For Andrew Ferguson's first release away from Tempa his Nomine alias surfaces on AMAR, and to add that extra statistic, it's the first release from another artist to appear on AMIT's label. Opening track "Voodoo Native" is all about tribal drums that are made to fit a linear techno mould, while 9er's rhymes in the bass, clap and breakdown heavy "99 Aachen" will appeal to all you Phi-Life Cypher fans out there. Drums are stripped, atmospheres are tense and pianos are blurry in the title-track, while "Closed Door" is UK bass music made for a sewer rave.
We've been waiting for this a long, long time... "N To The Gs" is The Generals' most generous release since the "Five Star" EP two years ago. Five tracks deep, each one reminding us how hard Footsie and D Double E work. "Levels" will be recognisable to all house heads as they murk the Dickens out of a My Nu Leng vibe. "Bang Boi" updates the angular, aggy eski beat riddim with additional voices from Brakeman & Chronic while "Murking Yearly" nods its head to a classic west coast hip-hop mood. The most critical moment for many, though, will be an update of the 2003 classic "Frontline" wherein original member Monkstar returns for the first time in about a decade. Heritage hype.
Following on from their statement b2b mix CD, Pinch and Mumdance have been back in the studio together to cook up this rough and ready single for the formers Tectonic imprint. Riko Dan brings a savage Jamaican swagger to the title track with his fired-up MC turn, while the beat keeps the pressure high from start to finish. "Lucid Dreaming" provides the moody alternative to that party-starting manifesto with some of that Pinch-esque iciness, a deadly restrained menace lingering over the track without ever needing to resort to big drops or crescendos. There's also an instrumental of "Big Slug" for those who need it, although trying to step to Dan's own vocal is not advisable.
After plates for Osiris, Lion Charge and Ruff Cut, Bristol pairing Jamie Schildhauer and Paul White bring their Kaiju project to the Deep Medi label. Lead track "Justice" has been a much sought after dubplate for some time, and a fine example of Kaiju's innate understanding of dub science implementing only a few elements - haunting flutes, floating synths and crisp percussion - with deadly precision. Justice is served! Complementing this, Kaiju conjure some truly monstrous atmospheres with "Creeper" - if Demdike Stare turned their hands to steppahs it might sound like this. Deep Medi is nearing its 100 release and every one of them have been superb.
FKOF continue to fire full-pelt into the creative unknown. This time rising German artist Causa is in the driving seat. And he's taking us to the darkest possible destinations. "Dismaying" belies its title in every way as the thunderclap snares shatter and tightly-clipped, reversed-tone percussive elements clatter. "Mighty Dub" plays on similar sounds with a heavier, stampier approach where shiny aluminium designs wobble and falter with trippy effect. Deeper again, "Invasion" boasts an array of trippy moaning processes while "Blaster" swaggers on a woozy skank. Unique and forward-thinking... Just as you'd expect from FatKidOnFire.
Languishing in the oceanic pastures of deep, jazz-tinged modern dub-focused electronica, MindStep missions are consistent in their soul and crystalline creativity. Here's a firm reminder - in the slim case we needed one - as the label's exponents are united for the label's second 'best of' style collection. Ranging from the two-step subversions of Sepia's "U Make Me Feel" to the more techno-minded sound palette of Dillard's "Rocks & Trees" to the 22nd century jazz of Jafu & Freud's "Sofia", every facet and feature of MindStep's ever-evolving remit is explored, represented and celebrated in great detail here. Dive deep.
The fresh-faced Daffy & Unkey duo make their debut on Bristol's Durkle Disco for the label's twelfth outing with four raucous neo-dubstep cuts. The first, "Hustlin'" is a true head jerker, all high-speed and revved up to the max for teeth grinding; "Night Terrors" is swamped, squelching on the bottom-end and utterly nasty, while Unkey goes in alone with the broken, clap-heavy beast that is "Come To Bury You". There's also two further rewirings of "Hustlin", one by Glacci and the other by Arcane Soul.
Fresh from his rampant jungle and breakneck breakbeat excursions, LA vibe infuser 6Blocc takes respite in his dungeon for a series of deeper dub jams. Ranging from the super-minimal, slimy-walled sludge of "Dark Side" to the ricochet-rhythm and MC-peppered dynamics of "Illusion" via the steppier militancy and spoken word weirdness of "Wake Up Call" and the pure titanium rhythm of "Break & Eliminate", it's 6Blocc at his deepest and darkest. And yet more evidence of his versatility.
U Wot Blud deliver the most exhilarating new bass sounds around, so when they select someone for their Rising Stars series you know that they're gonna be good. Here there are three producers with stars in their eyes - first up we get the sci-fi dubstep march of "Gully As Charged" by Terpsichore, before taking off with the accelerated 4x4 disco-step of 'How To Love" and the deeper, sparse rhythms of "Make My P's", both by 94 Bliss. Finally Danny Stephens steps up to the plate with the sleazy wobble-grinder "Evil Intentions". The future of bassline is looking rosy!
Guttural dungeon ragga Talabun style.... Fresh from appearing on Truth's latest Firepower EP, here Abyssal secure him his first full EP with a crack team of the darkest dubsteppers. Peppering the stark, creepy, sub-saturated sonics with his smoky, near-demonic growl, highlights include the gravelly whispers in the dense fog of "Nocturnal", the interesting vocal rhythms of "Juju" and the voyage into the darkest corners of the psyche on "Wicked." While certain styles of MCing appear a little homogenous this day in age, Talabun's tales are told with raw, unfettered unicity.
It's been well over two years since US imprint Sublimated Sounds last explored the outer reaches of the known universe. It's been well over six months since they put out any music full stop. This epic 21-track collection more than makes up for lost time, though. Running the gamut from deep dungeon dubstep (Karnage's "Yaza") to rolling, percussive, UKG-minded jams (Ghostmode's "Midknight") by way of straight-up filth steppers (Ohyra's "Vile Rebirth", Reamz' "Old School Days"), this documents where both the label and where bass music at large are at, where they've been and, most importantly, where everything is headed. Ready for take off?
Who knew Creep N00m was a cosmonaut in his spare time? We certainly didn't, but the outer planetary sound designs on "Attack From Space" are so authentic that we can't come to any other conclusion. Our intrepid Russian explorer hasn't just checked his socials in at deep space either; "Amazon" is a direct rain forest romp and the hard, sheet metal slams and bangs of "Radical" sound like there was recorded in a steel mill. Elsewhere we get crazy-jazzy on the firing broken beat badness of "Mood Indigo" and unleash our spiritual side on "The Buddha". Complete with a VIP of last year's "Midnight", this EP more than lives up to its title.
London G Anton returns to Plastician's Terrorhythm imprint with four synth-snapping jams that poke, provoke and prod the broad underbelly of futuristic bass music. No matter how dark or light, though, every track boasts smooth, well-polished veneer; the carnival of bleeps that is "Swaggy" (think Doshy or the current output on Shadow's Liquid Amber), the smooth talking chips-down emo soundtrack of "Blue Bubbles", the moody piano-stroking blues and gnarly bass development of "Murder" and the loopy, siren-zapped slo-mo footwork flavour of "Ferris Bueller". No days off for Anton for the foreseeable.
The first track to come from his long awaited debut album, Flux Pavilion reminds us all why he rose to fame in the first place; it's not about the bass (which is fatter than an Earthquake, Andre The Giant and your chubbiest relative put together) but it's the chords and orchestration. So broad, harmonious and full-spectrum, there's a tangible feel-good feel to this that's universal. Complete with equally emphatic and positive vocals from Doctor, this will have festivals skanking the world over this summer.