Hospital Records output has gone from strength to strength over the years and 2013 has seen some exceptional albums released by the independent record label. Established in 1996 by Tony Colman (best known for his stage name, London Elektricity) and Chris Goss, the label has rapidly become one of the most well-known labels in UK Dance music. With its headquarters based in South London, it is exclusively home to many of Drum and Bass’s finest producers: Netsky, High Contrast, Danny Byrd, Nu:tone, Logistics, Camo & Krooked, Fred V & Grafix and S.P.Y.
2013 has been a massive year for Hospital, with releases from some of the biggest names in Drum and Bass. The first Release came in late January, titled Hospitality Drum & Bass 2013, a yearly compilation by Hospital which is the 3rd in its current series. It features a full spectrum of artists, both Hospital exclusives and producers from outside of the Hospital family, bringing its audience little tasters of a wide variety of Drum and Bass and showcasing what was to be expected for the coming year.
March saw the first Hospital producers album drop, What I’ve Always Waited For, a partnership of Nu:tone and Logistics under the guise of Nu:Logic. Aptly titled, the album landed with critical acclaim and takes listeners through a variety of different styles: deep, soulful, dancefloor and dub-inspired drum and bass. The album brings a breath of fresh air to sounds that have largely been forgotten about and lost along the years, re-kindling the classic, soul inspired side of Drum and Bass that pioneers like LTJ Bukem were trying to push back in the late 90’s.
Three months later, June marked two huge releases from Hospital Records, the long-anticipated album Golden Ticket by Danny Byrd. A 16 track LP infusing multiple musical influences from UK Garage, House, Jungle and Hip-Hop all with a 174bpm break-beat backbone. The album contains some exciting collaborations with other artists such as: Jaguar Skills, Brookes Brothers, Tanya Lacey, Mz Bratt, Serocee and Rhymestar. The album’s style is still recognisably Danny Byrd, but has moved away from the sound we heard in Rave Digger and previous releases, focusing on a more grown up sound that stretches beyond the realm of drum and bass, pleasing audiences with a wide variety of musical tastes.
Following this came Hospitality: Summer Drum & Bass 2013, mixed by Hospital director Tomahawk. The album contains 29 essential summer tunes, and is packed out with previously unreleased exclusives from the Hospital Family as well as producers from across the Drum and Bass scene. Netsky, S.P.Y, Nu:Logic, Danny Byrd, Fred V & Grafix, Noisia, Wilkinson and Fracture were all featured on the album providing the perfect soundtrack to the Summer of 2013.
September’s highlight was the long awaited album from Austrian drum and bass duo, Camo & Krooked. Zeitgeist landed with much to live up to following the huge commercial success of their previous album Cross the Line. Two years after this success, Camo & Krooked appear to have completely re-invented and re-defined their sound, drawing upon influences from French House, Disco, and Drum and Bass to produce a new, brave sound featuring provocative synths, crisp beats and disco-styled vocals that deliver tracks bustling with energy and euphoria.
December marked the yearly anniversary of The Drum and Bass Awards, organised by Drum & Bass Arena and hosted in Brixton; Hospital cleaned up in multiple award categories. Etherwood (signed to Hospital’s sister label Med School) picked up ‘Best New-Comer DJ’ and ‘Best New-Comer Producer’ while Netsky achieved ‘Best Live Act’, Camo & Krooked received ‘Best Album’ and Hospitality (Hospital Records live events) picked up ‘Best Club Night’. A huge result for the label.
Finally, worth a mention are the multiple other releases upon Hospital this year in the form of EP’s and singles from some of the biggest and lesser-known artists in the scene. Fred V & Grafix, Metrik, High Contrast, Other Echoes and Rawtekk all pushed their sounds to the masses, showcasing their talent with the backing of the independent label.
2014 already looks to be shaping up nicely already for Hospital Records, with new material promised from Netsky, London Elektricity and another compilation album to celebrate the label’s 18th birthday – we can only expect big things for the New Year.