Review: Inspired by the countless failed downloads from platforms like Napster and Limewire back in the day, Pixelord's 99% channels a nostalgia for classic IDM, breakbeat and trance music of the time. Operating as some kind of new school Aphex Twin for the digital native, Pixelord exhumes, cross dresses and redefines a myriad of genres from the cut up French electro of "Kamon", trance-like drum and bass in "Tron" to the crystallising strings of "Get Up". Certainly a schooled producer, Pixelord captures a vibe of the decade in "90s" alongside a more contemporary and beatless sound in "Hashtag" to new school EDM, breaks and rave in "Gene". An explosion of sound, 100%.
Review: Russian producer Pixelord returns to Hamburg's Saturate! label after first appearing on a split release with Mad Decent character heRobust back in 2012. That was for STRT003 and eight years later in 2020 Pixelord finds his newest release catalogued at STRTEP082! It presents the artist's second release for the year following a limited cassette release with Sangam, and for this solo EP Saturate! brings with it remixes from Planet Mu's Starkey, Run Rad's DRANQ, and the mysteriously affiliated DJs Ride and Pound. Pixelord himself, though, turns five digital distortions of bass, glitch and neo-deconstructed industrial sonics, with a specific and unique power synth laced throughout this latest Saturate! edition. Find it appearing like a bad WIFI connection in "BFG" or as call and response to the bassline in "Pain Elemental". Furthermore, see it tearing across the sweet melodies and bit graded chip tunes of "Bonus Stage" to its role as a counterpart to the effervescent trance synths in "Doomguy". Wild style in "Demonslayer" no doubt too. Beware.
Review: Pixelord and the mysterious Sangam combine for a final fantasia of sounds in this four-track City High Fantasy EP that pulls at the heartstrings of deepest anime themes to Blade Runner atmospheres of tears in the rain. Overtly in "Process Cold" and deeply embedded in the synths and field recordings of "Opacity", these two sit between the liquid industrialisms, chemical rhythms, glitch and cosmic Detroit electro of "Weathered Eternity" and the two-stepping, bleeps and breaks of "City High Fantasy". Believe the Hyperboloid.
Review: Alexey Devyanin has given us all sorts of magnetism since his first productions began to appear in a distant and foggy 2010. He's lived the entire post-dubstep era from its early days through to its present state, and that journey has taken him across labels like Car Crash Set, Berlin's Leisure System, Infinite Machine, Tuff Wax, and his own Hyperboloid. His new album, Human.exe, lands on the latter and it's an extensive piece of work spanning all corners of the bass spectrum. There isn't a single tune on here that remains linear throughout and, instead, Pixelord uses a wide diversity of sonics and beat tactics to produce his mechanical strain of bass-heavy dance music. This is what 'bass' is all about at the end of the day; a vast and bottomless pit of sounds put together under one hybrid groove. For fans of Actress, Hessle, and anything on Hyperdub.
Review: Well, the UK's Shifting Peaks have really gone and done it with this latest leviathan of a compilation, an anthology of their best and most wanted from 2010 until now. Inside, there's talent and plenty of club antics bouncing off the wall left, right and centre; with over fifty cuts there's enough to go around and satisfy a whole artillery of bass-heads. Some of the stand-outs for us are Tessela's "Yes You Can", Hackman's "Always", "Put You Down" by Odessa, and OM Unit's remix of "Reach Out" by Nphonix. What a belter,
go forth and indulge!
Review: It's time for Slit Jockey's annual Choice Cuts compendium. A lot has changed since their last collection: The US/UK neo-grime feedback loop has never been louder, and neither has Slit Jockey's relevance and influence. Highlights of this inherently futuristic bass exploration can be found on every track; from the sudden bliss twist of Starkey's "Trigger" to Shiftee's swampy, super-prang audio head-butt "Geek Flex" via the dungeonesque bubbles and blips of Korostyle's "Kalika" and TIMBS' emotional flute-snapping funeral trap vibe "Rivers", this is, without question, Slit Jockey's most exciting and all-encompassing curation to date. Not to be missed.
Review: The one like Pixelord comes through in full effect with a nasty, thumping VIP mix of his previously released ripper "Drinky". It's a slow-tempo, bass pile-driver with some delicious synth work and Gillespy's remix is even nuttier - rimshots, snares, the lot. Highly recommended.
Review: It's the third instalment of the Nasty Rips compilations on Shifting Peaks and by hell have these guys got the right idea. Sweet house and garage shuffles from all corners, including some pretty special numbers by the likes of Marshall Jefferson, Hackman, Odessa, plus plenty more house bullets for you to twist your boots to. This one comes recommended for those infected with the house bug!
Review: Infinite Machine snap up the talents of two steadily emerging artists immersed in the tos and fros of contemporary bass music, resulting in the Moosebumps record and celebrating all things hybrid and indefinable. Russia's Pixelord looms large on the release with his canny use of RnB vocals in unusual contexts, not to mention his wielding of texture and sound design to create an interesting depth of field in his downtempo constructions. Zack Christ is more overtly avant-garde in his approach, not least on the gloriously crumbly "Tungo" which seems hell bent on squashing any whisper of groove into an experimental mess. Bringing fresh approaches to a sound that is widely represented at present, Pixelord and Zack Christ have proven their worth more than most with this EP.
Review: Experimental Muscovite Alexey Devyanin is better know for his recordings under his Gultskra Artikler persona - recently however he launched this new project that focuses on beats. "Been Lookin" is all digital riddims, urgent keys and bleepy 8 bit noises. "Freeze the Star" has a Q-Tip sample slowed down over industrial-hop beats. Starting slow with dizzyingly high-pitch vocals, "Paperball" soon accelerate to maniacal juke speeds and finally "Vibrate" rounds things up with glitch-hop weirdness coupled with hip-hop chants.