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20 May 13
Played by: Mr Brainz / Orpheus:ldn, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Shouts!, Lucent, Allmostt, Funk And Filth, Benny Kane
Review: Originally released spring 2012, Foamo's monstrously heavy bass chugger "Sherlock" gets the treatment from a variety of talented players. Kry Wolf drop the tempo slightly for a resonant UKG strut, Taiki & Nulight continue the garage vibe with a more uptempo, menacing bass motif, Millions Like Us add some cinematic breakbeats and shivering synth washes to the mix, My Nu Leng take a leaf out of Bassbin Twin's booty-bass book while LKid calms us down with a very neat, early 90s house version. A great spread and not a duff rub in sight.
10 Mar 13
Review: Despite sounding like some bizarre human mash up of the two Public Enemy frontmen, Flava D is in fact a UKF producer without an oversized clock in sight. "Hold On" is an accomplished fusion of jittery, scratchy garage that is awash with dreamy synths, jazzy piano and a faintly melancholic summery vibe. "Home" on the other hand is all hyped up 4/4 action with a monumental bassline that somehow convinces the listener that they are going too fast in a slightly too flash car - even when they are sat on their backside typing on a laptop.
27 Mar 12
Played by: The Town - Clekclekboom Recordings, Daniel Haaksman, Justin Miller, Monkey Beats, Ricky Simmonds (DJ Rsi), T.williams, Dizzy Womack, Bert On Beats, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Hxdb, Greenmoney, Gntlmn, Shox, Sounds Of Sumo, Breakbeat.is, Paradisiaca Recordings, Baxter Beez, Tulioxi, Jordan & Santero, Mak & Pasteman, Tcts
Review: The story behind this release is a smile-inducing one; Parisian producer French Fries rushed the decks during a Claude Von Stroke set in Paris. "They were playing a new sound, some nasty bits sitting somewhere between juke and bass music and I knew we had to get this vibe on Dirtybird no matter what," recalls the American. And here it is, with "Yo Vogue" arriving at a time when interest in the resurgent NY ballroom/voguing scene is at a high. The pitched-down vocal intoning the words "I wanna see you vogue b*tch" is backed by splashing, reverbed hats, frankly mental rave stabs and a killer bass line. CVS turns in his own remix, a heads-down affair the chops the vocal with effortless ease, while the Leroy Peppers version goes deep on the atmospherics and plunges deep into the murkiest depths of sub bass.
21 Jan 13
Review: The first release of the year from this shady London team (who also answer to the names Renay & Stimpy) certainly packs a punch. Their signature sharp UKF production gets stretched and twisted over the course of these nine tracks (surely a mini-album?). Things start (stop) with the bouncy party riddims of "XTC" before we encounter 8-bit bleeps and tropical bass on "Swarm" and "Fizzy", "Jumanji" is voodoo moombahton and "Transformer" ends things and a melodic, synthy high.
11 Dec 12
Review: Having already been responsible for some of the rowdiest breakbeat house joints on the WNCL Recordings imprint, Don Froth makes his UNO debut proper with the aptly named REflex EP. With British producers like Blawan and Randomer pushing a similarly heavy productions, Froth provides a counterpart to their sound, one that looks to Detroit and Chicago for inspiration rather than slavishly trying to emulate the buzz artists of now. The title track throws 303s and 909s together into a package that may have retro elements but feels defiantly modern, while "Vap" combines furious sidechained synths with jackhammer percussion. "Tunnelvision" and "Untitled B" meanwhile both achieve the feat of combining dub techno elements with loose, hip-inspired beats, creating something of a fresh, modern take on hip-house. Given Froth's engagement with classic US styles, the decision to tap up "Shake" Shakir for a remix of the title track that sounds even more futuristic and tweaked out than the original - highly recommended stuff.
01 Dec 11
Played by: Ennio Styles (Stylin Radio Show), Pablo Sanchez, Owain Kimber (Owain K), Dusty / Jazz & Milk, Kisk, Shadow Dancer, Mike O'mara(Development Music), Alkalino, Juno Recommends Deep House, Frank Booker, Axer Rouf, Martyn, Kelvin K - Grassroots, Fredeverything, DJ Julien Lebrun, Bilanez Music, Distortion, Rough Fields, Chicago Damn, Bop
Review: Big props due to the Eglo network for this release, an impeccable EP of Floating Points productions which cannot fail to impress on any level. Musically, it's perhaps Shepherd's most ambitious collection to date, veering through sumptuous deep house, expertly crafted broken boogie from another century and bristling techno. "Myrtle Avenue" is a dreamlike way to open a release, plunging into vast, widescreen expanses of texture and detail, further cementing comparisons with Theo as the freeform keys align with undulating layers of percussion. "Realise" and "Obfuse" are the precursors to the standout tracks on the second twelve, but are in no way filler, with the former teasing out finely placed 808 programming over pensive simmering patterns, whilst the latter is a fizzing, stripped down drum machine workout that is gradually joined by yet more tenderised synths. And thus we come to "Arp3", a track which will secure this release a place in many a heart, expertly growing into a haunting techno epic and filled with so many production intricacies and rhythmic deviations it demands several repeat plays. "Sais" rounds off the release, revealing in full detail the track's fuzzy, orchestral glory some time after a Dub version appeared on record store day.
