Reviewed this week
Fire in the hole! Twisted Individual continues his return to the top of gully mountain with this collection of re-rubs of early-mid-2000s classics. Taking the lead himself with a rasping, gurgling take on his sweary, lairy "F Word", he sets the scene for the remix ruckus that follows... Damage Report will have you spitting your lls and your ffs with his riff-celebrating twist on 2002's classic "Wales", the omnipotent T>I adds a yummy swing and zest mouthfeel to one of Twisted Individual's trippiest delicate creations of all time "Swan Cake" while DJ Limited busts up a bloodclart or two with his subtle sharpening of "Galloping Elephant". Total version disturbance.
The only problem we've had with Dawn Wall so far is not being able to work who they are. Until now... "Problems" is the anonymous act's most diverse and far-reaching EP to date. The title track adds even more mystery to the Dawn Wall story as it bombards us with a shredded bassline that's not dissimilar to SpectraSoul at their heaviest. "Never Say" plays a cool contrast with lush soulful breezes, spiritual feels and a light-footed feel to the riddim while "Shy" is all about the head trip with its soft harmonic keys and shimmering pianos. Further into the journey we're struck with overwhelming, soaring textures and skin-bubbling bass on "Nomad" and the triumphant soul finale "Lemon Dogs". Impeccable, once again.
It's a good time to be a Leaf fan right about now... Hot on the heels of his double-whammy "Pick N Mix" EPs on Serial Killaz, he steps up to Biological Beats with six more heavers. We kick off with a trio of co-labs: Manchester mandem Bou joins the fray for a rolling skank-up on "Selecta", man-of-the-moment T>I gets mucky on the iced-out stepper "Roller Derby" while Too Greezey brings a little bass slime to the sharp and stabby "Ghetto". Leaf finalises the deal with three killer originals: the sub-stacked cymbal-slammer "Yeah Bassline & That", the grotty sniper "Woobie" and the EP's most out-there scud missile "It's A Jungle". Massive.
Shift the bed, this is premium gear... For an act who only started releasing this year, Stompz has lived up to his name in a highly impressive way. Just from gut-kick drone on "The Box", the opener on this killer six-track EP, you know you're in for a treat. Elsewhere "Don't Talk" plays hell with your senses via its spaced-out drain bass, the reverse bass weirdness on "Starkiller" gets you all tripped-out, warped and paranoid, and the precision percussion and classic speed garage samples on "Serious Riddem" hit hard with a Dread-style roll-out. For added darkness just on the Charge-style riff monster "Talkin" while "Wormhole" closes the show with some stripped back minimal mayhem. Stompz isn't messing around here.
It's a first class trip from Manchester to Bristol on the Ruffneck roller express as Hocus Pocus heroes Dawn Raid deliver four on-point work-outs. "Four Shots" disarms with a jazzy swing and some on-point words from the big guy himself. "Captain Confusion" sees them pairing up with K Jah for some flute-fired dream-laced soul while fellow Manchester man Bou twists up a little darkness on the soulful surges of the Jinx collaboration "Strife". Finally "Grotti" brings the heat as a classic jungle happy ending; ghostly, spacious and just a touch of the Cycle to it, we told you this was first class.
Clawhammer get mucky with two cutthroat remixes courtesy of Filthy Habits. First up comes a devilish twist on Aweminus & Danger's "Get Ya Respect" as the bassline gets flipped harmonically into a much more hair-raising experience while Syndicat's "Illusions" is turbo-charged into a brass blazing beats with a bassline so abrasive it also acts as an exfoliator. Heavy stuff... Filthy by name!
Hate to state the obvious, but Levela has well and truly levelled up with his debut album "Genesis". Longstanding operator across the spectrum for many years, both with his own productions and his label Multi Function in general, this is the document that really brings his message home. From the classic Xample & Lomax style breathtaking drone of the brilliantly titled "Brobots" to the TC-style damaging and arresting vocals of "Concrete Walls" by way of the vicious laser-firing neck-snapper "Cowabunga" and the Darrison-splashed bass house twister "Ride On" and the raw euphoria of "I Keep Going", this is Levela revealing every shade and style that makes him tick and drives him. A stunning debut album.
