Review: We have a very tasty selection here to sink our teeth into as 2TUF4U continue a highly successful run of original UKG drops. This latest offering comes to us from garage heavyweights Groove Skool, a production outfit known for their incredibly vibrant arrangements and colourful melodic structures, always delivering a scrumptious final product. This collection sees them lay down twelve bumping originals, with guest features including DJ Shockwavz, Craig James, Carpenter Man, Gravy Groovers and more, all adding their own unique elements to the blend with some fantastic vocal sprinklings. For us, the highlights have to include the laid-back yet super catchy twists of 'Say Yeah', featuring the wonderful Ten Levels, along with the old school shuffling chops of 'Burning Up' alongside 2Fuddha and of course the dancefloor ready chord movements of 'Inner Groove', featuring additional work from DJPS. It's a wicked selection to say the least, as 2TUF4U deliver yet again!
Review: Next up from Al Wootton, we see him unveil his latest LP, showcasing his eccentric yet delicate approach to bass music down to an absolute t. We kick off with a look at 'Come Close', which gives the classic dancehall triplet rhythm an electronic update, before the warbling synthesizer throws and minimal drum clicks of the title track 'Witness' arrive in style. Next, 'Gloamer' combines bouncy drum patterns with reverberated atmospheric pressure to deliver a spacey experience, followed by the sub-busting basslines and nostalgic chord flexes of 'Over' alongside the high tempo drum expressions of 'Sema'. From here we then take in the meditative delays and pounding rhythms of 'A Clean Heart' followed by the darkened breakbeat rolls of 'Starlite Xpress' before finishing up with the groovy rhythmic twists of 'Cephas'. What a project this is!
Review: As one of the leading forces in worldwide bass music, AC Slater returns to his home imprint of Night Bass to unveil a fabulous selection of remixes, working directly off his critically acclaimed 'Hi8' album project. The line up is spicy to say the least, with the likes of Flava D, Sammy Virji, DALCO, NuKid, CID and more all getting involved for one the biggest remix projects bass music has ever seen. The two real standouts for us come from two brits however, as Bushbaby's colourful relick of 'Attitude' from AC & Taiki Nulight immediately catches our ears, alongside Drinks On Me's smooth and well thought out overhaul of 'Every Pigeon Is a Dove', featuring the wonderful vocal layers of Murkage Dave.
Review: Despite their incredibly consistent catalogue, it feels like Roska Kicks & Snares as an imprint has become even more special over the past year or so, with every new release levelling up the labels output. For their next selection, we see them welcome MOTU for a vibrant 8 track selection simply entitle 'Motu Collection', showcasing his quite frankly outstanding skillset, jam-packed with rhythmic gems left right and centre. From the wavy bass manoeuvres of 'Screwball' to the more carnival style drum work of 'Yeah Riddim' and stripped percussive magnificence of 'KCU', MOTU well and truly has UK funky covered. We also wanted to send a nod to the vocal collaborations on this one, as Nico Lindsay returns in fine from on 'Have To Know' alongside Killa P's electric performance on 'Tek Weh' and the mega collaborative flavours of 'Move', featuring PRM Project, DJ Polo, Roska & Blase Vanguard.
Review: If we were to give an award for label of the year based entirely on consistency, it would be hard to see Four40 not running away with it as they finally round off what has been an untouchable year with one last killer compilation. Royal Flush takes the role of compiler on this one, pulling in some scorchers from the likes of Soulecta, ZeroFG, Jack Junior, Tuff Culture, Earthnut and of course Royal Flush himself. There are a couple of tracks here we feel really hold their own amongst a stacked line up, with Pavv's classic sounding '3210' being one of them, alongside 'Guilty Twitches' from Ozwald and the choppy vibes of 'Love Is Coming' from the legendary EL-B.
