On his first release for Deep Medi Musik this year, Commodo taps up JME for a mean lyrical flow over the top of a typically monstrous production, making a perfect dubstep / grime crossover track in the process. JME has a blast pointing back to classic reference points from Kano and Wiley and many more in his conscious MC turn, while Commodo's beat prowls in the background with that exotic charm that has always marked out his style from the rest of the pack. There's a hooky chorus and plenty of grand stabs, and for those who just want the tune the instrumental is bundled in as well. The fact that the beat stands up on its own without any trouble says a lot about Commodo's studio prowess, which is no doubt why he continues to be a mainstay on Mala's label.
All-round bass legend Zed Bias touches down on Black Butter with a hot new single backed by a rather killer selection of remixes. Title track "Shizam" features the vocals of Stylo G and Scruffizer, and it's a purely grimed-out affair from start to finish, with a heavy touch of percussive action. Among the three remixes, grime legend Plastician makes a rare appearance with a reinterpretation that takes us back to FWD's early days - that bassline is a true slasher in every sense of the word.
Midland murkers Deceit make their debut and it's a powerful mission statement. Featuring five tracks of smouldering bass fire, each cut is a kind reminder that dubstep doesn't need to be dungeon-bound to be deep. Robert Brian's game of lyrical Twister will have you falling over your feet on the title track, the tribal drum dynamics of "Cognitive Dissonance" play the consummate shaman for your next frenzy, the stark balance of crisp star-gazing synths and slimy subs on "Time" will leave you feeling warped and wounded while the powerful drum-focussed "Fire" plays with space and weight in a way that's not dissimilar to Truth. Finally "On The Road" closes the show with some very playful piano manipulation - a great way to end an exciting EP, it shows the duo's creative scope and hints at heaps more in the near future.
Straight out of Norway with a spread of online releases behind him, Drippin sidles up to Lit City Trax with a sound clearly enamoured with the UK club strains spelt out by the likes of Night Slugs and LuckyMe. "Waterfall" could certainly swing with the best of them, capturing a little of Visionist's spooky charm without going quite so far into the nether regions. The haunting chimes carry through on to "Kyoto", which works a few trap elements into the mix, before "Air Jordans" ramps up the percussion and strips back the synths for an intense and craftily constructed electro workout. "Memory Foam" seems to distill a healthy balance of both approaches, but "IDONO" turns up the intensity with a peak time sensibility that should absolutely wreck the dance.
Famously outspoken cult figure The Last Skeptik is back with new LP I Don't Even Like You on Barely Breaking Even, and he clearly hasn't lost any of the fire in his belly. There are seven tracks here, all teeming with a creative tension: from the pained electro-soul of opener "Show Me", to the slo-mo bounce of retro horror movie soundtrack "Cheerio" via the future-laser stripclub bleep-jam of "The Computer Love". Dope!
Redemption: Where smouldering chillstep mutates into a tech-riddled beast with the sharpest teeth France has ever seen. From slinky and sexy to wild and steamy at the flip of a switch, this will please any low-end loving floor. Remix-wise Sovnger subverts the flow but retains the synths for a bubbly dark house blend while NEEDS buries the original elements under faraway reverb processes and subverted jacking drums. Finally the VIP: All shimmering arpeggios and a lolloping strut-primed bassline, it's a whole new production in itself.
The UK's answer to Soulection, the Trapdoor collective are united through a disdain for pigeon holes and a love of looking forward. From subverted future soul to ominous bass-drenched grime, Trapdoor cooks a vast spread and Mixmag has been very quick to tuck in and feast. Ranging from the mangled, mutated juke fusion of Sants' "Broked" to the gutter grime, busted Nintendo spirit of Daktyl & Howie Lee's "Ad", through the unfettered steppy euphoria of KRNE & Portrait's "Saturn" and the planet-surfing breezes of HAAN808's "After I Bounced", there's an exciting, unpredictable vibe running throughout the whole collection. Something tells us we'll be hearing a lot more from Trapdoor and its constituents in the future...
This one's a strictly Romanian affair; both DarkMatteR and Blank have gained individual traction on labels such as Digital Weapons and it seems this hook-up with Sublimated Sounds is going to take them both to a new level. DarkMatteR initiates proceedings with "Mirage", a harrowing slice of prayer-call sub-smoke. Blank follows it with a darker, twisted, heavily textured roller "Dark Place". It's the title track - when the pair combine forces - that really stands out, though. With techy acid bubbles, mutated bass and a great sense of pensive drama, it's a great exercise in time, space and restraint. Stunning.