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17 Jun 13
20 May 13
Played by: Homegroove Project, Juno Recommends Drum & Bass, Juno Recommends Dubstep, Fade, Philth, John Rolodex
Review: If you judge a producer by their ability to successfully apply a winning formula to a variety of styles, Alix Perez is a master. While drum and bass remains his forte, there's enough on Chroma Chords, his second album, to suggest that he's growing as a producer. This EP discards with the synth-laden head nodders featured on the full album, though the four tracks here do still demonstrate the versatile nature of Chroma Chords. Thus the grimy hip hop of the Metropolis featuring "Blue Print" shares space with the soulful stepping action of "Playing Games" whilst the the excellent vintage Timbaaland does halfstep of "Shadows" (featuring breakout Eglo talent Strange U") joins up with the vicious "Burnout".
20 May 13
Played by: Mr Brainz / Orpheus:ldn, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Shouts!, Lucent, Allmostt, Funk And Filth, Benny Kane
Review: Originally released spring 2012, Foamo's monstrously heavy bass chugger "Sherlock" gets the treatment from a variety of talented players. Kry Wolf drop the tempo slightly for a resonant UKG strut, Taiki & Nulight continue the garage vibe with a more uptempo, menacing bass motif, Millions Like Us add some cinematic breakbeats and shivering synth washes to the mix, My Nu Leng take a leaf out of Bassbin Twin's booty-bass book while LKid calms us down with a very neat, early 90s house version. A great spread and not a duff rub in sight.
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...
10 Jun 13
Review: N Type's imprint Wheel & Deal have snapped up this rising producer named after the legendary martial arts teacher. "Raindance" is sparse and fast; almost 4/4 techno but with that little urban skip to remind us where he's really at. There's no more subtleties from hereon in though, "In Atari" is the dark and punishing sound of a malevolent robot slowly dying and "Messenger" is a slow dubstep swagger with contorted vocals. Ipman's percussion-heavy remix of Killawatt is also supplied as is the latter's doom-house remix of the former.
03 Jun 13
Review: It's hard to believe it's been four years since the first immaculate selection of Aquatic Lab Sessions. Sitting prettily on top of the many bass music releases out right now, from start to finish this is a labour of love that covers a vast range of diverse sounds. From the halftime D&B stylings of Bardeya's deep dreamy "Gordon" to Core's hauntingly dark "Eagle Scream" and Perverse's crisp, minimal "Hamba", it's a true depiction of Aquatic Lab's hard work and dedication to the genre in all its forms. Shredexx - "Transporta" is a particular gem, shining bright from murky depths with brooding attitude usually reserved for the good old days of dark dubstep. A perfect example of the versatility of bass end productions in 2013. Don't sleep.
03 Jun 13
Review: Everyone's favourite magic carpet-riding dubstep producer Jafu continues his ascent by joining the ranks of Biome, Kromestar and Congi in having his own volume in Deep Heads' series of artist spotlighting EPs. As the title suggests, Jafu goes deeper than he's ever gone before and the results are perfectly suited to that spangly post clubbing haze. "Whats Your Theory" fuses shuffley halfstep beats to glacial electronica, "Phoam" introduces some Middle Eastern percussion and "Fever" is both haunting and bleepy at the same time.
26 Nov 10
Played by: DJ Purple Rabbit
09 May 13
21 May 13
Played by: Sirmo, Santero, Dom 877, Commodore 69 (Hot N Heavy), Lucent, Eats Everything, Fabricio Pecanha
Review: Hailing from Belgium, this guy has gone from making harsh and accelerated chipmunk-voiced beats (often of the juke/footwork variety) to deeper stuff. Here the slower, throbbing "Make That Booty Clap" is remixed by a number of names: The Martin Brothers go electro-meets-Chicago, while Zombie Disco Squad push the jackin' levels into the red, Plastician goes slow and evil sounding and Mark Starr goes for a stripped down (pun intended) trap style workout.
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'.
10 Jun 13
08 Apr 13
Played by: Nice Up! Soundsystem, DJ Purple Rabbit, Johnnypluse(Bulabeats Records), Dub Gabriel, Juno Recommends Drum & Bass, Juno Recommends Dancehall/Ragga, Juno Recommends Dub, The Funk Hunters, Euphonique, Blend Mishkin, Radical Mixtape, 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.
06 May 13
Played by: B.visible, DJ Cable, Dev79, El Carnicero, 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!
10 Jun 13
Review: Frenchman in London, Von D never fails to add a distinctive sophistication to his dubstep. And this is certainly no exception. His debut on Darkside's evergreen Get Darker imprint, each of the three cuts here bustle with the sexiest shades of traditional dubstep, house and garage. "Deeper" rumbles with a rolling break, emotional synths and delicate vocals from Phephe, "Eyes On You" is a more tribal workout with singed bass and yet more textured, well processed vocals. "Sunflower" finishes the set with a string-shimmered Freddie Hubbard sample. Get Darker? Get "Deeper", more like...
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.