Ten Ton Beats was started in 2011 by Rekless, since then the imprint has discovered many exciting debutants and become a gallant stepping stone for many artists. 'Flat Earth' is slow moving and raw with sharp drums, a disgustingly low sub and maybe one the funniest vox samples we've heard in a while. 'Addict VIP' is (for want of better words) an absolute banger, the slow, understated wavy sub is just so naughty you become totally transfixed by it, it's a good job there's a handful of whistles and drum crashes thrown in to wake you up. Damageman's remix of MQ's 'Slammin' sees simple breaks layered with early rave chords, wails and vox. 'Deadly Force' is deep and dark, bleeding the dirtiness jump up, with eloquent techy elements mixed with the occasion snip of soft female vocal, we are rating this track highly.
Long-serving disco-house fusionist Hot Toddy (AKA Crazy P co-founder Chris Todd) is in a loved-up mood on this rather tasty three-tracker. Surprisingly, it's his first solo single for some five years, and his first for House of Disco. It's the breezy, funk-fuelled A-side "In The Genes", in which Todd expertly fuses together elements most often found in proto-house, NYC boogie, early house and disco-funk records, that stands out, though the standard naturally remains high elsewhere. "Love Music", for example, is a wonderfully sauced-eyed stroll through dreamy deep house/disco fusion, while closer "Love Can Set You Free" sits somewhere between stripped-back disco-house, percussive boogie and Idjut Boys style dub disco.
Murderation station: Jack The Ripper steps over to the perennially on-it Cre8 with four solid slap-downs. "Feel The Beat" stretches and flexes with a nice amount of elasticity in the groove and some crafty use of a heritage rave sample while "Minimal Dance" provides a stark playground for some of the most disarming bass textures JTR has ever conjured. Deeper into the EP we hurtle for the grunting funk of "Glory" and the creepy twisted chimes and toxic bass of "What's Up". Deadly.
Five years of pure filth flinging: Birmingham's highly respected Dubstomp 2 Bass crew celebrate this half decade milestone of murkery with an incredible 20-strong collection of tracks from their current collective of dangerous souls. Everyone is packing their a-game: from the swooning sexy R&B vocals of Jedi's "Oh Slow" to the jazzy twangs of Tomoyoshi's "Monochrome" to the jaunty loose limbed breaks, sly subs and orgasmic breakdown of Lymitless's "Silence Of Sound" to the brittle laser Qs and grotty groaning As of Subside's "Blast 'Em", every track here is primed for peaktime slappery, not only representing the label's presence and strength now... But hinting at an even bigger future.
Codebreaking, body-shaking, earthquaking sounds: Bristol's D-Code make their debut on Boylan's On Point Audio with two super-slamming bassline cuts. "Trouble Makers" is all about the vicious sandpaper funk on the bass textures while "Infidel" has a great twist in its tale as it breaks down from a rough distorted bassline into an arm-raising ravey signature before dropping back into the chaos. Killer business.
Headed up by Brighton's Fingerman, Hot Digits Music return with London's Steve Gladdis aka Smashed Atoms - who after some spectacular releases on his own Magic Circles imprint and Paper Music, explodes onto the label with "Cut This Way". Sounding like it takes it cues from NYC disco legends Blondie as much as it does from American rapper Dimples D. "Wonderlust" (extended version) goes for more of a lo-slung deep house vibe which we found pretty sweet, while the bleepy "Lost Someone" gets back to the program with some sunny party vibes. Also featuring some superb remix action from Get Down Edits featuring Micko Roche and the Chopshop regular from Montreal: Dave Gerrard.
20 years old and still sounding 20 years future: Roni and Reprazents' blueprint Mercury award winning album changed the game in every direction and still sounds completely of its own to date. Now polished with a little modern mastering touches without losing any of its rough, rolling Bristol soul, New Forms is an essential addition to any collection for all purposes; get sucked deep inside the likes of "Matter Of Fact" on your headphones, woo your respective other to the ultra-funk of "Watching Windows", blow your mind with the time signature science on "Jazz" or just batter your dancefloor with the likes of "Brown Paper Bag", "Trust Me" or "Morse Code". In fact there aren't many scenarios in life where this album doesn't fit perfectly. If this isn't in your collection yet, now is most definitely the time.



