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20 May 13
29 Apr 13
Played by: Mr Brainz / Orpheus:ldn
Review: Leeds producer Debian Blak has been described as having a post-dubstep agenda with a sting in its tail. This time round though, he's eschewed the sting in favour of a sweeter pop sound, and to great effect too. Minimal and sensuous with a yearning female vocal from Neo Joshua, this is a contender for a number one in a perfect world. Remix-wise Lion Gonzalez stays close to the original, while HanC goes for sparse beats with retro synth stabs and pitched down vocals.
13 May 13
Review: The unprecedented rush that's met each upcoming funky-house-garage-bassline producer in recent months has plastered the pillars of the bass music spectrum with the tags and new sounds of a scene that's forging itself before our very eyes. Debian Blak has already caught the attention of BBC Radio 6 and has created a stir with previous remixes and bootlegs. This, his first ever full length release, chronicles his musical journeys on his very rapid ascent to bass music stardom. From the lush soundscapes and retro bleeps of "Dive" to the deep, contemplative tones of "Where You", Blak is a man intent on building his own structure on the never-ending tower that is modern bass music. God speed, Debian.
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!
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.
26 Mar 13
Review: Continuing his adventures into rough and ready hyper-modern rave business spinning off of the bass music zeitgeist, Distal comes bowling up to Lucky Beard with this rowdy selection of party smashers. "Hard House Cheer Squad" brings in all manner of dutty ass wiggling tropes, from trap drums to jungle breaks, while the melodies peal out in technicolour tones and the vocals come hopping in from all angles. "Diamond Leather Shock" is a more heads down affair that pushes the musicality to one side and focuses on intense drum programming and sample triggering in a frenzied attack on the senses. Bringing a different vibe altogether, "Chucky Saturn" strips everything back and focuses on a more ambient tone with just a smattering of the usual Distal drums, synths and samples compared to the normal overload.
15 Apr 13
Review: Underground garage upstart DJ Blakey - sadly not a big fan of the infamous character from 'On The Buses', as far as we know - returns to spiritual home Slime with a decidedly summery chunk of deep garage. Those who like their 4/4 garage a little more subdued will enjoy its loose and fluid mix of skippy beats, bold melodies, atmospheric chords and Todd Edwards-inspired vocal cut-ups. Given the ubiquity of sillier garage-influenced jams at present, it makes a refreshing change from the norm. The obligatory remix comes from D&B type Basher, whose raw junglist onslaught - all warped bass, scattergun beats and old skool flava - is in stark contrast to the comfy original.
06 Apr 13
06 May 13
Review: Bringing further evolution in the realm of footwork, one of the scene's heavy hitters DJ Earl drops this self-assured EP which lets a little heart and soul into the manic machinations of his chosen discipline. Opening track "I Feel It" embraces full-bodied vocals and warm melodies, while "I Need You" gets deep into a Rhodes refrain, all the while twitching away at the heightened BPMs of classic footwork. "Alive N' Well" goes as far as to reach for some chunky Detroit chords, while "Ambienttt" somewhat ironically represents the feistiest cut on the release with a more head-nagging refrain that seems more in line with classic Chicago juking.
26 Mar 13
Review: If you're an aspiring DJ or producer, naming yourself after one of the world's most popular club DJs might not prove such a smart move. But then again, with "Beat'n Down Yo Block", this other Tiga has delivered an impressive club banger that fuses epic string stabs, hype footwork rhythms and some great chant-a-longs. Across the further four tunes included we also get the bass-laden, italo-disco sampling trap of "Take Control", the stabby ghettotech of "Start It Up", booty bass -meets-70s flower child-isms of "Lovin You" and some head noddin' gangsta vibes on "Zip & A Double Cup".
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".
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.
29 Apr 13
Played by: Eric Sharp
Review: He probably won't win any prizes for modesty with the title of this release, but Sharp's musical approach is certainly worthy of praise. "Help Me" is all breathy textures and swinging offbeats, the steely precision of minimal house mixed with the deeper sound of Detroit. The DAMB remix veers closer to minimalism; while it retains the original's sense of swing, the rhythm is tougher and the percussion more insistent. Sharp follows DAMB's example on "Organized Confusion"; there, tough drums and tonal shifts usher in a harder, less musical sound. It's a similar story on "Avusadora", featuring Bass Cadet, which focuses on a jacking rhythm and a repetitive vocal sample.
02 Apr 13
20 May 13
01 Apr 13
Played by: Roberto Rodriguez
Review: Recently announced as the latest artist to trade Planet Mu for Ninja Tune, Machinedrum celebrates a four LP deal with the venerable UK label with a fresh drop for Fracture's Astrophonica label. One of the leading lights in 150bpm+ excursions, Astrophonica has been dominated by Fracture's own output - last year's The Limit VIP being a label highlight - though appearances from the likes of Om Unit demonstrate they do broaden their remit occasionally. Clissold VIP expertly shifts from the fidgety drum edits of its opening minutes to a jungle riffing midsection with the kind of aplomb the Berlin-based Travis Stewart is renowned for, whilst the BoC style synths on display throughout ensure the track remains finely balanced between accessible and aggressive. This release in a word? Essential!
20 May 13
Played by: Big Dope P
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...
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.
06 May 13
Review: Ahead of a multitude of new ventures and projects, Hyetal makes a welcome return to hint at where his sound might be heading with this new track. It's a bold move that fuses rasping electro drum patterns with reverbed vocal and trademark plush, detuning melodies that comes on like a dramatic, windswept version of synth-pop built for craggy coastlines. Vessel steps up for the first remix, shearing away the niceties to create some industrial flavoured dread complete with yowling, nebulous wraiths of the original vocal and insistent bass. Factory Floor meanwhile bring their own brand of looping sample revisions that work up to a peppy, disco-fuelled burner with a catchy bassline to anchor the more wayward samples in the background.
07 May 13
Played by: Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: Utilising drum & bass siren Riya's silken vocals on a bass release might be this year's best idea yet. Weaving in and out of that house and dubstep and garage and footwork sound we're all so keen on right now, technical beats and lush atmospherics keep harsh synth stabs in check in the title track, while "Absense" and "Ruff" shake off their Mr Whippy soft sweetness and launch into an icy world of techy house and cool sampling perfect for late night dancefloors filled with long-haired girls and pastel strobes. For extra pop-quiz cool points, Kiri's remix of "Mindgames" was recently played in a Disclosure mix for Rinse FM. You're in with the Eton Messy crowd now, guys.