Review: Featuring tracks from such luminaries as Hudson Mohawke, Benga and 16bit alongside new talent such as Shift Key and Morcee, Bullet Train Volume Two, selected by Bullet Train label head Marco Del Horno and Last Japan, spans the breadth of everything that's important right now in dubstep, bass and UK funky. Featuring a continuous DJ mix from the duo, as well as all the tracks unmixed, highlights include the snare driven riddims of Lil' Silva's "Patience", the massive dubstep bassline of Marco Del Horno and DJ Swerve's "Ho Riddim" and the fluid percussive workout that is R1 Ryders' "Just A Feeling".
Review: Some raucous electro house fun here from Hostage, with his new original track in the shape of "Mochachos", released on Jack Knife, fitting happily into the 'silly and fun' category of dance music. Calvertron's remix comes in at the halfway point between tearout dubstep and Boys Noize circa Oi Oi Oi, while the Aural Trash version sounds like Zombie Nation on speed! Rounding off the package is the incendiary Attic Kings remix, which boasts some particularly memorable builds and drops - our pick of the bunch.
Review: The prodigious Hostage certainly knows a thing or two about contemporary garage music, and the artist has pretty much landed on any label deals in the genre on a serious level. Here he is on Four Three Six with four face-melters, starting with the grizzly groove of "I Would Be", followed swiftly by the nu-school hardcore banger that is "Fluxx". "Kilt" is a powerful hard house number that subtly recalls the M25 rave shindigs thanks to its bouncy bassline, while "Level" goes a bit deeper, a lil more hypnotic, but still very much geared at making you move.
Review: Hostage, the Edinburgh-based beat-maker, has appeared on countless labels over the last few years and his style is in a continuous state of flux, hopping from funky electro house to jittering bass music with utter ease and pure charisma. He appears herein courtesy of the UK's 877 crew and this time he's in a technoid mood with "Bladderwrack", a gnarly fusion of dubstep wobble bass and straight-ahead four-to-the-floor. For seconds you got "Touchdown", a relatively more bumping affair thanks to its swinging drums, and also "Red" which takes a slamming kick-snare and spills another thick layer of distorted bass all over it.
Review: Edinburgh's Hostage is particularly impressive for his ability to craft just about any sort of UK flavoured dance music that you could possibly think of. The man has dabbled with drum & bass, techno, house, and just straight up bass, of course. He's back this week, and he's landed on the Tessier-Ashpool label, home to many a bass licks, and an underrated label that deserves more hype. "NT1" is a true hybrid, a house tune surrounded by semi break beats and warm pads, and the tune is remixed three times by a diverse collection of names. Liar Optimix throws in an appearance, but the heavier action comes from 2ndSun's two reinterpretations. Heavy stuff and most probably the best best yet from Hostage.
Review: Building from an ominous start into a mechanical stepper, "Charger Cube" has an alluring presence right from the start. Crackled vocal snatches and Apocalypse Now-esque film samples battle with smacking, ritualistic tribal breaks and industrial screeches, underpinned with an eerie oriental wail. Over on the flipside, the terror continues in "Goose Neck Stew" where hoover sweeps, sword clashing SFX and echoes go full flow Calyx & Teebee-style for the duration. One for the heads.
Review: Edinburgh producer Hostage has no intention of losing the heat garnered from a host of important releases on labels like Herve's Deep Thrills and Black Butter. The newfound interest in the deeper side of things is kept up on "How We Go Down" which features buzzing low bass and tough house beats. "Keep Dark" is sultry speed garage, the sparse "Conscious" veers into 4 x 4 territory and ""Show Ya" wraps things up with a warped rave organ riff and some very late night UKF grooves.
Review: With a title like Party Animals Volume 3 - not to mention a label name such as Party Like Us - it's pretty obvious what we can expect from this UK funky single! As expected, "Energize" is a party-friendly whirlwind of scattergun beats, constipation-curing sub-bass, silly rave riffage and sped-up hardcore vocal samples. If that sounds a little hectic, that's because it is - though there's no denying the impact it would make on UK funky floors if dropped at the right time. If you consider yourself - or your crowd - to be party animals, dive in.
Review: Every time a new Hostage EP drops we're confronted with a new set of tones, styles and genres, but we love the fact that this man can pretty much make any sort of dance music. This new EP for 877 Records is a delightful blend of techno and everything else; "Dali" itself is a house-centric techno track with a UK edge, "Last Breath" is a modern reinterpretation of UK harder, "NRG" is straight-up techno with a soulful vocal edge, and "Pramface" slithers its chuggy 4/4 on a leash made of tricky percussion and minimalistic melodies.
Review: Horror bass, it's a thing. Well, it certainly is if you ask Hostage, its chief proponent. Here on the "Tetralogy EP" this Scots producer continues the course already set by his recent Bladderwrack EP also for 877, with dark house blending with more techno elements and dubby wobble too. Highlights include the sinister strings and cowbell bounce of "Grunt", the harder tribal-tech of "Ruff" and EP standout, the creepy house thumper, "Bang Bang".
Review: Established during UKG/deep house's latest halcyon era in 2011, Four40 have navigated the bass, house and garage landscape with understated charm, forward-thinking fusions and occasions splashes of gully for five years, amassing well over 70 releases in the process. To celebrate they're put together this immense 54 track collection that represents the label's many sounds and successes. From Regality's deep Chicago inspired chugger "Celebrate" to Morcee's subtle speed garage swag "It's You", Hybrid Theory's atonal bass grunts and happy slap snares on "Mind Games" and Tom Shorterz subverted soul on "Wot U Do", Four40 cover all bass bases and provide an opportunity to fill any holes in your collection. Here's to another five years.