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06 Aug 12
Review: Collecting together some of the enormous remixes to have sprung from Tiga and Zombie Nations' ZZT project over the years, this new Turbo collection is simply faultless and a must-have for fans of the most fearless electro-tech of the last five years. From Julio Bashmore's tranquil take on "ZZafrika" to Justice's disco-destroying remake of "Lower State of Consciousness", via contributions from Proxy, Erol Alkan, Gesaffelstein, Duke Dumont and Clouds, this is a simply indispensable revisit through some hands-down classics.
29 Jan 13
11 Jul 11
Played by: Ndv (Polar Pair/Botanika), Gee, Gigi D'amico, Odiggity, Juno Recommends Leftfield, Boska, Guy Gerber
Review: If the first single from this album, "Natalia's Song", left you worried that Zomby may have toned down his sound to fit the current zeitgeist in bass music, then don't. Dedication is a long way removed from Where Were U In '92?, but the influence of jungle and hardcore remains, albeit in a more spectral form, where skeletal beats play off against organic tones, his characteristic purple arpeggios drenched in reverb. The progression in his sound is just enough to add an element of introspection to his productions, while retaining the essence of what made his earlier material so irresistible; it's an album where air horns can co-exist happily with string sections and it doesn't seem jarring .With several tracks that are at times almost baroque in their execution, Dedication is an album that, whatever your preconceived notions of Zomby's sound, or bass music as a whole, must be heard.
EAD 3119 A
11 Jul 11
30 Apr 12
Played by: Mydas
Review: Previously released on Actress' Werk Discs in 2008 as a CD and digital release, this now seminal debut from Zomby finds itself getting a reissue courtesy of the producer's freshly minted Cult Music imprint. Taking jungle, hardcore and 90s rave, Zomby fuses them into a hyperreal energy rush, filled with laser guided salvos of piano stabs and airhorns. Four years since its release it's still a peerless album - if you've yet to familiarise yourself with the world of Zomby, this album is no less than essential.
23 Jul 12
Review: Bristol's Crazylegs night inaugurate their freshly minted label with the debut release from the hotly tipped Ziro, who delivers two tracks of hard-hitting swung techno with a pinch of UK bass style. "Coded" and "Oni" deliver the same kind of stripped back, darkly functional rhythms as fellow Brisolian Artifact, full of swagger and impeccably off the grid beats. Remixes come from Om Unit, whose incredible "Wrongspeed" remix of "Oni" sounds like breakbeat footwork with pieces missing, and Thefft, whose remix of "Coded" adds all sorts of rattling fills into Ziro's spacious original.
15 Apr 13
Played by: Juno Recommends Electro House
Review: Originally released last December, Zinc's Sasha Keable-fronted electro wriggler "Only For Tonight" gets the remix treatment from TEED (low-swung, sludgy bass jack session) and the up-and-coming Maison Sky (warped garage with trippy pitched down vocals, oddball percussion and waspish bass). In case you and the original aren't familiar yet, it's here in both its soul-coated vocal glory and naked bouncy instrumental state.
23 Sep 12
Review: With his Maddslinky guise delving into housier realms this week, it's up to Zed Bias proper to keep things a touch rougher, and he does a remarkable job of it on "Heavy Water Riddim". Propelled by a snapping tapestry of found sounds (from the titular water to wooden thuds and metal clangs), a slow stalking breakbeat emerges and an earthy banger is born. "Hurting Me" is a complete departure on the flip, with the gentle 2-step lilt rounded out with rich synths and warming bass, while choice deployment of vocal hooks keeps things catchy and in keeping with Bias' garage roots.
04 Feb 13
21 Jan 13
Played by: Ya Dun Know, Mat Cant, Dev79, DJ Assassin (Recode Recordings), Pier, Martin Sauvage /Soukouch Ethnik/, Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: In the wake of a healthy resurgence in grime instrumental appreciation, Youngstar's classic dance-wrecker "Pulse X" gets a hefty remix package from a sturdy cast of equally chunky producers. Visionist gets busy with some classic string stabs and a sleeker version of the inimitable bassline, replete with some subtle touches of weirdness around the edges. Blackwax gets truly unforgiving with his jungle-infused workout, stripping the track back to bare bones with nothing more than a pristine lift of the "Think" break to guide you through. Slackk gets into a tribal flavoured fervour with his take, while Pedro 123 has a whole lot of fun with found sound madness to shape the beat.
