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20 May 13
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
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.
13 May 13
Review: While the cover artwork may make Benton look like a moody former member of an R&B boy band, the music contained on Reflections is as robustly underground as you'd expect. Moving from Burial-ish paranoid atmospherics to deep dubstep-soul via a series of sparse, moody and emotion-rich soundscapes, it portrays the London-based producer as a man for whom the simple pleasures of form and function are just not enough. Along the way, there are growling, murky floorfillers (check the hissing "Herman's Hideout" and "Defect Mind"), dubwise steppers ("20/20 VIP") and occasional blasts of piano-laden beauty (the intricate "We're Both Lost").
20 May 13
Review: If you're looking for a lesson in how to totally murder it with a single vocal loop then look no further than "Transmission". Tripped out, tight and mind-boggling, it builds up with a guttural, industrial riff to chaotic effect. "LV-223" is more your techno flavoured slice of steppery. Dungeon depths and slimy subs; this is for the most tribal of tear-ups, while "Antidote" flips back to the genre's halfstep roots. Spacious and engaging with a series of well textured bass leads, it rolls and develops with production panache; "Kraken" ends with fitting gusto. If you're looking for a lesson in how to totally murder it with a dramatic orchestral sample then look no further.
17 May 13
Illbilly Hitec - "State Of Emergency" (feat Longfingah & Lady N - Rob Smith aka RSD dub remix) - (4:01) 76 BPM
Ken Boothe - "When I Fall In Love" (Dubblestandart Initialized - Oliver Frost remix) - (3:35) 89 BPM
Review: The always onpoint Echo Beach serve up a long overdue second edition of their Reggae Germany Downtown compilation. Some eighteen tracks deep, Echo Beach give a true representation of the Dub scene in Germany, pairing veteran artists like Felix Wolter (Dubvisionist, TVS), Seeed, and the Senior Allstars with rising talents such as Aldubb, Brain Theft, aDUBta, Symbiz sound and Chazzy Wezar (the son of Matthias Arfmann). Reggae Germany Downtown takes dub as it's starting point and veers in various musical directions so expect sub heavy dubstep (the Giotto remix of "Let There Be Dub" from Aldubb" is a highlight) downbeat skank, rude electronics and dancehall torch songs. Germany is Dubland"!
13 May 13
Played by: Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: Entering what seems like a new phase for Pinch's bastion of forward-thinking dubstep, Tectonic Plates reaches its fourth edition and brings in a raft of fresh producers and new angles on just what the genre might mean in these fractured times. Even the classic standard bearers such as Jakes are bringing curious 4/4 momentum in amidst the sparse, dread filled pressure, while Guido pivots off of the plush musicality of his album to create an utterly broken symphony on "State Of Joy". There are a lot of different ideas floating around the whole compilation, and yet everything holds together with the deep-rooted soundsystem mentality that has always defined Tectonic as a shining example of what dubstep has always meant.
20 May 13
20 May 13
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.