Review: As soon as you see the Night Slugs name on a new release, you know you are in for a treat, especially when you then notice Bok Bok's name following. This release is a perfect way to look into Bok Bok's ever evolving sound, as we firstly take in two alternate versions of 'Pure Shores', with the HXC mix providing an unpredictable, almost breakbeat feel, whilst the OG mix gives us a more stripped back approach. With both versions, you can almost taste the magic that has gone into making them, engulfed in stunning melodic precision and harmonic elegance.
Review: What started as a DIY club night in Camberwell grew into a decade-spanning story, involving multiple continents and a varying cast of artists. Many things change in a decade, and as 2018 finds the label's affiliated artists in different places to where they were at the beginning - there's a core family ethos in London and beyond that still binds the Night Slugs imprint. They perceive an almost entirely different club environment to their humble beginnings in '08, throwing raves at The Redstar at a time when things felt much more closed. By comparison, today they admit that club environments are more open, and they continue a new approach to DJing and eventually a new approach to production. Featuring new exclusives by label staples such as Bok Bok, Altered Natives, Hysterics and Cooly G among many others.
Review: When it comes to timeless grime anthems, there are few instrumentals that hold quite as much nostalgic currency as Silo Pass. Having received countless choppy refixes and intense reworks, it remains a staple in a large selection of grime sets to this day. With this however, funky legend Bok Bok gets stuck into a sub heavy overhaul, bringing out rolling bass tones and highly inventive chops of the original melody for a half time hit. As ever with Bok Bok, this one defies genre brackets and truly stands out with a touch of finesse.
Review: The return of the Night Slugs boss has been long-awaited and this EP is set to be his most grime informed material in years. Opening track "Island Hopping" is a sweet, pop-inflected number with punchy analogue bass and rusty beats throughout. The brightest of the bunch according to a press release, it paves the way for a darker, more down-cast narrative, in contrast to the often optimistic material heard on 2014's "Your Charizmatic Self". The EP is also described as being "built with raw 12-bit samples" with tracks inspired by and intended for DJs, MCs, radio sets and sweaty, blacked-out dancefloors.
Review: London's Night Slugs are back with their class of 2016 and if this is anything to go by, it's going to be quite the graduation party. Be prepared for some bass driven, street level, low end theories as per usual. There's Bok x Sweyn J featuring Semma on the sexy future R&B of "Good 2 U", Helix with some superb hyper-riddims on the explosive and syncopated "Funky 1irst", while label mainstays appear too, rest assured. There's Jam City with the brooding and powerful rhythm workout of "Direct Drums" and of course L-Vis 1990 with the sultry vocals of Ronika on the late night noir thriller "Sweet Spot".
Review: Bok Bok is back in action on his own label with this sprightly two-tracker featuring fresh-faced collaborator Sweyn Jupiter who is making a debut appearance on this record. The "Club Mix" of "Papaya Lipgloss" is a plush affair that revels in the sweetest chimes of melody that linger in mid-air surrounded by a pleasantly sleek rhythm section. It's a joyous affair that keeps an upbeat mood without reaching over into banality, instead letting subtle but impressive flairs of production shine through in the simple surroundings. The "Sour Mix" doesn't actually loose any of that sweetness, but rather deploys it in a more staggered, playful mix that revels in more broken drum patterns and dramatic pauses.
Review: Channeling his love of late '80s R&B productions with his futuristic production swagger, Bok Bok is back on his own Night Slugs with a slick salvo of tracks that highlight his ever-progressing skills. "Melba's Call" wraps around an impeccable vocal delivery from Kelela, firing off snappy synth hooks and sharp guitar licks with a flair that comes on like micro-boogie. "Howard" too summons the gods of electro funk, although here the Moog lines are fused with some proper UK sub busting b-lines, while "Funkiest (Be Yourself)" pares everything down to a minimal Linn Drum beat and wobbly bass. Who said you can't look backwards to move forwards?
Review: The boogie is out in force in the tricky production that Bok Bok brings to his latest effort, as a razor sharp melee of stop-start beats and hurried funk licks dart out underneath Kelela's soulful croon. It's definitely got the neon gloss that all dedicated Night Sluggers will be craving, but there's a nastiness to the crafty way that Bok Bok delivers the track that sets it apart. It's no mean feat to straddle styles like this and make it work, yet the end result sounds smooth even if the track wriggles and writhes with abandon throughout.
