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29 Apr 13
Played by: Eric Sharp
Review: He probably won't win any prizes for modesty with the title of this release, but Sharp's musical approach is certainly worthy of praise. "Help Me" is all breathy textures and swinging offbeats, the steely precision of minimal house mixed with the deeper sound of Detroit. The DAMB remix veers closer to minimalism; while it retains the original's sense of swing, the rhythm is tougher and the percussion more insistent. Sharp follows DAMB's example on "Organized Confusion"; there, tough drums and tonal shifts usher in a harder, less musical sound. It's a similar story on "Avusadora", featuring Bass Cadet, which focuses on a jacking rhythm and a repetitive vocal sample.
03 Jul 12
Played by: Smutlee, Lud Dub, Odiggity, DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings), Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio, Mike G, Sounds Of Sumo, Konnekt - Hot N Heavy
Review: Hailing from New Orleans, Jim E Stack certainly has plenty of dirty south swagger behind him on the rough and tough beat that defines "Bubble Boy", his offering to the Bodyhigh imprint. The snare comes rattling in a militaristic rattle while the bottom end stomps in that half-house lurch. There's plenty of diversion in the midrange as well, as woody panpipe imitations and more overtly electronic flourishes try to cool the tempestuous drums. For all their melodic intent though, this track is about the rhythm, and it comes weighing with an unstoppable intent.
30 Sep 12
18 May 12
Review: Following huge releases from Digi G'Alessio and Stabber in recent months, Crookers' Lucky Beard imprint comes through with another EP of weird and wonderful yet heavy bass hybrids. "Skills" takes a house structure and flips it round with its skeletal beats and vocal samples and thundering low-end, while "Crafting" takes 808 percussion and wraps it up in some moody bass rumble. "Thief", "Mage" and "Warrior" meanwhile opt for some dubstep-style half-time action, which despite their hip-hop shapes are undeniably heavy beasts.
30 Oct 12
13 Aug 12
Review: UK bass label Senseless Records have found a young producer from San Francisco called Reilly Steel. With brittle, possibly classical-trained, production it's safe to say that Steel is taking a more intelligent approach to bass music. "ICU' mixes erratic percussion with the distinctly British sound of vintage rave stabs. "Taking Me" continues this theme with more stabs, house organs and a wailing diva exclaiming 'taking me high-err!'. Things slow down on the fragile "Inside" with samples culled from nature including bird calls and the sound of water. The vintage rave theme still abounds on "The Healing" which reminds the listener of Moby's 'Go' but with better bass. Cosmic Revenge deliver a stand out uptempo mix of the title track; full of eccentric basslines and electronic disco toms!
16 Oct 12
Review: One of the highlights of Rustie's recent Essential Mix, Glasweigan producer S-Type's "Billboard" sees a release through LuckyMe on this six track EP. Channelling the weighty MPC styles of TNGHT and Araabmuzik into one package, it combines heady melodies, neon synths and heavy beats, with the vocoder filled "Walrus" and the ghetto styles of "Whole Lotta" making for particular highlights.
12 Feb 13
Review: While he might be forging a name for himself in the nascent trap scene, on this return to regular haunt Friends Of Friends LA based producer Salva is embracing the ruff stomp of UK funky and serving up some peak time heat in tracks like "Get A Life". With plenty of hip hop vocal twists and the appropriate amount of hype-inducing samples it should keep his newer fans happy while still bringing something fresh to the table. There's a juke infusion at work on "Hard Drive", except it's fed through a limber, crafty amount of editing and production trickery that maximises the dizzying effect of the manic sample triggering. There's a more old-skool rave flavour at the centre of "Rest in 3-Piece", but still run through the grinder with a mercenary sensibility.
30 Apr 12
Review: Frite Nite label boss Paul Salva teams up with fellow American west coaster Grenier (who's recently changed his name from DJG, and who's constantly impressed hugely with some unique bass/step visions). The pair share their talents across two new tunes - the stunning "Wake The Dead", which wraps electro vibes around a variety of different styles on a haunted tip thanks to some polyrhythmic drum work, and "Forest Floor" which is far less cluttered and will find favour with fans of Hud Mo, Machinedrum et al.
25 Sep 12
Review: Tropical bass troubadour Samo Sound Boy delivers a decidedly high energy new EP for label Body High. The title track is a relentlessly pounding banger, featuring a pulsating electro-house bassline and campy chopped up vocals samples reminding us of Tobi Newman's Khia remix from many moons ago. "Watch Me Ride" piles on the old 303ims and hammers them home with a stomping kick and cowbells galore. "Drive Time" is a supreme electro-house workout, sounding like early releases on Destined Records. "Acid Walk" is a showdown between an overzealous 303 and sleazy vocalist Njena Reddd Foxxx. It's bass Jim, but not as we know it.
18 Feb 13
Review: Making his first full appearance on Jacques Greene's Vase imprint, Samoyed brings an energetic, ravey streak to his more typically mellow output, but he's still in command of a keen ear for strung out pads and emotional vocal snippets. "Sloe Eyes" is the sweeter of the two, but still finds itself whipping up into a breakbeat frenzy in between the dreamy breakdowns. "Guts" leads in on a lilting loop of melancholia, before a rugged beat and prominent bass come marching in to add some ass-wiggling dirt to the wistful situation. Fuelled by the sharp programming of UK funky and yet still as spooky as anything Samoyed has produced, it's a different kind of dance wrecker.
