Review: Continuously excavating talent from the darkest depths of dubspace, Encrypted Audio maintain the heat seat of Argo's 2017 opener with this ludicrously loose four-piece. Everything about "Cough" startles and discomforts - the droning strings, the strange drums, the trembling hook; it all works together with alarming results. "Mercurial" takes the space concept even further with enough room to fit entire fleets of buses between the kicks while "No Escape" tips at modern classical techniques with its textures before a smoky 808 eases itself into the fray. Finally "Artesh" looks east for alluring, cosmic inspiration. Heady stuff.
Ghast, B1t Crunch3r & The Greys - "Pleading The Zero" (B1t Crunch3r & The Greys remix) - (4:46) 140 BPM
Review: We're not sure what 'pleading the zero' means but whatever it is, it's got Ghast in a ruffled mood; crunching up groove with industrial strength machine funk and a haunted fearful cry it's a powerful slice of roughage that's so grunty it wouldn't stop to help its own mum across the road. Erstwhile collaborator B1t Crunch3r calls up Bristol's The Greys for much more of cosmic remix version with slidy guitars and star-gazing soars. Two very different sides of the dub coin, both kill it.
Review: Destination Denver: Ghast lays down some pure volcanic bass on Overdue's latest black label series. So heavy it has to drag itself along as it groans and scuffs the gutter, "Vehement Mess" lives up to its name in all possible ways and is backed with an even heavier remix from RDG. For a more cosmic crusade, check "Mothership" which takes us for a cruise around the stars on a rocket made of pure cement kicks while Overdue bosses finish with a remix that's primed for the biggest of rigs. Respect due to Overdue.
Review: Next up, we dive into the deep dark realms of dubstep, and we couldn't be happier to do so as we get stuck into this brand new helping from Ghast and Subduktion who touch down on 119 Sound with a pair of absolute heaters. We kick off with this gritty bass tones and haunting textures of the title track 'Riches To The Conjurer'. This one is a magnificent display of atmospheric prowess, with the track growing as it moves forward. On the flip, we have the more gnarly bass chops and reesey slices of 'Transference', which adds a nice layer of contrast to the EP, rounding things off nicely.
Review: Two originals, one co-lab, one remix: Ghast returns to Encrypted with long-time Free Love Digi cohort and fellow Tuscaneer Thomas B. As always with these two, it's a high pressure experience with a wry balance of tension, angst and funk. Thomas takes the lead with "Goom Room", a cut that rides a clever bounce thanks to the sudden switches into skippy drums and strange humanised bass tones while Ghast deconstructs it with dark pranged out textures. Deeper into the script we hit the cavernous twangs and pneumatic hisses of "Cryo Bomb" where the pair lock horns over a groove that gets trippier as the track progresses before Ghast closes the show solo with the woozy deep space sojourn that's fittingly titled "Beyond Repair". If it ain't broke...
Review: One of the US bass scene's more colourful characters, Quentin - or Quintonius the sage as he styles himself - has teamed up for two tight collabo exercises that work very different dancefloor limbs. "Cleo" is a progressive gem that sparkles the most in long, dark tunnels. Clunky two-steps smudge the rhythm as the vocals stir deep emotions to the floating backdrop of crisp clean synths. "Discomfort" is a much heavier affair with a thicker rhythm, more complex drums and bassline that doesn't sound a million miles away from Dead Prez. Big ups Quintonius.