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23 Mar 12
Review: Italian producer Digi G'Alessio presents the Lucky Bald EP, comprised of six hard hitting bass mutations covering a whole spectrum of genres - "Mike Tyson" for example is a brooding grime influenced number, while "No Questions" and "Fi Pi Li" take a slower, dub heavy approach, but it's his (brilliantly named) juke cuts that really impress: the gruff vocal and driving arpeggio of "Juke The Ripper" are as visceral an experience as the name suggests, whilst "Juke Casella" takes a more threadbare rhythmic structure beefed up with punishing subs. "Juke Skywalker" is undoubtedly the best of the lot, marrying some mangled vocals with some twisted acid lines. Big stuff!
01 Jul 12
Review: The renewed Apollo imprint continues its fast moving release schedule with the debut release from Gacha. Fitting in with the label's cloudy, effervescent aesthetic instantly, "Remember" combines pitched down vocals, dreamy guitars and gentle bass over a half-stepping groove. "Bowl" meanwhile is more obviously aimed at the floor, with a rolling garage rhythm that seems to phase in and out around gentle chords swathed in tape delay.
05 Nov 12
Review: Australian producer Galtier debuts on Car Crash Set with an impressive pair of contemporary techno tracks with nods to the UK end of the bass spectrum and Detroit styles. "Ring Twice" is a no-nonsense slice of 4/4 with dry stabs, granite rhythms and simmering bass with the arid atmosphere of a Terrence Dixon production and recomposes it with a big-room sensibility. "Shaped" is a different beast, taking sparse, swung 133bpm drums, abstract whistles and subdued chords and wrapping them up into a package that is part ghetto house, part dub techno. Fans of Blawan, Bambounou and Tessela take note.
30 Apr 12
Played by: Lpz
Review: Not to be confused with the US-based, video nasty obsessed synth nerds of the same name, Bristol-based Gatekeeper's releases for the likes of Skull Disco and Punch Drunk have been few and far between but have always displayed a keen ear for progressive dubstep rhythms. This EP on Apple Pips is undoubtedly his sharpest to date - "Atmosphere Processer" utilizes a galloping breakbeat, a revving bassline and dusty synth pads for some proper Metalheadz meets contemporary Bristol vibes. "Let Us In" on the other hand is full of more suitably stripped back rhythms, but with a distinctly more dubbed out atmosphere coating its corkscrew bassline.
12 Nov 12
04 Dec 12
Review: Less than a month after his Black Screen album for Frijsfo Beats, Geiom delivers a further EP of driving, leftfield UK funky. "Glesprin" kicks things off with its swampy, malevolent bass, pushed forward with, minimal, techy percussion. "Ferrite Gaps" offers a fairly more conventional UKF style killer, with rolling snares and angular strings, albeit covered in a woozy sense of atmosphere, while "Digitithe" is characterised by its wonky, atonal 2-step rhythms and tunnelling bass.
30 Jul 12
Played by: Smutlee, Juno Recommends Electro House, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), The Captain, Deepski, J Courage
Review: Bristol dubstep/UKF producer Gemmy makes an impressive stand on Roska's Kicks and Snares label with this fresh EP, containing the winding neon buzz of "Lakota", the tropical dub of "Badman" and the minimal house spank of the wicked "We Watch The Sun Rise". Huge American electro rocker AC Slater turns in a less subtle but very effective breaks-styled rerub of "Lakota" too.
15 Apr 13
Review: Maintaining their reputation for the most intriguing contemporary bass skulduggery on the planet, Crackling Claps introduce the fractured, seasick vibes of Genda. The second the dusty, crinkled glitches and surging fuzzy euphoria of opener "Fractal" hits you, you know this is going to take a few listens to get your head around. Sitting somewhere between Morris Cowan, Apparat and Autechre, everything about this engrosses and envelopes. From the spiralling sub-aquatic psychedelia of "Particles" to the soul-stopping synth pulsations and horn washes of "Self Similarity", this bends the mind as well breaking gravity. Make sure Genda is on your agenda...
19 Mar 12
Review: Genotype is just the latest in an increasingly long line of respected drum & bass producers turning their hand to techno, but this release shows that far from being an afterthought, he has more than justified his move. "Red Bass" has a bit of characteristic D&B swing in its step, with a thick tunneling bass - it's a theme repeated in "Bondage", but with a significantly more sinister vibe. However, it's the inclusion of cinematic D&B aesthetics that really gives the EP its flair - "Injury Time" for example combines a deeper Detroit sensibility with a metallic ambience, whilst the lurching bass of "Hideout" combines with crackly D&B-inspired percussion. Exploring that exciting ground between bass and techno like no other, Deca Rhythm have fast become one of Bristol's most intriguing labels, and this release is another one to add to a strong catalogue.
