Reviewed this week
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.
First he asked us to follow him, then he asked us if we wanted to find to find him. Now he's asking us to move closer... Steve Spacek's Eglo series has been a remarkable trip so far as he continues to illustrate unseen pictures with far-out, unbounded sounds and arrangement. "Mov Clsr" is the steamy dreamy soul number while "Garage Days" unravels the usually tightly wound two-step into a much spacier, dreamy affair, "Boo Boo Step" is a trip into the heart of an old BBC Micro computer while "Nano Nights" closes on a flighty 160BPM step session where lights twinkle and cascade with fluorescent fun. No one makes music like Spacek. Beautiful.
Kellen303 is a Brooklyn based DJ and producer who is co-founder and self-described word of mouth badman - a music junkie who appears here for the London-based dubstep label Keysound ,owned by Dusk and Blackdown. From the stripped back drum and bass deconstruction of "Planet X" to the bleak urban landscapes as described by Bronx based Afro-Dominicano MC Rainey on "Spy Glass" - you can see why this talented producer's dark sound appealed to this usually UK-centric label. The rapid-fire drum attack of the fiercely orchestrated "Big Shot" is also worthy of mention. All in all a unique hybrid, with tracks that are inspired by goth rock/industrial, footwork and vogue music.
Following a subtle slew of self releases and appearances on the likes of Infinite Machine, London's Truska makes his official EP debut on Jelly Bean Farm. The release marks the on-point label's first year anniversary and it's celebrations all-round as Truska has delivered something seriously special. Grave and glacial, "Lucid" sets the tone with stuttering beats, slurring textures and cavernous moments of deadly pregnant silence. "Intra" continues the trippiness but with a little more tribal edge in the percussion while "Fervour" will have you frothing in suspense with its unhurried pace, otherworldly rhythmic devices and triphoppy break. For added celebration see the dark steppy remix from the fast-rising Bristol beat-sculptor Hodge. Dream time is over...
Two years on from the release of Roche Musique's rock solid Wave collection, the French label has finally got round to compiling a follow-up. There's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing throughout the surprisingly eclectic, 16-track selection, which effortlessly flits between boogie-influenced slo-mo synth pop (Dabeull and Jordan Lee, Dune & Twenty9), hip-hop inspired downtempo beats (Crayon and Cartell, Cezaire and Catruchat), drowsy Balearic beats (Plage 84's sublime "Paris 5AM"), melodious nu-disco/deep house fusion (Zimmer), strobe-lit new wave pop (Dabeull), sensual soul jams (Tommy Jacob), sun-kiised horizontal disco (Pyramid) and fluid, piano-driven ambience (FKJ). Happily, the quality of the showcased tracks more than lives up to the daring feel of the label's open-minded approach.
"MICRODOSING" is a debut album, coming directly from a Poznan native - Lux Familiar. His music could be heard on releases from labels such as Polish Juke and Alkopoligamia. A rare ability of easily finding the way across a variety of musical genres, has enabled the artist to showcase his vast production skills - something the album's title relates to. On "MICRODOSING" we will then find an eclectic mix of modern hip-hop, R&B, footwork and jungle, which have a few things in common. Namely, heavy basslines, hard pounding drum machines and catchy melodies. Although it sounds busy, the disc had space for more soothing, ambient compositions.
Given that their discography consists of a couple of contributions to compilation-style EPs, you'd be forgiven for being unfamiliar with the work of Rubents. This debut EP for Ondule Recordings should finally put them on the map, though. We found opener "The More I Get", a jacking and energy-packed stomper built around short, sharp electric piano riffs and a relentless bassline, to be particularly arresting (not to mention weighty), though the dreamy Joss Moog edit of electrofunk-inspired deep house roller "Heat Up" (so-called because it re-purposes the bassline from an old Shirley Lites jam) is almost as good. Intriguingly, the EP's other two tunes doff a cap to the high-octane thrills of Chicago juke whilst also utilizing a fine ranged of chopped and screwed vocal samples.
We make a return to LA with this one the sculptor himself No Puls makes an explosive return with his brand new 'Tongues' project. The title track is a tornado of electronic sounds, whirling away over trip-hoppy drum arrangements. Following this the techy rhythms of 'Fiji Quokka' and 8bit led percussive mastery of 'Kratom' provide fantastic listening. Next up we have 'Kundalini' which is perhaps the highlight of the EP with its luscious airy textures and super choppy drum arrangement. The EP then rounds up good fashion with the fantastic Slugabed taking 'Fiji Quokka' for a refurb, adding a tonne of atmospheric prowess and unique soundscaping.
Violet, who stepped onto our radars thanks to the Naive label's first record, is back with another newcomer, Bleid, for more mash-up house beats and dance experiments to prolong the hardcore continuum. The new duo collaborate beautifully on the first two tunes: "Badness" is a beat-heavy dance trax with Creole influences in its percussive flex, while "Toxic" opts for the broken beat approach in what is one of the finest nu-jungle riddims that we've heard this year...the 303 acid breaks out, too, so you know what to do! Bleid's solo tune "Wall" offers another impressive amalgamation of tough beats and twisted bass infusions, guided and charged by a wild and lingering vocal sample, whereas Violet's "Abyss" is a deep and wondrous 90s deep house anthem with enough bass to satisfy the likes of Bukem. TIP!!!
DJ Nigga Fox has been a pet favourite of Juno for quite some time. In fact, we even invited the dude for a little mix back in the day, so we're relentlessly keen to hear everything he's coming up with. Unsurprisingly, the UK's largest independent label, London's mythical Warp, have spotted him talents and here her is with a killer new EP for the UK stable. These five tunes are all unmissable and, at the moment, we can't pick a bestie. What we do know is that you get five BAD-to-F*** cuts that stretch the boundaries of house, techno, bass, to a sort of groove much more in line with Africa's rich dynasty of percussive music. Portugal is waving the Lion high these days, and DJ Nigga Fox is one of its most trusted guiders.
Local Action make a shimmering return on this one alongside the emotive melodies and sound design of Orlando's debut self titled album. As a showcase of the artist it's fantastic, exploring deep into the producer's musical ideals and thought process. One of the standout tracks has the be the beautiful collaboration with Buscabulla named 'Friends Or Lovers' which is an embrace of breathy vocal melodies and glistening arpeggiators. Other highlights include the smoothly designed horizons of 'Cityscape' alongside Octa Octa and of course the high profile dancehall infused team up with Mr Mitch and Yayoyano entitled 'Nasty'. This one really has something for everyone.
NO PULS - Tongues (20/20 LDN Recordings)
TRUSKA - Lucid (Jelly Bean Farm) - exclusive 23-03-2018
STEVE SPACEK - EP3/Mov Clsr (Eglo)
HAVELOCK - Chamber (20/20 LDN)
OPUS - Mindapple (Simply Deep) - exclusive 19-03-2018
Top Labels
Hessle Audio
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