Having showcased their exemplary collaborative abilities way back in 2010 with "Masai Mara", Youngsta and Seven collide once again for two more hard-hitting doom steppers. "Architects" is out-and-out tribal science, all concrete percussion and ominous drones designed with precise attention to detail you'd expect from its professional namesake. "War Cry" is a minimal masterpiece where the bass preaches a sermon of pure gloom while a shimmering arpeggio suggests light at the end of the tunnel. Step towards it today.
Having sold out his debut Horo single ("Reaching The Source") and appearing on the mindblowing Scope LP, Mindset boss Indigo continues to develop his relationship with the ever-essential Samurai crew. Manchester's master tempo flexer, with a pedigree in techno, dubstep and autonomic, here he showcases his widest abilities that stretch from jittering subby jungle-tech ("Volta") to somnambulant, sludgy slo-mo 4/4 ("Condition"), elsewhere we get iced out by deep synth cosmosis ("Spirit Of The Winds") and get all slinky to the stripped back, naked mechanical funk of "Storm". Spotless.
With a string of well supported releases on labels such as Redshift One, Kokeshi and Boka, Manchester sub-surgeon Compa makes his debut on Deep Medi. The result, as you'd expect, is mesmerising from the off. "Narabeh" is as spacious as dubstep gets; stretched pads moan in the background while percussive elements ricochet off each other with spellbinding effect and bass plunges barge into the fore. "Alpha", meanwhile, slinks and sways with a hypnotic hand-drum percussive groove and a sharp, spiked out slo-mo arpeggio. Seriously hooky.
Killawatt and Osiris continue to push electronic boundaries with this extensive release. With initial roots as an album, Watt decided to scrap the LP plans and put it together as generous EP. Surging to the very fore of bass and techno, much of this is more of a listening experience than a dancefloor sensation. The best contrast can be found between the Villalobos-like harrowed textures of "Backed Into A Fucked Up Recess" and the thumping Regis-flavoured uncompromising techno. Elsewhere we get funky to the nagging clicks and whirs of "Square Trip (Round Trip)" and muffled loop insanity of "Highway Hypnosis". The walls are well and truly down. Let's keep them that way.
Released just weeks after his debut album on SectionZ, Ohmtrix continues his rich vein of form with a trio of absolute killer grooves on the ever-tasty Bacon Dubs. "No Tears" flips and twists around a dark vocal that sounds like it was taken from Metal Gear Solid. Gnarly, gritty and blessed with an understated breakbeat buried deep in the background, it's both deep and demonic in equal measure. Elsewhere we get jaunty and harmonic with the head-turning "Mammoth" while "Inside My Head" goes straight for the jugular with its slamming half-step and punishing bass plunges. For added value Mesck jumps on board for a sharp and savage take on "Mammoth". All bass bases covered - and more.
If 2013 was the year that classic house made a comeback, it could also be viewed as the time when artists like Scuba drew on this source to drive their own creativity. That's not to suggest that Update - a "story so far" compilation from Scuba's back catalogue aimed at newcomers - is all about Kerri Chandler grooves or Larry Heard's drums. Indeed, tracks like "The Hope" and "Never" see the UK producer head in a decidely commerical direction and on "So You Think You're Special" and "Before" he turns his hand to slowburn ambient pop. But there is an underlying element from yesteryear on Update, be that on the soulful vocals of "Adrenalin" or the sweeping keys and dramatic break down of "You Got Me". 2013 belonged to classic house, but Scuba's ability to adapt was never far behind.
The fat kid just keeps on burning. Slowly kindled with deep dub burners, the bass portal's new label venture has warmed our very cockles each and every month. Here we find them at their deepest, most meditative state with AKX (AKA Nottingham's Gutcha). Operating with smouldering, slo-mo ambience, there's a lush sense of atmosphere that sits somewhere between ASC and Jamie XX. Highlights include the snoozy chord washes and lolloping riddim on "Tiger Eye" and the far-away cries and processed Burial breaks on "Define". "Part One (Sunlight)", meanwhile, sounds like it could've been used on Massive Attack's Protection. Comparisons genuinely don't come any higher than that. Stunning. Shove another log on the fatty, let's keep him burning.
