Review: Mala's Deep Medi Musik stands up to the quality test once again with this superb offering from Commodo. Kicking off with a disorientating tribal drone and soft, tripping beats pattering away like some kind of mesmerizing chant, "Uprising" is a deep, deadly riddim which just oozes late night vibes. A delicate sweep of oriental strings interjects at times along with some rumbling sub bass for power. "Saracen" too takes us on a journey into the deep, dark and dubby with warped bass groans, crisp breaks making sense of an unnerving soundscape. Excellent.
Review: Deep Medi Musik's northern correspondent Commodo truly impressed with the Commodo double pack that surfaced earlier this year, ensuring expectations are at a premium as he returns to Mala's label for a third outing. Over the course of its six years of existence to date, Deep Medi has increasingly become relied upon for those seeking out some proper 140bpm head business and Buckwild ensures standards are maintained with drums that constantly threaten to veer off grid under pressure from the densely layered, cluttered percussion and low end bass that only reveals its true power on a worthy system. There's a drunken funk to the twisted flow of the track that will appeal to many, and it's complemented by "Axis" with a tighter, metallic flex that swaggers forth as Commodo flickers between strange dubbed out refrains.
Review: Back on Deep Medi afer blowing their socks off with "Uprising" last year, on this superb self-titled EP Commodo serves up four prime cuts of pressure coming from the same meditative space that typifies the label. "Northern Soul" stalks around a choice selection of minor-key refrains while the bass comes swelling in from afar in precision fashion. "Surveillance" growls around a deadly construction of dubstep perfection, keeping the intensity high with a sound made up primarily of heavyweight percussive hits. There's no let up throughout, although "So Clear" does take a marginally less mean-spirited tone in its demeanour. For true head-nodding gutter tactics you can't fault this one little bit.
Review: What more of a Christmas present could we ask for than a new Deep Medi drop? To make it even better, they have employed the services of dubstep mastermind: Commodo, who runs riot here across two incredible original creations, packed to the rafters with original steppers flavour, into which we couldn't resist taking a bite. The first track we dip into is 'Rikers', a mystic original, stacked with inquisitive melodies and crunchy drum steps, filled with unpredictable energy and glitchy arpeggios. On the flip of this one we are greeted with more ital-energies as we tuck into 'Daytona', another absolute stomper, perfectly summarising Commodo's somehow undersung creative flare. Deep Medi have only gone and delivered yet again it seems!
Review: On his first release for Deep Medi Musik this year, Commodo taps up JME for a mean lyrical flow over the top of a typically monstrous production, making a perfect dubstep / grime crossover track in the process. JME has a blast pointing back to classic reference points from Kano and Wiley and many more in his conscious MC turn, while Commodo's beat prowls in the background with that exotic charm that has always marked out his style from the rest of the pack. There's a hooky chorus and plenty of grand stabs, and for those who just want the tune the instrumental is bundled in as well. The fact that the beat stands up on its own without any trouble says a lot about Commodo's studio prowess, which is no doubt why he continues to be a mainstay on Mala's label.
Review: Oh boy.. Three of modern bass music's finest players collide for the first in a series of collaborative long players on Deep Medi. The results - as you'd expect just reading the line-up - speak for themselves. Every artist's signatures is coded deep into the collection; Kahn's unpredictability and robustness, Commodo's grit and funk and Gantz often unfathomable depths and eastern twangs are all present as we wriggle and writhe to the detuned harmonies of "Crystal Collect", get twisted on the tripped out drum dynamic of "Kibosh" and lose ourselves in the spacious jazz-minded drums of "Unmistakeable". Truly unique.
Review: Champion of dark, tough and considered dubstep, Distance provides the latest instalment in the much loved Dubstep Allstars mix series. It's fairly typical fare from the Chestplate boss man, with tough steady rhythms underpinned by that particularly distorted kind of bassline. There are a number of highlights, most notably Commodo's "Surveillance" which has a rolling break woven into the mix. Cyrus' "Looking Back" also impresses as it purrs away with a gorgeously warm, rich synth line. The biggest surprise is probably Distance's own remix of trance bods Above & Beyond. It's certainly as 'big room' as you'd ever imagine Distance getting!
Review: Slow baked in lashings of hype and hearsay since 2013, Gantz and Commodo's remixes have long since been sought after since Commodo premiered them over two years ago. "Free Focus" gets the trippy percussive treatment from Commodo with purring block strikes and wiley wonks on the lead tones while "Buckwild" contains drum arrangements with time signatures that will perplex as much as appeal. To put the importance of this release in perspective, the vinyl releases were already fetching over L30 within a week of release.
Review: If any label is going to wrap up one of grime's biggest years to date, it's Butterz. Responsible for the genre's best parties and home to artists from Swindle to Faze Miyake to Terror Danjah, Butterz are one of the most consistent and creative grime flagbearers of the game. Reading like a who's who in grime (Big Narstie, Skepta, Flowdan, Stormzy, Wiley, D Double E, Sir Spyro, Plastician, Kano, Giggs and loads more) each of the 40 tracks remind us (if we needed reminding) just how well grime has annotated and soundtracked the year. Gully.