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12 Mar 12
Review: Rounding off his mini-series of releases for Saigon, Goldffinch continues the label's fine tradition of spooked-out techno-dubstep combinations with some fresh and freaky ideas that hit the contemporary nail on the head. "Tip The Dog" maximises the mileage you can get out of a chopped vocal, while the synth hook creates that aforementioned haunting vibe. The beat rolls along on an easy break, all soft hits and voluptuous sub, leaving the decoration to take the limelight. "Outer Twigs" is a 4/4 workout that maintains the lean beats, creating a strange meeting point between UK Funky and techno with the dramatic synth sweeps.
04 Jun 12
Review: Fast following up a stellar joint release from Hackman & Tessela, Dutch bass merchants Audio Culture turn to the Belgian duo Goldffinch, who have been nothing less than on fire over the past six months. "Model" displays their deft touch for minimal UKF snare patterns and sensitively handled vocal slices, all wrapped up in a package of deep, dark bass. "Let Me See" takes things in a Drexciyan electro direction, employing cavernous reverb around sharp flecks of rippling synth. "Belle" meanwhile finishes things up on a futuristic R&B note, filling their sparse production with warm neon blue synth pads. As ever with Goldffinch, this is essential stuff.
14 Feb 13
16 Jan 12
Played by: Odiggity, Chris Coco, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Vorres - Juno, Bunny On Acid, 123mrk, Nunchaku
Review: Although he's got remixes for Nguzunguzu and Crystal Fighters in the bag, this debut full release from the London producer has been eagerly anticipated for a while, especially with Well Rounded records having already introduced the talents of Deadboy to the world. Thankfully it doesn't disappoint; "I Could Be There" consists of a deep garage bassline, shackling percussion and a synth melody that drifts through a fog of auburn mist. It's undeniably the vocal hook that makes it though. "Cactus Banger" meanwhile clatters along with all the aplomb of a Gerry Read production, with sinister atmospherics sitting alongside a confident sense of melody which marks Gongon out to be more than just another also-ran in the bass music stakes.
18 Feb 13
Played by: Mat Cant, Redsoul, Alkalino, Juno Recommends Deep House, Utah Saints, Martin Solveig, Kid Kenobi, Kono Vidovic
Review: This powerhouse duo - a collaboration between none other than Foamo and Rack N Ruin - dropped their killer debut EP last year and since then things have been ominously quiet. Well, now they're back with a stonking great new release that fully explores the pair's interest in all things deep and groovy. "Real" features the vocal talents of rising star Yasmin and manages to be both an exotic pop anthem and a sparse, 4/4 bass head-nodder. "Thor" is nasty dark basement fodder, "Athena" is a lithe, tropical acrobat of a tune and "10 Below" is a sinister house-meets-garage monster.
27 Feb 12
Played by: DJ Stex, Ricky Simmonds (DJ Rsi), Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Sunday Roast, Hxdb, Bizt, Shox, Rack N Ruin, Konnekt - Hot N Heavy, Major Notes, Black Butter Records
Review: The first fruits of a working partnership between excellent tropical bass man Foamo with fellow UK producer Rack N Ruin, Gorgon City's debut surfaces on Black Butter this week. Title tune "The Crypt" draws in fellow Black Butter family members Rubi Dan and Navigator who verbalize over the dancehall/electro hybrid beats, while "The Truth" plays host to singer Janai and thrillingly fuses grimey bass with hooks and a tech-tropical beat.
09 Jan 12
Review: London producer Graphics drops a truly stunning slow-bass beauty in the form of this latest release from Get Me. "There's A Way Back" is deep on an oceanic scale, with gentle waves of bass washing over primitive percussion and hazy strings and snares. The deliriously looped and detuned vocals provide the cherry on top of a very cool little cake. Glasgow's finest Dam Mantle shoots the BPMs up to drop a speaker-rattling remix, while another Graphics original, "Fiddla", gets severely eerie on an almost industrial/gothic vibe.
