Reviewed this week
The super consistent sounds of Gourmet Beats make another high profile appearance as they team up with Boneless for a flawless two track project! Let's begin with the title track 'Escape' which is a steppers paradise as luscious sub layers are glued together by impressive synthesis, eerie atmospherics and crunchy drum maneuvers. On the flip side we are gifted the shimmering LFO patterns of 'Wizzro' which throws a really old school feel out there, reminding us of early L-Wiz or The Others.
The fantastic Sublimated Sounds are back with a top draw compilation, featuring 10 tracks from some of the most exciting new names across the dubstep expanse. The blend of styles is worked to perfection, from the riddim inspired synthy madness of 'Reaver' from Ophi, the neurotic growls of Thanom & Aimerie's 'Fasten Your Seatbelt' or the more subtle subs of 'Stealth' from Basiclee. Our highlights have to include the haunted rolling weight of 'Fuck Your Eyebrows' from Thromb and of course the distorted brilliance of Tetrah's 'Soul at Hazard'. A great collection ideal for any dubstep fanatic.
Make no mistakes: six-man bass supergroup LSN have full control of the game right now. Stretching their spooked-out signature to brand new realms with real soul and weight with this new edition to their "Control" series, it's another widescreen odyssey. The Lamb/Portishead-style "Killing Me" shudders with emotion, "Doom Dream" makes us swing with a little baroque badness and a lot of moody trip-hop sludge, "Bust Dat" takes the concept of slo-mo cinema to whole new theatrical levels while "Hard To Find" closes on an oceanic 23rd century soul flex. LSN have always been on-point but this really is next level ish. Phat controllers.
Next up on the ever impressive Macabre Unit Digital list of releases comes Sub Drifter with his explosive four tracker 'Turning Point'. The title track itself is a Goliath blend of sharpened drum smashes and lethal bass growls, whilst 'This Is It' follows a more precise set of evil rhythmics. Following this we have the industrialised percussive arrangements and haunting atmospherics of 'Music Soldier' before finishing up with 'Echoes & Reverbs', a beautifully spacious piece of dubwise soundscaping, complete with rolling sub movement and sharp drum work.
For this one, the incredibly consistent sounds of Dubtribu team up with the super conceptual production prowess of Platypus for an explosive two track release, as always, pushing the dubstep boundaries as far as they can be pushed. The title track 'See Your Face' is a lot slower than 140, but through the haunting lead vocal, intensely spooky atmospherics and grinding bass synths it packs just as much energy. We speed right up as we flip over to the B-side 'Sugahbeeb'. This one is experimental as ever, with unpredictable melodic staps flying around atop hypnotic LFOs and punchy drum arrangements.
Following a series of sludgy numbers on the likes of Subworld Audio and Sub Garden comes this Substantial debut from Nottingham low-rider The Cosmos. His sounds as spacious and dizzyingly deep as his name, each cut marches through the fog with purpose. "Whale Blubber" is a woozy halftime bass banquet, "Flames N Fire" is all wobble and wave while "Beating The Block" bounces with badman badinage and "Twisted Ankle" swivels and jives and with a weirdo wonk that's tailored for the darkest of hours. The cosmos is never ending...
Raw innovation from Istanbul newcomer Fosil. Fresh from his Badmash knuckle "Soundwich" comes another intrepid frequency excursion. Four tracks deep, each one seemingly designed to probe your deepest, most tender cranial corners. "N.O.D" is all sleaze and swamp drone swag, tension pulled taut with cinematic string sweeps. "Fondip" captures your nightmares and spits them back at you with coated with sugar while "Gray Matter" plays the consummate role of Professor Trippy Roller in a strange game of twisted 140 Cluedo. Nothing else matters.
Two originals, one co-lab, one remix: Ghast returns to Encrypted with long-time Free Love Digi cohort and fellow Tuscaneer Thomas B. As always with these two, it's a high pressure experience with a wry balance of tension, angst and funk. Thomas takes the lead with "Goom Room", a cut that rides a clever bounce thanks to the sudden switches into skippy drums and strange humanised bass tones while Ghast deconstructs it with dark pranged out textures. Deeper into the script we hit the cavernous twangs and pneumatic hisses of "Cryo Bomb" where the pair lock horns over a groove that gets trippier as the track progresses before Ghast closes the show solo with the woozy deep space sojourn that's fittingly titled "Beyond Repair". If it ain't broke...
As far as compilations go, a lot of the time labels and artists struggle to find a defining set of voices within. This selection from the guys at Shanti Planti entitled 'Rhythm Code III' is a great example of how to do it right however. The tracklisting ranges drastically in styles, from the smoother sounds of Wolf Tech's 'Interstellar Transmissions' and 'Plant Pontificate' from Chris Komas, to the more neurotic vibes of Ecometric's 'Embers' or EurthmY's 'Delirium'. A special shout has to go to Duffrey and Sub.conscious for their futuristic contributions also.
We feel that Route 1 Audio have struck gold on this one as they bring forward the delicious sounds of Kiite with this fantastic new single entitled 'One'. The use of melody and harmony within 140 music is often underappreciated, but it's near impossible to do that here as we hear phenomenal soundscaping, made up of erupting square lead synths, incredibly textured arpeggiators and beautiful piano patterns. This one sits in between grime and dubstep and come to think of it, a thousand other genres as well. Fantastic stuff!
Liquid D&B's man-of-the-moment Monrroe flips the coin for a sweet slo-mo sojourn. A hazy, rolling 128 jam that rolls with tight percussion but drives with much chunkier breaks, it's awash with deep breath pads and vocal textures so hypnotic they'll pin you to the floor. Need something a little peppier? Look no further than Utile's blissful D&B remix. See you "Soon".
Top Labels
Wheel & Deal
Box Clever
Tectonic
Tempa
Macabre Unit Digital