Audio Maze Records – LJ High – Pushed In The Corner/Come Again – [Review]


Audio Maze Records and its front man, Dr S Gachet together present LJ High with a double joint release. With the establishment of the label, this here comes as the third one out thus far for AMR.

‘Pushed In The Corner’ is the first to play by bashing in with crisp crash and hats, straight dropping with a 1-2 beat. Then, the mean and angry bass comes into express the feeling together with a briefly chopped female vocal clip, as they interchange and take turns in dominating the track. The vibrant activity and energy of this song move with and through you before the next thing you know, the crash abruptly shuts everything up and the song ends in an instant. ‘Come Again’ resumes the same feels i.e. activity and energy, only this time, we are faced with a vibe that we shall describe as a Junglist’s delight. I see this is meant to be an anthem kind of tune because; it has that indescribable thing that makes it so. A nice creative touch LJ did with the looping of the samples, creating a heavenly choral effect that sings all over the parametric spectrum whilst the tribal flow of the Apache carries on relentlessly. You just gotta like how every time during fixed intervals it goes, “Soundboy… come again!”

Lee Hirons’ D&B style falls under that really unique and distinguishable tip once grasped, not forgetting the simple ingenuity in production as well. Maybe words might be confining rather, let’s stick to “this is a dope and proper listen”.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela



BFTR Interviews: Marvellous Cain

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With the fully packed release of the Hitman Album upon us this month, we had the privilege and honour to talk to one of the founding fathers of Jungle, the legendary Marvellous Cain. The elder has been there since the early days of the UK scene and has dropped timeless and renowned anthems under multiple names as well as labels of which, some he has been behind the running. It’s been more than two decades, and he’s still consistent in pushing and pioneering the culture. Taking us from those days up until the current works, this is what the Marvellous had to say…

BFTR: Before we talk about the ‘Hitman’ let us start with the early years, and you being part of it. Firstly, what music did you listen to before Jungle came into the world?

MC: Before getting into the Rave scene as it was back then, being younger I was into Hip-Hop and having older brothers; one into Reggae; and the other into Soul, and my mother and father playing me the tunes we call “Reggae Classics” now every Sunday morning.

BFTR: With Jungle finally coming into the world and you being amongst the founding fathers safe to say, how did you end up being part and parcel in pioneering both the scene and the genre?

MC: To me, it wasn’t about a new genre. Jungle has always been there in Reggae, the same as Drum & Bass; it was all about making and playing music that represented our time. I feel it’s nice to help build something that’s lasted over 20 something years and still going strong.

BFTR: Could you describe to us as to how the scene was in those days and has it differed to how it is currently?

MC: Everything changes sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst, the main thing I see is that no one meets up anymore. We all used to meet up at a music house when you was getting Dubz cut and it was nice, some wicked jokes was running.

BFTR: Still thinking back to when it started, did you ever think Jungle/D&B would ever get this far as a genre?

MC: Yeah man, the music was everywhere. You can’t stop a Hurricane, you just get ready for it to hit.

BFTR: Some say Drum & Bass music is still underrated, and not given the recognition it deserves besides it being an underground sound. I’d like to hear your take concerning this issue?

MC: Jungle/Drum & Bass is never been underrated. Look at what we’ve achieved in the last 20 something years, we got artists at the top of their game pushing this music and taking it to more and more to new listeners every day. We’ve got tunes in the charts; top artists using our breaks and baselines; you got tunes on films; tunes on adverts, it’s not underrated in one shape or form.

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BFTR: Let’s now talk about the tune ‘Hitman’, the original mix first. What inspired the making of this awesome anthem? Also, not forgetting the inspiration to compile it into The Hitman Album; how did that come about having so many artists working on it?

MC: It just happened. I just made a tune that’s all. I wanted to do up to now; I still can’t believe people saying it’s an anthem, thank you all. It’s funny really how the album came about, well after being asked so many times “if I can remix”, or “I’ve done a remix of your tune” it was born. I had a VIP of the Bladerunner remix and a Scott Garcia Garage mix, and two other House & Garage artists’ mixes I’d been sitting on for a while. I decided to get a few more mixes done to put this tune to bed once and for all so, I asked a few artists if they’d like to jump on it and this is how it was born. We’ve made sure that there’s a mix to fit any set, and hopefully, no more bootlegs or random remixes of my tune will be done.

BFTR: I know this might be difficult since all those remixes and VIPs sound great in their own differing ways but, which is your favourite re-work? Name just three.

MC: I’d like to say thank you to every artist for their contribution to this project. Every mix was totally different which is what I wanted, a new take on the tune. I can’t just say three; I’ll give you my top 10 in no particular order:
Farman D, Nicky Blackmarket & Klip & Outlaw
Benny L
Adam Prescott
King Yoof
Sound Shifter
Serial Killaz
Scott Garcia
Scott & Nick

BFTR: Can you tell us what Marvellous Cain is currently busy with in the studio?

MC: At this point in time, I’m working on some tracks with General Levy, there’s a Dub Plate Style project in the working, along with some new tunes for this year and next. I’m also in the middle of working on releasing our old label which me and Sponge ran back in the day, with an IQ classics album and then, the remixes will start going out for next year.

BFTR: Besides pushing the music, what are your other interests?

MC: My lovely son, Ezra, just seeing him happy is all the interest I need.

BFTR: Finally, as a legend and godfather in the scene, what parting words of wisdom would you like to share with the Latter-day Junglists and Ravers out there?

MC: Be it philosophical, or something you figure the new generation should know, please…
“Wha Ah Fe Yu, Caan Be Un Fe Yu”. Self-belief- if you really believe that you can achieve, no one can convince you otherwise. Have faith.



