As if the recently released Grenfell LP from Nurtured Beatz wasn’t enough, another corner of the D&B community has come together to support the survivors of the Grenfell disaster via another packed charity album. The Love You Forever LP features a whopping 25 tracks of mostly dancefloor focused D&B from some of the biggest names in the game, including Whiney, Kenny Ken, Kasra & Enei, DJ Fresh, Genotype and many more. Hit up the iTunes store to grab a copy and help out this essential cause.
Enei returns to Critical with his sophomore LP following up 2012’s excellent debut Machines. Rituals feels very much like a continuation of the themes found on Machines, with perhaps a slightly broader array of tones reflecting the evolution of Enei’s production in the intervening years.
The moody tech which formed so much of his debut LP (and indeed his discography) is still present here on tracks like Bad Proof and Iron Curtain, but there are also a selection of brighter cuts featuring some excellent vocalists. Frank Carter III (who you should recognise from Ivy Lab’s seminal tracks Oblique and Afterthought) turns in a typically deft and soulful performance on the playful, jazzy Moment of Now, while Charlie Brix steps up to the mic for up front roller Homeworld and the darker and more introspective Just One Look.
It wouldn’t be a Critical LP without a few label roster collaborations and these don’t disappoint either. Kasra & DRS get on board for a pessimistic ode to the music industry on Lessons, providing one of the album’s punchiest tracks. Elsewhere Foreign Concept gets involved on the more melodic and contemplative Forgotten Planet,fellow Russian producer Eastcolors joins Enei for the raved up flavours of Jungle Business and neuro badman Mefjus climbs aboard for the typically relentless Dead Space.
Polished and punchy but with more than enough variation to keep things interesting, this is a solid album from a producer at the top of his game. Check out a minimix of the album’s tracks below and hit up the Critical Store to pre-order on your pick of physical and digital formats; the LP drops Friday 4th December.
Critical’s latest sees label boss Kasra teaming up with Russian production stalwart Enei for an EP of varied tracks tied together by that heavyweight Critical sound. Kicking off with the stomping 85BPM hip-hop of Inside The Box, seguing into minimal halftime on Words and then heading for rolling territory on the excellent DRS-vocaled Overthinking, they clearly didn’t want this EP to fall into any obvious sub-genre pigeon-holes.
Out into the digital exclusives we’re treated to more dark minimalism on Arcana followed by a straight up tech thumper on Greed, which is sure to be smashing up the dance over the coming weeks. Another great release from one of the most influential labels in the scene – hit up the Critical store to grab this on vinyl and digital right now.
If you feel like doing something charitable this festive season (and you think that Bob Geldof should do one) then Critical Music have the answer! Kasra’s label have collected together a full album of tracks from the label’s usual suspects and all you have to do to get your mits on it is head over here and donate some money to Oxfam.
The LP features a selection of stomping new tracks from Enei, Mefjus, Foreign Concept, Halogenix, Emperor, Kasra, Hyroglifics and Klax, and the quality is every bit as high as you’d expect from the Critical stable. Check out the clips below and give generously!
Critical Music are back with a vengeance with the Underground Sonics LP, a various artists compilation straddling all the styles of Drum & Bass via 18 tracks of cutting edge 170 BPM production from the label’s extended family. The compilation sees many artists exploring new territory away from their usual styles, to interesting effect.
Dub Phizix turns in an unusually mellow and unusually rolling beat in the form of The Clock Ticks, while Ivy Lab up the ante compared to their previous releases with a tougher and more energetic beat paired with the musicality we’ve come to know and love from the trio. Foreign Concept teams up with DRS to turn in the dark, skanking, hip-hop influenced halfstep of Falling Stars while Sam Binga and Redders blend trap, footwork and ragga to great effect on Lef Dem.
Elsewhere we’re treated to two surprising collaborations from tech heavyweights, with InsideInfo and Mefjus turning in a surprisingly minimal slice of tribal tech with Repentance while Noisia & The Upbeats put aside their usual aggression for a hypnotic deep liquid roller on Little Fling. Fans of brutal tech need not worry though – Stealth and Phace are both on hand to provide the dancefloor darkness, as are Emperor & Centra with the huge digital exclusive The Saboteur.
Enei and Kasra turn in a selection of characteristically heavy hitting beats, while Stray and Halogenix look to the experimental/hyperactive end of the spectrum with their individual takes on frantic drum syncopation with a footwork bent. Finally Blocks and Escher give Enei’s Thinline the old school tech workover with a huge beat and some serious menace on the low end.
Overall it’s hard to argue with this as the first essential release of 2014. Check out the tracks below and grab yourself a copy now from the Critical Surus store.
2013 is looking like quite the year for Mefjus; hot on the heels of announcements about releases for Neosignal and Virus comes the news that his debut 12″ for Critical is about to drop! The Austrian rising star has delivered two slices of crisp, tight techstep, and is busy cementing his position in the scene nicely.
Signalz on the A side delivers an impressive roller with superb drum machine percussion and some meaty bass, while Cypher sees him team up with label head-honcho Kasra to deliver a tidy stepper with some nice filtered low end. Definitely tunes you’ll be hearing again and again in the coming months!
The mighty Critical Music have just announced a slew of dates across the UK and Europe, with big line ups featuring the likes of Kasra, Phace, Xtrah, Emperor, Foreign Concept & Mefjus. The Critical crew will be hitting Milton Keynes, Nottingham, London, Bristol, Brighton, Portsmouth, Brussels & Linz over February and March and will be destroying dancefloors all the way. Check out their events page for all the details.