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The Sheff City boys are back with 12 high calorie teatime treats all smothered in basslines that are thicker than chippy gravy! If Chip Shop vol 1 announced Chip Butty Recs as the new leading light of the 4x4 Garage sound, then volume 2 suggests that they plan to keep the heat on high at the fryery. Founding members deliver the on-point bangers that we have come to expect from them but it is the newcomers that bring the real sizzlers here; Rico Tibbs ascends to the skies with uplifting rave pianos on "Warning" Judge Chucky draws for the distortion on breakbeat-techno-bass hybrid "Customer Service". While Rolls Royce opts for an old school flex that we would love to see revived this summer festival season. Not a single dud spud in the batch!
Just listen to that spaced-out groaning bassline on "The Test". If that doesn't take you off to some murky corners of the deep space of your mind, you might have to get a second opinion on those junglist credentials of yours. Classic Bladerunner. The same can be said for "Kick Off". Warming up mildly before dropping into a jagged, aggy riff (underpinned by warm subby wobbles), it lives up to its name in every way. We know you're gonna dig this!
The connections continue as California duo Sub Killaz let rip with a second four-track volume of US jump up joints and jungle jams. "Demons" is all about the swaggering triplets and hornet's nest one note stabs, "Look" fusses up a sexy R&B vocal with a pant-dangling rolling groove that's not dissimilar to Break while "Feelings" maintains the high emotion levels but adds a more of grittier, sleazy funk swing. "Druggies" concludes proceedings with big jazzy pianos, a classic rap sample and plenty of twisted cowbell clanging. Just say yes.
Happy birthday Intrigue! They're celebrating 14 years of their Bristol club night (and nine years of the label) in style with this beautiful collection of 14 exclusives that sum up the collective's vibe, spirit and energy perfectly. Deep, soulful but not afraid to slap you silly with grit or funk across the set we're treated to triplet-teasing elastic double bass freakery from Raw Q, total soul magic by Philth, SolidFrame and Collette Warren, cloud-leaping amen bliss from Ill Truth and white knuckle space funk from the daddy Randall and label bossman Ben Soundscape. With more from the likes of Phase, Random Movement, Break and loads more, this really is a special collection. Don't sleep!
Is it you? Is it your neighbour? Is it your mum? Still no one knows who Dawn Wall is (or are) but we know we're cruising point blank towards an album. Here are four more reasons to look forward to it; "Twin Falls" rolls with the anonymous artists' signature piano lulls and a hazy vocal sample. Simple, soulful, bliss. "Mantis" hits a little harder with warm insistent key strikes, a groaning bassline and some interesting textures fluttering overhead while "Holding On" flexes a Gill Scott vocal and Think Break with guitar glistening perfection. Finally "Marina" takes us out to choppier oceans where the seas and keys are notes of deep blue. The mystique continues...
Reviewed by Klute: Ive been a mate of Steve's since the mid 90s - were both originally from Ipswich so ive been closely following what he's been up to pretty much from day one. What i love most about Steve is hes trod his own path and always been willing to give anything a try and made some of the best tunes of all time along the way. Hes not precious - a tunes a tune and to me that makes it all very real. He's always been massively inventive and can come straight out of the left field with some mad whacked out ideas. Majorly influential. Anyways, its good to see him back on Headz with a nice EP. SunBites and Understand are the stand outs here, Sun Bites having been a mainstay in my sets for quite awhile now and it's absolutely superb, reminding me of some mid 90s Bukem type vibes. Big up Steve.
It would be fair to say that Macc and Loz Contreras have made something a splash in the D&B scene since first joining forces back in 2013. It's also true that few contemporary producers are capable of delivering such musically rich, soul-flecked liquid funk. Their trademark sound - rolling breaks, sparkling electronic, carefully selected samples and melodies aplenty - is much in evidence throughout this fine debut album, which gathers together both previously released singles and previously unheard fare. Highlights come thick and fast, from the disco-sampling dancefloor bliss of "Better World" and the sun-soaked brilliance of bass-heavy carnival roller "Wanna Be Your Lover", to the sub-heavy assault that is "Switch". A handful of remixes from other artists - including liquid soul mate S.P.Y - complete a quality package.
