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Reviewed this week
Jelly Bean Farm is a new label intent on delivering all kinds of bass and techno goodness to the world. They don't mess about either, beginning life with big, hefty compilations. This, one, Jelly Bean Farm - Exit, is no different: presenting 12 of the most forward-facing cuts around. Highlights include the moody synthwork and machine gun percussion of "Locate & Destroy" by Phrixus, the spacey tech meets drum frenzy of "Dat Dat" by Loss, the deep, minimal beats of "Turbine" by Henry Greenleaf and the alt-ghetto grooves of "Facile" by Kinsman. Dope sounds!
Pay attention... Sepia is establishing himself as a truly singular talent in the bass game. Less is more in every way, his lean constructions and sporadic releases always leave us wanting more. His first release this year (and first on White Peach full stop) is one of his most comprehensive so far: dusty jazzy vibes create smoke and mirrors in the dubspace on the immaculately pensive title track and "Swing" while moodier tones and narratives can be found lurking in both the sub-stacked "Shadows" and the graveyard meandering "Lean Back". Each cut touching you directly, Sepia's standing tall right here.
Well hello there Shades, it's been a while... Understandable, really, considering both Perez and Eprom's solo careers. And considering the insane levels of production at play. Weirded-out vibes and twisted designs like this don't appear from nowhere - these guys are pushing each other to the limit here. It's clear from the updated version of their 2015 entry track "Chiron" as the textures are even more unique and the bass even more sabre-toothed. Elsewhere "Sleaze" is a gritty, oily, 23rd century robot porn-flick soundtrack, "Creeper" is the sound of machine revolting in harmony while "K.S.P" takes all those dangerous, loin-girding sounds that first scared the dickens out of you when you first heard jungle as a kid and turbo-charges them with 21st century evil. Outstanding and untouchable.
In parallel with their MTA success, ATYK's Gastah continues to carve his own solo path with this beautiful and intriguing five-piece on the shadowy-but-perennially-on-point beat stable Brunswick Sound. Ranging from the immense warped and wavey washes of the title track "Apollo" to the dizzying weaves of organic eastern instruments on "Sun's End" by way of the triumphant chords and rolling UK funky drums of "Sail", the whole document is fused by futurism and dreamy, detailed, deep and danceable all in equal measure. Rocket fuel for the soul.
Project Allout continue to unearth and represent fresh talent. This time it's in the form of Manchester's Joe Browne AKA Riknor who's furrowed six deep paths into the murkiest sides of the dance right here. Highlights include the funked-out breaks of "Gangsters" that suddenly stretch out into something much more sinister, the spiralling paranoid bass cascades of "16 Bars Of Hell", the far-east-far-out twangs and skitty kick rolls of "China Plate" and the groaning, almost metallic cries on "Game Over".
Gradually carving his unique sound since emerging on Gobstopper in 2015 - by way of Play, Fulcrum and Ocean - London's Tarquin makes his Rinse debut with four more delicious slices of otherworldly fractured bass funk. From the moment the found sound percussive hits and strange ghetto-tek electro subversions of "Jump Pack" come at you, you know this is special. The mutant horn and pipe weirdness of "Horn Trax", the filmic creepiness and bad dream flurries of "Dun Tarq" and the alien creeper-turned-gully grand finale "C-Mine" confirm that it definitely is something special.
Back with more wow riddims, Skinzmann pairs up with sharp-tongued MC Breeza and friends for a full-strength peng blend. Opening with war banger "We Harder", D Knight and Beaney join the fray with stern sermons before we drop into the G'd up bumper versions of "The Dopest". Elsewhere "Turn The Volume Up" switches on the chiller, laid-back grooves while "Bangin' Don" tells a much darker tale with pranged aesthetics. Finally "Zone Out" closes with a toxic sub-low touch. Gully.
Sweet yet sharp, hard yet crumbly, fruity yet unhealthy; Bristol bass veteran Jakes bakes the perfect pudding for all ruckus lovers. Springy in body, intense in flavour, the Hench founder is clearly in a good place right now. "Mission Control" takes the same tones and textures and builds them into more of a cosmic trip with occasional outbursts of bass asteroids. "Murder Style" flips for the deeper side of Jakes. Foggy, dense, driving and dangerous... This is total System material.
Just like how he calls himself a doctor but he's blatantly not, when Circus co-ringmaster says his sound is serious... It's not. It's heavy, naturally. It gets pretty dark, obviously. But there's that swagger, funk and sense of theatre that's got too much character and realness to be serious. The same can be said for "Pizza" but with added humour, munchies and rare groove. From the ridiculous vocal sample to the brilliantly groovy breakdown, Doctor P is in a good place right now. Be sure to grab a slice of the action (not sorry).
LOLO BX - Parallels (Sweat it out!)
GOMES - Dread (Hench)
HOODBOI feat ASTR - Closer (Remixes) (Fools Gold US)
SkinzMann DJ Chart
DJ Cable Chart
Big Dope P DJ Chart