His rawest, heaviest work to date, "500: Episode 1" is the precursor to a huge North American tour for the Dub Police founder, and he's not lost any of the individuality that's set him apart from the start. Describing the release himself as "cinematic" and "emotional", this marks a change in the producer's style, where true depth is being weighed out over heaviness and hype. Painted against a post-apocalyptic landscape in sound as well as the stylish cover art, he's marked out a new beginning for himself. We want to hear more.
Modern Ruin ain't messing... Having launched in August with a full album, they now follow it up with this daring audio adventure from Leeds-based footworker Sarantis. Taking the Chicago genre into fresh pastures, tracks like the "Highway" fuse the distorted, acidic bass more often seen in dubstep or electro derived tracks but applied in a way that makes complete sense. Paying homage to the label itself, Sarantis's label-homage "Modern Ruin" develops this idea further with a twisted skank and pneumatic kick that manages to resonate with both dancehall and techno schools of thought. The 4/4 switch on "I Want To Know", meanwhile, will genuinely sweep you off your feet. Unique.
The artfully titled Ninja Tune Traktion EP finds the storied label dip into their vast archives to offer Traktor DJs exclusive stems to help convolute their sets with a range of obscure sounds and classics. For some basslines and synths to throw over drums or percussion the Bogus Order Reorder of Falty DL's "Atlantis" is an obvious choice, as can be said about the snares and hyperactive synths of the Spacelab remix to Starkey's "Blood Roses". The manner in which Seiji messed with that classic synth riff to Coldcut & Hexstatic's "Timber" ensures his remix can always be left as is, and for something more melodic and liquid funky there's the chiming and remixed sounds of DJ Food's "Dark Lady".
Lifecycle slams down his Subway debut release with three heavyweight dancefloor cuts packed with heavyweight bass and electro-futuristic sounds. "Touch This" is an absolute destroyer, blitzing everything in its path with stripped back precision and darker than night production. For a bit of relief, head to track three where "Why Dem Fight" channels the haunted Hammonds of early days dubstep and Parly B's slap-up vocals to create something a little bit special - just wait until that bass kicks in.
Twisted dancehall vibes fresh from Liverpool, as Lucent teams up with Rubi Dan for a steppy shock-out that positively demands outrageous skanking behaviour. For added measure Lucent also teams up with Tomb Crew for a collaborative remix where Rubi's vocals get buried by a smouldering bouncy bass hook. Further on Klient Weight take "X-Rated" down a dark techno alley and turn it into a savage 4/4 bass-battered affair. Looking for more of a straight-up jack attack? Head for "Tunnel Vision". An uncompromising stomper with sinewy bass melodies, it's a kindly contemporised nod at the material Herve and Switch were serving up about seven years ago. Finally, Rico Tubbs jumps in on the remix flex with an old school homage, all time-stretched vocals, speed garage sirens and fractured amen angularities.
MoJoe and Chemist RNS release their first full EP and each track is such a stern lesson in instrumental grime heaviness Grime Disciple has compared them to war dubs. We kick off with the title track. All double kicks and bass hits that pour over the drums so fast they pour over each side, it's a mesmerising mess of low end messages. "2099" is a future-focused shot of sharpness; Eski-beats at full effect, it's just as much garage or breakbeat as it is grime. "Moon Base" tells a dark tale of alien invasions over the jugular-punching break and ominous subs while we climax with the demonic tones and far-away drum spaciousness of "No Guy Test". Hungry? You won't be once you've feasted on these.
The long-awaited Tony Rocky Horror EP comes in time for the most ghoulish time of year, and first things first, you've got to admire the sick artwork on this release. Larger than life drums and bass that gets deep down to another world, each track on this bumper release takes notes from the old school greats with the added benefits of a huge TRH twist. Dark, deadly and with depth enough to get emotive in parts, this is for the true heads. There's still life in dubstep yet.