Review: London imprint Whities presents a brand new track, plus a rare to find gem from their back catalogue, finally available digitally. Bristolian producer Ed Russell aka Tessela delivers a rave deconstruction on "Glisten" via his raw, bass driven techno sound - that rolls with a restrained sense of fury. "Touch Absence" (Intimidating Stillness Mix) by Scottish wunderkind and label staple Calum MacRae aka Lanark Artefax was originally released as a limited edition of 20 copies sold at the South London Record Fair in 2016. An unholy mixture of IDM, electro and jungle - this fierce dystopian epic is yet another fine example of this talented producer's dynamic sound.
Review: Crossing cultural and continental divides, this experiment from Bleep finds Shangaan Electro pioneer Nozinja bringing his South African soul to these shores in an exchange with Tessela, a producer whose sound is firmly rooted in the identity of UK electronica. Nozinja's original is a sprightly affair that will appeal to any fans of the Honest Jons Shangaan Electro series of 2012; rich in rapid-fire drum patterns and resplendent with sweet vocal harmonies. Tessela's version of "Wa Chacha" unsurprisingly gets much grubbier, pulling up a wealth of bass-loaded sound design and crafty rhythmic hooks without side-stepping some of the colour that makes Nozinja's source material so energised.
Review: Stepping up with some swinging goodness for the ever-strong All City, Tessela makes a strong statement with his first EP proper. "Slugger" takes the glory with a madcap sampling aesthetic that comes on like Jacob London, comical but also perfectly pitched to avoid being mere novelty. It's a dark and raw affair full of inventive chops and edits. "Subway" gets no less nutty, even if the bass pins everything down, while "Push" buffs out the edges with some Detroit stabs. Wherever you turn your ears there's a fearless action taking place, which promises big things for the future.
Review: To mark the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of his label, James Ruskin has put together this massive compilation. It includes long-term friends and associates of the label - like Oliver Ho, Regis and Luke Slater - as well as newer additions to the roster, including Lakker and Rommek. Apart from uniting artists from different generations, the compilation also showcases the label's various hues; from the broken beats and intricate rhythms of Ruskin and Regis' O/V/R project and the hypnotic soundscapes of Lakker's "Orange" to the trace stabs and 10 tonne kicks of Regis' "Party Spoiler Too" and the chaotic industrial rhythms on Truss' "Wanastow", this compilation offers to newcomers an invaluable introduction to Blueprint, or to long-standing fans an indispensable reminder of why the label is unique.
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: Back in 2010, Peverelist's Punch Drunk label released the Worth The Weight compilation, a collection of hard to find classics from Bristol's dubstep scene. In the years that have passed, dubstep has mutated, and so has Punch Drunk, with the classic dubstep sound giving way to something equally as likely to feature elements of house, techno and experimental music. It's this direction explored in the Worth The Weight Vol. 2: From The Edge, a 12-track compilation featuring tracks from the city and beyond. While Hodge and Tessela represent swung house and techno hybrids, Bass Clef and Ekoplekz are on hand to provide some strange analogue deviations, while Kahn and Zhou represent the city's Young Echo collective. With Pev himself, Andy Mac and Kowton delivering a remix of the classic "Roll With The Punches", this is an essential compilation for anyone with even a passing interest in the past few years of bass-centric UK music.