Review: 2020 isn't all bad... Annix finally deliver their long-awaited debut album and every shade of grot and wonder you'd expect from one of the most influential D&B duos of the last decade. Masters at space, weirdo funk, unique sound design and the dark art of switch-flipping, it's no surprise this album is loaded with more twists and turns than an underground tube map. Highlights include the broken glass funk of "Stutter" (with K Motionz) the trippy turbine driller jam "Clapper" (with Skantia) and the curveball blast-ups like the techno-style marching title track "Tunnel Vision" and the beautiful euphoria of "Behind Time".
Review: Danger by name, dangerous by sound: the rising Belgian brute dents the Digital Terror discography with four more bruising steppers. Collabo-wise "Turbulence" sees him teaming up with Nightfang for a laser-shooting riot act while "Empty Space" sees him barking at the moon with Kanine with some really pranged out bass groans. Solo-wise "About You" gets sexy on the vocal element yet militant on the guttural, spiked-out bass tones and "Extinction" is a mammoth of a track, stampeding with a harmonic bass riff and a relentless beats. Warrior level: dinosaur.
Review: Emerging last year with a bite worse than his bark, rising UK D&B doggo Kanine has buried the game like a favourite bone, whipping up support from the likes of Andy C, Noisia, TC, Guv and many more in his wake. This Young Guns debut proves why...Big in hooks, heavy in weight, crisp in dynamic, his toxic fusion sits well across any peaktime board. Highlights include the harmonic riff devilry and Duskee's dark micmanship on "Warface", the hair-singeing spikiness of "Detonate" and the rampant fast-lane build of "Shapeshift". Who's a good boy?
Review: Kanine was one of the breakout acts of 2018, his tune The Shadows dropped in 2017 but propelled him into the big leagues the following year. He has an instantly recognisable style but one which feeds off the current boom in D&B of snarling, jump-up influenced rollers that sound absolutely amazing through a sound system. 'Dubplate Soldier' is his latest, from a forthcoming Elevate Audio compilation, and it packs a huge punch. Beginning with those classic head-nodding drums, the tune quickly flips into a gargantuan pulse of raw low-frequency energy and industrial-sounding grates and groans. One for the Instagram story.
Review: Kanine pulls no punches with this hefty one track wounder on Low Down Deep. Stark, spacious but riddled with an infectious riff you'll be singing for weeks, there's a latent funk rumbling deep beneath the venomous jumpy riff. Yet another one of his highly anticipated (see the forthcoming banger "Dancefloor"), "Bloody Knuckles" is another K.O from the big K. Okay?
Review: Woof woof! Kanine makes his debut on Low Down Deep with four barking mad thunder jams. "Mercy" does the foghorn bassline shake in a similar groaning way that Serum and Benny L have championed lately, "Locked Off" takes us for walkies at a heads-down turbo pace via sandpaper bassline bliss while "Signal" would give any dog a massive bone with its laserfied bass screams. Elsewhere "A31" wags its tail respectfully at the Clipz school of riff science while "Command" rips down the walls with a bass texture so toxic it could you put down. Welcome to the doghouse.
Review: Shady power moves from Kanine: Having already taken us "Into The Dark" on Twisted Beatz earlier this year, now he's trapping us in "The Shadows" and there's no way possible way to escape. Not that you'd want to escape, mind; with its orchestrated samples and drop into a dual-textured bassline that both groans and purrs, "The Shadows" has some of the best views of the dancefloor you'll ever get. "Invincible" holds us hostage even more with more of a classic brittle Belgian-sounding roughness to its grotty Q&A riff. Both kill it in two exceptional ways... You gonna bark all day little doggy?
Review: All those who heard 'The Shadows', a 2017 track that elevated Kanine from solid jump-up producer to well-known dancefloor purveyor, will understand that this guy makes pure destroyers. Kanine and Low Down Deep continue their London Underground-themed series of EPs with the Central Line and it seems like they picked arguably the best tube line for what is a wicked release. 'Ladies Night' has energy for days, a roaring rush of long basslines and fluctuating wobbles, the granite bassline making another appearance on 'Steamroller', this time in the form of a stuttering, staccato of force. Kanine is representing himself here in true Low Down Deep, head-nodding style - just listen to 'Kilogram' if you don't believe us.
Review: Barking mad beats from the Kanine kennel, this time on Subway Soundz: "Invincible" bites and growls with a razor sharp step and a range of weirdo bass textures all vying for your attention in a well juggled scattered riff style. Slipz joins the fray for the second sesh of the set "Keyboard Warrior". Venomous, brittle and charmed with cheeky amen rolls on the fills, it's so heavy and rasping with dark alien funk you kinda of want to find the keyboard slapping trolls who inspired this track and shake them by the hand for making it happen (then kick them somewhere sensitive) Soundz as a pound.
Review: VIPs in the hole! Two of Bulletproof's biggest club-shakers undergo fire updates from the men themselves. First up is barking badman Kanine who adds a whole new metallic crunch to his woofer-burning "Bad". Tsuki follows in hot pursuit with his modified "Inspector Gadget" where the lower part of the bass Q&A takes much more of a lead with a brand new twist on the hook. Deadly.
