Review: It's been a short while since we were last able to take in a fresh drop from the mighty Goth Trad, who returns in a blaze of glory across this outstanding new two-track drop, courtesy of the team over at Kudos Records. We begin with the VIP mix for 'Airbreaker', an industrial masterclass in steppers creation, exploring uniquely explosive percussive design and thumping basslines below. On the flip to this, we take in the more subtly arranged and unpredictable rhythmic switches of 'Apes'. This one takes us on a super cool journey through murky subs and intricate grooves, rounding off a really spicy pairing.
Review: Japan's Takeaki Maruyama's dark, deep and sweltering pseudo dubstep has been around for longer than you might think. Before being signed early on by Mala for his own Deep Medi Muzik, Goth-Trad was releasing cutting-edge bass science on labels such as DNA Kalacta and Popgroup Recordings. His return to Deep Medi is a significant one, and "Sinker" is likely to be one of the best tunes that he's made in a while - those bouncy, fluttering swirls of mutant bass are docile yet vibrant and possess a sort of subtle menace to them. "Sunbeam VIP", however, is a pure corner-dweller's delight, a brooding little bass monster with enough subs to gravitate you off your feet and into hyper-space. Another winner from both artist and label. Quality assured.
Review: Japanese producer Goth Trad is an interesting character. Some years ago, he single-handedly tried to introduce a form of music called "mad rave" - an intense and really quite insane fusion of D&B, hardcore, break core and dubstep. There are occasional echoes of that period on New Epoch - his first full-length for bass music hipsters Deep Medi - but for the most part it's a fairly careful and considered set. Mostly built around variants of dubstep rhythms, it fuses chiming melodies and clanking industrial sounds with hand-picked samples, skittering percussion and subdued, sub-shaking grooves. In parts, it has more in common with IDM than hardcore, but that's no bad thing. It's certainly his most grown-up album to date - highly recommended.
Review: Weighing in with some cumbersome dubstep styles on his familiar stomping ground, Goth Trad is back to scare the living daylights out of you on "Air Breaker". Proving that there can be some give in big room ravey dubstep, the track may primarily lurch around aggravated mid-range synth grind, but the moments of calm creep in with control that comes from a diverse and adaptable producer. "Cosmos", up next, meanwhile takes the deeper approach, using inter-locking precussion and devastating sub bass for a classic exercise in proper dubstep. Whichever kind of set you're plumping for, this release is definitely for the purists. Highly recommended.
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: Here, digital DJs get a rare chance to own a slew of previously vinyl-only plates from Mala's Medi Musik imprint. Deep Medi Releases 3 continues the format of its two predecessors, including cuts from 12" singles released in 2008 and 2009. For fans of good quality dubstep, it's well worth a look. While there's the odd intense dancefloor wobbler (Goth-Trad's busy "Saturn", Skream's "The Shinein"), there's also plenty of depth, melody and beauty amongst the trademark low-end pulse. Look out in particular for a pair of luscious, emotion-rich cuts from Quest, a pleasing bleep-fest from Truth, and Clouds' brilliantly far-sighted "Protecting Hands" - here available in two stunning mixes.