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13 May 13
Review: While the cover artwork may make Benton look like a moody former member of an R&B boy band, the music contained on Reflections is as robustly underground as you'd expect. Moving from Burial-ish paranoid atmospherics to deep dubstep-soul via a series of sparse, moody and emotion-rich soundscapes, it portrays the London-based producer as a man for whom the simple pleasures of form and function are just not enough. Along the way, there are growling, murky floorfillers (check the hissing "Herman's Hideout" and "Defect Mind"), dubwise steppers ("20/20 VIP") and occasional blasts of piano-laden beauty (the intricate "We're Both Lost").
04 Feb 13
Review: Fresh from vibing with the likes of Beezy and Hatcha, Surge slides back with a slick solo quartet that runs the gamut from raw club stompers to radio-ready crooners. "Voices" falls in the latter category, a dreamy weeper ghosted by the delicate vocals of Pyxis, it's not far off a Kosheen joint, just a tad on the darker side. Looking for a proper club thumper? Check the dirty beats and bass drama on "Ctrl Alt Delete" and the fittingly titled "Painsday". "Toys" finishes the set with string plucked menace and an industrial strength funk to the half-step stomp. Brutal.
15 Oct 12
Review: Prepare to get down and dirty with this next release from Laxx on the always excellent, decidedly rambunctious dubstep imprint Wheel & Deal, headed up, as it is, by reputed bad man N-Type. First up is "Computer Virus" with its smashing snares, stabbing beats and relentless bassline-driven energy. Grating subs and synths add further malice to this nasty cut. Accompanying this is "Sounds Of The Universe" with its ominous sweeping atmospherics in the intro, giving way to an aggressive slab of tech-y dubstep with snarling snares, grizzled mid range and growling SFX a-plenty. Definitely dangerous - approach with caution.
30 Jul 12
Played by: C Tek
Review: Hotly tipped dubstep outfit Soap Dodgers go in hard with this next release on Wheel & Deal. N Type has certainly picked them out as a new talent to watch and the "Unleashed EP" unveils why. The title track gets things off to a grouchy start with low slung bass, searing subs and bubbling SFX. "Water Landing" continues the eeriness with reverberating beats, smashing snares and muffled vocals, while "Strobes" is a little more outspoken with scintillating synths dancing around recklessly and stabbing beats keeping the pace below. Finally, "Twister" brings things to a moody, murky close. Good stuff.
02 Jul 12
Review: Expect vociferous bass-in-your-face, dark, wobbly dubstep to be emitted from the Tunneling Wurm EP by Widowmaker on N-Type's Wheel & Deal imprint. The title track is a menacing little number, with a creepy intro, in which the sounds seem to reverberate as if they are rolling around in a long, dark tunnel. Smacking snares pierce the soundscape and slowly the tune grows into existence with warm instrumental sweeps and a sense of the unknown. "Forgotten Ruin" is a dark, throbbing dubstep riddim with punishing subs and a plodding swagger driving things forward before "Exile" marks the end of the EP with a dramatic close.
25 Jun 12
Played by: Sparxy
Review: Label boss and dubstep don N Type steps up with partner in crime Surge for the next release on his own label, Wheel & Deal. Bass heads, you're in for a treat, as this EP unfolds we are exposed to such glorious, sonorous offerings as opener "September Sun" with a beautiful, impassioned vocal courtesy of Pyxis. Following this up is synth-soaring "Mega-Tron" with its grizzled, wobbly beats and scintillating melodies, as well as "Triangles" which goes darker and deeper, with dubbed out sounds, ominous movie samples and smashing snares. Finishing up with a "Zombie Apocalypse", this piece marks the end of a top-notch release.
18 Jun 12
Review: The fantastically named Crushington (apparently it's his real name!) makes his debut on N-Type's Wheel & Deal and it's not to be missed. Well, you can't miss it to be honest; "Chug" is a heavyweight hybrid of such monstrous proportions it could flatten a whole block of flats. Switching from 4/4 to halfstep with a relentless rusty riff this will cause commotions wherever you play it. Looking for something a little lighter? Then head for "Cheshire Cat"; the epitome of funky dubstep, this sways on a beautifully syncopated swing, leads with a ridiculously cheeky lead line before dropping into a jaunty bass Q&A session and some rather suave keys. Get crushing!