24 Sep 12
Review: Planet Mu is of course an established and respected portal for UK-inspired electronic music, existing free of boundaries and often purveying music that is both unexpected and complex to grasp on a first listen. Space Zone from juke wunderkind Young Smoke is certainly a wild cocktail of sonics and ideas, but although it may seem like a lot to take in upon first listen, the results are plentiful. The opening title track is a twisted hybrid of future garage, old-school electro and even contains unmistakable pop influences. The rest of the record progresses in a similar fashion, morphing frantically between the crazy, nu-dubstep vibes of "Destroy Him My Robots"; fast-moving shuffles and two-step beats on "Alien Pad"; and even the more melancholic sounds of "Space Breeze" - an irresistibly alluring track which contains elements of everything from electronica to R&B. Space Zone could almost be considered a neo-pop record, and Young Smoke has clearly understood how important it is to integrate and fuse a wide array of styles to create something worthy of more than just a dancefloor.
27 Jun 12
16 Apr 12
Played by: Odiggity, Ricky Simmonds (DJ Rsi), Chris Coco, Ursa Major, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Shouts!, Tee Circus, Sounds Of Sumo, Konnekt - Hot N Heavy, Tcts
Review: Summer's coming and Manchester producer xxxy has decided to have it. Big time. An excellent and vital producer, who's been impressing hugely over the last year with mixes on Fortified Audio and Ten Thousand Yen, xxxy steps away from his more woozy bass mode on "Everything", which simply leaps out on first listen thanks to a Chicago-esque vocal chopped up anthemically yet tastefully over some hands-in-the-air Juno stabs and jacking drums. Trust us, this is going to be huge. Up next, "I Know This (Can't Be Love) is pretty essential too, thanks to an unlikely mix of acid basslines and pitched-up vocals. Hugely recommended all round.
22 Apr 13
Played by: Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy)
Review: XXXY can do no wrong right now. Hot on the heels of his Rinse release comes this wonderfully understate double header that sits comfortably somewhere between 2020 Soundsystem and Damu. "Progression" is tech-laced, steppy and textured with twinkling arpeggios while "Thinking 'Bout" nods more towards a housier soundset while maintaining a lucid, skippy funk the breakbeat rhythm.
16 Apr 13
Review: US producer (Spank Rock, Kid Sister etc) XXXChange clearly believes in the old maxim of quality not quantity, as his releases are relatively few and far between. Last heard on his Backbeat single for Kitsune, he's now back at home on T&A with a brand new two-tracker. "PWNY" is a killer fusion of old skool electro and future bass music featuring trancey synths, stop-start rhythms and chants. "Penguin Party" sees him enlist the help of Ghostdad for a rousing, M.I.A-esque peak-time scorcher.
17 May 12
Played by: Xlii
Review: Already a respected figure in the underground of his home turf in Japan, XLII delivers his first extended release outside his country on Civil Music, who can always be counted on to deliver the most unclassifiable bass shapes. Throwing brittle 808 beats into the mix with half-time tempos, off kilter dubstep basslines and tweaked out, scattershot samples, one need look no further than the footwork vibes of "No Cure" and the thudding bass weight of "Rasclap" for proof of the man's talents. Ean's frantic juke reworking and Broken Haze's abrasive take on "Dilated" provide serious thrills, though it's Starkey's tense, sparse reworking of "Thro Yo!" and the crazed, slapbass styles of NcLoving really deliver the goods.
11 Feb 13
Review: Montreal-based, Xavier Leon is what you'd call a true bass explorer and this latest EP for the young Infinite Machine is just the right place for his beat escapades to take place. "Entrenched" is a mighty fine riddim indeed, and its sharp percussion work fuses oh so well with those inebriated garage vocals travelling beneath it. "Croak", on the other hand, is about as chopped up as you can go without losing the groove, but that's what makes it so fantastic. To finish we have two remixes of "Entrenched": one of them by Liar, who goes all Warp circa 93 on us, and the second by Framework, creating a rather ominous but altogether addictive interpretation of the original. Recommended for all you bass fiends...
04 Feb 13
Review: Heralding the start of a new side-project and the end of a silent patch for Alex Smoke, Wraetlic comes to Jon Convex's Convex Industries in a full-length form, providing a spacious platform for the Scottish producer to lay out his ideas about where this latest venture is heading. The penchant for melancholia is still very much present, but the slick minimal techno of the past has been replaced by a rough and natural-feeling electronica. Also noticeable is the greater focus on vocals on this record; an element which you would find whispers of on albums such as Paradolia but embraced more extensively here. Representing an interesting new direction for Alex Smoke, Wraetlic is an album rich in detail that demands listening in full for a truly immersive and thoroughly personal experience.
