Review: Dutch dub dude Dubbacle doffs his cap to the past with a salute to formative, genre-shaping event FWD>>. The result is a sweet, jazzy skanker that's reminiscent of a young Skream's deeper work. "Back To The Future" retains the authentic dub elements with a dramatic horn riff that's straight out of the King Tubby playbook while "Tear It Up" plays the bad guy of the story; all sweaty, sleazy and swaggering. Finally we hit "Soundboy Ballin' Out"... A bulbous chubby roller with big soundsystem vocals, it's prime for any shape, size or sub-genre of dubstep set. Go on, try it.
Review: One of the key message makers in today's deep dub landscape, Dubbacle returns with three deliciously detailed and evocative slabs of contemporary bass. Both "Lovelost" and "Transcendance" are score-worthy as they glide us through dense beds of synthesis and atmospheres. "Human" is the main player for the dance as it ups the charge with an arresting female vocal, unique drum phrasing and a sub that fluctuates from nowhere. Not dissimilar to Mad Professor's Massive Attack works, "Human" will touch serious hearts when dropped at the right time.
Review: With previous releases on Altered, Indigo Movement, MWM, Underslung and Dubstep Rotterdam, Dubbacle's been bubbling for more than a minute. Now, with this FKOF document, he has potential to boil over into the wider scene consciousness; "Jah Fire" is a haunted affair. All minor chords and strange spatial atmospheres, it wouldn't go amiss on techno imprints such as Monkey Town or bPitch. "Bezerk" is equally unique thanks to its alarming time signature and drum dynamic. "Control" nods neatly at fellow native 2562 with its future garage chords and smooth, deep finish while "Restless" is a condensed slice of smoky jazz futurism thanks to a well processed trumpet and some deft looping in the rhythm department. Genuinely unique, those firebrand fatties sure know how to pick them.
Review: Dubbacle and Dubtribu are pretty much made for one another. Yes, their names share more than three of the same letters, but it's the vibe and should of the tunes that we're talking about. The imprint specialises in deep and meandering dubstep; the sort that 'they don't make like they used to'. Luckily for us, this label is very much on point, and it often finds new, contemporary talents with which to carry on this fine tradition. Here we got four of the finest, murkiest slices of future dub to grace our charts this month, all full of dread and heartical bliss just waiting for those low frequencies to peak and hit the base of those floors with pure heat. From "Reflection" through to "Absent Mind", and peaking with the suffering steppers flow of "Roots Music" and "Meditative". Oh gosh - what a collection!
Provoke & Quintana - "The Kingdom" - (4:32) 140 BPM
Review: The Dubtribu crew know how to cap off a year in fine style, especially seeing as they've had a pretty good one themselves throughout this unpredictable 2016. We now know them as the label who produce consistently excellent levels of low frequencies, and who are also kind of experts in spotting new talent from the streets. Deep Dub Inside 2016 features all of their best names, and then some. This badboy is twenty-eight tunes long, and mean as motherfu**** - inside, you'll find dark, brooding, ominously constructed bass cuts from the likes of Fiend, Mr Tetris, Krease, Yin Yang Audio, and plenty more bass scientists. From two-step to bro-step and back to garage, this will surely satisfy even the most ravenous of DJs and dancers.
Review: Four years and 20 releases deep: Frenk Dublin's Dubstep Rotterdam imprint have never been ones to swamp or saturate the genre. Quality over quantity and forever erring on the deeper, cavernous and more dangerous sides of dubstep, here the label takes a moment to reflect and remind us of their breadth so far... From the purring subs and meditative vapour trails of "The Aggressor" to the all-out jungle badness of Hajee's take on "Demon's Rhythm" by way of DWise's industrial strength concrete melting "Mushrooms", it's a fitting document that not only enforces the label's strength but its timelessness too.
Review: Indigo Movement's Athens/London connection goes from strength to strength. Now two years deep into the dance, they're celebrating with this immaculate collection of exclusives from their talented family. Label co-owner Bluez ensures their statement of intent is felt from the off with "Freedom". A surging sense of treacle-bass sludges out of the system over dramatic drums, it sets the tone for the alluring narrative that follows. Along the way expect to be gut-punched with carnal tribalism on Imanzi "Samburu Chant", expect to be chest-pressed by sub pressure on the authentic dub-style "Life" from Jeph1 and expect to be spun-out by the paranoia-inducing twists and textures of Fred Hassel's grimy "Callisto". An exceptional volume that represents the label at its highest level yet, Indigo Movement mean business - and they're here to stay.