Axon Records – NickBee – Alter Ego [Review]


Nikolay Bogomolov A.K.A NickBee as he’s popularly known in the scene has formed his own imprint, Axon Records.  With the label’s inception this year comes its first release by the young Ukrainian producer himself taking the lead.

This debut tune bears the title of ‘Alter Ego’ and instead of being straightforward D&B like we thought it would be it instead comes in the form of a laid-back, Halftime kind of vibe. It enters with a nice; calmly manner with sounds that are a hybrid of the traditional and the futuristic although, overall it is the latter sound that dominates the song of course. The melody of the song is a smooth one; made up of some bits and pieces of cuts of the instrument; which includes a sort of pitch-altered, inaudibly interesting vocal samples blended with the flow which combines to its fullness. The bass on the hand also has a lot of substance that gives it its power as it takes different forms i.e. alternating from deep to saw-like roars. This is the type of jam to marinate and relax to, no matter the setting.

‘Alter Ego’ is an encompassing, initial example of what to expect from Axon Records and its sound in the future. It is indeed a progressive sound filled with creativity and a unique style without a doubt.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela


Mainframe Recordings – DubApe – Unstoppable EP [Review]


Unstoppable EP is another release by DJ/producer, DubApe, making it Mainframe Recordings’ ninety-fourth and thus, getting the label a step closer to a hundred records. The young Austrian producer’s focus from Dub-Step to mainly D&B has added more recognition, as well as furthering his reputation as a musician to this point.

The EP contains four tracks that come in different flavours, showcasing some mean production skills. It comes with tunes that portray a dark and imposing nature like the spine-chilling effect of childish and/or distorted utterings that echo off the walls of ‘Why’; to the full and yet, empty paradox when it comes to how ‘One Year’ sounds with that Industrial touch. The latter, is definitely suitable for beginning a club set that’s destined to be a heavy one from what follows this jam. The first and last tracks here are bound to smash! There’s the hard and heavy-hitting spirit that controls the raging and raving ‘Delirium’ that is totally off the hook. The other one, ‘Unstoppable’ definitely lives up to the reputation of being a dope title song. It features emcee, Patch Edison; has a nice melody from the piano; backed up by the strong, rich bass behind it all. This song is an anthem as much as it is a mission statement, a piece that invokes inspiration from the instruments at play, to the empowering chorus; and the lyrical content that Edison delivers superbly.

It’s really impressive and admirable how DubApe shows the diversity in his productions, and his style is amongst the unique ones too when it comes to signature. Unstoppable is a production that continues an impressive record for this Vienna producer.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela

Viper Recordings – Brookes Brothers – Orange Lane LP – [Review]


Finally! It’s been a long time coming… the long awaited sophomore album, Orange Lane by the Brookes Brothers has met its D-day at last. This special release also marks Viper Recordings’ twentieth LP thus far, and the duo’s twelve years of being in the game.

 The Orange Lane experience can be defined in simpler terms, as an immersion of Soul and Funk; Disco; in a sonic setting that’s progressively artistic throughout thirteen tracks and a handful of talented artists. With an exception of just a few joints, the LP is packed with awesome collaborations. To name a few; there’s Pierre Da Silva (twice) delivering his impactful lyrics done smoothly; Charlotte Haining’s angelic mesmerism; and ShezAr, another song bird who’s featured in ‘Flashing Lights’ with Bossman Birdie dropping a verse. ShockOne makes his appearance right at the top; respectively titled ‘The One’– introduced with a cinematic atmosphere before that iconic “Brookes Brothers sound” distinctly marks the spot. It’s quite a lively, colourful production of sorts (and un-skippable really) ranging from chilled and mature stuff, to Liquid jams for summer days. An epitome of panache through the futuristic experimented with the most soulful of elements. Some of the tracks even display this with impressive transitory switches in them, e.g. ‘All About You’ and ‘Waiting Right Here’  which follow each other. Can’t forget the serious bangers and chart hits like ‘Climb High’ with Danny Byrd; some ‘Now I’m Found’; as well as the uplifting and triumphant feels behind ‘Carry Me’. About two months prior to the release, ‘Moving On’ dropped as a tantalizing teaser, and track 5 herein. Thing is, much more can be said about Orange Lane LP but words aren’t enough, only feeling is. Rest assured, these guys come with the new without even slightly veering from their renowned style of production.

This album not only continues to shape the duo’s artistic signatures and achievements or an advancement as musicians but, it’s also significant of that moment of epiphany reminding you as to why you love D&B. Undoubtedly destined to be amongst the greatest album of its kind. We give Brookes Brothers a Raver’s salute!

Words by: Tsheola Asavela

Album Mini-mix:

MethLab Recordings – Silent Witness – Argonaut/Drop It [Review]


Silent Witness is amongst the household names in D&B, with a long-running career spanning numerous releases with prominent labels, making this Londoner a legend in the scene. Now, eight months since his last release via MethLab, he hits back with a double.

Firstly, this release is rumoured to signify the coming of the long overdue debut LP besides being an interesting “new wave of material” as MethLab puts it. We first take on a dangerous journey into distant sound space with ‘Argonaut’ in search of the Golden Fleece. Mythology aside… up-tempo, fast-paced energy equalling an influx of adrenalin from start to finish (even in the break). It is concentrated on sheer kinetic energy- movement with no time to waste as it travels to the destination. The landing is not smooth either when ‘Drop It’ befalls with deep gravity and the weight of all that’s dark and demented. How diabolic this song is is unavoidable; from the moment of the eerie intro, filled with distorted sounds and tortured voices that pop up throughout. As for the technical side of things, it is a masterly crafted composition that is populated by an intricate style of production that displays Silent Witness’ years of experience doing what he does, and that goes to both songs.

This is an exclusive release that uniquely sees four release dates on different platforms, with the first (19/09/2017) dropping exclusively for MethLab Inner Core subscribers.

Silent has taken it up another notch with this, for it is something else in terms of progression as an artist, and for the genre as a whole. The deep and dark, Tech-Funk signature (or monster) the Witness is renowned for has never left but, has woken up and grown bigger now.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela