Review: Over the many years of dubstep's explosive sonic history, we have always been able to count of Distance's Chestplate imprint to deliver system-bombing masterpieces, which is exactly what we find ourselves exploring here as the man himself returns for an explosive three track display. We begin with the ruckus-inducing reese basses and mechanical rhythms of 'Crawler', which plays the role of a thunderous title track, kicking off the EP with some serious fuel. Next, the more typical drum rolls and shivering synthetic subs of 'The Limit' give us an otherworldly display of system-ready goodness, before the more spacey rearrangement of the 'Untouchable' VIP calls the EP to a close. This is a special project to say the least.
ENiGMA Dubz - "Too Close To The Sun" - (4:00) 140 BPM
Review: What a year it has been for the Duploc team, who have continued to strive to push the 140 scene further than ever-before. As always, they have come together to unleash their full 2021 catalogue in one singular monumental drop, unleashing 40 system-smashers for us to enjoy over the Christmas period. Featuring a heavyweight catalogue, we get to explore releases from the likes of Dalek One, ENiGMA Dubz, Tappa, Hebbe, Ternion Sound, Oddkut, Juss B, Distance, Mungk and more. It really is a testament to how strong their movement has become when you look at the strength behind this year's catalogue, with the overarching theme of every contained release being perfect for a system-backed shell out. Awesome work and the perfect closer to the year!
Review: When we examine the list of original dubstep heavyweights that are still out here supplying the systems with top quality originals, Distance comes out near the top of that list every single time. This brand new project is yet another display of steppers mastery, kicking off with the swirling drum textures of 'Blue Velvet', followed by the acidic LFO pushes of 'Rotten Funk' and the urgent string sections of 'Classical', already giving the EP a serious level of musical diversity. From here we continue the high energy approach with 'Crimson' giving us more haunted, sub-heavy energies, before the unique synth squelches of 'Rude Steppa' take us somewhere completely different. Finally, the rattling breakbeat slices and satanic harmonic structures of 'Insider' add to the emotional tension before the title track 'Forgotten Demons' sees us out in a blaze of glory, combining classic Distance synthesis with colourful drums to match. Awesome work!
Review: If there is something we always love to see here at Juno Download, it is legends of the game returning to their old stomping ground as though no time has passed whatsoever. That is why Distance making his return to his very own Chestplate imprint is always an exciting occasion, with 'Survivors', the title track for this one being a gnarly journey through scattered percussive intricacies and powerful subs below. From here, the unique rhythmic arrangements and metallic sound design of 'Crashing Tibet' takes the EP to a whole new level, followed by one heck of a finale in 'Passive'. This one is a grimey chop-fest, maneuvering between power bass stabs and old school 2-steppy clap patterns with infinite majesty. It's a powerful return to say the least!
Review: This is a combination we saw and were filled with joy at the prospect of as Distance links up with the incredibly consistent sounds of Duploc for a futuristic exploration into the evolution of his own sound. We begin with the title track 'Sacrifices', a sub-heavy creeper of a riddim, weaving together stuttered, constantly shifting bass stabs with a sweeping, free-flowing rhythmic structure, before 'Overcome' takes us down a much more spacey road, being driven by a heavily reverberated high end synth pad. Finally, the industrial drum work, gnarly horn arrangements and powerful bass infusions of '808 Snake' puts the final touches on a super impressive arrangement of dubstep originals.
Review: As far as 140 legends go, there aren't many who have remained active as long as this man as Distance makes an exciting return to his home imprint of 'Chestplate' for a display in dubstep mastery. The title track 'Awaken' is a twisted ball of distorted delights, fizzing away beneath hard hitting drum launches, before we hear the metallic bass pushes of 'Equate' and the glitchy experimentations of 'Rotation', which provides a really interesting sense of off-beat rhythm. We finish up with 'Setting Scores', an evil grimey shocker, deviating between emotive harmonic structures and nasty reese expanses. Brilliant stuff.
Review: Chestplate and Artikal = Chestikal. If that doesn't already grab your attention then the fact that it's Distance and J:Kenzo on two massive collabos and the tunes are every bit as smoking, spacious and sick as you'd like them to be most certainly will. "The Offering" is a pure swaggering jam with rasping, distorted basslines striking through anything and everything in their wake. "Dhyana" offers sublime contrast with a much deeper, smokier blend of mystical atmospheres, roomy drums and an eerie eastern call that will have your skin up in so many goosebumps you might just grow feathers. Big up your chestikals.
Review: If you've caught any of Distance's sets in the last few months, we guarantee you've already been destroyed by this theatrical slice of moody dubstep drama... And probably been counting down the days until you can buy it yourself! Sheer power from every strident element; "Clash" is Distance at his most forthright and hell-raising. "Scratch The Surface" shows us the perfect flip to his palette with its cavernous space, tightly wrapped restrained and lava-like evolution in all its elements. Distance you absolute badman.
