Boy, it's their instalment of the This Is Night Bass series and, as always, it's a tight and severely jam-packed bag of pure bass-ridden quality. The rhythm carrying the best part of the release is one that locks into 4/4 mode, but the melodies, low frequencies and vocals contain something seriously UK about them. In fact, if you're looking for purist British house music with a garage flavour then you'v hit the right spot; it's as if these guys have tele transported back to 2000/2001, when the roots of dubstep were being laid-down from the foundations of garage and bassline. YES.
It's been way too long since we've heard from Polish duo Negativ. Thankfully they're back with a full force EP on another UK label, 887. The VIP mix of "Stealth" starts proceedings with a bang - dark tropical beats with a muscular bass bounce and even a cheeky hardcore break. Elsewhere "Ritual" sounds like Gary Numan's synth guys at a breaks night in Fabric and "Havoc" wraps things up with moody FX, evil bass stabs and tough, tense beats. Great to have them back.
The latest stop on Lamont's concurrent ascendency in the world of leftfield bass prodigies is none other than 81 UK. Here the label enables him to deliver a searing two-track reminder of why he's boss in bass. "Titanic" is an apocalyptically doom-ridden ghetto joint, all sparse beats and creep FX. "Eyes Closed" on the other hand, is an intense sonic melodrama set to some seriously serpentine trap rhythms and taut orchestral flourishes.
Bassline king DJ Q lays down a cheeky 1Up: a homage to everyone's favourite spiky ring-pinching blue hedgehog, "Sonic" is a bouncy two-step/breakbeat hybrid littered with vibrant 8-bit samples from the original game. With a bassline the strength of five end-bosses, it's clear Q's having a lot of fun right here.
Brighton's up and coming DJ/producer Pavv is back on Southpoint with some truly representative sounds of the UK underground garage sound and after some great releases on Project All Out, In:flux Audio and U Wot Blud? Records. The sexy and wonky title track is no doubt indebted to legends like MJ Cole, but what an impressive tribute; the use of the sampled vocals on this one is sweet. Bushbaby turns in a pretty killer remix of the track too which we dug, adding more swing to the rhythm and some added 'wonk' to the bassline which worked well. Also appearing is "Run Tings" which is more raw, tracky and full of attitude; save this one for later in the night when you want to up the energy level effectively.
It's another all-out wide-armed creative assault from the dedicated beat crafters at White Peach. Uniting old friends and new, each cut reminds us why the label is top of grime's fruit bowl. Eva808 polishes up the strings for a moment of subversive cinematica, Gundam's "Swordplay" takes us deep into Samurai territory, and longstanding Peacher Zha gets his paws on a sitar and snaps the instrument into pieces while Nakes's "Axe Riddim" juxtaposes eastern strings with a collection of precision tuned wood blocks. Innovative and forward-thinking... These peaches will never go mouldy.
This is no real surprise, but Canada's Philthkids are in no mood to mess around, and this latest EP is another shot straight to the head. Coming through courtesy of Modern Ruin, "Cyber Sapiens" is a butty tune, a not-so-gentle blend of footwork and 94' jungle held together by an intricate arrangement and some killer sonic work. "Power Supply" is more jungle than anything else, but its bassline is fresh and provocative, while "The Core" lashes out a heavy techno beat beneath starry, detuned synths; "Memory" features BSMNT and a nu-school kinds tribal beat that is a total pleasure on the old dancing feet.
Alphabets Heaven is the sort of sound you're looking for when all other electronica and leftfield music seems to be weighing heavy, or just not offering that little bit extra juice. This new extended EP - or LP - on WoNot Music is the perfect companion to a lazy stroll along the canal, a buzzing chat around the fire, or even a little wayward dance; each tune offers something deep and mystical, where regurgitated formulas are replaced in favour fresh and zesty electronic rhythms that go from balearic (check "Mogwai") to the more dark and spectral. It's a little creative feast for anyone looking to add some spice and fervour to their meditation.
Mysterious Japanese newcomer Doppio revs up to pole position with the militant, mechanical mastery of "Crash". All race-car traces, twisted engines and militant kicks, it should come with its own reinforced seatbelts. "Caxis" continues the rifle-like kicks with added industrial strength sheet-metal slaps. Finally "Carnival" takes elements of both (the kicks of "Crash" and metal clangs and bashes of "Caxis") and ties them together with ice-cold 22nd century bridges. Racy.
