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30 Apr 12
Played by: Ennio Styles (Stylin Radio Show), Hxdb, DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings), Bunny On Acid, Giovanni Pasquariello
Review: Amid much anticipation, Distal's album crash lands on Tectonic in a myriad of electronic styles all thoroughly typical of the plucky Atlantan. There's raw juke-isms on "Preach On Hustle", where the Chicago style gets slowed down and spread out, while on "Around The Fire" you'll find a swung techno framework full of alluring melodies just under the surface. There's melodica-baiting dubstep on "Rattlesnake", while electro gets pitched down for the peak time banger "House Party Five". Everywhere you turn, Distal's supremely developed production stands out, whatever vibe he's turning his hand to. In the end, that skill becomes the glue that holds this free ranging album together.
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.
22 Apr 13
Review: By now, all those of a deeper dubstep persuasion should know what to expect from the Smokin' Sessions series; intricate, ear-soothing fare bolstered by zippy low-end rhythms. Inamind Recordings regular Geode is the latest to the step up the plate, alongside Earl T and C Tivey. For those keen on twinkling melodies, warm pads and decidedly cloudy atmospheres, there's plenty to enjoy, from the wide-eyed beauty of becalmed opener "Ode", to the almost impossibly warm chords and organic drums of "Phi". Our pick, though, is "Ruh", a snappy, dubwise roller peppered with spinetingling blasts of mournful piano.
16 Apr 13
Played by: Numa Crew
12 May 13
Review: A lesson in how to make it in the industry, Teddy smoothly spits out the rules of the game over a dramatic hook. With a style that's not dissimilar to the Footsie Newham General, he puts forward a convincing case for ears well beyond the grime scene. BassBoy jumps on the remix scene for a sexier, stripped back blend with heavy nods to R&B and classic UKG.
19 May 13
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.
24 May 13
Review: Despite the title, no one was harmed or indeed abducted during the making of this EP. However that's not to say that the music's not sinister - it is - but the devil's always had the best tunes right? Egyptian Avenue's ethos of putting out the most leftfield bass music continues undiluted with these tow slices of slow and low hip-hop influenced numbers. "Bodywash" is a moody head-nodder that totally synths-out half way through. Meanwhile, "Gun Talk" is a slow fusion of wobble, bass and trap.
27 Apr 13
21 Jul 03
05 Nov 12
Review: Leave your expectations at the door before indulging in this killer drop on Deep Medi, with Swindle marking the second part of his trilogy of EPs ahead of an album scheduled for release in 2013. The title track is sheer dubstep rave fused with killer funk licks, while "Belfast" fuses jungle breaks with sirens and Daft Punkish synths. Our pick of the bunch through is "Mischief", which uses all manner of jazz samples (woodflute anyone?) and chops and rearranges them in the most beguiling manner. Swindle is one of the few producers taking dubstep in new and interesting directions - do check.
03 Dec 12
Played by: 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.
28 May 12
Played by: Ennio Styles (Stylin Radio Show), Famous Eno, DJ Cable, Juno Recommends Dubstep, Jack Stat, The Golden Toyz, Bam Bam Dealers, Lucent
Review: Mala's Deep Medi imprint seemingly stands alone in their efforts to ensure the founding principles of dubstep are retained, while not being afraid to release music that will smudge the boundaries of people's expectations. The label's latest release encapsulates this perfectly, with Butterz alumnus Swindle debuting in style with the bizarrely brilliant "Do The Jazz". If you've been tuned into the more tuned on shows on Radio One you have probably heard this track as the likes of Mistajam and Toddla T have been big supporters, but for those coming to this twelve with fresh ears don't be alarmed by the jazz licks of the opening bars; when that bass line rips through devastation will unfold. The deranged approach to the dancefloor with the piston driven sounds of "Under The Sun" while "If I Was A Superhero" realigns the Mothership Connection to a 140bpm flex.
19 Mar 13
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.