04 Jun 12
Review: Encapsulated carnage from the Gangoon Dubz head honcho as he steps up to the controls at Wheel & Deal. As the title suggests, "Destroy" is a bonafide head twister that wallops away on a dancehall rhythm, weaving and bobbing with sprightly high-end squeals and sneezes. Further on in the release we find the long-awaited VIP mix of "Computation". With more 8-bit blasts than a ZX Spectrum orgy, this doesn't let up for one second. Best used as a gear-shift in a dubstep set, or played deep in the mix of something more eclectic and tropical, both cuts on offer here kick royal booty. Get destructive!
21 May 12
Played by: Jay Cunning (Sub Slayers), Juno Recommends Breakbeat, Ez Icarus, Turntable Actor Chloroform, North Base
Review: Oh boy! Dropping the dubstep for this special release, N-Type's Wheel N Deal head back to 1992 with this killer double header. "Ruffneck" leads from the front with a nagging synth hook and classic breakbeats that come complete with the obligatory 'yeah/wow' vocal snippets on the ones and threes. Meanwhile "Acid Flashback" takes us to a much darker place with a riff made entirely of vicious hoover stabs and a neck-snapping rhythm and energy. Both wouldn't have sounded out of place in a classic Slipmatt or Ellis Dee set back in the day... And they're not likely to sound out of place in your set either. Timelessly massive.
26 Mar 12
Review: A veritable homecoming for Killawatt, whose breakthrough release came out on Wheel & Deal. After a few dark dalliances with Boka, New Moon and Box Clever, he's returned to N-Type's roost with three mean missions that will tickle many a bass monkey's tastebuds. Lead track "71" is as brooding as it gets; we're talking total sonic fog with an invigorating aftertaste of impending dread. "Rolling Dunes" adds a splash of light thanks to almost eastern-informed synth sounds and tricky drum patterns. As for the finale "Topio"? Let's just say if we had our way, he'd change his name to KillaWHAT? Deadly.
19 Mar 12
Review: N-Type's Wheel & Deal imprint dishes up something a bit different here as SFR steps up with tribal, oriental influenced piece "Vha Venda". The title track kicks off with a tribal patter of drums, eerie crying vocals and a bleepy Redlight-esque rhythm, with bleepy melody dancing over the top. Smashing snares add a sense of aggression as the piece develops into a bass line driven, heads down, hoods up slice of badness. The accompanying "Nci Nci" continues the journey with a funky, upbeat tone full of glitch slurps and bleeps and a fun, catchy beat.
13 Feb 12
Review: Out on N-Type's Wheel & Deal imprint, London duo Soap Dodgers build on their recent support from Skream and Youngsta with these two new tracks. The huge, kuduro-rhythmed "Rachel Went South" is perfect for spinners who like to rise up into the 140bpm zone and proves a very solid worker with some scratchy bleeps and thick kicks keeping every second thrilling. On the flip, the equally sharp "Belly" dips low for a polyrhytmic half-step snare but keeps the adrenaline pumping thanks to plenty of itchy 808 hits and addictive acapella shots.
30 Jan 12
Review: Surge steps up for a truly excellent release on N-Type's Wheel & Deal. Proper, bonafide dubstep is the aim of the game here, with an ominous, atmospheric intro with gloomy pads and cooing vocal element adding a warm glow to the otherwise bleak outset. A shimmy of synths, bass wobbles and souped up synths kick in and the dreamy, breathy vocal courtesy of Pyxis floats atop. Next up, Surge goes solo in "Swaying Mantis" which is all lurching rhythms, grinding synths, weighty bass flavours and understated menace.
12 Dec 11
Review: Benton steps up with a powerful, pounding release on the mighty Wheel & Deal, which of course, is owned by none other than dubstep don N-Type. Title track "Wormholes" is all thumping drums and echoing bass wobbles with punishing sub bass pressure to add further weight to the madness. Accompanying this is the aptly entitled "Sleepless" which is all insomnia-driven beats, yearning synths, tense hi-hats, eerie SFX and a steady, pummelling wave of bass.
21 Nov 11
Review: Truth teams up with Decoda and Dutty Ranks in turn for a stunning release on N-Type's legendary Wheel & Deal. "The Emperor" is every bit as grand and imposing as its namesake, with snapping snares, grizzled synths and smashing blocks of bass, all underpinned by a chilling wavering cry and a rousing guitar riff which draws you in and pulls you to the dancefloor. "Calling You Back" is a much more gentle venture, with lilting beats, soothing atmospherics, broken only by the groaning bassline and rumbling sub bass below. Highly recommended.