Review: Redlight isn't messing around, that's for damn sure. The Bristolian has already released on Mercury and Polydor, two major majors, and now he's back up on Lobster Boy with a new album! The "Intro" sets the scene perfectly to an LP that explores the various shades of house and club music, a start that falls neatly into a funky, seductive bassline house number in "Gold Teeth". "Lessons" offers listeners a bit more of a classic house sound, while cuts such as "Lion Jungle" - which features none other than Prodigy - verge onto more UK-centric, hip-hop-filtered sounds, and others like "Threshold" drop us into pop / r&b territories. The latter is particularly suited to radio playback, and it's no wonder why this guy has been released on such big labels.
Review: Earthtrax is a straight up wicked project, there is no doubting that. This latest project however sees them push the boat out even further as they bring in Birthmark and Eusebeia across 8 tracks of future garage and UK bass, making for quite the compilation. We firstly hear the groovy garage twists of 'Hedron', the minimalist horn stabs of 'Polygon' and the spacey drum rolls of 'Like Her' from Birthmark. This is then followed by Eusabia's more moody production styles on 'Demystify', the rolling drums of 'Truthseekers' and the stunning soundscaping of 'Balance The Elements'. We also hear a wicked skippy flip of 'Like Her' from Eusebeia, along with a very techy re-think of 'Truthseekers' from Birthmark. Very tidy stuff indeed!
Review: A bold statement from Focuz, this collection of smooth house cuts from Brother marks the second edition of his Cold Shoulder series. Taking crisp production and mixing it with his trademark magpie-like sampling, the album spans from lounge electronica in the tone of Air or Royksopp to harder footwork and dubstep-influenced rhythms. It's a unique and experimental collection of tracks - intriguing but accessible. Top tune: "Lucid Lux".
Review: Cru-Cast is the music platform that has rapidly expanded into the world of events, with a focus on raucous basslines across bassline, D&B and more, it's been shelling venues up and down the UK for a couple of years now. The label side is part of the same offensive and Bru-C is the soldier in command today, a grime MC who can flip between genres easier than more, a skill he shows off here on his debut LP Original Sounds. 'Snakes & Ladders' featuring Bou and Ella Knight is a highlight for sure, as the potent Bou maintains his usual prowess but this time on a lighter tip, Ella's vocals coming into play in a sick way and Bru-C's bars tying the whole thing together a flourish. Skepsis makes an appearance, as do Jamie Duggan, Chromatic, Simula and more.
Review: What a crazy trip it's been for AC Slater. Having bubbled away in all kinds of genres from hardcore to electro in the 2000s, having set up Night Bass just two years ago, he's created a distinctive and hugely successful sound that's so distinctive it's often described as the Night Bass sound. With his debut album Outsiders he galvanises and develops the sound even more as he ranges from the classic bass burping UK influenced jackers we know and love him for ("Ring The Alarm", All About The Paper", "Dope Slinger") to a much more soulful, sensual palette and flexes his deeper side ("Take Off", "Come Back") With splashes of UK garage ("Another You") and total alien grit ("Jaws"), this is the Night Bass bossman really digging into his own sound, his own crew and his movement.
Taiki Nulight & Cause & Affect - "What You Gonna Do" - (4:11) 127 BPM
Villan Dub - (3:49) 127 BPM
Review: Within the UK Bass scene, there are few who can be held in higher acclaim that Brighton's own Taiki Nulight, who has been at the forefront of bass music for pretty much the entirety of the scene's modern existence. This album showcases everything that the man is about, from the UKG inspired flavours of the title track 'Murky Manor', to the more futuristic and experimental stylings of 'Iconic', alongside Dread MC. Other highlights include the circular percussive movements of the 'The Business', the tearout tones of 'Primal' and of course the three high profile collaborations alongside fellow bass heavyweights: AC Slater, Chris Lorenzo and Cause & Affect.
Review: It's been a long time coming, but after a long run of exciting single drop, Night Bass founder and all around dance music legend: AC Slater lands on his home imprint for a brand new album project. The project features the previously released single 'Final Fantasy' but as a club mix alongside a bag of incredible collaborative additions, including Dread MC, Jay Robinson, Chris Lorenzo, Murkage Dave, Taiki Nulight and more. With twelve tracks of the highest quality, AC has really set the bar super high, with particular highlights including the high energy collaboration with Jack Beats, Sinden and Flowdan entitled 'Boss Like That', along with the tasty house tones of 'Feeling Awake'.
