Category Archives: Reviews

PVC – Trash EP [Southpoint] [Review]


PVC returns to Southpoint applying his eclectic collection of influences on 3 massive new originals also featuring the vocal talents of Duke and a slick remix from Bushbaby, making it a full on Southpoint family affair.

Trash (ft Duke)

PVC kicks the EP off with intertwining melodies and a gentle contrast between the natural ringing of the tuned mallet sound, a shimmering, falling lead and stretched out atmospherics over a stuttering Funky-esque drums. This rich combination brings out an emotional quality in Duke’s sharp vocal with the pressure steadily building before dropping. PVC is known for twisted, powerful basslines and thats exactly what he’s come through with here; a blend of harsh, higher pitched notes screech over a lower, consistent chug that drives the track on making space only for snippets of Duke’s vocal and galloping drum fills. With the second drop treated to some subtle variations in the bassline, ‘Trash’ is set to be an intense and unrelenting assault on the dance floors everywhere.

Rum In The Cup

One of the reason’s we were drawn to PVC’s music years ago was the fact he loves a melody and he’s back at it again on in the intro to ‘Rum In The Cup’, layering fluttering arpeggios and euphoric stabs under a vocal that is 100% going to have people chanting along; with a brilliant shuffle to the drums and a devastatingly brazen bassline this is destined to be a crowd pleaser. We can’t help but love the little acid-inspired background synth as well as the subtle plucked instrumentation – how PVC found space in the mix for them to shine through we’ll never know but full credit to him for that.


‘Insane’ starts out as a soulful slice of house, with chunky drums acting as support for a brilliant bit of vocal sampling and a euphoric piano riff. Things get hectic pretty quickly as the track drops into a stripped back 4×4 stomper lead by a catchy distorted bass riff which tangles with a higher pitched version of itself on the second drop. You’ll struggle not to nod your head along to this one, the drums putting us in mind of the Jackin’ House glory days of 2014/2015 but with added funk and a bit more aggression. It’s an absolute banger and we can’t help but love it .

Trash (ft Duke) [Bushbaby Remix]

Bushbaby’s take on the title track starts off bringing the layer of emotion from the original track to the forefront as Duke lets loose over airy pads, dark strings and long leads anchored down by the most satisfying drums – the snare rolls are a thing of beauty and so is the fill before the first drop. Initially keeping things to a regimented 4×4 pattern with the metallic bassline sounding off, Bushbaby manages to filter in the UK Funky vibe from the original intro by eventually adding offbeat, shuffling snares. With the second drop equally effective as the first, the contrast between the calm, melancholic breakdown is breathtakingly good. If you ever needed a reference track on how to smash a remix, this is it.

Selecta’s Favourite Track: Insane.

Overall: 9/10


Before we even heard this EP we knew it was going to be, at worst, decent; Southpoint’s quality control has never dipped from the day they started and PVC is one of the most accomplished, interesting and technical producers in the scene. The man from Croydon has come out all guns blazing though, and delivered a selection of hefty cuts that portray a heap of his influences if you listen carefully enough. Every track is rave-ready, and there’s a lot of fun to be had, particularly on ‘Insane’. Duke is on top form on the title track, his vocal contributing to building hype but also nuanced with feeling; a subtle element on the original but dragged into the spotlight by the atmospheric, emotionally charged remix from Bushbaby. Top work from everyone involved. 

You can by PVC – ‘Trash’ EP here.

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KXVU – Empire EP [Southpoint] [Review]


Eighteen months since his last Southpoint release, KXVU returns back to his proverbial home. Keeping himself in shape with a series of remixes and releases on compilations, KXVU has been using the time away from the STPT family to further progress his production skills and work hard on his sound. ‘Empire’ is the result of that work, with 5 originals and 2 remixes on the EP.


