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18 Feb 13
Played by: Hong Kong Ping Pong, DJ Aka (Funk Moguls), Juno Recommends Breakbeat, Juno Recommends Drum & Bass, Juno Recommends Brokenbeat/Nu Jazz, Juno Recommends Electro House, Badboe, Euphonique, Run Riot, Ragga Scum, Ez Icarus, Basement Freaks, S Man
Review: Bang! There'd been hushed tones of this opus for well over a year, and at a whopping 29 tracks, it's been well worth the wait. Showcasing their widest repertoire, within the first trio of tracks we're already treated to Latino swing breaks, new jungle jiggery and dramatic dubstep. This wide-eared vibe embracement runs throughout consistently; "Hey Mr DJ" rattles a few electro-hop cages, "Countdown" is quintessential booty-bass heaven complete with delectable UK hip-hop rhymage, while "You Can Be My Night" shoots us up to planet D&B on a floaty carpet of rave heritage. A solid calling card to every party in town, it's time to get bouncing...
21 Dec 12
Review: Serial badman and international dubstep superstar Skream presents the seventh (yes, seventh) volume of Skreamizm, a much lauded and highly influential series that's been cited by many as one of those iconic milestones in the rise of Dubstep as we know it. Purists and newcomers alike will find something of appeal here, as the Croydon label done good flexes his address book muscle on the opening track "Copy Cat" where deftly placed beats sit perfectly with the polished, seductive and slightly husky vocals of US vocalist Kelis. Elsewhere, cuts such as "Vacillate" provide a stark contrast with the jarring synths and punishing snares in a heavy, pressurized soundscape. Watch out for "Scrooge's Revenge" with its heavy, wub-wub sound, as well as the deeply hypnotic "Junkyard Dispute" with its eerie wailing and buzzing basslines. Excellent from start to finish.
10 Dec 12
Review: Having spent some deep studio time with the likes of Kryptic Minds and Icicle in the past, Youngsta's really found his groove in the deeper, space-bound side of dubstep. With such natural mechanics, there's a techno twang to both cuts here. "Destruction" is more robust as it chugs with a halfstep and thinly veiled menace. "Poseidon", meanwhile, flutters with a two-step heartbeat and intricate percussion that weaves us from Detroit to Croydon and back again. Beautiful.
03 Dec 12
Review: The much-revered Aussie dubstep imprint Aquatic Lab break their half-year silence with this epic selection of deep rolling cuts from the artist previously known as Ashburner. Those festering a big love for mic-men should step up to the title track instantly as Jamakabi guides us through the sickness with a rapid flow that is guaranteed to drive every ounce of energy from your floor. Another major highlight is the beautifully understated "Bassmental"; deep but dangerous, there's so much going on you'll hear something new on every listen. Be sure to check the "Civil War" VIP, too... And ring the trippy bass klaxon when you do. Wow.
08 Apr 13
Played by: Nice Up! Soundsystem, Johnnypluse(Bulabeats Records), Dub Gabriel, Juno Recommends Drum & Bass, Juno Recommends Dancehall/Ragga, Juno Recommends Dub, The Funk Hunters, Euphonique, Good News Boppers, Highgrademuzik Aka Don D Selectah, Mo' Matic
Review: Wrongtom Meets Deemas J's album In East London was met with some serious levels of hype when it arrived on the reggae scene last September. "The strongest modern reggae set to emerge from the UK for many years" said The Wire. High praise indeed. So "Superteng", the second single to be released from the roots-inspired LP, is a toned-down affair, groove-driven and minimal, letting the lyrics do the talking. Featuring a cool and collected remix by Scoop & Alter Ego & Rico and the bonus addition of jungle mashup "Jump + Move + Rock" remixed by the one and only Benny Page, you can't mistake the top quality of this release. If you're a fan, buy the LP too, it's a modern reggae masterpiece.
