accompanies Eatbrain releases? Always mint and on point!

Do note that this EP was followed up by a sick Podcast from the duo. Something really worth checking out. See links below and click on the DL button!

AFT Records – Presents: Next Wave 2 – [Review]

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Ambush Family Tree Records, or better known as just AFT hails from the UK, with a second volume of the Next Wave collection, following its predecessor which came out two years ago.  It is proudly presented by Bristol’s very own, Carasel.

Next Wave 2 is comprised of four artists, and five tracks in total. At the top; is Octo Pi doing a VIP (variety in production) version of ‘Bring It’, following the original mix in the first volume, done by yours truly, and released in 2015.  It equally packs heat, as much as the original does.  And, from Worcester, UK comes Khemikal featuring MC Kaydan on two versions of ‘Yes Kay’ included; with the other being a full vocal (rap) edit.  Also, riding the wave from Spain is Sinai with a mysterious tune called ‘Nightfall’ that comes in at track number three and; it does pack a punch for days.  We come back to the shores of the United Kingdom, with Verdikt on a bad boy, mean-ass kind of a track after roughly a year of not dropping anything.  The song has somewhat, its own vibe with a demented, bouncy, and wicked bass line synth.  It also comes with a punchy kick, and some dope clap snares that spice up the bounce. All in all, this second volume is a well-produced EP and so now, we want to go back to the first wave (Next Wave EP) as well, after riding this one.

Being AFT’s eleventh release to date, makes it a significant project for, the number ‘11’ is regarded as the ‘Magician’s Number’ in esoteric circles.  This translates into a hit record in the world of D&B or EDM.

Words By: Tsheola Asavela