The young and enterprising Teefreqs proudly present the 25th instalment of the Smokin Sessions series, a glorious parade of only the most ethereal of dubstep sounds and as the name suggests, strictly proving a another fine meditative excursion (wink, wink)! "Loose Control" and "Deep Future" are both serious head-nodders but it's "Colores", with its intricate drum loops and flexing percussion whirls which really hits the spot. Highly recommended for fans of Hessle Audio...
Their third release and already Annihilate Audio are playing at a prize-fighting album level. Following the themes and vibes of their first two successful releases, here find them digging deep into the realms of dubstep's next-gen to unearth 15 nuggets of solid bass gold. Each well-considered track acts as a highlight, but stand out honours to go Okubi & MarkIV for their spine-melting cosmic crusade "The Harbinger", Rufus! for his stark, angular funkiness on "Dagga" and Subex Dubz for their use of a stunningly dark vocal on "Make It Hurt". Vibes abound, Annihilate Audio are in this for the long game. And right now, they're winning.
Three of MUD's firm family members set sail for the mystic east on this alluring three track EP. Versa takes the title track duties with a unique garage homage; subverting the classic two-step riddim with spacious menace, there's a fantastic sense of unpredictability with the drum dynamics while enveloping pads arrest both your soul and imagination. Demon's "Parachutes" follows; a dark, rolling groove that's powered with juicy kicks and warm, juicy bass, there's a whole wealth of funk to be found in the intricate textures. Finally we hit NDread's "Criminal". The most traditional of the set, it's a powerful halfstepper with gutter-bound bass that gurgles and growls amid the demonic, pitched down vocals. Grab a one-way ticket to Tibet today.
Following extensive releases on KFR, Moscow-based Creep N00m jumps aboard the good ship Phantom Hertz for a quartet of truly unique bass gems. "Swing" sets the tone with processed funk guitars tailored deep into the riddim and a jazzed-out break that oozes flute power. "Bluff Factor" continues the organic motif with sweet trumpet parps that mirror the jaunty drum arrangement and dramatic synth-horn stabs. "Pursuit" is much more minimal in its make-up where a bellowing sub, snake-like LFOs and heartbeat kicks create a hypnotic effect throughout. "Cyberton" completes the set with authentic dub cheer. Well-measured with bounced-out sub shots and ricocheting snare licks, it's yet another example of Creep's creative abilities. It don't mean a thing if you ain't got this "Swing"!
There's a great sense of space travel to Commit's productions. Taking off from the iced-out planet he left us on with "Saturn Return", here he jets us into the thick misty synth fog of "Lunar Cry" before crash-landing on the unforgiving world of "Eyes Down" where industrial bass and crisp-but-subtle guitar rhythms are the main currency. Later on in the journey he switches of the headlights and flies blind into a cosmic sea of piano-based space debris ("Deadlights") before taking us into hyper speed with the stunning, hunch-backed pneumatic riddim "Extrasensory". Plotting the course for the next universe, we can't wait to see where he's taking us next.
With the festive season upon us, Dub Police have been filled with charity and goodwill to all men. As a result, they've decided to give away an EP of classic label cuts, recent tunes and future gems completely free of charge. Not bad, eh? The real killer - to these ears, at least - is the cyber-funk meets intergalactic dubstep bump of The Others' "Move Your Body", though Ethic's far-sighted, occasionally dreamy and always robust "Be With You" isn't far behind. Check out, too, the mangled, pitched-up and pitched-down cut-up vocals and dubstep-goes-garage flex of Mydas' "Want It", which rounds the EP off in fine style.