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13 Jan 13
Played by: Homegroove Project, Fort Knox Five, Mat Cant, Nic Fanciulli, Matta, Tee Circus, Rack N Ruin, Coco Cole, Lucent
Review: Despite only unveiling themselves to the public in 2010, Black Butter Records have already ascended to some impressive heights with a string of hugely popular bass/UKF releases. This first 'proper' label comp features five names from their roster, remixed by many more. It's literally fizzing and popping with retro-futuristic ideas and sounds: from the B-more drum machine orgy of "Be More (3hrs & Woz mix), to Matta's accelerated electro version of Kidnap Kid's classic "Vehl" and Vince Clarke's elasticated tech-house version of "Lazarus Taxon", to the scuzzy, rave-inflected house of Codec's "What You Need", the thoroughly ominous bass tones of "Hackney Heat" by Racknruin via the eccentric end-of the world beats of "Trick Green" by Hostage.
12 Dec 12
Played by: Hybu, Mr Brainz / Orpheus:ldn, Odiggity, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Hxdb, DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings), Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Shouts!, Blind Prophet (South Fork Sound), Martin Sauvage /Soukouch Ethnik/, D3adl1ne, Konnekt - Hot N Heavy, Lucent, Allmostt, Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: San Francisco's Hot n Heavy Recordings mark their third birthday with a new action packed compilation, released on the symbolic date of 12/12/12. Featuring 14 fresh cuts spanning future bass, deep house and leftfield garage. Highlights include the tropical melancholia of Laney's "You Need To", the menacing minimal vibes of "Hairdresser" by Allmostt, the sparse, abstract garage of HxDB's "Spectator" and the slammin' raw, retro house of "Darlin" by D3adl1ne.
22 Apr 13
Review: With the imminent return of Daft Punk reminding us all of Paris's vibrant electronic music heritage, local label ClekClekBoom pop-up to provide us with a wide-eyed snapshot of the current Parisian underground. There are hints of familiar French staples - the stomping Ed Banger-ish ravery of The Town's "Dice", the classic house flex of Coni's "Missing You Nire" - but for the most part Paris Club Music Volume 1 dances to a different beat. With label regulars French Fries coming to the fore, much of the album is devoted to the sort of hard-to-pigeonhole bass music that takes its influence as much from B-more, R&B and UK garage as filter funk and electro-house.
18 Mar 13
04 Feb 13
Review: Born into life kicking and screaming back in 2010, London via North Devon label Shifting Peaks has slowly but surely earned a killer rep in the world of bass and underground house. This is their second compilation and boy is it packed full of goodies. Highlights include the melancholic urban-tropical vibes of Mak & Pasteman's "Do The Same", the psychedelic Chicago vibes of Marshall Jefferson & Noose Heads' "Mushrooms", the heartbroken jukeisms of Cut Off! Cut Off!'s "Second To None" and the sublime King Of Arabs' "The Years Without Art".
12 Mar 13
Review: If dance music was professional sport, the Dirtybird roster would be in the premier league, with Claude Vonstroke the whip cracking manager. Here he rounds up his top players for an exhibition match, allowing them to flex their muscle and strut their stuff. It's all killer, no filler, dirty house music - highlights of which include the nasty funk of Justin Martin & Ardalan's "Wheelgunner", Munnibrotherz's sweet n sour "Drum Machine", the future-booty-bass of "Black Girls White Girls" and the surprisingly techno "Coefficient" by J Phlip.
11 Mar 13
Review: At seven tracks NDread is treating us to a project of near-album proportions here. And with a sound that's becoming as distinctive as it is deep, it's got the alluring flow of an LP, too. The title track ignites proceedings with a skippy two-step and a weave of dreamy washes and textures. Authentically classic yet forward thinking, it sets the scene for the rest of this memorable release. Other highlights include the late 90s four-to-the-floor UKG pump of "Time To Go" and fang-sharp two-step sexiness of "Bad Habit". Timeless vibes; a must for all garage and bass heads.
11 Mar 13
22 May 12
Played by: Santero, Smutlee, Lifecycle, Mental Overdrive, Odiggity, Monkey Beats, Tom Central, Ricky Simmonds (DJ Rsi), Dominic Martin Aka Domsko), Flash Atkins, Mooqee, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Pan-Pot, Hxdb, The Funk Hunters, Shouts!, Greenmoney, Urban Knights, Liz-E, D3adl1ne, Rack N Ruin, Nhan Solo, Soul Clap, Black Butter Records, Zombie Nation, Laidback Luke, Natural High
Review: Having made his debut on Claude Von Stroke's Dirtybird way back in 2005, multi-talented San Fran electro-bass producer Justin Martin makes his full-length debut with this excellent LP. Luckily for fans of last year's excellent, juke-influenced collaboration with Ardalan, "Lezgo", there's a VIP mix included here that makes for a bigger, more building rerub, while Martin also does a great job covering Goldie's seminal "Kemistry" - adding some real venom and bite in the process. Look out for the deep and twisting "Ruff Stuff" and the syrupy "Night Calling" too.
