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21 Jan 13
Review: More commonly found throwing down dubstep variations, Biome indulges his techno side on this appearance for adventurous Manchester imprint Mindset. "Spawned" is a minimal cut of the most stripped order, focusing on finely honed layers of relentless rhythm that sport a depth that belies the producer's dubstep roots. "Driveway" is more animated, working snatches of melody, bass grind and haunting pads into a dextrous mixture, while "Conscience" heads into a more mellow territory with a half step beat and lingering melodics of a more soundtrack-friendly persuasion. It's a diverse EP that displays the versatility this accomplished artist has under his command.
29 Oct 12
Review: Manchester's Mindset raised ears with key debut releases from the likes of XXXY and Indigo, and now hope to do the same with one from their old buddy Elsewhere. It's an immaculately produced release, clearly made by a perfectionist. "Trippin" is sparse, dark and hypnotic, while "Bott Bott", with its tropically tinged beats and duelling, twisted vocal chops, is livelier but no less dark: a big, oppressive end-of-the-world bassline arrives mid-way through the tune. Finally "The Espers" draws the curtains with some seriously doomy half-step garage wrapped in a cloak of serial killer atmospherics.
27 Aug 12
UK Funky/UK Garage
Review: The debut release from Canadian producer HxdB shows him to have a keen ear for forward thinking dubstep with subtle garage influences. "Prism" takes a 2-step arrangement and refracts the surrounding light with its crystalline synths, while "Macro Modular" is a frenetic cut filled with rapid percussive fills, and raw analogue grunt. Finally "Showdown at the Cinema" combines Shackleton style atmospherics and reversed Eastern melodies with some churning low end before topping things off with some a lush strings arrangement and melancholic jazzy keys.
20 Aug 12
Review: Under the moniker Indigo, Manchester producer Liam Blackman has carved out his own niche with his unique take on dubstep and drum and bass. In keeping with his claim that melancholy music resonates with him the most, "Set To Cycle", is a moody track that manages to combine haunting, sparse garage beats with trancey synths. Up next, "Let It Rain", features harder, dubby beats, electro squeals and doomy dubstep bass.
07 Feb 10
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20 Aug 12
Review: This forward-thinking Bristolian (aka Joe Cowton) has been building up a name for himself over the last few years thanks to his genre-blending productions under such monikers as Narcosist and most notably Kowton. On "Sunblind" he explores the rarely charted waters where dub, bass and UK funky meet with evocative results. "Slow" is a moody slow-burner complete with haunting atmospherics wafting around a stark drum n bass soundscape. His own remix of "Frontier Dub" is a linear garage workout: deep and dubby with real swing.
03 Sep 12
Review: As his game steadily increases with output on all manner of high-profile labels, it's high time that one of Synkro's highlights from last year makes its way on to digital. "Look At Yourself" is a perfect slice of horizontal 2-step, with clattering drums replaced by shimmering pops and clicks, while the keys and pads blur into one perfectly ambient haze. "Girl" likewise belies Synkro's knack for moody blue synths, but also packs a wriggling acid line that cuts through the mellow tones. "Its" rounds the easy-going styles off nicely with a low-slung groove and more of the finely diced RnB vocals that are sprinkled across the whole EP.
06 Aug 12
Played by: Asc
Review: The shadowy duo known as Szare take the focus off techno and concentrate on an off-beat approach. The title track sets the tone, with stepping rhythms and dubby, phased chords drifting in and out. It would be a mistake however to assume that Dust is identical to all the other techno artists 'doing bass'. The title track is also infused with jittery percussive whirrs, ticks and rattles, while it progresses to reveal a brooding filtered build. "Leaning Towers of Concrete" has a slowed down rhythm that comes across as gloopy and muffled, but whose underbelly features gltchy percussive daggers. "Voce" however wins the prize for most innovative arrangement - with its rolling toms, stoner vibes and tablas, it sounds like Trans-Global Underground doing dubstep.