03 Jun 13
Review: Despite a so-called genre death perpetuated by arguably one of Tempa's biggest proteges Skream, the label continues to put some of the finest quality 140bpm bass music to task. Whether you choose to label it dubstep or bass music is your choice, but we prefer to keep things simple. Proxima has been proudly flaunting his penchant for the darker things in life since his first outings with Icicle and has now become one of the scene's most enlightening deep producers. "Thermal Vision" is a hard minimal stepper, pushing crisp production to the limit, while on the flip "Valve Wars" takes that warped acid bass to another level, chewing up old school values and spitting them out over a true dubstep rhythm. It's good to be in the 140 camp sometimes.
20 May 13
Played by: Rob Perpetual
03 Jun 13
Review: Only four releases deep but Seven's Uprise label is really beginning to live up it to its name. This is their biggest and deepest dispatch to date. Stretching right across the board, we're treated to pounding war drum tribal ("Go To War"). We're pushed into a pool of subs with a metallic ping-pong riff ricocheting off the deep end ("Lost Souls"). We're flung manically from side to side as "Shaman" twists and shouts on a beautifully lob-sided riddim. We float away into deep cosmosis via the airy pads and slime percussion on "Underworld". Finally "Primitive" closes the show on the deepest note of the EP. Woozy and warm, tune-in to its heartbeat and hear it morph with sonic stealth.
29 Mar 13
10 Jun 13
Review: Helsinki's Desto has been releasing tunes for coming up to 10 years, but we've never had a long player from him...until now that is. "Emptier Streets" features 12 tracks that mine an evocative slow motion field. Highlights include the gentle, synth swathed "Dislocated", the Salem-esque dark trap of the title track, the beatless and cinematic "Drainpipe" and the sublime closer "Healing".
05 Nov 12
Played by: Johnnypluse(Bulabeats Records)
06 Mar 13
Played by: Jay Cunning (Sub Slayers), Bassrock Records, Juno Recommends Breakbeat, Euphonique, Radical Mixtape
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.
22 Apr 13
Review: No other MC has made the transition from performer to producer as well as SP:MC. Hinting promise since his early forays with Breakage almost eight years ago, he's shown the utmost versatility and creativity. Back to the future and his skills are still more than evident. Ranging from icy, sheet metal beats ("Declassified") to skippy, steppy minimalism ("Kenshin"), this is one of SP's broadest, most accomplished EPs to date.
10 Jun 13
Review: Originally released on Lovewave in 2010, "Future Samba" gets two contemporisations from both Prism himself and Mancunian artist Compa. The VIP adds more swing and fractures to the original's 4/4 while retaining all the jazzy mysticism of the horns. Compa's rub, meanwhile, takes things in a much spacier realm with pads so heavy and swooping they could align planets and trumpets so heavily processed you need to be in a coma to hear them. Welcome to the future.
26 Nov 07
13 May 13
Review: Doctor P and Flux Pavilion hand over the selection duties to familiar label faces Funtcase and Cookie Monsta for the second Circus set. A 25-strong banger compendium balanced between classics and exclusives, it oozes the perfect blend of bare-faced bass attitude and tongue-in-cheek humour. From Roksonix string-soaked jig jamboree "Music In Me" to Brown & Gammon's emotional audio rainbow "Dark Matter", the Circus sound is represented at its boldest, most characterful and, above all, fun. Not a dull moment in sight - check this and remember why we all got into dubstep in the first place.
18 Jun 13
12 Apr 13
Review: After pairing up for the "Paranormal Activity" release back in 2011, the Tectonic main man and one of the most dynamic producers to come out of the UK funky scene team up for another round. "Shoulda Rolla" is an impeccable, unfussy dubstep groover with classic icy textures, snappy percussion and an anchoring bass wobble that was born to work the dance without any showboating tactics. Roska goes it alone on "Asbestos" with an equally moody slice of rhythmic function that cruises at 140 while the synths come in blasts of robotic weirdness. Like so many of the great Tectonic 12"s, you're presented with a pair of club-focused stompers that keep the dubstep dream alive.
06 May 13
Review: One important thing to note here Flowdan is on mic duties. With such a distinctive tone and menacing lyrical style, his flow suits Kaiju's liquid, slime-like sonics so well, they were made for each other; it's joined by the more spacious, eerie soundscapes of "Snagglepuss". Cute title, dark groove. Kaiju are on fine form right now.
03 Jun 13
Review: If you're looking for good-time party bangers then look further than Versa. Thankfully not everyone is that shallow and those wanting deep, original and maybe a little weird productions should lap up this EP. "Vuelvo" is a tension building dubbed out fusion of crackling beats, skittering pops and repetitive notes, "I Awoke" is all about punishing bottom end, "Broken" is more muted garage with stoned jazzy chords floating about. Finally "Tesla" wraps things up in a doomy post-dubstep meets haunted slo-mo beats style.
10 Jun 13
Review: Finnish bass addicts Vesicle return to Paradise Lost with a feisty fiver of ghetto shock-outs. "Inconvenient Truth" is just as much hip-hop as it is dubstep; eerie, mean and paranoid, its stark slams are the ideal bed for Kansas rappers The Cyclops. "Cropkets" is a glitchier affair with a trappy vocal loop that's down-pitched and demonic. "White Light" sees them pay homage to Paradise Lost's more traditional sound with a deep, woozy halfstep swagger with groaning bass and moaning distorted tones. All reverb and trippiness, "Rebellion" takes things deeper again with nod towards classic space-bound dub. There's nothing inconvenient about this at all. And that's truth street.
31 Dec 12