02 Oct 11
Played by: Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage
16 Jan 13
Review: Finland's Top Billin fulfill their New Year resolutions by releasing their now traditional two January compilations. Hot on the heels of their 'Best Of 2012' collection, label co-founder Sir Nenis presents this assortment of bangers that didn't manage to fit on to any particular release last year. The quality's still right up there though, and highlights include the Chicago-ish stomp of "Cherry Lotion" by Fisky, haunted hip-house booty track "Ghetto Starr" by Top Billin and DJ Venum, the Inner City on downers vibe of "Yo" by Harkan and the melancholic retro rave of "Feel Good" by Fobator.
27 Jan 13
Review: Continuing his productive run of form with R&S off-shoot Apollo, Synkro returns with yet another bumper-sized collection of tracks that show off his ever-enriching talents as a producer of silken, dub infused electronica. Acceptance as a mini-album of sorts is a more resolutely downtempo affair than previous releases, staying firmly in the realm of melancholic passages through blue-hued instrumentation and crystalline beats. There is a sense of experimentation present in the likes of "Disappear" with its lingering guitar strums, while at times he moves away from beats altogether, but this is still very recognisable as the work of Synkro.
07 Jan 13
Played by: DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings)
Review: Wonderfully titled label Slime was founded in 2010 with the firm intent to 're-capture the wide-eyed thrill of the first age of rave'. Since then they have put out a multitude of forward thinking releases all leading to this, their second label compilation. Literally bulging with underground goodness, the tracklist weighs in at 26 full-length tunes (plus a free one!). Highlights of all this madness include the sparse 2 step of "Jaded" by Akin, the twitching, percussive "Sunwan" by SPD, the dreamy 3am RnB vibes of "Communication" by Totte, the deeply seductive rimshot house of DYP's "Vices" and the ominous rave of "There's No Way" by Frequent Flyers.
04 Mar 13
Review: Founded back in 2007, London imprint 2nd Drop has deftly steered its way through the post dubstep fracture across some twenty releases. Arriving at their fifth & a half anniversary, the label offers up a thrilling snapshot of their enduring diversity on their maiden compilation Future Foundations. Familiar label names like Djrum and South London Ordnance offer their atmospherically swung take on dub techno, while label newcomers like Last Magpie and Alex Coulton provide some bouncy, UKG inspired techno. However, it's the frenetic jungle-inspired take on footwaork from Manni Dee and Deft that offers the biggest surprise in what is an already essential compilation.
19 Nov 12
Played by: Chrissy Murderbot, Odiggity, Diplo, Greenmoney, Shox, Cosby (Car Crash Set), Highgrademuzik Aka Don D Selectah
Review: With the energy unleashed by his Pretty Ugly LP still crackling in the atmosphere, DVA drops another EP of technicolour bass mutant business for Hyperdub, delivering seven tracks of mind-bending freshness with a French Fries remix thrown in for good measure. There's some rougher club-ready tackle on offer here such as the abrasive "Do It" with it's hammering drums, but then round the next corner you're plunged into the minimal 4/4 bubble that is "Walk It Out". Really though the lead track "Fly Juice" is the winner with its soulful key licks and hyped up switch for the latter half of the track.
01 Jan 12
DJ South Central - "All Night Long" (feat Frankie Paul aka Fox - remix 1 - Danger remixes) - (5:19) 134 BPM
DJ South Central - "All Night Long" (feat Frankie Paul aka Fox - After Hours dub remix - Danger remixes) - (5:43) 136 BPM
DJ South Central - "All Night Long" (feat Frankie Paul aka Fox - Danger remix 2 - Danger remixes) - (5:21) 134 BPM
DJ South Central - "All Night Long" (feat Frankie Paul aka Fox - Danger dub - Danger remixes) - (5:08) 134 BPM
Played by: L'atelier
06 May 13
Review: When 123MRK's Noname EP dropped in 2011 creating waves all around the dubstep and bass music scene. Moulding the sound of his generation into a style all his own, the Frenchman suddenly found himself held aloft as an innovator as well as simply a producer of sounds. This remixed release of his seminal EP was a lofty undertaking and the finished item features remixes from some of the future dubstep scene's brightest young stars alongside long-time innovators. From Liar's metalic, lo-fi flavours to Troy Gunner's understated clicks and swirls; ViLLAGE's heart-pounding house remodelling to Heblank's old-school twist, even the likes of Pixelord and ReSketch play their garage-influenced hands to create an all-new modern-day canvas of what exactly bass music is right at this moment. It can never be truly defined, but this is a pretty good encyclopedia.
