Review: It's always exciting to see a new Exit release drop into this store, especially when they are as beautiful as this latest collection from Lewis James, under the EP name 'The Death Of Habit'. From start to finish, this one is a glittering display of soundscaping genius, combining the gentle harmonic bliss of 'The Sorrow In Ronan' with the outstanding vocal displays of Alia Fresco on 'Worth The Pain' and gnarly tech flavours of 'Acidize' alongside DBridge to kick us off in style. Next, 'Triangle' provides more experimental drum work and epic spacey pads, before Lorn's exceptional input on 'No Team' ties us up nicely.
Review: Fresh from appearing on Astrophonica's Gradients collection, Lowriding Lewis James makes his full EP debut with "Shapeshifter". The title track sets the scene with measured chill charm before "Ferro" ups the ante with a blissful pitched-up vocal and dramatic high-tension drum groove and acidic bass plunges while "Your Love Is A Power" explores more of a jungle structure with a mystic loop and a scorching vocal from Dan Dans K. Finally we hurtle back, nose-first, into this stinking planet with the gnarled-out hard-stepper "Turbo". The name gives you all the clues you need. Lewis is bang on the money right here.
Review: As always with Astrophonica, we are in for a treat with this one, as they get busy with a top quality compilation selection, unveiling twenty pulsating originals under the name '20'. Whilst examining the vibes on this one, we noticed that it really does cover all the basis when it comes to high tempo bass music, from the grizzly roller arrangements of 'Hull Breach' from Fracture & Neptune to the bouncy footwork flavours of Dawn Day Night's 'Voodoo Vibe'. There are most certainly some clear standouts, with Fracture, Rider Shafique & Sam Binga pulling together for a spicy original on 'Back It Up', alongside Sully's super colourful junglist roller 'Flock' and the eerie flute work of 'Flocon' from Moresounds. A very interesting listen!
Review: Four-to-the-floor, let us hear you roar... Fracture's Astrophonica goes into techno overdrive with this crucial collection of 4x4 inspired jams. With cuts from the bossman himself, Lewis James, Addison Groove, Moresounds, Sam Binga and Om Unit (under his Philip D Kick alias) all running rampant at around 160BPM there's a heavy stench of hardcore rolling throughout this unique collection. Highlights include the acid funk frenzy of Addison Groove's "Redeye", the ghettotek badness of Binga & ONHELL's "A Mighty Quest" and the late night 23rd century car chase vibes of Lewis James' "Kit5000". These are just a handful of examples of the truly unique fusions on offer here. Astrophonica are way ahead of the game right here.
Alix Perez & Monty - "Good To Me" - (4:54) 174 BPM
Bredren - "Swayed" - (5:56) 174 BPM
Monty - "Decisions" - (4:53) 174 BPM
Razat - "Simplicity" - (5:01) 172 BPM
Review: 1985 Music was founded by Alix Perez a year or two ago and, since then, has rapidly become one of the premier destinations for forward-thinking sonics that inhabit the 85-170bpm spectrum. With a fresh roster including Monty, Submarine and Perez himself, Edition 2 is a showcase of both the producers and sounds that Alix has in his orbit. There are too many outstanding tracks to recount here, but 'Drones' by Cesco stands out as one of the most creative: a subby, stepping halftime cut with an ingenious drum pattern. There's weighty rollers, too, including 'Swayed' by Bredren and 'Good To Me' by Perez and Monty, both of which are sublime examples in minimal construction. A truly sick collection of tracks.
Review: Few labels hit the spot like Fracture's Astrophonica. Home to breaksmithery's most innovative waifs and strays, every release writhes in those gloopy, unfathomable pastures between jungle, juke, beats and just straight up sick electronica. This sophomore edition of the label's V/A Gradients series is a perfect example as everyone from Luke Vibert to Sully lay down powerful designs. Every single track is a highlight but you'd be mad not to get mucky with Binga, James and Shafique's "Everfresh", get lost in the dubby wooziness of Groves' "Hennessy Brown", get air punchy to Fracture's technoid thumper "Dropping Yu" or get straight up sexual to BSN Posse's "No Matter How Far"... Ain't no track too steep, Gradients has every single breakbeat flavour you could need this season.