And so it goes - Seven drops an LP on us like a ton of bricks and, unlike what he has put out up to this point, he seems to delve much deeper into the rest of what the enlarged 'bass' game has to offer. 11:11 is a vast, bottomless pit of gems, ranging from the more poppy side of two-step, all the way to the sort of gear that makes your head bounce up and down...not to mention that inevitable lock-jaw! However, it's important to note that this LP is not one for cheap thrills, and that Seven has done his very best to craft as much warmth and colour out of what are usually deemed to be cold and industrial sounds of dread. Through vast landscapes of low frequencies, typically UK vocal samples, and grainy beats, this dude has his shit on control!
It seems as if 15 years have just flown by since Berlin institution Watergate first opened their doors at the base of the famous Oberbaumbrucke, overlooking the River Spree and where long queues run down the street every weekend to get into one of the best clubs in the world. To celebrate their journey over the last decade and a half, they have put together a special anniversary release of 25 new, exclusive and formerly unreleased tracks. Residents of the superclub all appear, such as Hamburg native Matthias Meyer who teams up with Ryan Davis on the evocative "Hope", famed local duo Tiefschwarz deliver the slow burning and moody tech house of "Control", Sweden's La Fleur (of Power Plant fame) delivers the acidic bump and shuffle of "Femton" and former Stattbad resident and Beste Modus boss Cinthie gets deep on the classic house sound of "Hatschi Hatschi" which has a whole heap of swing to it!



Cruk a duck! Rising northern artist continues to rip from strength to strength this year as he hits the hallowed halls of Critical's Binary series. Four cuts deep, each one explores and celebrates a different side to his sound. "Cold Top" adds a little murked dancehall demonism into his roller mix, "Devil And The Deep" is a pure pressure plunge stepper with some fantastic sound design while "Undoing" strips back Cruk's sound to its bare bones and rebuilds it again. Finally "Lit" shows off Cruk's halftime biceps for the first time and the results are more than satisfying.
Many thought that Moonrise Hill Material co-founder Folamour's acclaimed second album, Umami, would only ever appear on vinyl. Happily, Classic has licensed it and here makes it available as a digital download for the very first time. The album boasts few surprises to those who know his catalogue and sees the hyped producer accompany dusty, sample-heavy deep house club jams with a smattering of soulful, MPC style beat workouts. There's naturally little in the way of flabby filler, just a wealth of good grooves heavily influenced by soul, jazz and disco. Highlights include the Theo Parrish/Andres style jazzy deep house of "Look At Me Or I'll Steal Your Eyes", the head-nodding hip-hop soul of "Kickflippin' That Stuff" and the full-throttle disco-house of "Ivoire".
2017 has been an incredible year for Zha's White Peach imprint, with a plethora of high profile releases hitting stores at regular intervals. The latest in this impeccable line comes from Bristol's own; Bengal Sound. The title track is a work of art, with heavily swung mysterious eastern sounding samples and rolling hi hats taking the lead. We move quickly from that to dubstep fueled artillery with '2 Worlds' which focusses on tremendously heavy sub frequencies and unpredictably skippy drum arrangements. The EP continues with the dubstep theme as we move onto the B-side with 'Silence Soundboy'. This one is pleasingly reminiscent of early DMZ releases, bringing the combination of subs and space out to play. Finally we wrap up with the haunting dub-infused arrangement of 'Pablo'. This one is ghastly, with plenty of percussive and melodic vibrancy lurking just below the swampy surface. This one is definitely another winner from the seemingly unstoppable White Peach brand!
Dangerous times called for dangerous basslines and there's no one better at rattling your eyeballs with twisted-funk low-end lessons than Professor Q. Continuing to pepper the dance with his weekly tune dispatches, "Danger" is another sure-fire floor-bouncer with a Q&A riff that tickles the highs and lows harmonically while stuttering vocal textures add just the right amount of agginess in the background. Once again Q is bang on the money right here...