Review: In the wake of all this grime business blowing up at the moment, it seems an apt time be delving into this compilation of early Plastician jams from a time before Mr Hawtin forced him to change his name. Coming at the emergence of dubstep when it was also called sublow or sometimes just grime, it's a thrilling reminder of the possibilities that were opening up in gritty urban electronic music at the time. With a primal approach and that icy minimalism that made the early material so exciting, there's not a duff moment in earshot across the whopping 21 tracks included here, and they've all been remastered for maximum contemporary impact. What more could a bass lover ask for?
Review: Rewinds don't get any mightier than this: Plastician dusts off some of his oldest project files and shares them around some of the most exciting names in contemporary bass possible. The result is a flashback of stark futurist proportions. AWE throws down some of the deadliest kicks ever to be squeezed from an 808 on "Safari", Starkey chows down on some serious spluttering cuts on his ghetto gritty take of "Pump Up The Jam", Mr Mitch subverts "White Gloves" into a dreamy mesh of cascading melodies and sludgy halfsteps, N Type and Surge slurp directly from the dubstep geyser on "Hard Graft" while Inkke gets jiggy on his upbeat jitterbug flex of "Section 7". The first of three ace remix packages lined up from his album, you're guaranteed to be rewinding these all summer long.
Real Things (feat Skepta & Frisco, Chronik & Tempz & Esco) - (4:40) 140 BPM
Hocus Pocus - (4:24) 140 BPM
Vio-Lent - (4:11) 140 BPM
Walk In The Car Park - (5:02) 136 BPM
Badboy Sound - (5:11) 144 BPM
Japan - (4:08) 140 BPM
Review: Plastician's '08 debut album gets revisited. Coming straight outta Croydon with the gnarliest beats imaginable, the legendary dubstep/grime pioneer brings us such iconic anthems as "Intensive Snare" featuring the agile lyrical prowess of East London's Skepta which is all "high hats, treble and bass!" alongside such rambunctious riddims as "Real Things" which brings in Frisco, Chronic, Tempz and Esco as well. Elsewhere, things get more dubbed out (see "Hocus Pocus" or "Shallow Grave") and mournful and melodic, like breathtakingly beautiful "Japan" which concludes the album. An outstanding body of work and an essential for dubstep heads new and old.
Review: Rinse FM's dark dubstep/grime and garage hero returns with a new seven tracker on Trouble & Bass, "Bad Like Us" is pure SL-2 'On A Ragga Tip" retro hardcore rave featuring MC Doctor. "Senate" couldn't be more different: being a cool and slick orchestral hip-hop number. "Pwnd" goes darker and slower: featuring buzzy bass drones and sparse beats. Finally MC Doctor returns to wrap things up with "Rebel Music" which is a synthy lighters-in-air anthem.
Review: Before we give you a taster of the music within, it's imperative that we praise London's Plastician for his contribution to UK dance music; grime and dubstep in particular. The Croydon bossman was there in the early days of pre-dubstep, and his sets are still some of the best bits of DJing you'll ever here; scout his sets out on old grime blogs and you'll know what we mean. Here he is in 2016 on Terrorhythm, and his new outlook has a lot more in common with R&B and pop than with grime. "Do What You Feel" is a deep, sensual bass sweller, while "Sonic Anxiety" is one for the downtempo heads, and if you thought that wasn't deep enough, there's even a beatless remix of "DO What You Feel". Raahh...
Review: Croydon's Chris Reed aka Plastician tells us that his usual grime shenanigans are held back for their own release in the near future, following this current release entitled Overdue: an EP named due to the lateness of the release, as well as an ode to his two children who were born beyond full-term pregnancy. All good things are worth waiting for he says, on this ode to his wife and kids for putting up with him, and a result of his love hate relationship with music. Across these seven tracks, his dubstep roots are still audible, with a healthy influx of Wavepool/Terrorhythm influenced numbers to boot - picking up up where his last LP Beg To Differ (2007) left off.
