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Reviewed this week
The S.O.B.A.D crew descend on Nottingham with a whole armoury of hybrid bass/beat hurters. Sly One do all the driving as "My Name" slaps with a UK take on juke beats as a fork-tongued lava rap from TK Wonder whips up a dramatic frenzy. "TMB" sees the duo taking us on an even techier tip with its loopy, hypnotic vocal loop while crew mates Distro & Archive give UK funky a dark, demented update for today's paranoid times. Final S.O.B.A.D member Bromley winds down the trip by completely stripping "My Name" back down to a classic electro breaks groove. Block rocking.
All eyes on rising Nottingham bassline badman Holy Goof right now. Recently tipped as one to watch by UKF, his stamp-happy, groove-heavy 4x4 cuts are ticking all the right bass boxes. Including this next level club jam. Fusing subtle old school rave elements in the hook with a twisted, murky harmonic bass riff, this has got 'festival damager' sprayed all over it. The eyes have it.
Consistently bringing through fresh talent, Sheffield's Project Allout welcome bassline debutant Nadine. Instantly she gets stuck in as "Motion" (with hyped Crucast affiliate Frazah) warms up with warm chords before dropping into a thunderous high-end creeped-out riff. "Me & You" and "Crazy" both provide an expert balance of UKG vocal sass and more tripped out sad robot moans and groans while "Intoxicated" closes the show with some of Nadine's darkest bass designs and sharper fragments of vocals. A really cool balance of soul and savage here - we look forward to hearing more.
The dust hasn't had a second to settle on his massive production "Holy Grime" for Wiley and longstanding bassline baron Mr V continues his rich vein of form with four funk-coded chuggers on the rising tastemaker imprint Crucast. "Don't Play" explores a west coast hip-hop feel on the vibe before dropping into a multi-bass melody. "Call Of Duty" takes a militant cinematic sample then switches the same classical dynamics into a sinewy linear riff while "Stomp" stretches out the bass with pure elasticity and mischief while a diced, spliced string sample attempts to reach out and trim your whiskers. Finally "R U Ready" takes us into the darkest corners of V's mind as an array of twisted textures battle for our attention. High grade.
Rebearth is a new label specialising in bass, bassline, UK garage plus 'more', it claims. For their first release, Birmingham based producer Bassboy has been making waves for years, according to the label, and has been pioneering the bassline sound with his heavy basslines (naturally!) and ear for infectious, off-kilter drum grooves. On "Boom" he teams up with Chester's Blaq Max to rework a classic Lil Nasty vocal sample into a street level dancefloor joint that is truly fierce and bombastic.
It's a new year, and it's time for some new imprints. That's the way we operate. Jelly Bean Farm is among the labels to launch in 2017 but, while others would think of pacing themselves with a debut EP, these guys have gone and dropped a whole compilation of new, unforgiving bass science from all corners of the extended genre. There are twelve killer cuts to choose from here, all from emergent talents, and we've got our eyes set on a number of them. Hypho's "Majikk" is a glorious neo-grime workout that stretches the genre to the very limits, "Pistol Signal" from Opus is a bubbling, potent new strain of hydro-phonic dubstep, PAN:INC's "Freight" is the sort of techno that any bass-boy dreams at night, and Sensei's "Reed" manages to blur the most daring elements of jungle and minimal techno together as if they were made to be one and one. Check it all out, though, this is a true goldmine of all things bass-oriented. Watch out for more Jelly Bean Farm gear.
Hold tight man like Darzky yeah: Nottingham man-of-the-moment returns with a cold VIP of last year's bassline anthem "Gun Fingers" where once again we're driven by Mez's unique gassed edge as he bigs up their hometown. The creepy, chilling chords and arpeggio on the intro are a scale lower than the original's and made all the most sinister while the stretched-out bassline takes an even darker twist, too. This is what the VIPs were made for.