14 Dec 12
05 Oct 12
Rube - "Shotgun Soliloquy" (feat Guante & See More Perspective - Al Lindrum Moombahswing remix) - (5:43) 118 BPM
Kosta Kostov - "Kaduna Bass" (feat Olivera & MarcoT - DJ Chernobyl Technobrega remix) - (3:51) 100 BPM
Played by: Voodoocuts, Savages Y Suefo, Juno Recommends Funky House, Juno Recommends Dancehall/Ragga, Juno Recommends Dub, Superpendejos
Review: You could never accuse UrbanWorld of delivering compilations with confusing titles. You see, Global Bass Vol 3 delivers exactly what you'd expect - a kaleidoscopic collection of bass music flavours from around the world. There's humming Brazilian beats (Los Chicos Altos), funk-infused tango-step (Superpendejos), middle eastern shuffle (Silver Bullit), dubwise African hip-hop/breaks (Jalan Surabaya), Brazilian/Arabic B-more fusions (Pops Jabu) and wizened South American cumbia (Agencia Sonoria). Oh, and loads more besides. Whether or not you usually check out "world music", this is well worth further investigation.
04 Feb 13
Review: The vogue for a druggy take on 90s swing is still in full flow and this joint right here is a top-notch example. "Love History" is a slow bump n grinder with watery synths, stoned beats and delicious late 80s tropical riffs - all perfumed with wafts of gentle 'oohs' and 'ahs'. Lovely. Remix-wise: Laney adds some 8-Bit bleeps, Sker gets high and nods off on the keys of his fender rhodes, Mr Beep adds perkier tropical beats and Manul goes harder with some post-Dubstep-isms, while Lojt and Elias Smith opt for slick and deep/retro house respectively.
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.
25 Mar 13
02 Apr 12
10 Mar 13
Review: This second compilation from fast-rising imprint Black Butter Records does a good job in capturing the forward-thinking, open-minded eclecticism for which the label has become known. Kicking off with the post-dubstep, post-garage goodness of the Two Inch Punch remix of Rudimental's "Spoons", Spread Love Vol 2 touches on Hypercolour-ish house, deep 4/4 garage, rave revivalism (DEVolution's "Listen To The Badman (Bass Drop Mix"and My Nu Leng's "Tesla"), fluid, basement-bothering two-step (South Soul Project) and sprawling, classic garage-inspired deepness (3hrs' "Force). Throughout, there's a thoughtfulness and melodic goodness to the floor-friendly material that deserves repeat listens.
09 Apr 12
23 Jul 12
Played by: Odiggity, Ricky Simmonds (DJ Rsi), Hxdb, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Mike G, Lucent, Top Billin DJ Team
Review: Sheffield's Bad Taste present the debut release from Tony Quattro, showcasing his slick combination of sounds. The title track is a slick piece of dark, tribal UKF soaked house, with rapid drum fills and jets of percolating synth, while "Doubt" takes a killer vocal hook and just the right amount of melody to lift it out of the darkness. "Jack's Back" is like a Roska production by way of "Sicko Cell", with laser synths cutting through monstrously detuned vocals, while "Back Swipe" is like classic Baltimore club with a contemporary UK twist. Massive remix support is offered from the Bad Taste crew; Squarehead layers bright FM keys over "Out On The Floor" and adds some slick rhythmic prowess, while Doctor Jeep turns it into a slice of throwback bassline UKG. Lean Low beef up "Back Swipe" with their own club ready signature, but our pick is Walter Ego's stripped back take on "Jack's Back".
31 Dec 12
Played by: Mr Brainz / Orpheus:ldn
03 Jun 13
Played by: Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: It's grime o'clock at Hyperdub HQ as Terror Danjah and Champion square-off with some midrange baiting badness as cheeky and rude as you would expect from two masters of the art. Danjah's "Glide" actually struts on a peppy 4/4 rhythm, but the synths keep things dutty whilst there are plenty of quirks stitched into the beat. Champion's template on "Bowser's Castle" is broader, with fulsome melodies and a dextrous switch between ring modulating bassline throw downs and glossy synth refrains. In both instances the collaborations between the two bring a more hectic style full of clattering percussion and urgent tempos, clearly fed on the energy of shared studio time.
14 Nov 11
14 Nov 11
Review: An iconic and heavyweight garage label from the mid to late '90s, Ice Cream dropped a fair few classics in their heyday - as proved by this first volume of re-releases out this week. Songs don't get any mightier than Double 99's seminal bass-anthem "Rip Groove", which lead off this collection, while other forgotten greats like Stephen Emmanuel's choppy 2-step beauty "Hold On" and RIP Productions' huge house/garage hybrids "Work It" and "Love Is What We Need" simply put half of garage's new-jacks to shame.
23 Apr 13
Review: The long-awaited solo LP from US-based soulful bass music producer Kastle has been the talk of music blogs around the world for months. Now its finally made it to a full release , there's something of a feeling of satisfaction that can be heard in each track. Whether that's projected by the listener or not might be hard to prove, but there's a definite positive energy that flows through everything Kastle produces. From the garage beats of "Been A While" and "Red Light" to the irresistibly hip house groove of "Insatiable" and trap-hop crush of "Death From Above", it's clear that versatility is what this album is all about. Clean, crisp production matched to soulful, blissed-out dance music that's unashamedly fashionable yet different enough to be taken seriously. An album of 2013 no doubt.