Bristol boys Die and Break team up for this stunning release on Shy FX's Digital Soundboy label. Title track "Grand Funk Hustle" kicks things off with a shimmy of keys, sax, vocal and shuffling bongo beats, before we are taken into a dutty bassline roller. Next up, "Tear Down" is all muffled beats, echoing vocals, punchy drums and grinding subs for the duration, before we are taken onwards, ever onwards, through "Deep Search" with its rumbling subs and atmospheric pressure to "Peace & Dub" feat. MC Fats. If you've not seen the video for this, check it. The track itself is a glorious homage to dub. Superb.
Brighton-based Dismantle is very much a man on the rise, following a string of much-played releases on Wheel & Deal, Black Gold and Shy FX and T-Power's Digital Soundboy imprint. Here he returns to the latter with another three-track onslaught of carnival-friendly bass bangers. Predictably, there's much to enjoy, from the bustling UK funky rhythms, delay-laden vocals and undulating melodies of "Round & Round", to the screaming electro riffs and bass rave shuffle of "D Riddim". Best of all, though, is the siren-clad, handclap-propelled techno-meets-slowed-down-juke onslaught of the rather large "Bad Guy".
Shy FX's Digital Soundboy returns with the latest offering from Dismantle, four tracks of some of the hardest hitting UKF rhythms we've heard for quite some time. "Warp" revolves around some tweaked out bleeps and rolling snares, while "More Funk" is built around serrated 8-bit sounds and chopped up vocals which are uncompromising in their delivery. "Dots" is probably the most restrained cut, a surprisingly melodic and minimal take on UK Funky, as ping pong synths go up against rushes of warm pads. "Witch" however is our pick - a lean, dark bass heavy roller with clattering percussion which shows a mature side to the producer which serves him well.
With his Maddslinky guise delving into housier realms this week, it's up to Zed Bias proper to keep things a touch rougher, and he does a remarkable job of it on "Heavy Water Riddim". Propelled by a snapping tapestry of found sounds (from the titular water to wooden thuds and metal clangs), a slow stalking breakbeat emerges and an earthy banger is born. "Hurting Me" is a complete departure on the flip, with the gentle 2-step lilt rounded out with rich synths and warming bass, while choice deployment of vocal hooks keeps things catchy and in keeping with Bias' garage roots.
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