23 Apr 12
Played by: Paul Mac
Review: Pulling together a healthy spread of their roster, Decarhythm ably demonstrate their increasingly focused musical remit on this four-tracker. There's lean techno to be enjoyed from Genotype, where the bassline rules the day and the beat is an exercise in restraint. Kamikaze Space Programme plump for a shufflier approach to 4/4 with "Bhopal", although still plumbing a dark deep-space vibe. Bloodman has a decidedly straight-up tech-house atmosphere at work on "Jones", while Orphan 101 similarly ticks away with a warm sound that peppers the minimal groove with a light dusting of electro. For that sturdy peak-of-the-night tech-edged sound, Deca Rhythm seem to be an increasingly wise destination.
07 May 12
Played by: Dusk + Blackdown, The Town - Clekclekboom Recordings, Lpz, Juno Recommends Electro, Leri Ahel (Mutant Disco Radio Show), The Captain, Reilly Steel, Amazinggaijin, Illmana (Dirty Trainer Crew)
Review: After breaking through with some powerful EPs on Night Slugs, Girl Unit is back to continue what he started. Interestingly, the grimey element in his earlier output has been replaced by a screamingly loud electro influence, positioned in the kind of snappy funk favoured by EDMX and his Breakin Records posse. From "Ensemble (Club Mix)" to "Plaza", the sharp edges of the synth work chafe against crisp drum machine workouts, leaving six cold crush bangers in their wake. It's something of a departure for Girl Unit, but he's absolutely nailed the target sound with tracks that will absolutely tear up the dance.
26 Apr 10
Played by: DJ Purple Rabbit, Mary Ann Hobbs, Wire Magazine, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Hackman, Instra:mental, L-Vis 1990, Kashii, Code Duello, Moda Music
Review: Despite having a moniker which sounds like an all-female pop outfit from the 90s, you'll be glad to hear that Girl Unit, is, in fact, nothing of the sort. A house aficionado of the highest calibre, the South London based producer blends elements of UK funky, 2-step, house, garage, Chicago juke and shades of dubstep with an iconoclastic irreverence for genre boundaries. Appearing on Bok-Bok and L-Vis 1990's label, Night Slugs, the I.R.L EP marks the third release for the burgeoning young imprint, which was established earlier this year. The EP - incidentally one of the most hotly tipped records around at the moment - begins with the title track. A dramatic, cinematic intro (rather reminiscent of D&B producer Rockwell's "Noir") initiates the proceedings with a thumping statement of intent and screechy, sliding synth embellishments. A hollow, clip-clop beat underpins the track, moving from dark, moody moments to more mellow, Mount Kimbie-style sections with masterful ease. DVA takes things down a tougher, rougher street with the tapping, grinding synthetics and raw industrial edge of his 'Hi Emotions' remix, whereas Young Gunz crew member, French Fries tunes in to a funky vibe, with shuffling rhythms, a nod to soca and lashings of sun-drenched tropical exoticism.
25 Oct 10
28 Jun 11
Played by: Sharps, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio, Shox, Sound Pellegrino Thermal Team
Review: Commonly regarded as the centrepiece of Night Slugs first year as a label, Girl Unit's incendiary ode to dirty south hip-hop is pretty much the epitome of a track that needs no extra embellishment. However we guess you can relent when Dirtybird deity Claude Von Stroke reveals an interest in tackling it. Thus Night Slugs present two of three Von Stroke remixes of the track - expect the third "Fully Dressed" version to appear on a forthcoming remix compilation. Strains of both the "Undressed" and "Butt Naked" remixes were heard several times over the Sonar weekend, and the titles lend some clues as to the stripped down nature of the results. The former slowly reveals an 8bit soaked variant on that distinct synth refrain over skeletal drums which explodes into brilliant colour at just the right moment. The Butt Naked remix is a far darker affair but no less potent.
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
16 Jul 12
Played by: Shadow Dancer, DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings), Vorres - Juno, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Tura, Greymatter, Reilly Steel, Wolfhaus, Apparat
Review: Martyn always seems to be able to get the kind of material from artists for 3024 that goes outside their established comfort zone - see Mosca's Wavey EP for proof of that - and this EP from Jacques Greene is no exception. Eschewing his usual combination of futuristic R&B and 2-step, "Ready" is techno in the way that only Greene could do it - lightly shuffling garage beats and gentle vocal samples abound at the beginning, but are soon bulldozed aside by hammering kicks and cascading arpeggios. "Prism" is, melodically at least, what we'd expect from the Canadian; with glittering sequences streaming over its hollow kicks, but the dark house vibe underneath is one we haven't seen from him since "Baby I Don't Know (What You Want)". Fantastic stuff.