26 Sep 11
Played by: Epitome
Review: Fresh out of West London, rising new talent Soap Dodgers come up with a couple of corkers on N-Type's seminal Wheel & Deal imprint. "No 6" is rumbling, weighty journey that channels that classic Hatcha and N-Type sound. Twinkling SFX add melody to an otherwise low-end work out with dragging b-line and bellowing subs. Drum kicks are heavy and loaded and the breakdown is surreal and futuristic. "Drum Roll" naturally lives up to its title, with thudding drum beats, spaced out atmospherics and disorientating bass wobbles adding even more thunderous weight to the piece. Definitely worth checking if you like your bass gnarly!
12 Sep 11
UK Funky/UK Garage
Played by: Bookz (First City), DJ Cable, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, J-Wow (Buraka Som Sistema)
Review: Following a great run of house/dubstep bangers that have seen big love from Skream, Benga, Toddla T, Redlight and more, UK producer Dismantle effortlessly kills it with these two new tracks on Wheel & Deal. "Computation" is a pacey, upfront bass classic in the making, with retro synth shots riding a Dutch-style beat, while "Word Dance" carries on in the same vein with some slowly rising, pitch-shifted vocals over a Buraka Som Sistema-style beat. Anyone feeling Crookers latest Dr.Gonzo output will definitely want to get hold of this pronto.
05 Sep 11
Review: N Type's Wheel & Deal camp finally, finally drop Benton's killer "20/20"! The cinematic creeper has been racking up views on YouTube since the turn of 2011, and it's not hard to see why the clamour for release is there. Steadily building from its misty beginnings "20/20" excels at subtly combining stripped down steppah riddims with cavernous bass with sly ripples of spectral utterings and scraping echoed synth lines. The flip borrows more than the title from the mid 70s Connery classic Zardoz, lifting the iconic speech from the godlike figurehead central to the film and dropping it amidst a perma snapping purple tinged half step face screwer!
22 Aug 11
Review: Simply a blinding tune, Kutz continues the recent proliferation of jungle-inspired beats on "Superman", which has at its core an epic rinse-out of the Amen break on a dubstep vibe. After a long-winding, arpeggio gurgling intro, a huge snare announces the arrival of a manic, post-jungle beat which gets bolstered by a mean rising bassline and some vocal cuts thrown in. It's enormous, and bound to become a DJ favourite, while "Spontaneous" on the flipside is similarly gonzoid, this time on a stripped-down and militant twisted half-step tip with lots of creepy flange effects added to the beautiful synth flow.
25 Jul 11
11 Apr 11
Review: A classic Wheel & Deal release here; expect the same punishing b-lines, aggressive swagger and low-end pressure as you would any Hatcha or N Type release, times the power of ten. Tongue in cheek aliases of god-knows-who, Brook Benton takes on the challenge with "New Ro Phen" - a decidedly dark little nugget, with whomping bass, scattering percussion and a cruelly disorientating atmosphere, constantly under threat from crushing mid range tremors. The hilariously entitled "Smash That Badger" ups the ante, with terrifying bass grimaces and smacking razor sharp snares hissing around the hefty, thudding chug of the tune.
28 Mar 11
Review: Recently relocated to Bristol from Hungary, Peter Simon, aka DJ Madd, makes his debut on N-Type's Wheel & Deal imprint. First up, "Battle" pairs a crackly yet menacing vocal sample threatening "I can offer you a battle" with thwacking drum kicks and moody SFX. It stays, lurking around the sample, glowering bassline in tow for the duration - straight up late night/early morning dancefloor business, no question. "Secrets" is a bit more disconcerting; with a sparse intro, it boasts a syncopated rhythm, and a more fidgeting template of snares which is both deeply unnerving and infectious. Promising stuff here from Madd.
14 Mar 11
Played by: Trex
Review: Growling, menacing, downright filthy half step business here from LX One aka Joker D. "You", released on N-Type's Wheel & Deal imprint, is characterised by bone shuddering levels of sub bass and smouldering atmosphercs - and the mid section drop is ridiculous! Next up the ticking, creaking intro of "Give It Up" leads you gently into mayhem marked by pin prick bleeps and more of that sweet sweet bass. Big release.
19 Apr 10
Review: Out on N-Type's Wheel & Deal label, two futuristic takes on dubstep that really push boundaries and go out on a limb with devastating effect. Flux Pavilion's "Meathead" is a dirty mash-up of filtered distortion and space launch sound effects that juggles rhythms between a slow, almost Skwee-like half-step and an uptempo, synth-laden stomp. J Sweet's "Bass Abuse" is another smart and sophisticated dose of razor sharp snares and some classic sinewave synth sounds.
06 Jul 09