03 Dec 12
Played by: Paul Mac, Juno Recommends Techno, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Greenmoney, Highgrademuzik Aka Don D Selectah
Review: Here's the third installment of Alex Phountzi and Leo Greenslade (aka Greenmoney)'s DJ-orientated dub series and it's a belter, packed with bass, beats and, in this case, bongos. "This Is Love" kicks this off in a bleepy fashion, complete with a deep acid house bassline and tough, jackin' drums. "Boomer" is dark with an abrasive synthline, voodoo percussion and a mighty bass drum that provides the 'boom, boom, boom'! 'Lastly "Aaarlin" mixes what sounds like Bollywood samples with intricate tropical beats that's guaranteed to get the party grindin' in no time at all.
21 Feb 12
Review: Finnish grime and techno hybrid dance music producer Gremino steps up with a superb release on Fade To Mind, the US sister label of Brit based Night Slugs, owned by Kingdom. Jumping straight in at the deep end with the unrelenting, pounding tech funk of "Lush", it's all booming bass and frenetic yet precise rhythms, before we are taken on to the eponymous track of the EP, "Let's Jack" which boasts darting bleepy melodies, choral sci-fi sweeps and pummeling beats. The quirky and curious story continues in "Faerietales", a milieu of disorientating synth squiggles and weird wails. Highly recommended.
13 Nov 12
Review: Label boss Kastle states that for his imprint, Symbols Recordings, 'the feeling is the genre'. However he does let is slip that it is at least in the sphere of 'forward-thinking electronic music'. With recent releases from either side of the Atlantic, it is now the turn of San Francisco producer Grenier to provide some bass-inflected ammunition. "Cursive" is the kind of sinister post-dubstep that you wouldn't want to meet down a dark alley, while "Gutta' is all broken up beats and a wayward 303. Title track "Intentions" is slammin' satanic garage and "Silver Surfer" features some pretty cinematic synth work. Things end on an introspective note, with the chopped-up brittle beauty of the downtempo "I Miss The Hiss".
01 Jul 12
Review: Unveiling a new moniker, DJG steps up with a smart two-tracker which continues Tectonic's careful steering towards a potential future for dubstep. "Uncertain" already received an airing on label boss Pinch's recent Fabric mix, and it sounds pristine in its solitary form, as mammoth chord stabs follow an equally hefty bassline. The vibe starts off darkside and blossoms into rich textures, positively sunnier in its outlook than first impressions may have suggested. "Vendetta" lives up to the sinister promise of its opening tones, riding a similar bumping groove but keeping the melodics to a minimum so that the edgy rhythm section can do its thing.
22 Apr 13
Review: New kid on the block Groofeo steps up on Slime Recordings with his irresistibly grinding Hybrid EP - a suitable name given the dude's masterful blend of half-step beats and chimerical atmospherics. "Outside the Earth" lies somewhere between Calibre's majestic jungle rhythms and Oneohtrix Point Never's drones - a winning combination. "Synchrophasotron" is a stunning chugger, reminiscent of early DMZ, bringing back those lazy, sludgy kicks with subtle swirls of UK nastiness emanating from all angles. "Melancholy" meanwhile takes a broken beat arrangement and completely twists it on his head, giving us a slow-burning and soulful jazzy soundscape for the early hours.
11 Mar 13
Review: Following up last year's work on "Cloud Body" Montreal's Grown Folk head south to the Bay Area for more hyphy sleaze fests. Dreamy but armed with attitude, Main Attraktionz's tag-team harmonies fall softly over Grown Folk's woozy beat work, allowing both parties to cut through the mix. Highlights include Kuedo's somnambulant remix of "ICE" and the tongue-in-cheeky lyrics on "Double MOB". Head in clouds? Good... Keep it there.
27 Sep 11
21 Nov 11
Review: The seal on Hemlock's music is always one of quality, so when they welcome a relative newcomer into their fold, you know it must be something quite special. With a strong digital EP on Discobelle already under his belt, Guy Andrews has been known to those with their finger on the pulse of bass music for a few months now, but this release deserves to see his profile rise considerably; the 808s and woodblock percussion of "Shades" have the spectre of early jungle at its core, whilst maintaining a maturity and restraint that few of his peers doing similar things would be able to muster. "Textures" meanwhile is similarly masterful, skillfully moving from 4/4 techno to a funky-infused bass workout without breaking a sweat.
