Reviewed this week
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.
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.
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!
While Berlin's Answer Code Request certainly comes from a techno mentality, the producer has shifted his focus to what Shed, and the rest of his compatriots, have eventually gravitated towards. This new LP for the capital's Ostgut Ton label, is more bass than tech, and we think that this is extremely well-suited to the man's loose, freeform take on German dance music. In fact, this is more UK than anything, with the majority of these tunes breaking the all-too-predictable 4/4 trance for something much more in line with the likes of Hessle Audio or Night Slugs. However, this is very much an Answer Code Request flex, with what undertones of German industrialism seeping their way through the percussion and structure of the grooves. What a corker - recommended!
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.
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.
As far as labels go, there aren't many out there that put together such original sounding releases as R&S. For this one they bring forward the atmospheric wonder: Lone for a powerful two track project. To start with, 'Temples' is an organic Asian influences piece of breakbeat production, incorporating crunchy live percussion and moogy synths. On the flip we hear 'Hyper Seconds' which is an immediate switch up. Through spacious use of processed vocals and stacks of stuttered arpeggios Lone builds a fabulous soundscape of electronic bliss.
Born and raised in South London, Hector Plimmer is a designer, producer and DJ, who has been making some considerable waves in recent times. Beginning with an appearance on 2011's Brownswood Bubblers compilation, Hector proved his talent when he was selected as the winner of the PRS Steve Reid InNOVAtion Award. Originally released in early 2017, his Sunshine LP now gets a series of hot remixes. Some blunted urban hip-hop flavour on Reginald Omas Mamode IV's remix of "Sunshine", that dusty MPC deep house sound of Berlin courtesy of their city's finest Glenn Astro, on his remix of Bossa while Mr Beatnick turns in an utterly hypnotic remix of Kalimba 2.
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
DJ MADD - Gone Like Fool/Badboy Selection (Roots & Future)
DEEKLINE - I Don't Smoke (The Remixes 2018) (Hot Cakes Bass) - exclusive 03-03-2017
DIGITAL PILGRIMZ - One Hundred (Future Follower) - exclusive 02-03-2017
Exclusives
HELIX - Greatest Hits Vol 1 (Night Slugs)
PINCH - Walking With Shadows (81 UK)
HAVELOCK - Chamber (20/20 LDN)
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