Reviewed this week
Flexing between garage, house, bass and bassline, Daze Prism has been blessing us with some prime cuts for several years now but this EP is by far his biggest yet; "Lose Control" jacks and tickles with a cool twist on a classic mid 90s UKG vibe with warm, dreamy dulcets from singer Sabrina Gunston. Elsewhere both "Kraft" and "Wob" get jiggy on the classic breaks with insane, hype-fuelled results, "Slaps" lives up to its name with dark Headzy style pads, stuttering drums and crystal bars from Danny Jaqq and "Bad Fit" takes us on a twisted dance around the sharpest lasers in Daze's armoury. Remix-wise fellow Southpoint rising stars Freddie Martin and SaidWho deliver some utter gold: the former turns his sandpaper funk machine up to 11, the latter smashes every wooden block in a 50 mile radius. Ridiculously sick.
After what is approaching a decade at the cutting edge of bass music, DJ Madd has solidified himself as one of the greats. This latest release sees him team up with the Roots & Future imprint for an explosive halftime two tracker. First up we have Gone Like A Fool which is a schooling in bass control and use of space, incorporating haunting vocals and the occasional moogy arpeggio. On the B-Side we hear Badboy Selection which runs with similar themes alongside additional percussive instrumentation and dubbed out chord FX. This is a weighty one for sure!
The young Squane, who has started to seize the bass scene with his endless slew of kinetic devilry, is up on Jelly Bean Farm, accompanied by a number of different artists, all specializing in different dub-strains of bass. The opening collab with Hypho blends cold Berlin techno vibes with London's grime heritage, then Rees comes through to drop in yet more pulsating industrial action, while Kelly Dean and Ill Chill have got us wrapped up in a nutty bundle of post-modern broken house beats. Ebb's appearance is marked by shimmering cold waves of hypnotic chanting, while Mershak helps to add another layer of swing to Squane's cavernous production style, and Delo helps to strip it all back to a chilling minimalist stance. Lovely.
Helix returns to Night Slugs with his first release since 2013's "Club Constructions". Still as vital as ever, this is the first part of a trilogy of "Greatest Hits" collections. All new, all vibey; highlights include the deep-bleep radar techno stomps of "Tainted Love", the sheet metal soul of "Beat I Made In Miami", the soft-focus filtered ripples and staccato dynamic of "Fbm Flip" and the dizzying cavernousness of "DX Crowd". Great times lay ahead for Night Slugs, this sets us up very nicely for the label's 10th anniversary; Helix hits the spot.
With this one we see Havelock delve into the deepest darkest realms of bass music as his new 5 track project entitled Chamber in association with Ivy Lab?s 20/20 LDN imprint. To start off "Graphics" is a hip hop inspired arrangement with a spooky twist, flinging shimmering siren-like synths left to right above sharp reese tones and syncopated drum patterns. Following this we have the subtle jungle flavours and rolling subs of Chambers along with "the spacious vocal play and organic percussion of "Chimes? which features additional work from Deft. To round up the EP we then have the beautiful carved square wave synths and stunning soundscaping of Fiction. On remix duty, Bristol's own Hi5Ghost steps up to the plate with a complete trapstyle overhaul of Graphics, bringing his signature rolling 808 subs and choppy drum placement into the mix.
For some years now Pinch has been solidifying himself as an innovator within the walls Bristol?s underground music scene. Here we see him back in action alongside the ever creative Swamp81 imprint with two absolute bombshells. To start, Walking With Shadows is a serious journey through electronic sound design, with rolling drum arrangements taking the lead amidst a shower of well-crafted distortion and atmospheric wonder. On the flip we delve into a more percussive angle as AHH FFF SSS combines techy elements a UK funky themes together for a box of rhythmic bliss.
It's safe to say that Negativ had a very impactful 2017, dishing up tasty releases on notable labels such as 877 and Southpoint. Now he is back under the Broken Music Syndicate banner with a firestorm of a track entitled "Enigma". This one encompasses everything we love about the Negativ sound, with it's growling bass synthesis, beautifully layered melodics and crunchy drum arrangements to match. If this is how the duo intend to go on, 2018 is going to be a huge year for Negativ.
3 months on from their 5 year celebratory compilation, Indigo Movement are back with yet another high profile release, this time rolling out from Bristol?s own Chad Dubz. Built with intense, siren like drone synths and incredible electronic atmospherics, WW3 is more than a fitting name for this single. Along with this devastator of a composition we are blessed with two very creative remixes, the first coming from Zygo with dubwise rethink. The second comes courtesy of Gleb Choutov who rebuilds the track completely in a stunning piece of sound design. Great stuff!
New Berlin based label Fox and Hound is a diffusion imprint of the established Nomine Sound, Backlash and TEAR Recording labels. Here they serve up their inaugural release, which brings experimentation into the leftfield from relative a newcomer: Brit in Berlin Cocktail Party Effect. Following up a release on Pinch's Cold Recordings, this young modular buff shows us there is plenty of exploration to go with, on this "idiosyncratic two step adventure". Moreover, it features a familiar UK bass feel but with an explicit character of its own. Featuring the brooding and low-end emphasised Bristolian bounce of "Donkey Fight" followed by the seething and atmospheric roller "Black Snow".
As funky continues to make a well fueled reemergence across the UK, we are always excited to hear new creative approaches to the classic kuduro formula. With this new single entitled Podor Do Vento we hear a complete rethink in the way that funky can be composed. Off the cuff and unpredictable percussive melodies swing from side to side in hammocks above classy basslines and groovy drum rhythms, making this one a real sneak peak into the future.
We are always interested to hear new takes on classic genres and so were thrilled when Nathan Jonson's brand new EP entitled Space Between Breath dropped into our laps. From start to finish this project sees him combine funk, techno and acid house seamlessly, generating incredibly unique soundscapes and rhythmic ideas. The title track is where we kick off, with dubbed out moogy patterns running riot alongside spacey percussive hits and tight drum arrangements. Following this we have the more funk inspired arrangements of I'm All We Got and The Transfer which both bring crunchy drum design into the blender. Finally the EP is rounded off with The Crane's more dancefloor inspired rework of Space Between Breath, adding an additional layer of depth to the final product.
Exclusives
BOK BOK - Silo Pass (Night Slugs)
SQUANE/VARIOUS - Jelly Bean Farm - Collab Cuts X Squane (Jelly Bean) - exclusive 16-02-2018
NEGATIV - Enigma (Broken Music Syndicate)
Exclusives
CASSIUS SELECT - Essence (Accidental Jr)
SKRS - Paradise Magic Traxx (Ancient Monarchy)
DENGUE DENGUE DENGUE - Son De Los Diablos (Enchufada)
Top Labels
keysound
Hessle Audio
hyperdub
houndstooth
night slugs