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

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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]

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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]

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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

Secret Operation – 15 Years Of Secret Operations LP – [Review]

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Secret Operations was established in 2002, and has seen numerous hits and Drum & Bass anthems adored by many heads. Seba, the label’s sole owner and founder has decided to commemorate a 15 year old milestone with this release.

It is a musical journey of the label spanning eighteen tracks, with the majority (nine to be exact) of them being Seba’s solo works. The rest are collaborations with other notable artists such as Paradox and vocalist, Robert Manos who have evidently been his favourite musicians to work with in all those years in his career. There is one song included in the compilation where all three are together is ‘Wake Up Call’. There is also collaborations that were done with the likes of Physics; Lenk; Krazy; and Method One featured in the mix. As for the exclusion of the main man behind Secret Operations, there are a couple of done by namely; Resound with ‘Second Thoughts’; and ‘Call To Arms’ which is a joint effort by Andy Scopes and Mr Joseph. Some of the favourites to peep are ‘Forever’; ‘Say You Love Me’; ‘Fire Like This’; amongst others. The album kicks off with ‘Pieces’ and ends with ‘Stasis’ respectively.

Of course, these are tunes from the early years, to stuff that’s recent, and all they have in common is that they are all classical in every respect of the word. We, at BFTR HQ would like to send a huge shout out to Secret Operations, and wish them fifteen more years and beyond.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela

Viper Recordings – Moby – A Simple Love (BMotion Remix) – [Review]

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‘A Simple Love’ is a single by the Electronic/dance music legend, Moby and it’s derived from the album These Systems Are Failing (2016). Now, the Viper artist, BMotion has tweaked the single to cater for the D&B world with his remix of the tune.

The original is quite a listening feat on its own, and is something that blesses the ears and soul… BMotion’s rendition opens up with an uplifting, out-of-this world soundscape then shortly Moby enters with a vocal note then it pauses to allow some time to lead to the drop. When it does, it is a likewise, also something of an up lifter; on a 1-2 Step beat; hand-in-hand with Rock-styled guitar synthesis that leads the track and providing the melody as well, just like in the original but of course, faster in order to match up with the D&B tempo. In a nutshell, the track has a balance between retro and spacey feels, and BMotion made sure that it never lost the essence of the original edit.

What’s to like about the song is its energy mostly, not forgetting a touch of inspiration. And, with all that’s going on in it, the production is quite smooth, clear, and mastered to perfection. I guess BMotion is one artist to start looking out for beyond the scope of this beautiful remix.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela

 

Viper Recordings – Cyantific – Fade into the night – [Review]

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One of the most expressive artists out of Viper’s roster has yet once again delivered an astonishing release of yesteryear’s sound. Man like Cyantific is one to well execute this in his single track release titled ‘Fade into the Night‘ which will is out via Viper Recordings.

A nostalgia driven composition which springs about with energy from the 80’s, painting steamy scenes guided by evocative vocals and a string of really retro synth work well articulated to create a mad vibe of a tune. This tune flows with adequate cheese that melts over your sonic pleasures with the impassioned mood it provides.

This is nothing shot of a really good time out when you hear this out at the weekend. Really outstanding stuff from Cyantific. Also, credit has got to be given when it comes to the artwork as it very well captures the volume of the funk in the tune. So big ups!