Review: Undeniable dub techno vibes from the outset of Paradox's Octa4 debut on Sneaker Social Club which could well be a defining release for the storied drum and bassline artist. Challenging the likes of Calibre and Mark Ernestus for that dub crossover crown, Paradox plays with meta-themes of simulation in "Proceed" with the title-track delving into pure dub for soundsystem cultures the world over. Massive.
Review: Total Science's CIA take a moment for reflection as they look back over the decades of hard service they've done and cherry pick a few old gold favourites. As with previous Select Files collections, the range is widescreen and full of authentic, timeless, honest D&B. You want highlights? You best start going through every track... Everything from Calibre's 2009 snarling bongo-buster "Understand" to some of S.P.Y's earliest cuts such as "Dark Age" and "Magic Hour" and the VIP of Total Science's evergreen ballistic rave weapon "Defcom 69" still hits the spot like they did the first time round. Get selective.
Review: Fresh from launching their own label for their collaborations last year, longstanding compadres Seba and Paradox land on the Metalheadz mothership once again with two outstanding lessons in D&B realism. "Hexagon" is glacial and furious. Original late 90s rudiments; the beats are pneumatic, the flavours and cosmic, the vibe is barbed and tense throughout. "Love Or Death" takes us down an even darker drumfunk rabbit hole where the breaks do all the talking. Absolute slap-about business with no holds barred in any element or ingredient. What a way to kick off the new decade for both Paradox, Seba and Metalheadz.
Review: Long-time sonic sparring partners and kindred fusion spirits Paradox and Nucleus return to their Esoteric imprint for more glacial goodness. "Beatbox" is a perfect example of the two OGs' sonic palette. Unhurried, spacious and colder than an overnight party-for-one in a morgue. "Plexus", meanwhile, takes us even deeper down their rabbit hole. Stripped back to a well-chiselled two step, rolling break, cosmic pads that constantly mutate and a velvet sub bass that really pops when you drop this on a big rig, it's perfect hypnotic fodder for the 4am crew.