Breaking through on 877 last year, Bristol's Saidwho returns to the fray on the ever-on-point Southpoint. It's a match made in beat heavy - unclassifiable genre-melting beat sessions with heavy helpings of subby funk. "Banshee" has been damaging on dub for a while - rolling, stuttering and insistent, it lends itself to techno as much as it does garage. "Chase & Run" flips the rhythm for a more spacious broken trip into grime while "Leaked" is a brilliant Tipper-style space breaks funk jam with a raw, roomy aesthetic. Finally on a remix-tip, Mofaux closes the show with mean and moody switch-flipper that rips between cavernous 4/4s and a gnarly break on the drop.
Flipping fire between Saucy and Low Pitched, Spekktrum is slaying the system right now with a sound that refuses to sit in any one genre: grime, breaks, garage, bassline. It's all in his pranged-out icy cold melting pot. "The Feeling" is a straight up riff-heavy 4x4 stomper while "G Force" takes a more frazzled, fractured approach while "Quantum" causes early 90s flashbacks before sucking us back into the present day by way of a dangerously grizzled bass drop. Serious feelings.
New Movement member Mind Of A Dragon returns to close compadre Smokey's LPR launch release with a brand new VIP. Where the original majestically chugged with chop-slapping 4x4s and organs, this version mischievously whips and necksnaps with tightrope two-steps and eerier tones. With a sense-blurring organ jitter on the fills, everything about this VIP is next level. Future vintage bizz.
IllumiGULLY confirmed: having feasted a Punks, Hot Cakes and Broken Music Syndicate, the mysterious three-eyed cat Leda Stray prowls on up to New Movement for another bass banquet. "The Source" uses some ace Wiley samples over a nasty bassline groove, "Misdirection" takes a more spacious approach with much more of a dark garage swing while "Bad Press" flames up the fires of fake news with a classic Praga Khan sample and more subversive jazziness. Remix-wise Doctor Nick whips up a masterclass is savage with a brilliant 130 jungle version. Original source material.
The Saucy imprint is on its way to establishing itself as a new source of quality, reliable bass music for the corner dwellers aka dubstep aficionados aka bassboys. Hot Goods debuts on the label with a bunch of direct, straight-up bruisers made for the dancefloor, and "1944" acts like the first missile shot in what quickly transforms into a rather menacing dance EP; WATSN's remix of the tune bridges the gap between techno, dubstep and electro house in a rather excellent manner. "Shogun" adds a little garage flavor to the producer's clearly audible grime fascination, whereas "Ghoul" heads straight for the tech-house formula with its steely percussion roll, and highly stripped back bass bumps.
Bassline Bangers has become the preferred codename of LA-based producer 6BLOCC. His material for Digital 6 is becoming increasingly unmissable and, to a larger extent, inimitable. Tagged as 'bass', his tunes do much more than the required dance formula and, instead, branch out into fields more closely related to dub, reggae, and jungle. This is the third instalment of the series, and the dude offers six strong cuts for you to digest and mull over; "Atmosphere" is what kicks the flow into motion thanks to a stunning hybrid mix of grime and sped-up dubstep, whereas "Bad Boy Style" adds the ragga flavor to a bed of hazy jungle breaks. "Labrinth" is another stunner on here, this time bringing a considerably stronger techno flex into its beat, but it's "Soundboy" and its lethal waves of low frequencies that steal the show and grab all the creds. Sick.
Exclusives
SMOKEY BUBBLIN' B - Vintage: Mind Of A Dragon VIP mix (LPR)  - exclusive 31-12-2017
SLY-ONE feat TK WONDER - My Name (Tumble Audio) - exclusive 20-02-2017
LEDA STRAY - The Source (NM Recordings) - exclusive 31-12-2017
Exclusives
BASSBOY vs BLAQ MAX feat LIL NASTY - Boom (ReBearth)
SENSEI - Outlet (Simply Deep) - exclusive 30-01-2017
MR VIRGO - Bits EP (Crucast)
Cloaka DJ Chart
Tik Borrow DJ Chart
Roska DJ Chart
Hypho DJChart
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