Review: Definitely "Maybe"... Eternal Muzik continue to crunch into the new year with four killer cuts from three killer artists. Asylum takes the lead with two caustic steppers: "Maybe" is pure groove poison with its jagged dynamics and alarming darkness while the sinewy step-based "Sinister" allows MC Kolapse the space to spill his demonic tones. Deeper again we find DJ Rodeo in fine jittering, off-beat form on "Shoot Me" and Traumatize closing the show with a riff-focused cut that wouldn't go amiss in a Randall set. Reference points don't come any higher.
Review: It's an all-out bass brawl at Digital 101 HQ as Midlands duo Asylum collide and divide for five straight-up terror cuts. Together they provide the main bulk of the EP with the hair-raising staccato bass cuts "Impulses" and "Override" and the deeper, Bladerunner-style "The Music". Rounding up the EP they play solo roles; DJ Rodeo does that menacing mischief thing that Konichi does so well while Traumatize gets weirded out and croaky. Forward thinking.
Review: Damageman, as you can tell from his name, is in this game to do serious damage to the eardrums of those who listen and this single seems like it was made with that objective in mind. Teaming up with Rodeo on the first tune, 'Music Makers' is clean and sparse in the drums which lends extra clarity to the bassline, an elongated expression of moodiness with a quality injection of additional bounce. 'Believe In Me' strikes a similar chord but does so with more vigour, a haunting sample fills up the highs whilst a driving back end pushes the track forwards with pace and momentum. Big single.
Review: Hurtling towards their one year anniversary in style, Damageman's Sub Heavy Audio dish up their first substantial V/A EP with this epic five track exploration from some of their clear players. All wriggling and writhing around stripped back stinky vibe, each cut hits the spot with clarity and precision. Stand-out moments include the deft vocal sample twists and turns of Rodeo's "Moves", Damageman and Craftmus's springy black magic slap-about "Wicked Spells" and the sweeping, star-gazing rushes of Dec James' "Supernova" but all five cuts here deserve your full attention. Heavy is as heavy does...
DJ Rodeo,A Magness,A Skankage A &A A.T.B - "LOCK UP" - (4:23) 175 BPM
Review: Bucking heck! Rodeo's rifle stepper enjoys a cornucopia of refixes and they're all next level: KHALZ minimalises the dickens out of the situation, taking us to stark new places, Skankage adds layers of jagged steel and a spring the size of Wales to the mix, Magness throws down a Voltage-style subby swing while A.T.B twists up the rhythm with mischief. Comes complete with a seriously scatty VIP and a new original that's come from the remixer's collaborative minds: the trippy harmonic stepper "Lock Up". Bad boy business.
Review: This release combines the old and new school sounds in a deeply satisfying fashion. Courtesy of Rodeo and Dropzone Audio, Drop It is a six-tracker with the singular objective of giving you a bass face. 'Classisdead VIP' is our favourite, with a rippling, bouncy bassline that gives the tune so much character, underpinned the whole way by pacey, rustic drums. There's something similar to be said for 'Danger Time', which packs a saucy reece bass and yet more superb drums. Yes Rodeo!
Review: There's something about a quality single that EP's and LP's don't have and whilst it's easy to complain about the apparent demise of longer-format music, the ease of access a single provides definitely seems to contribute to how much enjoyment is gained from the music. Rodeo has nailed it with The Phoenix/Dimmer Switch. The former is a rolling liquid number that excels in its depth, with haunting piano chords providing the space for melancholic fills and a luxurious sense of ambience. 'Dimmer Switch' is almost the opposite, an expansive bit of work with a warehouse feel that growls all the way through. This type of juxtaposition is always welcome in the name of diversity and Rodeo has nailed it here.
Review: Rodeo has developed a reputation for tough, urban-edged sonics over many years of cultivation and curation, by of doing his bit for a scene and pumping out very, very good music. He's diverse in his capabilities and Blues Clues sees him returning to his jump up-ier side but tinged with funky lightness, something we're definitely very keen on, especially when it's on a label like Dropzone Audio. This release is wicked and 'Gravity' is a highlight, with a snapping percussive line forming around its inching, creeping basses and eerie background ambience. Top stuff right here.
Street Players By Victor Simonelli - "Taste A Little Paradise" (produced , mixed, arranged and edited by Victor Simonelli for VJS Prod Engineer Paul Hawkins Special thanks to Jason Orriss Mastered by Jack Smeraglia) - (9:18) 129 BPM
Womack Rework - "Good Times In Life" (Greg Womack) - (7:30) 116 BPM
RLP - "I Dont Love You Anymore" (RLPs French Affair Philly Tribute Session) - (11:23) 118 BPM
Ramsey Hercules - "Ohh Child" - (6:24) 93 BPM
Mr Leigh - "Searchin To Fund Another One" - (5:44) 114 BPM
Review: Here's a tantalizing prospect: an expansive collection of edits and reworks old and new from some of the greatest exponents in the disco scene. With such quality fare on offer, picking highlights is tough, but keep an eye out for the contributions from Frico (a straightened-out and chopped-up version of Orlando Johnson & Trance's boogie classic "Chocolate City"), DJ Prime (a soaring version of disco-soul classic "Nothing's Gonna Hold Us Back"), Manix (the filter-heavy disco-funk workout "Hangin Through") and Alkalino (the heavy P-funk jam "This is a Party"). There's also another chance to enjoy scene classics from Revivra (their brilliant 2010 rework of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?") and The Apple Scruffs (the vocoder-laden Pink Floyd disco cover "Another Brick In The Wall").
Review: Five years of pure filth flinging: Birmingham's highly respected Dubstomp 2 Bass crew celebrate this half decade milestone of murkery with an incredible 20-strong collection of tracks from their current collective of dangerous souls. Everyone is packing their a-game: from the swooning sexy R&B vocals of Jedi's "Oh Slow" to the jazzy twangs of Tomoyoshi's "Monochrome" to the jaunty loose limbed breaks, sly subs and orgasmic breakdown of Lymitless's "Silence Of Sound" to the brittle laser Qs and grotty groaning As of Subside's "Blast 'Em", every track here is primed for peaktime slappery, not only representing the label's presence and strength now... But hinting at an even bigger future.
Review: Ten years and 40 releases deep, Eternal Muzic let loose with their biggest VA album to date. Running the full jump-up range from bouncy to savage tear-out, some of the label's closest allies are all on side including DJ Sly, Tesen, Runnah and Krusty who appears multiple times across the album with some of the most provocative jams of the collection like the 2012-era harmonic riffage of "Need You" and the gnarly, flabby bass 'head-banging' finale. Elsewhere Rannah lays down a futuristic fire-up VIP of "Looney Toonz" and Sly & BlckHry get classical with the wriggly bass of "Vibe Check". Muzic forever...