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18 Jun 12
Review: After his outings last year on 2nd Drop, DjRum's Mountains 12"s get reworked by a couple of upstarts continuing the label's predilection for new avenues bass music can travel down. Pedestrian steps up with his aptly entitled "Pirate Radio Remix" of "Mountains Pt 1", bringing some highly atmospheric garage bassline action to the fold, peppered with crafty drum rolls and MC chants. Tessela meanwhile twists "Turiya" into an embryonic jungle roller with a sideline in wistful synth action. Both tracks hark back to (supposedly) bygone eras of the hardcore lineage, but ably update them with modern production panache.
22 Apr 13
Review: We don't usually condone lying here at Juno, but when you tell seven of them across a beautiful nine track debut album, it's absolutely acceptable. Applaudable, even. Highlights across this deep, tightly woven bass adventure include the Portishead-style trippy dubtronica of "Comos Los Cerdos", the somnambulant drones and breathy washes of "Lies", the nagging techno loopery of "Dam" and the trembling graveyard soul of "Arcana".
23 Jul 12
Review: Perhaps one of the more intriguing figures to emerge from the UK's ever shifting bass landscape, Djrum's two part Mountains EP was one of 2010's cross-genre highlights, combining dubstep and techno with some evocative sample wizardry. This EP picks up where the producer left off, with the title track combining a slick percussive groove with sundrenched vocals and the kind of harp that would make Four Tet swoon, stretched out over an epic 9 minutes, evoking every sunrise rave moment of the last 25 years in one package. "The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn" is even more atmospheric, combining a laid back 2-step rhythm with an ever-shifting soundscape and dubstep inspired bass, coming together to create what you might imagine Mr Fingers teaming up with Burial might sound like. Fantastic stuff.
03 Oct 11
UK Funky/UK Garage
Played by: Paul Mac, Mental Overdrive, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Sccucci Manucci, William Wild (Mindreaders)
Review: Notable for the bulk of greatness on Ramp offshoot Fourth Wave, Gerry Read steps out in style for the 2nd Drop imprint - backed with an equally fine remix from Youandewan. "Roomland" is an expertly crafted excursion through the murkiest depths of techno pressure, all swinging syncopation cutting through the thick viscous layers of bassy atmospherics. It comes across like Anton Zap getting the Modern Love treatment, and it's the little rhythmic deviations and unwillingness to lock into one monotone groove that keep this interesting. Next, Youandewan strips the track of its percussive sheen, replacing the flex with an intricate 2-step rhythm and warbling synth refrains. The overall murky feel remains throughout though.
12 Dec 11
UK Funky/UK Garage
Review: Rounding off another strong year for 2nd Drop, this strong pair of remixes come from two producers who also enjoyed plenty of breakthrough success this year. Distal takes on Gerry Read and twists his smudged house into a honed and rapid-fire footwork assault, full of tumbling toms and vocal hooks while the melodic mystery of the original remains. Sully meanwhile steals the show with his reduced garage roller, emphasising the funk and keeping the subby bass swells lean and mean. It's a freaky space his remix inhabits; somewhere near the early days of Horsepower with that addictive whipcrack beat and ambiguous atmosphere.
09 May 11
Played by: Dubstepforum.com
Review: Another sterling venture from 2nd Drop as they hand the reigns over to J Kenzo. Title track "Conqueror" builds from a stripped back, bongo-pattering intro with crisp maracas and jungle chirrups, into an achingly cool polyrhythmic venture. Taking dubstep, techno and funky into their stride, the pair re-work them into something new in the bass music spectrum. "Derailment", a darker, heavier cut is arguably the unsung hero of this release, with eerie SFX and a growling bassline. Big.
02 May 11
Played by: Wildlife!
Review: 2nd Drop - the label who brought us early Ramadanman and Rusko - come up with another superb release from LV. The original blends a classic roots n reggae vocal with slurry, stumbling dubstep rhythms, some tooting sax for smoky late night appeal and plenty of atmospheric panache. Hessle Audio flirting Fantastic Mr Fox gets on the remix duties next, re-working "Don't Judge" into a super slick, clip clopping 3am job. Superb!