Review: Carving his sound with a cleaver and cauterising it with molten bass lava on labels such as Smoke Signal, Murky and Murda, Operate makes his debut on Young Guns and he's brought along a few mates for the ride. The range is instant and high impact from his solo stuff alone; the cosmic contrast on "Fireproof", the wonky, woozy staccato bass, dizzy drums and talkbox textures of "Shapeshifters" and graveyard paranoia of "Calysto". Co-lab wise Subsonic saddles up for the gnarliest jump up cut of the collection ("Tremors") while Kanine collides for the head-turning "Regulate" which nods at the past with a primal warhead attitude. Badness.
Review: Remix time: Bulletproof don their protective clothing for two killer versions of two recent tried and tested bangers. First up Tsuki's "Street Wars" continues to develop a life of its own. As the dust settles from the recent VIP, Premium adds a whole new layer of thugged out prang-flavoured bass. K Motionz follows with an equally suited, booted and space-funked twist on Bulletproof's second ever release - Kanine's barking mad "9 Lives". With more to follow, it feels like Bulletproof are only just getting started.
Review: Nottingham rudeboy Slipz slides into Subway HQ with four stark, steppy bassline grunters that will melt any floor this side of 2020. Kanine jumps on board for the opening shots on "Keyboard Warrior" - all metallic and rasping with venom. Elsewhere "Check This Out" rattles with a harmonic riff reminiscent of a young TC and rattling snare-heavy beats, "Massacre" creates a blood bath with its Hazard-style thick-n-fast ravaged riff while "Ha!" has the last laugh with some heady Generation Dub style grunty riffage. Don't lay off this one.
Review: Turno is without a doubt one of the big success stories from the previous couple of years and he's one of a handful of previously marginal jump-up producers to have rode the wave, a wave of their own talent as well as that of scene tastes, right into the middle of the scene. Gemini is his first full-length release on Shogun sister label Elevate and it's a banger that crosses several different sub-genre divides. 'No Chance' featuring Inja is our favourite, though, a proper foghorn number which perfectly suits Inja's famously menacing, skipping tones. It bends, swerves and bashes its way all the way through in fabulous fashion. Lovely.
Review: 2018 is the second year in a row that Critical Music dropped a surprise release for us on Christmas Day, 2017 seeing the Modified Sonics album full of VIPs and exclusive remixes. New Energy Vol.1, however, is a totally different deal and that's because it's 18 brand new, exclusive tunes from those deep inside the Critical camp and those just entering it. The whole roster is represented: Kasra, Enei, Mefjus, Emperor, Foreign Concept, The Upbeats - and so on. But, excitingly, there's new talent in the form of Bou, Synth Ethics, Simula, Kanine and more. Mefjus' remix of 'Projections' arguably takes the cake as the best tune on here - absolute murderation. This is Critical's statement of intent for 2019.
Review: As a label, Crucast have gone from strength to strength, rapidly establishing themselves as one of the premiere platforms for bass music in the UK. This complication marks that out perfectly with an astonishing selection of over 30 original creations, featuring high profile appearances from the likes of Jaguar Skills, Brent Kilner, Pavv, TC4, Inkline, Deadbeat UK and a tonne more. For us the EP highlights the strength in the current UK bass scene, with favourites being Bushbaby & Hadean's long-awaited collaboration release 'Clean Up', the monstrous swinging synths of Tengu's 'Weapon' and of course the wonky wonderings of SaidWho's 'Voices', a truly original compositional idea, focussing on rawcus bass sounds and scattered drum selections.
Review: Logan D's Low Down Deep imprint celebrate 100 releases with this bumper to bumper banger collection with cuts from the biggest names in the heavier end of the game; Turno, Maji, Upgrade, Voltage, Heist, Serum and of course the late great Dominator are just some of the heavyweights involved. Every tune is a highlight but mad salutes fire in the direction of Turno & Pacso with their purring harmonic bass creeper "Cosmic Funk", K Motionz' long awaited summer slamming anthem "Buckaguy" and the blissful rippling charms and outrageous subby drop of Heist's "Hawaiian". Elsewhere there's pure gully fisticuffs as Kanine has "Bloody Knuckles" and Serum has "Brass Knuckles". Either way, they both KO. Like the whole album. Get on this.
Review: All aboard the Wobble Infection remix express! Rounding up another storming year, the Belgian bass HQ have commissioned a fat stack of re-rubs: Rowney adds a warmer tone to Kenji's "Born In It", Jack The Ripper adds a little spikiness to "Sometimes It's Better", Envenom refocuses the bass textures on "Headshot" to a laser-point while Simskai busses up the paranoid horror feels on "Pot Of Gold". Elsewhere we have Stompz going loco on "Drop Cut", Kenji tearing "Born Killer" to pieces and rebuilding with spit and venom while Certified flips the finale switch with oddball funk flare on "What". Savage.
Review: Everybody loves a good VA, it's just wicked getting a whole big album full of tracks from different artists - the definition of a kid in a candy shop. This one from Uncommon has a cool combination of bigger and smaller acts, from the mighty Kasra to lesser known quantities like Resist. Kasra's 'Needles' is a standout, a fiercely minimal slapper that gargles and gurgles its way straight into your brain, and for anyone that is into the Critical sound: this is the tune for you. Kanine, another rising star, hits hard on 'Searching', a tune that reminds us of the recent Klippee tracks over on Lifestyle Music. All in all, this is a very solid little VA - yes yes!