Review: Japanese bad man Dayzero made all the right moves with releases on Phantom Hertz, Zip Sound and a few others last year. His first drop of 2016 suggests Dayzero is still on a course set for the top, aligning with Fat Kid On Fire for a most impressive four track release that ends on a heavyweight collaboration with Karnage. Don't sleep on the preceding three solo cuts from Dayzero however, as collectively they really make this worthy of your time and attention. The heavily chopped vocals and superbly structured percussion sets opener "Allca" apart as our pick; the stuttering kicks really feel like they are bouncing off the bassline.
Review: Insane scenes as Karnage returns to Encrypted with four of his moodiest sluggers to date. "Death Proof" sets the pace with its rifle bass shots, tense atmosphere and harrowed chords, "Kefka's Revenge" takes us deep into the machine with a cascade of data textures and that rains defiantly over some gut-punching swaggered-out beats while "Prog Knife" pays homage to the Genesis with staccato bass shots over a brutal mecha beat. For the finale (fantasy) Karnage gives us a round-the-world trip with a dizzying set of, wavey sci-fi aesthetics and chords that rise to cathedral height. Immense material to the last detail.
Review: Encrypted aren't messing around in 2017 are they? Following key releases from Ghast, Trop, Rygby, DMVU and Argo comes abyss veteran Karnage. Last spotted on FKOK via DayZero's EP, here we find in well-oiled rolling mode as "Zaoichi" cascades further and further into itself with loopy introversion. "Model 29" steps back to refocus on a much starker, classic bass riff, with all the right dub hallmarks and skies of space between the elements, this was designed for one thing only: smashing systems. "Killswitch", meanwhile, is tailored for smashing bodies.... a real menacing mechanical funk is at play as strong themes of techno run throughout. "Mokko" provides essential counterpoint with its wonderfully wobbly sub and big breeze pads that enter mid way. Full spectrum.
Review: Nottingham's Outbound tends to leapfrog from label to label but here he returns to his place of origin, Sub:Conscious. It's his biggest EP for a while too, boasting four tracks bursting with cinematic menace. Highlights include the growling dark alley vibes of the title track (a collaboration with DyAD & Lifesines), the dubbed out reggae haze of "24" and the twitchy, percussive "Ghifasy' - a collaboration with Karnage & Mark IV, which combines breathy synth pads and shimmering piano tinkles.
Review: What a year the guys at Infernal Sounds are having eh? This release serves as a testament to the momentum the team's release roster has build up as 'Origin' lets us explore the deepest and darkest corners of the dubstep phenomenon. We are blessed with a top draw line up, with original recordings coming from the likes of DE-TU, Perverse, Saule and many more heavyweight faces. For us, one of the standouts has to come with Von D's return, on the laid back LFO rolls and glitchy chord stabs of 'Finis Gloriae Mundi'. Other highlights include stepper's favourite Sepia with his two potent originals in 'Remember' and 'Awaken', along with Karnage's smooth collaboration with Rider Shafique on 'Realise'.
Review: It's been well over two years since US imprint Sublimated Sounds last explored the outer reaches of the known universe. It's been well over six months since they put out any music full stop. This epic 21-track collection more than makes up for lost time, though. Running the gamut from deep dungeon dubstep (Karnage's "Yaza") to rolling, percussive, UKG-minded jams (Ghostmode's "Midknight") by way of straight-up filth steppers (Ohyra's "Vile Rebirth", Reamz' "Old School Days"), this documents where both the label and where bass music at large are at, where they've been and, most importantly, where everything is headed. Ready for take off?