17 Dec 12
Played by: Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: Returning after a hiatus of some years, Alex Smoke presents a new alias in Wraetlic with this three track sampler a taster for his upcoming eponymous long-player, due for release on Jon Convex's Convex Industries label. As Wraetlic, the producer channels a significantly darker mood than that of his earlier releases. "Rats" sees Smoke incorporate his own distorted vocals, concentrating more on bleak sub-bass and abstract sounds, whilst "Refrain" takes a half-step rhythm and hazy Border Community-style sonics, and "The Watchful Eye" creates something like fractured electronic shoegaze. Hotflush boss Scuba provides a remix of "Rats", adopting his techno-focused SBC moniker and delivering a remarkably effective 4/4 remix which is as devasting as his rework of Function from earlier this year.
15 Oct 12
Played by: Smutlee, Ya Dun Know, Juno Recommends Electro House, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Hxdb, DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings), Sander Kleinenberg, Woz, Rack N Ruin, Major Notes, Lucent, Illmana (Dirty Trainer Crew), Allmostt
Review: Bristol-based Woz has a growing reputation in the bass music scene. Following a recent guest appearance on Mistajam's 1Xtra show, he's now ready to release some more original music (much of his back catalogue comprises remixes). Zylo sets out his stall, pitching him as a producer whose party instincts regularly take priority. There's much energetic dancefloor fare on offer, from the booming basslines, retro bleeps and scratchy breaks of "Fustraightin", to the woozy UK Funky flex of "Reach" and the stabbing bounce of the darting title track. Despite the balls-out nature of his style, there's enough depth to suggest there's more to come in future.
06 Jul 12
Played by: Hybu, Monkey Beats, Sharkslayer, Ricky Simmonds (DJ Rsi), Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio, Sounds Of Sumo, Konnekt - Hot N Heavy, Lucent, Illmana (Dirty Trainer Crew)
Review: After the well-received "A Little Louder" EP, plus his hook-up with the mighty Tomb Crew for Top Billin' ("I Go Sick"), Justin Reid-Simms (aka Whole Sick) drops another seriously sick EP for Sounds of Sumo. Title-tune "Do The Do" is a seriously addictive mix of looped vocals over a hybrid house/garage beat, with some rogue piano stabs keeping it bubbly, while "Thinkin Bout U" is leans on a more UKF vibe, complete with ghostly detuned vocal stabs and some crunchy leads. Kry Wolf and Diamond Bass both weigh in with some top remixes of "Do The Do", while Wool takes "Think Bout U" on a deep and dubby voyage.
01 Jun 12
Review: Following his "All Werked Up" release on Well Rounded Individuals last year, Texan producer Wheez-ie cooks up an even more hardcore trip into '90s rave with "Remember The Score". Ghetto juke gets mixed with pitched-up rave pianos on the title tune, while "Fuck Yer Shit" rests on a slew of trancy and winding acid synths.
04 Jun 12
Played by: Rocut
Review: If the accompanying release sheet is anything to go by then this tenth WNCL Recordings is supposedly the final in the series of 10" and digital releases. Whether this is an end to the label or not is unclear, but for the time being we can be content with another piece of razor sharp classic house homage from the South London producer. "Coming On Strong" is not, as its name may suggest, a homage to Hot Chip's debut album of the same name, but a piece of raw, bumping basement house which is heavy on the toms, and accented by some particularly jazzy samples. Pangaea's remix meanwhile transforms it beyond recognition, warping its saxophone tones into an abstract soundscape driven by complex rhythms.
18 Sep 12
Played by: Earl Grey
Review: Werkha is a rising talent championed by like-minded fledgling label Cool Kid Music. In keeping with the label's aesthetic, Werkha has delivered a three track EP that fuses neo soul, sparse garage beats and lots and lots of synths. "Cube & Puzzle" starts all hazy before launching into Bowski-style stripped back garage. "Le Roitelet" is a bizarre mix of fuzzy digital soul and jazzy French female vocals. "Bottle Trick" keeps the jazz, this time guitar, and marries it to slo-mo beats and layered vocal loops.
18 Feb 13
Review: Bringing a classic approach to dread-filled dubstep paranoia, Wen steps up to Keysound with a swagger that would sit comfortably alongside the sub-hassling pressure of DMZ. "Commotion" rubs back and forth in a cold refrain devoid of melody in favour of unrelenting bass and distant wraiths of sound, only inhabited by a scattered slice up of an MC. "Nightcrawler" heads into a grimier territory, working some crafty synth moves and a keen sense of sound design into a dynamic stalker of a track, while "Spark It" deconstructs electro down to its barest ingredients, and slamming a hefty bass throb underneath. "Road" completes the package in morbid fashion, making it a sturdy four tracker of the most fearsome kind of dubstep.