02 Apr 12
01 Jan 13
04 Feb 10
27 Aug 12
Played by: Ya Dun Know, Mat Cant, Sharkslayer, DJ Purple Rabbit, Juno Recommends Electro House, Sounds Of Sumo, Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: Mysterious London production duo Funkystepz, aka Renay & Stimpy, return with a new blistering four track EP. "Belter" is a synthy hybrid of urban beats, merging UK bass, 2 step and even a bit of old wobble thrown in for good measure. "Radar" recalls early Diplo and, with it's rolling snares and organ stabs, "Star 9" is tropical electro-house at it's finest. However the standout track is "Bizzaro" - a deep, tense excursion into tropical beats - perfect voodoo rave music.
19 Feb 13
Played by: Top Billin DJ Team
04 Feb 13
Review: Following November's action-packed instalment, Skint now unveil another remix package of this veteran producer's ever-giving single. Here the hypey reggaeton banger is reworked in all manner of styles: competition winner Benasis delivers a fierce baile/bass/trap version, comp runner-up Fed Conti delivers an accurately titled 'dirty electro version, Dvine1 goes slow for a trippy dub interpretation instead, while David Starfire goes all melodic dubstep on his take. If that's not enough, instrumental versions of Dvine1 and Fed Conti's mixes are also included alongside the original.
25 Feb 13
Review: Not sure if the title is in reference to the amount of time he spends measuring peoples response to his name 'ohhh I geddit: Fire-Hose-Eh!' or not, but it definitely wins our 'pun of the week' award (if we had one that is). This dude is from Estonia and he's all about taking the 90s and giving them a good seeing to. "Catwalk" is a quirky slice of vintage-sounding UKG, "Pufaika" is a clackity-clack booty track, "Departure" is a warped, RnBnKetamine dream, but it's the remarkable, techy-disco of "Buckwhirl" that's really doing it for us.
07 Feb 11
Played by: Tvyks, Diplo, Daniel Haaksman, Bert On Beats, Wildlife!, Kingsin, Audited Beats, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, J-Wow (Buraka Som Sistema), Bok Bok
Review: A producer who's been slowly toiling away for a few years now and steadily impressing with every new release or mix, 2011 should hopefully be the year French Fries collects some well-earned props. It all comes together on the excellent Laquisha EP, with the title tune leading from the front with singer/MC Taiwan's auto-tuned vocals nestling among hyped soca beats and a chorus akin to L-Vis 1990's recent "Forever You". However if vocals aren't your thing, Youngunz have thrown in a very useful dub into the release. By contrast, "Charlotte" is a fruity Latin/tropical banger that relies on smart arrangements, tight and addictive piano loops and some hybrid mainroom/funky beats to really make its point, but on a more aggy tip, the pounding bass punch of "Merel" is pure Joy O meets Bok Bok - a dreamy set of pads mixed with a distorted punch and some riotous hats and snares. A perfect choice of remixers underlines the quality of this EP. Buraka Som Sistema's J-Wow makes "Laquisha" his own by adding blurry, tear-stained organs and a crisp carnival beat to the tune, before expertly dropping the tempo down to around 100bpm for a rowdy, head-nodding moment of genius. Just as incredible is man-of-the-moment Canblaster's electrifying version of "Charlotte" - almost a complete overhaul that truly needs to be heard to be believed. Lil Silva is just the right man to tackle the funky beast that is "Merel" and he takes it on with aplomb - adding some freaked-out organ stabs and some liquid distortion to the already chaotic kicks.
08 Apr 11
Review: Fast and fresh hi-energy electro-samba from this pair of Brazilian producers, who fuse unlikely styles into a truly distinctive sound on the Oliveto EP. Opener "Samborigeno" runs at a juke-like tempo yet is subtly delivered thanks to a range of organic instruments - there's even a didgeridoo providing the bass frequencies, which obviously makes this a real head-turner. It's Bert On Beats' mix that UKF/tropical house fans will want to hook up with though, while modern afrobeat fans will love Maga Bo's treatment of "Samborigeno".
