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Reviewed this week
Bristol's bass supremacy is under threat from Sheffield's formidable Project Allout, who have literally gone all out by rounding up 21 heavyweight jams to prove it. With such heavy ammo who is foolish enough to try and resist? Not us, and if we really had to pick, some of our favourites would be Adam Mac's doomy, empty rainy street vibes on the haunting "Cold Side", the accelerated, pinged up, soulful 4 x 4 banger "Deep" by Deadbeat UK and the percussive dancehall infused synth bass monster, "Likkie Vibez" by Juzlo. The Allout revolution, don't fight it, feel it!
For those who don't know, Hypho is a rising talent in the bass game and his quest to reach the top level has gotten closer thanks to this latest injection of low frequencies for the 877 label. "Wartime" is the perfect lead tune, a string-led pseudo grime instrumental with a perfectly executed percussive rhythm, and "Pinch" follows a similar path thanks to its slithering beats. There is a collaboration with Squane on "Hack", a futuristic grime roller with a mean collection of beats and hollow melodies, which is followed by Majora's remix of "Wartime", a more uplifting version of the tune, and a Vital Techniques reinterpretation of "Pinch". Smoking bangers guaranteed!
Jay Cunning's Sub Slayers label has now reached the fifth instalment of the increasingly respected Sub Slayers Series. He's scored a real coup here, by signing up rising 21-year old producer Toronto Is Broken to both curate the tracklist and provide an exclusive mix too. The focus this time round is firmly on garage and bass, and there are 26 bleeding edge selections to explore. Highlights include the aquatic synth pads and bottom end rumbles of Sourkrush's "Giving Me Life (Dead Belly mix)", the haunted soul-step of "Laundry Time" by Atomic Drop and the grimey dancehall of "Twinkle" by Gella.
Pure, unadulterated filth, that's what this Wittyboy exclusively deals in. We bet he chuckles demonically with the knowledge of the bass-induced mayhem that follows him in his wake. Here the mischievous Londoner returns with three new punch lines for the mighty Chip Butty. First up "Shakedown" is all about setting the tone with some classic 4 x 4 bounce, next "Back-Up Plan" deals out some seriously nasty staccato breaks and finally there are dancehall MC vibes added to the skippy beats of the purely evil "Warlord". Witty? This is no laughing matter!
Reading's bass champ Sunday Roast has loaded up with five dancefloor straddling beasts here on the Barbarian EP. Never one to take prisoners, he's not about to start now. Highlights include opener "Core', a fire breathing bass dragon of a thing with cowbells and bounce in all the right places, "Freak" is a 4 x 4 peak time jam that goes heavy on the 808s claps but it's the sizzling bass throbs and housey pianos riffs of "Day Pitch" that really wins this battle.
Midland's bass troubadour Tuff Culture recently explored his feminine side with the recent emotional Solar/Desire release. Now he's back with "Edification" and although he has returned somewhat to his 'tuffer' side, he has retained some of the softer, melodic touches he learned along the way. "Asia" begins proceedings with a fluffy 4 x 4 bounce, with quirky melodic interludes and raw ragga vocals. Next, "Midnight Safari" is just that - all dark, nocturnal jungle percussion and spooky breaks. Lastly "Tell Me", is smooth and moody bass with choppy hi-hats and all kinds of synthy atmospherics. Top drawer tunes!
Tik&Borrow return with a sizzling new jam, the Interstellar EP, on their own very fine In:Flux Audio label. "4th Dimension" begins an EP of high BPMs and even higher thrills as a furious melange of hoover bass, 4 x 4 beats and Yello-esque vocals growls. There's also a VIP mix of "Warperz" (recorded with Luciv) that takes things in a spacey dubstep direction. After that there are remixes of the lead track - Pelikann incorporating synth-pop lines with scattershot beats, Vital Techniques go for classic, skippy wobble on their version and lastly Fiyahman brings the fire on his fast and loose closer.
For all those of you out there who had lost faith in ever hearing another instalment in the Saucy Selections series...rejoice! The wait is over. It's over a year since Vol 2, but the Saucy crew are back bringing serious fiyah over 22 fresh new jams. As usual, the quality is never compromised, particularly on such standouts as the mercilessly pounding, RnB sampling "You Better Know" by Libra, the futuristic 2-step synth stabs of "Eyes On You" by Jello and the dry warehouse beats and buzzy bass bounce of "People Dem Dance" by Lucent & Karl Vincent.
These guys are a self-professed Muscovite 'musical tandem' who specialise in deep house and garage with old skool flavours. Here they've teamed up with the Night Bass crew to unveil the Weegle EP. Russians know toughness and these guys are no exception delivering three dancefloor pulverisers for our listening pleasure. The title track is peak time mayhem, with a catchy ghetto chorus married to the skippiest beats and crunchiest bass you've ever heard. Elsewhere "Next Level" is a UKF with extra punishing bottom end and lastly "High Volume" delivers the wobble with nowhere to hide.
Representing the south coast massive, duo Tengu have been crafting premier league house/garage/bass jams for a few years now. "Dirtyyy" is probably their toughest club banger yet, with swollen bass undulations and tropical rhythms a plenty. Forbid also steps in to add some more rolling housier vibes to the tune before the guys return with Albzzy for a low slung DJ tool, all sparse 4 x 4 drums and haunting synths. Rounding things the pair are joined by Karl Vincent for the hard-hitting "Kaifeng" which shows us just how fun the dark side of speed garage can be.
Bass mad Leicester DJ, Deelay, has been rinsing it since the age of 16, inspired by the early pirate radio days and heroes such as EZ and Todd Edwards. Here he rocks up with two new cuts that will make everybody sit up and take notice, and dance even. Maybe. "Like They Know" is a clever slice of rolling bassline house that's steeped in vintage garage sounds and dreamy organ chord progressions. On the digital flipside "Break" is a speedier affair -all hypey swishes, relentless stabby riffs and urgent skippy beats.
Exclusives
TUFF CULTURE - Edification (Four40) - exclusive 31-12-2016
WITTYBOY - The Shakedown EP (Chip Butty) - exclusive 01-08-2016
SUNDAY ROAST - Barbarian EP (Soulserious) - exclusive 31-12-2016
Exclusives
VARIOUS/TORONTO IS BROKEN - Sub Slayers/Series 05 - Garage Bassline (Sub Slayers)
TIK&BORROW - Interstellar EP (Influx Audio) - exclusive 31-08-2016
TENGU/ALBZZY/FORBID - Dirtyyy (U Wot Blud) - exclusive 04-08-2016
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Big Dope P DJ Chart
Murder He Wrote DJ Chart
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