For those who don't know, Hypho is a rising talent in the bass game and his quest to reach the top level has gotten closer thanks to this latest injection of low frequencies for the 877 label. "Wartime" is the perfect lead tune, a string-led pseudo grime instrumental with a perfectly executed percussive rhythm, and "Pinch" follows a similar path thanks to its slithering beats. There is a collaboration with Squane on "Hack", a futuristic grime roller with a mean collection of beats and hollow melodies, which is followed by Majora's remix of "Wartime", a more uplifting version of the tune, and a Vital Techniques reinterpretation of "Pinch". Smoking bangers guaranteed!
Jay Cunning's Sub Slayers label has now reached the fifth instalment of the increasingly respected Sub Slayers Series. He's scored a real coup here, by signing up rising 21-year old producer Toronto Is Broken to both curate the tracklist and provide an exclusive mix too. The focus this time round is firmly on garage and bass, and there are 26 bleeding edge selections to explore. Highlights include the aquatic synth pads and bottom end rumbles of Sourkrush's "Giving Me Life (Dead Belly mix)", the haunted soul-step of "Laundry Time" by Atomic Drop and the grimey dancehall of "Twinkle" by Gella.
Reading's bass champ Sunday Roast has loaded up with five dancefloor straddling beasts here on the Barbarian EP. Never one to take prisoners, he's not about to start now. Highlights include opener "Core', a fire breathing bass dragon of a thing with cowbells and bounce in all the right places, "Freak" is a 4 x 4 peak time jam that goes heavy on the 808s claps but it's the sizzling bass throbs and housey pianos riffs of "Day Pitch" that really wins this battle.
Bristol-based bass enthusiast Sorrow has a reputation as a "moody electronic outsider", at least musically speaking. While this latest EP on his Shinigrim imprint is, predictably, more than a little on the baked side, the young producer mostly steers clear of pitch-black paranoia. Opener "Stockyards" boasts clean, punchy percussion and throbbing sub-bass, but feels breezy rather than stiflingly humid. The same could be said about the swinging, dub-wise "Projekts", while "Pirate Banter" makes great use of ricocheting dub samples and a booming, pitched-down soundsystem "riddim". Even "Arisen", with its' manipulated R&B vocal samples and foreboding bass drops, is relatively cheery.
Doctor Jeep (is that a Sisters Of Mercy reference?) has been kicking around for a couple of years now, dropping bona fide beats for labels like Hot Mum, Trouble & Bass, Tumble Audio and now Vancouver's infectious Aufect Recordings. It's all about the wobble on this EP, working to huge effect on the bell chiming "Tx", while opener "Dissociate" is proper, slimy basement rave material; 808 percussion on overdrive to spiralling effect. Remixes come in from Levrige who turns in more of a jungle rework, while Subcorr serves up some broken beat techno, kinda like early Pangaea. Furthermore, Greazus works in breathy vocals and transforms the bells of "Tx" into tripped out drips of tonal flux.
Man Recordings head honcho Daniel Haaksman presents the African Fabrics LP. For the 11 tracks on here, Haaksman said he re-created internet and street market finds with current bass music styles, fuelled by the global melting pot of the internet in which genres hybridise and new sounds emerge. You can hear afro, footwork, minimal marimba house or even a two-step bass track paired with a kalimba. Haaksman is no stranger to exotic music: many years ago when he first discovered the emerging bass heavy sounds coming out of Brazil's favelas, he named it 'Baile-Funk' a name that still sticks today, so you can trust the DJ on this one. Guests on the album include Spoek Mathambo label mainstay Stefan Morth aka KU BO, Portuguese trio Throes + The Shine, Dama Do Bling and Alcindah.
