Review: Much like the Fabric mix series, Late Night Tales has been a staple of the British compilation dynasty, and the label has somehow managed to consistently call upon some of the world's biggest and most interesting talents to demonstrate their skills behind the DJ decks, and to give us a tiny view into their tastes and influences. Iceland's Olafur Arnalds, a lo-fi artist who has steadily released nothing but quality on the Erased Tapes label, is asked to do the honours for the catalogu's 44th instelment, and we are seriously digging what this dude is into. Electronica is a bit of a cop-out term to describe this gear, but there is just so much diversity in here that it's simply impossible to categorise it under one roof. Maybe sci-fi electro soul would be a good term, as it manages to capture the mood and feel of these beautiful songs by the likes of Koreless, Jamie XX via Four Tet, Samaris, Arnois, and Arnalds' own music. Spot on once again, Late Night Tales!
Review: Never content to just trot out generic bass bangers, Spekktrum always seeks to push things forward. "Electronic Music" is no different being a spacey rhythm trip peppered with classic interview clips of ravers in their defiant youth. "Need Your Love" really takes his percussion skills to new heights, with various metallic effects ricocheting off each other in fine style. "Witness" is the darkest offering here - all break beats and wobble bass. A real standout however, is Spooky collaboration "House Of Haunted Horrors", which features a mean, dubby groove and an otherworldly breakdown.
Review: It's been a brief minute since we saw a new release from the infamous Project Allout imprint, so we were thrilled to see they had announced this potent new project with grime warlord Spooky. This brief break in their release schedule we hear is down to internal restructuring, ensuring we receive nothing but top draw releases from the PAR camp. The title track 'Badboy' is Spooky is sparkling UKG form, bringing together old school-steppy bass structures and super skippy garage rhythms. The EP also brings up three official remixes, beginning with Deadbeat UK's reesey rework and speedy official revamp. Our highlight however would have to be Hamdi's mammoth dubstep overhaul, which works the bass melodies into skippy half time designs with great skill.
Review: Bumper to bumper with his "No Days Off" EP, leading London beat carver Spooky is back straight off the bat with another lit odyssey so explosive it takes three regional fire departments to quench. "Discharge" is the smouldering jam of the set with its ambient pads, slo-mo kicks and precision position gun sounds. "GRIME" flips us to the contrasting side of Spooky's signature as he and Trends take us deep inside a 1995 modem, crank up the low end and dial up on repeat. Lastly Trends jumps on a remix flex, flipping "Discharge" with added layers of ominous bass and dramatic synth horns. Gooey.
Review: Spooky touches bass on the impressive Project Allout - we hope that you noticed the pun there - with his usual bag of tricks, this time in the form of "Bun Fire", a fast-paced breakbeat stomper coated in a healthy bit of dubstep wobble and boasting a drum & bass sensibility in the school of thought of your Dj Hazards. There a fine artillery of remixers who all twist and mangle the original up in fine style: Notion, Moony, Dubzta, and Trends all deliver the goods, the latter being particularly impressive with his grime reinterpretation. Fireee!
Review: Pure sonic slurry: grime and UKG's most toxic don Spooky steps up to Project Allout with a quad of instrumental bubblers. The title track is as aggy and angular as a sandpaper glove as atonal harmonies rub and scuff with a raw funk that shouldn't work but blatantly does. "Foggy Vision" continues that alien harmony theme but with more of a 4/4 shuffle. "Dead Man Walkin" is straight out of the 23rd century playbook; a finer soundtrack to a robot battle you'll struggle to find. Finally "The Lion Awakes" flips the switch and brings us to a dramatic, horn and string drenched high. Perfect for epic set-openers. Stinking.
Review: The MicroCastle label continues to knock out everything from progressive to techno, all at the highest standard and uncovering some seriously interesting and talented producers. This latest outing from Spooky is prime example, perfect for the dark underground rooms. Fill the smoke machines, drop at just the right time and hear the rumbling bassline smash the speaker stack and cause the dance-floor to go nuts.. Its simplistic in arrangement but has plenty of energy to carry right through, with twist and turns and bubbling acid lines cutting through the mix. Psycatron gets even more twisted on his cut while Petar Dundov heads down a deeper route... Wicked release!!
Review: Crown Jules is an independent music label founded by the North London producer Jason Jules, aka J Beatz. He and Spooky join forces here and it's set to be another busy year for both producers and it's no surprise given the work-rate from them isn't stopping. They are both highly skilled producers with respected reputations. Anyone doubting their abilities are gravely mistaken as their Maggie EP proves that they've got patterns for days in the beatmaking world. Starting off in properly wonky business with the gritty title track, next "Ponders End" shows they've got skills in the hip-hop department too on this dope urban jam. They save the best for last on their explosive grime anthem "Sargent" which is actually by J Beatz but remixed by Spooky.
Review: So, in short, this is Spooky doing what Spooky does best, as he supplies four of the UK's most exciting grime MC's with the perfect through ball as he unleashes the riddim pack for the 'Haunted Joyride Version Excursion', courtesy of Oil Gang. We first hear the London city warlord: Riko Dan who touches down with tight patois flows on 'High Power', before the skippy flows and untouchable energy of Mez is let loose on 'R9's Haircut'. The veteran vocal tones of Nasty Jack then arrive on 'S.U.N', before we round up with the party ready flows of PK's 'Flow Sensei'.
Review: Spooky's riot-inducing 2012 shock-out gets a mean and moody VIP treatment from the big man himself. That immense, back-hunching bassline remains the same but the beats have switched with swaggering, trap-like grizzles and grunts. Doctor Jeep, meanwhile, flips the UK funky bird with wall-smashing drums and a relentless fizzy groove. Further on we hit another VIP as Jeep tears apart 2013's "Ghost Dance" and completely rewrites the bassline over the jugular-tickling eski beats. A little too riotous? Check Spooky's subversion for a more deep-space-minded remix; all twisted sirens and waspy bass, it's yet another dark scud from Spooky's spotless weapon armoury. Handle with care.