Astrophonica kicks off 2017 with the sounds that have driven the label forward over the past five years. Gradients is the label's first compilation and brings together its small but powerful roster with a string of close friends and allies, giving prominence to both well-known names - dBridge, DJ Earl, Stray, Om Unit (under his Philip D Kick guise) and newcomers such as Lewis James, Tusais, Touchy Subject and Tehbis. This is a glorious celebration of Astrophonica's growth, as well as its stylistic roots and forward thinking ethos. Each of the 13 tracks have been tested in the clubs over the past year to ensure an all killer/no filler experience. Respect!
It's been a strong year so far for the soulful D&B big boy Pennygiles with appearances on Metalheadz and now his debut on Dispatch. Playing a restrained game of contrasts and shade throughout, this is one of his most detailed and accomplished EPs to date: the mutant alien texture and evocative chords of "These Feelings", the hurricane atmospheres of "All Seeing", the subdued shimmers and ripples of "So Near" and the incredible depths and sub shakes of "Sheltered Life". Complete with a Zero T remix, this is a major win for all concerned.
New German label Original Key continue to fire the big guns on their third release: DJ Sly continues to chow down on the quarter pounders with another epic plunging bassline on "98 Style" that just tears through everything else in the mix (including the cheeky string sample on the fills) For the second track OKey invites fellow German titans Bassface Sascha and Feindsoul on board for a grunting, jumpy bassline-focused b-boy session. Die saga geht weiter...
DJ Badboe and Wiccatron's Brekabeat Paradise Recordings masterfully re-enter our charts with their singular approach to breakbeat and electro - this time with a mini compilation! The Danish label has to be given a shout-out for having always done what they believe in, and it's clear they got their strategy right. The numbers don't lie, and these guys provoke quite a few downloads on the ol' Juno system. Breakin The Riddim is a wild and diverse affair, full of sampling grace and brimming with party-ready material in every sense of the word. All of it, however, is heavily centered around break sampling and an audible 'ragga' influence - tunes from DJ Maars, Basschimp, Leygo, Cockney Nutjob and Fredy High are the only solution to any bashment or dancehall DJ wanting to fire the place up!
British producer Birdee has been quietly doing his thing since the turn of the decade, delivering a string of underground nu-disco hits on a variety of labels. Here he returns to ISM three months after his last outing (the fine Love EP), this time with a trio of ear-pleasing Balearic boogie productions. Vocalist Chloe Amber guest stars on title track "Give Into Love", a sumptuous, sun-kissed fusion of lilting deep house dreaminess, sparkling '80s soul sounds and hazy disco warmth. With its jammed-out analogue synth riffs, fizzing electronics and elastic bass guitar parts, "Tonite" is an essential instrumental workout, while "Dinamo" alternates between sumptuous melodiousness and stripped-back, bass-driven disco-funk heaviness.
BANG: Kre and his mates are back and it's more of the same absolute filth we've come to expect from the young UK bass flexor. "Shutdown" sees him teaming up with Multi-Function affiliate Freek for a crucial tech-edged riff that swathes through the mix like a samurai. Unadulterated chaos. "Toronto Blues" sees him teaming up with longstanding collaborator Basshoven for more of a groove-based funk-up that's laced with the twisted, menacing undertones the pair have excelled in previously in the past. Watch out for the breakdown as well... It'll leave you black and blue.
While re-editors come and go, Frico AKA DJ Friction has been serving up fine re-edits in regular intervals for the best part of 15 years. The two scalpel jobs showcased here are arguably amongst his most impressive to date. As the title suggests, "Dance, Dance, Dance" is a rework of a particularly well-known New York disco milestone. While faithful to the original in the opening stages, it gets a little more dubbed-out and eccentric over the course of its near 10-minute duration, with Frico giving greater prominence to the instrumental elements and drum breaks. Hit the virtual flipside for "So You Wanna Be A Star", a tasteful rearrangement of boogie-era disco shuffler laden with wiggly synthesizers and bold vocals.
