Review: Hold tight Critical crew; Kasra's got a new series in the pipeline, as Critical Presents: Sequence One. Bringing together four gems from some of the hottest artists who have gravitated to the London label in 2011, this is a must buy for the discerning D&B fan. Russian-based emerging star Enei, with the hypnotic, ominous bass-laden "Obsession" (feat. DRS) features, as do Bournemouth duo Ulterior Motive with their suitably tech-ed up monster "Divergence". Also on there is Neosignal's Phace, live and direct from Germany with the punishing, neuro-tinged "Freedom Of Filth", and finally label owner Kasra makes an appearance with Jubei on "The Rift". Big, bad and heavy.
Phace - "Interplay" (Kimyan Law remix) - (4:13) 172 BPM
Review: Neosignal is a Dutch imprint that's currently celebrating its tenth anniversary of distributing hardcore, Neurofunk sonics to the masses. They're celebrating with a three-party remix LP that revists some of the best cuts from the label's history, and this is the first instalment, featuring Levela, Halogenix, Kimyan Law and more. Halogenix's remix of Misanthrop's 'Deadlock' is our favourite, a deeply minimal depiction that has Neurofunk overtones, a techy monstrosity that shows off his production prowess. Kimyan Law contributes with his usual creativity as well. We look forward to parts 2 and 3.
Review: Seriously - seriously - before any more words are said, just get your mitts on this LP. A seminal piece of work, it charts a decade in the life of Vision Recordings, the label at the foremost terrifying edge of neurofunk and beyond. Sharing the strobes with Black Sun Empire, Phace, Spor, The Upbeats and Calyx, and Teebee, it's hard to imagine what on earth drum and bass sounded like without these guys tearing a hole in the space time continuum every time they dropped a new EP. Black-hearted excitement from the darkest recesses of Europe. Don't pretend you don't need to hear "Diplodocus" one more time.
Review: The mighty Dutch trio team up with Neosignal's Phace for one of the roughest rides since, well, the last Noisia release! "Program" builds from a "Desert Orgy" style intro, full of scraping SFX, industrial beats and ominous melodic progression, into a full throttle aural assault with tense percussion, accelerating drop and rambunctious drums. "Regurgitate" sees Noisia going solo for another sterling affair; a sonorous, instrumental intro paves the way for a tough tumultuous main tune, replete with a reverberating, chopped up vocal which sounds like it's trapped beneath the smashing beats, thudding subs and crushing bassline. Magnificent.
Review: If you know Phace, you love Phace, it's as simple as that. "This techno stuff is too slow" is his statement of intent as "My Mind Is Modular" racks up ready for an electronic onslaught only he can provide. He's back. This two part sampler for his forthcoming Shape The Random LP gives a tantalising taste of what's still to come and if it's anything as good all the way through as these little nuggets of pain are, the world is in for a treat. "Monochrome" picks up the pace with a somewhat more danceable beat. Surely not? Sexily swaying and shifting, there's a moment of confusion before, ah, there it is, Phace returns to the room with giant Tesla coil bass manifestations and jagged-edged synthy destruction. The question is, is 2015 ready for this?
Review: Lo and behold, it's Phace's third solo album and it's sounding like his best LP to date. Powerfully punchy and high impact as it's compacted into a 30 minute hurricane, each cut is a glitchy zip from trip to trip; the wily vocal drop outs on "Downgrade", the sweary speaker kicking "FMS", the wonderfully whimsical "Lazy Day" and the near cosmic synths, gurgling bass and fizzy slapbass on "Obscure" are just some of the highlights that ping and ricochet you around Phace's multi layered, multi-faceted, multi-dimensional album. Breath takingly accomplished.
Review: For those who love Phace, and there are plenty of us out there, "Shape The Random" has been a long-awaited fourth full length LP and despite his relentless and prolific output, the energy and progression of sounds emanating from his Hamburg lab continues to surprise. Of course it's a masterclass in neurofunk, the man's a paid-up member of that club, however the most exciting thing about this album is his experimentation with more beefy, rhythmic forms of drum and bass too. Adding more meat to voracious techy rollers can only be a good thing. Do yourself a favour - get immersed in the madness.