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20 May 13
Review: London via North Devon imprint Shifting Peaks are keeping the party pressure on with this bumper-packed EP. It's a label debut from duo De$ignated (Nima Bazrcar and Rory Bowyer) who split their time between London and Hampshire. Having garnered some major hype from a string of remixes, they've managed to secure Kyiki from Crystal Fighters for this, this own single. "Valentine" mixes fuzzy urban funk with old skool 2-step and half time breaks. "Russian Roulette" however is a much harder post-dubstep gurning banger. Best of the remixes is Kaveh's thumping acidic afterhours workout.
20 May 13
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.
20 May 13
Review: They always say that if you are disadvantaged in some way, just accentuate it and make it a badge of honour. So Birmingham's Tom Short has become Tom Shorterz and a glittering career can only but follow suit. Here he has remixed his own tune "Wot U Do", turning in a linear but bassy, seven-minute garage stroller. Onwards and upwards!
20 May 13
Played by: King
Review: Rinse's own Royal T has been listening to UKG for as long as he started stealing bootlegs from his brother. With the advent of online mixtape technology and the worlds of grime, bassline and UK funky at his feet, the Southampton-based producer's latest offering is a filthy culmination of sticky dancefloors, hastily-printed rave flyers, pirate radio and the dawning of crisply ironed trap. There's a feeling of nostalgia about the whole EP for times when listening to grime at the back of the bus really was the pinnacle. Nostalgia too often comes with negative connotations - rather than stale Royal T brings his own modern edge to the retrospective bubbles he creates with each track. It's a celebration rather than a museum piece. Long live the spirit of the underground.
17 May 13
Played by: Low Slung
13 May 13
Played by: Phuturelabs
Review: Given Unknown To The Unknown's wide ranging remit, including bassline garage, Detroit electro and Chicago house, it was perhaps inevitable that a genuine 90s house record would find its way onto the label at some point. Originally released in 1992, OHM's "Tribal Tone" was supposedly the first tune to use the Korg M1 sound that was later immortalised by Robin S' "Show Me Love", and had considerable impact at the time, being championed The Shamen frontman Mr C, being licensed to R&S sub-label Global Cuts and US label Vibe, and finding itself remixed by the Sabres of Paradise trio. Here it finds itself with three similarly great remixes, a stripped-back, raw groover from Marquis Hawkes, a horn-heavy piece of 90s action from Capracara and a thundering mid-tempo effort from Northern Souls. Essential!
25 Mar 13
Played by: Thang, Alkalino, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Jack Fell Down, Cocaine On Her Dress, Benny Kane
Review: Jay 'Chubba' Richards has been popping up all over the place of late, with recent releases on Sirch and Odea Records. Here, he brings his particular brand of contemporary house and UK funky fusion to Republic. "Moody" - so-called because it features a prominent sample from Kenny Dixon Jnr talking about his MPC - sets the tone, layering tough electronic percussion over a monstrous bassline. "Diamonds" sounds like a fusion of classic UKG and '90s house, while "Broken" feels like the sort of thing that Hypercolour should be signing (think nice chords, tasty vocal stabs and bassline-driven deep house flavour). There's also a tougher, UK funky-flavoured tweak from Vedicis and Vanshift that's well worth a listen.
17 Mar 13
Review: It's been a long journey for James Edward Jacob, from young thrash metaller in Leicester to aspiring dubstep producer in college, and now hot future bass property. This EP of his own VIP mixes is premier grade stuff, expertly produced and cleverly tweaked for different moods. "Fade" gets three different interpretations here - a club mix that sees big crescendos drop into totally nasty 4/4 garage basslines, a different club mix that goes deeper with soft pads and a retro Enya-goes-RnB vibe, and finally the Etherwood version, all melancholic DnB, forlorn vocals and piano fused with low bass and urgent beats.
12 May 13
Review: Bristol's DJ Die has gone one better than signing Addison Groove to his Gutterfunk imprint, he's only gone and collaborated with him on both tracks here as well! The footwork-influenced side project of Headhunter, Addison Groove assumes charge of "Keyhole" - a stripped back excursion into sultry voodoo beats. Meanwhile on "Hydropump", DJ Die takes the lead steering this ship into breaky hip-house waters in the process.
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.
21 Apr 13
Review: The success of Taiki & Nulight's recent low-key release Late Nights has now seen it expand into a full-blown EP. Again released by Herve's Cheap Thrills, the title track is a dubby, wobbly 4x4 garage roller. "Take Me Up" is a straight up, hands in the air party anthem, "Footwerk" is dark, deep and very late night bassline houser , but it's all about "Offkey" for sheer next level sounds.
10 May 13
02 Apr 13
Played by: Homegroove Project, Mooqee, Sw, B. Jinx, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Huxley, Funk And Filth
Review: The chart-bothering Surrey siblings Disclosure are back with possibly their best offering yet. Released on the Hot Chip-affiliated Greco-Roman label, "Control" is a superb slice of sultry and soulful minimal garage, with short of breath vocals that echo vintage Janet Jackson. Joe Goddard seriously challenges the glory of the original with a mesmerising doomy, acid-tinged electro-disco version. Bonus tune "Lividup" is an ecstatic bleep-garage joy and there's further fun with "Boiling" being given cosmic trance (Dixon) and mega camp house (Medlar) workovers. Plus "Whats In Your Head" gets a boombox house mix by Mak & Pasteman.
18 Mar 13
25 Feb 13
Review: Wow! Are people looking back with rose-tinted glasses to 1995 already? Well at least this 'musical magpie' is only borrowing ideas and sounds rather than copying wholesale! Possibly a bit darker than his previous releases this EP features dubby UKG ("1995"), glitchy, post-dubstep ("Hypno", "Fallen") and even a bit of wobble-heavy UKF ("Roots").
10 May 13
13 Jan 13
Played by: Homegroove Project, Fort Knox Five, Mat Cant, Nic Fanciulli, Matta, Tee Circus, Rack N Ruin, 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 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.
20 May 13
Review: This guy has settled in with Reading UKF label Soulserious like a comfy pair of old slippers. Why not when they totally support his sound, to the point where his EPs are now bordering on mini-LPs! "Speeding" features six new joints all revealing his finely honed production skills. He blends slick, jazzy pads with shuffling garage beats that often veer into a sleazy tech-house side of town, and there's always a few retro nods to the good old 90s.
17 May 13
Played by: Gilus
Review: It's not every day we come across underground bass artists named after an actress in a 1980s soap, Dynasty, but it takes all sorts as they say. Musically this is seriously next level stuff: "I Can't Hide" is twisted and contorted tribal house with half time breaks and a killer cowbell. "No Way Back" is similarly bonkers but drowns everything is neon synths. Remixers include The Druid Cloak (sounds like a Brazilian carnival stumbling into a rave), Kresy (slow, emotional house) and Rohan (even deeper still; adding melancholic keyboards and cut up vocals for what's possibly the stand-out track).
09 Apr 12
20 May 13
Review: Aiming straight for the upper reaches of the Kiss FM playlist, Shagos has teamed up with Jay Dizzle for this super-catchy upbeat slice of garage-pop. Things get a little dirtier on the 2-steppy dub mix, before going all digital reggaeton (with a few dubsteppy breaks) on the "From The Hood" remix. Surely a summer hit?
26 Feb 13
Review: Swedish duo Savage Skulls have been making some serious noise in bass circles since about 2008. Now they've gone stateside, talking Frenchman Douster with them and signing up with Steve Aoki's Dim Mak label. This EP is unrepentantly aimed at the dancefloor: "Bass Kick" is hysterical, peak time madness with heavily compressed tropical beats and ascending synth melodies, "TRT" is tough party-garage with EDM-friendly trance breakdown and finally "Nicole" is total pop-dance euphoria.
14 May 13
Review: We Are Nuts aren't exactly known for their deep, contemplative musings, but who needs that on a dancefloor at 3am anyway? "Bombaclat" is a blazin' 4x4 wobbly bass banger, and "Daily Dose" is like a housier UKF take on an already pretty eccentric baile funk stomper. Finally DJ Q steps in bringing a whole tonne of flabby wobble to add to the ravey keys. Messy, very messy.
22 Apr 13
Review: Deftly exploring the creative possibilities in the endless badlands of a post-dubstep landscape, Krueger references everything from juke to techno across his two originals. "Giggles" is a paranoid, minimal masterpiece that refuses to be pigeonholed, while "Can You" is basically acid house if it arrived twenty-five years later. Complex yet stark and simplistic both are the epitome of electronic music's earliest, most essential ingredients. And the remixes are all pretty special, too...
01 Apr 13
Review: Don't worry, "Dappy" isn't an ode or homage to N-Dubz' ratty frontman. In fact it couldn't be further from Dappy's cheesy UK grime-lite if it tried. Romping away with a resonant warbling bass and unrelenting 4/4 stomp, it's an ultimate buzz cut that doesn't sound too far away from a Dirtybird record. Remix-wise Belgian ghetto-groover Kill Frenzy pitches down the vocal sample and adds much more of a haunted flavour to the groove. Either version is dark enough to send Dappy crying to his dear old mum.
13 May 13
Review: The unprecedented rush that's met each upcoming funky-house-garage-bassline producer in recent months has plastered the pillars of the bass music spectrum with the tags and new sounds of a scene that's forging itself before our very eyes. Debian Blak has already caught the attention of BBC Radio 6 and has created a stir with previous remixes and bootlegs. This, his first ever full length release, chronicles his musical journeys on his very rapid ascent to bass music stardom. From the lush soundscapes and retro bleeps of "Dive" to the deep, contemplative tones of "Where You", Blak is a man intent on building his own structure on the never-ending tower that is modern bass music. God speed, Debian.
15 Apr 13
Review: A cursory listen to this EP would easily lead the listener to believe it was made by some underground British bass guy who wears his baseball caps sideways. But they'd be wrong; Klaves is actually 21 year old producer Mikolaj Gramowski from Poland who has pretty much beaten the British producers at their own game: "You" is an awesome blend of late 90s garage and house. "Hope It Gets To Love" is sassy future garage, and our fave is the Fault Lines remix - a slamming house scorcher featuring the kind of thumping kick not head since "Da Funk"!
06 May 13
Review: Although hailing from Russia, this young producer's heart defiantly resides in the UK. All aspects of UK underground, from The Chemicals to UKF, are his chief musical influences and it really shows in his productions. "Love 4 U" is all UK garage swing and perky house stabs. "My Baby" takes those stabs even further and mixes in some 2-step for a back in the day Ayia Napa feel. Remix-wise it's all about the cheap drum machine assault of Lojt's 4x4 version.
13 May 13
Review: It's great to see classic UKG label Ice Cream Records back in action of late. Here they've resurrected mid 90s garage pioneers RiP Productions, who even back then were way ahead of the curve in terms of futuristic takes on the formula. This re-issue of "Rush Me" sees the 1998 '10 Below mix' (another alias of RiP) lead the package, with a thumping, bass-heavy new vocal mix being the flake in this particularly tasty 99 cone.
20 May 13
Review: Following the success of his recent 'Freetown' single, Kalbata has stuck with Greenmoney for the follow up. Dubby instrumentals are the order of the day here, with the title track, "It Ain't Like That" channeling deep techy house, adding sinister sound effects and buzzes for good measure. "Barbara" on the other hand, with its off-kilter tropical beats, reveals the vibes that found him fans in the shape of Spank Rock, Roll Deep, and Count & Sinden.
06 May 13
Played by: Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy)
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.
29 Apr 13
Played by: Mr Brainz / Orpheus:ldn
Review: Earlier this year Sunday Roast smashed it with the action-packed Space Walk EP. Well, you can't keep a good man down, and now he's back with another six tracks of forward-looking UKG. It's a harder sound than last time, but highlights include the carnival doom-beat of the title track "Intuition", the peak time psychosis of "XTC" and the propulsive yet dreamy bassline house of "Optical".
06 May 13
Played by: Mat Cant
Review: Tony Tokyo debuts on Roska's Kicks and Snares imprint with "More Than A Fantasy", and rather than the flexing UKF the label is usually known for, his style is more that of the bassy, swung house of the Hypercolour camp, combining swung rhythms, dubby stabs and a cascading vocal sample. RKS regular Tickles provides his own take on the track, delivering a streamlined, techy version of the track which adds screaming synths and bouncing percussive tics.
13 May 13
Review: UK producer Latcha tells it like it is: he simply produces 'anything club music based: house, tech, garage, bass ...plus anything in between'. We couldn't have put it better ourselves, and this EP, his first for Slime, contains a smidgeon of all these flavours. "Viable" is a remarkable voodoo percussion odyssey complimented by what sounds like reversed panpipes. "Call It That" on the other hand, is deep house with a garage drum kit and Orbital-style echoey synth pad melodies. Inventive stuff!
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.
22 Apr 13
Played by: Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage
Review: Prague's Meanbucket have snapped up some raw new talent in the shape of Dutch producer 618. This here is his debut release and with one listen it makes it clear why he's created a buzz for himself. "What You Do" is a brutal booty bass assault with serious juke overtones, while "Amsterdammed" applies heavy bass to the kind of techno heard in Berlin in the good old days. Remix wise, the title track become minimal hip-house by Boeboe, thumping house by Embryo Planet, freq bending electro by Seymour Bits and incredible dark electro-house by Veit B.
03 May 13
Played by: Numa Crew
Review: Never one short of a vivid imagination, Italian producer Lorenzo is back with this completely insane club bomb that actually features the trumpeting of an elephant! With nods to his fellow countrymen Crookers and their cut up fidget house sound, "Savana" features throbbing low end, scattered beats and yes, an epic elephant! Clap Clap's remix features a bizarre double -time Bollywood sample and Diplo style melodies. Finally "Vatican House" is deep and proggy with a dash of electro-swing for good measure.
06 May 13
Review: Nottingham/Leeds duo, Sergic and Lyka arrive in fine style here with their debut release on their own label Tumble Audio. "Bulletproof" is a pumping, breaky beast that sounds like bullets bouncing off the armour of an angry robot. Meanwhile "Shame' is all skippy beats, housey percussion and dubby bass, while "Glod" ups the tempo for some wobbly 4 x 4 fun.
27 Aug 12
Played by: Ennio Styles (Stylin Radio Show), Dusk + Blackdown, Lwp Records, Diplo, Chrissy Murderbot, Diphasic
Review: Rapidly following up 2011's superb Keysound long-player Routes, production trio LV make a logical move to Hyperdub for Sebenza, an album that features a trio of South African vocal talent, including Okmalumkoolkat from Dirty Paraffin, Spoek Mathambo and MC/producer duo, Ruffest, and production that takes in Kwaito, Soca, kuduro and UK funky to create its own unique sound. Standouts include the dark and urgent title track, the snappy vocal wit of "Animal Prints" and the spiky digital dancehall of "Nothing Like Us". But like Routes, Sebenza is much more than simply a collection of disparate dance tracks, but a rich tapestry of influences that is light years ahead of their nearest competition
28 Feb 11
Played by: Rack N Ruin
27 Feb 12
Played by: DJ Stex, Ricky Simmonds (DJ Rsi), Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Sunday Roast, Hxdb, Bizt, Shox, Rack N Ruin, Konnekt - Hot N Heavy, Major Notes, Black Butter Records
Review: 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.
29 Nov 10