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21 Jan 13
Review: In an era when considered eclecticism is all the rage, Hessle Audio founder Ben UFO still stands out. He's long been considered one of electronic music's more interesting DJs, seemingly able to weave together disparate sounds and styles into a logical, entertaining whole. This contribution to the FabricLive series shows him at his masterful best, utilising the simple pleasures of rhythm to weave together 28 thrilling and thoughtful selections. In the space of 70 minutes, he somehow manages to fuse sparse electro with classic acid house, murky post-dubstep techno with tribal African rhythms (and sharp '80s proto-house synths), Mr Fingers with Shackleton, stripped analogue techno with tactile futurism, and locked grooves with crystalline electronica. Truly, it's a tour de force.
06 Feb 12
Played by: Martin Sauvage /Soukouch Ethnik/
27 Aug 12
Review: Collecting the three parts of Untold's Change In A Dynamic Environment trilogy, this digital only edition is essential for those yet to hear one of the most impressive reinventions of the year. Swapping his usual restless drums and vacuum-like bass throb for a more patient brand of techno, these tracks still pack the punch you'd expect from Jack Dunning. Both "Motion The Dance" and Luminous" channel Metalheadz era drum & bass into a 4/4 package, as buzzing drones invert the typical bass formula, while "Caslon" and "Breathe" explore deeper Detroit styles and Vangelis inspired sounds. It's "Kane" and "Overdrive" however that offer the biggest surprise, taking inspiration from post-punk and industrial music to create two seriously rough techno tracks.
09 Apr 12
Review: In a recent interview, Jack Dunning suggested he was "just another dubstep producer washing up on techno's beach in 2012". In many ways this is unfair to his unique production style, which arguably has always had more in common with techno than many of his contemporaries - developing on a course outside of either genre over the past four years, culminating in the release of Little Things Like That on Clone's Basement Series last November. On listening to Change In A Dynamic Environment EP 1, it's clear that Little Things Like That was something of a transitional record, though perhaps not quite in the way that many expected. While both its tracks hammered forward with all the power of a horse bolting from the Fachwerk stable, the vacuum-like bass throb which is Dunning's most distinct sonic trademark was always pulling in the opposite direction, largely justifying the tag of bass over techno, and it's in this manner that many expected him to continue, applying his tried and trusted sounds to more regular drum patterns. This approach on both tracks flips Dunning's usual formula on its head, largely removing the heavily bottom-ended element of his sound, resulting in something that isn't rude club tackle but altogether more contemplative. Whether this is end of the Untold we knew him will no doubt be revealed with EPs 2 and 3.
25 Jun 12
Review: Jack Dunning's audacious three part project reaches number 2, and while the first instalment may have been inspired by drum & bass (in spirit if not necessarily in sound), it seems as though this pair of tracks are more concerned with the aesthetic of early Detroit techno. The near industrial thud of "Caslon" utilises a simple monophonic sequence that slowly builds into a storm of raw square waves. "Breathe" meanwhile opts for a deeper approach which is one of the producer's most sedate works to date, utilising a swung rhythm that is as far from his traditional jackhammer approach as you could imagine, with a gentle bass accented with a Vangelis-like sci-fi soundscape. Highly recommended.
13 Aug 12
Review: Drum & bass, Detroit techno, and now...post-punk? It seems unlikely that anyone would have expected Untold to conclude his trilogy of EPs with two tracks that could have emerged out of the dancepunk boom of ten years ago, but if anything they just prove that the DNA of early 80s British guitar music runs deep enough to show its dominant traits once every few generations. Of course it's not a total departure - although "Kane" is characterised by its Gang of Four style bassline, aesthetically it's a fitting companion to the first EP's "Motion The Dance": dark, throbbing, and filled with malicious intent, it's offered an air of grandiose spectacle with its symphonic violin, peaking at its mid-point when an event horizon of waspish drones open up beneath the bassline and pulls everything in. "Overdrive" meanwhile takes a more explicitly industrial tack, as heavily distorted bass guitar licks are thrown into a cascading jumble of crunchy, organic beats.
11 Jun 12
Played by: Kush Arora
Review: After the devastating techno excursion of his last outing on Hemlock, Untold slides up to Brainmath with this stand-alone cut of mutant rhythmic madness, once again demonstrating his power in subverting all around him. It's the kind of pared down broken beat that defined the initial upsurge of Hessle Audio output, as woody percussion and nutty sub bass plonk around with a spread of sonic decoration. The care taken in deploying these elements is plain to hear, as the fine detail blends into what comes on like a primal DJ tool for the next century.
09 Nov 09
23 Nov 09
26 Nov 12
Played by: Shadow Dancer
Review: It's hard to keep up with Hemlock Recording's expansive Chapter One compilation/mix project, but this fourth single, released as an addendum to the main package, is not to be missed. The EP features two remixes of label boss Jack Dunning aka Untold; first up Kowton twists "Stop What You're Doing" into a grime-smeared burner that plunders similarly bleak sonic terrain to Kahn's recent single on Deep Medi, while Canadian producer Nautiluss adopts shuffling rhythms and swirling synths that sound like Floating Points jamming with Boo Williams on his version of "Breathe".
03 May 13
Played by: Benny Kane
Review: Benny Kane and Dr Specs hook up with one of dancehall's most distinctive vocalists Daddy Freddy. The result? A dark, near-menacing stepper with a heavy, ominous vibe. Remix-wise every bass base is covered: Benny Kane adds a tropical hollow-bass stomp, 6BLOCC cause 808 meltdown on their Trapped Out rub, Skanx sharpens his rave breaks so much they can cut your ears from 50 paces, Black & White up the tempo for a hectic laser-puncher of "Tarantula" proportions and Rebel Sonix outlays two different versions; one laden with bleeps, the other laden with jaunty skanks and high end screams. Immense.
16 Jul 12
05 Jun 12
Review: With several releases for Trouble & Bass under their belts, Ursa Major return with another EP of lean, stripped back bass. The title track balances a churning dubstep bassline with sharp garage rhythms and warm keys, coming across like the perfect blend of classic dubstep and futuristic broken rhythms. "Test Match" meanwhile is characterised by its rigid percussive rattle and deep techno stabs, and will go down well with those who like their bass music sparse, rolling, and dark - recommended.
05 Nov 12
Review: London's Good Years have stuck gold here with a potential pop smash from the (impossible to Google) Utrecht. Who knows, maybe it actually is the whole German city behind this record, but whoever's done should be very pleased with themselves indeed. The original is a perfect example of where urban bass culture meets classic retro house-pop; a rolling, clap-heavy funk beat is accompanied by deep sub-bass rumbles and silky soul vocals in the style of Prince or Jamie Principle. Meanwhile, the club mix takes the same melodies and whips them up into a perky frenzy of piano stabs and garage rhythms.