The UK's Pelikann glides mightily high on the nu-dubstep waves these days, and he's landed firmly on the Saucy clan's catalogue with a fluttering blend of percussion-driven squelchers. "Wolf" is a sludgy, four-to-the-floor monster with plenty of wobbles and grizzly low-ends, and backed by Hywel's more stripped-back version. "Hear Me" is, of course, dark and menacing, and filled with horsepower, but the groove is leaner than its predecessor, leaving the club slashings up to the remixer, Distro. The aptly named "Fak Off" ties things off with deep bursts of power drums and bass stabs, followed by Grande's housier version of the original. Mean.
"Ambience" from the creatively restless Mele surfaces courtesy of yet another new home, Lobster Boy. The reluctance to be held down to one style is also pleasingly present too, with Mele delivering two new bass bombs, with the title track's carnival-esque fusion of deep tribal beats, diva vocals and absurd breakdown, as well as the quirky, helium laser attack of "UFOZ". Typical Mele - always ahead of the pack.
Flinging double negatives like a clown hurls custard pies, AC Slater builds on Night Bass's generous debut release with his second full-fat EP of the year. With a sound and attitude that's been cemented into the bass scene psyche for a decade, you know what to expect from him: BS-free floor-fire with added humour... And that's exactly what we get. "The Chirp" is a Dirtybird-level jacker, "Skywalker OG" taps deeper into the classic house roots with an air of late 90s Van Helden, "Waterverb" flips the trap bird before dropping into some seriously silky 4/4 wobble while "Not No Love Song" vibes with classic rave synths and a speed garage style drop that's not, not, amazing.
After an impressive run of form on labels such as Osiris Music and Pressed, the UK's Ipman lands on Pinch's mighty Tectonic imprint with a vicious two-tracker in pure Bristol mode. "Regicide" is a mid-tempo jungle swinger backed by perfectly detuned chords and swamped raga vocals, while "Ghostrunner" calls all station to grimesville with its grizzly bit of wobble low-end and furious percussion shots. Thee two tunes are bound to destroy just about any dancefloor, splitting the subwoofers wide open in the process. Recommended for the bass corner-dwelling, bass heads.
Back in the 90s, US techno producer Steve Stoll released an EP on white vinyl in the shape of a circular saw. The art for the latest release on DJ Haus' label looks similar to that release - and doesn't sound radically different either. In fact, the only real difference to Stoll's 1995 release is the absence of forceful acid pulses - otherwise, P.O.L Style's "Saw" and the "Saw 2" version crackle with insistent percussion, insistent stabs and an insistent, jacking rhythm. Remixes from Mike Q and Neana, which add a banging, drum-heavy sensibility to the original "Saw", complete the package.
Such was the dancefloor decimation caused by Hybrid Theory's recent crowdpleaser King Kong Riddim, they've decided to do it all over again! "King Kong 2.0" is a souped-up accelerated version of their anthem that now manages to merge tech-house, ominous orchestration, hysterical vocal samples, 4x4 bassline grooves and hip-hop beats. Wow!
Holland's Martyn is so in tune with the UK sound that we sometimes think he's hiding out in the underbelly of South London among the likes of Burial or Loefah. This time he's back on his own 3024 alongside The SpaceApe - usually delivering his fine vocal swagger for Kode9 - with "Is This Insanity?", a stop-start dubstep hybrid for the darker sets. "Camberwell Green" follows without any kick drum, just a gorgeous bundle of melodies and percussion riding on the top, and Berghain master DJ Ben Klock remixes the title track into an effective techno clusterbomb reminiscent of the tunes for his own Klockworks imprint. Large.
UK grime deviant youngster Callahan inaugurates the 4 Seasons Music imprint with a gnarly four tracks of masked up gutter dance. "Armshouse" takes a stuttering drum roll and unleashes telephone rings and a nasty percussion over it, while "Get Me" slowly enters a house tempo, and "Amalaya" quickly strips all of it back down to a broken, vicious pile of percussion shots. "Basement Serial" has to be the cherry on top of the cake, it's ominous drum bangs away amid layers of drones and distant pads. Sick.
Stark UKG designs from Neils and Atsuko on Alley Cat's Kokeshi. "Dismantle" is a deep, dreamy stepper that sits somewhere between breathy shadows of Burial and the rolling tech of Killawatt. Ghostly vocal textures waft gently over a drum palette that sounds like no other. "Reassemble" switches the rolls for steps as the groove lunges and plunges off the fractious drum arrangement while even darker vocal textures. Brutally beautiful.
Do you have any regrets in life? You will once you've heard this... XXXY continues his deep tech Rinse sermons with this powerful-yet-understated trio of brooding, reflective tracks. "Regrets" burns low-and-slow like a Henrik Schwarz cut, all strings and soft pads. "12049" follows suit with tightly clipped synth patterns over another insistent but subtle drum arrangement (think Ame's "Rej") while "Over Peover" joyrides New Horizons' slipstream and takes us to the further reaches of the solar system by way of twinkling arpeggios and lush, life-affirming synth chords. Beautiful.
Master of the absurd and mind-shreddingly complex, Aaron Funk is back following his My Love Is A Bulldozer album for Planet Mu back in 2014. Considering how prolific he has been at times, this has been a recent quiet patch but the glorious racket of "Your Face When I Finally" puts paid to the peace with a fine display of the infinitesimal production style he made his name on. From lopsided time signatures and bewitching melodies to disgusting splats of noise and puerile sampling, noone manages to chuck everything in the pot with the same panache as Venetian Snares. There are calm moments, focused moments and utterly insane moments, representing a fine example of everything the sonic madman stands for.
Like so many of his contemporaries, Tarquin's provenance to date isn't based on prior releases but rather airplay and impact in the dance. Out of the booming London grime scene and coming to the surface on Mr Mitch's Gobstopper label, it's not hard to see why the man has been garnering a buzz with his productions so far on the strength of these two belters. "Kid U" takes a breezy, poppy approach with its pitched-up vocal slices bouncing around amongst crafty slithers of sounds as intricate as they are playful. "Lost My Marbles" is more overtly aimed at the club with its guttural synth flex and raging rhythm, sure to inspire all manner of shocking out.
London's pioneering Hyperdub label returns with a hot collaboration between three perfectly matched artists. Female vocalist Jessy Lanza is accompanied by juke specialist DJ Spinn and Taso on "You Never Show Your Love", a rhythmic blend of fast-shooting percussion stabs and Lanza's own R&B vocals, backed by an instrumental version. There's also two tasty remixes, one from the late DJ Rashaad, a master at the juke genre, and 50 Weapons's Bambanou who proceeds to deliver his trademark brand of technoid tribalism. Banger of an EP, through and through.