Review: Wow, what a run it has been for the Night Bass team who hear touch down with their one hundredth official release, celebrating one of the most exceptional catalogues within the entire bass music spectrum. They have pulled together an exquisite line up for this one, featuring a tonne of high end names, including founder AC Slater alongside Chris Lorenzo, Flava D, Shift K3y, Jack Beats and more. For us there are a couple of clear stand outs on this one, the first of which has to be the long awaited release of Taiki Nulight and Dread Mc's bassy roller: 'Kush'. We also love the smooth subby bops of Sinden's 'Work That', along with the incredibly unique drum work of 'Ugly' from Petey Clicks.
Review: Australian bass expert Juzlo comes correct with his debut long player. Dance-designed darkness that nods at grime, garage, house, breakbeat and D&B, it covers all bases with demonic detail. Highlights include the late 90s UKG/early grime stepper "Bubble Gum", the cosmic contemporary D&B jam that is "Times Past", the unique Black Strobe/8-bit theatrics of "Twiss Up" and the broken glass two-step of "Dead Over Here". These are just a small selection of highlights from an impressive collection. Pay attention.
Review: Having slayed the year to pieces across labels such as Punks, Southpoint, U Wot Blud, Articulate, Northern Line and many more, Daze Prism returns to his spiritual home Project Allout for his debut LP. A back to back bruiser scenario; every cut is tailored for the dance as he explores that dank and fizzy area between house, bassline, UKG and breaks. Highlights can be found in every banger but moments that really grab you by the privates include the shimmering rising chords on "Find Your Way", the twisted soul and false sense of security on the soul-lashing stepper "Grind", the savage bassline textures and alien glitches on "Stars" and the over-whelming organ majesty on the finale "Yoshi". These are just the tip of the iceberg. Go Flux yourself.
Review: We are very pleased to see the Project Allout camp making an exciting start to 2019 here as they unveil this mega drop from the combustible combination of Russia's Creep N00m and Cardiff's own Dubzta. The pair combine over the course of 10 crazy creations, kicking off with explosive sounds of 'Trailing Point' and Dubzta's skippy sensation 'White Label'. These lively themes continue across the unpredictable eski stabs of 'Lanksy', the swampish textures of 'Riddick' and the hard hitting drum rhythms of 'Sleep Experiment'. The pair gets busy throughout remixing each others work also, providing us with an extremely tasty selection.
Mansions (Krust's Recalculation of Mansions) - (7:22) 116 BPM
Mansions (Ossie remix) - (5:44) 127 BPM
Review: Giles Peterson's Brownswood can never be pinned down to any particular genre, bar that of simply good music. Here we find the label at its most club-ready as Anushka unleashes her inner late '90s garage head with this house-shredding vocal bass cut. Dark, dangerous but sweeter than a candy floss farm, it's likely to see a lot of action at festivals and boat parties this summer. For added weight Bristol D&B don Krust reminds us of his stark, futuristic fusionist skills with droning bass and sheet metal beats and Ossie flips the broken beat message of the original with a jacking, chop-slapping 4/4 technique. Mansion-tearingly massive.
FABRICLIVE 59: Four Tet (continuous DJ mix) - (1:15:19) 129 BPM
Review: The Fabriclive series maintains its fine run of form with Four Tet's eagerly anticipated inclusion into the canon. Stitching together field recordings of the club itself, ambient tracks from Michel Redolfi and David Borden, a selection of lost, dusty UK garage from the likes of Persian and Crazy Bald Heads and recent productions from Burial and Floating Points, it's not so much a DJ set as an impressionistic rendition of Hebden's own memories of clubbing itself. Considering the fact that Hebden's own productions are usually so saturated in melody, it's a relatively dark mix, dominated by murky bass tones and sharp, brittle beats, with a constantly shifting sense of urgency that encourages rapt attention throughout. The stellar mix is capped off with two brand new Four Tet tracks, "Pyramid" and "Locked", which only seek to highlight his growing ability to produce devastating club tracks.