28 May 12
Review: After his sterling turn on Untold's Hemlock label last year, Guy Andrews follows many of his peers in graduating to the dizzy heights of Hotflush with this new EP. "The Wait" is a taut stomper, featuring more of those dense rhythms that got people taking notice in the beginning, while measured dub techno chords pace underneath. It's a moody track throughout, but immaculately produced so that every nuance of percussion shines through. "Hands In Mine" opts for a more broken beat, with some gnarly stabs of melody and a steady pad underneath the myriad elements.
25 May 12
Review: There have been whispers of an album from fast rising UK producer Hackman for some time now, and though it's yet to arrive, this free download should give some indication as to its direction. "Forgotten Notes" perhaps shows the producer at his most melancholic, combining bittersweet keys and mournful vocals with some deep bass. But don't let that deceive you - it's still filled with the upbeat garage flutter, and packs more colour into four minutes than the scores of house-influenced bass pretenders that are following in his wake.
18 Jun 12
Review: Following their last 12" from Bristol producer Artefact, Deadplate Recordings hit up the combined talents of Hackman and Bluto for their third release. "What Matters" is an upbeat piece of UKG influenced house, filled with whipcrack snares, manic keys and bright, ravey tendencies. On the flip, James Fox opts for a deeper revision, making the most of the delicate vocal and stretching it out over a swung rhythm, stripping it back to the bare essentials, opting for clouds of wafting synths rather than an all out assault.
07 May 12
Review: In a pairing that captures the vanguard of UK club-ready dynamics, Hackman and Tessela pool their resources to come up with some gutsy jams that celebrate the wilder end of what contemporary dance music is all about. There's a constant roll to "Now I've Lost My Number 4" that sees clattering beats falling into a steady groove, while the bass seems to wobble out regardless of the tumbling rhythms. "Feel Like Me" is the real killer though, bouncing on a nasty bump that belies the more garage-leaning tendencies of the artists while also chucking in a truly unique choice of crooning vocal sample.
26 Nov 12
Review: Heralding the start of the newly minted Church imprint, Happa makes a strong case for the buzz he has received with but a smattering of appearances before now. "Beat Of The Drum" is as percussion-centric as you might hope, and what percussion it is. Ostensibly based around a 2-step wiggle, the monolithic hits that fall with deft swing are infallible in their guaranteed dance-levelling power. Throwing Snow takes said beats into a frantic, juked-out territory on his remix, firing off that instantly identifiable jerky rhythm and a considerable tempo jump. "Bring It Back" is a considerable shift in style, as Happa delves into a menacing electro house well, leaving it to Apes & Seb Wildblood to drop a more casual deep house cut.
20 Feb 12
Played by: Vorres - Juno
Review: Swiss producer Herr Johann really steps up into the big leagues with this new EP on Dwntwn Rcrd. Opener "Shade Off" is an eerie 2-stepper with a heart-melting pitched-up vocal line and a SBTRKT set of hazy Detroit chords floating over the top, while the slower "Loner" will immediately find favour with fans of Lone's gliding textures in particular. The more conventional "Someone" offers some UKF-cum-Balearica and the ice-cold dub of "Vibrations" mixes crisp future-garage beats and Boddika-esque filter vocals. A hugely impressive and essential EP indeed.
24 Sep 12
Review: There's something decidedly old skool about this breezer stepper from the Riddim Fruit camp. Boasting a weary but emotion-rich vocal, twinkling melodies, rubbery double bass and retro-futurist two-step beats, the original version of "Step By Step" sits somewhere between the jazzier end of two-step, broken beat and dubstep. It should go down well with those who enjoy the musically developed productions of, say, Maddslinky. The Pulsar remix, meanwhile, adds some heavier bass and a fluid dubstep shuffle, while retaining the original's autumnal beauty.
03 Oct 12
Review: It's true to say that genres in dance music really are melting away at the moment. With its clippity-clop rhythms, velvety pads and melodic vocals, "Heat Wave" is a warm blend of spacey synth-pop and house. Bassmynt's 'Rain' remix, takes the tune round Burial's for a night in with a broken synth, before Reilly's Indian Summer mix takes it out for a bit of thumping-jazz clubbing (yes, a new genre for us too!). "Buried" is an intriguing mix of doomy, bass-heavy tuneage and ecstatic gospel that is given a mangled garage makeover by HxDB.
