Long standing Deep Medi player Silkie steps over to Wheel & Deal with three out-of-the-box bass cuts. "Bird In The Sky" is all about the bashy, UK funky style drums and a loopy element that digs deep with hypnosis. "M3000" takes the brutal factor up another notch; all pneumatic kicks and clattering snares, it's a class lesson in minimal mischief. After two rocket-fuelled stompers, Silkie treats us right with "Limits". A modern day sexy jam, all slinky and piano-tickled, it's the perfect way to end the EP, and your next set. Full circle business.
This is a significant moment in the development of Michael "Huxley" Dodson. Following six years building his reputation via a constant trickle of singles, the London-based producer has finally delivered a debut album. It's a little more expansive and varied than many of his singles, and variously touches on many of his regular inspirations - UK garage, deep house and bumping techno, in particular - as well as some he's not previously explored (see the pitched-down rave breaks of "Give 2 U" and the "Circles"-ish liquid D&B of "MXR"). The result is a polished, floor-friendly set that impressively straddles the line between club tracks and home listening fodder.
The newly founded In:Flux imprint launches its second release after Tik & Borrow's mutant drum-core single, and it's in the form of an extended collaborative release. Mr C goes in for the kill with three monster house mutants packed with enough low-end to send the dubstep boys into twist. Dr. Oscillator's "The Heist" is a similarly gritty and wobbled-out 4/4 lick, while Tik & Smuggla's "Scuffa Kid" goes into a more broken, swinging garage mode. These guys are setting up their own sound fast, so don't sleep and get to know.
Twisted dancehall vibes fresh from Liverpool, as Lucent teams up with Rubi Dan for a steppy shock-out that positively demands outrageous skanking behaviour. For added measure Lucent also teams up with Tomb Crew for a collaborative remix where Rubi's vocals get buried by a smouldering bouncy bass hook. Further on Klient Weight take "X-Rated" down a dark techno alley and turn it into a savage 4/4 bass-battered affair. Looking for more of a straight-up jack attack? Head for "Tunnel Vision". An uncompromising stomper with sinewy bass melodies, it's a kindly contemporised nod at the material Herve and Switch were serving up about seven years ago. Finally, Rico Tubbs jumps in on the remix flex with an old school homage, all time-stretched vocals, speed garage sirens and fractured amen angularities.
The fourth in the Hot series sees Rushmore flirt with bass, techno and footwork - often within the same track. "Paladium" sets the tone for the release, with tight, syncopated drums and a stepping rhythm underscoring instant stabs. "Highroad" features similar rattling rhythms, but it sounds like Rushmore is channelling late 90s Dr Dre as the groove is infused with chilling strings. After that, things start to get chaotic; "NPG" features more of the same rattling rhythms and buzz-saw riffs, while "Silent Melody" returns to the smoked out, chilling sounds of "Highroad" - this time populated by ghostly voices - and "She Wants" finishes with brittle, glassy percussion and breathy vocal tones.
Always concerned with keeping dubstep and its subsidiary styles marching ahead into fertile new ground, Keysound operatives Dusk + Blackdown have an interesting twist to this new "EP", which offers up four new tracks, four remixes and two mix recordings as a stock take of where everything is at in bass music right now. The new material finds the rhythms moving in limber and playful ways, while the melodic content stays gritty and moody, even if the LV-esque synth blasts of the title track shed some colour on the surroundings. There's a healthy thread of grime and all manner of rave signifiers woven into "Peng One Two", and some more wild experimetation on "Epic Jam", and then the remixes fling out in equally eclectic configurations. For top shelf bass mutations across the board, you can do no wrong here.
Brand new to Black Butter, Sam Sure lays down a beautiful bed of dreamy sonic synthesis and proceeds to coat it with his distinctive yearning vocals and sharp wordplay. Perfect timing for cuffing season, it's fantastic smooching material. Remix-wise Shadow Child ups the ante with a little cheeky low-end, DVWLX inject a steppy future-garage style drum flavour and Jaded do an awesome impression of Sasha with a lavish rolling house blend that nods deftly at prog's best features. We're sure this will be a unanimous autumn anthem.
Lit City Trax is on fire as of late; with the likes of Lisbon's DJ Marfox, DJ Spinn and Traxman on their roster, they truly are the specialists in representing the fusion of classic and emerging dance sounds from around the globe. This latest EP by newcomer Saga is another fine slice of high-tek funk, and it's great to see that they're also good at spotting new talent. The title track is a grimey, snare-heavy warehouse stomper, and it's a perfect representation of what's to come on the rest of the tracks: gritty, sci-fi-filtered beats and badass basslines. Another winner from the label, and recommended to fans of the current Bristolian wave.
Wayne H has traditionally released collaborative singles with the likes of Matt D and Official Nancy, but here he mans up and goes on a rogue solo mission with "Face Crunch". It's as uncompromising as ever - all haunted wobble undulations married to a snappy 4x4 frame. Boom!
Originally released as part of the Bleep tenth anniversary compilation, Untold's "That Horn Track" gets a standalone release here and this time around it's packaged with a Dettmann remix for good measure. The original is a clamouring masterpiece of sound design, full of the diffuse sonic fragments and barely recognisable rave tropes that Untold loves to reach for and yet achieving a kind of monstrous soul in the midst of the chaos. Dettmann unsurprisingly simmers the original into a more delineated techno throwdown riding on an ominous thudding kick, but there's still plenty of space given to the textural ingredients to ensure it's a distinctive cut.
