Review: We have to say, the Banoffee Pies crew have pulled a seriously cool gem out of the ground with this EP as they welcome the futuristic production styles of Herman inside for four tracks of blissful, tech-inspired beauty. Opening up we find ourselves exploring the heavy vocal overlays and gut-punching sub pressures of 'Unlocked', which through a very cool collection of percussive twists, opens up the EP with some real panashe. From here, more sweeping goodness as 'Echo Trip' focusses on minimal melodic pad textures and more of those percussive darts, followed by some super bouncy breakbeat action on 'Solidarity Breaks', which utilizes a very catchy vocal sample to add even more substance. Finally, the amazonian half-time rhythms of 'Gevangen' give us one hell of an outro to chow down upon, with an encapsulating display of percussive mastery seeing out the EP with one hell of a splash!
Review: Sneaker Social Club are back in business, and they continue their pretty outstanding run of delivering outside the box gems as Low End Activist makes a return with this thumping new 'Hostile Utopia' album. This is a pretty wild collection of swampy originals, giving Low End the opportunity to explore the full spectrum of 140 influenced sounds, from the gnarly synthetic grit and skippy percussion of 'Amphibious Centurions', to the electro-dancehall drum swings of 'Bodysnatchers' and on to the vibrant soundscapes of 'Wild Roses'. This album holds such a sense of depth and direction, that to experience it in its full majesty it's a must listen on long play scenario, but despite that there are a couple of very fun highlights, first up, Mez, Killa P & Emz all make storming appearances with some rave-ready vocal maneuvers, perfectly navigating the dungeon-esc production styles, alongside the icey eeriness of 'Cold' and metallic bass notation of 'Sprint'. Excellent stuff!
Review: The next installment in Shall Not Fade's Basement Trax series comes courtesy of Mani Festo, who forms part of Club Glow with Borai, Denham Audio and LMajor, and is chief of the Flightpath label. The Londoner kicks off the The Pathfinder EP with the jungle-infused bounce of "Powertriip" followed by the pounding and broken techno of "Pathfinder", while the retro euphoric acid of "Big Rooms" takes deep you into rave territory. Finally, the sounds of bleep, drum 'n' bass and Detroit collide wonderfully on "Auto Sequence".
Review: As always with Extra Spicy, they have delivered a tasty plate of original nibbles as Myledo touches down for a chunky collection of techno-inspired bubblers. We commence with 'Sum Ting Low', a very vibrant perusing into sweeping LFO bass drifts and choppy breaksy backdrops, focussing on tidy percussive jolts to keep the energy levels high. Next, some potent, tripletted rhythmic displays as 'Did It Wub Yet' fuses choppy vocals and lethal subs for a powerful showcase, before 'Framework' deploys a much more lounge-like feel, stripped back the percussion for a UKG-inspired design. Finally, more vocal mastery is up on display with 'I Didn't Want This' leaping even further into the techy zone, giving us a warm bassline below a scattered 2-stepping set of drums above. Lovely work all around!
Review: Following up a great release by Cando, Bristol's Pluralist is up next on Le Chatroom with his Console EP. The three original tracks are designed for the club, with a strong emphasis on drums, catchy vocals and tuned percussion melodies. There's the contorted, bass-driven groove of the title track which later receives a stern remix by American producer Djoser (3024), the deep meditative vibes of "Body" as well as the hypnotic polyrhythms of "Got2".
Review: Following releases by label chief Martyn, Otik and the It Was Always There emerging artists series, Washington DC's 3024 returns this week with the Freak Shift EP by NYC-based producer Zoe Shopmaker aka Sister Zo. The four tracks on offer continue the label's 'amalgamation of percussive techno and the bass continuum', perfectly exemplified by first track "Earth Mover", while the darkly subterranean "Afraid 2 Make A Move" utilises vocal snippets underpinned by off-kilter beats influenced by UK bass, and the futurist bounce of "Ledge" with its foreboding sound design closes it out in style.