Russian newcomer Mage might not be the most outspoken member of the online liquid funk Twitterati, but he makes up for his quiet reserve with a steady onslaught of liquid drum and bass rich with real musicality and on-point production. First track “The Most Beautiful Place In The World” covers serious ground, rolling and crashing over lush strings and guitar samples, while “Journey” uses smooth sax to build atmosphere in a minor key, pushing the bass end out for maximum dancefloor appeal. Finally, “Day After Day” adds an emotive piano loop to a contemporary D&B groove, finishing off an accomplished new liquid EP with finesse.
A neat little compilation EP from Focuz shows us all what their latest upstarts have to offer to the world of liquid and Drum & bass. Kicking off with Intelligent Manners chilling switcher, it’s got a stepper bounce but the smooth bassy vibe to pull off any mid-set breakdown. Dynamic plunges in next with a soulful sparkling roller, giving nothing away for the next few tracks which happen to be complete departures from his signature sound. Maceo & The Cracks pump junglist vibes into old school hip hop and James Brown funk, and Presents whips out a clean-cut techy sound perfect for slicing through the abundance of genres already heard along the way. A nice selection.
Fokuz Recordings presents ‘Fifty Five’ a release that displays a wide variety of drum and bass styles by various artists around the globe! Expect the freshes beats from Fokuz residents Command Strange, DJ Clart, Incident, talented newcomers like Soligen, Type-2, Joakuim and rising stars Hybrid Minds, Paul SG, PennyGiles & Mr Joseph.
Lossless boss Soul Intent hops over to the ever-reliable Celsius imprint for two breath-taking rollers. “Come With Me” is a breezy, skippy affair with an entrancing arpeggio that teases with a trance vibe before dropping into a classic mid 90s bass and drum workout. Fans of Utah Jazz or anything on Full Cycle during the early days will be all over this. “Falling” is a touch deeper. Delicately coated in a mournful vocal that echoes in and out of the mix, there’s a lot more texture to the drums and a whole cannon of pads waiting to whisk you off to another dancefloor altogether. Beautiful.
Combining the best in European liquid, Celsius never fails in releasing some of the finest new drum & bass from in and around Europe. Featuring artists with their own loyal following alongside newcomers, the Eastern Symphonies collection has so far explored Eastern Europe for some lessons in deep, emotional D&B. Russian production dons 2sides and Mage head up Vol. 3 with their individual takes on crystal clear, contemporary drum & bass, while newcomer Nelver adds his own tech-driven twist; Urbandawn & Rotate’s offering grows into a break-laden slow-burner that stays with you. A strong release from a label determined to be different.
London-based drum & bass producer Karl Future is up for creating some of the finest back-to-basics soulful music around the 170 mark that you can find, and we’re down with that. “Summer Groove” takes us through a balmy afternoon in the late ’90s with lush samples and rapid-fire percussion melting sweet soulfuness and sharp beats together like a Solero in the sun. “Time” has the old-school breakbeat sound of Optiv & BTK yet somehow weaves gorgeously swooping female vocals and hot reggae brass into the breaks creating a multitude of layers and textures. “Afterglow” is another back-to-basics full-on vintage roller, harking back to a time when drum & bass was soul and tracks lasted forever. Raise a glass for Karl Future’s 2013, a year of soulful D&B.
Hungarian liquid funk producer Kelle and Canadian vocalist Veela get together to create two beautifully smooth releases fresh from Celsius’ ever-growing catalogue of European D&B producers. Swooning synths and punchy bass pins “Frozen People” to the top of 2013′s liquid list, with icy, barely-there vocals adding another layer of texture. “Yellow Curtains” is perhaps not the most inspiring of track names but the mixture of techy sounds, hard stepping rhythm and ethereal vocals make this track pop. It sounds like a big-name release and deserves coverage. Show your support for these upcoming artists.