Review: Almost three years after Dusky released the first of two Life Signs EPs, Running Back has decided to release a swathe of new reworks of tracks from the series. The most high-profile revisions come from Cinthie, who brilliantly re-frames 'Static' as a dreamy and attractive fusion of high-quality synth-pop and driving deep house complete with wavy vocalisations, undulating lead lines, gorgeous chords and sturdy beats. Elsewhere, KiNK re-wires 'Fridge' as a driving, rave-igniting techno roller full of retro-futurist organ stabs and old school house vocal snippets, while Rumu's version of 'Lea Valley' peppers a sturdy electro-breaks rhythm with glassy-eyed vocal samples, bold synth-bass, sparkling electronics and immersive pads.
Review: Tapping into retro-active rave aesthetics, classic UKG to techy bassline house and sweet main room melodies, Dusky's latest JOY LP is a definition of itself! Leafing through a full spectrum of genres like Italo disco, electro and subtle krautrock inspirations to happy hardcore and the gamut of rave era tropes, JOY delivers drum and bass, jungle and breakbeat inspirations alongside touches of trance, pop house and Hi-NRG Ibiza sessions that are peppered with flecks of acid, bleep culture and synthwave. What a mouthful, and worth every drop! JOY.
Review: This is not the first compilation to drop whose sole aim is to raise funds for NHS Chartities Together - R&S Records and Bass Agenda both delivered similarly epic sets - but "Care4Life" may well be the strongest and most diverse. As you'd expect, each one of the 45 tracks is previously unreleased, and the cast list reads like a who's who of dance music culture. Notable highlights include an ultra-deep, saucer-eyed number from Daniel Avery, an unheard rework of the Chemical Brothers' "Catch Me I'm Falling", a superb revision of Harvey's Locussolus project by Kiwi, Matthew Herbert in jazzy broken beat mode, a rare solo outing from Optimo's JD Twitch, a rip-roaring rave workout from Jas Shaw, and thumping peak-time bangers from Dusky, Eats Everything and Patrick Topping.
Review: Dusky's first outing for Running Back, "Life Signs", was arguably one of their most euphoric and uplifting releases to date, so it's little surprise to find that this much-anticipated sequel explores similar sonic territory. The future anthem is undoubtedly "Metropolis", a shimmering retro-futurist number that layers bleeping lead lines and spine-tingling pads atop a weighty analogue bassline and heavy beats. You get vocal and dub mixes, with the former making great use of a loved-up female vocal snippet that adds to the cut's old school credentials. Elsewhere, "Seed Tray" is a rushing, warehouse-ready stomper smothered in rave-era piano stabs, "Mushroom Samba" adds bleeps to a suitably psychedelic, all-action backing track, and "Fridge" is a nostalgic, retro-futurist romp that defies easy categorization.
Review: Since founding their 17 Steps label in 2014, Dusky has barely stepped away from the imprint. Kudos to Gerd Janson, then, for persuading the British duo to offer-up this EP on his lauded Running Back kabel. They start in typically sweaty and bombastic fashion with "Boris Borrison's Trip To Morrisons", a soaring and life-affirming chunk of warehouse-ready peak-time madness built around a dirty, Italo-disco style arpeggio bassline, glassy-eyed rave stabs and tactile electronics. "Static" is a bustling but dreamy affair whose combination of swirling vocal samples, weighty sub bass and crackling breakbeats recalls the early days of British dance music. "Lea Valley", another retro-futurist affair that combines deep musical touches with heavy bottom end pressure, is similarly sizable.
Review: 2018 was a relatively quiet year for Dusky aka Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman, but the pair follow their recent Aset Forever record with these killer remixes. Issued on their own 17 Steps label, in its original format, "Amongst The Gods" featured raw break beats, euphoric synths and angelic vocals. For this remix package however, Brame & Hamo turn it into a more raw-sounding affair, full of splurging low end and menacing stabs. There's no room for subtlety either on Kettama's version of "Staunch"; pounding kicks support visceral riffs and the kind of swaggering, menacing roof that will leave the faint-hearted traumatised.
Review: Alongside the likes of yourself, you can bet that Mark Knight & Co. will be also be a known presence at Amsterdam Dance Event in 2018 and indeed they'll be well prepared with the appropriate tools - as this killer compilation proves. Highlights on this annual edition come from Maceo Plex - whose remix of "Nervous Tics" (feat Holly Walker) by hot British duo Maribou State takes you to the dark side, label chief Knight's massive rework of Sterling Void's eternal anthem "It's Alright" (feat Paris Brightledge) will surely get the hands in the air, as will Adesse Versions' edit of legend Kerri Chandler's "The Boom Can" and many others over the collection's five dozen tracks. To take you through every part of your trip, the album comes complete with three perfectly crafted and perfectly primed mixes.
Review: Since this EP dropped on vinyl earlier in the year, the sizeable title track has become one of the most ubiquitous peak-time anthems around. That's not meant as a criticism; few do rush-inducing musical moments quite like Dusky, and "Square Miso" is one of their most euphoric productions to date. It's something of a retro-futurist treat, with colossal piano riffs and dewy-eyed vocal samples riding thunderous drums and a booming, mind-altering bassline. For extra spine-tingling pleasure, check out the beat-free "Reprise" version, which wisely emphasizes the "Strings of Life" style pianos and synthesized strings, and the warehouse-friendly, Inner City style throb of "LF10".