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10 Oct 11
Review: Macabre Unit stick two fingers up at dubstep's vinyl fetishists with two tracks destined to delight digital DJs only. First up is Biome's "Swirls", an atmospheric but oddly upbeat roller. While it boasts a confident swagger, the stepping beats, reverberating pads and far-sighted vocal samples suggest something much deeper. It should appeal to those who like their dubstep to come with some real emotional resonance. Biome joins forces with Versa for "Nomad", a deeper, glitchier but no less melodic trip into late night waters. While it lacks the instant impact of its precessor, the stoned atmosphere and alien electronics more than make up for that.
01 Dec 11
Review: A newie from grimey dubstep label Macabre Unit sees Catacombs drop the glacial half-step of "Dimension" - a truly sick and sparse rhythm that grips you from the off with a classic set of snares and kicks as well as softly-softly bass spikes. Demon's "Chang Caine" is just as essential, packing a little more swing thanks to added hand drum sounds but still with that killer minimal swamp the label is loved for.
12 Dec 11
09 Jan 12
Played by: The Golden Toyz
Review: Two razor sharp cuts here from Biome which traverse the dubstep genre with great aplomb, employing lacerating drums and weighty sub bass rumbles throughout. Kicking things off with "Minus", which builds gradually with thumping drum kicks, grinding b-line and plenty of menacing SFX echoing in the darkened soundscape. This rolls along with intimidating swagger for the duration before we move on to its counterpart "Moody", all crackling noise on the intro and enormous, snapping snares and bubbling bass for the main part. Heavyweight dubstep business.
13 Feb 12
Review: This four-track venture on Macarbre Unit kicks off with the first of two collabs between Versa & Rowl, the first of which is entitled "Full Moon", and it's full of exotic baying sounds, oriental wailing and razor sharp beats - that is until the ominous, movie-sampled intro, falls into the main part which is an oily black soundscape with rupturing bass and smacking snares. N Dread's "Hypnotize", up next, is more experimental and eerie in tone, with its warped synths, before Versa teams up with Biome for title track "Full Moon" - another sublime, dubbed out piece. "Tesla", the second Versa & Rowl collab, rounds things off with grouchy bass-driven prowess.
30 Apr 12
Review: History teachers reckon Persepolis is an ancient Persian metropolis circa 550-330BC. What do they know? As far as we're concerned "Persepolis" is the chilling, masterslice of moody dubstep that takes Biome to a whole new level. With icy pads and eerie cries soothing the guttural, rusty grunts of metallic bass, it's the perfect combo of screwface fodder and totally spiriting your crowd away. The mournful eastern weeps on Dcult's "Inner Peace" follow a similar suit - deep and moody but driven with more than enough bottom end power to thrill a club. The sub frequencies on show here reverberate remarkably. This won't just touch your inner peace; it'll tickle every bone in your bass-loving body.
14 May 12
Review: Catacombs & Knowledge provides us with a slab of the deepest, darkest dubstep in the Out Of Focus EP on Macabre Unit, which should satisfy even the most ardent of bass heads. The title track starts with a spaced out, sci-fi influenced intro of hissing, skittish beats and eerie, wailing vocal snippets. Bass and warping volcanic explosions send their shockwaves through the rest of the tune - it's powerful stuff. "Out Of Town" follows on in a similarly hypnotic fashion, with distant cooing, crisp, crunchy beats and a sense of despair permeating through the music with an ominous movie sample breaking the spell half way through. A top notch release - dubsteppers take note.
11 Jun 12
Review: DCult brings the deep, dark and brooding flavours to the fore on this four-track release on Macabre Unit. Ominous from the off, "Deadly Hands Of Shang Chi" gets things started with an eerie oriental wailing and spaced out atmospheric sweeps. "Human", up next, is an equally anxious offering with nervous SFX, thudding beats and gloomy instrumentals. Then we have the stunning "Universal" which takes things even deeper with sparse, pattering beats and murmuring subs before the EP closes with the humming of "Worked". A stylish offering here from DCult.
30 Jul 12
Played by: C Tek
Review: Macabre Unit have been very consistent with their releases of late, with each one oozing darkness and textured mood from every digital pore. As the EP title suggests, it's all about the deep, atmospheric vibes. Anex takes care of the title track with chilling chords that can't help but remind you of early Photek material. Rolling with tightly-weaved drum work, it's a fine opener to this hefty four-tracker. Occult appears twice on the EP, once with his own percussive party piece "Terrorbyte" and a deeply trippy collabo with Vantage. Anex & Demon conclude proceedings with a track that hints at what's made them drowsy in the first place; "Kush" is possibly the best arranged track of the bunch thanks to immense amount of space surrounding the elements and some very cool bass noises eking their way into the mix without too much aggression.
06 Aug 12
Review: Biome and Demon, both impressive players in their own right, have unwittingly formed a super group here; Biome's attention to the rhythm and Demon's penchant for the dark has created a wholesome duo of tracks, both of which come with heaps of pace and energy even though they're largely swung on a half beat. "Incubus" slurs and swaggers with alien bass burps and a sprightly infrequent top melody. "Symmetry" ramps up the dance a little further with an intricate tribal percussion that builds gradually as eerie eastern, almost psy-like, pads break way into a menacing bass croak.
20 Aug 12
Played by: Juno Recommends Dubstep
Review: Biome never seems to leave the Macabre Unit Digital stable at the moment. The big question is... Is he there out of choice? Or are they keeping him prisoner because he's such a good producer? It happens all the time: when producers make such rich, dark, textured pensive riddims as Biome, they're prime victims for label kidnap. They're kept in reasonable conditions - a studio with plenty of biscuits and pop - but the label never let them out for fresh air. That way the music gets darker and moodier... like these two cuts. Supreme in their menacing make up - "Pariah" for its molasses-like bass and "Chosen" for its techno-style kickdrum shifting - these are strong signs that the label are holding Biome kidnap. But with beats this good? We'll turn a blind eye if you will...
