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20 May 13
Review: If you judge a producer by their ability to successfully apply a winning formula to a variety of styles, Alix Perez is a master. While drum and bass remains his forte, there's enough on Chroma Chords, his second album, to suggest that he's growing as a producer. This EP discards with the synth-laden head nodders featured on the full album, though the four tracks here do still demonstrate the versatile nature of Chroma Chords. Thus the grimy hip hop of the Metropolis featuring "Blue Print" shares space with the soulful stepping action of "Playing Games" whilst the the excellent vintage Timbaaland does halfstep of "Shadows" (featuring breakout Eglo talent Strange U") joins up with the vicious "Burnout".
20 May 13
Review: London via North Devon imprint Shifting Peaks are keeping the party pressure on with this bumper-packed EP. It's a label debut from duo De$ignated (Nima Bazrcar and Rory Bowyer) who split their time between London and Hampshire. Having garnered some major hype from a string of remixes, they've managed to secure Kyiki from Crystal Fighters for this, this own single. "Valentine" mixes fuzzy urban funk with old skool 2-step and half time breaks. "Russian Roulette" however is a much harder post-dubstep gurning banger. Best of the remixes is Kaveh's thumping acidic afterhours workout.
20 May 13
Review: Originally released spring 2012, Foamo's monstrously heavy bass chugger "Sherlock" gets the treatment from a variety of talented players. Kry Wolf drop the tempo slightly for a resonant UKG strut, Taiki & Nulight continue the garage vibe with a more uptempo, menacing bass motif, Millions Like Us add some cinematic breakbeats and shivering synth washes to the mix, My Nu Leng take a leaf out of Bassbin Twin's booty-bass book while LKid calms us down with a very neat, early 90s house version. A great spread and not a duff rub in sight.
16 Apr 13
Played by: Low Slung, Eric Sharp, Mat Cant, S-File, Diplo, Aka Tell (A.g.trio), Carl Cox, Xpress 2, Trevor Vichas, 2 Good Souls, Jeremy Glenn, Caserta, Groove Armada, Resident Advisor, Nice7, Tocacabana, DJ Hell, Sister Bliss, Phuturelabs, Umut Akalin, Ntfo
Review: Ben Westbeach's Breach alter ego continues to frolic wildly in the lush pastures of low-end house music with "Jack". The bassline swings like an acid house pendulum while the beats shuffle nonchalantly in the background and a sultry staccato vocal delivers concise instructions on how to unleash the sexual potency of the groove. "Let's Get Hot" continues the timeless less-is-more jack magic but does so with much more of a techno twist. Getting hot is not an order... It's a promise.
13 May 13
Review: Sounds Of Sumo label bosses Kry Wolf return to their home imprint with a bold new sound in the form of Concrete; eschewing their usually lighter take on bass music, the title track is a dark combination of wobble bass and dub atmospherics, held together with some steely techno rhythms which comes across like Objekt's "Cactus", while "Bluffin" combines more abstract beats with ghetto house-inspired vocal samples and dubby stabs. Woz is tapped up to remix the title track, being considerably more sparing with the savage bass and rearranging its rhythms into something altogether more angular; Benton's remix of "Bluffin" is classic SOS, providing a bouncy piece of bass-heavy garage house.
20 May 13
Played by: King
Review: Rinse's own Royal T has been listening to UKG for as long as he started stealing bootlegs from his brother. With the advent of online mixtape technology and the worlds of grime, bassline and UK funky at his feet, the Southampton-based producer's latest offering is a filthy culmination of sticky dancefloors, hastily-printed rave flyers, pirate radio and the dawning of crisply ironed trap. There's a feeling of nostalgia about the whole EP for times when listening to grime at the back of the bus really was the pinnacle. Nostalgia too often comes with negative connotations - rather than stale Royal T brings his own modern edge to the retrospective bubbles he creates with each track. It's a celebration rather than a museum piece. Long live the spirit of the underground.
20 May 13
Review: It's been some two years since Shackled, George Fitzgerald's last outing on Hotflush and it's fair to say the landscape both occupy has shifted some in that period. Both artist and label are fully entrenched in the current UK house explosion and Fitzgerald's return to Paul Rose's label with Thinking Of You seems primed to reverberate across festivals, Croatian beaches and warehouse spaces as the summer months roll on. A prominent track in Fitzgerald's recent Essential Mix, "Thinking Of You" sees the producer continue to refine an approach to forthright house music shown on recent dalliances with Aus Music and Hypercolour and feels almost proto fidget in execution. The techier accompaniment "Nighttide Lover" is drawn from a similar fist pumping palette and features rolling vocal manipulation reminiscent of Switch in his heyday.