101 bouncy, big-room bass patches for Massive
Over 200 MB of killer sounds including heavy basslines, tweeter tweaking tops, pumping energy synthlines & solid drum loops
07 May 12
Review: Leeds producer Sarantis is brimming with excellent off-the-hook rave ideas across all seven tracks on The Cell33 EP arriving courtesy of Chrissy Murderbot's Loose Squares label. As you'd expect from any Murderbot-approved release, tempos creep deep into 140bpm territory as Sarantis mixes footwork and juke rhythms with dub on "Acid Daze", dancehall on "The Problem" and grime on "Str8up".
03 Jun 13
31 Jan 12
29 Mar 13
14 May 12
Review: Squelch & Clap live up to their wonderful title once again with emerging Nottingham maestro Saulya. This EP is what we call in the music industry a sonic sandwich; two super-soft slices of nourishing modern day electro boogie bread ("Effort Isn't Enough" and "I Don't Want To Sleep") and a satisfyingly chewy bass filling, full of complexities ("Gravitas"). There's even a side salad; Arcade's remix of the eponymous lead track maintains the swooning, sweeping synths of the original but adds a distinctive, sharp Detroit/classic electro twist. Garnished with a mild dressing of jazz sensibility, this is a fantastic effort.
26 Feb 13
Review: Swedish duo Savage Skulls have been making some serious noise in bass circles since about 2008. Now they've gone stateside, talking Frenchman Douster with them and signing up with Steve Aoki's Dim Mak label. This EP is unrepentantly aimed at the dancefloor: "Bass Kick" is hysterical, peak time madness with heavily compressed tropical beats and ascending synth melodies, "TRT" is tough party-garage with EDM-friendly trance breakdown and finally "Nicole" is total pop-dance euphoria.
20 Feb 12
Review: Aaron Jerome dons his favourite tribal mask for another outing under the increasingly high profile SBTRKT moniker. The effortlessly soulful "Hold On" was one of the highlights of last year's debut SBTRKT full length - a slick, broken beat throwback with enough deep future garage chops to keep contemporary dancefloors happy. Here, the excellent original is joined by the more obviously dancefloor-centric Sisi Bak Bak remix (an alias of none other than Thom Yorke!), which chops up the beats, vocal and melodies in classic future garage fashion. Also worth a listen is bonus cut "Ride To Freedom", a glorious starburst of MDMA-rich synths and shuffling broken beats.
27 Jun 11
04 Jul 11
06 May 13
Review: This is a South Fork's first official spilt single and they're frankly rubbing their hands with glee over the artists they sourced to appear. Sclist is up first, delivering the remarkably weird and wonderful "Round One" which features hypnotic deep tribal and voodoo rhythms. Subcorr's "Ghost Charmer" is stark and menacing electro with a killer synth top line and is basically just amazing.
02 Jul 12
Played by: Peter Edison, Lifecycle, Juno Recommends Deep House, Juno Recommends Techno, Black Jack, Manhattan, Top Billin DJ Team, Hybrid
Review: Whatever your opinion of Scuba's divisive album Personality, there's no denying that "NE1BUTU" was one of the album's brightest moments. Taking a punchy breakbeat and upbeat piano riff, the track is Paul Rose's love letter to pretty much everything great about every dance track from the 90s. Those that wish the producer would return to his darker ways however, can take comfort in the accompanying remix, in which Rose dons his SCB hat and turns it into a lean techno tool that cloaks the original's colour in shades of grey, creating one of his most incisive club tracks to date.
27 Feb 12
Played by: Chris Coco, Lung, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Bizt, Matthew Kyle, The Legendary 1979 Orchestra, Djs: Most Charted - Dubstep, Rack N Ruin, Resident Advisor, Manhattan, Jon Saigon, Mak & Pasteman, Tcts
Review: Where Scuba's earlier work was typified by the same metallic sheen and monochrome hue, it's noticeable on his third album Personality just how much more colour he's letting into the mix. Whether it's the crisp electro breaks of opener "Ignition Key" or the joyous pop chimes of "July", the mood is overall far sunnier than the Scuba of before. There's drum & bass explorations being made on "Cognitive Dissonance", chart-baiting hooks aplenty and a wealth of vocal action from speeches to divas. All in all it's another essential, multi-faceted evolutionary step for the Berlin-based producer.
17 Oct 11
Played by: Owain Kimber (Owain K), Shadow Dancer, Deepchild, Juno Recommends Dubstep, Jamie Behan (Bastardo Electrico), Siz.da, Enzo Canale, Bunny On Acid, Van Bonn, Breakbeat.is, Attemporal, Arma, Apparat
Review: While it might be tricky in these open-minded times for Scuba to shatter preconceptions the way that he did with his Sub:Stance mix a few years ago, this compilation should be seen really as a celebration of the man himself as a DJ. After launching with a decidedly minimalist approach, the mix meanders between pacey techno, bluesy broken beat and rolling dubstep tempos. At times the flow feels unsteady, but then it just rings true that he put this mix together for himself. Without a dancefloor to look after, who knows where many of our favourite DJs might take us?