24 Sep 12
22 Oct 12
Played by: J Courage
Review: If someone ever tells you your name is MUD, turn around and tell them you're proud to share the initials of one of dubstep's most impressive labels of 2012. Then stick your tongue out at them, don your headphones and press play on this murky mother. More like a short album than an EP, each of these six originals punch and purr with exquisite production qualities and creative arrangement ideas. The pristine percussion and teasing stop/start syndrome of "Pneumatic", the icy imagination and cold blooded riddim of "Fiend", the whomping sidechained pump of "Head Shot"... this just keeps on giving.
19 Nov 12
Review: A timely release from two of Macabre Unit Digital's regular players... Ironically, the last thing you'll get is frostbite when as you flick through your playlist folders and CD wallets, itching to tease your floor with this release. Demon serves the title track; icy and unforgiving, it lives up to its namesake in every way. Grumpy, paranoid and spooky, its well-paced half-time funk keeps the colder elements in check as we anxiously march forth into oblivion. DCult's "Sliver" is an altogether murkier affair; a sludgier riddim trips and stumbles with woozy grace as the gritty elements play a cruel game of chase with each other. Utter darkness. Just as we expect.
03 Dec 12
Review: A neat lesson in switch flipping right here as Macabre Unit Digital follow up Demon's deep n' deadly "Frostbite" with this cheek-slapping trio of grooves from New Zealand duo Perverse. The title track is a precision-built stepper that segues smoothly into a halfstep mid-way. If you're keen on squeezing more energy from your dubstep then look no further than "F King Insanity"; blustering with tight drum patterns and nagging stabs, it's hard enough to make most techno fans blush. Finally we hit "Cryosphere": leaning more towards the label's deep signature, this moody backdraft is likely to stir up all sorts of dancefloor casualties. Watch out; this "Epidemic" is likely to catch like wild fire!
17 Dec 12
Review: A splendid release here from Macabre Unit on their self-titled imprint as they bring us the first installment of Unit Jams. Opening cut "Emotional" is a grandiose instrumental arrangement with clinking piano keys for added impact and grizzled bass drones below. Progressing through the track and we have smacking snares, a hazy white noise-smothered soundscape and rattling SFX. Alongside this, "Dem Na Ready Remix" sees Macabre Unit adopt a decidedly straighter approach on a production notable for its brooding dubstep aesthetics and bubbling sub bass. "Gats" ends this tidy release from the Macabre Unit camp on a rowdy, shuffling high
11 Jan 13
Review: Macabre Unit Digital ain't messing around. Their ears are fine-tuned to some of most exciting emerging talent (Perverse, DCult, Anex), and the signing of new Danish dubster Chapta certainly isn't an exception. There's a refreshingly loose rattle to the aggy, steppy title track, giving it a raw funk even though it's darker than a submarine's basement. "Insomnia", meanwhile, thrashes about like a dog with a favourite toy. Unlike "Shadows", it's undiluted darkness with no letting up whatsoever. "Do It" completes the set with a complex polyrhythm and otherworldly pads and spiralling melodic leads.
11 Feb 13
Review: Biome's been making more frequent appearance on Macabre Unit, and he's struck gold several times over. "Black Widow" looks set to be one of his biggest to date. A pulsating, bouncing-ball bass runs amid the stark half steps that gradually develop a polyrhythmic mind of their own. "Quasar" is stripped back further again with a trippy kick that pounds a mean message directly into your temples. You can't fight it; the incessant hand drum loop will drive you into a shamanic state before you know it. "Mystery" is the hype track of the trio. Bordering into dancehall techno territory with another nagging hand drum loop, this is one relentlessly trippy beast.
25 Feb 13
Review: Where they find the time to run such a consistently on-point label and come up with so many creative new twists on the sub-frequency heavy style, we don't know. But Macabre Unit have been killing it for many years now. Hot on the heels of last month's debut volume, "Unit Jams Vol 2" strikes even bolder poses. "War Riddim" swaggers with all drama we've come to expect from the trio, "Unit Jam" rumps with an edge grime angularity, "Millennium Falcon" is more a classic electro breakbeat riddim complete with 50 shades of euphoria and "Tooth Grinder" concludes this eclectic selection with an industrial ghetto-tech groove. 10 years deep and still going strong...
25 Mar 13
Played by: Sleep Less Records
Review: So... what are your plans for judgement day? Ring an old lover and tell them you made the biggest mistake of your life? Do a jigsaw and cry a bit? Not Demon; he's going to do a lucid, sexy belly dance to a pristine polyrhythmic groove while an Eastern goddess chants yearningly in the distance. Elsewhere we zone out to "Manipulation", a slick minimal bass groove that echoes and dub-stutters with enough space for Beezy to spit his sermon. Finally "Bad Trip" concludes with a groove that still manages a funky halfstep swagger even though it's buried in spooky, paranoid atmospheres.
29 Apr 13
Review: Living up to its name, "Uncharted Territory" sees the hotly tipped Slaven make his debut on the mighty Macabre Unit Digital. Liquid darkness that drips through the speakers with half-step spookiness, it's a very well measured composition with some real funk going on in the pacy kick drums. "The Hand That Feeds" is a much more uncompromising track; stark, stripped back and riddled with a sharp, angular steppy funk, you can file it under "Hurter".