07 Feb 11
Review: Four-headed UKF groove-merchants Funkystepz return with two new tunes on Hyperdub, both excellent and both giving off wildly different vibes. Title-tune "Fuller" is the colder of the two, with a minimal soca-step beat with echoed claps supporting a gnarly lead. "Hurricane Rhythm" on the other hand is overflowing with warm strings and pianos, with a huge arrangement that keeps the tune naturally bubbly and funky. Two different sides of UKF, but one great release none the less - Funkystepz keep their unblemished rep strong on this Hyperdub essential.
26 Jul 10
Played by: Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage
30 Apr 12
Review: From Diamond & Raw, a new record label based in Edinburgh, Bristol bass trio Forget Me Not team up with The Boxette's singer Neo for this very tasteful and forward-thinking mix of R&B sugar, creeping techno textures and 2-step beats. Huntley & Palmers' excellent Auntie Flo drops a bare but thrilling drum-led remix, as does Gullfisk, who winds in superb floating, dubby soundscapes on his more head-focused mix.
07 Dec 12
Played by: Diplo
03 Oct 11
Played by: Mental Overdrive, Odiggity, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Bunny On Acid, Greenmoney, Kry Wolf, Diamond Bass
Review: After their massive single on Hyperdub earlier this year, Funkystepz return to the label for the Trouble EP. If you're familiar with their razor sharp UKF formula, then there won't be any surprises, but with production this tight there's no need for any kind of deviation from the norm. "Trouble" is the most stripped back, utilising tight drum rolls and rave whistles in combination with deep subs, while "Dirty Dutch" takes a less rhythm based approach, and fills its space with bleeps and squelching bass, with heady melodies brought into check with its inbuilt rewinds. Finally, "John Wayne" offers the most atmospheric track on the EP, taking a deeper techno bassline and melding it with a synth stab, elastic melody and emotive strings, whilst still retaining their insistent rhythmic power.
12 Sep 11
Played by: Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage
Review: More known for dabbling in the heavier side of dubstep, UK duo Fused Forces play an unexpected blinder on their new EP for L2S. Going for a crisper, sharper 2-step sound, they mix itchy hats with blunt, Pearson Sound-style kicks on the endlessly enjoyable "Diamondz" - even working in a smart, unexpected half-step break into the middle to keep dancers on their toes. On a slower but equally vital tip, "Mind & Matter" uses shifting Detroit chords perfectly over another 808-riddled beat while "Nocturnal" allows the pair to get moody with some slowly rising pads over more razor-sharp beats.
12 Oct 12
Played by: Juno Recommends Electro House
10 Sep 12
Review: The strangely-named Figgy is an American producer (real name Mike Ferrigno) who makes equally strange music. Luckily it's strange in a good way as this EP features some pretty unique and imaginative takes on electronic dance music. The infectious title track is clicky, glitchy soul while "Know You Better" is more a up-tempo leftfield hip-house banger. On remix duties, Dunes makes the B-side deeper. Also the title track is broken up and reassembled by Flote and is taken down a weird acid house route by Oxford Mgno.
07 Nov 10
Played by: Juno Recommends Bassline
06 Feb 09
Played by: Urbanworld
05 Feb 12
Review: This collaboration between producers Funkystepz and vocalist Lily McKenzie has the feel of an unlikely radio hit. Although primarily a UK funky/UKG release, its catchy vocal and bubbling electronic elements - particularly the bass and melodic hooks - suggest a strong electro-house influence and an understanding of the mechanics of pop music. Those searching for more underground flavours would be advised to check out the Roska remix, which laces the vocal over a murky, low-end heavy chunk of steppy, almost tropical percussion, and the gorgeous, piano laden rework from Exemen. There's also a bombastic, wobble-tastic dubstep remix from Unison Elite for those who like their grooves a little more on the aggressive side.
21 Aug 11
Review: Fuzzy Logik returns with "All My Love", their first original material in two years. The title track features the vocal duties of Jada Pearl, who contributes a silky R&B vocal hook over a tightly wound 2-step beat replete with infectious strings. On the remix front, Slick Shoota provides a high speed roller infected with juke rhythms, jungle airhorns, noisy bass and furiously cut up vocals containing all the bounce of Machinedrum's recent banger "Alarma", whilst retaining the sweet melodic charm of the original. But the winner on the remix tip is Argentinean producer Arcade's version and the accompanying dub, which straighten out the rhythm and take things in a house direction, with an atmosphere as dark as anything by Blawan, with nods to Detroit techno in the background.