Following their divisive rock-spiked slammer on Hospital earlier this year, Need For Mirrors and Reprazents' Onallee collide once again for something a lot more consistent with their previous output; the ice cold introspective space soul of "Dead Poets". Restrained and loaded with a mean drone, it's an instant keeper. As are "Virage" and "Tempora". The former is a slinky stepper laced in churchy echoed-out strings, the latter tricked out in stark safari sound design and big clouds of sci-fi funk. Superb.
Another Bomb Strikes from the Prosper & Stabfinger duo, a phrase that works both on a theoretical level as well as a practical one. In short, thispair of breakbeat mashers are back with their inimitable style of groovy electro reworks. "Dopeness", the title tune, features Imagine This & Jui on the vocals, and it really is a perfect example of the best possible sort of modern boogie - phat bass lines over soulful vocals and kick ass disco beats. "Pay For Bass" is more of the same excellence, all thick beats and party-ready bumps, while "You're Wonderful" sounds like a trip back to the late 80s, a sound wrapped in an unmistakable early hip-hop flair, rewired and anted-up for maximum dancefloor effect and seamless DJ use. SLICK.
Lauer and Gerd Janson aka Tuff City kids emerged with "Tell Me" featuring Hot Chip's Joe Goddard on vocals back in late 2016 on Permanent Vacation, but now it's time for the remixes and they're pretty sweet on this EP; if we do say so ourselves. Hamburg's finest Tensnake is in fine form as always with his rendtion: a tropical nu-disco explosion! Joe Goddard himself chips in too with a makeover of the track; his one getting some emotive Kompakt vibes going on full of rich and life affirming synths leads happening. After all, he has recently collaboarated with Michael Mayer. Finally they save the best for last with the mighty Roman Fluegel delivering the "Happy Gerdy remix" which very uplifting indeed.
When it comes to no-nonsense, heads-down techno, few labels can match Bek Audio. While it has released material by Chicago legends DJ Rush and Lester Fitzpatrick, as well as Mark Broom and Slam, for its 30th release its owner, Gary Beck is back in the saddle. The title track is an unstoppable juggernaut that comprises a driving funk-bass, disco loops and sassy vocal samples. "Shadow Bounce" is more typical Beck, with a hammering central rhythm undercutting a noisy riff and a choppy vocal stab. "Bicycle Wheel" sees the Scottish producer deliver a lighter, party techno looper, while expect the catchy vocals and loopy funk of "Fantasy Stomp" to compete with "Famoo Funk" for attention.
It's a perfect match; the dubwise sonic filter of L NIX is perfectly suited to what Iron Shirt Recordings have been focusing on for quite some time, and it makes this one of those releases that feels painfully right from the first moment it landed on our charts. The opening "Stumbles" lays out a clear and effective blueprint for the sort of shady, heavily moody bass vibes that follow on the subsequent 9 slabs of heartical drum-beating and hertz-morphing. "The Rift" is another peak moment on here, its stepping dub breaks guided by the subtle rap poetry of Ramai Lama, not to mention the grainy picture painted by "Viceroth", or the cold, ear-shaking artillery of percussion that's unleashed on "Bandits". If you like you step to be on the heavily dubby side then look no further than this sublime slice of dance sci-fi.
Jimpster has a new album on the way - his seventh in total - so has decided to serve up this tantalizing taster of what's to come. "Crave", featuring the quietly soulful vocals of Florence Rawlings, is an exercise in sumptuous, musically rich dancefloor deep house in which the Freerange co-founder can showcase his admirable composition and production skills. Khalil Anthony adds his slick vocals to the chunkier and more bass-heavy richness of "Where You Are", which recalls his appearances on Thatmanmonkz's superb Columbising full-length. Meanwhile, the EP also boasts two remixes of "Crave": a wonderfully soulful, tech-tinged shuffler from Atjazz and a rolling, analogue-rich interpretation full of bubbly electronic flourishes by D.KO co-founder Flabaire.