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13 Mar 12
Played by: Son Of Kick
Review: Despite Claude VonStroke's many years of experience as a producer, it's only on this excellent track, in collaboration with Jaw, lead singer of the dOP crew that he's worked with a vocalist. All VonStroke's hallmarks are there; the funky, minimal bass, rhythmic snap, but the falsetto vocal delivery adds a welcome human element to proceedings, whilst the spacious, suspended organ note adds a touch of majesty to an already excellent track.
26 Feb 12
Review: It's a rare thing for electronic music producers to make impressive returns - think of recent re-appearances by Orbital or Future Sound of London - but this is different. Like Luke Slater's decision to relaunch Planetary Assault Systems, Juan Atkins's comeback as Model 500 serves as a reminder that when it comes to making music from another dimension, the Detroit native has few peers. The key difference between Atkins's return and Slater's latest vision for PAS is that Control doesn't sound that different to classic Model 500 material. Granted, the production sounds punchier and clearer, but this has perhaps more to do with the production tools than the song craft. Yet at the same time, Atkins is ploughing a furrow that he first explored almost 30 years ago, and it still sounds relevant and vital. Maybe contemporary music's lack of a distinctive edge means that the approach that Atkins developed long ago still resonates, but irrespective of the explanation, "Control" connects on a number of levels, be it thanks to the wobbly bassline, deadpan robo vocal or combination of dreamy synths with niggling bleeps and blips. The same sense of adventure, that feeling that music could transport the listener to another place, still applies. "The Messenger" is a typical Detroit techno groove, its shuffling, jerky rhythm playing host to a small universe worth of effects, tones and riffs, accentuated by sharper modern-day production techniques. It goes to show that Atkins's magic touch is a powerful as ever.
05 Mar 12
Played by: Chrissy Murderbot, Ricky Simmonds (DJ Rsi), Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Shox, Sounds Of Sumo, Konnekt - Hot N Heavy, Mak & Pasteman, Tcts, Black Butter Records, Wolfhaus
Review: 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.
11 Jan 12
23 Jan 12
Played by: Greg Churchill, Monkey Beats, Sharkslayer, Ricky Simmonds (DJ Rsi), DJ Purple Rabbit, Z-Kat, Bert On Beats, Star Eyes, Hostage, Shox, Tee Circus, Fed Conti, Rack N Ruin, Diamond Bass
Review: 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.
09 Jan 12
Played by: Monkey Beats, Juno Recommends Breakbeat, Numa Crew, Jack Stat, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Hostage, Sounds Of Sumo, Rack N Ruin, Diamond Bass
Review: 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.
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.
10 Sep 12
25 Sep 12
Review: 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.
06 May 12
Played by: Konnekt - Hot N Heavy
02 Nov 12
Played by: Ricky Simmonds (DJ Rsi)
Review: 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.
19 Nov 12
Played by: Mr Brainz / Orpheus:ldn
Review: 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.
07 May 12
Review: Broken Youth are poetic in their origins- claiming their musical ethos draws on many influences, which is what you'd expect when half of them (DJ Benz) moonlights in the excellent Hot City. Together with production partner Sam Tee, the Broken Youth style is unveiled in suitably boisterous fashion with a bassline update of 90s classic "Dreamer." Already getting plenty of airtime on Miss Annie Mac's Radio One show, it's likely you will be hearing this throughout the Summer. Welcome Broken Youth
08 Jun 09
Played by: Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage
24 Dec 07
15 Dec 09
09 Sep 08
07 Mar 11
29 Nov 10
17 Oct 10
Played by: Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage
12 Jul 11
Played by: Paul Mac, Shadow Dancer, Recloose, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Stopmakingme, Das Glow & Para One
Review: Lesser spotted Night Slugs alumni Jam City offers an auspicious insight into what we might expect from his often hinted at debut album on the startling Waterworx EP. It's likely you will already have a taste for the three tracks here after snippets appeared unannounced on the NS Soundcloud, however those 90 second samples don't fully hint at the magic on display here! "Aquabox" shoots muscular stabs of bass and neon flourishes skywards over a stumbling steppahs rhythm, pausing briefly to let the crystalline jah infused undercurrents shine. Up next, "Countess" sits alongside the recent John Roberts remix of George Fitzgerald in the "what do we even call it" stakes - if there ever was a track to definitely silence the wanton genre givers it would be this - with a tight strutting bruk riddim subjected to a schizophrenic array of snaking arpeggios and vocal squeals. "Barely A Trak" is really where those snippets don't reveal Jam City's brilliance, combining the rising pressure of the synth ripples with simmering stop start grime patterns before a genius left turn lends the track a utopian finish.
