Downtempo and chill-out masters Bent return on sparkling form with this latest EP for Ministry of Sound. Whereas "I Remember Johnny" rocks a jaunty loop that slowly and brilliantly becomes smothered in soft pad chords, "Invisible Pedestrian" owes much more to jazz - breaking down into a killer, raw drum solo at one point before the cloudy keys come back into the mix. Even more wistful and tear-jerking though is the cinematic "Winter", which eschews beats altogether in favour of dubby twinkling textures and swooping strings reminiscent of the seminal Irresistible Force mix of Coldcut's "Autumn Leaves".
CLS - "My Lost Paradise" (feat Eveline) - (5:16) 142 BPM
There's a joke going round the internet about us mere humanoids confusing alien messages as music. Those alien messages are, of course, dubstep. Naturally it's erroneous, and actually quite distressing for the dedicated producers behind the contemporary global club phenomenon, but if it was true, then the The Sounds Of Dubstep Darker 2 would be aliens swearing and saying all sorts of nasty stuff about people's mums. Yup, tracks like Rockwell's warped-but-wonderful wonk-out take of Netsky's "Come Alive" and Koan Sound's trippy timestretches of Danny Byrd's "We Can Have It All" are so filthy they'd make Frankie Boyle blush. 30 offensive pieces of bass science, compiled with commendable attention to detail, this adds a whole dimension to the word rude...
If you don't know Syron yet, think La Roux but with a better haircut. Her delivery is very similar - cute-but-powerful and clearly one that works with myriad electronic beats. Hackman's deep house take works perfectly against her soft tones while Wilkinson's edgy, saw-toothed bass-laced dubstep pays the same compliment but in an entirely different way. Tom Flynn finishes this neat package with his own brew of jacking, bass-laced house. All boxes ticked, there's something here for everyone.
Hot on the heels of Ministry Of Sound's killer future bass album, we now get a further 66 'speaker blowing basslines' that we're sure to get familiar with over the next few months. Highlights include Disclosure's warped version of the Artful Dodger' "Please Don't Turn Me On", the sparse soul of Woz's "Spoons" mix, Huxley's jackin take on Maxxi Soundsystem's "Stella's Way" and Wideboy's bonkers electro-disco anthem "Stars".