Review: Well, when we saw this title land in the store we were as surprised as anyone to see that Four40 Records, one of the most active and exciting UK bass labels across the full breadth of 2020 has just turned 10 years old. This is a pretty outstanding achievement, for a label that is still at the forefront of it's sound to this very day. The compilation of course features some of the biggest releases from across the breadth of Four40's incredible catalogue of content, from the likes of Hybrid Theory, I Killed Kenny, Pavv, Limita and more, condensing ten years of musical progression into one extended tape. We also get to hear a bag of exciting new exclusives from the newer breed of the Four40 roster, including music from The Phat Controlla, Blakk Habit, Lucas Maverick, Gemi, Badger, Patrick Kane, Yozhi, George IV and more. What an incredible way to round off the year!
Review: As the second in a quick fire run of releases, we see Hybrid Theory make their return to HTMusic for another wavy two track drop, this time focussing in even more heavily on the rawcus side of UK bass music. Firstly, we take in 'Go Loco', a heavy hitting bass slap, driven by it's grizzly lead synth textures and bubbly drum designs. This really is Hybrid Theory at their buzzing best, as we then move into the B-side with 'AWOL'. This one switches up the vibe with pounding sub-lines and hard hitting kick slaps, giving us the perfect contrast from the a-side.
Review: It's most certainly been a long time coming, but we are very excited to see Four40 founders: Hybrid Theory expand their label empire as they launch their own self titled imprint in preparation for a rapid-fire run of releases. We kick this one off with the title track 'Take Flight', a dancefloor inspired warbler, topped off with SG's hosted vocal style, perfect for a switch up in the rave. On the flipside we dive into the slightly quicker bass pulsations of 'Gotti', which lays down an array of hard hitting metallic synthesizer madness, atop groovy rolling rhythms and shimmering sub pressure.
Pete Graham, Ill Phill & Chris Lorenzo - "I Love You So" - (5:51) 127 BPM
Smokey Bubblib B - "Oi Oi" (mixed & compiled By Smokey Bubblin B) - (58:49) 133 BPM
Review: We thought it was going to be the case that Four40 kicked up another storm before the year was out, and we have been proven right as we jump into this top notch compilation project, primarily assembled by the UKG legend that is Smokey Bubblin B. We can see this one's quality just by perusing the tracklist, as we see top names such as Mistakay, Kastle, Mind Of A Dragon, Royal Flush and more all make their way onto the project. It in fact covers such a wide range of garage music it is difficult to define simply, from the minimal, skippy designs of Perception's 'You Make', to the more futuristic bass instrumentation and design of Tuff Culture's 'Carbon', with Doctor Nick's inspired remix of 'Mind Slip' by SMOAD being a particular stand out.
Review: The southern bass scene has been one of the most exciting things to watch over the last two years of its growth as artists such as Tengu have risen to the forefront of the genre. Here we see the dynamic duo team up with Four40 for a shellshocker of an EP, featuring two originals and a storming remix. The title track 'Right To Kill' has been highly anticipated for release for a long while, and it's no wonder why as it's lethal lead synths and super punchy drums carve their way through any dance. We also hear a weighty collaboration with Hybrid theory by the name of 'Slippin' before jumping into their remix of 'Right To Kill' which adds a whole new dimension of finesse to an already stacked release.
FooR - "Don't Judge Me" (feat Dekar Da Don) - (4:52) 138 BPM
Pete Graham X Chris Lorenzo X Jamie George - "Let Me Down" (Nu Era remix) - (5:07) 128 BPM
Review: When it comes to compilations, it's important to keep them as jam packed with entertaining material as possible and it's safe to say that the Four40 camp have knocked this one out of the ballpark. As a project 'This Is UK Culture' is an incredible selection of bass, garage and grime creations, spanning the full breadth of the electronic dance music sphere. Comprising of 16 high profile inclusions, it's difficult to select highlights, but our stand outs would have to include Jamie George's soulful UKG remix of Ahadadream's 'Pray For You', the intense patois flavours of Tomb Crew's 'The Sermon' and of course the dance destroying arrangements of 'Lust' from UK Bass giants Hybrid Theory.
Review: Birmingham based UK bass heavyweights Hybrid Theory return to Four40 with a slightly different approach on their new single entitled 'Lust'. This one comes complete with airy, electronically affected vocals, bouncy drum arrangements and spectacularly swung bass synths. Four40 is an imprint known for pushing innovative bass music and that certainly shows no sign of stopping if they continue to push releases of this calibre.
