Hospital: We Are 21 Review

Where do I start with this review? Across 68 tracks and 2 mixes, this encompasses the entire dnb spectrum from soulful liquid to heavy dance floor hits. The first mix is more focused on the mainstream, whereas the second mix goes in and has a much darker and techier feel. I will focus on 5 of my favourite tracks here, although there are many more that I don’t have space for.

Break – Unification: This track was taken from the CIA 20 years compilation, and is one of my favourite tracks of 2016. With Break’s signature groove and funk present throughout, this is a classic roller with crunchy drums and an lfo bassline.

Flite – Awakening: An exclusive for this compilation, this is some of the finest liquid dnb around at the moment. With soaring synths and smooth drums, and a live bass part, it draws you in and holds you for the entire 6 minutes.

Fred V & Grafix x Metrik – Tension: This is an exclusive collaboration between two of my favourite hospital records artists, and has both of their unique styles blended together – elements of J Pop from Metrik and guitars and other elements placed by Fred V & Grafix, the whole tune is held together by the beautiful vocals from Kate Westall.

Hugh Hardie – Sound System Dub: This is an amazing throwback to classic dnb, as it’s all about that bass- just load it up on a loud sound system and it’s almost too good. With a crazy constantly changing bassline, breaks all over the place, and vocal cuts penetrating throughout the mix, this is probably my favourite track on the LP.

Logistics – Shueng Wan: This is Logistics at his best, with an emotional lead and effortless drums, melodic bass and vocals, it is amazing to listen to, on headphones or out loud.

Other tracks that didnt make the list are: Krakota – North Winds, Ambient Jazz Orchestra – Waiting for Space, and Submotion Orchestra – Empty Love (GLXY Remix).

I would rate this release 5/5. Essential.


NHS300 Review

Hospital Records have just reached 300 releases, and to celebrate have released an amazing collaboration album consisting of six tracks, each produced by a different duo of Hospital artists. It is a throwback to each artists signature sounds mixed together to create new and interesting results.

First up is Snakes and Ladders by London Electricity x Danny Byrd. This has the classic sound of both artists, with chopped vocals and strings weighed down by an LFO-heavy but melodic bassline, and an interesting drum pattern not heard before. Next is Apollo 69 by Reso x Frederic Robinson, an amen-break rinse out accompanied by Frederic’s signature chords and stabs, and a progressive feel. The following track is Flutterbyes (feat Prizm) by Logistics x Ownglow, and is a real classic with clean bass, pad and chord patterns and interesting sounds from Ownglow added to make it unique. Blind Eyes (feat Inja) is the next track by Whiney x Hugh Hardie, and it is what you expect: heavyweight bass, rolling vocals and crisp drums, however there are some sections with synths and pads causing a more melodic touch, and that breakdown is just beautiful. Next is Red Line by Bop x Urbandawn, which adds Urbandawn’s drums to a catchy roller, with strange ethereal soundscapes and plucked bass permeating through the mix. Finally is Reality by Keeno x Krakota, with Keeno’s classic haunting pad sounds accompanied by Krakota’s amen-style breaks and clear bass. Real jungle sounds here.

Overall I rate this release 5/5, a must listen.

LTJ Buken – Horizons (Komatic Rework)

Still unreleased but such a good tune, the Komatic rework of Horizons by LTJ Bukem is one of my all-time favourite dnb tracks. Based on the original 1997 track from the album ‘Logical Progression’, this remix is a melodic roller with soaring pads and crunchy drums, held together by a jungle style bassline that switches up for the second drop. It still has the classic Horizons vocals heard in the original, but just tweaked to fit this remix. Essential listening.

10 Years of Symmetry Review

It’s a new Break album, which can only mean one thing: I won’t be listening to anything else for a while since what he has managed to deliver here is nothing short of perfection, with every track a masterpiece in my opinion. It is a special album to celebrate Break’s own Symmetry Recordings reaching the 10 years milestone, and contains many collaborations with fellow producers alongside some brand new material from the man himself.

The album starts off strong with ‘If I Could’ featuring Boston and Kyo, with funky latin vibes and a silky smooth bassline. It then moves into ‘Betamax’, a heavy dancefloor tune featuring Total Science with tons of bass weight and ridiculous drops. The third track is ‘Inside’, a half-time progressive stepper featuring the talents of Spectrasoul. Continuing on is the brand new track ‘Ain’t No Turnin’ Back’, with a beautiful melody build up and then a crazy LFO-driven bassline switching from reece basses to soaring high-ends, and finishing on an equally mad second drop. Next is the remix of ‘Free Your Mind’ featuring Singing Fats, which is the follow up to last year’s standout track on Break’s third album Simpler Times. This time however, he slows things down to a weighty stepper with a pounding bassline that hits like a freight train. ‘Give In to Me’ is the next track featuring Kyo again, and this is another new track – basslines everywhere, delayed vocals and a piano melody accompanying choppy drums. The next track is a standout for me, it is called ‘Who Got da Funk’ and is ridiculous: crunchy drums, deep neuro bass and is just so funky you can’t help but to jump around to it – definitely that classic Break style in this one. ‘Overdub’ is the next one, a laid-back dub type dnb track with relentless bass and crackling drums on top. The ninth track is the haunting ‘Left Behind’, reminiscent of some of Break’s earlier work with a spooky intro which then drops into a bass-driven stepper, switching up into a second pattern on the second drop. Then comes the Break and DLR remix of ‘Slimeville’ by NC-17 and KC. Again, so much funk and weighty bass, with alternating bass patterns and uncompromising drums. The penultimate track is ‘The Rush’, a mad adrenaline filled roller that progresses through its 6 minutes at a blistering pace. It is filled with congo drums, delicate synths and bass which propel you through this endurance race. Finally is ‘Not Forgotten’, a jungle rinse-out to finish on, with classic breaks and an 808-style bassline.

Overall, I rate this album 5/5, a must-listen.

Frederic Robinson – Flea Waltz Preview

This album is amazing. On hearing the clips I wasn’t so sure about Frederic’s style of stripped back, live drum and bass, however after listening to the album in full I can say that it is a fantastic journey through beautiful soundscapes and interesting ideas. Standout tracks are ‘We’ve Been’, ‘City’ and the title track ‘Flea Waltz’. None of his tracks repeat themselves, they are all distinct journeys and need to all be experienced to get a taste of an alternative take on drum and bass music.

Urbandawn: Gothenburg Cluster Preview

This is the new album from Urbandawn released on Hospital Records, and it is looking really good so far. I have not listened completely but I can say from the tracks that I have listened to so far that it is well in contention for album of the year. ‘Together Again’ is a standout track, with a beautiful 8-bar piano chord pattern and heavyweight drums and bass propelling you through this vocal-driven masterpiece. ‘Black Notes’ is another standout, with Daniel Baeder on the drums, played live so they just sound otherworldly. Again, Urbandawn’s amazing production and piano-led riffs pull you through this tune, with loads of interesting twists and turns throughout. Finally, ‘Prime Expansion’ is the third track I will describe, with shimmering pads and crunchy live drums, chopped vocal effects and a bass reminiscent of Camo and Krooked, however warped into Urbandawn’s distinct funky style.