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The information surrounding Mind Of A Dragon is still as imperceptible as ever, and this new EP for Slime adds to the mystery in a delightful way. Even the tunes, a harsh blend of garage, bass and nu-skool jungle, are dusty and covered in a layer of mystique that gets our appetites going good and proper. "Emotions" itself is a powerful garage stormer with a those inimitable r&b samples and accompanied by an intricate percussion flex, The stand-out moment for us, though, is surely "Not The Same" simply for its woozy, shape-shifting bass and forward-thinking beat arrangement. A winner.
Ever since their last release, we've been preoccupied with what really does do go on deep within the mind of a dragon. It turns out that beneath all the scales and firey breath they tend to think a lot about holidaying in Ayia Napa circa 2001. Wonder if Saint George knew this. Anyway, "Too Much" is a delicious mix of catchy distant vocals snippets and perky 130bpm beats and warm, undulating bass waves. Remix-wise Mike Millrain brings the '90s house fire - all slammin' New York garage vibes and closer than close synthy goodness. Summer is officially here!
Saucy have dubbed Dosage as being 'one of the most technically gifted blossoming producers the UK has to offer' and they're not wrong. Here we get to find out, starting with the celebratory fizz of the totally funky disco-house jam "Panama Peppers". The latter quickly gets disfigured for life by evil genius Kursa who brings some scary bass fire to the tune. "Reaper" continues the dark vibes with more of a dubby ghetto sound which is turned into a sleazy after-hours classic by Echoes & Knight. Finally Dosage teams up with Ricin for the harder bass and breaks attack of "Ishmael".
Sometimes you can't keep a good tune down and here with RKS Allstars 3, Roska collects the best of his label's recent offerings. The vinyl run is already out of print, but there's still much digital joy to be had. There's one from three happening producers here: DJ Champion brings some fire with UKF monster "Selecta" which is all sci-fi bass and rolling carnival drums. Elsewhere MA1 delivers a peak time animal in the form of the hysterical synthline-fuelled "Bassbox" and finally DJ Naughty (no, not the Gigolo one) delivers EP highlight, the quirky leftfield garage workout "Unstoppable". Ace.
U Wot Blud are always ahead of the game and although many have moved on since last year's instalment of the Rising Stars series, they've not stayed still either. This third volume shows us a whole new side to the UWB sound, which if not exactly 'sensitive', is certainly showing a kind of newfound maturity. The dancefloor is still their main priority of course, and the two 4/4 techy electro-house bangers by Aliii ("Artifice", "Blackmail") totally capture that spirit. Elsewhere highlights include scattershot tropicalia and bouncy bass of "You Went" by TK Vicious and the pounding future-jack-fest of "Redshift" by Lycid.
A former hard junglist who defected to the chilled world of dub and reggae, LA's 6Blocc, has found a whole new lease of life. Usually found jetsetting around the globe spinning tunes, he's taken a break from his busy schedule to deliver Bassline Bangers Vol 2. There are six raw cuts to be found here with highlights including the rolling sing-a-long rasta anthem "Fiyah Tyme", the I Got Five On It-referencing warehouse garage of "Changes" and the clap-heavy booty bouncer "Sundayz". Dope!
Southport is a label firmly committed to championing their native Brighton's bass talent. Here they figure that three heads are better than one - teaming up RMarney, Karl Vincent and Tee for the barnstorming "Sound The Alarm". Clocking in at over six minutes, the track is a slammin' slice of muscular 4 x 4 complete with a rolling, pulsating bottom end riff and that timeless Mickey Dread "you make me feel so good" sample. Remix-wise we also get some atonal wobble from Dephex, 1Thirty delivers some similar skippy bass resonance and Dappa closes with a melodic housey banger.
Much like his namesake, Finland's bass underdog, Rico Tubbs, proves that he packs just as much of a punch Don Johnson in Miami Vice, and then some. Here he references more American culture with Ghost Rider, the flaming skeleton biker. However, it's less retro America and more sweaty UK warehouse - fusing hands-in-air piano stabs with gurgling low basslines and skippy beats. Dr Cryptic's mix perfectly captures that gurn-fest moment when it feels like the sky is literally attacking you. Elsewhere Thijs Haal delivers the hardest mix here, whilst Ampr drops to half time for some robo dubstep fun.
A decade ago dance music was turned on its head by fidget house duo, Crookers. When the spectre of cheesiness loomed one half, Bot, jumped ship. Ever since he has pursued the noble route of producing underground house and bass, helping found Main Course in the process. Here he is with If U Feel, his latest missive - a skippy ghetto-tinged electro-house romp that boats some elastic basslines and the sultry vocals of Kaleena Zanders. An instrumental is also included for those wanting electronic purity, and there's a bonus track too - the deeper, jackin' grind of "Just Say".
This latest jam, "Halo", from DBM is the aural equivalent of a packed nursery exploding with ADHD kids out of their minds on a sugar rush. Speedy claps too impatient to wait for the previous one to end? Check! Bizarrely melancholic chipmunk vocal samples? Check! Mind-melting effervescent basslines? Check! Candyfloss synth breakdowns? Check! Pack your soothers and extra set of nappies, it's a baby rave!
Exclusives
LUCENT - Place Burn Down (Tumble Audio) - exclusive 13-06-2016
SKETCHI - I Know EP (Second To None Music) - exclusive 31-12-2016
NUVAMAN - Strength EP (Artifice) - exclusive 24-06-2016
Exclusives
BASSLINE BANGERS - Bassline Bangers: Volume Two (Digital 6) - exclusive 31-12-2016
ROBSI MANTURA/MACHAON/ALIII/TK VICIOUS/LYCID - Rising Stars Vol 3 (U Wot Blud) - exclusive 04-07-2016
PELIKANN - Jupiter (Saucy)
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