Certified Sickness & MC Element - "Spit Venom" - (5:12) 178 BPM
Review: Badman brinkmanship as the Lay Low legend Certified Sickness delivers his debut album. Poking and prodding and turning every stone of the scene, it's an accomplished exercise in all-style junglism: the dancehall grit of "How We Party", the scatty computer paranoia of the title track, the extreme filth of the sexytime gyal dem shout out "Drum & Bass Girls", the unique tubular tones of the anvil bass on "Monster", the classic goosebump-inducing synths on "Dancing Shoes"... Shucks, there's even time for some off-piste tempo flexing on the frankly titled "House Music". Call the doctor.
Review: Good 4 Nothing bossman Complex steps over to Macky Gee's Down 2 Earth with five uncompromising bass brutalisers. No surprises; just consistent grit, aggression and sheet metal dynamics. Highlights include the rough course sandpaper bass scrubs of "Outsider", the tungsten tip spikes on "My World", the Hazardist wasp bass and turbo timpani of "Mad Dog Killers" and the strange, genuinely unique tubular effects on the bassline of "Rumours". Utter filth.
Review: G13 regular and Good 4 Nothing bossman takes up temporary residence at Spectre Audio with two grizzly jump-up cuts. Both served with a twist and - as always - some seriously unique big screen sampling grabbing, neither cut falls into the paint-by-numbers trap. "Madman"'s character comes from a strange harmonic metallic tone in the bass lick while "No Relief" has an almost jazzy feel to the intro's drums before the drop plunges four scales lower than you expect it too. Crafty and well crafted.
Review: Complex wants to take us on a journey and with a reputation and track record as strong as his, we ain't gonna argue with him. Across six tracks he shows the sights and sounds of his sonic landscape; the undulating hills of roller county on the stripped back "Journey", "Beyond" is the playground where we bounce, leap and scrap with unabashed mischief, "Phantasm" is the trippy hippie neighbourhood where sounds spook, freak and twist themselves inside out with dark funk. Elsewhere "Complex Technique" takes us on a tour of the dark alleys and gives us the battering we don't want but deserve while "Ain't Right" is the opera house quarter where the focus is on nothing but drama. And for his final trip "White Walkers", Complex chucks us off a cliff with nothing but broken glass bass to break the fall. Happy travels!
Review: Longstanding jump-up merchant and Good 4 Nothing bossman Complex comes barging into your summer with another sledgehammer selection. "Anubis" hits with a bassline that's impossible not to compare to early Clipz. All whistling and fierce but funky, you'll be kicking yourself in the anu(bi)s if you don't pick up on this quickly. Highlights punch and bump every twist thereafter... The plucked note riff on "Real", the melting bass textures on "Ask Frank", the show-stopping wobbles of "Legohead" and the iron skank damager "Sneak Attack" all hit serious spots.
Review: Some questions can't be solved through basic logical procedures: like how do those subs rumble with so much room on "Enigma"? Why do those harps on "Suffer" make us melt inside? And how come no law enforcer has arrested the bassline on "Trust Nobody" for being so murderous? Other questions posed throughout this complex Complex compendium include how many slabs of concrete can "Vault Dweller" melt in one go? And what the deuce was running through Dominator's mind when he twisted up "What Are You" with such grizzly, venomous bass? Any questions?
Review: Complex is backing it up over on Subway Soundz with a tight sounding single. 'Back It Up' featuring Decoy on the mic has, admittedly, some slightly questionable lyrics but they definitely fit well with the spirit of the tune: a dark, moody stepper that doesn't care about rules and certainly doesn't care about feelings. The main bass on this tune oozes quality and packs some serious weight, reminiscent of the Souped Up crew. 'Impulse' is slightly less crazy and thereby lacks some of the sophistication but, nevertheless, packs a nice little punch and also smacks of Souped Up sounds. Tasty bits here.
Review: Landing on the imitable Subway Soundz once more is Complex, a producer with an ability to pack in raw, unadulterated rage into a set of dastardly arrangements and hellish soundscapes, while wrapping it all up in an urban-tinted, jump-up package. Subway Soundz know how to curate, basically. This release is one for the jump up heads who don't like things screechy and overdone, but instead murky and rough. Picture old school Sub Zero, basically. That's what Final Space is, with punishing bass stabs and a driving feel of intent and purpose. Foggy takes things in a more modern, KoTR direction but maintains that roughness - big single.
Review: Complex returns to clear up the debris from his explosive "Back It Up" release with Decoy at the start of the year. First comes a brand new jam; the deep menacing cyborg rolling funk of "Dark World" where a techier edge prevails along with some exceptional detuned synth cascades on the fills. Next up is a VIP of "Back It Up". The vocals are still pretty dubious but with a new twist on the bass and extra grotty funk, it's still a cracking VIP. Soundz as a pound mate.
Review: There's a serious case of double indemnity at G13 Towers as G4N champ Complex lays down a quartet of killers. Each one strong enough to split a personality, there's a strong message of police corruption on both the cool KRS-One sampling "5-O" and the cop murdering "Shoot On Sight". For less politics and more gully-fix jump on the string-snapping "Hello Ween" and the overwhelming bass shreddage of "Don't Belong". Ouch.
Review: Some people are born in a hospital. Other people were born in a birthing pool. Jesus was born in a manger. Complex was "Born In Darkness" and with designs as stinky and rudeboy as these, you can most certainly tell. The title track is a heads-down creeper with some cool harmonics on the bass as it weaves its hunch-back riff between the gravestones. "Brain Freeze" lives up to its name, too. Woozy, strange and disorienting and prone to some cool moments of swing on the fills, Complex has cooked up something unique here. Best served cold.
Review: Logan D's Low Down Deep welcome Complex to the family with these two stinking wallopers. "Tested" takes the lead with its sharp but sweet sense of funk. All one note hits and octave variations, it's a classic alchemy that will drive the dancefloor nuts every time. Meanwhile "Under The Bed" takes things into darker territories with a creepy sample and a wobbled-out bass so strong it could life up your bed while you sleep in it. Don't have nightmares.
Review: More future-talent fire from the label that gave us early releases from the likes of DJ Guv and Prestige, Good 4 Nothing aren't messing around. We kick off the four-track power pack with label bossman Complex who runs with a crucial cinematic backdrop that's all spine-tingles and drama. Criticalblow follows with a real rumbler that's reminiscent of early 2000s Full Cycle era output where bass accounted for a good 80 percent of the tune. Minzo is all waspy and wild with a bass textures that morphs, mutates and melts in different directions amid some rushy rave pads while Heskk closes the deal on a gritty Belgian flex. Staccato one-note riffs don't come any sharper.