Reviewed this week
Phengophobia, the fear of daylight. In our eyes, this name couldn't be more accurate as Bushbaby rolls out his fourth full EP with Brighton based high flyers: Southpoint, and it's a dark one for sure. As a project, this really summarizes how far Bushbaby has come, with 'Hold Up' being the perfect piece of dark bass magic to transform any crowd into an absolute zoo. The infamous vocal presence of Dread MC makes an appearance also on 'Montana', a gnarly dancehall infused stomper, packed with lethal energy. The mood then dramatically alters as the young soundsmith unleashes a phenomenal dosage of electronic soundscaping in the title track 'Phengophobia', showcasing the true depth of his skill.
As one of the leading forces in bass music in the UK, it's always a monumental moment to hear that My Nu Leng have put together a new release. This project sees them take a seat on their own 'Maraki' imprint, showcasing their multigenre influences perfectly. The title track 'Junctions' is a perfect example of this, bringing together pounding UK bass themes with crunchy breakbeat additions, perfect for adding a bit of flavour to any dance. To follow this 'Super 8' kicks back with a bag of moogy bass energy, before Takura and Holy Goof join the party for some tearout antics on 'Gully'. Finally, we hear Madi Lane join forces with the Bristol based duo on 'Turn Around', a breaksy roller, packed with spacey emotional energy and smooth harmonies, rounding off this EP with a touch of class.
Wheel & Deal are set to continue their impressive year here as they invite in the punchy production stylings of Dayzero for an official three track project, stuffed to the brim with organic dubstep goodness. The title track 'Dagger 3' is a stripped back glitch driven piece of magnificence, initially led by an offkey synth arpeggiation above scatty rolls and lethal sub shivers. Following this, we have 'The Lord Boy', which boasts it's perfect mix of glitchy lead melodics in a call and respond with tasty LFO movements. We finish up on 'Dinosaur Age', which combines stomping brass leads with subtle 808 stabs for a super shocker showdown, polishing off an exciting bag of originals.
During dubstep's original rise to notoriety, there were few producers who came to the table with as much originality as Silkie, who's smooth, soulful productions around the 140 area catapulted him into an instant fan favourite. We are therefore super excited to see him return here, courtesy of Pretty Weird, for two tracks of pure fire. The title track 'Don't DJ For Free' is a marching masterpiece, driven forward by bubbling LFO leads and punchy drum riffs, not forgetting some crispy cowbell action. On the flip we are blessed with 'Rhythm Junkie', another stomping creation comprised of smooth sub harmonics and dazzling soundscaping.
Straight out of the dubbed out streets of Manchester, we are pleased to welcome Hypho and Amadeo Sanchez's new project 'Manuka' as they unveil their debut four track drop. We kick off with new school dubstep high flyer: Arkwright, with his shimmering roller in 'Course', before dipping into Kelly Dean's dungeon dwelling demon in 'Childs Play', which is packed to the rafters with reesey energy and grizzly subs over skippy 4x4 infused beats. Next, Sensei brings some more original flavour as the gritty bass tones of 'Red Cross' run riot, along with the wobbly moogish bass designs of Zygos on 'Paz', rounding off a fantastic debut release.
Within UK dance music's expansive circles, there are few who have offered as much as Scuba over the years, who here returns to his beloved Hotflush household for a stunning new project by the name of 'In Retrograde'. This project sees him traverse a complete spectrum of electronic music, with a half time dubstep feel being the central yarn in its tapestry. From the distorted utterings of 'Buzzsaw' and funky inspired flavours of 'Gyroscope' to the more soundscape led compositions of 'Entrospect' and 'Ants', this project boasts a wealth of musical expertise, showcasing a depth of dubstep influences and offshoots.
As one of the most prominent forces in the northern world of niche bassline music, Chip Butty have delivered us yet another tasty feeding of 4x4 heat here as they bring in Sample Junkie for three explosive original creations on 'Chips & Curry Sauce'. We kick off the party with the ominous synth layerings and scattered beats of 'Odin', before taking the grooves down a more neurotic route on 'Bad Boy Trip'. From here we move into the last of the three tracks entitled 'Get Wrecked', which between a contrasting triplet based intro and sharp LFO led 4x4 breakdown provides the project with the perfect final touches.
We were thrilled to see this one hit the shelves as the living legend that is Plastician touches down on his own, highly appreciated 'Terrorhythm' imprint for three tracks of pure fire. From the off, new school grime dons Jafro and Renz jump forward on the electrifying title track 'Anyway', providing us with some insightful flows and punchy lyricism. Plastician shows his grimey routes throughout this project as he flexes his synthy skills on 'Hit Somebody', which brings together classic grime drum and gun sounds coupled with an evil lead melody. These two tracks along with the instrumental version to 'Anyway' are sure to cause a ruckus in the rave.
It appears that Junkie Slang have served us up and extra special helping here as they bring forward this uber creative body of work from Thematheos, going by the name of 'Exit'. Let's first look at 'Roses', a super syncopated, unpredictable glitch in the matrix, driven by exuberant sidechained lead synth patterns and folded drum work. Following this comes 'Sixty Seconds In Heaven'. A euphoric expanse of gritty, lofi break patterns and eerie moogish subs. Finally we finish up with 'Joy', a creative look into the future of hip hop beats, most notable for its bright leads and emotive bridged chord sections.
NAZAR - Enclave EP (Hyperdub)
STRICT FACE - New Racer (Local Action)
SCUBA - SUB:STANCE In Retrograde (Hotflush Recordings)
AKITO - Gone Again (Tight Knit)
TONE RA - The Black Lodge EP (KnightWerk)
DLX - Virtual Reaility Realty EP (Free Love Digital)
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