Review: What a line-up. Featuring the likes of Bok Bok, Teki Latex, Helix & Hrdvsion and Surkin & Todd Edwards, this compilation is an essential purchase. From claustrophobic, dead-of-night meanderings to Miami-highway cheesefests and back again, there's no style to pin down here, just a ton of excellent tunes vying for your attention. All the way from dark, insular beats to New Order/Depeche Mode-esque arms-in-the-air whirlwinds (Crystal & Ikonika - thank you), there isn't a time you'll be bored, and that's a guarantee. Get this now.
Review: With an ever-strong commitment to their very unique brand of modern electronic dance music, the Night Slugs posse are rounded up once again for a stocktake on the follow up to the successful Night Slugs Allstars compilation. It's only with a chance to reflect such as this you can appreciate the range that falls neatly into the Night Slugs remit. At one turn you can be doused in the blinding sunshine of Girl Unit's cheery electro as on "Ensemble (Club Mix)", or at the next be confronted with the staggered stab frenzy of Helix's somewhat ironically named "Drum Track". Try reaching them without being thrown by Bok Bok's 31st century grime madness or Lil Silva's hyper-kinetic throwdown of mechanical psychedelia and you might have a chance of getting a handle on the label as a whole.
Review: After the success of the original Southside EP last year, Bok Bok has called upon his mates to rework some of the lead cuts with results that stretch across the board. Sir Spyro has some filthy bass at the forefront of his playful reworking of "Silo Pass", while the horns get teased in the appropriate places to great effect. Vjuan Allure instead focuses on dry beats working around a UK Funky template, with only scattered effects left to fill in the gaps. Bok Bok's own remix of "Charisma Theme" piles the tension on high with dread strings and a snappy dispersal of percussion. L-Vis 1990 gets jacking with his take on "Reminder", leaving it to Helix to delve into a funky techno rut to conquer "Look".
Review: What's so striking about the tracklisting for Gold Panda's entry into the DJ Kicks canon is its diversity, erring towards a more stripped-down, experimental kind of techno but ranging across Drexciya, Zomby and Bok Bok. Despite this erraticism, the flow of the mix is relatively smooth to begin with, but around Christopher Rau's "Do Little", the mix drifts off into a strange and sparse minimal hinterland. By the time the wall of chords in Giuseppe Ielasi's "2" hits you, it's hard to remember where it all began. In that sense, Gold Panda has served up one of the most daring DJ Kicks compilations in a long time. Recommended.
Review: The new Crossover Series from the Sound Pellegrino crew makes for a canny and eye opening endeavour, offering the chance for like-minded producers from different paths the chance to collaborate together with the aim of "crossing the invisible bridges of the great house music archipelago". The standard for the series is set truly high on the inaugural release that sees Alex Bok Bok Sushon team up with Tom Trago for the Night Voyage Tool Kit EP. The six tracks see Trago and Sushon deliver heavily, stripped down drum trax informed by a love of Dancemania era Chicago House. At times the results are playful; see the opening track "Pathfinder" - little more than the duo checking out how pliable the rubbery analogue tone at the core is, with drums stripped down to a hissing undercurrent. More structure is evident on the skeletal "White Type R", which slowly unfurls into compressed head jack material, though that playful sense of melody creeps through intermittently. As the EP progresses, the overarching feeling you get from this release is two producers becoming increasingly comfortable working together - see how the vocoder led "Time Master" unexpectedly bursts into a percolating 23rd century p-funk out. It's obviously just the start of much more from the duo, with Trago revealing the duo will continue their Night Voyage endeavours in some shape or form.
Review: Bok Bok has played a significant role in reinvigorating the contemporary bass music scene with the unique brand of neon-tinged grime/dubstep/house purveyed on the Night Slugs imprint he runs with L-Vis 1990. It's strange then to think that he hasn't graced the NS label with any original material of his own until now, but the Southside EP delivers on the hype and expectation that preceded the release. Kicking off with "Charisma Theme", it's all swirling, hazy atmospherics and taught chiming for the first part. Immediately demanding attention, the hollow thumping kicks of the intro swiftly build into a clipped, rolling riddim with clapping beats and quirky, fidgeting melody and undulating b-line below. "Hyperpass", up next, is a much deeper, darker beast, with ominous dread vocal, a dubbed out soundscape, the sound of rainfall and urgent, insistent beats pumping out menacingly. Moving on, "Reminder" is all hissing hats and searing snares, coupled with lassoing synths and a simple, repetitive bleepy melody. Then, there's "Silo Pass" with its scythe sharpening intro, and distant voices, weighty subs and rattling SFX, before grime-infused half step smasher "Look" concludes the EP, with poised and understated prowess.