From the very first second, you know the title track is going to be a heavy hitter. Epic stabs of choir set the tone as hats and percussion wriggle away underneath, before crisp breaks and sinister horns push their way to the forefront. We can 99.99% guarantee the drop is not what you’re expecting – a huge, rasping Reese that could straight up take your head off leads the way, teaming up with a deeper pulsing bass hit. The drums sit immaculately in the mix; anchored by a weighty kick, the aforementioned breaks and percussion work together to create the underlying momentum that pushes ‘Empire’ along. How satisfying is that cowbell too? If KXVU was hoping to kick things off strongly, he couldn’t do a much better job than this!

Tekki (feat Writz)

Even though it starts with flowing influences from the East, don’t expect ‘Tekki’ to be a subtle mover – the vibe is quickly flipped into a Trap inspired, 808 rinse out.  Writz glides effortlessly over the rolling kick / bass combos, scattershot claps and snares, triplet hats and flourishes of breaks, with gritty, hi passed Reeses haunting in the background. The breakdown is perfectly placed, allowing listeners to catch their breath before dropping into more of the same, making ‘Tekki’ 3 minutes and 30 seconds of high energy bass driven madness, suitable for any kind of rave centred around Bass music.

Hex (ft Shana Stuart)

‘Hex’ sees KXVU team up with another vocalist, though this time it’s the gorgeously pure, floating tones of Shana Stuart. A sparse intro builds tension as atmospherics covered in reverb and subtle percussion echoes and pans. Another flute riff inspired by the East is the main motif,  twisting around more thumping 808s, though the percussion in ‘Hex’ is definitely more Breaks focused than that in ‘Tekki’ with the tribal drums creating a brilliant, natural rolling rhythm. Regular intervals really allow for the track to breathe and help to achieve maximum impact as everything comes back in at once, and means Shana’s brilliant vocal gets full focus. Again, credit to KXVU on his drums – from the silenced gunshot to the ride cymbal, everything sounds incredible.


If you weren’t already impressed by KXVU’s drum work and sense of space, then Koya should definitely win you over. The intro is wide open as vinyl crackles, sound effects and a thin square lead, all absolutely soaked in reverb, bounce off each other before rapid fire breaks add a sense of drive and direction. As soon as ‘Koya’ drops, the previously mentioned breaks cut through everything else, backed now by a punchy kick and rumbling bassline with some very slick fills. There is still background atmospherics, but now the space seems to be much smaller; at least until the breakdowns anyway. If there was a track on this EP that indicated that KXVU has been working on his production, as far as we’re concerned, this is it.


‘Ratisu’ is the last original track on the release, and is the piece that relates most to Dubstep. Centred around eerie, plucked strings and a haunting vocal, half time claps and a bumpy, rolling sub/kick combo make up the bulk of the rest of the track. This allows everything else to have a heap of space and, as you’d expect, means there’s heaps of reverb. ‘Ratisu’ shows that there’s more to KXVU than frenetic breaks and attention grabbing basslines; he’s also perfectly adept at working with the bare minimum.

Hex (ft Shana Stuart) [Mr B Remix]

First up on remix duties is Mr B, who flips the flute motif and Shana Stuart’s vocals from  ‘Hex’ into pulsing Dubstep territory. There’s almost a Funky rhythm to the way the snares have been programmed, and the tribal percussion adds to that vibe. A metallic hit adds interest as the drums switch between stripped back half time and moody carnival and Shana’s vocal teases and pans in the background. The bass line is a simple pulse, adding some low end rhythm too. Classily done, and very effective.

Ratisu [JFO Remix]

Continuing on the Dubstep theme is JFO who has grabbed ‘Ratisu’ by the balls and helped it realise it’s full potential as a Dubstep track. The drums are on point (the snare is as crisp as it gets) and there’s plenty of tension created by reverb tails and atmospherics but the real draw is the intense, fluttering sub that pairs up perfectly with the triplet hat pattern as the original string plucks act once more as a lead line.