26 Nov 12
Played by: Hxdb
Review: Bristol's fresh-faced house progenitor Jacob Martin spreads his wings on this EP, making a clear distinction from the more laconic Outboxx material he jointly creates. There's a refreshing rudeness at work on the sub of "Tonda", while the drum programming comes in at nifty angles without ever peaking too far away from the moodiness of the outset. Likewise "Dusted" is a po-faced exercise in bass placement and minimal distractions, using the tails of select sounds to feed into a taut atmosphere in a style reminiscent of Kowton, the chosen remixer for this single. "Turmoil" in its original form does the nasty with some micro house chops re-contextualised amidst a rolling broken beat, while Kowton does the damage by focusing on a mammoth kick note and then feeding nervy strings into the mix.
20 Apr 12
Review: As part of Bristol's Outboxx, Jacob Martin is no stranger to the unique style of house that is now part of the city's DNA. But while his work as part of that production duo comes from an angle that is undeniably driven by a classic Chicago template, his solo work as Hodge applies a 2-step structure to the same brushed, vintage sounds. Like his contemporary Hackman, it's a melodically lighter take on the genre - "The Fall", despite its name, is a summery slice of swung percussion and funk infused textures which at times recalls Space Dimension Controller's intergalactic timbres. "Crush" meanwhile positively snaps with its whipcrack percussion, whilst offering a more grounded experience with its squidgy bassline, which is momentarily sent skywards on a drifting chord. Another name to add to Bristol's already bursting list of talent.
06 Feb 12
Review: All that time conversing with the likes of Marcus Mixx and DJ Stingray must have rubbed off on Unknown To The Unknown's DJ Haus. Despite his Hot City project (alongside Ben Keen) being known for its bass-heavy 2-step productions, this EP, in collaboration with the LA/Montreal pair LOL Boys, consists of a pair of tweaking acid-house jackers. The title track opens with a flurry of swung 808 kicks and neon stabs, before giving way to a rough and ready 303 line, with the rhythm straightened out in the second half into a tough 4/4 house rhythm. "Whitney (Jus Some Shit)" is another winning piece of Chicago inspired house, with a gnarled bassline, driven by furious cowbells and detuned ghetto vocal samples, all with a grimy undercurrent that keeps its feet firmly entrenched in the underground of contemporary London club music. If you're worried that the new direction will cause some of Hot Ciy and LOL Boys energy to be lost in translation, don't be - this is some their best output to date.
24 Sep 12
Played by: Ya Dun Know, Hxdb, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Sounds Of Sumo, D3adl1ne, Major Notes, Allmostt, Cosby (Car Crash Set), Modo Fractal, Soaka
Review: Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, HxdB aka hexadecibel, is a producer on a mission to deliver forward-thinking bass music to the world. Judging by this, his latest EP, he's right on track. "Up", takes sparse garage beats and elevates them with spacey rave synths, killer staccato rhythms and claps, into a heavenly slice of dancefloor gold. "Stylish Cadaver" is an awesome excursion into tropical riddims, high-pitched vocals and apocalyptic synth chords. Bwana and Grenier provide rain-kissed and synth-drenched mixes respectively. Remixes of the title track come from Pasteman who evokes the spirit of Copacabana in his version and Bassmynt who's mix is all about trippy garage.
10 Apr 12
Played by: Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Hxdb, Vorres - Juno, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio
Review: Fresh grimey house goodness from this Canadian pairing on an excellent new release from Party Guy. HXDB channels Boddika and Pearson Sound on the UKF-meets-808 funk of "Once Bytten", while the pair break out some Blawan-esque drum heat on the fantastically moody acid blast of "Bassixx". Really strong stuff that deserves to be snapped up by fans of heady and future-focused bass music.
06 Mar 12
Review: HXDB teams up with Self Evident for this monster release on Palms Out Sound. First up is "Hoof Hearted" with its sci-fi sweeping intro and quirky spaced out SFX. Eerie and empty from the off, it swiftly develops into a dark horse of a piece with funky little number with pattering beats and deftly placed sounds. "New Stylee" is another excellent outing with hollow, chopped up vocal, bongo-esque clapping beats and distorted synth work. Max Ulis' remix adds another dimension to the piece and wraps up the EP with stylish panache.