Review: Master DJ and grime pioneer, Plastician, is back after many pockets of hiatuses, and he means business, as per usual. It should be noted that while he was instrumental in the grime scene, his work was equally important for the development of dubstep over the years. This latest tune, "Sorcery", comes on Terrorhythm, and it's deeper than his usual stuff, where sparse gunshots blow off from docile, starry synths and low-swinging bits of sub-bass. It's deeper and less immediate than his usual material, but it's executed sublimely.
Review: Plastician, master of the punishing bassline, returns with his ominously entitled Straight Outta Croydon EP on Terrorhythm. Kicking off with aptly named title track "Hard Kore", it's like skullstep meets dubstep, as smashing kicks, rumbling subs, chopped up vocals and razor sharp snares reverberate and clash against one another in this violent cacophony of sound. "Plasbar" sees our man Plastician tune into a synth-led, purple wow-turned-nasty-esque sound, with shimmying synth lines, pounding bass and high pitched SFX forming a melody above the thuds and kicks. Powerful stuff here.
Review: Plastician continues flexing back to the past with future fusion on this second part of his Plasticman Remixed series, dusting off the parts to his foundational fire and sharing them liberally among some of the most exciting names in the game. Highlights flicker and flip from every rub; the elasticity of Kendo & Gunkst's bubbles and rolls, the uncompromising rusty grunts and metallic menace of Patrick Brian's version, Mojo's careful balance of scuffed skanks and hands-in-the-air positivity, the naked sinewy UKG vibe of Roska and the unashamed star-gazing, almost Kraftwerkian vibes of The Others remix. Remixes don't come with much more bass heritage and creativity as these.
Review: The Plastician remix series comes to a close with a trio of currently hot names from the contemporary bass music scene reworking tracks from the grime pioneer's 2004 Cha EP. Young Echo members Kahn & Neek arguably do the best job, delivering a bouncy, string-laden revision of "Search" that makes much of the original stabs, vocal hits and bassline. Also impressive is Wen's revision of "Shallow Grave", which offers up an off-kilter scurry through dubstep and bass house pastures complete with church bells and spooky vocal hits. Mak and Pasteman's bouncy, synth-laden UK house interpretation of "Search" completes a solid package.
Review: We were thrilled to see this one hit the shelves as the living legend that is Plastician touches down on his own, highly appreciated 'Terrorhythm' imprint for three tracks of pure fire. From the off, new school grime dons Jafro and Renz jump forward on the electrifying title track 'Anyway', providing us with some insightful flows and punchy lyricism. Plastician shows his grimey routes throughout this project as he flexes his synthy skills on 'Hit Somebody', which brings together classic grime drum and gun sounds coupled with an evil lead melody. These two tracks along with the instrumental version to 'Anyway' are sure to cause a ruckus in the rave.
Review: This is it! Trouble & Bass's final release... Going out on a high, Drop The Lime ties the many tendrils of his hugely influential imprint in one 25-track strong set. The result isn't just a celebration of T&B's successes, but the development of bass music at large and how it's irreparably dented US club culture for the better. Timeless highlights include AC Slater's epic speed garage slapdown twist of Mathhead, Supra1's jiggling wobblefest twist of Little Jinder and the proto-tropical fusions of The Boogaloo Crew. A genuinely historic document: high five to Trouble & Bass for all the good times.
Review: Dub Police's MyStyle mix series has become a force to be reckoned with in dubstep, an annual showcase from some of their most exciting artists, each outing appears deeper, more involving and widescreen than the last. The Others has clearly gone to town here with a whole heap of his productions and collaborations. For mix lovers this is a must; 28 tracks all seamed together tightly, it explores the darkest corners of the scene with a brave boldness. Those looking for individual tracks will also be pleased to see the likes of Icicle's techno-like industrial VIP "Need A Job", Sleeper's disturbing "Civil War" and Thelem's tripped out mind-twister "Haunted Harmonics". Stylish, sonically arresting and consummately accomplished, The Others has represented himself with serious skills right here.
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.