25 Mar 13
Played by: Thang, Alkalino, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Jack Fell Down, Cocaine On Her Dress, Benny Kane
Review: Jay 'Chubba' Richards has been popping up all over the place of late, with recent releases on Sirch and Odea Records. Here, he brings his particular brand of contemporary house and UK funky fusion to Republic. "Moody" - so-called because it features a prominent sample from Kenny Dixon Jnr talking about his MPC - sets the tone, layering tough electronic percussion over a monstrous bassline. "Diamonds" sounds like a fusion of classic UKG and '90s house, while "Broken" feels like the sort of thing that Hypercolour should be signing (think nice chords, tasty vocal stabs and bassline-driven deep house flavour). There's also a tougher, UK funky-flavoured tweak from Vedicis and Vanshift that's well worth a listen.
17 Mar 13
Review: It's been a long journey for James Edward Jacob, from young thrash metaller in Leicester to aspiring dubstep producer in college, and now hot future bass property. This EP of his own VIP mixes is premier grade stuff, expertly produced and cleverly tweaked for different moods. "Fade" gets three different interpretations here - a club mix that sees big crescendos drop into totally nasty 4/4 garage basslines, a different club mix that goes deeper with soft pads and a retro Enya-goes-RnB vibe, and finally the Etherwood version, all melancholic DnB, forlorn vocals and piano fused with low bass and urgent beats.
22 Apr 13
Review: With the imminent return of Daft Punk reminding us all of Paris's vibrant electronic music heritage, local label ClekClekBoom pop-up to provide us with a wide-eyed snapshot of the current Parisian underground. There are hints of familiar French staples - the stomping Ed Banger-ish ravery of The Town's "Dice", the classic house flex of Coni's "Missing You Nire" - but for the most part Paris Club Music Volume 1 dances to a different beat. With label regulars French Fries coming to the fore, much of the album is devoted to the sort of hard-to-pigeonhole bass music that takes its influence as much from B-more, R&B and UK garage as filter funk and electro-house.
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.
13 May 13
Played by: Phuturelabs
Review: Given Unknown To The Unknown's wide ranging remit, including bassline garage, Detroit electro and Chicago house, it was perhaps inevitable that a genuine 90s house record would find its way onto the label at some point. Originally released in 1992, OHM's "Tribal Tone" was supposedly the first tune to use the Korg M1 sound that was later immortalised by Robin S' "Show Me Love", and had considerable impact at the time, being championed The Shamen frontman Mr C, being licensed to R&S sub-label Global Cuts and US label Vibe, and finding itself remixed by the Sabres of Paradise trio. Here it finds itself with three similarly great remixes, a stripped-back, raw groover from Marquis Hawkes, a horn-heavy piece of 90s action from Capracara and a thundering mid-tempo effort from Northern Souls. Essential!
12 May 13
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.
20 May 13
Review: Crisp, on point production meets lo-fi aesthetics in "Half Out", the first track on this two sider by Manchester-based techno/house rising star Paleman. Simple and emotive, his influences clearly come from the garage and deep house section of the record store, and for that there's a real depth to his sound. "Etch" is a slightly more flamboyant affair - if there ever was such a word in Paleman's vocabulary - with bruising techno kicks underpinning a series of percussive sections and a seriously addictive bassline. If this tune isn't gracing the pinnacle of the night in your local discotheque, you're going to the wrong places, mate.
13 May 13
Played by: Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: Entering what seems like a new phase for Pinch's bastion of forward-thinking dubstep, Tectonic Plates reaches its fourth edition and brings in a raft of fresh producers and new angles on just what the genre might mean in these fractured times. Even the classic standard bearers such as Jakes are bringing curious 4/4 momentum in amidst the sparse, dread filled pressure, while Guido pivots off of the plush musicality of his album to create an utterly broken symphony on "State Of Joy". There are a lot of different ideas floating around the whole compilation, and yet everything holds together with the deep-rooted soundsystem mentality that has always defined Tectonic as a shining example of what dubstep has always meant.
