Is it us or are Bacon getting tastier and tastier with every release? The same can be said for emerging Croatian producer 207, too; with previous on Badmood and Indigo, here we find him stepping up to Sparxy's porky imprint with a series of unrelentingly heavy slabs of contemporary dubstep. The title track is total naked menace as snake-like kickdrums rattle and his under a series of deep breath textures. Elsewhere "Acylon" flips to a steppy and ghostly 90BPM vibe, "Active" goes straight for the jugular with crisp punctuated kick militancy and Ohmtrix takes his Zeiph status to new levels with total remix subversion. Sinfully good.
On The Edge, Surrounded With The Shores Of Assudrey - (5:06) 97 BPM
Deer Drink From The River - (4:05) 91 BPM
Imagine Them - (5:25) 104 BPM
Dialectic A - (2:04) 162 BPM
Dialectic B - (2:37) 140 BPM
There has been a great run of new talent popping up on R&S lately, with Shanghai Den being a notable example, and now Alma Construct debuts here to drop a selection of lo-fi studies peppered with influences from techno to hip hop. There are some distinctive forces at work behind these tunes, not least on the decidedly unhinged and magnificently realised "Deer Drink From The River", while "Imagine Them" comes on strong with a snappy bounce that wouldn't sound out of place on Music Has The Right To Children, albeit expressed with less sleepy synth tones. It's a sterling effort that leaves one wondering what's around the corner for this hitherto unknown beatsmith.
With previous damage caused on Imperial Audio, UK bass conjurer Arkwright steps over to Gaze Ill and Don D's ever-impressive Cue Line. And he does so with no less than five tracks. There's a distinctly tribal twang to each of the cuts: "Kwata"'s linear percussive assault sets the tone perfectly well as we're thrusted into the sludgy sub grumbles of "Settle", the widescreen pads and densely layered drum sounds of "Living" and the off-kilter lollops and flickers of "Level Head". Looking for more funk and less tribal? Head for the switch-flipping techy 4/4 and b-boy scratch madness of "Nosalis".
Caspa returns with teeth-snapping impact by hooking up with Roll Deep member Riko, and the result is an industrial strength half-stepper that oozes danger and darkness. The tearing bass and Riko's sharp-tongued sermon complement each other every step of the way as we writhe and worm in Caspa's cinematic dynamic. For added measure Dub Police have commissioned a remix from the equally influential J:Kenzo. Going in darker and heavier than you might expect, Kenzo's rendition blunts the sharpness but retains full power as Riko's spits with inimitable poison. Complete with an instrumental and acappella, you'd be mad not to pick up on this.
Run by Cessman, Dubliminal is a label "representing a multi-cultural melting pot of futuristic roots music". Here, for his imprint's 11th release, he steps up to deliver Research And Development, a four-track exploration of the outer limits of bass. "King Of My Mind" sees a seriously cool cowbell assault some stop-start beats, while "Babylon Must Fall" sees him explore his garage and jazz days but with a modern freneticism, "Fundamentals" betrays some house and even D&B influences on this forward-thinking floorfiller and "Inner City Vibes" balances the fine line between cool jazz sax and Guru Josh with great gusto.
Grime fusion at its sharpest; Chemist makes his EP debut, and he's got something to cure every ailment. "Defiance" tip-toes between emotive elements and jagged physicalities: the swooning synths provide food for the soul while the cut-throat kicks and hi-hats ensure deadly dance dynamism. "Blocks" is deadlier again; very much Eski in its make-up, there's a thick grime stench to the riddim while the plastic strings and more swooning synths cascade with a hypnotic flow. Remix-wise Houston's Rabit adds some gunshot menace to "Defiance" while Last Japan complements the main melody on "Blocks" with a more uplifting, two-steppy arrangement. Defiantly stunning.