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Reviewed this week
Fresh from denting Southpoint's discography earlier this month, Arkwright returns with four new deep bruisers on Wheel & Deal. It's business from the very beginning as "Bludclart" develops with a really natural rolling pace while "Black Mesa" leans things out with vast moments of dubspace, sudden flurries of atmospheres and some crazily stretched bass textures and "Homeward" applies more of a hip-hop/beatsy approach with its vocal cuts and latent funk in the rhythm. Finally "Fat Stacks" kicks its slo-mo heels with a warped sub vibe that really lives up its name. Watch out for those trumpets bruh.
RDG's Circle Vision creeps up from behind and surprises us with their first V/A EP. Satisfaction levels remain fully flexed as the whole collection is a shoes-off, brain-blown and hair-raised affair throughout: Causa bends minds with a really tripped out bass drone and drum arrangement, Taiko gets all snarly, slimy and similarly illusionary with weirded-out reverse textures and resampled. Deeper again Dark Tantrums devil up the dance with tightly coiled tension while the bossman shoots us to the stars with the spacious space-bound sub stepper "Galaxy Run". Visionary to infinity...
Just listen to that melody made of raw human cries on "The Beginning". If that hasn't got your spine-henched and your skin fizzing then you may need to consult a GP - the Canadian artist is on turbo innovation here. Other highlights include the classically arranged system shaker with bossman Hatcha on "Drop Switched", the faster ghetto electro of "Big Gunz", the loose-limbed machine mischief of "Going In" and the carnal tribal momentum of "Hidden". Primal yet way ahead in the future, this is one of the strongest Hatched EPs so far (which is saying something)
Four years and 20 releases deep: Frenk Dublin's Dubstep Rotterdam imprint have never been ones to swamp or saturate the genre. Quality over quantity and forever erring on the deeper, cavernous and more dangerous sides of dubstep, here the label takes a moment to reflect and remind us of their breadth so far... From the purring subs and meditative vapour trails of "The Aggressor" to the all-out jungle badness of Hajee's take on "Demon's Rhythm" by way of DWise's industrial strength concrete melting "Mushrooms", it's a fitting document that not only enforces the label's strength but its timelessness too.
Crucial by name... Sleeper's imprint hits another massive milestone with this immense collaboration-session. Sleeper and Mesck are the most consistent names, delivering tag-team slews like the rasping mangled siren and loose drum weird-out of the title track and the droning, dirge-like eastern trip out "Fukka". Thelem also plays a crucial role on the trapped out gangbanger "Strawberry Cough" and the minimal, gun-loading paranoia session "Squeeze Off". Shots fired.
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.
Dubstep marathon men Requake return to their familiar haunt Dank N Dirty Dubz with another superb exercise in deep rolling bass grooves. Each cut running and splashing with some crisp organic feeling drum work, "Endurance" plays with the halfstep arrangement with a perkiness in the hi-hats and dubby synth flutters, "Groundless" takes more of a UKG approach with its momentum gathering kicks while the bass groans are pure gutter. Finally "Jardin Bruxel" bids us adieu with a light housey groove that swings with the soul of a Submotion Orchestra join... Until some subtle snarling basses enter at the final approach. Beautiful.
Time for another filthy fry up: FG follows up last autumn's "Filthtape" session with another eight-track adventure into forward-thinking, genre-bucking bass jams. "161" sets the tone with its trappist drums and soaring cinematic overlays. Other highlights include the super-tripped vocal textures on "Milli", the militant stabs and raw ghetto attitude of "Boston Tea Party" and the spooked out G-funk space dungeon creeper "Wonder". And that's the tip of the iceberg; this ish is filthy to the core.
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.
Two consecutive shots fired on Cue Line's digital series: 3WA follows up last year's "Immortal Combat" with three new smoulder sessions. "Entao" lets the undulating sub do all the talking the beats space themselves as far out as possible. Things get progressively heavier; "Weednesday" hints at the promise of a foggy sesh before dropping into a sharp, industrial strength groove while "Bye Bye" fuses elements of techno and UK funky into the mix with demolishing results. Pure thunder.
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.
It was only a matter of time before Content had his own EP on Encrypted Audio to be fair. The label have been delivering some of the most innovative and progressive deep bass sounds since launching and the same can be said for Content's career too. Here's proof; the jazzy two-step swing of "Critic", the spooked-out fogginess and unpredictability of "Questions", the slippery space funk of "Short Change" and the utter filth of "Parish Pick-Axe", each cut hitting from a completely different perspective with some remarkable textures and sound designs, the fit between artist and label couldn't be tighter if it tried. Essential.
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".
Last spotted on SumTing New changing the game, Houston's Lory continues to switch up sharp with two purring slabs of deep dub weight on Cleveland's consistently on-point Sure State. "Nonstop" is a green-fingered dream with its dense subs, rolling, restrained drums and precision dug spoken sample. "Culture" takes us deeper into the dance with more of a machine swing to the groove and immense atmospheres and roboticized human textures. Nonstop talent.
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.
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).
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.
Exclusives
GAZE ILL - Taking Back Control (Surfase) - exclusive 17-03-2017
ARKWRIGHT - Instinct EP (wheel & Deal)
SLEEPER - Ghettonomics EP (Crucial Recordings)
Exclusives
VARIOUS - Jelly Bean Farm - Exit (Jelly Bean Farm) - exclusive 24-03-2017
VARIOUS - The Best Of Dubstep Rotterdam Records (Dubstep Rotterdam)  exclusive 27-03-2017
CAUSA/TAIKO/DARK TANTRUMS/RDG - Various Visions 01 (Circle Vision)
GAZE ILL DJ Chart
SkinzMann DJ Chart
Big Dope P DJ Chart
DJ Cable Chart
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