Yellow Beard debuts on Deca Rhythm with an EP that over four tracks is uplifting, bullish, melodic and syncopated. Elements of trance playfully narrate the liquid sounding "Shell" and the EP opener "Before Us", while "London" sounds like Mount Kimbie's "Ruby", that is before it drops into a shellacking groove with percussion which the likes of M_nus duo Click Box would be proud of. "Money Prophet" has a similar arrangement to "London" only this time it's Blawan that inspires the breeze block crushing breakdown.
Eternities, Never/Ephemeral, Sometimes - (6:04) 81 BPM
Young Echo have been one of Bristol's most interesting creative forces to emerge in the past few years; comprised of Vessel, El Kid, Kahn, and the Zhou duo of Jabu and Ishan Sound, their music collectively calls on many influences, including house, techno, dub, grime and drone. The results are a heady cocktail that's often far more experimental than the music of most of their peers in the city, but still resolutely part of Bristol's rich musical heritage. Following solo successes across labels such as Punch Drunk, left_blank, Astro:Dynamics and Tri Angle, Young Echo gather together this compilation of unreleased works for the RAMP label, some thirteen tracks deep with the identity of who is responsible for each very much a mystery. Regardless Nexus does hammer home the fact that Young Echo are the clearest continuation of the Bristol sound in present times.
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.
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.