Review: Hot on the heels of his debut album Duality, Gradient Audio boss returns to his and Jay Cotton's 2008 hurter "Scratching At The Air" adding heavier kicks and a lively, funkier swing to the riddim. "Let Me In" continues the drum drama with a head-turning broken beat groove and breathy pads, while "Acoustic Weapon" stalls and stumbles over industrial levels of thick, toxic bass and trembling, delicate pianos. You've done air guitar, you've air drummed until your arms fell off, now get air scratching...
Review: Genuflection: to stoop down on at least one knee as a mark of the deepest respect. Interesting title, one can only assume this is B1t's personal bow to the great gods of the sub frequency. And he's done a good job; the depth of space at play here is mesmerising, often relating closer to classical dub techniques than dubstep. Melodic, emotional and weaved tightly with atmospheric textures; cuts like the embittered "Omega" and the bowel-shuddering D&B creeper "Finite" resonate with such mournful bottom end presence, you don't know whether to stop in your tracks and pray or dance your botty off. Throw in beautiful ambient melodies like "Watermelon Achroite" and you've got a really interesting album that works in myriad contexts.
Review: According to his SoundCloud profile, Portland, Oregon's B1T CRUNCH3R is a producer, composer, sound engineer and founder of the American label Gradient Audio. This time appearing on local imprint Phantom Hertz, which is equally dedicated to to subterranean sounds of the rainy northwestern city. First track "IO" is dystopian sub level futurism from a post apocalyptic time. The intense sub bass therapy of "Callisto" is supported by some seriously sinister atmospherics and is one paranoid headtrip if we ever heard one. Finally "Europa" gets some washes of emotive pads into the mix over some intricate rhythm programming and pulsating low end frequencies, which he's proven quite competent in executing by now.
Ghast, B1t Crunch3r & The Greys - "Pleading The Zero" (B1t Crunch3r & The Greys remix) - (4:46) 140 BPM
Review: We're not sure what 'pleading the zero' means but whatever it is, it's got Ghast in a ruffled mood; crunching up groove with industrial strength machine funk and a haunted fearful cry it's a powerful slice of roughage that's so grunty it wouldn't stop to help its own mum across the road. Erstwhile collaborator B1t Crunch3r calls up Bristol's The Greys for much more of cosmic remix version with slidy guitars and star-gazing soars. Two very different sides of the dub coin, both kill it.
Review: For the uninitiated, Low Voltage is the moniker given to a series of sparse, atmospheric deep dubstep releases from the Phantom Hertz label. Here, they offer a neat overview of the series to date, picking 25 of their favourites. For those seeking clandestine, subterranean thrills, it should be essential listening. Opening with the sub-heavy minimalism of Lysergene's "Hammer Fall", Best of Low Voltage flickers between stoned paranoia, spooky intensity and off-kilter bass pressure. Picking highlights is tricky - Reamz's intoxicating "Tapeworm" aside - but there's more than enough goodness to warrant further investigation.
Review: Portland's finest bass crew follow up their Best Of Low Voltage selection with another generous whopper. And this time it's all new material. Featuring Phantom faces old and new, "The Deep End" plunges us deep into immersive sub chatter, thick foggy melodies and hypnotising riddims. Highlights include the unique staccato bass and kick drum refrain on "Nu Powah", the pneumatic minimal drum work of "Aikkido" and the more wafting, mystic groans of "Bingo". Eyes down please!