Jelly Bean Farm is a new label intent on delivering all kinds of bass and techno goodness to the world. They don't mess about either, beginning life with big, hefty compilations. This, one, Jelly Bean Farm - Exit, is no different: presenting 12 of the most forward-facing cuts around. Highlights include the moody synthwork and machine gun percussion of "Locate & Destroy" by Phrixus, the spacey tech meets drum frenzy of "Dat Dat" by Loss, the deep, minimal beats of "Turbine" by Henry Greenleaf and the alt-ghetto grooves of "Facile" by Kinsman. Dope sounds!
Get to know: Denham Audio continue their powerful 130 jungle charge into the darkest corners of the dance with their Artifice debut. "Leighton Buzzin" rolls with bulbous subs and fractured Think breaks while "Npfo" opts for an icier vibe with its cold synths and crucial stepper drop. Version-wise Walton adds a little flutey prang, Corticyte takes on a dungeon tour while Rivet crunches up the dance with some spiked out acid techno. Two dank originals, three equally murked remixes, documents don't get much better than this.
Matt Benyayer and Tom Edwards are the London based production duo Dark Sky. Having met at secondary school, Dark Sky formed out of a mutual love for the ever evolving London electronic music scene; a love that the duo have always explored through not only their DJ sets but also their productions. The new single "Kilter" is a dark journey track engineered for maximum dancefloor drama. Yes it has the mandatory wonky synth lead happening, but it's a wicked one, bearing the true grit of analogue and backed by some rusty rhythm patterns that work a treat. Second offering "Acacia" is more deep and gentle to an extent, with its sublime pads and hypnotic bleep melody backed by some sultry vocal samples and dusty barely there rhythms.
Three men, no computers and many patch cables: That's London Modular Alliance who follow up last year's wicked Out Of Sync EP on Brokntoys with this new one for tech house heroes Hypercolour: who really seem to be broadening their horizons as a label and good on them we say. The Homegrown EP starts out with the rusty boom and snap of "Civic Society", a deep and moody electro number that treads the same territory as Anthony Rother. "Lucid" hits harder but this is exactly the kind of electro-funk we like; dark, bass-driven and minimal. Finally their ode to the North Devon coast "Saunton" is, in a surprise turn; more on the deep dubstep tip. You can almost hear the lighter going off in the background on this advanced experiment in reefer madness.
Fresh from his exploits with King Kashmere, beat alchemist Bambooman crashes the party at Accidental with four more singular experiments; "Shudder" rolls on a stuttering break that's paced in such a way it's as much UKG as it is techno. Both "Grasp" and "M1" show off more of a house side spectrum as the former insists with an almost Detroitian charm while "M1" scrapes strange strings to create unique texture. Finally "Kyrian" takes us on a futurist twist on broken beat with spacious kicks and a warm, fat analogue synth. Some say shudder, we say goosebumps...
Well hello there Shades, it's been a while... Understandable, really, considering both Perez and Eprom's solo careers. And considering the insane levels of production at play. Weirded-out vibes and twisted designs like this don't appear from nowhere - these guys are pushing each other to the limit here. It's clear from the updated version of their 2015 entry track "Chiron" as the textures are even more unique and the bass even more sabre-toothed. Elsewhere "Sleaze" is a gritty, oily, 23rd century robot porn-flick soundtrack, "Creeper" is the sound of machine revolting in harmony while "K.S.P" takes all those dangerous, loin-girding sounds that first scared the dickens out of you when you first heard jungle as a kid and turbo-charges them with 21st century evil. Outstanding and untouchable.
Shades are a trans-Atlantic duo Alix Perez (Belgium/UK) and Eprom (USA) who deal in dark and messed up hip-hop. Their Better To Reign In Hell Than To Serve In Heaven record had the likes of XLR8 frothing at the mouth. They're keeping the vibes going here by releasing another stopgap jam, "Creepin" and it's all bad (in a good way). The track is a teaser from their much-anticipated forthcoming EP, Night the Dreadless Angel, and it's a banger - all creepy fuzzy distortion, heavy beats and speaker bustin' low end throbs. Bad has never sounded so good!
In parallel with their MTA success, ATYK's Gastah continues to carve his own solo path with this beautiful and intriguing five-piece on the shadowy-but-perennially-on-point beat stable Brunswick Sound. Ranging from the immense warped and wavey washes of the title track "Apollo" to the dizzying weaves of organic eastern instruments on "Sun's End" by way of the triumphant chords and rolling UK funky drums of "Sail", the whole document is fused by futurism and dreamy, detailed, deep and danceable all in equal measure. Rocket fuel for the soul.
DJ Jayhood is one of the most important producers from the second generation of Jersey Club. A regional form of dance music that evolved from Baltimore Club after artists like DJ Tameil started putting their own twists on 'B-more' drum breaks and kick patterns, it is is one of the most influential and imitated dance styles in the world today. Although he's not received the same international DJ bookings as some of his peers, DJ Jayhood is one of the most respected and popular artists in and outside of the state. He's also built a successful sideline as a rapper and hip-hop/r&b producer through his production work for Sharaya J and Missy Elliott, and coined his own sub-genre of Jersey Club called Booty Bounce Music.
London's Jack Baxter is up next on forward thinking bass label Wot U Blud and has also thrown down some fat beats on Low Pitched Records, Nu Wave and Broken too in recent times. The Phaze Reversal EP starts off with the brooding title track, which is powered by a four to the floor beat and soothing ethnic style strings until that gnarly sub bass takes over in fine form. "My Love" gets off in more broken fashion, beat wise, with a bouncy bass and UK garage style hollers with diva vocals: this is proper street sound! Finally "Nerve" is the darkest offering here: deep dubstep at its seething and paranoid finest.
Gradually carving his unique sound since emerging on Gobstopper in 2015 - by way of Play, Fulcrum and Ocean - London's Tarquin makes his Rinse debut with four more delicious slices of otherworldly fractured bass funk. From the moment the found sound percussive hits and strange ghetto-tek electro subversions of "Jump Pack" come at you, you know this is special. The mutant horn and pipe weirdness of "Horn Trax", the filmic creepiness and bad dream flurries of "Dun Tarq" and the alien creeper-turned-gully grand finale "C-Mine" confirm that it definitely is something special.