21 Apr 13
Review: The success of Taiki & Nulight's recent low-key release Late Nights has now seen it expand into a full-blown EP. Again released by Herve's Cheap Thrills, the title track is a dubby, wobbly 4x4 garage roller. "Take Me Up" is a straight up, hands in the air party anthem, "Footwerk" is dark, deep and very late night bassline houser , but it's all about "Offkey" for sheer next level sounds.
05 Apr 13
Review: Destination "Afrika" via LA... Here we find Sub Slayer Skanx delving deep into jungle heritage with a muddy roller that packs the same foggy, radar-ridden breakbeat punch as the Meat Beat Manifesto's "Radio Babylon". For a more contemporary dub twist head for 6BLOCC's remix; stripping things back to a nagging 4/4 sub thump, it's the perfect blend of trad dub and stark future-minded bass music. Elsewhere we don the white gloves for the rave-tastic "Boom" while Eek-A-Mouse goes under the sample scalpel on the swashbuckling "Dub War". The junglist massive are on fine form right here.
25 Feb 13
Review: Wow! Are people looking back with rose-tinted glasses to 1995 already? Well at least this 'musical magpie' is only borrowing ideas and sounds rather than copying wholesale! Possibly a bit darker than his previous releases this EP features dubby UKG ("1995"), glitchy, post-dubstep ("Hypno", "Fallen") and even a bit of wobble-heavy UKF ("Roots").
13 Jan 13
Played by: Homegroove Project, Fort Knox Five, Mat Cant, Nic Fanciulli, Matta, Tee Circus, Rack N Ruin, Lucent
Review: Despite only unveiling themselves to the public in 2010, Black Butter Records have already ascended to some impressive heights with a string of hugely popular bass/UKF releases. This first 'proper' label comp features five names from their roster, remixed by many more. It's literally fizzing and popping with retro-futuristic ideas and sounds: from the B-more drum machine orgy of "Be More (3hrs & Woz mix), to Matta's accelerated electro version of Kidnap Kid's classic "Vehl" and Vince Clarke's elasticated tech-house version of "Lazarus Taxon", to the scuzzy, rave-inflected house of Codec's "What You Need", the thoroughly ominous bass tones of "Hackney Heat" by Racknruin via the eccentric end-of the world beats of "Trick Green" by Hostage.
21 May 13
Review: Hailing from Belgium, this guy has gone from making harsh and accelerated chipmunk-voiced beats (often of the juke/footwork variety) to deeper stuff. Here the slower, throbbing "Make That Booty Clap" is remixed by a number of names: The Martin Brothers go electro-meets-Chicago, while Zombie Disco Squad push the jackin' levels into the red, Plastician goes slow and evil sounding and Mark Starr goes for a stripped down (pun intended) trap style workout.
02 Apr 13
Played by: Homegroove Project, Mooqee, Sw, B. Jinx, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Huxley, Funk And Filth
Review: The chart-bothering Surrey siblings Disclosure are back with possibly their best offering yet. Released on the Hot Chip-affiliated Greco-Roman label, "Control" is a superb slice of sultry and soulful minimal garage, with short of breath vocals that echo vintage Janet Jackson. Joe Goddard seriously challenges the glory of the original with a mesmerising doomy, acid-tinged electro-disco version. Bonus tune "Lividup" is an ecstatic bleep-garage joy and there's further fun with "Boiling" being given cosmic trance (Dixon) and mega camp house (Medlar) workovers. Plus "Whats In Your Head" gets a boombox house mix by Mak & Pasteman.
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.
20 May 13
Review: This guy has settled in with Reading UKF label Soulserious like a comfy pair of old slippers. Why not when they totally support his sound, to the point where his EPs are now bordering on mini-LPs! "Speeding" features six new joints all revealing his finely honed production skills. He blends slick, jazzy pads with shuffling garage beats that often veer into a sleazy tech-house side of town, and there's always a few retro nods to the good old 90s.
18 Mar 13
Played by: Paul Mac, Scott Fell, Earl Grey, Nowakowski, Dusty / Jazz & Milk, Alkalino, Dairmount (Room With A View Recs), Roberto Rodriguez, Juno Recommends Techno, Tom (Shur-I-Kan) Szirtes, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Posthuman, Tom (Shur-I-Kan) Szirtes, Blind Prophet (South Fork Sound), Simonlebon, Resident Advisor, Tom Taylor, Ben Pearce
Review: Ahead of a forthcoming new album for Brainfeeder, Martyn drops this killer induction into Steffi's recently established Dolly Dubs imprint. The offshoot launched in relatively low key fashion late last year, with Swedish producer Staffan Lindberg at the helm. The addition of Steffi's compatriot Martyn is however big news, with the three track Newspeak EP the Dutchman's first proper release since Hello Darkness, the single that bookended his album for Brainfeeder in March of last year. Long term devotees of the 3024 boss's output should be familiar with the sub heavy snap of the title track which featured on his Essential Mix for Radio 1 last Spring, whilst lead track "Oceania" is a rolling, broken treat.