08 Apr 13
Played by: Juno Recommends Dubstep, Blind Prophet (South Fork Sound), Alert, Highgrademuzik Aka Don D Selectah
Review: Chameleonic Bristolian Kahn continues his peerless run of releases with a killer self-titled release for the Blackbox label that's filed alongside his Deep Medi and Hotline transmissions in our affections. The immediate standout track is undoubtedly "Badman City" which features the incomparable vocals of Flowdan, the Bug collaborator who was sampled on Kahn & Neek's superb "Percy". Whilst Flowdan's delivery on that Bandulu cut was lifted roughly from his barrelling live MCing, here he's in notably more menacing form. Rider Shafique and fellow Young Echo acolyte Jabu also provide vocals with the latter's delivery on "Snake Eyes" sounding somewhat akin to Tricky aping Mike Skinner. A bold release from one of the UK's most impressive talents.
08 Oct 12
Played by: El Carnicero
15 Apr 13
Review: If you don't understand why Dubmatix has been named 'Canada's dread at the controls' by none other than Don Letts, just look at the list of vocalists on board this project... Eek A Mouse, Horace Andy, Tenor Fly, U-Roy and Cornell Campbell. Did someone just say 'legends'? Naturally, the beats back up the headline name-dropping. Stretching from the rugged dubsteppery of "Black Market War Dub" to the more classical, dub positivity of tracks like "Free Up" and "She's In Love", this is a comprehensive picture of dub's many shades AND a great calling card for Canada's 'dread at the controls'.
19 Nov 12
Played by: Chrissy Murderbot, Odiggity, Diplo, Greenmoney, Shox, Cosby (Car Crash Set), Highgrademuzik Aka Don D Selectah
Review: With the energy unleashed by his Pretty Ugly LP still crackling in the atmosphere, DVA drops another EP of technicolour bass mutant business for Hyperdub, delivering seven tracks of mind-bending freshness with a French Fries remix thrown in for good measure. There's some rougher club-ready tackle on offer here such as the abrasive "Do It" with it's hammering drums, but then round the next corner you're plunged into the minimal 4/4 bubble that is "Walk It Out". Really though the lead track "Fly Juice" is the winner with its soulful key licks and hyped up switch for the latter half of the track.
15 Mar 13
Review: With the ripples emanating from their bass music concoctions spreading ever wider, dynamic trio Dark Sky make the move to Tectonic to nudge that very label's remit into new territory. With their previous form on 50 Weapons and Black Acre amongst others, "Confunktion" sounds like a logical next step in limber but deadly accurate electro stylings. They don't lean on obvious tropes of the genre, bringing a more modern bass music slant to the synths and fully employing studio skills to make for an addictive, head-snapping beast of a track. "Double U" heads into a freakier domain defined by globulous synth drops and a tribal groove as fruity as it is funky.
07 Jan 13
Review: One of the most consistent singers from reggae's formative roots, and certainly one of the most distinctive, this collection of superb reboots sees Horace allowing his voice to be guided through 50 shades of dub. The pilot team for this bubblesome journey largely consists of Bristol bass elder RSD and new face Oliver Frost, both of whom add their own characteristics and twists to a wide range of Horace standards: 80s classics ("Money Money") to mid noughties moments ("Skylarking"), we drift happily between the borders of dub, house and genreless bass bliss. A must for any dub heads.
10 Dec 12
Review: Despite sharing its name with a Christian record label in the States, Birmingham's Four40 only really pray in one church, one with a soundsystem that boasts bone-rattling subs. Their latest signing, the mysterious Cloaka, is certainly all about the bass: this EP features bass so brutal and low it's positively subterranean. "Don't I Know You" features a low rolling bassline and eerie chants, "Booty Chatter" boasts harsh, stamping riddims and extra wobble on top, "Konkle" again centres around a hard, stamping kick but is more sparse and finally "Wuxi Riddim" is all about the voodoo beats.
25 Mar 13
Review: If "Vie" means to 'vie' for our attention, Innamind newcomer Geode has definitely succeeded. A tight weave of Todd Edwards style chops presented in a darker, starker post-dubstep style, "Vie" allows for equal measure of zone-out and butt wiggles. "Tesla" takes this garage influence even further thanks to an incredible walking bassline and strange 8-bit cascades on the fills. "Aliased Fever" takes us on more of a tribal dubstep trip while "Buck One" sees Geode team up with Promise One for a much deeper, warbling bass number that teases and pleases with skippy breakbeats.
