If you're into grumbling grooves, bass as thick as half-set concrete and drums that sound like no other dubstep producer's, then Biome's "Cypher" EP is so up your street it's built a granny annex upside your bedroom. The title-track is Biome at his grumpiest; all slug bass and anvil halfsteps. "Rumble" flips the switch with a genuinely unique beat that nods towards hip-hop or quarter-speed jungle much more than it does dubstep. "Sentinel" goes back to the deep dungeon lab with a swaggering half-step and a bassline seemingly made of a swarm of wheezing wasps, while "Stone Throw" maintains that deep, minimal technoid flavour but with more emphasis on some interestingly pitched drums. "Man Made" closes the show with yet more unique rhythmic arrangements and an eerie prayer call that's so cold it could summon the spirit of Cthulhu himself.
Polish premier league dubster RG takes us on one of his best version excursions to date. The YT-fronted "Stay Calm" is one of the many highlights from his second album Subconscious and here it comes complete with three brand new reflexes: the "Digitalizer Dub" is a straight up digi-dub instrumental twist, "Sound System" sees him teaming up with Irish don Cian Finn once again for a raw, club-focused repurpose while El Fata adds a softer, more soulful vocal polish that's not dissimilar to that of Horace Andy.
Proof that deep dubstep can be just as balls-out-heavy as any shred-up bro-down, "Alpha House" is an outrageously naughty track thanks to an obese bass sound that dwells, lingers and grows increasingly paranoid over a slinky two-step drum arrangement. "Inorganic" develops the darkness furthermore with an intricate riddim that nods deftly at the future-garage style of breakbeats. Essential for all alpha DJs.
Label mainstay Biome flexes his polyrhythmic biceps in four different directions for this latest Deep Heads sonic assault. "Constant" is a rolling groove affair, all slippery beats and wafting jazzy chords while "Hold On" shows us Biome's dreamiest side as cotton-soft pads drape lavishly over a complex drum pattern. Dig deeper for "Wolf Pack", a blistering breakbeat jam that takes a trip down Metalheadz boulevard on jungle rollerblades. Finally the pacey insistence and soft pads of "Serenity" (originally released in 2014) get a revisit in case you missed it first time around. Muscular.
Longstanding Uprise Audio family member DUBTEK lays down two treats that are deeper than watching b2b philosophy Ted Talks down a well. "Accident" is a deliciously sludgy piece of work as the beats stumble through treacle-thick subs and strange alien scrapes. "The Truth" takes us much deeper into the dance as a tubular bass tone warps and flexes fluidly, wrapping itself round anvil-level swaggering kicks. Can you handle it?
It's a Saule co-lab showdown on Foundation Audio right now as the Santa Cruz depth plunger gets busy with fellow US cohorts Subtle Minds and Malleus. "Omerta" is all about the complex percussive dynamic as heavily layered drum elements are weaved with a spell-binding, rhythmic effect. "The Flip Version" follows from Saule's killer remix of Malleus's "Wall To Wall", a harder-hitting affair than "Omerta", the emphasis is squared plainly on the oceanic bass waves as they ebb and flow against the industrial strength drums. Two partnership productions, two critical reasons to keep Saule on your radar.
Fresh from a steady stream of FKOF hype and support, Vax comes correct once again with this Phantom Hertz double header. "Kami" is all about the sub bubbles that ricochets across the spectrum with trap-like tenacity. "Trigger Warning" follows suit with an even chubbier low end. A great example of how stripped back beats don't have to mean and slim-line, you can file this under muscular minimalism. Yet another solid treat from Vax; while some producers choose to sweep up the competition, Vax simply hoovers it!
Spell-binding beats from Zeb and Rowl right here... A bubbling cauldron of deep two-step rhythms, somnambulant synths, poignant spoken word and tainted soulful vocals, "All That You Are" is a real bedtime treat that will work well for warm ups or wind downs. Remix-wise, Ash Walker introduces more of an organic feel to the instrumentation, especially in the dubbed out drum department. "Stars Glow" takes us even deeper again with a soft, star-gazing, beatless excerpt from "All That You Are" that helps to emphasis the power of the spoken words within. Beautiful.
An ambitious audio visual creation from Vezzo and Gioia Guadagnin's Sophie Lillienne project, each of the cuts on this intriguing album is complemented by a visual narrative. Here we focus purely on the audio side, and it's powerful enough to create your own mental images. Loaded with stark cinematic canvases and aching vocals throughout, it's a complex piece of work that conjures references of Modeselektor, Jon Hopkins, Culprate and, at points, Radiohead or Bjork. Highlights include the soul-sweeping strings of "Esteem", the sub-aquatic Moderatisms of "Oracle" and the lush, skippy beats and deep breaths of "Radio Requiem". Fragile, yet wholly unbreakable... Even without the visual side of the creation, this is a work of art.