FaltyDL - "Atlantis" (Bogus Order Reorder) - (5:22) 59 BPM
Review: The artfully titled Ninja Tune Traktion EP finds the storied label dip into their vast archives to offer Traktor DJs exclusive stems to help convolute their sets with a range of obscure sounds and classics. For some basslines and synths to throw over drums or percussion the Bogus Order Reorder of Falty DL's "Atlantis" is an obvious choice, as can be said about the snares and hyperactive synths of the Spacelab remix to Starkey's "Blood Roses". The manner in which Seiji messed with that classic synth riff to Coldcut & Hexstatic's "Timber" ensures his remix can always be left as is, and for something more melodic and liquid funky there's the chiming and remixed sounds of DJ Food's "Dark Lady".
Review: Acclaimed Philadelphia based street producer brings it with his unique take on grime/dubstep/bassline/breaks, in the first instalment of his Space Traitor EP series. "Robot Hands" kicks things off with a Rustie style synth work out, with robotic rhythms and a mechanised thump/bleep pattern. "Playing With Fire" builds from the grandeur of the intro into an experiment in menacing minimalism. "Holodeck", with its vintage film samples and twee melodies leads nicely into dreamy, vocal-led "Paradise" and finally future garage tinged "Lenses". There's a whole heap of remixes from Egyptrixx, Ital Tek, Kaiser, Rudi Zygadlo, ARP101, +Verb aswell. Big.
Review: Philadelphia based producer Starkey returns with Space Traitor Volume 2, another outer galactic odyssey that showcases his unique take on grime, dubstep and breaks. There are seven original productions featuring a couple of killer vocal contributions from Charli XCX and Curly Castro - all worth checking, especially opening cut "Lost in Space" and the beatless atmospheric soundscape of "Craters". Remixes from Darling Farah, Om Unit, Innerpartysystem, Distal, Monky and the Elementz round off a bumper package on Civil Music.
Review: Philly's own bass champion Starkey is in stadium-filling mode on this new EP for Ninja Tune. Treated piano and strings, played out in a bombastic key and built up for maximum dramatic impact, abound on the lead track. Before long the fist-pumping synth grind more typical of Starkey comes screeching in for the last quarter - immense! Elsewhere the man is on more familiar territory with the agitated brap of "Blood Roses", and the chiming half-step of "Rayguns". The whole EP is blinding in its hyper-produced sheen, which should see it getting lapped up all over the shop, and rightly so.
Review: Blimey! Barely a month's passed since Civil gave us Reso's breath-taking debut album, they're now giving us Starkey's inaugural longer player. Naturally it lives up to the expectations he's set with his scene-inspiring singles. From the Trentemoller-meets-Daft Punk string-drenched sadness of "G V Star Part 1" to the gritty ghetto-take bass of "Command" to Orbital-like solar hug "Lzr", this resonates with undiluted psychedelia, melody and the deft art of audio surprise. Essential.
Review: Previously given away for free last summer, Starkey returns to this momentous musical atom-splitter with a clever VIP. Where the original leans back on a much starker 808 trap recipe building up to the big blast drop, the VIP slam-dunks you in deep before you even get to tie the laces on your raving shoes. Two different grooves for two different shades of the night; usually a VIP outshines the original, but here we have two really interesting takes that could quite feasibly be played together with maximum potential to teasing the Dickens out of your audience.
Review: New out on Ninja Tune, Philadelphia producer Starkey teams up with MC cartel Central Spillz for this feisty new release. Having previously dropped tunes for Planet Mu, Trouble & Bass and Keysound, Starkey is well versed in laying down messed-up bass beats, and on this remixed version of "Open The Pod Bay Doors", he mixes live sounding, grime-structured percussion around multi-octave bass power while the UK rappers simply tear up all mics in sight. A canny, US take on grimey dubstep styles.
Review: The Philadelphia based DJ/ producer follows up Space Traitor Vol 1, his last release on London's Civil Music, with this, "Lost In Space" featuring Charlie XCX. The original is a bass driven, synth-drench sci-fi utopia with autotuned vocal and dubstep inspired sound. Accompanying this is a radio mix and VIP mix, which takes things up a notch or two, before Innerparty System provide a fun, pumping remix with funky electro-house vibes; Om Unit then goes deeper and more psychedelic, whilst Darling Farah harnesses the zeitgeist, blending genres seamlessly with this super slick interpretation. Kuhn then finishes things off with a glitchy, beat-laden fidgety juke-esque version.
Review: It's time for Slit Jockey's annual Choice Cuts compendium. A lot has changed since their last collection: The US/UK neo-grime feedback loop has never been louder, and neither has Slit Jockey's relevance and influence. Highlights of this inherently futuristic bass exploration can be found on every track; from the sudden bliss twist of Starkey's "Trigger" to Shiftee's swampy, super-prang audio head-butt "Geek Flex" via the dungeonesque bubbles and blips of Korostyle's "Kalika" and TIMBS' emotional flute-snapping funeral trap vibe "Rivers", this is, without question, Slit Jockey's most exciting and all-encompassing curation to date. Not to be missed.
Review: 10 years of US/UK grime feedback: Slit Jockey celebrate a decade of dirt with this extensive collection of classics, currents and previously unheard cuts. There might be 10 years between some of the tracks but you'd never tell; such is the solid signature and high quality control of the label. Every track is a highlight but cuts like Lenkemz savage club shredder "Can't See U", Blak Twang & Conrank's midnight murker "Go Getter" and Mr Mitch's eerie moon-bouncing trapisms are essential staples for any grime and bass connoisseur's collection. Here's to another 10 years.
El Carnicero - "Orange Soda Moustache" - (3:06) 147 BPM
DJ Cable - "Cartridge" (VIP) - (4:36)
Bombe - "Still Riddim" - (3:36) 146 BPM
Review: Founded on importing the UK bass sounds to the US while embracing their own native bass techniques, Slit Jockey have developed a unique motif over the years. The annual Choice Cuts series is one of the best ways of experiencing their well chiselled sound, and this is one of their best compendiums to date. Whether you start studying for a degree in star-gazing to Ill-Esha's "Galactic Halo", play the air steel drums to Strooly & Swimwear's neon-tribal hypnosis session "Chemtrails" or lose your mind to the unique fusion of hardcore and trap on Wonder's "RaveT", one thing is certain - Slit Jockey will leave you feeling more than satisfied.
Review: What a wicked way to end the year... Drop The Lime's label are celebrating six years in the business and their best year yet for releases. And they're not doing it by patting themselves on the back or re-hashing their best moments. No; they've paired up their favourite artists for some serious unique collabo freakery. Each one of these demands attention but the haunting house hip-hop of Deathface & Lil Internet, the stripped back n' sexy booty bass of Star Eyes & UFO and the cosmic bass wizardry of Zombies For Money & Slap In The Bass. A damned fine collection.
Review: Entitled simply Grime 2.0, this mammoth release sees grime originators sit next to a new breed of artists, all compiled by Big Dada label boss Will Ashon and journalist Joe Muggs. Documenting grime's continued development over the past ten years, its track selections also demonstrate that it's still a vibrant and flourishing genre. Some 35 tracks deep, the compilation sees Ashon and Muggs securing exclusive, previously unheard material, with notable grime figureheads such as Youngstar, Wiley and MRK1 contributing alongside current stars in Royal T and Preditah as well as an international cast of emergent new talent, with Local Action artist and Grimetapes documenter Slackk featuring too. Essential!