28 Jun 11
Played by: Sharps, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio, Shox, Sound Pellegrino Thermal Team
Review: Commonly regarded as the centrepiece of Night Slugs first year as a label, Girl Unit's incendiary ode to dirty south hip-hop is pretty much the epitome of a track that needs no extra embellishment. However we guess you can relent when Dirtybird deity Claude Von Stroke reveals an interest in tackling it. Thus Night Slugs present two of three Von Stroke remixes of the track - expect the third "Fully Dressed" version to appear on a forthcoming remix compilation. Strains of both the "Undressed" and "Butt Naked" remixes were heard several times over the Sonar weekend, and the titles lend some clues as to the stripped down nature of the results. The former slowly reveals an 8bit soaked variant on that distinct synth refrain over skeletal drums which explodes into brilliant colour at just the right moment. The Butt Naked remix is a far darker affair but no less potent.
11 Oct 09
26 Jul 09
29 Mar 10
Review: Canadian Egyptrixx drops his debut release on Night Slugs. Treading the line between house, techno, dubstep and experimental, "The Only Way Up" features some seriously twangy keys which are pulled and groped in every direction yet somehow emerge as a beautiful melody. "Everybody Bleeding" meanwhile takes the twang factor to new extremes, building a catchy hook from the key stabs - pure genius. On the flip we are treated to a remix from Hyperdub golden girl Ikonika, who transforms the title track into a melodic afterhours jam exuding sweetness and hope, while Brooklyn DJ Kingdom turns "Everybody Bleeding" into a serious dubstep workout with some serious R&B vibes and sub bass.
12 Jul 10
26 Apr 10
Played by: DJ Purple Rabbit, Mary Ann Hobbs, Wire Magazine, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Hackman, Instra:mental, L-Vis 1990, Kashii, Code Duello, Moda Music
Review: Despite having a moniker which sounds like an all-female pop outfit from the 90s, you'll be glad to hear that Girl Unit, is, in fact, nothing of the sort. A house aficionado of the highest calibre, the South London based producer blends elements of UK funky, 2-step, house, garage, Chicago juke and shades of dubstep with an iconoclastic irreverence for genre boundaries. Appearing on Bok-Bok and L-Vis 1990's label, Night Slugs, the I.R.L EP marks the third release for the burgeoning young imprint, which was established earlier this year. The EP - incidentally one of the most hotly tipped records around at the moment - begins with the title track. A dramatic, cinematic intro (rather reminiscent of D&B producer Rockwell's "Noir") initiates the proceedings with a thumping statement of intent and screechy, sliding synth embellishments. A hollow, clip-clop beat underpins the track, moving from dark, moody moments to more mellow, Mount Kimbie-style sections with masterful ease. DVA takes things down a tougher, rougher street with the tapping, grinding synthetics and raw industrial edge of his 'Hi Emotions' remix, whereas Young Gunz crew member, French Fries tunes in to a funky vibe, with shuffling rhythms, a nod to soca and lashings of sun-drenched tropical exoticism.
15 Jul 12
Played by: The Others, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Gntlmn, Shox, Fed Conti, Illmana (Dirty Trainer Crew)
Review: Shy FX's Digital Soundboy returns with the latest offering from Dismantle, four tracks of some of the hardest hitting UKF rhythms we've heard for quite some time. "Warp" revolves around some tweaked out bleeps and rolling snares, while "More Funk" is built around serrated 8-bit sounds and chopped up vocals which are uncompromising in their delivery. "Dots" is probably the most restrained cut, a surprisingly melodic and minimal take on UK Funky, as ping pong synths go up against rushes of warm pads. "Witch" however is our pick - a lean, dark bass heavy roller with clattering percussion which shows a mature side to the producer which serves him well.
29 Apr 07
16 Jan 12
20 Nov 11
Played by: Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio
Review: A scintillating trio of tunes on Southern Fried here from Kashii, which are deep, emotive and achingly subtle. The eponymous track of the EP, "Waves" is an exercise in meditation, with lapping waves washing around deftly placed beats, bleepy SFX and a hushed whispering vocal. "Never Do" continues the narrative with firm 4/4 rhythms, sweeping atmospherics, lush layers of sound and more than a hint of wistful sadness. Finally, "Take You Away" does just what it says on the tin with an epic, beautiful tone, delicate synth washes and soft, tripping beats.
29 Oct 12
Played by: Major Lazer
Review: In the mid-noughties this Italian outfit raised the bar for electro producers everywhere with their clever blend of fidget-house and baile funk beats. This album is basically a 'Best Of..., and features a whopping 47 tracks both as a DJ mix and as separate files. No stone is left unturned, and all their pivotal work so far is here: from the early attention grabbing releases ("We Are All Prostitutes", "Atomic Baile Boy" and their Chemical Brothers remix) to a host of new exclusives (including "Bad Men, "Don't Just Stand There" and 'Sbomberz") via some pretty high profile hook ups with the likes of Kelis, Major Lazer and Roisin Murphy.
21 May 12
15 Apr 12
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.
15 Dec 06
16 Jul 10
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02 Oct 01