Review: Lobster Theremin welcomes the return of emerging producer Amy Dabbs who follows up her Girl Like Me debut on Distant Horizons by splashing out on its parent label, Lobster Theremin. Throwing down a gauntlet of dub inspired UKG, house and R&B tracks, Amy Dabbs hits the spot with "Allure". Flirting with rave aesthetics all the more in "Second Thoughts", Dabbs keeps it instrumental, bassline heavy and close to the London broken beat scene in 'Take It" - hi-pitched vocals included - with a murky, lo-fi and computer music version of the title-track by Steel City Discs debutante Yazzus.
Review: There is always something weird and wonderful to look forward to when the Local Action team is in town. This latest drop from Baltra continues that experimental energy as we are gifted two very original creations. We begin with the super-colourful percussive arrangements and constantly expanding rhythmic designs of the title track 'Baltra', which deploys some serious carnival energy with it's incredibly well stacked up drum sections. This is a showstopper to say the least, which always happens to complete with a fabulous extended mix, once again showing just how valuable the Local Action imprint is to the world of underground dance music.
Review: Basic Rhythm returns to Planet Mu with his second album for the label and fourth overall, Electronic Labyrinth. Arguably the freshest set of sounds to come from the adventurous UK producer yet, Electronic Labyrinth celebrate Anthoney Hart's 30-year career, as well as paying homage to his beginnings as a pirate radio DJ - notably through St Fabian Tower depicted in the cover art). With each of the tracks presented here pleasantly unhinged and disjointed, Electronic Labyrinth is anything but basic, full of hardcore distortion in "Techno" and "Acid Track" next to the more colourful sounds of "Larkin Around" and "Palace Of The Peacock". A super fresh album from a perpetually undefinable artist.
Review: The Hemlock Recordings imprint is one notorious with supplying scattered, interesting creations, a theme which the label gladly continues here with Beneath's latest EP entitled 'On Tilt'. It's a truly exciting exploration into the more scattered side of underground dance music, kicking off with the dystopian melodic structures of 'A Shrill Manner' and the haunted harmonic designs of 'Bone Hum', which uses a fabulous combination of eerie patterns and spatial awareness throughout. The rolling drum punches and cartoon-esc melodies of 'Shambling' then follow before the dubstep influenced arrangement and swampy atmospherics of 'Dark Waters' take the project in a completely different direction, before the more subtle hardcore influences of 'The Passage' direct us right back to the party tree. Finally, 'Lesser Circulation' gives us an unusual finale, combining super-electronic synth buzzes with quirky melodies and unpredictable rhythms to leave the listener in somewhat of a trance. Lovely stuff!
Review: Next up from Breaka's own: Breaka Recordings imprint, we see something very special as he unveils four collaborations of the highest quality with the likes of both Frazer Ray and Bakey. We begin with Frazer's two contributions, kicking off with the charming moogy subs and scattered drum rhythms of 'The Loudest Woiioii Ever', combining funky rhythms and futuristic compositional designs. Next, 'Phone's Ringin' gives us a much more minimal yet euphoric style of experimental dance music, before we take the pace up a tad on Bakey's first collaborative input on 'Club Dynamics'. This track sees us explore the delicacies of new school breaks, before 'Pro Perc' unleashes choppy 2-step-style rhythms atop a heavily laden percussive field to give us the perfect send off.
Review: Having found her place within a new school of experimental electronic music that verges on forms of hip hop, pop, techno and other outlandish club styles, Monkeytown employ a unique squad of outsiders to remix her 2020 Damages EP - just like they did with her Break EP. Industrial deconstructions and flirtations with neo pop come out of Bungalovv remix to "Slow" with Modeselektor pushing something of a Moderat sound in their vision of "Vamp". Kattie throws down a heavy warehouse mix of gabba techno in its remake of "Hate Hate" with wild rhythms and Skinny Puppy sentiments given to Recovery Girl's "Destroy What I Am" remix. Like Crystal Castles transmogrified, broken beat melodies and charges of distortion fizzle in IXXF's "Weapon" mix alongside Husky's dubstep-heavy, rave and acid inspired rework of "Damage".
Review: Next up from the team over at Subotage, we really are in for a hell of a treat as they invite the introspective production stylings of Dimness inside for a potent three track display of power and bass pressure. The title track 'Sakura' is a quirky little number, combining bouncing drum rhythms and groovy percussion and urgent said string stabs atop a warbling sub below to unleash something very original indeed. On the flip to this, 'Machine' again drives down the percussive root, this time employing eerie key melodies to add an additional layer of tension to the game. This project also comes complete with TMSV's system-busting rethink of the title track, putting one final dash of finesse onto an already excellent project.
Review: DJ Godfather back in da house with Smoke In Da Air, the crowning track of a release that's backed up by three electro, acid and house inspired jams. "Smoke In Da Air" stands out from the get-go for its undeniable footwork flavour, detuned vocals, smokey chords and wavering bassline - a hit! For your classic slice of ghetto house head straight to "Big Girl", with "Like Some Dubstep" going from minimal groove to Ultra Music festival banger. And for a pure deep house vibe with a touch of everything Detroit - "Rebirth Of A City" is your jam.
Review: Experimental noise and drum and bass producer outta Hong Kong (but currently based in Bristol) Gyrofield arrives on London's Inspected label with Title Card, a three-track solo EP featuring the one extra collaboration with little known act, Latesleeper. With all matter of ripped, torn, screwed and chewed rhythms coming out of "FYDB" and "23nd", a very melodic and synth heavy "Silk" helps balance the EP alongside the glitchy, syncopated and minimal grooves of "Rosequartz". Clocked.
Review: Shall Not Fade welcomes the dynamic sounds of a fresh new producer in Liam Doc, a club-centric UK bass mechanic that's established his name through the launch of Eyeangle Records and its sub label, Roux Records - to four cuts on Denis Sulta's Silver Service. With flashes of jungle coming through strongest on tracks like "Thyme Bridge" and its continuation "A.S.M.R (I'm Trying)" - that's a touch more hardcore than the poppy drum and bass in "Icarus" - Liam Doc sends in bassline reinforcements via "2008". With lo-fi drums and percussion extracts coming through in "Looks Like A Mad Place", "Jamie Said It Was Wicked" caps off the release with a touch of reduced and distorted calypso-trance.