Atlas' debut on Keysound comes as no surprise whatsoever and, in fact, we were expecting to see someone of hi calibre pop up on the label. "Solitude" is a little work of art, a deep and enthralling web of bass and wide-eyed synths that bring to mind the start of something new fantastic, and it also fall neatly into the sparse folds of low frequencies present on the sonic massage that is "On The Cusp". "Alone In A Timespan" is all icy synths drone twisting carried forwards by a heavy percussion muscle, while "Calm" switches the mood and drops a heavy groove over masterfully executed licks of bass and melodies. Big tip right here.
After a string of instrumentals, Darkness go full grime with a crack team of spitfire MCs; AJ Tracey, PK, Saint P, Lyrical Strally, Big Zulu, Darkos, Kwarm, Nico Lindsay, Elf Kid, Hilts & Ghostly all take critical swipes at man's arrogant stance with big bars over Darkness's big computer beats. 8-bit hardness to the very core, the rhythm reflects the venom spreading from the mic. From working with no MCs to working with over 10... Darkness just fast-tracked into pure fire.
You could say that 18+ have been one of the best finds from the Houndstooth lot. You could also say that the LA-based duo are the ones truly shaping the leftfield field of the label's catalogue, which is packed with more concrete shades of house or techno elsewhere. Their releases for the label have been magnificent, and this latest album, Collect, might just be some o father best work. Labelled as 'bass', the LP is actually more on the neo R&B side of things, using powerful swings of bass as its main ingredient. the duo's vocals ride high and mighty over the rickety percussion and kicks, but there's also plenty of more tranquil moments in between the storms. All in all, a warmly recommended piece of work, and one that is likely to appeal to fans of Hype Williams.
Forest Drive West is a new producer who is putting out his debut on Peverelist and Kowton's label. It must be a daunting task to release on Livity Sound, but it's one that the London-based artist rises to in style. Clocking in at over ten minutes, "System" moves from eerie drones and shadowy vocals into a drawn out, voodoo rhythm, with tribal drums gather intensity before crashing in on the arrangement. On the flip, "Show Them" is more direct, with the producer putting the drums to the fore and allowing a bleak synth tapestry to gradually float to the surface. It's a hugely impressive debut release.
The Main Course label keeps getting stronger and stronger, a powerful beast that offers consistently high levels of bass and more. This is the third chapter of their Year compilations and, once again, we're presented with a heavy assortment of gnarly rhythms from players like Kid Kamillon, Damn Kids, Kito, Three Mike B. The thing is, if you're looking for a good dose of contemporary base that sits all under one hefty compilation, you've pretty much struck gold with this.
A casual little one-track number from the intrepid 20/20 LDN trio. Featuring Roses Gabor (who played the role of Noodles in the most recent work by The Gorillaz), and taking a step away from the loose-limbed hip-hop joints they've been flinging out lately, "Can't Say No" is much more of a sci-fi-vibing Autonomic sound that sits somewhere between R&B and cyberpunk. Bang on-point as always.
Bass batboy Redlight is back on Lobster Boy with another one of his devious, juke-ridden floor-shakers for the dance-prone corner dweller. "Bossman" is a one-track champion, but it rides low and mighty enough to beat an LP hands-down; the groove is a syncopated burst of metallic percussion shots bound together by a deep, lonesome bassline that is accompanied by a dark, minimal melodic rift. Heavy n' deep.
Belgium's Pelican Fly are back at it, and new Ukrainian wonderkid Inodi makes his return to the imprint with five new piece of digital fire. Remaining largely genreless, each tune on Digital Heart is simply a fascinating piece of studio work, starting with the sweet chimes of "Never Let Me Go" - watch for those video game sounds - and ending on the euphoric waves of "IWU", a tune that is actually representative of Inodi's sound throughout. That is, an incandescent blend of cascading synths and sparse IDM beats. Lovely.
Wavy, hazy, likely to lower stress levels you didn't even know you had, Brighton-based multi-project, multi-instrumentalist virtuoso Mount Bank teases us with one track from his forthcoming album Counter Real. Beatless ambience tied together with swooning human textures and Eva Brown's yearning, far-away vocal leads us into a slo-mo spaced out beat finale. A great taster for a truly unique album.