06 Jun 11
Played by: Juno Recommends Dub
Review: LV recently teamed up with Joshua Idehen for the excellent Routes long player, and here the trio returns to the production fold with Oxford band Message to Bears and South African vocalist Zaki Ibrahim for "Explode" via the 2nd Drop imprint. It's characterised by light, shimmering beats which sit respectfully beneath Ibrahim's dulcet tones, a neat contrast to the urban feel of Routes. We'd suggest this is bordering on perfection in its original form, but DJ Rum, Mothy and former Attica Blues don Charlie Dark all serve up intriguing re-imaginations.
02 May 11
Played by: Juno Recommends Dubstep
Review: Post-dubstep darling Ramadanman pairs conga drums with combing rhythms for a Shackleton style venture on 2nd Drop in "Revenue". Taught bleepy pads add a certain je ne sais quoi to the equation and whilst it's firmly at 140 tempo, the stomping drum kicks and exotic SFX mean there's oodles of tribal tones here. Hemlock owner Untold steps up for remix duties, transforming the original into a more abrasive, but just as interesting cut, with extra percussion and woodblock beats creating a more heavily punctuated incantation.
18 Apr 11
Played by: Juno Recommends Dubstep
Review: In a twist of fate that saw one of UK bass music's undisputed heroes name his track with the same title as one who he would later work with (Jamie Woon), this 2007 release returns to the collective consciousness once more, and what a gem it is! Even in the early stages of his career, Ramadanman displayed an ear for space as well as sound, pairing murmuring vox, with hollow, tripping beats, gradually layering sounds like a finely woven musical cloth. There's a delicious dubstep swagger which comes in and out of focus, marking this out as a must for Ramadanman fans new and old.
25 Apr 11
Review: The follow up to Ramadanman's '07 release "Feeling Good", Rusko supplies the soundtrack to 2nd Drop's subsequent release, back before he departed to LA and started making the sing-a-long dubstep stories he composes now. "William H Tonkers" pairs gruelling bassline pressure with high pitched melody and whirring subs. "Roma" is a more stripped back walk in the park, with lilting, hip-shaking rhythms, punctuated only by purposeful drum kicks and a murmuring b-line. It's certainly got less force and frenetic abandon than newer Rusko material, but this is super sharp on every front. Recommended!
14 May 12
Review: The latest name to emerge from London's melting of pot of hybrid styles, the young South London Ordnance drops his debut release for the esteemed 2nd Drop imprint, a sharp mix of swung garage, dubstep basslines and dense house shapes. "Sanctuary" is filled with overflowing low end, cavernous drums and some nice deep house touches and spoken word reminiscent of Joy Orbison's "Ellipsis". "Roofy" meanwhile is slow and syncopated, its sinister melody and rattling percussion somewhat like of Kowton's recent material.
19 Mar 12
Review: With two immensely strong singles under his belt already, Tessela pops up on 2nd Drop to further establish his mongrel sound. While the edges are utterly jagged and ever-shifting, there's still something very playable about "Darlene, Please", not least due to the core synth at work in the middle of the melee. "Let Up" is full of slick junglist moves, especially in the crafty way Tessela drops half the track out of the end of each bar in a move that leaves you gasping for the next kick. Once again both tracks smack the competition sharp upside the head.
04 Mar 13
Review: Founded back in 2007, London imprint 2nd Drop has deftly steered its way through the post dubstep fracture across some twenty releases. Arriving at their fifth & a half anniversary, the label offers up a thrilling snapshot of their enduring diversity on their maiden compilation Future Foundations. Familiar label names like Djrum and South London Ordnance offer their atmospherically swung take on dub techno, while label newcomers like Last Magpie and Alex Coulton provide some bouncy, UKG inspired techno. However, it's the frenetic jungle-inspired take on footwaork from Manni Dee and Deft that offers the biggest surprise in what is an already essential compilation.