Can you imagine a more perfect mix - the innately soulful yet age-worn vocals of American singer Bobby Womack and the effervescent and vital bad-boy house of Julio Bashmore? XL really nail it with this remix release of this highlight from Womack's latest album, with the Bristolian house god spending a good couple of minutes teasing the track in as vocals are looped and basslines drill into your head, before unleashing a classy and sunny beat for full orgasmic revelry. Exemen do a great job with the tune too on their rerub - gearing up for the Notting Hill Carnival with a dubby 2-step remake.
An undoubted favourite from Zed Bias' recent "Blasonic Hotsauce" LP, "Night Lovers" features Skream/Magnetic Man vocalist Sam Frank fed through a mighty vocoder over a uncharacteristically slow, syrupy electro-funk beat that brims with post-midnight neon goodness. Greenmoney rework "Night Lovers" into a sped-up tropical banger, complete with lashings of Latin carnival percussion, while Rinse's Scratcha DVA keeps things warm and enormously future-funky thanks to some wavering synths and a deep set of kicks and hats. CRST also does wonders with the single, providing a Blawan-esque mix of percussion and soft synth stabs.
The first release on Tru Thoughts from actor and rapper Riz MC, "All of You" is a creepy and brilliantly disturbed tune that balances a backing mostly consisting of thick, distorted bass with a fresh vocal that rises and drops in volume and intensity at the drop of a hat, keeping the listener engaged for every second. Having recently ditched soul to get back in touch with his hip-hop roots, Plan B jumps on the remix, while dBridge supplies a remake that keeps itself equally sparse but adds some thumping kicks over the 100bpm tempo.
The ever-reliable Shogun Audio imprint, co-owned by DJ Friction and K-Tee, presents the next release in a slew of quality singles. This time the magic is brought to us by the Spectrasoul boys who team up with talented vocalist Tamara Blessa on the title track "Away With Me"; the result is a soulful slice of sexiness with white noise crackling beats and an enticing vocal driving things along. Calibre provides a lush interpretation with gentle, pattering drums and pulsing bass, underpinned by dreamy instrumentals, while dubstep darling Kito gives it the Rustie treatment with a bleepy kaleidoscope of sounds.
The icy demeanour of Emika's music finds another outlet with this single, and once again her deadpan vocals hover amidst ominous surroundings. Both original tracks have their own unique slant on contemporary beats, while the textures and melodies exude a Tim Burton kind of darkness. It's a seductive take on pop music that deserves a huge audience but would undoubtedly scare them off. On remix duties, Brandt Brauer Frick opt for a tracky 4/4 workout, while Kyle Hall omits the bass from his skippy effort. DJ Rashad and DJ BMT smack it hard with a footwork stomper that shows what the genre can do with interesting sound sources.
After releases on Squelch and Clap, Matt Relton aka Kidnap Kid steps up with this new trio of songs for Black Butter. Already boasting DJ support from Skream, Redlight, Martelo and Jaymo, the EP gets off to a killer start with the swirling 2-step of "Vehl", which fans of Deadboy will instantly take to, while "Lazarus Taxon" smoothes out proceedings a little with a boogie acapella thrown over a bubbly, chopped bass beat, while the creeping intro to "Be More" and the ushering in of some stellar snares might just be the highpoint of this hugely impressive EP.
The first fruits of a working partnership between excellent tropical bass man Foamo with fellow UK producer Rack N Ruin, Gorgon City's debut surfaces on Black Butter this week. Title tune "The Crypt" draws in fellow Black Butter family members Rubi Dan and Navigator who verbalize over the dancehall/electro hybrid beats, while "The Truth" plays host to singer Janai and thrillingly fuses grimey bass with hooks and a tech-tropical beat.
The Black Butter crew deliver another EP of essential jungle inspired cuts from a number of big names. RackNRuin & Hostage collaborate for "Dangerous", a breakbeat infused roller filled with roaring bass wobbles, nicely offset with some eski synth action, whilst Pixel Fist remixes Warrior One's "The Jump Off", delivering a huge dubstep inspired breakdown, complete with exceptional flow from Durrty Goodz. Finally, Tomb Crew deliver an electro house inspired cut laden with tropical percussion and dirty bassline action with a garage flex in its insistent rhythms, coming to a soaring glitch fuelled climax. Well worth checking!
Boasting a growing roster that includes P Money, Serocee, Rudimental, Hostage and more, London bass label Black Butter Records just keeps dropping essential bad boy material, like this latest from UK garage/grime/breaks producer Warrior One. Teamed up with singer Ayah Marar, he fuses together jungle beats running at 130bpm with nasty grime bass shots and swirling string textures on the dropouts. If you prefer an even tougher flex, Warrior One's own VIP mix in collaboration with Bojcat has got you covered, while mixes from Des Demure, Baxta and Io round off this stellar release.