Flashback FM - "Feelin'" (Readsense remix) - (5:20) 174 BPM
Review: As if the LA label didn't pick up enough fresh talent on their regular single releases, Soul Deep's Unsung Heroes album ups the ante even more with legions more future headliners. Now a regular event on the Soul Deep schedule, each album rattles and hums with innovation, this ninth episode included. Highlights include the velvet string swoops of Cnof's "Lost Soul", the dusty pianos, clicky rhythm and husky soul of "She Takes No Passenger", the immersive waves of introspection on Viewer's "Strange Fruit", the filtered funk frenzy of Readsense's remix of Flashback FM's "Feelin'" and plenty more. Essential for those who can't quench the thirst for freshness, Soul Deep consistently deliver.
Review: When it comes to dubstep and its pioneers, people always drop the same names: Mala, Skream, Youngsta etc etc. But, there's another name that has been around since the FWD golden days. That name is Distance. Like many others who were involved in the scene's foundations, Distance has preferred to remain in the shadows, away from DJ booths, and firmly on his mixing board in the studio. If we're talking labels, he'd done 'em all - Hotflush, Planet Mu...the list goes on. Pinch's Tectonic feels like the perfect place to drop his new LP, especially because it strays way beyond the usual confinements of dubstep, and into whole new categories. From juke to bassline, and even techno, Dynamis is an album for lovers of the bass form. If that's your kink, this piece of work has got all the ingredients to satisfy your every need. Twisted basslines, haphazard beat flexes, and even some mashup lyricism. Sink your teeth, innit.
Review: Distance returns with a sentiment every single one of us can sign up to. He's not all chats, either; "Long Live The Groove" is a swaggering, sweaty slab of swinging bass music that develops momentum on every bar. Really juicy, funky stuff, there's a reason this has been kept on dub for so long. "Can You (Dub)" follows, and it's all about the drums. Fine-tuned and polished, there's a sense of liquid movement to the rhythm as strange designs and eerie cries drive deep into your ears. Finally we hit "Straight Up". The name says it all; a moody bass hook that doesn't quit, toxic subs and a weighty halftime drum arrangement... It's straight up badness, as you'd expect from the Chestplate bossman.
DJ Madd - "The Life You Chose" (Distance remix) - (4:38) 140 BPM
Stinkahbell - "Film Noir" - (5:37) 140 BPM
Sleeper & Thelem - "Arrakis" - (5:15) 140 BPM
Kryptic Minds - "The Divide" - (5:32)
Various - "This Is Dubstep 2013" (continuous DJ mix - part 1) - (1:13:24) 140 BPM
Various - "This Is Dubstep 2013" (continuous DJ mix - part 2) - (1:09:30) 140 BPM
Review: Sixth in the series, This Is Dubstep is one of the more comprehensive, on-point series the scene has given us (ie: many!) Across the 40 tracks every single shade is covered; from rave-tinged (Noisia's remix of "Smack My Bitch Up") to all-out technicolour bass (Drumsound & Bassline Smith), This Is Dubstep 2013 pays respect to all corners of the dance - including the really far-out experimentations of Mala and his Cuban project. With exclusives such as V.I.V.E.K's "Barcelona" and Killawatt's "Single Entity" thrown in for good measure, this isn't just a summary of today's dubstep; it's a slice of the future too.
Review: Get Darker have excelled themselves this year with releases: each one exciting, varied and full of surprises. Following DJG's emotional sub-trip comes another label debutant Distance. One of dubstep's most longstanding ambassadors, what the big D doesn't know about monstrous halfstep power-beats and foul-mouthed bass hooks isn't worth knowing. Both tracks live up their names "Troubles" is a menace-ridden riddim loaded with paranoid skips and switches. Simple but devastatingly effective. Meanwhile on "Rugged" we find Distance getting even more aggressive with a razor-sharp riff and more emphasis on the quirky kick drums. Quintessential steppery from a man who knows how.
Review: As January nears its bitter end, it seems this the time to release mega compilation albums. AEI, the company behind Get Darker, UKF and D&B Arena unveil their next project: Get Darker Presents: This Is Dubstep 2012. And what an album it is. Bringing in all the flavours of contemporary dubstep, it succeeds in providing a sweeping panorama of an increasingly fractionalized scene. From the deeper sounds of Author, VIVEK, Kryptic Minds, Icicle & Distance and Phaeleh, through material from scene pioneers such as Horsepower Productions, Skream and Benga, to the more aggressive sounds of Gemini, Flux Pavillion, 16 Bit and Nero, it's all covered. A brilliant "who's who" of dubstep in 2012 - highly recommended.
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!