Selecta’s Favourite Track: Koya

Overall: 9/10

KXVU’s journey since his last Southpoint release has clearly seen him take in a heap of different influences and they’ve translated brilliantly in to his music. He said in a recent interview with us that he wanted to use this EP to show off not only the sheer amount of variety in his own productions but also that of Southpoint’s output and we think he’s succeeded. Every track on ‘Empire’ has an immediate genre you can place it in, but listen deeper to the different rhythmic elements and the sounds being used and you start to realise there’s so many different genres in play; we heard elements of Dubstep, Grime, UK Funky, Jungle and Breaks. To be able to hint at such a huge amount of diversity and still reach the end of the project with 5 cohesive, original pieces of music is incredible – let alone also having 2 remixers on board who seem to fully grasp the idea of the EP. We can’t help but feel ‘Empire’ will go on to be a seminal release in KXVU’s career. 

You can buy Kxvu – ‘Empire’ here.

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Tigs – Don’t Get Rude EP [Raw Tactics Records] [Review]

Tigs - Dont Get Rude EP (Artwork)

Raw Tactics’ label boss Tigs is back with 3 clever, dancefloor ready cuts inspired by all things underground UK Bass music

Don’t Get Rude

Tigs kicks off his latest EP channeling the best bits of both Grime and UKG. As a call-and -response motif filters it’s way in over bulky stop-start drums, a sample of a particularly upset MC from an archive recording sets the tone for the track; moody and aggressive. ‘Don’t Get Rude’ then drops, with a bass sound that wouldn’t be out of place on a classic grime instrumental, still following the tune from the intro. The way the bassline works with the drums actually leaves plenty of space for MCs on the radio or in the dance.

Best Not Miss

Let it be known – when Tigs first sent us ‘Best Not Miss’ to premiere, it got wheeled. Not once, not twice, but 3 times.  It’s not the heaviest of tracks by any means but it’s sick; anyone who has liked TC4 or Wölfe’s recent output should be all over this. Staccato strings and tense atmospheric pulses combine over UK Funky inspired drums, building more and more suspense until a G-Funk style lead rings out and things go a bit mad. As in the previous track, the bassline follows a similar pattern as already played in the intro, switching between a grimey square wave and a more crunchy, metallic sound. The way the drums flow around the bassline is brilliant and they sound great too. The dark flourishes of strings are a sick little detail, as are the airhorns blasting away in the background. There is absolutely no way you cannot skank to ‘Best Not Miss – at the very least, you’ll find yourself nodding along without even realising. Banger.


‘Voodoo’ is the most sinister track on the EP, coming with a more tribal vibe from the off. Haunting vocals float in the background as brooding riffs build things up over a massive kick and echoing shakers. The tension rises before a sudden pause, then drops into a gully, mid range bass assault that takes it’s cues from the kick drum. The drums themselves are spacious, but still carry a Funky groove with the hats and shakers providing most of the momentum and reverb drenched cymbals adding to the atmospherics. The bass changes up on drop number 2 to a thicker, less resonant sound, giving good cause for a second reaction.

Selecta’s Favourite Track: Best Not Miss

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from Tigs but he’s clearly been working hard on developing his sound and working all of his influences in to his music. One of the best things about UK Funky right now is all the forms it’s taking through the sheer amount of styles that bleed through into it. The Funky tracks on the ‘Don’t Get Rude’ EP are a prime example of how those styles work together without any compromise. With a solid UKG tune and 2 Funky tunes that are crying out for a reload every time they get played, Tigs has provided DJs with a bitesize armoury capable of shutting down any rave. 

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Tik&Borrow – Neurality [In:flux Audio] [Review]


After a string of successful EPs on various labels as well as their own creation, In:flux Audio, Tik&Borrow have worked for 9 months on their debut album, drawing influence from a huge variety of music whilst maintaining their signature gritty style across 8 tracks.


