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21 May 12
Review: Pronounced "adverb", this solo American producer lays down some beautifully textured and very glitched out bass-step on this release for Car Crash Set. "Lust" rips apart its atmospheric opening with a torrent of fierce leads, while "Colourful Eyes" sounds on a par with Rustie's sci-fi voyaging. Check out the maximal joys of "Sugar Glaze" as an excellent first step into the world of +Verb.
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.
27 Jan 12
07 Feb 13
26 Mar 12
Played by: Sonarpilot (Sonarpilot Audio), Juno Recommends Leftfield, Posthuman, Blame It On The Dutch / Mwm-Recs, Bunny On Acid, Simon/Off, Jt86
Review: Made up of on field recordings taken by 2562 on a 2010 trip to Jordan, Air Jordan is based on a similar concept to his 2011 album Fever, which was made up of samples exclusively from disco records. But while that record reflected its source material in its more overt dancefloor focus, Air Jordan reflects the dry heat of the Jordanian landscape in a dusty cloud of broken beats and cracked textures. "Solitary Sheepbell" creates a hazy mirage out of its pitched bell samples, whilst the arid, hesitant rhythms of "Desert Lament" mingle with the kind of bustling atmospherics that place you at the centre of a busy marketplace, a theme carried through in the booming industrial beats of "Jerash Hekwerken". It ends on "Nocturnal Drummers", a suspenseful fusion of dehydrated percussive samples which caps off the producer's most concise work to date. Highly recommended.
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.
26 Mar 12
Review: An engaging and interesting four-track EP here from 3 Hrs on the Black Butter label, which kicks off with the title track "Absolutely" - a shimmering little number with glistering synths, rumbling bass, ribbiting beats and chopped up, repeated vocal snippet. "Clap Work", up next, continues in a similar vein, with faded, clapping beats, booming sub bass and distanced, echoing vocal element, with repeating insistence to "clap!" Penultimate cut "Fear To" is an eerie, ominous slice of darkness, whilst "Nite Time" slows the pace down, with a stripped back soundscape as the EP draws to a close.
09 Apr 12
Review: Taken from 3HRS' debut release for the moody bass label Black Butter, this highlight from the Absolutely EP is a perfectly-pitched coming together of underground drum machine sounds and the titular claps, all wrapped around a complex pattern and a spooky set of acapella shots and background dialogue. A crisp and insatiable beat, with plenty of brooding menace built in.
23 Jul 12
Review: Exactly placing this three tracker from Black Butter regular 3HRS is tricky. While it has more in common with analogue deep house - especially the fluid and intoxicating opener "Objective" - than anything else, it also displays a strong bass music influence, with the title track delivering a soulful and sophisticated take on 2-step garage. Then there's the curious case of "Training", which seems to sit somewhere between the eerie iciness of T Williams' "Heartbeats", the rave revivalism of "Lone", and the heart-aching, Detroit-influenced deepness of Mr Beatnick. Either way, it's a great sound. Like the rest of the EP, it's pure cocoa butter.
26 Jun 12
Played by: Sharkslayer, Juno Recommends Electro, Vin Sol, Rebel Sketchy, Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio
Review: A pair of brilliantly varied tunes from Cali producers Skinandbones & Vin Sol, out this week on Soo Wavey, sees the pair channel Adonis gloriously on the Chicago acid flashback that is "Nocturnal Emissions", which sees 303's nestled up against some heavily reverbed vocals. On a much more upfront vibe, "Good Good" finds the pair on a lean and energetic flex, akin to Thomas Bangalter jamming on a garage groove. Well worth checking out.
22 May 12
Review: A pair who impressed hugely on their Grizzly-released reworking of Brenmar's "Let Me Know", Californian duo Skinandbone5 & Vin Sol drop two equally impressive originals in the first of their 'Rhythm Tracks" releases. As the title suggests, these are two drum-only track, but they absolutely ooze class, with the right DJ able to drop the "Spastik" like rolls of "Heavy Accent" or the heavily-flanged hats of "All 808 Everything" into sets in style.
