We've been waiting for this one for a minute: Kahn & Neek's Gorgon Sound outfit finally unleash this mighty re-fix of Kahn's 2012 Deep Medi outing "Dread". Warm skanks, gravelly toasting and a rolling muscular momentum, it's a whole new tune. "Late Night Blues" gets a similarly massive facelift as the deep space is replaced by crisp live drums and added textures. Quintessential version material.
Tempa turns back time while staring defiantly into the future: Youngsta takes Truth's summer 2013 thunder-jam "Devil's Hands" and turbo-charges it with such a steppy dynamic you can see the speed lines firing from your speaker. Next up, take J Kenzo's 2012 minimal blunderbuss and introduce an added synth texture and a slinkier groove to the bass. Both fine examples of how to smash a remix while paying respect to the strong originals.
The great art of waiting, as perfected by British people and Taiko fans - it's been over a year since his last extended player. But boy the wait's been worth it. Just within the first two tracks he shows bare breadth and versatility; there's a psychedelic Boards Of Canada feeling to the title track while "Bloomerang" takes us back to the bassline, all jittery and tearing. Dig a little deeper for some funky drummer damage where "XIII"'s spangly guitars and sopping wah wahs amp up the insanity and "Nooka" showcases Taiko's penchant for percussion with a loopy, tech-like groove that rumbles with reverb so hard you'll check you wig hasn't been blown off. Perfect.
Alpha by name, alpha by nature, Proxima has set a brand new benchmark in modern dubstep albums. Rich in dynamics, fresh ideas, weight, depth and character, a muscular narrative is peppered with twists and turns - P Money's rapid-flow breakneck grime on "Pressurized", the juxtaposition of classical strings and angular leads on "Prologue", the cosmic psy-like acidity of "In Vacuo", the graveyard echoes and bumps of "Hokusai", the Machine head chugs of "Smog", the firing D&B collaboration with his cousin Icicle - as Proxima presents his broadest production palette with boldness, dexterity and toxic levels of badness. This is what a really well-crafted debut album sounds like.
As featured on his recent MyStyle mix album, The Others brings forth four brand new jams, each one adding more width and weight to his repertoire. Palpitating heartbeat drama, the thundering "Empire" is just as much prog as it is dubstep. "All The Way Down" takes us to even steppier, techno pastures, all loopy and industrial. J:Kenzo and Mydas join for the second half of the EP and things take a serious turn for the darkside as "The Prophecy" slinks and slaps with polished metallic bass with the "Lost World" a prime lesson in spacious percussive fracturism. Four distinct chapters; one epic story, get lost in The Others' empire today.
Croydon's next generation bass ambassadors are flying the flag hard with their latest compilation. 13 exclusives from some of their most exciting creative contributors from around the world, Deep Dub Inside 2014 is a great representation of the scene's currently healthy - and mercifully underground - state. From the rolling, funky and melodic twists of YYA's "Rosanegra" to the punctuated bass sermon of Hkay's "Retribution" to the fathomless star-gazing depths of Nereeda's "Before" to the space sax slinkiness of Neurosplit's "Amsterdam", there's a great sense of forward-thinking creativity coded deep into every cut. Essential for all low end lurkers.
Fokuz FM faces SHD tear-up with a long-awaited EP on their own label. Power surges from the off as the title track hammers an angular, mechanical message that owes as much to techno as it does dubstep. "Dutty" plunges us headfirst into the sub swamp. Tripped out groans wheeze over swinging halfsteps as more uplifting elements drive into the blend. "The People" flexes back to the source with a big juicy flavour. All space and shimmering guitars, its soothing yin prepares us for the dark smouldering gravel of "Babylon Rage". Gritty.
Late night velvet from Bristol's premier purplist. The first track to emerge from his forthcoming album, Joker's big synth and gritty bass balance remains as classy, chic and mischievous as it was when he emerged, especially when we hit the lush lounge keys of the breakdown. Remix-wise we're spoilt for choice as Rustie, Bassnectar and Picard Brothers all deliver exciting subversions. Future bass 3.0. Bring on the album.
More low end fighting talk from Lisbon leftfield kings Enchufada. The Clerk ignites the taper with the hypnotic, body-slamming charms of "Cairo" before Robs & Duke get lively with a guitar-twanging tribal stepper "Bring The Fire". With tempo, pace and attitude fully locked from the off, we're sucker-punched by the punctuated percussion of "Helicopter Riddim" and jabbed by other-worldly flute wheezes on "Moombasa" before laying down gracefully for the full count with "Sexton". An enchanting pipe blend over a slo-mo moombahton, if you're going to be knocked out, make sure you're knocked out by the best. Genuinely unique.
Gritty business: Capcha and A:Grade collide for their first collaborative EP and it's a broad playing field of uncompromised badness. "Psyclone" is the deepest of the set; all churchy and shadows, a waspy lead emerges through the fog, cutting with dark funk. "Mammoth" lives up to its name with sheet metal rips and sears. Finally we hit "Alien Contact", where outer planetary paranoia seeps from the warm drones and mournful middy moans, and "Swampy Hogger", a percussive rattlesnake of a riddim that slinks and slides with drum-drilled drama.
Kevin "The Bug" Martin and Dylan "Earth" Carlson have finally teamed up for a collaborative release on the UK's mighty Ninja Tune. To be honest, both the artists and the label have all achieved institutional status by now, so you know its highly recommended from the onset. Each artist has been involved in many scenes and genres over the years, ranging from ambient metal to minimal drones and experimental two-step and "Boa" is exactly that, a weird and wonderful mixture of styles and influences. "Boa" and "Cold" share a slow tempo and a set of heavy, metallic guitars weaving over desolate soundscapes and rattling percussion. This is cinematic music to say the least.
Swedish sub lovers Redvolume recruit new face OOT. Making a strong impression from the get-go, "Street Slug" slinks with more pace and funky manoeuvrability than its name suggests. "Get What I Can Give" exudes authenticity. Classic dub bones wearing futuristic clothes, its measured meditative dynamic is given edge with purring alien bass and mesmerising traces of unique design. Powerfully deep.
Fresh femme fatale Simz lays down some tweeter-tight bars over a bed of future beats. Pacey, punchy and neatly switched by Caitlyn's heartfelt vocals, there's a delicate balance of bass weight, sharp lyricism, chill atmospheres and edgy electronica to "Time Capsule". "Devour", meanwhile, sees Simz hook up with Jakwob for a heavier tribal workout. Soulful grime at its most forward-thinking.
An absolute leviathan of a compilation from Project Allout here, and it's just in time for some Christmas cheer from one of the fastest growing UK bass hubs in the game! A tad packed for us to go through it all, but this is guaranteed quality, especially given the fact that the release features plenty of label regulars, new faces and even some pretty incredible cameo appearances from the likes of Caspa, Deadbeat and Dubzta. Each puts in a fine performance, particularly Deadbeat with his "Street Life" cut, a glorious mashup of funky house breaks and wobbled low-end. Be sure to check the licks from Spooky, Mr Dubzta and Tuff Culture, too. Badman vibes and another stunner from Project Allout.