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07 Jun 10
06 May 13
Played by: Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy)
Review: When 123MRK's Noname EP dropped in 2011 creating waves all around the dubstep and bass music scene. Moulding the sound of his generation into a style all his own, the Frenchman suddenly found himself held aloft as an innovator as well as simply a producer of sounds. This remixed release of his seminal EP was a lofty undertaking and the finished item features remixes from some of the future dubstep scene's brightest young stars alongside long-time innovators. From Liar's metalic, lo-fi flavours to Troy Gunner's understated clicks and swirls; ViLLAGE's heart-pounding house remodelling to Heblank's old-school twist, even the likes of Pixelord and ReSketch play their garage-influenced hands to create an all-new modern-day canvas of what exactly bass music is right at this moment. It can never be truly defined, but this is a pretty good encyclopedia.
07 Feb 13
04 Apr 11
Review: For a producer who earns a living patrolling the moody sonic terrain between dubstep and techno, the third album from Dutchman Dave Huismans under the 2562 alias is his most raucous yet. A notable progression has been made from the dense atmospherics and subterranean bass that characterised 2008's Aerials and the dark textures of 2009's Unbalance, both of which saw release on Bristolian imprint Tectonic. Fever - released via Huismans' own When In Doubt label - has a more insouciant slant, albeit buried beneath several layers of robust drum programming and hanging synths. The stuttering rhythms and disorientating panning of "Winamp Melodrama" opens Fever, followed by the whirring effects and muffled vocal loops of "Cheaters". The chaotic drum programming on "Juxtaposed" brings to work the mind of fellow genre ignorer FaltyDL, before "Intermission" marks the album's halfway point and paves the way for Huismans' most outlandish moment, namely the unrelenting party techno stomp of "This Is Hardcore". God only knows which disco records he sampled for this one - but it's enamoured with bucket loads of groove and swing. Essential listening from start to finish.
06 Jan 13
13 Mar 12
Played by: Chrissy Murderbot, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Bizt, Bunny On Acid, Simon/Off, Konnekt - Hot N Heavy
Review: A real joy for bass heads and fans as Bristol's Admin & Mahni combine to mix the sonics of Julio Bashmore with Om Unit beats and detuned hip-hop acapellas on the excellent "Formattin'". On an even more minimal yet deliciously tuneful vibe, "Next Universe" reminds of early Morgan Geist and his brilliantly twee electronic weirdness, while remixes from Kon, Magnum, Slick Shoota and Konga Konga add to a hugely impressive and forward-thinking release.
20 May 13
25 Jun 12
12 Apr 13
01 Jan 13
30 Apr 12
Review: Aside from sporting the finest, bushiest beard in dance music, Ralph "Bass Clef" Cumbers has long been a producer with more ideas than most. Just as capable of making thrilling, bass-heavy floor fillers as quirky dubstep and oddball electronica, he's made a career out of surprising listeners at every turn. This latest album - his first for Peverelist's Punch Drunk imprint - is a good case in point. Having seemingly tired of straight-up dubstep and bass music (for now, at least), Cumbers turns his attention to linear electronics, classic Detroit techno and stargazing electronica, laying down a series of delightfully melodic compositions that arguably rank among his best to date. The album's forthright positivity is its most startling feature; clearly, "Clef" is in a good place right now.
01 Jun 12
Review: As co-owner of the Disktopia label and associate of Starkey's esteemed Seclusiasis imprint, BD1982 has been impressing with his colourful brand of bass for a few years now, but this release for B.YRSLF Division is one of the producer's tightest efforts to date. Combining melodies with a particularly African flavour the EP recalls the more interesting end of the current UK bass/house zeitgeist with the kind of intricate yet hard-hitting drum patterns of Roska's productions. Standout tracks include "Iron Trees" with its eski melody and deep bass stabs, the frenetic footwork rhythms of "Zero Hours" and confrontational stomp of "This Much". The superb originals are rounded out with two remixes: Greeen Linez turns in a surprisingly funk driven rework of "Outside The Tunnel" and "Qoso" turns "Zero Hours" into a slowly percolating warehouse techno stormer.
04 Mar 13
Played by: Lifecycle
Review: Bonus Round don't do ordinary, and in these days of production line EDM, that's a very good thing indeed. This collaborative EP is literally choc full of off the wall ideas, who cares if they don't always totally work, at least it's not boring. "R2D2CB" is a bleepy acid-electro wig-out, "Benefit" is distorted tech-funk, "For The Love Of Mod" is a lacerating noise fiend with elements of wobble, "Kick Mod Mayhem" is literally that - mayhem! "Holy Mother Of Mod" is skewed electro-funk and Jerome Hill's rework of "Rubber Sophie" is an absolute bonkers fusion of footwork and gabba.
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.
