Review: Bringing forth fresh talent at a dizzying rate, Dusk & Blackdown's imprint steps up with another sterling four-tracker of forward-thinking bass music that keeps the vibe of dubstep alive just as it points to new avenues. Etch is fearsomely limber on "Scattah", wielding rudest jungle tropes on a half-step lurch with a wonderful injection of horror soundtrack tension that brings all the darkside incantations you could hope for. Walton has a touch more pep in his own collage that drops a snappy garage mentality with a breakbeat roll, while the bass rub cries out for a powerful stack of subs to test. Visionist taps into the exotic climes that the LHF collective explored so adeptly, clashing melodies against each other without hesitation, and Fresh Paul takes the creatively maligned purple sound and runs it into a far more inviting cocktail of emotionally ambiguous and devilishly produced fare.
Review: Across multiple genres of UK underground music, Riko Dan is already solidified as one of the vocal legends. He is also known to step outside the 140 box and work alongside unusual production to create some truly phenomenal work. His brand new EP has been released through Tectonic and is a homage to his vocal versatility, be it the rapid fire patois voicings upon 'Vibration', the slower more dancehall inspired lyrics on 'Slap It Up' or even the uber grimey flows on the title track 'Hard Food'. Along with these we are also blessed with the techy arrangement of 'Hungry', the 8bit melodies of 'Alright Then' and a fantastic remix of 'Big Slug' from the ever creative production fingers of Walton.
Review: Tramp Records' Praise Poems series has so far delivered four essential volumes of deep and soulful 1970s jazz. Predictably, this fifth instalment in little over two years is every bit as good as its predecessors. Highlights come think and fast, from the bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed shimmer of Gunn High School Jazz Reunion's "Red Clay" and the hazy, sun-kissed West Coast rock/deep soul fusion of Robert Cote's "Move On", to the sprawling big band jazz-funk of Magic's "Sunshine", and the vibraphone-powered shuffle of Ulysses Crockett's "Funky Resurgence". We're also really enjoying Charlie Chisholm Boss-tet's wild and spaced out cover version of Ramsay Lewis standard "Wade in the Water". As the well-worn cliche goes: all killer, no filler.