For all those of you out there who had lost faith in ever hearing another instalment in the Saucy Selections series...rejoice! The wait is over. It's over a year since Vol 2, but the Saucy crew are back bringing serious fiyah over 22 fresh new jams. As usual, the quality is never compromised, particularly on such standouts as the mercilessly pounding, RnB sampling "You Better Know" by Libra, the futuristic 2-step synth stabs of "Eyes On You" by Jello and the dry warehouse beats and buzzy bass bounce of "People Dem Dance" by Lucent & Karl Vincent.
Happy hardcore and rave in the house thanks to 36 Hertz Recordings! These four tracks from label faithful Indigo Virus sound like they could have come from back in the day; just take in the 909 hi-hats, chipmunk vocals and in your face synth action of opener "Caffine". There's undeniable rhythms and gnarly breaks on "I C 93" while "Rock The House" is a classic, straight forward raving techno. There's some deeper more introspective moments (during the breakdown) in "All Crew" - plus some classic piano sounds - and this final cut is an EP highlight. For real.
The moment the quintessential rave synths, rolling breaks and cooing female vocals on album opener "North Winds" hit you, you know Krakota's put together something special. Coming on strong like a young Logistics but with his own soul-flecked signature, Krakota has weight, a strong sense of history and scope. The footwork beats and New York sounding synths on "Turn Of Fate", the big band flourishes of "Powder Coated", the writhing jazz snakery of "Elastic" the horror movie spikes and MC venom of "Weirdos & Creepers"... Pick a track, any track, and we guarantee Krakota's smashed it. Hospital don't mess around with artist albums... Here's a perfect reminder.
Imagine a rave circa 92. Now imagine that in the haziest, cloudiest, most physically relaxed way possible. That's the sound of this EP. "Do Right" rushes you through time on an ageless craft of rave elements. "Breakage" follows the dreamy theme with proggy vocal snippets whirling through the cirrus while "Dumbshow" has a darker warehouse-feel while retaining it soft edges. After something with just a touch more punch? Jump on the toughened groove "Enough", Murder He Wrote's wobble-drone 4/4 remix then wash it down with a glass of amen delight a la Denham Audio. Ravers, breakers, tech and house heads should all take note right here.
Apparent Russian garage and techno producer (fresh) Ghostek hooks up with Slava Marchenko, aka Sqz me on Macabre Unit Digital following releases by Ohmtrix and Demon. The collaboration presents five tracks of heavy, digital laden snarling bass cuts that snarl, growl and tear at the speakers. But before we dive into that, it's the stripped back and minimal darkness of "High Roller" that's indeed a jungle infused highlight. "Sidereal" lines up some trademark post-dubstep drums similar to the sounds of early Tessela records on Punch Drunk, while "Dajjal" and "Bogus System" slash and slam their way through hell's gate experiencing a riot.
This is the first collaboration between Liar and Mutual Friend but let's make two things clear. A:they sound like they were made to make music together in the studio. B. The Tessier-Ashpool Recordings imprint seems like the perfect platform for their freeform brand of bass music. "Sidewinder" is loose but it's still a tune with a clear vision and a kinetic percussive movement that drives its squealing sonics forwards, and the Kamikaze Space Programme remix simply adds more bass weight to the equation making it considerably more destructive on the speakers.
Noble by name, gnarly by nature; Southpoint's latest fam member lays down a delightfully angular stepper with a precision kick/snare arrangement and fine-tuned tubular bass tones. Ideal for instrumental grime DJs or MCs looking for beat to vibe on. Remix highlights include Dubzta's string twist, Distinkt's stripped back paranoia jam, KXVU's rifle-like double ups and drum chops and Drax's wave pool splashdown.
Bristol bass producer Alex Storey (formerly known as Al Tourettes) is back on Houndstooth with the Bismuth EP, following up his great One Sound/Layer Rock release from last year and featuring some killer future electro cuts such as the brooding and bass heavy title track and the sublime futurist beats of "Vapor Value". It gets fiercer on "Grand Rapid" with its breakneck electro-funk beats that'd make even the Detroit forefathers stand up and notice. Finally things take a turn for the more experimental on the future beat madness of "Helicat".