06 Jan 13
Review: Hailing from Pittsburgh, Buku is currently making waves with his take on the bass phenomenon. Here we get a three tracker that contains more ideas than a Charles Saatchi brainstorming session. "Janky" is a booty bass anthem with hints of trap and some heavy keyboard drama. "All Deez" goes deep on the sleazy drum patterns before unexpectedly evolving into a big trancey synth epic. Last but not least, "Prowl" is all about the digital riddims and plucked synth strings glamour.
21 Jan 13
Played by: Ya Dun Know, Mat Cant, Dev79, DJ Assassin (Recode Recordings), Pier, Martin Sauvage /Soukouch Ethnik/, Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: In the wake of a healthy resurgence in grime instrumental appreciation, Youngstar's classic dance-wrecker "Pulse X" gets a hefty remix package from a sturdy cast of equally chunky producers. Visionist gets busy with some classic string stabs and a sleeker version of the inimitable bassline, replete with some subtle touches of weirdness around the edges. Blackwax gets truly unforgiving with his jungle-infused workout, stripping the track back to bare bones with nothing more than a pristine lift of the "Think" break to guide you through. Slackk gets into a tribal flavoured fervour with his take, while Pedro 123 has a whole lot of fun with found sound madness to shape the beat.
12 Jun 12
Played by: Santero, Smutlee, Chrissy Murderbot, DJ Cable, Mooqee, Piri Piri, Juno Recommends Dubstep, DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings), Aquadrop, The Golden Toyz, Nsekt, Djs: Most Charted - Dubstep, Da Movelt Nasty Show, Filth Collins, Black Butter Records, Highgrademuzik Aka Don D Selectah, Laidback Luke
17 Dec 12
Played by: Pimpsoul, Hong Kong Ping Pong, Neon Steve, Mooqee, Johnnypluse(Bulabeats Records), Juno Recommends Dubstep, Tim Livingstone, Winter, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, The Funk Hunters, Tosses & Varvez, Monstaphunkaz
Review: An interesting development for Bomb Strikes.; usually found touting killer bootlegs and unofficial remixes, Neon Steve's EP is 100 per cent original. And 100 per cent funky! "Feeling" features the distinctive vocal work of NY chanteuse Charlotte Dobre. Wriggling with a slinky post-dubstep breakbeat it's got equal measures of sexy sonic sophistication and true bass grit. And if it's grit you're after, you can't go wrong with the Zulu-fronted "Kill Em With The Vibes". Rocking and shocking on a grinding tropical flex, it's a party piece with the power of a hundred carnivals. For added versatility and flavour, "The Sideshow" ends the release on a cheeky, low-swung nu-funk flex. We're definitely "Feeling" this EP!
25 Mar 13
Review: Ever committed to bleak and moody extrapolations on bass music since the early days of dubstep, Kryptic Minds are back with more icy science to inspire over-the-shoulder glances and fidgety dancing. "Nebula" heads into Autonomic realms with dissected D&B snarls and snagging beat arrangements, while "To Feel" opens up marvellously with a spacious and menacing half-step funk. "Badman VIP" moves back into a more familiar rhythmical roll as the fluid mid-range growls come on cool and deadly over a measured dispersal of 140 principles. "Namaste" continues that them but ups the ante in the effects department, contorting the synths and creating a more twisted kind of soundscape to dark out to.
23 Jul 12
Played by: Ennio Styles (Stylin Radio Show), Diplo, Ya Dun Know, Tom Central, Guerilla Speakerz, Chris Coco, Mooqee, Diplo, Chris Coco, DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings), Mr. Mitch, Aquadrop, The Captain, The Golden Toyz, Cyantific, Gntlmn, La Royale, Sounds Of Sumo, Nsekt, J Courage, Avicii, Illmana (Dirty Trainer Crew), Filth Collins, The Mane Thing, Black Butter Records, Chocolate Puma, Major Lazer, J69
Review: Making their debut on Warp, Hudson Mohawke and Lunice proudly cross their beams to rain down a sick and slick kind of future-crunk, aptly demonstrated in in the introductory nature of bass-rich teaser "Top Floor" with its juke leanings and menacing posture. There's a detuned nature to the recognisable bleeps and wails on offer here while the beats remain crunchy and steadfast. "Higher Ground" is more overt in its use of juke to create a twisted kind of hype, while "Bugg'n" drips and drops in a loping vat of sub bass and slow-mo strangeness, leaving you with one of the oddest takes on the contemporary mess of electronic beats.