After a stellar debut on Livity Sound's Dnuos Ytivil sub label, man like Bruce adds Hessle Audio to his prospering profile with Not Stochastic. Representing the crucial UK label's first release of 2014, the standard of productions on show from Bruce demonstrates Hessle Audio's quality over quantity approach continues to pay dividends. The triplet also demonstrate Bruce has quite a few strings to his production bow, with the general vibe differing from the weighty swung techno of that excellent Dnuos Ytivil record. From the off, Bruce exudes a trippy style of sonics that bring to mind the work of Dynamo Dreesen or SVN.
Following the success of EDMX's Wicked Drummer EP, Skufix turn their attention back to house music by granting Aashton a debut release. It's the first solo outing for the producer after appearing on a Sccucci Manucci various artists EP earlier in the year. The EP's house music highlight is the summery tones and bassline grooves of "Clocked It", while the EP's opener "4 Real" is skippy, upbeat with plodding splashes of grimey tones. Cosmo Lopez, an artist who released on Ninja Tine back in 2012, remixes the title track, delivering a production focused on progression designed to fuel a full dancefloor.
Back on his regular haunt Black Acre, Fantastic Mr Fox has teamed up with Kid A and cooked up a catchy vocal track as unique as it is accessible. There is unabashed pop construction put into "You-Turn", not least on the bombastic chord stabs of the chorus, but overall the production comes on like unhinged '80s electro funk with an undercurrent of acid which lends itself to the curious, Bjork-esque croon of Kid A. Visionist steps up for a remix of the track that naturally leads off the beaten track into more curious corners of club music not dominated by commanding drums. Even without much prominent percussion the track charges forwards into an alien world full of intrigue and charm, like all of Visionist's work.
William Arcane is no ordinary electronic music producer - his background as a songwriter has helped him instil a more solid structure to his tracks. Here he returns to Pictures Music with a fine four-tracker under the name of Reckless. The title track is a glorious midway between house and pop, where Arcane's floaty synths turn the danceable into the euphoric. The remaining three tracks follow in a similar vein - mixing the meditative together with the wild - but it's the near beatless "Sunfades" which is bound to seduce you from the word go.
Jimmy Edgar's Ultramajic label has really blossomed since launching in earnest in June last year, with the Detroit producer's own output complemented by contributions from the likes of Matrixxman, Danny Daze, Dance System (aka LVIS 1990) and Spatial. Saline is the third in Edgar's ongoing series of conceptual EPs themed around elements, with Saline representing Earth. How this is represented musically is open to interpretation, but Edgar is on fine fettle here, with the bleep-laden electro cut "Burn" the kind of DJ tool that can be used in all sorts of situations. "Walk Show" features the late, great DJ Rashad on vocals and is a few BPMs short of being a Night Slugs Club Constructions cut, whilst "Who's Watchin" is an exercise in how you should use cut up vocals.
Newcomer Camr makes his debut for Horizon Recordings, marking the label's thirteenth outing since its first release almost one year ago. The label's sound, although varied and non-genre specific, circulates around a distinctly UK vibe. Cramr fits into the medley perfectly and "Breeze" is a true hybrid track all round - heavy snares, a rolling sci-fi bassline and broken, looping vocals to create one hell of a hook for the floor. This is certainly not the last we're gonna hear from Cramr. Heavy duty.
Musical madness from Montreal, as Foba lays down four unique conjurations that comprise everything we love about electronic music: Techno's stark loopy nudity, post dubstep's iciness, steppy, pneumatic beats and even a touch of twisted dancehall. From the robotic insistency and skippy drum template of the title track to the woozy synths, loopy vocals and slo-mo juke sentiments of "Unpredictable" via the Amazonian drama session "Laga Luvin" and the click-snare rolling, Hoodian techno "Shado", Foba has delivered four tracks that sound like nothing else on the planet. Bold stuff.
Breaking through this summer with their debut EP Glass Body, the cosmic wall-of-sound duo SAS now undergo some drastic remix treatments to the point the tracks are almost unrecognisable. The ethereal cries of "Halo Heart" are subverted into a mid 90s techno/prog roller by Lucy and the densely textured elements of "All Our Beasts" are underpinned by Gang Gang Dance's quirky bleep breaks twist. Further on the muffled, barbed euphoria of "Glass Body" gets a complete acid attack from Gabe Gurnsey while "Black Birds" gets the subtlest reversion by Maria Minerva as the vocal is maintained as the centre stage focus, and the beats and loopy hook give the track more dancefloor appeal.
For beats that sound like they've been thrown into a blender then used as fuel in a engine that won't start, take a listen to DJ Edgar's remix of "Machete Bass". Other remixes of the track include a woofing Fuuku Sartoria mix and Nobel Normcore's gutter raving rework. Both The Clerk and Smoothies take on "Dojoji" with the former offsetting chipmunk vocals with deep bass, while the latter is provides an alarm ringing meltdown that's as loaded as a Major Lazer production.