Mark Harris and Johnny Rivo are back with Notes to Self 1, a second Shift Work offering for fabric's in-house Houndstooth label that features a triplet of killer cuts that blur the lines between techno, house and coldwave. "Contact High" is the lead track, a high-powered slice of bodytonic four-to-the-floor that doesn't use complex patterns to get its point across but, instead, blasts out a kick drum beneath a fuzzy, reverberating bassline. "Re-gene" and "Signal" further blast out the speakers with more venomous shards of bass that grow more powerful and damaging with each new loop. Heavy and recommended.
It's only Jax's second EP to date, but already the producer has instilled a sense of security on our behalf; the young bass producer sounds confident behind the mixing desk and totally capable of carving effective swings of mutant bass. "Cloak" is a pure UK hybrid, never veering too close to fully fledged dubstep, but still retaining a militant, driving sort of step that'll go down with utter ease in any bass rave. "Switchable" is deeper, murkier and more abrasive in its tone, where the bass stabs are sharp and devastating instead dog being warm and meditative.
Wwwings is the collaborative project of Lit Internet, Lit Daw and Lit Eyne, hence the three w's and the significant injection of pounding bass weight. The trio rack up a proper storm on the hazardous bass storm that is "Chimera", which is swiftly followed by the house-bass hybrid that is "Wyvern" - a tune powered by heavy infusions of noise and dread. There's four remixes thereafter: Geng & Bobby Johnson wreck havoc on the distorted swings and gabba drums of "ZMEY", Eaves' version of "Chimera" is murky and comparatively lo-fi, while Endgame's remix of the same tune is propelled forwards by a rolling percussion, and this Purple Tape Pedigree EP is rounded off by Letta's deep and mystical version of "Wyvern". If you like this, wwwatch out for the upcoming Wwwings LP on Planet Mu.
The debut album from 1-800 Dinosaur sees a wealth of producers associated with the collective provide behind the buttons support for grime MC Trim. That means across the ten tracks, Trim spits over bars from James Blake, Airhead, Happa, Klaus, Bullion, Boothroyd and Dan Foat. Blake and Trim have plenty of form of course, with the producer delivering killer Harmonimixs of the MC back in 2012. A recent Trim 12" on 1-800 Dinosaur set the tone nicely for this album, and Happa's colourful bassline and shuddering drums on "Before I Lied" provides an early highlight as does "Man Like Me." This cut sees Trim trading blows with a super, stripped down production from Airhead, whilst Jim Blake's production on "RPG" recalls his dizzying early work for Hessle and Hemlock. Full marks to the whole crew!
Hotflush head honcho Scuba compiles sounds from his revered imprint's early days which demonstrate its sound merging with the then fledgling dynamics of UK bass and the subterranean energy of Berlin techno. No doubt influenced by his move there and the highly successful Sub:stance night he curated at Berghain for a few years. Like many retrospective compilations there are some greatest hits for sure ("Hard Boiled"/"Remembrance"), as well as some near misses (Abucs "Heavy Metrics"/Ei Ono "Kuru Shinju") but the latter sure sound better the second time around. Some killer remixes too, such as Surgeon's menacing rendition of "Ruptured" and Marcel Dettmann's seething take on "From Within" which we shouldn't forget about.
Endgame has released some pretty killer music on some pretty killer labels thus far, but this new EP for London's legendary Hyperdub is a step up. That is not to say that the music he released before was any less good than these three bangers, but this is Hyperdub-approved, as we're sure you'll understand. "Felony Riddim" sets the scene for an EP that is trapped in its own singular web of bass, a raw and adventurous style that is hard to describe due to its multi-faceted nature and aggregation of sounds. If you're into juke, grime, bassline and dubstep, then this will tick all the boxes because it merely uses those genres as a blueprint for something much darker and more cerebral.