03 Dec 12
Played by: Dub Gabriel, Juno Recommends Dubstep, Blind Prophet (South Fork Sound), Benton, Pier, Cosby (Car Crash Set), Larssen
Review: While dubstep continues to splinter into its myriad variations, from toe-curling pop to ear-splitting bangers and everything in between, it's reassuring to find a continued stream of producers interested in exploring the original space the genre occupied, where the evolutionary path is a much slower one. Kahn represents a strong case on his debut for Deep Medi, which is by and large a classicist approach to dubstep (as you might well expect for Mala's imprint). In his previous outings he has tackled a staggering range from synth heavy steppers, refined and modernist garage, to raucous grime and rootsy digi-dub. The incendiary vocal lick that kicks off "Dread" rasps and spits with the grit of 80s dancehall, instantly recalling the addictively unsettling grunts and groans of ragga MCs on the earliest jungle tracks. With some considered vocal assistance from Rider Shafique, "Late Night Blues" comes on startlingly stripped-back, fuelled by a crisp beat and soothing sub bass rumble. The glacial chord swell and distant clangs only serve to cool things even further, and once again the delay gets opened up to fire the drums off into the ether. It's a pristine turn, eschewing fireworks and shifting dynamics for a slow and steady twist-out, building up the feedback but never letting it run away from itself.
25 Mar 13
Review: Could "Asteroids" be the most perfect name for a tune that sounds like it was made in out of space? Blast off with that first sonar blip and gracefully float away, dodging the soft rhythmic asteroids as you bob freely. Interestingly "Over My Head" is the same beat but with the cosmic yearning of Mel Dymond. With a far-away, distracted delivery she's not far off "Protection" era Massive Attack. For added trippiness and a gorgeous building slo-mo stomp flip for Om Unit's remix. Wow.
14 Jan 13
The Flashback Project - "Release Me Now" (feat MC Twilight - D Twista Riot Act remix) - (6:06) 128 BPM
11 Mar 13
Review: At seven tracks NDread is treating us to a project of near-album proportions here. And with a sound that's becoming as distinctive as it is deep, it's got the alluring flow of an LP, too. The title track ignites proceedings with a skippy two-step and a weave of dreamy washes and textures. Authentically classic yet forward thinking, it sets the scene for the rest of this memorable release. Other highlights include the late 90s four-to-the-floor UKG pump of "Time To Go" and fang-sharp two-step sexiness of "Bad Habit". Timeless vibes; a must for all garage and bass heads.
10 Dec 12
Review: What a coup for No Hats No Hoods! Back in the day many grime heads would have given their privates for some of these dubs. Formative grime instrumentals, these were all written ready and waiting for Tinchy Stryder, Dirty Danger and Slix's tight-fisted bars. Here we find them in all their naked glory, and they still sound slick to this day. Cuts like the woozy Japanese shuffled funk "Functions On The Low", the west coast LA meets Croydon vibes of "Lethal Injection" and the savage cage rattling of "Tings In Boots" tell one of the most honest grime narratives you'll find right now.
17 Dec 12
24 Sep 12
Review: A trustworthy tune tailor since 2008, it's about time Mr Kenzo gave us an album. And the very fact it's on Tempa - a much bigger label than Kenzo's own Soul Shakerz - speaks volumes in terms of the quality you can expect across the 12 tracks. Those who've followed Kenzo's previous shizzle will know the pristine level of deep bass production on offer, but there's a few curveballs dotted throughout for added dynamics. Cuts such as the Footsie-featured grime hybrid "No Man's Land" and the hands-in-the-air spine-chiller "Eyes Wide Open" showcase Kenzo's skills on the widest possible level. An immaculate debut LP.
