Review: It's always a momentous occasion when we see Skream returning to his earlier dubstep roots, a theme we seem to see him exploring more and more in recent times. That is why we were so thrilled to see this brand new third edition of the Unreleased Classics series, featuring eight previously unheard heaters. It's a powerful ensemble of original dubstep flavour, from the tribal percussive bounces of both 'Check Em Out' and 'Bloc Party', to the more LFO driven designs of 'The Soul' and 'The Darkside Of Life'. We see a couple of experimental creations make their way forward, with 'Deeper Concentration' exploring trippy synths, 'Jaws' driving down a much more metallic sounding synthetic route and 'Lemon' linking up grizzly basslines with dubwise structures. The pick of the bunch however is the 'Requestline' VIP mix, converting a tried and tested classic into a refreshing, sub-heavy system buster. Fantastic work!
Review: If we are talking about legends of the UK underground, there really aren't many names that rank above Skream. A veteran of many sounds, we see him return to his roots with this latest selection to release some prized unreleased classics, spanning from 2002 to 2003. This is a must have selection for any serious steppers fan, with the project bleeding authenticity across the entire track listing, from the bubbly drum bounces and warped bass tones of 'Depth Charge' to the grimey synth textures of 'Disfunktional Minds' and high energy eskimo-inspired drum switches of 'Oh My Gosh'. It's one for dubstep historians, that sees Skream's earlier more grime-influenced productions finally land in the public domain.
Review: Following on from the earlier release of the first edition of Skream's Unreleased Classics', Skreamizm now presents a very vibrant second volume, this time exploring his previously archived creations from between 2004 and 2006. Unlike the first volume, this selection sees the sound really take a turn towards that more classic dubstep approach, focussing more on halftime snare structures over bubbling, funky beats. We see Skream move through the weird and wonderful, from the quirky synth glitches and patois vocal samples of 'Hurt The Soundboy' to the slightly dissonant harmonies of 'BassTrapz' and jazzy arrangements of 'Live & Learn'. There's something for everyone in here as we ride through a fabulous chapter of UK music history.
Review: Having already featured both tracks on his recent Essential Mix, Skream now makes DUNNN available to fans and DJs. Drawing on the heritage of tough New York house, the title track centres on tough drums and a driving rhythm that underpins soulful vocal samples. By adding incessant percussion and repetitive riffs to the arrangement, Skream lends it a contemporary electronic edge. On "Tramadollied", he opts for a different approach. Laying down a pulsating groove and adding in outer space bleeps, he delivers a brooding, somewhat bleak techno track that's equally suited to big rooms and small basements. Long may his house and techno fixation last.
Martin Books - "Flitzepulver" (original mix) - (6:35) 128 BPM
Various - "Ibiza 2018 Closing Party" (continuous DJ mix 1) - (1:18:53) 124 BPM
Various - "Ibiza 2018 Closing Party" (continuous DJ mix 2) - (1:19:01) 125 BPM
Review: With the same certainty that the leaves will turn brown and fall from the trees, autumn sees the release of Toolroom's closing party album. It's the label's annual state of the (house) nation address and 2018 is no exception. While this year's edition contains a healthy smattering of feel good house - the most impressive exempts being the vocal grooves of Weiss' "Feel My Needs" and Illyus & Barrientos' "MEA" - there are also more adventurous variants on offer. These include Peggy Gou's tweaked acid take on Shakedown's "At Night", the chord heavy Dusky take on KiNK's "Perth" and the cut-up, abstract "Pale Blue Dot" by rising lo-fi house artist Ross From Friends, which demonstrate that this year, Toolroom is thinking outside the box.
Review: Toolroom sets out an ambitious programme for its annual Miami trip. Patrick Topping gets the party started with the diva vocals and crowd cheers of "Be Sharp, Say Nowt", a true good-time house tune, while a more considered but no less infectious take on vocal house is audible on The 2 Bears' "London Are You There?" and Bicep's wonderful electro-synth-led "Metro". However, this compilation isn't limited to house music: the OC & Verde remix of Eli & Fur's "Around You" is frosty Euro trance at its most memorable and Dubspeeka's "Lyssa" is a gorgeous piece of dubbed out, dreamy techno. Miami won't know what hit it.
Review: Dubstep pioneer Skream (aka Oliver Dene Jones) is back after a brief hiatus with Face Down In The Water, an action packed three track EP on his own Of Unsound Mind label. There are no short sharp shocks here, with the shortest tune of the three being the seven-minute orchestral-house closer, "Motions". Elsewhere "Let It Go" sounds like collab between John Carpenter and Systematic Records, the title track features soft, oompah-style synth melodies for a surprisingly deep workout. Catch these tunes and more on his upcoming Open To Close tour...if you can get tickets, that is.
Review: No one does contemporary disco like Dimitri From Paris. And no one has the compilation licensing clout like Defected. Naturally this is a match made in glitterball heaven as DFP spans 40 years of grooves with a spotless collection of his own edits and upfront jams. Ranging from his own twists on standard disco gems such as "Le Freak" and "Lost In Music" to the likes of Disclosure's "F For You" and Todd Terje's "Delorean Dynamite" this is, without question, one of Defected's most extensive, expansive and exciting collections to date - which really is saying something. A natural fit for all house, disco and funk fans young and old.