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Reviewed this week
Stepping away from their diligent Deep Dark Dangerous development, Truth return to the mother label with four seismic slabs of sub-soaked deepness. "Jade Helm" is a wandering swagger jam that's given character and life from subtle chime trembles, "Sound Killah" is one of those mid-track game changers when the bassline suddenly switches up with real pensive menace. "With Us" marches forth into a stark dystopian future, our scant feelings of hope raising as the drum rolls really tense up on the breakdown. Finally we hit the EP's title track; a rolling, percussion-heavy cut laced with ghostly prayer horns and shimmering skanks. Superb.
After a string of instrumentals, Darkness go full grime with a crack team of spitfire MCs; AJ Tracey, PK, Saint P, Lyrical Strally, Big Zulu, Darkos, Kwarm, Nico Lindsay, Elf Kid, Hilts & Ghostly all take critical swipes at man's arrogant stance with big bars over Darkness's big computer beats. 8-bit hardness to the very core, the rhythm reflects the venom spreading from the mic. From working with no MCs to working with over 10... Darkness just fast-tracked into pure fire.
Belgium's Pelican Fly are back at it, and new Ukrainian wonderkid Inodi makes his return to the imprint with five new piece of digital fire. Remaining largely genreless, each tune on Digital Heart is simply a fascinating piece of studio work, starting with the sweet chimes of "Never Let Me Go" - watch for those video game sounds - and ending on the euphoric waves of "IWU", a tune that is actually representative of Inodi's sound throughout. That is, an incandescent blend of cascading synths and sparse IDM beats. Lovely.
Following his broad-screen body of deep house and bass last spring, Dellux returns with whole new vibe. Hitting hard with another one of grime's exciting next-gen stars Izzie Gibbs, Dellux lays down a really quirky, off-beat computer bleep serenade leaving Gibbs all the space he needs to tell his Northampton perspective, justify his edge and encourage others to pipe up too.
Brand new to Circus, LA fusionist Cyran gets busy with his biggest release to date. A proper melting pot of ideas, genres and sounds, if you can find a stone that's not been unturned you're a more scrupulous listener than us.... From the Indian trap bangs of "Vibin'" to the cosmic chuggy slaps of "Work", there's a fresh exciting sound to Cyran that nods respectfully at Circus's roots while taking the increasingly open-armed label into the future.
Long-standing Hungarian genre-flexer AMB makes his Muti Music debut with a sterling selection of mildly psychedelic glitch fusions. Stand-out sounds include the balance of ghostly vocal harmonies and foley recordings on "No Regrets", the industrial drum sludge on "Shadows" and the wonked-out, sleazy Bleep Bloopisms of "Creeky". AMB's been bubbling for some time now... With Muti backing his spirit he could well bubble over.
Brand new to the game: 16 year old New Yorker Callie cooks up a crazed fusion of hardstyle, trap, bass and EDM, all condensed into a handful of minutes at a bone-rattling 150BPM. Unique, refreshing and - like all the best music - it doesn't take itself too seriously. Just in time for festival season, save this one for proper moments of mischief and mania.
Previously known as Dec3mber, Leeds-based 20-something Chime makes his Firepower debut with a sprite-spitting, technicolour sound that sits somewhere between Fox Stevenson, Skrilly and Xilent. Animated and vibrant throughout, highlights include the melodic counterplay on "Catch Up", the beautiful cloud-chowing synth-laced breakdown and screwface drop on "Operator", the uncompromised Dodge & Fuski-style drop and bass lick on "Ethereal" and the toy-box-meets KOAN Sound dexterity of the title track. Big, colourful, fun but ultimately heavy. Chime ticks all the boxes here.
Exclusives
MOONY - No Good EP (Project Allout) - exclusive 31-12-2015
Dev79 DJ Chart
Mojo Goro DJ Chart
DiGiTAL PiLGRiMZ DJ Chart
Otz DJ Chart