29 Mar 13
Played by: Pier
22 Jan 13
Played by: Mooqee, All Good Funk Alliance, Borgie, Juno Recommends Electro House, Utah Saints, Winter, Freemasons, Martin Solveig, Mat Zo, Moonbeam, Fed Conti, Nick Warren, Sister Bliss
Review: Oliver - An LA outfit comprising two gents called Oliver. Introductions over, let's get acquainted with the music. "MYB" is a satisfyingly simple and understated groove that instantly reminds you of Homework era Daft Punk and 2020 Soundsystem. "Night Is On My Mind", meanwhile, takes us into a much deeper, cosmic field that tips a nod at the likes of Terje and Lindstrom. "Control" is a brighter, breezier affair that glistens with a timeless synth sound and an utterly positive chord structure, while the title track brings us to a dramatic crescendo with anthemic slo-mo sassiness. Refreshing electro sounds throughout, Oliver have got real potential.
11 Feb 13
Review: Biome's on a serious roll right now. Countering his recent grumpy, techno-minded EP Black Widow with three shimmering sonic gems, Deep Heads Vol 10 is a triumph of versatility. "Light" shuffles us through a sweet, deep dream, whispering sweet waspy bass nothings in our ears. "Havana VIP" flips the VIP cliche and instead of making it ruder and stronger, it takes his 2011 trouble-wobbler into a much more sub-aquatic, contemplative pasture. "Nightscape" finishes the set on a naked, mystic note with occasional splashes of crystal pianos. Classic Biome.
11 Mar 13
Played by: King, Dev79, Doshy, Top Billin DJ Team, Cosby (Car Crash Set), Highgrademuzik Aka Don D Selectah
Review: Have you ever seen a policeman on acid? No, neither have we thankfully! If the country's protectors turn to psychedelic drugs there really is no hope. No, we're much happier hearing "Police On Acid", a rasping series of warping bass licks over a vicious Radioactive Man style breakbeat, it's much more fun than seeing men of the law lose their minds. Elsewhere on the release we're taught to count badly with the help of a staccato trap-style bass workout ("123789") and taken on a mesmerisingly scenic sinewave journey ("Q"). Oozing variety and creatively, all law-abiding bass lovers should check this.
07 Feb 13
11 Mar 13
17 Jun 12
Played by: Homegroove Project, Platform, Physical Illusion, Syncopix, Juno Recommends Drum & Bass, Juno Recommends Dubstep, Winter, S Man, Nsekt, Liz-E, Notion, Mikal, Protect Audio
Review: The ever-reliable Shogun Audio imprint, co-owned by DJ Friction and K-Tee, presents the next release in a slew of quality singles. This time the magic is brought to us by the Spectrasoul boys who team up with talented vocalist Tamara Blessa on the title track "Away With Me"; the result is a soulful slice of sexiness with white noise crackling beats and an enticing vocal driving things along. Calibre provides a lush interpretation with gentle, pattering drums and pulsing bass, underpinned by dreamy instrumentals, while dubstep darling Kito gives it the Rustie treatment with a bleepy kaleidoscope of sounds.
17 Dec 12
21 Jan 13
Review: More commonly found throwing down dubstep variations, Biome indulges his techno side on this appearance for adventurous Manchester imprint Mindset. "Spawned" is a minimal cut of the most stripped order, focusing on finely honed layers of relentless rhythm that sport a depth that belies the producer's dubstep roots. "Driveway" is more animated, working snatches of melody, bass grind and haunting pads into a dextrous mixture, while "Conscience" heads into a more mellow territory with a half step beat and lingering melodics of a more soundtrack-friendly persuasion. It's a diverse EP that displays the versatility this accomplished artist has under his command.
04 Mar 13
Played by: Mr Brainz / Orpheus:ldn, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Highgrademuzik Aka Don D Selectah, J69
Review: All aboard the remix express! Four40 follow up last month's b-boy two-stepper from IKK and Slick Don with four sparkling reversions. Pedro 123's re-imagination strips the original back into a plinky plonky trap attack that comes in both vocal and instrumental forms while KSH add much more of a bashy grime riddim. Then there's the obligatory VIP for added rewind pleasure. Get to the "Crux" of the matter... It's a vibes ting.