Review: Wooii! Get ready for the reloads, you're going to be hearing 'Repent' a lot. With its hard knocking beat reminiscent of Whisper Twins classics and a shuffling house beat it's been designed for the dance, Hybrid Theory's stroke of genius hear however is the weird, maybe even backwards sounds which swiftly zip though the tracks textures. We can't quite put our fingers on what this sound is but we suspect there'll be some attempts to recreate them. 'Atomic Bomb' sounds distinctly Midlands, it has that bassline vibe. And it's because of this eclectic skill set that Hybrid Theory is one of our favourite producers in this genre.
Review: Hybrid Theory and the Stanton Warriors, both ridiculously talented when it comes to pounding, cerebral breakbeat and electro-minded house, are herein remixed by a pair of relative newcomers in what is surely a pair of summer keepers...that is if you're up for turning your dancefloor into a state of utter euphoria. Tru Fonix transforms "Under The Lights" from pleasant banger into deadly party bomb, made all the more real by the tune's grizzly percussion drops and chunky low-ends; Francois and Louis Benton's version goes for the jugular with its swinging, penetrative curbside bass that will undoubtedly receive the rewind treatment in an excessive manner. Naughty.
Review: Despite all the recent setbacks, London's stronger than ever right now and what better way to prove it than with the totally lit LDN Selection - a sizzling new collection compiled and mixed by the mighty Plump DJs for the Punks label? The set kicks off with the leftfield tropical trap of 1 "jungle" by Mace before embark on an electric journey over the course of 24 more tracks. More highlights include the insane hands-in-the-air stadium ghetto of Stanton Warriors' "Walking" and the crunchy bassline house of "Roll Easy" by Signal:Noize. All tracks are available both individually and woven into a cool one hour DJ mix. Best of both worlds, nuff said.
Under The Lights (instrumental mix) - (5:27) 127 BPM
Review: A powerhouse tag team of full bass proportions; Punks bossmen Stanton Warriors and Four40 founders Hybrid Theory collide for a truly royal broken beat rumble. Solid beat swagger, groaning less-is-more bass, a nagging riff and soaring uplift in the synth and vocal hooks, this smacks hard and memorably with the sharp signature of both acts involved. Comes complete with an instrumental for the deeper heads.
Review: Hot to trot vibes machine FooR goes balls-deep on this epic 50+ track compendium. Bulging at the seams with slinky two-steps, stinking basslines and every essential element in between, it's an incredible collection of on-point bass music cuts spun around the UKG / bass house axis. Those with a soulful interest should instantly fall for cuts like Thorn's "In 2 Deep", anthem-addicts need to know about Foor's own heavenly synth/guttural bass jam "Lift Me Up", bass-devoted breakers will go giddy for "Don't Hold Back", gully munchers will chow down heartily on Tyrone's "Ravin Face" while DJs in need of more of a classical deep roll-out should be smitten by Tengu's "Evil Ting". And that's not even scratching the surface - this is a true trove of future talent and shadowy sonic skill. Golly gosh YosH.
Review: Stanton Warriors have been on a mission to bring us the finest broken beat and heavy bass on Punks Music since 2001. Here the debut volume of the their new 'Punks Selection' series is curated by Mafia Kiss and focuses in 'on the deeper/stripped sounding side of the label's roster'. There is a whopping 22 track featured, as well as a one-hour DJ mix. Highlights include the urgent, haunted bounce of "The Oracle" by Leda Stray, the sultry, late night breakbeats of "K2" by Aloka and the scattershot ghetto beats of "Check Me Out" by Sly One.
Review: Midlands bass duo, Hybrid Theory, were only recently up in the dock on trial for their murderously killer low-end frequencies. Seems that they must have got off on a technicality as they are already back out and ready to offend again. This new split single features two typically uncompromising productions. "Fatality" features knife-sharp hi-hats, buzz saw bass and positively lethal drops a plenty. "The Edge" meanwhile boasts skippy breakbeats, merciless bass bounce and even some string samples just to shake things up a little.
Review: It appears that Birmingham duo Hybrid Theory are in the dock being accused of the heinous crime of peddling bass so raw and low that it's a threat to society. "Life" is as ominous as the court sentence it refers to - all moody bounce, sinister shuffle and animated sonic interjections. Positively criminal in the best possible way. Elsewhere "Selecta" gets nastier with bottomless growls, ethereal synths pads, big build-ups and choppy vocals. The most evil jam, "Code 3" is left to last, and as such no dancefloor is safe. Hybrid Theory we find you guilty as charged!