Review: Dubstep has arguably never been in a more consistently top quality position, with nearly every release boasting incredible levels of both innovation and bass-driven mastery, a theme into which Infernal Sounds most certainly deliver with Bukkha's brand new 'Badda Dan Dem' selection. We kick off with Killa P's highly impactful vocal feature on the title track, slapping the mix to pieces with a well processed vocal line, followed by Blackout JA's more dancehall influenced toasting over 'Rise Of The Beast', a seriously weighty dubwise sound for the system. Finally, we round off this selection of three collaborations with Gaze Ill joining the party on 'Stems Dub', another swampy design, pushed forward by it's distorted flute lines and shimmering percussive inputs, putting the final touches on yet another top quality selection!
Review: So it would appear that Cue Line have arranged a bit of a treat for us with this one as Gaze Ill lands for three tracks of experimental fire, kicking off with his brow-raising overhaul of 'Sudd' from Zygos. With this we see him rework the original into a boiling ball of bass and bounce, allowing a minimal drum set to push the whole track forward with some real style. Next, Gaze then reworks RDG's 'Shapeshift' into a piece of half-time percussive perfection, packed to the brim with shimmering bassy throws and high energy rhythmic ideas before VIP'ing his own 'Combo' original. This puts the cherry on the cake as a well thought out collection sub bass synths and reverberated congas deliver a very finale.
Review: Well, what a selection we have here as Strictly 140 drop one hell of a compilation project, featuring an array of dubstep heaters under the title of 'The Overseas'. Featuring nine absolute scorchers, this project sees the team showcase some of the hottest names in the 140 scene right now, including WZ, Dalek One, RDG, Gaze Ill, Pharama, Roklem, Sebalo and more. For us there are a couple of very clear standouts from this project, with Subtle Mind's stunning 'Subtle Mind' composition being one of them, alongside the twisted eastern string tones and pulsating subs of 'Nani' from Ourman!
Review: In a week that features a tonne of top draw dubstep rollers, we were very happy to see this latest drop from the team at Cue Line roll out as they bring forward this spicy three track collection from Breez. We kick off with the dubwise delights of 'Thinking His Majesty', a tidy piece of original dubstep genius, drawing on spacey delays and pounding subs to give a real sense of depth. This is followed up with a more front facing, chord heavy re-lick from Bukkha before we finish up on the smooth sub and drum combos of 'Irie', as Gaze Ill joins the party on collaborative duties.
Review: Cue Line bring home the bacon once more with this homage to the essential elements in life RDG & Cessman bring the air vibes with the breezy, rejuvenating atmospherics of "Guidance", Gaze Ill & 3WA bring us down to the earth with their rich grainy warm bass on "Manipulated", Binary & Zygos are all about the water elements as the technoid bass hits us with oceanic wave after oceanic wave n "Existence" while Murk & Shiva close with pure fire as the "Akousma" scuffs, scraps and savages you with roaring, uncontrollable drum pattern and skin singeing sound design. Bring on part two.
Review: Since the start of the dubstep movement, Joe Nice has been a figurehead DJ, there's no question. It is no surprise then that since forming his Gourmet Beats label project it has been extremely influential across the genre. This release see's the Gourmet gang team up with Copenhagen's finest dubstep export 'Gaze Ill' for a solid 3 tracker entitled 'Hydrated'. The title track itself is full of tribal energy, focussing on fantastically powerful subs squeezing snugly underneath an array of unpredictable percussive melodies. Next up the skippy sounds of 'Crusher' which builds rhythmic energy from syncopated bass stabs and subtle FX. finally we roll into the slower, ride driven arrangement of 'Clean 131'
Review: After ripping it up for labels like Northern Hertz and Foundation Audio, as of late, Denmark's Gaze Ill has absolutely no problems in tearing it down for the young and 'up-for-it' Cue Line label. "Space-Time" is the perfect opener, bouncing its subtle bass rolls like supersonic machine-gun spray, and accompanied by all sorts of eerie cosmic sounds, whereas "Mist" heads further into the cavernous echo that we expect such deep-minded dubstep to offer. "Spirit Of The Forces" is our choice cut, jacking out to some propah jungle infusions at the core of its groove, leaving TMSV's remix of "Space-Time" to leave us lingering outside the atmosphere. Utterly divine bass, right here!
Review: The great Dane returns with three meticulous low end missions. We commence with "Untrue", a two-step encounter into the murkier Badlands between UKG and dubstep. "Taking Back Control" flips back to a hefty half-step but with rolling percussive energy and bassline that melts into the dubspace in style. "District" shuts the book with the EP's deepest sermon. A graveyard wandering wayfarer, kicking up sonic fog with every shuffled footstep, it's a perfect slice of signature seriousness from the longstanding operative.