11 Jan 13
Played by: Guerilla Speakerz, Hxdb, DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings), Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Blind Prophet (South Fork Sound)
Review: A hotly anticipated release here from producer Wen (aka Owen Darby). The internet has been alive of late with bass lovers reactions to this guy's thoroughly innovative sound which loosely rests somewhere between post-dubstep and future bass. Also the debut release for New York label South Fork Sounds, "Lo-Fidelity" is sparse and haunting with a female RnB vocal warped around sporadic 808 beats and prowling bass frequencies. "Takin' Over" sounds like stoned aliens invading earth to a shuffley 2-step rhythm.
20 Apr 13
Played by: Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage
28 Jan 13
Review: This is the second release by Warsnare aka the rather less threateningly titled Daniel Potter, a leading light on South London's New Cross scene. He likes to blend genres and BPMs and hates being categorised however, describe it we must. "Murderous Times" is a meandering, slice of warped vintage RnB, "Red Lights" is total pandemonium with 'try mixing that' beats, bongos, bleeps and even a kitchen sink (maybe), "Black Powder" sounds largely like what we would expect everything to sounds like if one were to consume such a thing and "Slum Clearance" is a truly apocalyptic closer. Bravo!
06 Aug 12
Played by: Dusk + Blackdown, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Mr Mitch, Vorres - Juno, Diphasic, Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: Keysound bring together a gaggle of relatively fresh names to throw it down in a rowdy fashion. Walton rips into action under a hail of gunshots, deploying some deadly grime strings over a pulsing UK Funky rhythm. Gremino meanwhile has his own brand of virulent bass music to share, moving scattily through all manner of brutal synth notes before pulling off a shockingly long drop out, only to come back barking the same lurching mantra. Visionist is more dextrous with "Come In", scattering a manic array of vocal samples over a moody backbone. Vibezin rounds things off with possibly the most essential cut, catching a strange soundtrack vibe in the midst of a snapping found-sound beat that sounds as future as it gets right now.
23 Apr 12
Review: On his Hyperdub debut last year, youngster Walton made a real impression on the Juno review ears, and we've been eager for more ever since. Once again surfacing on Kode 9's imperious label, the All Night EP finds Walton on equally impressive form, replicating the course of his debut with the title track being the most immediate production. "All The Night" is luridly colourful in the thick 8 bit textures that spill out over hyperactive vocal edits and buccaneering drum chops. Up next, "Mallet" does more with steel pans in the opening bars than Jammy xx ever did, before veering off into an eminently satisfying bleep heavy UKF flex, whilst "Kush" drops the tempo down to a heavily saturated, downtrodden shoulder lean.
14 Jan 13
Played by: DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings)
Review: Having thrown down some bangers for Unknown To The Unknown in the past, Walter Ego comes bruising into Bad Taste with Darkstorm in tow, packing a surefire grime banger featuring the hectic spit of K Dot and Coco that weighs heavy in street level aggression. The riddim comes on full of gruesome bass swells, but it's also offset by technicolour swells of synth and a playful knack for studio acrobatics that keeps the energy relentlessly high throughout the cut. For those less keen on the MC vibes, there's an instrumental in the package that lets the track shine through, but this was always built to have vocals slammed over the top of it.
28 May 12
Review: Fellow Sheffield producers Walter Ego and 2046 combine on Ego's Bad Taste label for two impressive fusions of tech, funky club and bass - with the excellent title song mixing a storm of dark keys stabs, while "Hand In My Hand" is a serious worker, using some familiar R&B vocals over a charged, genre-melting beat.
14 Aug 12
Review: Sheffield's Walter Ego is causing a bit of a stir at the moment with the likes of Toddla T and Monki both supporting his recent releases. When Ego is not running his own record label, Bad Taste Records, he's perfecting his production techniques that incorporate intricate garage-influenced beats and elements of various bass genres. Title track "Shadows" is a leftfield banger in the vein of Actress featuring skewed 2 step rhythms and ghostly yet soulful male vocals. "Rebounds" is more peak time and, with its tribal beats and rave stabs, not unlike MJ Cole's recent output. "Shadows' also returns in a chill out remix by Inkarv.
15 Apr 13