Hospital Records turns 25 years old and they have a lot to celebrate. One of the premiere Drum & Bass labels has gathered an incredible collection of talent to showcase just why we all know and love their sound. The teasers for this release have already topped the charts and been in regular rotation for good reason. This collection has it all: from deep rollers to liquid. From filthy steppers to straight up Jungle. The roster includes everyone from old school legends to rising stars and fresh faced talent. Whatever your style, they got you covered.
My only regret here is that I can’t review everything. I could, but who would read it right? And you don’t have to take my word for it, the link it right up there. You can find out for yourself that there isn’t a bad track in this collection. I’ll try to cover material showing the spectrum of this collection. Cuz, even though Hospital‘s sound leans a certain way, I really think that Hospital Records did a great job of rounding things out.
Makoto – Spread Love (feat. Pete Simpson)
Out of the gates we get the sound we’d expect from Hospital. Light and sunny beach music…but like…turned up to 11. The intro alone is enough for a freakin’ revival. Keys, percussion, orchestral strings and how about those hallelujah vocals? The drop doesn’t let up the intensity and layers just keeps building. Then those vocals really punch it and with a backup chorus none the less. Just a gorgeous piece of music. There’s baby making music and then there’s just before baby making “I just can’t wait to get at you” music. This is the track before the baby making starts. Made me a believer.
Danny Byrd – Salute (feat. GQ) (Remarc Remix)
Just in case you thought Hospital only does light and liquid music, I’d like to point out that you’re dead wrong about that. This one starts out with that familiar Hospital roll that we all know. Just straight to the biznis. Then the vocals come in and roll with it a bit. But, just when you think you know where this is going Remarc hits us with a left turn into the Jungle. This is what I’ll call an “Amen heavy” remix. No messing around here. Effects, samples, backspins and chasing Amens for days. You know the deal. This track really fuses that rolling liquid feel with that deep in the Jungle vibe. It cuts all over like crazy, but never looses the groove. Probably my favorite overall.
Sonic – Piano Anthem (S.P.Y. Remix)
Love me some S.P.Y. And Sonic give him great material to work with here. Piano at the intro like the title says. Anthem all the way…also like the title says. Vocals come in with the drum roll at the drop and those sharp snares carry the feet with that rumbling bass that is S.P.Y. all the way. But, he really gets in there with his signature subs halfway through the first section. Vocals keep pushing the energy into the breakdown. That piano comes back to carry the vocals across and the buildup starts all over again. The second drop doesn’t even pretend and just comes right in with that unmistakable S.P.Y. sub bass touch. Can you have both liquid vibes and deep bass that vibrates your feet? Why yes. Why yes you can.
B-Complex – Beautiful Lies (L Side Remix)
This is a moody one. Drifts in with vocals, pads and atmospherics and the drop takes it up a notch. Rolls on for a bit with the snares and the bass even grumbles a bit. This is a dynamic tension between the deep dark bass line and the light and airy vocals and piano and sequences. It keeps pulling you in opposite directions and just when you get comfortable going in one way it pulls you the other. It leans towards the melodic for sure. But, it leaves you wondering if that really was the case.
Urban Dawn (feat. Tyson Kelly) – Come Together (Dillinja Remix)
Yeah…you read that right. Not a typo. A remix of one of the biggest hits in the Drum & Bass world for quite some time; by one of the biggest legends in the game of all time. Like that. The original mix was on the charts for well over a year. About the only thing the remix has in common with the original is the title and the “Come Together” lyrics. ‘Bout it. Dillnja just keeps on innovating and just when you think that you know a guy. Honestly, this one came out of nowhere for me. I was really surprised to see it on the track list even though I shouldn’t be. He slices and dices all over the place with this one. I highly recommend listening to this on a really good system or headphones. There is just…so…much…going…on. But, it’s not rushed or hectic. Everything is separated perfectly. Cuz, well, consider the source.
Landslide – Drum & Bossa (Ray Keith Remix)
Just to round things out, Landslide brings in Ray Keith for a remix. And this is him all the way. Throwing in panning amen breaks and fills into the intro. Atmosphere spinning the buildup of intensity and the drop isn’t emphasized as much in that old school dubplate style. It just takes another step and keeps on going with the vibe. One of the things that I love about Ray Keith is his complete and total disregard for the standards of tracks that we typically hear. He simply doesn’t care and I love it. The man is a composer and this is the perfect example. He throws in these fills and then entire sections that just take a left turn and then right back into the main section of the track. I would call it jazz, but like Miles Davis said “that’s a made up word. Don’t box my music in like that.” Um…yeah….I think Ray Keith really took that to heart. Not getting boxed in to put it mildly. This track is a mini-mix of a journey.
And this compilation is a journey that you’ll love too.