Tik&Borrow kick off their LP in epic fashion with tension-fuelled, cinematic strings that rapidly build to a climax before dropping into facemelting Neuro style basses and immaculate drums. The glitchy percussion is very much on point, working in tandem with the sketchiness of the bass sounds, and also does a brilliant job of filling empty gaps along with ample amounts of reverb. As far as album openers go, this is a statement and a half – pure aggression on a huge scale, straight from the off. We’re slightly intimidated…

Come Selecta (ft Tengu)

Any thoughts of an early breather are dashed out the window the moment the weighty 4×4 kick of ‘Come Selecta’ starts up, as subtle drum rolls and dubby lasers sound off in the background and a stab teases ahead of the drop. The main bassline is chunky and chugs along in tandem with the drums, making this one a certified stomper and ready for the dance. The assortment of drum rolls is genuinely pleasing, and along with the staccato strings and brief flashes of brass, they add a natural feel and a more interesting texture when placed against the rigidity of the main sounds. Lets be honest too; anything Tengu touch is sick.


‘Wastelands’ starts by throwing back to the cinematic vibe already visited by the opening track, though this time it’s not as tense. The main bass sound struggles to contain itself as a sinister vocal sample builds to the drop, where the long drawn out strings are switched out for shrill staccato stabs. Though the bass is again on a Neuro tip, the drums are actually more aligned to Grime, skipping along with flourishes of hi hat and other (extremely well produced) percussive rolls and occasionally thinning out to build up and drop again. With elements constantly coming and going and patterns subtly switching up, the attention to detail is incredible.


If you need to catch your breath, the first 30 seconds of ‘Predicate’ is the time to do so, as an assortment of sounds from the East gently swell around stuttering claps and snares. The state of calm doesn’t last long however as the track lurches into a huge melting pot of UK Bass influences. Elements of Grime, Dubstep and Breaks are all present as ‘Predicate”s drums rattle forward over a steady bassline made of pulses, wobs and more drawn out, metallic notes. There’s another short reprieve during the breakdown, before once again being thrown into the blender of bass, drums and percussion.

First Child

Talking of blends of UK genres – ‘First Child’ actually starts on a far more positive vibe than every other tune on the release, with genius Sean Paul samples and a bright string riff. There’s percussion galore once again, wrapping around more grime drum patterns, with a snare that would sound right at home on a UKG banger. ‘First Child’ is more measured and precise than ‘Predicate’, though the patterns are still skippy and with Neuro basses appearing again alongside low end content that’s more modern Bassline inspired. There’s even a couple of synths that sporadically appear that put us in mind of Joker, adding melodic content and higher frequencies. With so much going on, the mix down for ‘First Child’ must have been a bitch, but it’s been executed brilliantly and the tune itself is incredibly versatile.


The closest thing to a 2step beat on the album, ‘0101’ is a monster. Long, guttural bass notes stretch themselves out as shorter, more metallic sounds duck and dive between the scattershot snares and an assortment of vocal chops. It’s like an audible warzone and energy is high from the start, with the intro clocking in at a rapid 28 seconds. Intensity gradually builds as more and more ideas are brought in, but ‘0101’ never actually seems over crowded – in fact there is still space for reverb tails to weave round each other – which only highlights again how good the duo’s mixing skills are.

Vision VIP

If the hints of Dubstep so far hadn’t been enough for you then ‘Vision VIP’ is your tune. Chainsaw basses and rasping Reeses wrap themselves around the barrage of kick drums and shuffling hi hats. The typical, reverb smothered snares are also present and though the main sections of the track are dark and sinister (especially with samples of Heath Ledger’s Joker), the breakdowns are hugely contrasting – a gorgeous, angelic choir acts as a vivid shard of light. Another mad tune.