25 Sep 12
Review: Seapoint is a shady producer from Montreal, who has seen his profile rise quite considerably over the last 12 months. Not one for holding back on his love of all things oceanic, he now drops his Nautical Day EP which should see him ahem, reel in even more attention with his cut up, retro sound. The title track sees stop-start beats carry a looped 80s/90s R&B sample. "Row Land" follows a similar approach but with extra synth stabs and more up front club vibes. "Cyanotype Cities" features a vintage New York house sound, with 4/4 beats, a ravey organ, killer snare rolls and a wailing diva sample. "Shadow Encoder" is all broken hip-hop beats and sci-fi R&B keyboards. The last track "Unknown Ruins", mines the 90s soul vibes even more, sounding rather like Boys II Men stuck in a K hole.
22 Mar 13
Review: Canadian producer Self Evident has been slowly but surely making a name for himself with a string of killer singles and collaborations with HxDB, but now he fully gets his chance to shine with this, his debut album. The LP boasts 12 tracks bursting with idiosyncratic beats and bonkers sounds and melodies. Highlights include the broken tropical dub of opener "Go Down Low", the sleazy, cough, bottom end of "Stripper Pole", the snarling beat beast of "Calgary" and the hauntingly sparse trap influenced "Birth of Light".
16 Apr 12
Review: Presumably signing off on their excellent debut album from last year, this EP comprises two Sepalcure originals - the juke gone broken-beat of "Eternally Yrs" and the previously unreleased "Don't Cry", a tense standoff between hyperactive 808 and more flowing, soulful waves of vocal and drifting synth delay. As with any Hotflush release, the remixers are exceptionally well chosen - Marcus Intalex in his Trevino guise transforms "Hold On", pulling the original's looser elements together with a taut rhythmic focus, but the big remix is from Canadian wunderkind Kevin McPhee. His take on album standout track "The One" sets the delicate stabs into the background, turning it into a rolling drum-led behemoth which is neither house nor techno, but somewhere pleasantly in between.
31 Jan 11
Review: Another hotly tipped act to appear on Scuba's Hotflush imprint, Sepalcure blend ambient soundscapes with lush melodies, hushed vocals and a deep, experimental post-dubstep sound that's quite frankly, really rather wonderful. Kicking off with the title track, Sepalcure send us into a sublime headspace which is somewhere between contemporary hot shots like Mount Kimbie, Pariah and fellow yanks Vondelpark and Ninja stalwarts like Cinematic Orchestra. Next, "Your Love" takes things even more downbeat with echoing, reverbed atmospheric crackles and a warm, murmuring b-line yet there is a sense in which this track won't settle - constantly fidgeting and looking towards the horizon until entering a contemplative passage towards the end. It leads us neatly into "No Think" - which could well be the defining track of the EP, what "Work Them" was to Ramadanman last summer. Here, lurching 2-step rhythms hit home with great effect, the same shimmering, barely-there vocals and an overwhelming sense of brooding darkness. Divine. "Inside" closes the EP with a short two-minute Flying Lotus style finale, incorporating string flourishes, muttering lyrics and warm ambient watercolour washes.
07 Nov 11
Review: As a prelude to their debut album, released in December, Sepalcure (the pairing of Braille and Machinedrum) drop this single containing "Pencil Pimp", one of the album's many highlights. "Pencil Pimp" is an uptempo track in the vein of Machinedrum's album from earlier this year, incorporating the rhythmic flex of footwork and insistent piano line with washed out textures and acoustic samples which recall labelmates Mount Kimbie. Up next is "I'm Alright", a track exclusive to the single release. If the A-Side seemed like Machinedrum was taking the lead, then this track is obviously much like Braille's recent EP on Hotflush. Combining broken beats with a housier tempo, the track is as rich as its counterpart, utilising its titular vocal sample to great effect, with razor sharp handclaps swimming in an ocean of aquatic synths.
21 Nov 11
Review: Following last year's acclaimed EPs on Hotflush, Sepalcure, aka Travis Stewart and Praveen Sharma had some time off from the project and achieved huge things separately - Stewart as Machinedrum has released one of this year's best albums on Planet Mu, and Sharma as Braille two of this year's best EPs on Hotflush and Rush Hour. Incredibly, this album manages to exceed their individual achievements; skilfully combining broken beat, dubstep, and the more classic tones of house, this album is only matched by Mount Kimbie's Crooks & Lovers in terms of textural richness and fluid rhythms. Whether it's the echoes of Detroit techno in "The One", the soul inspired melodies of "See Me Feel Me", the footwork rhythms of "Eternally Yrs" or the dubstep-evoking bass oscillations and rhythmic stutter of "Yuh Nuh See" and "Breezin", each genre boundary they cross is done with the kind of skill that few of their peers operating under the sometimes shady term "post-dubstep" could ever hope to emulate.