26 Sep 11
17 Feb 13
Played by: Nick Warren
Review: Bringing more of that meditative Apollo vibe, sometime Synkro collaborator Jack Leven goes it alone under the Bering Strait moniker, neatly continuing the classical ambience of the recent Apollo output. Focusing on expansive, velvet pads and bottomless chambers of echo, Leven masterfully demonstrates how immersive you can get with such subtle touches. The beats are crisp and considered, falling in measured rhythms so as to not upset the dense harmony that hangs over the tracks. For those moments when only the most relaxing music will do, Bering Strait has exactly what you need.
03 Oct 11
25 Feb 13
Review: Here we have the self-proclaimed 'new wunderkind of glitchy electrofunk' a rising London producer whose style recalls an even more hyperactive Rustie, and newly signed to Mofo HiFi. Brandishing 6 tracks, this EP demonstrates his aim to 'sound like a mosaic of every great electronic dance style of the past 30 years'. Highlights include the hyperactive "Waterphone Shadows", the shimmering chillwave of "Glass Moon" and the crystalline RnB synth fantasy of "Cybo".
21 Feb 13
Played by: D.j.fulltono
04 May 12
Played by: Monkey Beats, Ricky Simmonds (DJ Rsi), Z-Kat, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Bizt, Boska, Sounds Of Sumo, Blah Blah Blah, Lucent, Illmana (Dirty Trainer Crew)
Review: Considering he's been releasing records for the likes of Planet Mu and Apple Pips since 2009, it would be something of an understatement to say that Brackles' debut album has been a long time coming - but it couldn't have been better timed. Although his sound - a rough hybrid of UK garage and funky styles with echoes of dubstep - is very much of the now, there's an obvious love for the classic sounds of 90s UKG which many of his more inexperienced contemporaries lack - assisted by the inspired vocal contributions from Lily McKenzie and Terri Walker. But it's not just a throwback record - be it the slightly offbeat bass and calypso vibe of "Walkin' Out", or the churning subs of "Squarehead", Brackles nevertheless manages to twist the template into weird and unique shapes. That this album has been released on Rinse isn't a surprise - he's encapsulated nearly twenty years of the station's sound into one record.
04 Feb 13
Review: The vogue for a druggy take on 90s swing is still in full flow and this joint right here is a top-notch example. "Love History" is a slow bump n grinder with watery synths, stoned beats and delicious late 80s tropical riffs - all perfumed with wafts of gentle 'oohs' and 'ahs'. Lovely. Remix-wise: Laney adds some 8-Bit bleeps, Sker gets high and nods off on the keys of his fender rhodes, Mr Beep adds perkier tropical beats and Manul goes harder with some post-Dubstep-isms, while Lojt and Elias Smith opt for slick and deep/retro house respectively.
25 Jun 12
Review: With four original track and two remixes, this package from CC entitled "Up Wind" has plenty to get your teeth into. Kicking off with "Got A Lexus", the brash bravado of the title is offset by delightfully sparse, stripped back sounds with a gentle groove, hissing hi hats and sultry melodies. Next up, "K Share" is a flurry of deftly placed beats with a 4/4 rhythm and billowing vocal winding in and out; "Gryphon Perc" oozes with cool with its choppy pattern and crackling white noise, whilst "Woolie" is another gentle little mover and shaker and "Boys II Dro" blends minimal sounds with sleek, polished rhythms. Also check the Rekchampa and Helix remixes. Sexy stuff.
22 Jul 11
Played by: Dubstepforum.com
18 Dec 12
Review: B.YRSLF Division presents yet another unknown artist in the form of Changez, a producer sharing the same enthusiasm for ghetto bass and footwork as his labelmates. Across the seven tracks offered here he shows himself to be a dab hand at all manner of futuristic house styles; "Body Form" is built around a snarling bass riff and soft key hits, "Switched" offers a shimmering piece of driving 80s influenced house, and "Holding On" even touches ballroom with its stripped back drums and vocal repetition. However, our pick is the snarling acid jam "Foamed", which sounds like it's been made with a decaying 303 that was found in the gutter.
26 Nov 12
07 Aug 12
Review: Always guaranteed to release something fascinating, bleeding-edge and entirely riveting, LuckyMe come up trumps with this quite startling new ten-tracker from little-know Viennese producer Cid Rim. A jazz drummer - proved from the beautiful building cacophony of opener "Amuse-Ta-Guelle" - and a producer who matches the intensity of Rustie, HudMo and Machinedrum, Cid Rim really knocks it out of the park with stunning post-jazz laptop madness and shimmering melodies as on "A Fall Four Two" or the delirious juke of "Danger Ranger". A quite exceptional release indeed.
18 Feb 13
Review: Since first joining the Ramp Recordings family way back in 2008, Finnish bass heads Tommi Llikka and Samuli Tanner have generally impressed with their wonky blends of deep dubstep and icy electronica. Here, they get a chance to stretch their legs with a first full-length. It's an attractively leftfield concoction that effortlessly joins the dots between folksy Scandi-pop, tumbling dubstep and Hyetal-ish bass-tronica, all the while retaining an attractive electronic sensibility. This is arguably best showcased on "Get Over It", a James Blake-ish trip into heartaching, stripped-back electronica. The album also comes with a trio of remixes, including a booming techno makeover from the excellent Gerry Read.