Rounding things off is ‘Warface’, which actually takes things down a notch in the form of another string-centric Grime cut. The atmospherics and vocals chops are especially eerie as a variety of bells and hats shuffle away amongst crisp claps (again with a healthy dose of reverb applied) and a well rounded kick and. The strings taking centre stage and the bassline takes the form of metallic wobbles and longer, sustained notes. ‘Warface’ is more concise and compact than the other tracks on the release, making it a perfect album closer, tying up all of the lose ends tidily whilst not losing any of the attitude or menace the previous 7 tunes have either.

Selecta’s Favourite Track: First Child

Overall Rating: 8/10

 The way we see it, the point of an album is to put together a body of work that encompasses all of your influences whilst simultaneously being original and it all resulting in great music. Working to that brief Tik&Borrow have smashed it with ‘Neurality’ – they manage to reference all of the music they love, including Grime, UKG, Bassline, Drum and Bass and Dubstep, across 8 high quality tracks. The attention to detail is brilliant and we can only imagine how frustrating some of the mixdown sessions must have been. If releasing your debut album isn’t a daunting prospect enough, imagine doing it as the founders of a label that prides itself on releasing diverse, hugely creative, authentic music. If these guys were feeling the pressure, we don’t think it’s shown; they’ve definitely delivered with this LP and if our recent interview is anything to go by, it’s likely this won’t be their last album project

You can buy Tik&Borrow – ‘Neurality’ here.

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Pavv – Falling EP [Southpoint] [Review]


Pavv returns to Southpoint with a 5 track EP featuring original vocals, a huge remix and his signature style of UKG influenced bassline.

Falling (ft Charlie Brix)

We have to open the review by saying the title track to this EP is a piece of music that all new producers in the Bass scene should look at and learn from. Original vocals – check. Musical elements – check. Good drum programming – check. Big, but clean, drop – check. Original, fresh ideas – 100% check. We loved ‘Falling’ the moment we heard it, partly down to the rich, floating strings and partly because of Charlie’s brilliant vocal, which is incredibly catchy. Both elements bring an instant degree of genuine class that we haven’t heard on a Bassline tune in a very long time. The drums are chunky and full but still manage to shuffle around each other with ease, not fighting for space in the mix and when ‘Falling’ drops we can imagine it goes off thanks to the wonky, metallic riffs bouncing off of each other. Probably Pavv’s best tune to date.

Scatter Dub

Contrasting to the brightness of ‘Falling’, ‘Scatter Dub’ takes things to darker territories. Though the reggae stabs in the intro seem lighthearted, it’s a false sense of security as dark screeches and wobbles lead the way over a heavy sub and 4×4 drums, which once more sound brilliant – we loved the shuffling fills. As well as the reggae stabs, there’s dub sirens and ragga vocals, as Pavv effortlessly merges 2 different musical styles and cultures together.

Pick Up The Pace (ft Duke)

With the second feature on the EP bringing more original vocals, Pavv reaches for sinister brass and builds tension with chopped and pitched cuts of Duke’s vocal. The bass on the drop is a bouncy one which sits juxtapose to the drums that start out with a very straight 4×4 pattern. Duke rides the beat with ease, delivering clever bars and a drawing for a variety of flows as Pavv switches from the aforementioned rigid 4×4 pattern to a more UK Funky influenced beat. ‘Pick Up The Pace’ is a sheller and also a marker of Pavv’s ability to work with vocalists; off the basis of this we’re genuinely excited to hear what he’s got coming with Bru-C and Dread too.

Gully Face

Starting off with lush, dreamy chords and scattershot snares, we can’t help but feel things are going to flip thanks to the name of the track – a feeling that’s confirmed when the bassline starts to tease itself in ahead of the building kickdrums and first drop. ‘Gully Face’ delivers exactly what it says on the tin; a weighty bassline that chugs along and destroys all in it’s path, riding the drums that almost seem to roll in to one another, as you pull your best bass face and extend your gunfingers in to the air. The bass switches are timed perfectly and we’re amazed at how well those chords work with the gully-ness. A definitive Pavv production as soulful music works hand in hand with mad basslines.