03 Dec 12
Review: Badman tune alert! Spooky finally unleashes one of the most hyped dubstep tracks of the year, and it's about time. Treading the infinitely fine line between unique and sounding like something you've already heard before; "Playground's" slow-mo, almost lazy, funk manages to sound like both Dead Prez and Shy FX but does so with its own flavour. Naturally the creative vibes abound throughout the whole release thanks to the alien laser fight "Toxic Paradise", the angular, rust-bleeding hymn service "Utter Madnezz" and the Psycho-style strings on "News Flash".
12 Apr 13
Review: Dropping that purple funk like only he knows how, Joker is back on Kapsize for another bout of pimped out steppers laden with synths and a strong whiff of boogie. Opening track "Zim Zimma" proudly rips out some hair metal guitar licks over dramatic piano stabs, and even chucks a jungle break into the mix towards the end of the tune. "Gully Side" is more devoutly aggressive in its demeanour, grinding on a mid-range buzz and a slimline beat of just a few key parts sharply honed for guaranteed floor-flattening. "Handz Up" has a cheeky dose of trance worked into the emotive chord progressions, while the beat even sneaks into 4/4 in places before switching back into a steppy stance. "Newham Generals" rounds off the EP with the most lairy of all the tracks, channelling all the strengths of the previous tracks into one bold and bashy beast of a track.
25 Mar 13
Review: AMIT has never been a producer who rides with the tides. As one of the artists at the forefront of the half-step and minimal drum & bass scenes, his sets have become an urban legend, somewhere between old-style rave mentality and full-on hypnosis. "Acid Trip" is a techy exploration into the greater depths of electronic music, and being on pioneering dubstep label Tempa, he can afford to get a bit experimental. Fearless and bold, the title track holds tight as it plummets further and further into the abyss. On the flip, "Don't Forget Your Roots" hosts eerie Dia de Muertos organs playing out a reggae rhythm until a haunted, deconstructed dub bursts into the lower end. Spooky, almost comical sounds from a deadly serious producer. A lighter side to AMIT or are we being too aloof? We'll let you decide.
03 Dec 12
Review: Prolific stepper DJ Madd has been hammering out the singles since first emerging some four years ago, and here he steps up to his most regular haunt of Black Box with malevolence in abundance on "The Life You Chose". There's a sinister 80s horror-film ambience at work in the droning synths that provide the melody in the track, while the rest of the construction growls and slithers with a remarkable slickness in a classic head-nodding half-step tradition. Distance carries on that tip for his remix, although at the drop he chooses to up the ante and bring some more fulsome grinding synth damage into the fracas.
07 Dec 12
11 Mar 13
Review: There are some really exciting movements going on around the 150-160 mark right now. And it looks like Las has turned up to the party with a whole keg of creative funk. With polyrhythmic footwork and a thundering heartbeat bass/kick combo, "Zaikedelic" isn't far off the early Moving Shadow releases over 20 years ago while remaining completely fresh at the same time. "Preacher" sees us move back down towards 140 pastures but the funk's still here in abundance; with a wonderfully spliced vocal riff and the perfect amount of hand drum tickles and slurring sub it's another Las-stamped thriller. "Zone Of Bones" completes the set on more of a techno flex where the bass does about 80 per cent of the talking and the beats nod confidently in the background. A deep way to end a very exciting release.
06 Mar 13
Review: This one is a bit of a whopper. With 43 unmixed tracks to choose from and two bonus DJ mixes from curator Jay Cunning, there's plenty for fans of 140 BPM plus bass music to sink their teeth into. The tracklist reads like a who's who of the breaks, jungle and breakbeat garage scene, with stalwarts Ellis Dee, I.D, High Rankin and DJ Twista joined by a welter of lesser-known artists (601, Aries, Gella) for an all-out assault on the senses. From hardcore revivalism and early jungle roughness to bhangra-flecked beats and electro-breaks madness, Bass Selection Volume 1 has it all - if you're looking for speaker-shaking heaviness, you really can't go wrong.