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Reviewed this week
Stepping away from their diligent Deep Dark Dangerous development, Truth return to the mother label with four seismic slabs of sub-soaked deepness. "Jade Helm" is a wandering swagger jam that's given character and life from subtle chime trembles, "Sound Killah" is one of those mid-track game changers when the bassline suddenly switches up with real pensive menace. "With Us" marches forth into a stark dystopian future, our scant feelings of hope raising as the drum rolls really tense up on the breakdown. Finally we hit the EP's title track; a rolling, percussion-heavy cut laced with ghostly prayer horns and shimmering skanks. Superb.
It's another all-out wide-armed creative assault from the dedicated beat crafters at White Peach. Uniting old friends and new, each cut reminds us why the label is top of grime's fruit bowl. Eva808 polishes up the strings for a moment of subversive cinematica, Gundam's "Swordplay" takes us deep into Samurai territory, and longstanding Peacher Zha gets his paws on a sitar and snaps the instrument into pieces while Nakes's "Axe Riddim" juxtaposes eastern strings with a collection of precision tuned wood blocks. Innovative and forward-thinking... These peaches will never go mouldy.
The Greys debuted on Gradient Audio earlier this year with a deep and mystical dubstep album names Notions Of Emotions. The material catered perfectly to fans of the odder and more abstract variations of the genre, and it was an altogether refreshing take on the genre. They are back on Gradient accompanied by a set of remixes from a bunch of new and exciting talent, mainly from the Gradient camp itself. Glue, JSM, and Siskiyou all feature, but our favourites are: Dubfreq's balearic broken beat take on "My Pain", DMVU's rattling tribal version of "Gizmo", and Krimma's dark, brooding drum-bass flex on "Wobby Wendy". Yes yes, get to know!
Longstanding low end magician Ian Tobias lays down three stunningly stark designs for Foundation Audio. Each one shuddering with his hazy, cloudy signature, we leap from street bossing hip-hop references on "In The Back" to deep dream bubbles and blasts on "Body Lure" and back again via wonky space experiments on "Super Low Limbo". Complete with a chamber-priming remix from Clearlight, this EP ticks so many boxes we're thinking of setting up a box factory.
After a string of instrumentals, Darkness go full grime with a crack team of spitfire MCs; AJ Tracey, PK, Saint P, Lyrical Strally, Big Zulu, Darkos, Kwarm, Nico Lindsay, Elf Kid, Hilts & Ghostly all take critical swipes at man's arrogant stance with big bars over Darkness's big computer beats. 8-bit hardness to the very core, the rhythm reflects the venom spreading from the mic. From working with no MCs to working with over 10... Darkness just fast-tracked into pure fire.
Belgium's Pelican Fly are back at it, and new Ukrainian wonderkid Inodi makes his return to the imprint with five new piece of digital fire. Remaining largely genreless, each tune on Digital Heart is simply a fascinating piece of studio work, starting with the sweet chimes of "Never Let Me Go" - watch for those video game sounds - and ending on the euphoric waves of "IWU", a tune that is actually representative of Inodi's sound throughout. That is, an incandescent blend of cascading synths and sparse IDM beats. Lovely.
Brand new to Circus, LA fusionist Cyran gets busy with his biggest release to date. A proper melting pot of ideas, genres and sounds, if you can find a stone that's not been unturned you're a more scrupulous listener than us.... From the Indian trap bangs of "Vibin'" to the cosmic chuggy slaps of "Work", there's a fresh exciting sound to Cyran that nods respectfully at Circus's roots while taking the increasingly open-armed label into the future.
Two contrasting slices of future bass work from the shadowy Paranoid Inc; "Half A Block From Getting Shot" plays with distorted harmonics and a deftly sliced Wu sample. "All Around You" flips the vibe for something more around the 150/160 territory; with its classic sample manipulation (think Todd Edwards after a huff of petrol) and a dicey, splicey jungle uplift this will sing to DJs of both 140 and 170 territories. Paranoid Inc should well live up to his name... After this everyone should be talking about him. All good things, mind.
Following his broad-screen body of deep house and bass last spring, Dellux returns with whole new vibe. Hitting hard with another one of grime's exciting next-gen stars Izzie Gibbs, Dellux lays down a really quirky, off-beat computer bleep serenade leaving Gibbs all the space he needs to tell his Northampton perspective, justify his edge and encourage others to pipe up too.
Long-standing Hungarian genre-flexer AMB makes his Muti Music debut with a sterling selection of mildly psychedelic glitch fusions. Stand-out sounds include the balance of ghostly vocal harmonies and foley recordings on "No Regrets", the industrial drum sludge on "Shadows" and the wonked-out, sleazy Bleep Bloopisms of "Creeky". AMB's been bubbling for some time now... With Muti backing his spirit he could well bubble over.
Brand new to the game: 16 year old New Yorker Callie cooks up a crazed fusion of hardstyle, trap, bass and EDM, all condensed into a handful of minutes at a bone-rattling 150BPM. Unique, refreshing and - like all the best music - it doesn't take itself too seriously. Just in time for festival season, save this one for proper moments of mischief and mania.
Previously known as Dec3mber, Leeds-based 20-something Chime makes his Firepower debut with a sprite-spitting, technicolour sound that sits somewhere between Fox Stevenson, Skrilly and Xilent. Animated and vibrant throughout, highlights include the melodic counterplay on "Catch Up", the beautiful cloud-chowing synth-laced breakdown and screwface drop on "Operator", the uncompromised Dodge & Fuski-style drop and bass lick on "Ethereal" and the toy-box-meets KOAN Sound dexterity of the title track. Big, colourful, fun but ultimately heavy. Chime ticks all the boxes here.
Exclusives
IANT - Body Lure (Foundation Audio)
TAIKO - Flummox EP (Subaltern) - exclusive 31-12-2016
CREEP N00M - Run Dem Lp (Project Allout) - exclusive 31-12-2016
Exclusives
THE GREYS - Notions Of Emotions (Remixes) (Gradient Audio)
DARKNESS - Arrogant Stance (Triangulum Recordings)
EVA808/GUNDAM/ZHA/NAKES - Peach Bits Volume 4 (White Peach)
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