January, probably my least favourite month in the year. From the moment you wake up on the second with a soul destroying hangover and the sickening realisation, that in the two weeks leading up to this moment you’ve demolished your bank balance, bodily fitness and sanity. It’s cold, it’s dark and you’re skint. It seems fitting then, that the heads behind Sun and Bass, Sardinia’s yearly drum and bass extravaganza, managed to drop their ten year compilation in the run up to Christmas and New Year. It was confined to my desktop through the festive period, but in January, when life levels were at an all time low I decided to open up that folder and give the compilation a whirl.
Ask anyone who has been to Sun and Bass what it’s like and they’ll probably start gushing for about two hours about how amazing it is, but the truth is that it is amazing. It was probably one of the best weeks of my life this year. If you’ve been there and you know what it’s like then this album won’t surprise you at all. The pace of the LP runs much like a day in San Teodoro. Starting calmly with sunshine vibes and gradually descending into intense dance floor action before finishing up with a sunrise on the beach. My personal highlights are “Good Bye Hands” and dBridge’s “Breakfast Club”. Fracture and Mark System’s “In The Shade” has to go in my top three as well. A great compilation celebrating a tremendous achievement for the Sun and Bass crew.
Another release which helped to keep January at bay is the long awaited touchdown of Dub Phizix’s “Clock Ticks” on the Critical compilation. The drop has more oomph than something with a lot of oomph and it’s great to see that it’s finally on wax after what has been quite a long wait. It’s Dub Phizix’s first release in a while, and serves as a good reminder as to why he has gained the reputation that he has.
On the more tearout side of things, brand new Australian label, Plasma Audio, look set to make a big splash with their first release incoming. They’ve enlisted the help of dutch production-lord Icicle to remix a “4th State” by Safire and Amoss ft. Gusto and he hasn’t disappointed. Good to see the dutchman back on the drum and bass tip and his knack for producing isn’t showing any signs of going away. The release also features two tracks from Gamma with the second track, “Chavland” getting my vote as the stronger of the two.
The behemoth that is “Dispatch Recordings” has also waited no time in kicking off 2014 with a couple of releases out this month. Philth’s “Your Love” and “Souzou” is an impressive start to the year for Philth and Dispatch. “Your Love” rolls out the energy vibes on the A side, and the flip is more the Dispatch sound we know and love. Hopefully we will be hearing a lot more from Philth this year.
It’s safe to say that, despite January’s unfortunate beginnings it has already been a good year for music and there’s a whole lot more still to come.