Danish/British collaborative creativity has reached new heights on this stunning four-tracker from RDG and Hitman. We open with "Mercenary Ship", where a hard-hitting drone-bass riff takes the lead and is followed by a wasp-like buzzing counter-strike. Dig deeper and you'll strike rhythmic double-kick bliss on RDG's "Space Age" and sharp saw-toothed turmoil on the aggy "Data Flow". For added value Subaltern have also thrown in a mesmerising rub of "Mercenary Ship" from AxH - warning: the subs are lethal!
Enrol yourself in a dubstep history lesson given by the Defenders label. This 28-track collection features a selection of dubstep that's an informative reminder of the fertile scene which was once at the cutting edge of contemporary, club focused dance music. Artists to feature include Zed Bias, Horsepower Productions, Ghost, Roxy and Darqwan to name a few - and for an introspective waltz down memory lane (or excursion through pastures new) This Is The Roots Of Dubstep Vol 1 is a good route to take.
Since debuting on Tempa last year with Nomine's Sound, the producer has consistently impressed with his blend of classic dubstep sonics melded with subtle Eastern influences. Nomine's Chant sees the producer continue to develop this style in a more explicit way, with the title track combining bold Oriental vocals and plucked strings with the kind of subtle atmosphere you'd find on a Shackleton production. "Ninjah" is a much more confrontational track, pulling away the serenity of the title track and leaving only bold subs and murky vocals. "Syncopator" is something totally unexpected, bringing things down to 125BPM and creating something with nods to classic UK funky and bleep techno, in a manner not dissimilar to the recent productions of Beneath.
Since first making waves back in 2012, New Zealand dubstep duo Perverse has amassed an impressive discography, including releases on Artkal, New Moon and Boka. This EP for Pressed is another excellent release, and should increase their standing further. With its' glacial synth melodies, chest-beating bass and clandestine textures, "Rogue Wave" achieves a near perfect balance between downbeat creepiness and dancefloor intent. "Juncture", featuring Mcun, is a much more straightforward roller, with dense, punishing percussion and booming subs being the order of the day. "Bedrock", meanwhile, feels looser and deeper, with clearer dub reggae influences, despite the presence of warped bass and spooky textures.
Having set the sturdiest of bass foundations on Abyssal earlier this year, Reaction now builds on them with a solid four-track opus that marches forth with futurist intentions. "Tesla" is a dynamic dedication to the groove as militant drums develop over a salubrious sub. "Stomp!" is an ardent battle-jam with the grittiest bass you'll hear all year and it's countered by the authentic dub spaciousness of the Truth-style "Revolution". Finally we hit "Forgotten Smile", a barbed breezer with intricate rolling drums, breathing pads and minor-key weeps. Contemporary dubstep at its finest.
Back in 2010, Peverelist's Punch Drunk label released the Worth The Weight compilation, a collection of hard to find classics from Bristol's dubstep scene. In the years that have passed, dubstep has mutated, and so has Punch Drunk, with the classic dubstep sound giving way to something equally as likely to feature elements of house, techno and experimental music. It's this direction explored in the Worth The Weight Vol. 2: From The Edge, a 12-track compilation featuring tracks from the city and beyond. While Hodge and Tessela represent swung house and techno hybrids, Bass Clef and Ekoplekz are on hand to provide some strange analogue deviations, while Kahn and Zhou represent the city's Young Echo collective. With Pev himself, Andy Mac and Kowton delivering a remix of the classic "Roll With The Punches", this is an essential compilation for anyone with even a passing interest in the past few years of bass-centric UK music.
Subscape, AKA producer Anthony Peters, has been releasing material on bass music specialists Dub Police since 2008. Here he shifts focus a little with "I Would Have Loved You". In its original form, the track melds UK funky tendencies and dubstep-influenced house rhythms with twinkling progressive house electronics, widescreen chords and cut-up autotune vocals. AWE delivers the most striking remix, an off-kilter, out-there dubstep interpretation seemingly influenced by glitch-hop and IDM. There's also a more straightforward deep UK funky take from Atlantic Parade which makes great use of the original's sweet strings. Finally, bonus cut "Angels" is a deliciously wide-eyed chunk of ultra-deep dubstep blessed with shimmering melodies and hazy, Jonny Nash style guitars.
FKOF-approved duo DYAD make their Abyssal debut with two stunning slices of contemporary deepness. "Fenris" is a sonic warrior charge; the beats chug with unstoppable relentlessness and the bass tears menacingly while the synths build gradually with a bold sense of triumph: this will do nothing but elevate on every play. "Legion", meanwhile, ploughs through the atmosphere with more of icy dynamic as several layers of bass roar for your attention over crisp cold synths. Massive.
Bridging the gap and joining the dub dots with musical clarity and abundant talent, Dutch newcomer Dub Archipelago returns to RedVolume with a masterful seven tracker that takes us right back to the foundations before surging us far off into the future. Developing from melodic and soothing to heavy and meditative, each of these densely textured cuts bode just as well at home or on headphones as they do through a soundsystem. Those hungrier for the heavier flavours should jump on the palpitating bass thunder of "One, Two" or the stark skanks and guttural low end grumbles of "Untitled Meditation". Other highlights include the majestic walking bassline, keys and mild melodica whispers of "Lift Off!" and the mesmerising layers of bass and dynamic space at play on the tripped out "We Are Lonely People, Yes". Original dubwise material.