04 May 12
Played by: Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio
10 Oct 11
Review: Fuzzy Logik follow up this summer's All My Love EP for Sweet and Sound with this new release on World Class, which is also the debut single for vocalist Myshy, backed with a slew of killer remixes. Fuzzy Logik's original of "playground" weaves a tightly rolling UK Funky beat around Myshy's catchy vocal action, complete with a jazzy, bright synth melody. Matt IQ provides two remixes; his Main Room mix takes things in a straighter 4/4 direction with peak time synth stabs, and an Electrotastic mix which brings some tropical heat in the shape of a conga-led rhythm and neon melody. Dexplicit takes things in a grime direction, filling his production with rolling snares and tense strings, while TopFlyte turns in a furious garage refix of warbling sub bass and clipped rhythms, and Audiothrapy's C Saw mix reworks it into a dubstep juggernaut. Fuzzy Logik finish up the reworks themselves with their own VIP version, which adds a darker note to the original's poppier tones.
14 Mar 11
Review: The title of Drew 'FaltyDL' Lustman's sophomore album could easily be a cheeky swipe at genre-obsessed reviewers; it's true that many have found it hard to categorize his far-sighted take on electronic music. While firmly rooted in dubstep and electronica, Lustman's music has always taken in a dizzying array of musical influences. Add to this a skip-load worth of great ideas and a distinctive production sound that marks out dance music's greats, and it's easy to see why Lustman's music has got critics in a spin. On You Stand Uncertain, he's stepped up his game. If anything, he's cast his net even wider, throwing two-step garage, UK funky, jazz, ambient, slow house, old fashioned rave and ARP 101-ish synth jams into his musical melting pot. It still sounds like a FaltyDL record (those weird slowed-down vocal samples, quaint musical touches and sneaky cut-ups are still present), but it feels like he's moved from standard definition into glorious, crystal clear HD. Aside from the usual array of brilliant instrumentals - check the floor-friendly future rave anthem "Lucky Luciano", two-step rinse-out "Tell Them Stories", 808 State-sampling "Open Space" or picturesque slow house bliss of "Tell Them Stories" - Lustman has included his first full vocal outings. These are invariably excellent, with the opening and closing tracks - "Gospel of Opal", featuring Anelka, and "Waiting Patiently", featuring Lily McKenzie - perfectly demonstrating his ability to write next-level, emotion-rich electronic music. From start to finish, You Stand Uncertain is a delight to listen to.
19 Sep 11
Review: The Fabriclive series maintains its fine run of form with Four Tet's eagerly anticipated inclusion into the canon. Stitching together field recordings of the club itself, ambient tracks from Michel Redolfi and David Borden, a selection of lost, dusty UK garage from the likes of Persian and Crazy Bald Heads and recent productions from Burial and Floating Points, it's not so much a DJ set as an impressionistic rendition of Hebden's own memories of clubbing itself. Considering the fact that Hebden's own productions are usually so saturated in melody, it's a relatively dark mix, dominated by murky bass tones and sharp, brittle beats, with a constantly shifting sense of urgency that encourages rapt attention throughout. The stellar mix is capped off with two brand new Four Tet tracks, "Pyramid" and "Locked", which only seek to highlight his growing ability to produce devastating club tracks.
14 Feb 11
Review: A pair of British producers who've separately nailed tropical house to perfection go all out on this double-track single to bring the carnival flow straight to your ear holes. "Back In The Game" is simply relentless - an uncluttered set of claps, tight drums and Afro-beat stabs that get put through some subtle builds but mostly are left to roll out and keep the listener raving hard. "Pull Up" is even more hyped and is a perfect bridge between straight house sets and more UKF-focused beats.
02 May 11
Review: Four-headed UKF dons Funkystepz are simply unstoppable right now. After tunes like "Pastor Lucas" and "Fuller" on Hyperdub, the boys drop this excellent new set on the Forever Live Young label and yet again, they smash it big time. "Caution" is riddled with retro-futuristic clicks, pops and bleeps but at heart is a driving UKF winner that contains some of the coolest and most eerie atmospheric pads you'll hear in a long time. "Shocker" might be even better - built straight for the floor, it sports rich, live-sounding percussion loaded in the chamber and an Arabic melody floating over the top to keep you whistling. With "Loca Moca" and the wild keys of "Piano Storm" also part of the set, this is yet another essential release from the 'Stepz crew.
20 Sep 11
Played by: Gee
31 Oct 11
Played by: Monkey Beats
Review: Originally released on a 12", James Fox's Put It Back here sees a digital release with an exclusive track. "Put It Back" is a warm piece of futuristic house with a classic influence. With a stripped back feel, incorporating a deep bass groove and crisp hi-hats, the track is given warmth from its snatches of Chicago-leaning strings. David Kennedy in his Ramadanman guise provides a superb remix, upping the tempo and bringing some impressive bass production. The real gem however is the digital only track "Rebuildings", which offers a more glitchy, future leaning take on Fox's deep style, taking the Chicago feel of "Put It Back" and transplanting it straight to Detroit, with a the atmosphere of a stark, post-industrial wasteland.