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"The Rumble" saw a return to form from garage legend MJ Cole, alongside AJ Tracey, but the 892 label have decided that it wasn't enough; the show must go on, and there must be something extra special to sweeten the deal even more. Luckily, these guys think on their feet and have recruited the very best across the bass game; first up, Sheffield bass pioneer Toddla T twists the tune up with a selection of jungle breaks and ominous grime sonics - it's second nature to this dude - and this is followed by an absolute jump-up frenzy from the legendary DJ Hype and newcomer Annix, a high-speed d&b stepper for the next decade. Last but certainly not least, Scarface heads back to the garage rave by offering something of stop-start, shuffle-house monster, the sort of tune that could only be conceived in the UK.
It hasn't exactly taken Otik a very long time to build up an impressive catalogue of warped bass tunes and, thanks to releases for the likes of Infinite Machine and Tessier-Ashpool, the producer is now a string contender among the very best in the low-frequency game. "Acne Downs" starts off this new EP for Durkle Disco, and it's a mix of the best elements from the broken beat and garage subgenres, leaving Caski's remix to dub the mix down into outer space. "Big Bad Wolf" is a grime stepper in all senses of the phrase, a murky, curbside killer backed by some menacing London-style vocal slayings.
Badman Paris Williams AKA P Money had left things unfinished with London's Rinse imprint. The grime / UK hip-hop vocalist hadn't dropped an LP on the label until now, and it was about time we got a bit of extended airtime from the talented rapper. A good fifteen tunes of pure street-side wisdom should be enough to satisfy both the artist's biggest fans, and the most critical of hip-hop enthusiasts, and the man certainly delivers. It isn't all ferocious bars either, there's plenty of deeper, more soulful moments on here, which makes for a true album, not just a collection of rudeboy riddims. Fear not, though, there's plenty of fire and bass in here for you to skank out in the dance. Big up.
White Peach continue putting out this quality AND QUANTITY of great music, then there's no telling where this imprint might land in the coming year. Most importantly, they're recruiting a selection of artists who really stand out from the crowd, and who have managed to solidify their own variation of bass music. Bristol's Sorrow is one such artist, and "Brawler" is precisely the sort of gnarly beat attack that we're always on the lookout for her at Juno HQ, which is proudly followed by the equally destructive wobbles of "Saw Manz Nan". "Skengman Tantrum" is a rolling, itchy sort of bass mutant, and "Fruitella" makes a little nod to the London grime scene, circa '03. Heavy.
Oh my, the ghostly Macabre Unit have recruited Tony Rocky Horror to deliver some eerie, left-of-field, dubstep excursions of the most foreboding calibre. The lead tune "Hydro" really is one hell of a smokin' joint, built with a hazy collection of sounds, and composed of grungy, twisted beats that lift off into outer space, and with absolutely no care for good manners or traditional arrangements. But, that's not all, because you got "Gambit", "Terraform", and "Soothsayer" to add yet more sci-fi dub to the framework. This should help you make your set stand out from the crowd, so go forth and bang this gear out. Big, bad, and recommended.
Melle's only on his second release to date, and already he's dominating our charts like a absolute pro. This new two-piece, dubstep attack comes courtesy of breakthrough label Version Collective and, if you're into ice-cold rhythms and sci-fi bass rolling, then you're on the right link. "At Night Dub", as the name implies, is a heartical, futuristic roots stepper guided by a subtly wobbling bassline, and a shimmering shred of percussion shots. Instead, "Sewer Dub" goes down a dark path, using intricate sonic twists to take the listener - and dancer - into a much murkier space, a domain that is sure to be given the thumbs-up from all the corner-dwellers in the place
Scotland's Jason Taylor is back on Fent Plates with his Aether moniker, and we've just begun to truly appreciate his explorative, downtempo strain of dubstep; which, in reality, is more on the IDM side of the spectrum. "Catharsis", for instance, would have made the likes of Autechre proud back in the day, and the only thing separating Aether from those guys is their heavier focus on low frequencies. "Vale" reminds us more of the Burial sound, a glitchy, percussion-heavy stagger. "Flowerdance" is more ambient than anything else, which makes for an excellent refreshment, while "At What Point Do I Stop Trying" is a moody, seductive glitch attack that'll please all sorts of connoisseurs.
They say that music is truly international now, and they are right - this new release by Estonian producer Futuristik sounds like it was made in a big Los Angeles studio. "Waterbourne" features walls of trancey synths, flourish-heavy RnB beats and heavily compressed EDM production. With big radio-friendly vocals by Miyoki this tune is primed to smash the charts. "Feeling This Way" however, boasts sugary vocals courtesy of Charlotte Haining and fuses tropical house with super light, fruity DnB production. Pop-dance gold.
TMSV, who has already appeared on the young Rua Sound label, is the perfect companion to Takio's propensity to deliver heavy, noxious bass-driven beats. The pair team up to deliver "Shot", which features Flowdan on the vocals, and a leviathan of a bassline, ready to engulf anything in its path. "Bang Thing" is no less aggressive in its approach, except that here the bass tones sound more like machine-gun fire than a cannon blast and, as you can imagine, the results are pretty impressive. BIG TINGS.
Sure State welcomes Denver's Dalek One to its catalogue, and it's becoming clearer by the release what it is that gets these guys going. The producer's two-pronged bass attack is as deep and swampy as anything you're likely to encounter within the dubstep game, with "Trickle" single-handedly managing to amalgamate aspects of industrial and wobble-step into one formidable groove. "Authority" is not exactly any less dark or ferocious and, in fact, the tune successfully leads us down the path of no return, a trip riddled with morphing bass tones and cavernous folds of FX. Little tip for you, right here!
DJ Cable is as gifted behind the mixing desk as he is it at mixing on three turntables, which makes the three-time DMC champion a real asset all-round. Triangulum Recordings is the platform on which he marks the flow this time, starting with the London grime affair "Ride To This", guided by the vocal bars of GHSTLY XXVII; there's an acapella, too, so you can sample the days out of this gear. "Minty Fresh" powers up the juke and delivers a mind-bending, twisted rhythm for late night car drives across the metropolis. The ill s***!
Skinzmann is a 25-year old Devon producer Skinzmann recently brought some fiyah with single Pay Me. Now he's back with a new jam, "Wow Riddim", which comes accompanied by a whopping nine remixes. The original track is slow and trappy and features a creepy minor chord motif running through it. Elsewhere remix highlights include the cut-up staccato hip-hop of Mistakay's rework, the sinister and warped beats of Creep N00M's version and Agro's hypey DnB reinvention. Safe!
Exclusives
OTIK - Acne Downs (Durkle Disco) - exclusive 09-12-2016
RADIKAL GURU - Dub Mentalist (Moonshine Recordings) - exclusive 25-11-2016
AGO - Backlash EP (Subaltern) - exclusive 13-11-2016
Exclusives
GUESSWERK - Hunter/Ghosts (Dubtribu) - exclusive 28-11-2016
MJ COLE & AJ TRACEY - The Rumble (892 Recordings)
STENCHMAN - Alligator (Hench)
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