25 Jul 12
Review: Appearing on his third release for long-running label Juke Trax, Cocky Balboa delivers an EP pitched right between the threadbare juke of contemporaries such as DJ Rashad and harder ghettotech styles. "Bammer Weed" take they typical juke template and throws overdriven 303s and warm pads into the mix, while "Cocky Spitting" throws a screaming lead over scattershot drums. "It Gets Harder" meanwhile is a lighter affair with brittle 808 shares tumbling over sidechained synths, while "Sugar Foot" takes the jazzy approach, with twinkling Rhodes floating over its chopped up vocal. Finally, "Tethys" is a surprisingly melody driven affair, but not lacking in punch.
16 Jul 12
Played by: Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy)
Review: Hyperdub's year of excellence continues apace with the release of Playing Me, the long awaited debut album from Cooly G. Emerging as a key figure in the UK funky scene some four years ago via some highly prized Dub Organiser CDrs, Cooly's musical progression has been charted via a series of EPs for DVA Music and Hyperdub. On this thirteen track album what is most apparent is the confidence this South London producer has in her own singing, a voice that sounds dipped in pain and anguish at times. At others Cooly utilises her vocal delivery as an integral part of the music, which draws from all manner of UK music history of recent times whilst very much sounding part of her modern house template. Oh and there's a Coldplay cover to end the LP too...
17 Oct 11
Review: With two EPs on Local Action and Keysound already under his belt, Damu here delivers his debut long player for the latter imprint. As you would expect from a label as on point as Keysound, Damu brings something unique to the table with his brand of UK funky, combining expertly sampled R&B vocals and neon synths. But it's the after-hours vibe and organic rhythms that permeate his productions which really stands out, particularly in the complex and shimmering melodies of "Breathless" and piercing melancholy of "Don't Cry In My Bed". Most impressively however, is the range of genres and tempos which Damu turns his hand to; "Maths Is Fine for Some" evokes the swampy techno of Andy Stott, whilst "Waterfall of Light" and "Plasm" call to mind the freeform juke template of Machinedrum. Essential stuff.
21 Jun 12
Review: The Detroit-born producer now based in the United Arab Emirates has already been transmitted to the rest of the world through Civil Music, and Body delivers a full-length album to drag listeners head first into his dubbed out amalgamation of techno, house and bass music. Maverick methods abound, from tough swinging techno to beatless wonder, but all the way through Farah binds the wild ingredients together with a muggy tension that makes the album utterly engrossing. While the tempo and intensity switches between every track, there's an incredible consistency that holds the entire album together perfectly.
10 Sep 12
Played by: Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio
Review: Alex Cowles first unveiled his DFRNT moniker back in 2008, with an EP of deep, dubstep-influenced ambience and horizontal electronica. Having followed that up with an album and a multitude of singles for On The Edge, he returns to original Echodub with his second album, Fading. Those who've followed his career to date will feel right at home with its quiet, shuffling mix of blissful refrains, cozy samples and spacious grooves. While the bassy rhythms of dubstep remain a cornerstone of his outlook, there are also successful forays into dub techno, deep house and drone ambient territory, making Fading an engrossing listen.
30 Apr 12
Played by: Ennio Styles (Stylin Radio Show), Hxdb, DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings), Bunny On Acid, Giovanni Pasquariello
Review: Amid much anticipation, Distal's album crash lands on Tectonic in a myriad of electronic styles all thoroughly typical of the plucky Atlantan. There's raw juke-isms on "Preach On Hustle", where the Chicago style gets slowed down and spread out, while on "Around The Fire" you'll find a swung techno framework full of alluring melodies just under the surface. There's melodica-baiting dubstep on "Rattlesnake", while electro gets pitched down for the peak time banger "House Party Five". Everywhere you turn, Distal's supremely developed production stands out, whatever vibe he's turning his hand to. In the end, that skill becomes the glue that holds this free ranging album together.
06 Apr 13
11 Nov 11
01 Jun 12
Played by: Ennio Styles (Stylin Radio Show), Big Dope P, DJ Cable, Piri Piri, Da Movelt Nasty Show, Massacooramaan
Review: Teklife Vol 1 represents the first release for footwork trailblazer DJ Rashad's new Lit City Trax imprint, created in collaboration with DJ Spinn and associate J-Cush, and a label which promises to be the definitive label for Chicago's well established footwork scene. At a massive 20 tracks this album is a meaty proposition, and it's testament to Rashad's talent that the album is entirely free of filler. Showing the producer's talent for swelling low end and threadbare percussion, album highlights include his excellent DJ Spinn collaboration "We Trippy Mane" with nods to Juicy J, the analogue mayhem of "She Gonna Go", the manic 303 and 808 assault of "Da Life" and the juxtaposition of smooth Rhodes chords, horn samples and furious percussive rattle on "Kush Ain't Loud".
23 Oct 12