23 Jul 12
16 Feb 13
Review: Dave Huismans is always a producer guaranteed to confound your expectations; he released a slew of material last year that ranged from cavernous techno rave for 50 Weapons, uneasy liquid funk for Clone's Basement Series and the dehydrated desert rhythms of the Air Jordan EP. His eponymous imprint is where the real crazy stuff seems to land however, and we've been eager for another since the eardrum splitting "Take The Plunge". Thankfully this hand-stamped return to the label is no disappointment; "Ahead" is a broken combination of industrial rhythms and breakbeat-inspired sampling, described rather succinctly by one Soundcloud commenter as "stutter funk", while "Endgame" is a more conventional techno number, made no less furious thanks to its Underground Resistance undertones, serrated bass and malfunctioning drums, reminiscent of the recent Numbers reissue of Unspecified Enemies' classic "Multi Ordinal Tracking Unit". Essential!
07 Dec 11
Review: Take The Plunge sees Dave Huismans return to the A Made Up Sound moniker for the first time in a year, following the superb Fever album under his 2562 alias. Huisman is known for his particularly unique productions, but "Take The Plunge" is perhaps his most mind-bending yet, combining his signature garage-inflected techno rhythms and combining them with syncopated samples, chopped and distorted beyond all recognition, while their pneumatic drill-like quality pans across both channels at irregular intervals. The (digital) B-Side sees "Anger MGMT", which, despite its name, is actually less aggressive then its counterpart. With the same kind of clattering, ramshackle beats, it is a slightly more straightforward techno track, albeit with dub influenced bass and scaffold pole percussive qualities providing its flavour. The EP closes with "Take The Plunge (First Thought)", a beatless version of the original which regardless of its abrasive jackhammer tones, actually has a bizarrely soporific effect. Another fantastic EP which is further proof of Huismans' unique genius.
16 Oct 12
Played by: Juno Recommends Electro House, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings), Fed Conti
Review: Zinc and A-Trak's transatlantic collabo connection picks up where "Stingray" left us with this firing piece of no-nonsense euphoric grit. Natalie Storm's vocals hog most of the spotlight. A dancehall diva with crisp delivery and just a smidgeon of raunchy undertone, she drives the floor into oblivion as the levels peak beneath. Remix-wise it's satisfaction central as we're smashed to pieces by Shadow Child (woozy breakbeats with a heavy dose of sub), Dismantle (boshing, full-paced electro stomp) and JWLS (D&B/half-step madness).
05 Nov 12
Review: Having forged a career out of the sort of ballsy, in-your-face garage/rave hedonism, Christian Sibthorpe is attempting to take his A1 Bassline project in another direction. As a result, the Breakaway EP's title track is a deep, fluid groover that seductively shimmies between the speakers. Rather than bowel-bothering basslines and blunt beats, there are classic US garage keys, woozy pads and intricate drums. "Open Mind" and the thunderous "Copper" feature rhythms deeply rooted in UK garage, but still boast more depth than your average Olympic diving pool. If you've enjoyed Scuba's recent outings, you'll definitely enjoy this.
20 Aug 12
Review: A1 Bassline, aka Croydon's Christian Sibthorpe, has moved on considerably from his ghetto rave beginnings, getting deeper and darker in the process. This latest EP sees him really pursue a retro sound, especially on "Slur" where we are taken to a David Morales Red Zone party in early 90s New York. Up next, "Slingback" is altogether darker: melding tech house with a hint of vintage Detroit techno for an intense and hypnotic trip.
19 Mar 13
Review: There's something weirdly familiar about this collection of bass-heavy, warehouse-friendly stompers from Australian newcomer Abstract Now. Check, for example, the explosive 808 cowbells, rumbling bass, hectic beats and borrowed vocal of "Default Drub", or the rolling garage-meets-rave thump of "Evrythng" - both sound like the work of someone with a keen ear for bass music trends - see the colossal "Forever" and bate "The Way It Is" - while keeping his productions impressively on-point. A long and illustrious career awaits.
24 Apr 11
Played by: Tvyks, Shadow Dancer, Liondub, J-Wow (Buraka Som Sistema), Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka, J Courage, Groove Armada
Review: Addison Groove's explorations into dubstep under the Headhunter moniker have inherently informed his sound to date and his more recent experimentations into the now fairly ubiquitous (thanks to Planet Mu) sounds of Chicago juke's latest permutation footwork in tracks like "Foot Crab" or "Work It" have really made ears prick up. Here, he returns to Pinch's Tectonic imprint and builds on his reputation, dicing up vocals Jamie Oliver style, bouncing synths off them, reinforcing it all with 808 bass and dizzying bleeps and clicks. "Make Um Bounce" blends bongo drums with ticking hi-hats, rippling rhythmic patterns and an intoxicated repetitive soundscape that sucks you in for the duration. Intense stuff here.