Review: A title that can be read in more than one way. "Keeping It Real" doesn't just refer to the track's vocal sample, or it's classically trained deep cavern sounds but also because it's the label's first vinyl outing. Level up business. Elsewhere "The Zone" is a contemporary techno-style dub track with palpitating drone subs, "Shapeshift" is powered by the groans of what we can only assume to be the undead (either that or some superb vocal processing) and "Combo", a springy minimal track that's tightly sprung by the swung kick and spacious dynamics. Cue Line: Keeping it really good.
Review: In a sense, Denmark feels like a perfect home for dark, spectral bass music. It somehow reflects the weather, the colors and the mood quite well; RDG knows this, and has found the perfect formula to deliver his own strain of dubstep music, an echoey, foreboding affair that has much in common with the Mala tradition. In fact, "Solutions" successfully blurs the lines between dub and a strange new form of percussive industrial music, followed stealthily by the subtle shots of "Reverse Blank" alongside Gaze III. If you're solely into the beat side of things, there's also an instrumental of "Solutions" here, a frosty, shimmering skeleton of a tune that is just perfect for this time of the year.
Review: Foundation celebrate three years and 20 releases with this supersized clutch of deep, dark and forward-thinking exclusives. Painting a picture of dubstep's most exciting frontiers, highlights hang, slide and oozes from every cavernous corner: Drew's Theory provides meditative intensity on "Harmony", Deafblind & Darkimh twist up the drums in the sludge-packing "Concrete Groove", Krease soundtracks your next nightmares with his late night graveyard romp "Hindsight" while Dillard digs deep into the proper roots with its shimmering classical dub designs. Weighing at 24 tracks, Foundation have pulled out all the stops here... A seriously detailed piece of bass music futurism.
Review: Over two years of solid, low-end ploughman banquets, Krease's USV come correct with their debut compilation. Rather than bombard us with past echoes or unnecessary fluff, they've curated eight brand new originals from some of the label's (and the deeper side of the scene's) most respected players. Each contributor thinking, looking and behaving as future as possible, the whole collection is a document on dubstep's perennial creative potential when conjured in the right hands: Gaze Ill's rolling techno chimes on "Vertical", Chad Dubz's broad-drum spaciousness on "Class A", Krease's cosmic star-gazing synths and gutter-licking bassline on "TruStep" are just three examples of Under Surveillance's constant search for newness in the shadows
Review: Danish dub dons Surfase celebrate their 25th release with a walloping 24-track refresh session that brings everyone up to speed on two years of monthly dispatches. All their decorated contributors are present and correct: RDG, G Double, Gaze Ill, Subtle Mind and many more. Highlights include the swooning strings and rattling drums of Server's "Boxing", Subreacher's chest-crushing bass wobbler "The Machine" and RDG's insanity work out "It's All In Your Mind". It's not in your mind, though... This is as real as it gets. Here's to another 25 killer releases.
Review: New Zealand sub selectionists Iron Shirt come correct with another floor-melting compendium of forward-thinking dubstep creations. Delivered three years after their debut collection, this set unites the label's most familiar faces with brand new family members as we poke, prod and provoke the darkest corners of bass music's underbelly. From the swampy lollops and soaring vocals of Arkwright's "Avalon" to Tallan's synth-struck, star-gazing "See Them" to the abstract drum structure and mesmerising sound design of Mute's "Predator", each track is testament to Iron Shirt's curatorial strengths and future-focused vision.
Review: Danish dapper returns to Northern Hertz with two more slabs of shuddering sub science. "Trajectory" is super-spacious but there's still a really neat momentum between the cavernous gaps positioned between the kicks and snares. This is thanks to both the ominous, grey cloud bass drones and the overall icy sheen of the pads. "Jungles Of Jupiter" isn't quite so spacious as the drums create more texture and tension with a tribal sense of drama. Softened slightly by the subtle-but-clearly-present minor key pads that one would usually associate with early Metalheadz releases, once again shows there is heaps more gas in dubstep's creative tank... And that Gaze Ill is a very talented producer.
Review: Two powerful pieces of sub science from the Cue-Line co-boss Gaze Ill. "Blue Enough" is a paranoid space jam, all tripped out with heavily processed vocal echoes and a drawn out gurgling low end mutters. "Mounted", meanwhile, is an exciting example of minimal being done right: One whomping bass hook, spacious snares, a warm kick and various percussive cameos are all that's needed to reach total subversion immersion. Daring business.
Review: Cue Line co-founder and all-round Danish dub demon Gaze Ill steps up to Iron Shirt for a four-pack of momentous darkness. The first thing that strikes you about the title track is the tightly sprung subby kicks that play the consummate bouncy ball beneath heavy pressure pads, creating a natural groove with carefully placed minimal elements. Deeper again we hit "Detached" where an array of bass textures await; from the more bulbous bubbles to nastier tears and sneers, they ooze from the speakers while a solid drum arrangement ploughs through the sad atmospherics. Elsewhere "Superior" tells a tale of cavernous dynamics as the elastic bass twists itself in every direction. Finally we hit "Saturate": Perhaps the most dancefloor tuned of the set, this more than lives up to its name. Just crank up your sub and listen to that low-end.