29 Jan 12
Played by: Fed Conti
Review: As January nears its bitter end, it seems this the time to release mega compilation albums. AEI, the company behind Get Darker, UKF and D&B Arena unveil their next project: Get Darker Presents: This Is Dubstep 2012. And what an album it is. Bringing in all the flavours of contemporary dubstep, it succeeds in providing a sweeping panorama of an increasingly fractionalized scene. From the deeper sounds of Author, VIVEK, Kryptic Minds, Icicle & Distance and Phaeleh, through material from scene pioneers such as Horsepower Productions, Skream and Benga, to the more aggressive sounds of Gemini, Flux Pavillion, 16 Bit and Nero, it's all covered. A brilliant "who's who" of dubstep in 2012 - highly recommended.
13 Sep 10
Various - "Get Darker Presents This Is Dubstep 3" (continuous DJ mix 1 by DJ Darkside) - (57:18) 140 BPM
Played by: Juno Recommends Dubstep
06 May 13
Played by: B.visible, DJ Cable, Dev79, Cosby (Car Crash Set), Highgrademuzik Aka Don D Selectah, J69
Review: Entitled simply Grime 2.0, this mammoth release sees grime originators sit next to a new breed of artists, all compiled by Big Dada label boss Will Ashon and journalist Joe Muggs. Documenting grime's continued development over the past ten years, its track selections also demonstrate that it's still a vibrant and flourishing genre. Some 35 tracks deep, the compilation sees Ashon and Muggs securing exclusive, previously unheard material, with notable grime figureheads such as Youngstar, Wiley and MRK1 contributing alongside current stars in Royal T and Preditah as well as an international cast of emergent new talent, with Local Action artist and Grimetapes documenter Slackk featuring too. Essential!
12 Apr 13
Played by: Juno Recommends Dubstep
Review: Quantum Soul, aka producer Guy Chambers, describes his productions as "mystical soundscapes". There's certainly something a bit mystical about "Strong Root", which features the distinctive vocals of veteran trip-hop chanteuse Louise Rhodes of Lamb fame. Her breathy vocals fit perfectly over Chambers' snappy dubstep beats, deep atmopsherics and intricate musical flourishes. Flipside "Rolling Thunder" takes a different tack, going all dubwise and steppy - all delay-laden organ stabs, low-end wobble and titanium-clad beats, still managing to sound deep depite its undeniable ferocity.
08 Apr 13
Review: A simple exercise in dubstep mathematics here; take Youngsta, add some LX One, release the results on Tempa and stand back and watch the dancefloor devastation! Youngsta really needs no introduction, and on Responsibility the Rinse FM stalwart makes a welcome return to Tempa, teaming up with LX One (also known as Joker D) on two heavyweight rollers primed for the halfstep lovers out there. Both the title track and accompaniment "No Cure" adhere to Tempa's purist direction; the minimal "Responsibility" emerges from the ether, drops a quick vocal sample then gets on with the business of pushing out a hulking robotic bassline over snapping metallic drum programming. On the flip, "No Cure" plunges into sub heavy terrain, forgoing the emphasis on crushing bassweight of its precursor for a focus on establishing atmosphere.
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.
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.
01 Nov 12
Review: Tactician eh? Just what we like to hear... Taiko is a technical fighter who dissects any challenge like a brain-freezing game of chess. Rook to king four: "More Beans" swipes out the bishops and knights with its ruthless staccato one-note sweep. Rook to queen two: "Tactician" takes out the remaining pawns with a brass spittoon of bass belches. Check: "Deplete" sneaks round the back and takes the queen with a mechanoid funk kick. Check mate: Juno apologises to genuine chess fans about the miss use of chess terms in this review.
15 Apr 13
Played by: Kial
Review: If you're in the market for woozy, slurring dubstep then you're in the market for Ill K... Taking the UK dungeon sound and adding more of a low-fi distorted techno twist to proceedings, he's mastered an applause-worthy level of weight and depth. Highlights include the strange squelching squeak-riff and foot-flipping riddim-switches of "Time Machine", the King Tubby style 4/4 dub thrash of "Lighter" (classic sample!) and, of course, the industrial level slouch of the title track.
