From the label who gave us My Nu Leng and Adam Prescott comes another super talented artist - Belgian Artroniks. Fresh from big support from the likes of Compa and J:Kenzo, he makes his Mindstep debut with five outrageously deep slices of modern day dub. From the bulbous bass bubbles of "Afterlife" to the early Orbital flavours of "Inverse" via the darker, more dungeonesque vibes of "Dissonance", this shudders and shakes with serious low-end luxury. There's nothing dissonant about this whatsoever!
Bunzero teams up with four different artists across the Darabuka EP so be prepared for a bit of an aural surprise in each track. First up it's a collab with Katya Gabeli; mournful, trembling strings introduce the cut, which is characterized by thudding, oppressed drum kicks and quirky SFX. This contrasts nicely with the Mr Jo collaboration "Chapati", an altogether more experimental piece with murmuring atmospherics and Eastern sitars that might have influenced the track title. Bunzero teams up with Kamine for the rolling, chiming title track, before he goes solo for a deep, meditative slice of soulfulness with clicks and bleeps a-plenty in "Liana". Last but not least "Metaphysical" brings the EP to a close.
K-Lone - "Rapid Eye Movement (REM)" - (4:07) 140 BPM
Karma - "Breaking Through" - (5:04) 140 BPM
Tallan - "Tahi" - (5:35) 140 BPM
Djinn - "Something You Know" - (4:46) 143 BPM
Seahorse - "To Be One" - (6:51) 141 BPM
Dubtro - "Dark Humans" - (6:03) 140 BPM
Six & Syte - "Wretch" - (6:33) 140 BPM
Soul Captive - "Survival" - (5:15) 144 BPM
Trashbat - "Your Mind" - (6:31)
DaveHoax - "Moths" - (6:02) 140 BPM
Various - "MindStep Music Presents The Compilation 2012" (continuous DJ mix by Crises) - (31:00) 140 BPM
Mindstep's movements are making deep tremors right now. Their innate understanding of deep dub, its roots and its foundations have just scored them a coalition with Leeds dub heroes SubDub (run by soundsystem killers Iration Steppas no less). Their second annual label album celebrates the this success with a far-reaching brew of spatially stretched, abyss flavoured audio. From the woozy synth wails of Djinn's "Something You Know" to the delicate piano strokes on Tallan's "Tahi" to the more club-focussed bassline drawl of Six & Syte's "Wretch", this represents the label's intricacies and depth with style and promise.
The last time we heard from Belgium's premier bass peddler Digid, he was getting all Biblical on us. This time round though, he's sticking to a template of deep reggae delivering a seven-track mini album of spaced out dubs. His production skills are fearsome with tracks like the synthy "Silky & Smooth" displaying a gleamingly pristine finish, "Righteous Soldier" incorporating a faint ska influence and the title track having a forward-looking anthemic quality.
Trashbat continues to plough his unique furrow into the ever-developing world of contemporary dub with this majestic five track adventure. "Dreaming Of Fiji" is smothered in jazzy chords and bold splashy halfstep beats, it's like an old Alex Reece record on a slo-mo tempo flex. Further on we get wild to the broken beat funk of "The Principles Of Evil Made Fresh" and the EP title track pummels with a soft jazz wheeze and a hard halfstep groove that's sprung neatly with an insistent, hypnotic wooden block. "Shine" is the jazziest of the set with its off-beat minor keys, dubbed out vocal shots and dreamy piano licks while "Ardent" brings us to a fittingly emotional climax with spell-binding atmospheres, a well-known soul-stirring vocal and major piano drama. Genuinely stunning.