06 Jan 13
12 May 13
Played by: Big Dope P
Review: Bristol's DJ Die has gone one better than signing Addison Groove to his Gutterfunk imprint, he's only gone and collaborated with him on both tracks here as well! The footwork-influenced side project of Headhunter, Addison Groove assumes charge of "Keyhole" - a stripped back excursion into sultry voodoo beats. Meanwhile on "Hydropump", DJ Die takes the lead steering this ship into breaky hip-house waters in the process.
17 May 13
Played by: Sccucci Manucci
Review: Having made his debut on Prime Numbers earlier this year with his titular contribution to a split release alongside Truss and Massimo De Lena, Adesse is granted a full release with this all killer no filler Untitled Love EP. For someone who came to the fore with a version of Theo Parrish's "Sky Walking, it's unsurprising that the title track here has a rugged charm reminiscent of the outspoken Sound Signature boss - it's all about that thumping snare son! Meanwhile "Supernal" veers into deep steppers territory and contains some ingenious looping of a Laurie Anderson standard, whilst "Metachemistry" highlights Adesse's talent for loose, freeform arrangements.
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.
09 Sep 12
Review: Otherwise known as Rob McAndrews, former James Blake collaborator Airhead is fast becoming one of the most interesting producers on the R&S roster since Blake's movement to more mainstream concerns. Taking a more explicitly rhythmic direction than previous release which concentrated on lush acoustic textures, "Pyramid Lake" combines rapidfire percussion, breathy vocal samples and lo-fi VHS textures to create the most unlikely club banger you'll hear this year. "Black Ink" meanwhile sounds like a maelstrom of kickdrums tumbling up and down a rubber staircase with stray hi-hats and handclaps thrown into the mix. Undeniably one of the best R&S cuts this year.
25 Mar 12
Review: The collaborator of choice for James Blake, Airhead has been wisely taking his time to develop on his own terms, sticking largely to his preferred stable at Brainmath to release his unique brand of utterly decayed 21st century beat music. Now though he steps up to R&S with a delicate 2-tracker that sees his burgeoning sound get a touch more full-bodied. "Wait" highlights the man's guitar talents, letting languid notes ring out over a typically deconstructed beat. "South Congress" however echoes Art of Noise and other such elegant experimentalists in its bombastic composition. Highly recommended.
13 Nov 12
Played by: Lifecycle
14 May 12
Review: Despite his productions being of a consistently high quality, Al Tourettes' blend of deft electro and dark UKF inflected bass still hasn't gained the same level of notoriety as that of his peers - which is criminal given how likely these tracks are to smash up the dance. Hopefully this release on Sneaker Social Club will go someway to rectifying that - "Habit 7" goes in hard with frantic snares, dubbed out chords and a gnawing bassline which tunnels deep into the mix, while "Inventing" is one for the Swamp81 heads - coming on like a jam between Boddika and Roska, filled with complex, clipped rhythms held together with elastic. Highly recommended.
02 Mar 12
Played by: Juno Recommends Electro
Review: With but a select few releases to his name, you get the feeling Al Tourettes is still only just shedding light on what he has to offer musically. This EP for the newly invigorated BaseLogic label (from the team behind the mighty Bloc Weekender) offers up four fresh cuts of Al's mutant electro-funk, and it's instantly clear that his sound could dart off in any number of directions in the near future. The devil is in the details, so they say, and on "Swan's Sketch" the cumulative elements all feed into the tension that the melodics spell out. "Universed" makes things a touch more straightforward, employing a classic synth approach that wouldn't feel out of place on an Underground Resistance record, while the beat snaps and pounds for maximum physical response. Once again taking the direct approach, "Badger" keeps things a little restrained - relatively speaking - as an insanely catchy bass line and crisp-as-you-like snare provide the focus. Having been somewhat off the radar for a while, it's good to see Datasette back in action to offer up a remix of "Swan's Sketch". While his clean and fulsome production ways are still intact, his groove has somewhat staggered itself, as the beat strafes uncontrollably, leaving you to try and play catch up.
31 Jan 12