23 Apr 13
Review: The long-awaited solo LP from US-based soulful bass music producer Kastle has been the talk of music blogs around the world for months. Now its finally made it to a full release , there's something of a feeling of satisfaction that can be heard in each track. Whether that's projected by the listener or not might be hard to prove, but there's a definite positive energy that flows through everything Kastle produces. From the garage beats of "Been A While" and "Red Light" to the irresistibly hip house groove of "Insatiable" and trap-hop crush of "Death From Above", it's clear that versatility is what this album is all about. Clean, crisp production matched to soulful, blissed-out dance music that's unashamedly fashionable yet different enough to be taken seriously. An album of 2013 no doubt.
16 Nov 12
30 Dec 11
Played by: Kial
01 Jun 09
11 Mar 13
09 May 13
Review: With plenty of heat and hype building from the underground and streets, the talented singer/rapper Zee Musiq gets the full club remix treatment for her latest single 'High'. With support across Radio 1xtra and Rinse she looks set for big things and these cool and classy remixes from the likes of DJ SKT make for a really nice soulful house moment, bringing plenty of summer vibes. Her songwriting and smooth vocals flow effortlessly with the housey flavours, and there's also a very of-the-moment UKG mix from Crezza, as well as a big room cut from Tucka. All bases covered on this solid release, and we are tipping Zee Musiq for big things this year. Lock in and get to know!!
07 Feb 13
17 Dec 12
09 May 13
11 Mar 13
24 Sep 12
Played by: El Carnicero
Review: Terror Danjah's hotly anticipated Dark Crawler finally arrives in the digital domain! This album is every bit as good as we'd hoped, with the title track taking the producer's grimey strings to a new level. With a 70-strong orchestral swagger behind it, the panicked stabs take on a blockbuster scale which only serves to hype up Riko's rootsy flow to a nail-biting, cliffhanging, car-chasing showdown of a track. The production pyrotechnics are all in full effect throughout the album, a killer 14-track set that features collabs with Champion, Trim and more. One of the year's best.
30 Jul 12
Played by: DJ Stex
Review: The poorly pseudonymed players Defkline and Polo get their mitts on Alex Care's "Too Close", giving it two royal club makeovers. Taking the track that's largely famous for being on Microsoft's latest advert, the breakbeat mix eschews the dubstep bass of the original in favour of spiky acid stabs, lush keys and a mild electro twang to the bass. Very well played. Meanwhile on the dubstep version we find a much more drama-drenched vibe as the duo add more emphasis on Alex's emotional vocal chords and even throw in a little acoustic guitar plucks before the big old wobble kicks in. Which version is best? Well it's "Too Close" to say!
07 Nov 11
Review: Making his debut on Tempa, multi talented MC, producer and one third of the Code 3 collective, SP:MC steps up with a couple of killer cuts on the legendary London imprint. "Oh My Gosh" is a slow paced, super sleuth of a track with low slung, undulating bassline, gently hissing hi-hats and clipped breaks with a retro edge. It harks back to the early days of dubstep, with a hint of Benga in there. Title track "Hunted" is another gnarly cut, with gritty, warping b-line, paranoid SFX adding further menace to the already darkened soundscape. Well worth checking!
05 May 13
Review: Drumsound and Bassline Smith's mainstream D&B assault is well worth watching. Applying catchy pop sensibilities to their tonked-out bottom-heavy technique, they're nipping at Fresh and Sub Focus's heels with real determination. Remix-wise we see Northern Lights throwing down a big dubstep vibe that sizzles and snarls with metallic menace while Tantrum Desire switches up for a speedy spliced and diced technicolour D&B version. Big.
TECCOMP 001 A
11 Jul 11