Review: Whilst they occupy different eras in the hardcore continuum, little more needs to be said about either Pinch or Photek. What is certain is both individuals share a precision understanding of rhythmic structure and programming that makes the prospect of collaborations a mouth watering one to say the least. Undoubtedly borne out of the working relationship that began with Photek's debut on Tectonic last year, the Pinch dubplate version of "Acid Reign" is a lurching, acid drenched half step terroriser that will be familiar to fans of Pinch's all conquering Fabric mix. The flipside flex "M25FM" undoubtedly pays homage to Photek's formative years glued to the speakers taking in the sounds of pirate radio, adopting a housier poise that prick the radars of Boddika fans.
Review: Tectonic bossman Pinch has whittled his forward-thinking stick to a point so hard it could poke the eye out of an unaware London pedestrian all the way from Bristol base. "Down" is a perfect example of how ahead of the game Pinch is and is plucked from his forthcoming genre smelting mix CD of the year contender with Mumdance. It's a lesson in sludgy, early-Warp style techno that's droning and paranoid, twisting his immersive signature into an entirely new context. "Search Party", a groove that shuffles and shakes on a fractious broken beat while an array of well-tamed wobbles twist and tease each other. Long may Pinch keep whittling...
Review: An instigator returns: Tectonic bossman lays down a sweet-shuffling garage-minded drum arrangement with more than enough space for Rico Dan to do his damage. Wait for the bass to really rip mid-way. As Rico says himself "original badboy business". "No Justice" brings up the rear. A scratchy, spatially dizzying stepper coded with all manner of spooked out designs, it's clear Pinch is in his element right now... Long may this continue.
Review: For some years now Pinch has been solidifying himself as an innovator within the walls Bristol?s underground music scene. Here we see him back in action alongside the ever creative Swamp81 imprint with two absolute bombshells. To start, Walking With Shadows is a serious journey through electronic sound design, with rolling drum arrangements taking the lead amidst a shower of well-crafted distortion and atmospheric wonder. On the flip we delve into a more percussive angle as AHH FFF SSS combines techy elements a UK funky themes together for a box of rhythmic bliss.
Review: The releases of Aquatic Lab have been amongst some of the most popular within the dubstep realm over the last 8 years, having previously hosted the likes of Truth, ClueKid, Sleeper and many more. Bristol's own dubstep pioneer; Pinch steps forward for their first and only release of 2017 with his fantastic 3 track project entitled 'Brain Scan', The EP kicks off in fantastically creative fashion with the title track providing a powerful 5 minute composition of unpredictable bass music stacked with industrial percussive patterns and moody melodies. We rapidly move from this into a sub-meditation sound track entitled 'Street Light' which rolls out oh so smoothly with incredibly layered synthetic textures and free roaming sub-frequencies. The EP wraps up with the haunting sounds of 'Abducted' which is another top draw example of dubstep sound design done right. Constantly switching between dubwise themes and gnarly bass synths, this one really does the business.
Review: At this point, whenever we see Pinch's name appear on a forthcoming list we buckle in for a long, explorative ride into the science of sound, with this latest album on Tectonic entitled 'Reality Tunnels' being exactly what the doctor ordered. Over the course of 10 stunning originals, we see Pinch flex his veteran production muscles with some of the most interesting and original creations we have heard this year, from the post-jungle designs of 'Entangled Particles' alongside Emika, to the space-age soundscaping of 'Back To Beyond' and post-dubstep marches of 'Returnity'. For us there are a pair of clear highlights, with the haunting vocals of 'Inezi' on 'Change Is A Must' sending shivers down our spines, alongside Killa P's war-ready vocal additions on 'Party'. Amazing work.
Crossing The Line (feat Killa's Army) - (4:36) 142 BPM
Send Out - (4:33) 142 BPM
Crossing The Line (feat Killa's Army - radio edit) - (3:42) 142 BPM
Review: Wait wait wait, Pinch, Kahn, Tectonic AND Killa's Army? Just take my money. This is a fantastic link up from start to finish as two Bristol legends combine in style across two powerful originals. We firstly check out the deep, rolling sub tones and high energy vocal displays of Killa's Army on the hard hitting 'Crossing The Line'. You can hear this in a Kahn set of any kind, any day of the week. Things get even darker on the flip however as 'Send Out' lands with more gnarly sub tones, creating a seriously spooked out atmosphere through its use of space and choppy drum movements.
Review: Boof! The Pinch man himself returns to his own Tectonic stable and he's joined by Mumdance and Logos. All three bass heads have collaborated on Tectonic before, all with stunning results, so it's a pleasure to see them back in action. Up first is "Double Barrelled Mitzi", a dark and cavernous pseudo house bullet of a refix of Pinch and Mumdance killer "Turbo Mitzi" boasting a flurry of deranged sonics and deep, sweltering shots of low-end - a true hybrid tune in the label's familiar style. Pinch himself turns in a VIP mix of the Mumdance & Logos cut "Legion", a tribal war dance powered by broken shreds of percussion and deep waves of bass. Heavy duty stuff.
Review: Coming completely out of nowhere, this collaborative album between two of dubstep's most revered producers is not only one of this year's best examples of the genre, but some of the best dubstep to emerge since the demise of Shackleton and Appleblim's Skull Disco label in 2008. In a landscape increasingly dominated by the sounds of genre hopping post-dubstep, this album is a timely reminder of the dark spaces dubstep once inhabited; "Jellybones" for instance utilises eastern percussion manipulated to increasing degrees of mind-warping confusion, whilst "Levitation" weaves furious rhythms around radiophonic weirdness, while closer "Monks On The Rum" is a gripping exercise in tension, contrasting cut-glass percussion with a hesitant bass. But for all the structural complexity of these tracks, for example in "Rooms Within a Room", which weaves a brooding string intro and sampled choir around traditional dubstep atmospheres, the pair have never sounded so focused. Essential.
Review: What a combo we have here. From the artist credits alone, we knew we would for a treat with this one as Pinch's unique and organic bass production links up with the iconic vocal presence of Trim for a dancefloor scorcher entitled 'That Wasn't It'. As every with these two, this isn't your typical roller, as Pinch provides scattered, blippy rhythmic patterns, into which Trim continuous to find unusual pockets, spraying up the arrangement with poetic lyricism and skippy flows, giving it vocal topping it deserves!
Review: Across multiple genres of UK underground music, Riko Dan is already solidified as one of the vocal legends. He is also known to step outside the 140 box and work alongside unusual production to create some truly phenomenal work. His brand new EP has been released through Tectonic and is a homage to his vocal versatility, be it the rapid fire patois voicings upon 'Vibration', the slower more dancehall inspired lyrics on 'Slap It Up' or even the uber grimey flows on the title track 'Hard Food'. Along with these we are also blessed with the techy arrangement of 'Hungry', the 8bit melodies of 'Alright Then' and a fantastic remix of 'Big Slug' from the ever creative production fingers of Walton.
Review: If any label is going to wrap up one of grime's biggest years to date, it's Butterz. Responsible for the genre's best parties and home to artists from Swindle to Faze Miyake to Terror Danjah, Butterz are one of the most consistent and creative grime flagbearers of the game. Reading like a who's who in grime (Big Narstie, Skepta, Flowdan, Stormzy, Wiley, D Double E, Sir Spyro, Plastician, Kano, Giggs and loads more) each of the 40 tracks remind us (if we needed reminding) just how well grime has annotated and soundtracked the year. Gully.