Words by: Tsheola Asavela

Check out his latest mix here:

YARDROCK Records – Marvellous Cain Feat. Cutty Ranks – The Hitman EP Sampler – [Review]



Hitman’ featuring Cutty Ranks- this is one tune that refuses to see the grave by constantly resurrecting in different forms. It was released back in ’93-‘94 by one of the godfathers of the Jungle scene, the legendary Marvellous Cain, and now comes in the form of reworked singles and EPs, ultimately becoming The Hitman Album 2017.

Throughout the months, it has been divided into mostly segments of 4-track EPs before being all mashed up into one LP release, totalling more than twenty tracks. The array of both old and new school artists and producers is just mind blowing, with the jams themselves being literally so. It contains remixes and VIPs that manage to shape the classic single evolutionarily or progressively with the times. In this most recent instalment of the Hitman EP there are three VIPs, starting with the Serial Killaz outstanding Jungle version; the other one sees FatMan D spicing it up with some additional Toaster flavour in collaboration with Klip-Outlaw – Nicky Blackmarket on some energetic vibes. The third VIP is a groovy, Dancehall orientated jam courtesy of HavocNdeeD BC. On the remix side of things Benny L takes care of it by adding some more of that raw Jungle on a crazy Apache break to say the least. Overall, the album has re-works by the likes of Bladerunner; DJ Hybrid; Jungle Citizenz; Benny V & Halcyon collaborating; some DJ Monk; and DJ Hype to name just a few artists on this exceptional roster.

In summary, there’s everything of anything done to this song, and words can’t even describe all that happens therein. Simply put, this is a phenomenal remix album that carries on shaping a legacy of a song which is part of the Jungle culture’s heritage.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela

xJAK Audio – Virtue – Shine A Light/Looking Inside – [Review]


Gloucester DJ/producer, Virtue throws another one via xJAK Audio, just three months after dropping ‘Limitless/Penny’s Train’ on the “no rules” label. This release is also made up of two singles i.e. ‘Shine A Light/Looking Inside’.

‘Shine A Light’ is a Liquid jam with an alarming start to it, literally before a serving of dope vocals from an unmentioned female singer, which is unfortunate because the lady deserves the recognition for her talent. Otherwise, the track is dope and can be regarded as an inspirational song with a powerful message found in the lyrics which I personally, call stuff like this gospel music because of how they tend to touch me spiritually, for I think it’s unfair to label Gospel as strictly a genre but, it should be about what the song entails. As for the second single titled ‘Looking Inside’, it is strictly an instrumental beginning with a lengthy start consisting of deep and emotional atmospheric soundscapes made up of piano keys; orchestral strings; and a sad solo horn which all accompany the D&B beat perfectly well when it drops on a 1-2 Step. During the break-down, there’s a sampled sound clip (probably from a movie) that questions and utters some insightful words before dropping again, without the need for a build-up.

Honestly speaking, we did not know Virtue prior to this impressive and timelessly sounding release. If the same applies to you then we suggest you give your ear to him, and you won’t be disappointed. This UK artist has some serious talent deserving of applause.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela

Viper Recordings – Brookes Brothers – Moving On – [Review]


Viper Recording’s 118th release is courtesy of one of the greatest duos in Liquid Drum & Bass, the Brookes Brothers. ‘Moving On’ is the first single from their upcoming album (due in October) titled Orange Lane which comprises of thirteen tracks in total.

As much as it is a groovy joint that will have you moving to its tune, the message that is evident in the powerful yet soulful vocals is about the breaking of ties with somebody once dear, and focuses towards moving on with one’s life sadly enough but, the instruments point towards it being a good thing in this instance, for they sound positive and jolly in a way instead of being said and depressed about the matter. Now, coming to the production itself, it’s great to notice that the brothers are still consistent with their one-of-a-kind signature sound found in their past releases. An ideal and perfect example of this can be found in their classic, basically self-titled album, The Brookes Brothers (Breakbeat Kaos) that came out in mid-2011. With that said, ‘Moving On’ too has all the playful activity, as much as it has all the Soul/Funk expected from D&B’s favourite siblings. It would be a conspiracy if this number fails to make it to the charts.

We reckon that this single is merely a glimpse of the advent of yet another D&B classic album, and a definite collector’s item for the fans. It might probably or arguably be also Phil and Dan Brookes’ best project to date judging by the high anticipation this album has built.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela

Soul Trader Records – Centrik – Beloved EP – [Review]


The other half of the Soul:Motion project/duo, by the name Philly A.K.A Centrik is now out with his EP via Soul Trader Records. It is simply titled Beloved, and it comes with three soulful numbers.

When starting with the title song of the EP, there is no doubt about the obvious picture that it paints. It is a fine and calmly Liquid number that is tuned to perfection; containing a sort of Jazzy piano melody in the forefront, backed by a touch of some female vocals. Coming to ‘Flourish’ next, we are met with another love joint that follows up and keeps the theme of love consistent. This time however, the vocal sample is of a male figure; still keeping it Jazzy though; and possessive of a hypnotic atmosphere via the constant sound in the background. The overall feel of the tune is groovy indeed. The third and final track begins with a cinematic introduction then goes with the lyric “you are the one for me” in a still moment before it drops to something as equally laid-back as the first tune, ‘Beloved’. This one is titled ‘Perceive’ and contains as much passion and beauty as the other two.

Beloved EP is a serving of that matured D&B, besides it being for the lovebirds out there. And besides all, in a nutshell this is an absolutely wonderful listen. To add, I think it also compliments Centrik’s neat signature as a solo artist, and does not try to even stand out.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela