Roska's own Kicks & Snares imprint comes through correct for the umpteenth time thanks to the sounds of badboy beat-maker Alex Parkin. "Nasty Thing" and "ZED" are both bass-heavy, gratuitously funky UK house cuts for the prime time, combining two-step and 4/4 to perfection. Parkin teams up with Lorenzo on "Prove2u", another sickeningly effective floor shaker with some of the gnarliest percussion we've heard this month. It's a scorcher, as per usual from Roska's institution.
Badman sounds from the likes of Billy Ken and Duo, two UK artists on a steep rise to success and total dancefloor domination. Representing Nu Wave's second outing, the boys come trough with a nutty garage stomper for the small hours. Swamped vocals, shuffling percussion slices and whole load of funk.
Often dubbed 'The Mighty Clueless' (or so he says), this producer was there on the frontline of the future garage wars a few years back. He takes his time mind, you wouldn't want to be expecting more than a couple of releases a year from him, but when he does drop a new tune, everyone sits up and listens. Last year speakers were banging out his sultry VIP mix of "Secret Love". Now L2S have commissioned a string of new mixes including some scattered, icy beats from Whistla, dubby 2-step from Lojt and some warm fuzziness from Pledge. Safe.
The instantly palatable grime and garage of DJ Q has been satisfying bassline lovers for many a year, not least with his appearances on Local Talk. Now Shollen Quarshie follows up on the mixtape showcase he did for Unknown To The Unknown with a full length album proper, and its packed full of the plush production and catchy hooks you would expect. There's a whiff of techno about the dreamy synths that open the album, not least with the spiralling notes that hover over the trap-rave stylings of "Two Faced", but elsewhere there's a wholesome dose of sugar-coated jungle with the pop vocal stylings of Kassandra and Louise Williams. It's a diverse album with a broad appeal to those who like their beats immediate and colourful, and might just be one of the unlikeliest pop albums of the year.
I Can Make It (Tuff Culture remix) - (6:30) 128 BPM
I Can Make It (Gasface remix) - (6:05) 134 BPM
I Can Make It (Woozee relick) - (3:48) 129 BPM
I Can Make It (2 Step mix) - (5:18) 134 BPM
Young UKG star DJD is part of revived label Ice Cream's roster of fresh new talent, hoping to "push the garage sound throughout the East Midlands and beyond". Just one listen to "I Can Make It" and it's clear that with his skills, he'll be travelling a bit further than his native Loughborough. The song perfectly fuses vintage UKG vibes with a tough contemporary sheen and thumping tribal drum patterns. Remix-wise we get bouncy 2 step from Tuff Culture, deep and mournful haunt-step from Gasface, '80s soul vibes from Woozee and jittery electro 2step in the closing "2 Step mix".
Reading's Jook 10 has been quiet since rustling up his album Darkside last year. Having heard this new four tracker, he's clearly been broadening his listening habits and finding ways to fuse these new ideas together. Of course at the heart of the "Hypa EP" it's all about the 4 x 4/UKF/wobble vibes, but he also incorporates stark techno on the title track, heavy tropical percussion on "Strike" and creepy synth atmospherics on EP highlight, the menacing "Trolls".