06 May 13
Review: No prizes for getting that it's house o'clock round Odessa towers (it's always house o'clock round there). This EP features five incarnations of the aforementioned house; all different but assertive in their own way. The three originals take in delirious, jackin', frenzied piano house ("Get Right"), filthy warehouse, bassline-y hip-house ("Put You Down") and (best of all) minimal and techy after hours darkness ("Tell Me"). Winning the best remix of the package award is Artefact who delivers a totally out there deep and brooding remix that features some the deepest sub bass we've heard in ages!
29 Apr 13
Review: It's a meeting of minds on this long player with rootsy German label Root Down releasing this much-anticipated album from Korean-German 'future dancehall' act Symbiz Sound. There's plenty of tunes, 15 in total here, many of which featuring either the talents of ZHI MC or Feral Is Kinky. Highlights include the sweet sounding lovers rock of opener "Soundboy Dead", the bassy, ghetto-hop of "Ruff Ride", the digital dancehall of "Down Under" and the sheer tribalism of "Bad So".
18 Mar 13
26 Mar 12
Played by: Odiggity, Flash Atkins, Shadow Dancer, Hxdb, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Bunny On Acid, Simon/Off, Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio, Breakbeat.is, Djs: Most Charted - Dubstep, Paradisiaca Recordings, Konnekt - Hot N Heavy, Mak & Pasteman, Rocky Horror
Review: Having made waves with their 50Weapons EP last year, the Black Rainbows EP sees the trio's triumphant return to Black Acre. Opening with the sparse, stripped back rhythms of "F-Technology", razor sharp snare hits dovetail between cavernous bass hits to create the kind of dread-inducing atmospheres one associates with the label. "Tremor", meanwhile is all about those rough and tumble drums, while the sub bass groans of "Zoom" and neon-tinged roughness of "Totum" round off an unsurprisingly excellent package. There's nobody hitting that sweet spot between classic dubstep and contemporary garage styles quite like Dark Sky, and this is as excellent an example of their productions as you'll hear.
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.
21 Apr 13
Played by: Juno Recommends Techno
Review: From the label who gave us Gorgon City and Rudimental comes another exciting new act, DVWLX (or David Wilcox as he's known to the taxman). Taking the bass flavours of labels such as Pets and Dirtybird but dropping the tempo down a notch or two, "Not Another Love Song" oozes a classy sense of timelessness. "Get Out" is darker and deeper again with a lovely succession of reverberating, dubbed out textures; think 2020 Vision's early output and you're not far off. "Just Like That" takes us deeper again, nodding at formative progressive sounds while maintaining a slight cheekiness with cool VonStroke style diced vocal hits. As far as debut records go, this is near-on faultless.
05 Feb 13
20 May 13
Review: Alex Barck has achieved a lot over the last two decades - pioneering nu-jazz blends with Jazzanova, helping set up Sonar Kollektiv, a fine album with Christian Prommer - but he's not released many solo records. In fact, his debut solo album, Reunion, is due later in the year. This taster gives a glimpse as to what to expect, a dewy-eyed blend of electronic soul, bruk-influenced deep house and unbridled positivity. The EP's two original tracks are predictably sublime, with Pete Josef collaboration "Re-Set" - an exercise in effortlessly soulful, heavily electronic deep house - just edging out the more obviously anthemic Jonathan Backelie hook-up "Don't Hold Back". Elsewhere, Marlow's deep acid rework of "Re-Set" is also superb.
26 Feb 13
Review: Swedish duo Savage Skulls have been making some serious noise in bass circles since about 2008. Now they've gone stateside, talking Frenchman Douster with them and signing up with Steve Aoki's Dim Mak label. This EP is unrepentantly aimed at the dancefloor: "Bass Kick" is hysterical, peak time madness with heavily compressed tropical beats and ascending synth melodies, "TRT" is tough party-garage with EDM-friendly trance breakdown and finally "Nicole" is total pop-dance euphoria.
