Review: Visages has been one of the big A&R success stories of Perez's 1985 Music, and this four-track EP is the next evolution of his techy, hybrid sound. Dark Guru is titled with an absolute gem of a dubstep track, a loping 140 monster which oozes force and sophistication through waves of undulating low frequencies; a true class act that simply deserves to be heard in a club. The rest of the EP is 170, and the highlight is 'Egotrip', a devilishly sharp minimal roller that stays clear of boring tropes and instead blends guttural bassline sweeps with jagged synth stabs and biting percussive touches. 'Yalda' is also obscenely good, as a crunchy groove beds down amongst soulful vocal notes and shuddering basslines. Best in class.
Review: Few producers have carved out a production signature as twisted and unique as Monty, and the Toulouse-based artist is back on his home imprint of 1985 with another absolute percy of an EP. It's just as diverse as the others, and F4DE moves from jagged dancefloor rollers through to dubstep destruction and deep, distinct liquid sounds. The title tune smacks of previous conquest 'Quest', and its hugely complex array of interlocked sounds ooze sophistication in a manner that's befitting its clubland persona. 'Righteous' is a monster of a 140 track and you can smell the blood from the off, as a foreboding introduction leads you down the path of no return, straight into the belly of the beast. More minimal force follows on 'SVP' feat. Icicle, before two liquid cuts round off the lineup; we especially love the deliberate, purposeful bassline of 'Whatever You Need'. Sensational.
Review: 1985 is undoubtedly one of the most exciting labels in drum & bass and never fails to push music that's fresh and exciting. The Folio/ series is coming to an end, but the third instalment is a worthy final chapter in Perez's four-track VA odyssey. He's roped in some of the scene's best with Halogenix, Workforce, Visages and Hyroglifics all joining Perez himself across the four tracks, and the results are futuristic, danceable and deeply satisfying. 'Unlustrous' is unique in its structure, with flowing, wobbly arrangement that builds and builds over the entire tune into something massively heavy. Hryglifics possibly has the most creative track with 'Day By Day', while Workforce's 'Simple, Positive Things' is relentlessly dark. Top class.
Review: After several appearances on compilations and the like, Visages are finally releasing their first full length EP on Perez's 1985 imprint. It's a label with a reputation for excellence, and Perez's self-designed visual aesthetic goes a long way to grounding this four-tracker into a broader, interrogable creative context. It's part soul, part grit, and the title tune gets this rolling through a cheeky nod to the former, Laville's vocals superbly stitched above a bed of pure movement. 'Amaryllis' is a relentless minimal number full of eerie vocal samples, 'Empire' feat. Skylark is restrained madness, a growling piece that always feels on the verge of something crazy, and 'Early Morning' is another slice of well-engineered, futuristic liquid. Unreal.
Review: Alix Perez's 1985 sets the bar again... Edition 3 is another instalment of their spotless V/A series which covers the label's broad range of shades. This one is a game of two halves as the first five tracks flex around the 140 region with crucial slabs from Halogenix's Lordel alias and dubstep men of the moment Ternion Sound. Meanwhile the second half flips to D&B with a whole clutch of impressive designs; Visages' "Memories" is a mournful stepper, Bredren get bad-ass with the thumpy, bumpy "Only One", Machinedrum brings some outstanding soul on "Braided Leaves" and Perez delivers three of his finest. Bring on Edition 4.
Review: The future's so bright for Monty he has to wear shades. So will you too when you drop fithlets like these and see the carnage that follows. Some of the young Frenchman's best work to date, across the full EP we're treated to the full Monty and a few cheeky cameo collabos. Expect nothing but absolute brawlers ("STK", "Blinded"), slinky emotional ones ("Black Shield" with Visages) creepy, sewer-bound funk loaded with surprises and twists and turns ("Cursive" with the label bossman Alix Perez) and totally uncategorizable firing future funk ("Quest") Blinding.
Review: Guidance remain in full control this year as yet another powerful EP from Ulterior Motive's label lands. This time it's from Was A Be, no longer signed to Shogun and now just a solo act, it's another bold statement. "Passive Aggressive" takes the lead with, ironically, no passivity whatsoever. Subverting a ravey riff over a real growler of a bassline, it's another certy stinker from Italian stallion. It's back by three more gully blunderbusses: "Mirrored" (with Visages) strips things back and drags us down the bassline sewer with one of the grumpiest basslines you'll hear all season, "Shell" follows suit with more low-end toxicity and a sweet roll to the drums while "Double Tap" takes the Was A Be to some pretty cosmic, warped places. Last but not least we have the dramatic "Blue Roots" where more of a techno influence can be felt in the pulsating bassline. Immense.
Review: Alix Perez's mighty 1985 imprint has been taking the D&B world by storm for the past couple of years and it's thanks in part to a series of wicked compilations, some big and some small. This is the second outing in the mini VA series Folio/ and they've pulled out all the stops, roping in a who's-who of forward-thinking music that includes Perez himself, SubMarine, Hyroglifics and others. Perez's contribution is classic Perez: moody, murky basslines and soothing, haunting samples that balance each other out into an equilibrium of pure satisfaction. SubMarine's 'Grunge' is more pure energy, a rippling number that's as fluid as it is devastating - perfect for the dancefloor. Tracks 3 and 4 don't mess around as well, but we're not really very surprised because Scepticz, Lavance, Hyroglifics and Visages are all just so damn good. Pick this one up.
Review: Well hello there Mr Monty. One of the many super-talented producers to emerge from the thriving Toulouse scene in recent years, he returns to Alix Perez's 1985 with five new fire-ups. Arguable his best material to date (which is saying something), the EP takes up from the viper-like rattles and slithers of the lead track to the naughty rump-shaking halftime of "One Shot". In between we're treated to glacial soul ("Limbo" with Visages) proper sandpaper funk roughage ("Legion") and epic cavernous deep rollage ("Intoxication") Never say goodbye...