Deep and futuristic dubstep from Will Benton's FatKidOnFire out of London. This time it is Bristol duo Isolate at the helm, taking you on some disturbed bass excursions. First track "Damaged" features skilfully restrained rhythm with demonic bass snarls and overall haunting atmospherics. "Hyperion" is more chilled out upon first listen but don't think for a second that they let up on the darkness or bass pressure. "Program" sees them get back up-tempo with metallic industrial percussion accompanied by demonic reverberations and alien snarls. Finally they team up with Slynch on "Fandango" a funky, grinding liquid dubstep affair.
Soulful dubby garage vibes: Slovenian up-and-comer Flo comes correct with his biggest EP to date. "Mocial Sedia" ignites as a slow-burning 4/4 cut before switching into a dazzling futuresque broken beat serenade. "Listen" digs a big hole in the ground and buries us under woozy chords and faraway vocal vapour trails while "Every Passing Moments" throws flowers on our grave and reads a solemn epitaph. Mercifully "Wake Up, Nothing Is Impossible" digs up back up and revives the dance with drunken kicks and seasick pads. Unique.
Boothroyd has only put out one EP to his name thus far, but the young beat head has obviously earned himself some attention because he's back and he's on Rinse. The dude is joined by MC's Maxsta and Maniac, and together the trio blast six tracks through with utter ease. "100 Problems" is pure London business, a nasty grime tune like they used to make 'em, "No Retreat" is more broken and experimental", and "Green Light" goes for a hip-hop approach. The aptly named "Mare Street Dickhead" makes reference to the level of the streets these days, "Hood Pharmacist" wins on its sublimely wonky melodies, whereas "Local Splitter" takes piano keys and lays down the vocal truth.
Glistening bliss: uprising UK duo Extorted Minds remind us of dub's original roots with their debut EP on Instigate. Drenched in light shades of ambience, spatial dynamics and pristine sonic touches throughout, the rippling keys on "Sorrow" provide pensive suspense, the palpitating heartbeat subs on "Vision" initiate womb-like security, the rolling ricochet rhythm adds weight and momentum on "Oceans" while "Control Me" takes the prize as the deepest cut in the collection allowing an abundance of space for Master Procrastinator's fluid flow. For the heads.
If any label is going to wrap up one of grime's biggest years to date, it's Butterz. Responsible for the genre's best parties and home to artists from Swindle to Faze Miyake to Terror Danjah, Butterz are one of the most consistent and creative grime flagbearers of the game. Reading like a who's who in grime (Big Narstie, Skepta, Flowdan, Stormzy, Wiley, D Double E, Sir Spyro, Plastician, Kano, Giggs and loads more) each of the 40 tracks remind us (if we needed reminding) just how well grime has annotated and soundtracked the year. Gully.
More proper UK bass from Shoreditch's Circus Records. Cookie Monsta from Nottingham delivers some peak time dubstep on "Dem GirlZz" that would make even Skrillex stand up and notice. He might be from the Midlands but this is some proper U.S. style bass insanity that the EDM crowd will be absolutely mental for. The bassline on this one is epic, and speaks profanity at you while awash in trippy sci-fi sound design. "Darkside 666" however is more on the drum and bass tip and reminiscent of old DJ Zinc vibes with its grinding sub bass and tech-step rhythm.
Ash Walker is back on London's Deep Heads, an outlet for the deeper shades of dubstep. More power to them we say! These are a few remixes of track from his album released in early November. There will be a limited vinyl release too we hear so keep your eyes peeled! Bass hero Synkro steps in to give "Blue Veins" an absolutely sublime remix, as he does. But it's the smooth jazzy drum and bass vibes reminiscent of Peshay or Alex Reece on the Nikolaj Torp-Larsen - Gerwin remix of "Round The Twist" which is rather impressive on here. Finally, the Alphabets Heaven remix of "Lost Cranium" is a smooth, dusty and downright blunted trip-hop remake of the track, which is the perfect accompaniment for a Sunday in London Fields.
Los Angeles' Introspekt is Resident DJ at B-side LA and presents he latest session in bass therapy for Croydon's Dubtribu. "Jungle Stomp" starts out with some soothing and melancholic deep house chords but then that junglist style dub bass drops in spectacular fashion, backed by delayed snares. "East Wind" has a similar vibe, not so much for the dancefloor, more blunted style drifting with its mysterious pads entrancing you while the bass does the rest. "Return To Johto" sees Introspekt get more energetic with a more fierce beat and rushing synth melodies and "Ancient Relic" rolls pretty damn deep too. This is the darkside of the dub, explore at your own peril.
The US' Rasper earns himself a spot on his native Cleveland's Sure State label, a number one spot for deep and deadly American dubstep. "Claimed Dub" is exactly the sort of gear that we're vibing to these days, a hollow, levitating bit of percussion loosely held together by the gigantic swell of low hertz underneath it. "The Avenue" lightens the mood up slightly, but Rasper's inimitable style is still firmly in place; a dubgy, wondering sort of sway. Excellent and recommended to the fans of Mala and the like.