22 Apr 13
Review: Deftly exploring the creative possibilities in the endless badlands of a post-dubstep landscape, Krueger references everything from juke to techno across his two originals. "Giggles" is a paranoid, minimal masterpiece that refuses to be pigeonholed, while "Can You" is basically acid house if it arrived twenty-five years later. Complex yet stark and simplistic both are the epitome of electronic music's earliest, most essential ingredients. And the remixes are all pretty special, too...
15 Apr 13
Review: A cursory listen to this EP would easily lead the listener to believe it was made by some underground British bass guy who wears his baseball caps sideways. But they'd be wrong; Klaves is actually 21 year old producer Mikolaj Gramowski from Poland who has pretty much beaten the British producers at their own game: "You" is an awesome blend of late 90s garage and house. "Hope It Gets To Love" is sassy future garage, and our fave is the Fault Lines remix - a slamming house scorcher featuring the kind of thumping kick not head since "Da Funk"!
15 May 13
Review: Russian producer Ishome has been bubbling away for years, checking in on myriad genres from dub to prog to techno. Here we find her in full dub mode, serving up some of her most sensual sonics to date. Flicking with finesse from cut n' paste starlight delight ("Adam") to swampier, more pensive pieces ("Sad Family") via ambient space baroque ("It Exists"), she shows maturity and rich depths throughout the full album. This should appeal to everyone from Trentemoller fans to Kokeshi lovers.
01 Apr 13
Played by: Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: It's bashment o'clock round Decibel towers judging by the sound of his new bomb, and the currently on fire Newcastle producer doesn't appear to be mellowing any time soon. It's all about the party here on "Skanks", mercilessly so, especially with the legendary grime MC Flowdan on vocal duties - there won't be a dancefloor left alive after this incendiary fusion of footwork, tropical and hysterical rave is dropped. Just in the (unlikely) case it doesn't rock your world, there are two extra mixes supplied - Hybrid Theory deliver a slower, wobble-heavy housey version, while the Enigma Dubz mix defiantly keeps the classic dubstep sound alive!
22 Apr 13
Review: We don't usually condone lying here at Juno, but when you tell seven of them across a beautiful nine track debut album, it's absolutely acceptable. Applaudable, even. Highlights across this deep, tightly woven bass adventure include the Portishead-style trippy dubtronica of "Comos Los Cerdos", the somnambulant drones and breathy washes of "Lies", the nagging techno loopery of "Dam" and the trembling graveyard soul of "Arcana".
13 May 13
Review: The phenomenon that answers to the names 'footwork' or 'juke' has spread far and wide since its origins as a sped up fusion of ghetto, jackin' and hip-beats in Chicago. It's spread so far in fact, that French label, Booty Call, have taken it upon themselves to present this inspired compilation in an attempt to put the genre firmly on the musical map. They've got taste too, and highlights of these 12 prime cuts include: the deep synth fest of 'Access", the porno-hop frenzy of "Sex To Me" and the Kenny G on downers vibe of "My Sorrows".
10 Mar 13
Review: Not content with having risen on the tides of their Sound of Sumo label's success, label bosses Kry Wolf have elected to start a new label in the form of Food Music. Debuting last year with a release from Shadow Child, the pair now take centre stage for the label's second release. Entitled The Flood, the lead track combines sharp tech-house beats with buzzsaw bass and slick vocal samples, all coated in deep strings, while "Workin Hard" takes things up a notch with its crisp flurry of claps and synth bubbles driven along by some peak-time rave piano. "Together" meanwhile combines techno and bass in equal measure with its dark, tunnelling acidic bassline and dubbed out piano chords; it's a stark contrast to Makes No Sense's remix of the track which gives it into a light UKG-inspired rework.
12 Apr 13
Review: After pairing up for the "Paranormal Activity" release back in 2011, the Tectonic main man and one of the most dynamic producers to come out of the UK funky scene team up for another round. "Shoulda Rolla" is an impeccable, unfussy dubstep groover with classic icy textures, snappy percussion and an anchoring bass wobble that was born to work the dance without any showboating tactics. Roska goes it alone on "Asbestos" with an equally moody slice of rhythmic function that cruises at 140 while the synths come in blasts of robotic weirdness. Like so many of the great Tectonic 12"s, you're presented with a pair of club-focused stompers that keep the dubstep dream alive.