Gully Face (Hamdi Remix)

Hamdi is a dangerous producer and proves it once again on this remix. Pitching the vocal chops and chords up from the original, things once again start fairly chilled out until Hamdi does what Hamdi does best. The drop is mental – elastic, metallic bass notes stretch out then bounce back off of the rapid drums in a way that can only send a dancefloor into a frenzy. The second drop switches from elasticity into abrupt, staccato notes for the ever-favoured second reaction and it’s a simple but great idea. Top work from Hamdi.

Selecta’s Favourite Track: Falling ft Charlie Brix

Overall Rating: 8/10

When we last reviewed an EP on Southpoint we said they ‘don’t release any music that isn’t original or inspired‘, and they’ve once again proved that it’s true. Pavv is back on top form for ‘Falling’ and he’s put himself into a brilliant position by proving he can work with vocalists – something less and less producers are doing but that the scene needs. ‘Falling’ features everything we love about Pavv including genuine musical flair, big basslines and influences from other music. Every track is more than suited to the rave, and Hamdi continues his mission to destroy dancefloors with his remix. A very sick release from everyone involved.

You can buy Pavv’s ‘Falling’ EP here.

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Tengu & Mofaux – Jinzo EP [Southpoint] [Review]


Tengu and Mofaux join forces again on the ‘Jinzo’ EP; 3 originals and 3 remixes of pounding drums and twisted, gully bass sounds that sit right at home on the ever-consistent Southpoint.

Tengu & Mofaux – Jinzo

For anyone who doesn’t know, Jinzo is apparently an “evil Duel Spirit who seeks to become a real person by taking the souls of those who summon him” from the world of ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’. Evil is one way to describe this track – after building tension in the intro with a mosquito-like synth and teases of the bass-line, the main drop itself is completely unforgiving. Tough 4×4 drums lay the foundation for an assortment of basses that are designed to take your head off. The only chance to catch your breath from the completely ruthless assault of screw-face worthy sounds is during the breakdown, where drum breaks fleetingly filter in and out again under the mosquito drone. With the second drop switching to 2step for 8 bars before flipping back into the full force of 4 to the floor, ‘Jinzo’ is given a new energy, and the bass line onslaught continues until the last seconds. This is not a track to be taken lightly by any means – Tengu and Mofaux have created a full on dance floor destroyer.

Tengu – Parasite (feat Duke)

Tengu take the reigns with the first solo track of the release and they team up with Brighton based MC, Duke. Intensity is high from the very beginning with Duke simply taking no prisoners as Tengu get sinister with the production. ‘Parasite’ is a barrage of bass weight, lead by a combination of the techno-esque, subby kick drum and a simple, but oh-so-effective chainsaw of a bass line. Duke’s delivery is venomous and matches the energy of the track perfectly; we’re just wondering how Tengu managed to find space in the mixdown for him.

Mofaux – Nike Airs (feat Razor)

If you thought the airy chords and stripped back percussion from the intro of ‘Nike Airs’ was a sign of things chilling out, you’d be sorely mistaken – this is the maddest track yet. Fire spitter and Southpoint regular Razor is back on mic duties, with the crisp delivery we’ve come to expect from him helping build the track up before each drop. It’s after those build ups things get mad, and we mean absolutely fucking bananas. The drums are everything you’d expect from Mofaux – heavy kicks, and scattershot snares rain down amongst various other crisply produced percussion – but it’s the metallic, rasping bass sound that is going to be causing the biggest reaction. Honestly, if the intro and breakdown were any busier, we feel ‘Nike Airs’ would be a bit too much but it’s the harsh contrast between the two sections that make this track a guaranteed pull up, every single time.