Just Rewind (feat Blacks & Lady Chann) - (3:39) 140 BPM
Just Rewind (dub mix) - (3:34) 140 BPM
Just Rewind (feat Blacks & Lady Chann - Skeptiks remix) - (5:39) 140 BPM
Just Rewind (feat Blacks & Lady Chann - Kutz remix) - (4:41) 140 BPM
Just Rewind (Kutz dub mix) - (4:38) 140 BPM
Just Rewind (feat Blacks & Lady Chann - Woz remix) - (3:50) 136 BPM
Just Rewind (Woz dub mix) - (3:48) 136 BPM
This collaboration between Marco Del Horno and DJ Swerve ticks all the UK funky boxes. Wobbly, bass-heavy riddim? Check! Touchy-feely breakdown? Check! Essential MC vocal to whip the party into a frenzy? Check and check! In addition to all of these things, there's also a solid instrumental dub (handy if your own MC of choice wants to spit some bars) and a string of solid remixes. Skeptiks provide an aggressive dubstep take, whilst Kutz employs some fantastically organic (maybe even live) drums on his energetic revision.The standout mix comes from Woz, who drops a sonic assault of military drums and bowel-bothering bass.
Scotland isn't exactly the first place you think of when listening to Edinburgh dwelling Hostage's Listen EP, (his first for the esteemed Black Butter imprint), soaked as it is in the essence of Rinse FM circa 2002 grime instrumentals. You can pick out the far off eski synths in opener "Listen", and closer "No Bitch Equal", but they're joined by echoes of dub as well as searing basslines - it's quite a cocktail but one that Hostage balances finely. "Dutty Horn" melds a similarly rude bass, and ridiculous horn sample to similarly fine effect, whilst "Dreams" distils the essence of classic hardcore into a UK Funky package, but it's the savage crunch on the kick drum that is bound to impress. The second half of the EP is undoubtedly the most effective - seeing him drop the tempo and allowing his music to breathe a bit more. "Desire" is a bizarrely slowed down but wonderful version of a jungle track, whilst the jackhammer bass of "Razrr" offers some visceral onomatopoeic thrills, made all the more effective for its slowed down pace.
Claude Von Stroke's Dirty Bird label has been providing the world with imaginative, good-times house music since 2005. Judging by this new release from Kill Frenzy, nothing's changed seven years down the line! "Go To The Mo" is a cool hybrid of slo-mo future bass and hip-hop. "Titsss" begins with dreamy electronics before expanding into a sweaty drum machine workout. Last up, "Push Up" is upbeat and tropical with amazing bass noises that quite honestly sound like one of those motorbike things in Tron.
My Nu Leng & Fearful - "Saccades" - (6:07) 129 BPM
DEVolution - "If You Believe" - (5:27) 125 BPM
DEVolution - "Listen To The Badman" - (5:46) 131 BPM
DEVolution - "Listen To The Badman" (Bass Drop mix) - (4:07) 131 BPM
South Soul Project - "Everything" - (6:10) 125 BPM
South Soul Project - "All Your Time" - (6:54) 129 BPM
South Soul Project - "Deep In My" - (5:05) 126 BPM
South Soul Project - "Tribe" - (5:03)
3hrs - "Drm" - (5:39) 126 BPM
3hrs - "Force" - (4:55) 124 BPM
3hrs - "Jaybird" - (5:13) 129 BPM
3hrs - "Reaction" - (5:03) 130 BPM
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.
On first listen, this latest missive from the Black Butter camp evokes hazy memories of stumbling down beer-soaked stairs into a sweaty basement full of 19 year-olds losing their nut to old hardcore records and rave-tinged garage rinse-outs. Certainly, "Crashed" is that kind of track. While a UK funky track, it's built around warm, Orbital-ish synth riffs, bouncy percussion and the sort of dewy-eyed, full-throated vocal stabs (presumably from vocalist Queenie) that were once the mark of original breakbeat hardcore records. As a retro-futurist garage/bass music fusion, "Crashed" is therefore both unflinchingly current and weirdly old-fashioned.
Enchanting, space-bound soul vibes right here as promising chanteus Lulu follows up "Rope Mirage" with this altogether more alluring package. The lead track pulsates with a fluid-yet-steppy break and hushed amens as Lulu's lyrics are delivered with such skill they lean back over the beats. Label mate 3HRS nails a reversion too with a soft proggy twist that wouldn't have gone amiss on Hooj back in the day. "Stuck" is a more inward-looking lament. Sultry and self aware, it twinkles with a dubby glow.