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Reviewed this week
The S.O.B.A.D crew descend on Nottingham with a whole armoury of hybrid bass/beat hurters. Sly One do all the driving as "My Name" slaps with a UK take on juke beats as a fork-tongued lava rap from TK Wonder whips up a dramatic frenzy. "TMB" sees the duo taking us on an even techier tip with its loopy, hypnotic vocal loop while crew mates Distro & Archive give UK funky a dark, demented update for today's paranoid times. Final S.O.B.A.D member Bromley winds down the trip by completely stripping "My Name" back down to a classic electro breaks groove. Block rocking.
Arma is a 22 year old producer from London who heads up BodyCheck & Borough Recordings. As a producer, he is someone who's constantly evolving his sound and will not be pigeonholed to a single genre or BPM. Also known for lo-fi house under his DJ VHS moniker, his tunes are all unified through their energy and fun loving vibes. These driving, party loving joints are reminiscent of fellow Brit Mele: who signed him to his label. With their excursion into the exotic, not to mention how much they push the threshold of the lo-end! "Favela" is a bombastic joint that features some mad horn loops and powered by a relentless stomp and clatter. But it's really about Murder He Wrote's absolutely nasty, street level remix where he injects it with some proper UK funky flavour.
Footsie... It's been too long. Almost three years since his last King Original beat collections, the Newham General bumps back into your dublist with another slew of cold originals. Easing into the fray with restrained moody atmospheres on "God Like" and the chase-sequence, 808 smoking "Brake Light" Footsie gradually takes us deeper and deeper into his psyche... His contemplative side with the tripped out ricochet tones on "Smoke Ring" and spooky misty murkery of "Smoke Ring", his curveball, unpredictable side on tracks like "Two In The Front" and straight-up no-messing side on "One Finger" and the slow-burning orchestral damager "Hostile".... The list goes on. Deeper than previous collections and loaded with experimental twists, Footsie's on a serious vibe right here.
It's a new year, and it's time for some new imprints. That's the way we operate. Jelly Bean Farm is among the labels to launch in 2017 but, while others would think of pacing themselves with a debut EP, these guys have gone and dropped a whole compilation of new, unforgiving bass science from all corners of the extended genre. There are twelve killer cuts to choose from here, all from emergent talents, and we've got our eyes set on a number of them. Hypho's "Majikk" is a glorious neo-grime workout that stretches the genre to the very limits, "Pistol Signal" from Opus is a bubbling, potent new strain of hydro-phonic dubstep, PAN:INC's "Freight" is the sort of techno that any bass-boy dreams at night, and Sensei's "Reed" manages to blur the most daring elements of jungle and minimal techno together as if they were made to be one and one. Check it all out, though, this is a true goldmine of all things bass-oriented. Watch out for more Jelly Bean Farm gear.
You'd imagine Clap! Clap! to hail from some mysterious, far-away contient but, in fact, Domenico Crisci is from Florence, a city you wouldn't immediately associate with tribalistic dance flavours. That is, until now. This is his second LP for London's excellent Black Acre label and, thourghout its stupendous twelve tracks, there are appearances from Planet Mu's John Wizards, the OY duo, and another like-minded tribal enthusiants from Italy, HDADD. This is a truly engrossing album, filled with tropical instrumentation, worldly chanting, and an altogether 'outernational' vibe. Dance to it, chill with it, leave on it the background. Whatever you do with it, it's bound to go down a storm, especially heard in its entirety. Don't sleep!
A/T/O/S stands for A Taste Of Struggle, and it's safe to say that Amos and Truenoys have certainly put their backs into this project. The duo were originally picked up by Mala back on 2014, and haven't looked back ever since. This is their second LP to date and, much like their debut, it touches upon many different elements of the enlarged dubstep continuum. There's plenty of tunes on here that'll liven up any dance, but this is very much a pensive and meditative bass affair. Much in line with Mala's pioneering 'deep' dubstep, it's clear that the Deep Medi head honcho has foud some new, young, and like-minded talents to carry on his dynasty.