Tengu – Parasite (feat Duke) [Mofaux Remix]

Mofaux gives ‘Parasite’ the remix treatment, starting with chops of the ‘mosquito’ sound from the original under straight up 4×4 drums, with Duke’s vocals pushed right to the forefront. The track has been completely re-vibed, dropping into a stop-start, chunky bass riff that would slot right in to most of today’s Bassline sets. The various shuffling hats and skipping snares keep momentum up, along with the subtle second drop switch up and with the vocal getting room to breathe in comparison to Tengu’s original.

Mofaux – Nike Airs (feat Razor) [Tengu Remix]

Tengu pay back the favour, also opting for the 4×4 vibe. Channeling the aggressive tone of Razor’s voice, Tengu’s remix is menacing yet surprisingly catchy. The slowly panning riff during the intro is a wicked touch, and the main bass line itself is almost sing along material for the rave. The sounds themselves are haunting, with additional elongated basses almost groaning in the background. The octave switch before the breakdown adds an urgency to the track over the weighty sub. The second drops starts with a 2 step section before dropping back into the original 4×4 pattern, finishing off with energy on a high.

Tengu & Mofaux – Jinzo [Habouchi Remix]

There’s a reason why Habouchi is one of the top rated up and coming producers in the scene, and he gives a perfect example of why with this remix of the title track. Expertly building tension using elements of the original, Habouchi’s drums are punchy and we love the shuffle of the hats – especially the splashy open hi-hat. The bassline is teased in, as the track builds, before dropping into a wide, metallic earworm of a bass riff. The wideness of the bass really allows for the sub to power through, even when the sounds switch on the second section to something slightly denser. It’s the next section after that’s going to catch people out though – the track flips into a naughty, rhythmic helter-skelter, perfect for anyone who likes their tunes on the wonky side. There’s a brief breakdown to allow people to catch their thoughts, before everything runs through once more.

Selecta’s Favourite Track: Mofaux – Nike Airs (feat Razor)

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Simply put, Southpoint don’t release any music that isn’t original or inspired and this EP is both. Tengu and Mofaux are both in top form with each track being not only dance floor ready, but clever and interesting too. It’s clear that they know how each other work, and how to get the best from one another. The MC’s can’t be faulted either, both providing great vocals and Habouchi’s remix is going to be getting played for a long time. Everyone involved with the release has been forward thinking, and that can only mean good things for the scene. 

You can buy Tengu & Mofaux – ‘Jinzo’ EP here.

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DJ Mag x Garage Splash: NoFaking DJs, DJ Cartier, Mind of a Dragon, Smokey Bubblin’ B & Junior Buzz hosted by Loskiboy [Review]


Teaming up with DJ Mag for a livestream, Garage Splash put together a lineup of big names within UKG alongside their well respected residents – it would have been silly not to go to down to Work Bar and experience it all for free.

Garage nights in London generally consist of similar lineups of DJs from back in the genre’s heyday, playing music as old as the youngest people in the club. Garage Splash however have a different idea; they put on regular, free events with UKG’s current top dons, up and comers and the odd old school head on the lineup, drawing crowds of up to 2000 people.

On August 3rd, Garage Splash were invited to take over DJ Mag’s livestream setup at Work Bar in Angel, and co-founder Junior Buzz called in good friends (and residents) NoFaking DJs and Smokey Bubblin’ B as well as UKG don DJ Cartier and current king of garage, Mind of a Dragon, with Loskiboy and MC Uno on hosting duties for the night.

When we arrived and walked down the steps into the basement of Work Bar, our first thought was how busy it was already – the room wasn’t full yet, but to see so many people already there at 7pm on a Thursday night, for a night focused on new Garage and UK Bass music was very encouraging and highlighted straight away the support Garage Splash receive.


Kicking things off were NoFaking DJs and they weren’t messing about, creating instant vibes and setting pace for the rest of the night with tunes from the likes of TQD and Killjoy blended with grime acapellas and the occasional classic. It took 23 minutes for the first reload of the night –  GUNDAMN’s ‘Pulse Ü’ edit, with another highlight being El-B’s wobbly ‘Neighbourhood’ remix. Even a recurring emergency loop problem wasn’t enough to stress the NoFaking boys as they effortlessly traversed through garage to the broader UK Bass spectrum and back again, and by the time they handed the decks over to Cartier, the dancefloor was bubbling nicely.


“The best thing about Garage Splash is that there’s no restrictions; old or new UKG, it’s wicked vibes from start to finish. Big shouts to Junior Buzz and the gang”

– DJ Cartier

DJ Cartier opened with his name ringing through the speakers, before cutting and chopping his way across a selection of the biggest current UKG tracks. Like NoFaking before him, Cartier also explored a bit further than garage, bringing UK Funky and Bassline into the mix and also touching on Grime with one of the highlights of the set being a dub of Donae’O’s ‘Black’ switched into Nativ’s ‘Shifty’. As expected, Cartier was not only technically on point but his tune selection was brilliant and he had everyone inside eating out the palm of his hand; near enough every track that teased it’s way in was met with cheers, resulting in a fair few pull ups.


“It’s all vibes; new school or old school,  every DJ plays what they want. With Garage Splash there’s no drama.”

–  Mind of a Dragon

 Stepping up next was Mind of a Dragon who, in our opinion, played the best set of the night. Working between cuts from his new album, past productions and collaborations and forthcoming releases such as the glorious Lemonade, it was easy to see why he’s the top producer in Garage at the moment; every single track was weighted perfectly with kicks and subs, but with clever vocals and flourishes of keys and other instrumentation. It has been said before that producers who are at the top of their game don’t really cut it as DJs – that it’s a ‘one or the other’ trade off of skills – but thats not true of MOAD. The set felt like an experience, rather than a a string of tracks mixed together; an hour long glance into Mind of a Dragon as a producer and DJ with some proper goosebump-inducing moments, such as the beautiful ‘Untitled m8”s intro being played pretty much in full before being allowed to drop. It’s the first set we’ve seen where an artist plays 100% of their own productions, and it was incredible.


Smokey Bubblin’ B opened up with his huge track ‘License’, released on NM Recordings last year, before weaving through a selection of his own grime tinged productions (including his slick edit of Novelist’s ‘One Sec’), UKG classics and UK Funky, touching on broader UK Bass too with tracks like Tessela’s Hackney Parrot. Champion and MC Shantie’s ‘Running It Red’ got arguably the biggest reload of the night as Smokey kept the dancefloor full and energy high ahead of the last set.


Garage Splash co-founder Junior Buzz stepped up to the decks for the closing set, starting with TC4’s ‘Savage’ and proceeded to roll through new music from some of the UK’s most exciting up and comers, including new cuts from Arridim and Witchdoctor. A mash up of Royal T’s ‘I Know You Want Me’ with Ms Dynamites ‘What You Talking About’ got a huge reaction, and was rightfully pulled up. By the time it was over, it was clear that Junior Buzz leads from the front with Garage Splash’s music policy.

Overall, Garage Splash got their message heard loud and clear – they’re all about  championing as much new music as possible with a focus on UKG but ultimately the end goal is good vibes, from old school garage to Bassline.

It’s obvious talking to the artists who have worked with Garage Splash that they’re trying to build a family of resident DJs with the same attitude towards creating a vibe, whilst at the same time welcoming new talent to the scene.

DJ Redhot, who was there on the night, summed it up:

Garage Splash is introducing the younger crowd to what UKG is. I’d like to think UKG has gone a bit more ‘overground’ over the last 12 months and Garage Splash has helped by incorporating old and new music with a bias towards the new. If you’re talking about raves within London, Garage Splash is the best regular UKG rave right now’

You can watch the livestream from the night below:

Garage Splash will be taking place on the following dates:

01/09 – Record Label Launch – Lightbox

15/09 – Fire

13/10- Fire & Lightbox

26/10 – Garage Splash Live – Work Bar

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