London's Tessela has been crafting his sound in spectacular fashion over the last few years and none of his productions have caued more of a stir than the now rare as you like vinyl smash "Hackney Parrot". The prodigious bass explorer is not necessarily offering groundbreaking new genres but, instead, new ways of layering sounds next to one another. Both of the present tunes magnificent examples of rough, sweltering UK bass that's been run through the ever-enjoyable jungle filter. "Hackney Parrot" twists and layers up a famous vocal sample with masses of stop-start jungle breaks, and a couple of deep basslines that remind us of Dillinja's early output for Metalheadz. "Helter Skelter" is the heads-down tune, the one that's bound to get the crowd moving during a 5am trance, and Tessela's use of drums is becoming more and more essential for us after this new Poly Kicks. Warmly recommended.
Breaking through on 877 last year, Bristol's Saidwho returns to the fray on the ever-on-point Southpoint. It's a match made in beat heavy - unclassifiable genre-melting beat sessions with heavy helpings of subby funk. "Banshee" has been damaging on dub for a while - rolling, stuttering and insistent, it lends itself to techno as much as it does garage. "Chase & Run" flips the rhythm for a more spacious broken trip into grime while "Leaked" is a brilliant Tipper-style space breaks funk jam with a raw, roomy aesthetic. Finally on a remix-tip, Mofaux closes the show with mean and moody switch-flipper that rips between cavernous 4/4s and a gnarly break on the drop.
Three time DMC Champion, BBC 1Xtra Resident and multi award-winning DJ Cable returns. The 'super dope mixtape maker' brings it courtesy of his own Triangulum Recordings with the Ancients EP and as the name may suggest: these are some really spiritual and esoteric insights into the UK bass sound. "Aztec Riddim" rolls deep with its low-end theory steeped in Amazonian aesthetics, while "Inca Riddim" follows in suit with its immaculate polyrhythms that will truly lead you into the exotic. "Olmec Riddim" is the same kind of bass driven tribal techno that Arthur Smith aka Grain (aka Artwork) was smashing out in the late nineties and had us really impressed
Longstanding New World Audio merker Shandy cracks open three tins of fizzy fire on us with the fittingly titled "Vintage Grime" collection. "Horizon" sets the scene with string-sprung drama. Unashamedly steppy, it's an instant flashback to 2001. "Coincide" joins the dots with dubstep with its hazy tones and low-slow groove. Finally "Projection" is an all-out space hopper with a broadsword bassline, neck-snapping beats and delicate pianos. True to the craft.
Cardiff-based producer Stagga is a man who likes to experiment with extremely low levels of hertz, and his material for the Fat Fridge label is becoming synonymous with quality and style. He's back with an extended EP, seven cuts of delightfully pungent dance mutations that have difficulty in being labelled and/or categorised under one banner. Take "Jenny", for instance, a tune that could appeal to the grime headz, dubstep fanboys, and even those branching out into tribal-led African dance infusions; "New Gun" is a mother stunner, an eerie bass riddim with a noticeable leftfield swagger to its groove, while "Trip Switch" shakes up the EP by launching a heavy, unforgiving wobble attack in the most stupendous of bro-step fashions. If you're into the enlarged bass game, then this is your drug.
Bassline Bangers has become the preferred codename of LA-based producer 6BLOCC. His material for Digital 6 is becoming increasingly unmissable and, to a larger extent, inimitable. Tagged as 'bass', his tunes do much more than the required dance formula and, instead, branch out into fields more closely related to dub, reggae, and jungle. This is the third instalment of the series, and the dude offers six strong cuts for you to digest and mull over; "Atmosphere" is what kicks the flow into motion thanks to a stunning hybrid mix of grime and sped-up dubstep, whereas "Bad Boy Style" adds the ragga flavor to a bed of hazy jungle breaks. "Labrinth" is another stunner on here, this time bringing a considerably stronger techno flex into its beat, but it's "Soundboy" and its lethal waves of low frequencies that steal the show and grab all the creds. Sick.
Exclusives
SLY-ONE feat TK WONDER - My Name (Tumble Audio) - exclusive 20-02-2017
DJ CABLE - The Ancients (Triangulum Recordings) - exclusive 25-02-2017
A/T/O/S - Outboxed (Deep Medi Musik)
Exclusives
CLAP! CLAP! - A Thousand Skies (Back Acre)
BASSLINE BANGERS - Bassline Bangers (Volume Three) (Digital 6) - exclusive 21-02-2017
STAGGA - The Hidden Perks (Fat Fridge)
Mikey B DJ Chart
Cloaka DJ Chart
Roska DJ Chart
Hypho DJ Chart
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