Review: Within the ever-expanding dubstep community, FatKidOnFire are definitely seen as one of the front-running brands in modern times, boasting a very well supported network and roster. This latest offering sees them bring in the talents of 1137 across four epic steppers originals. The first of these goes by the name 'Can't Escape It' and is a moody roller, setting the pace for the rest of the project perfectly. Next up, the minimalist sub spreads of 'Undefeated', which rolls smoothly into the satanic spaces and atmospheric dips of 'Terror Dub'. We then finish up the project strongly as we dip into 'Engulfed'. This one is a peach of a creation, rattling between electronic utterings and lo-fi drum designs, tying things up nicely.
Review: Uprise Audio are a label we can always rely on to bring us some serious dubstep flavour, a task in which they have held their own for the entire year. This latest two track pairing from 11th Hour is a perfect example of the sound the label are proud to represent, with 'Hyperspace' kicking us off with some stunning sub work and drum design as the A-side. On the flip to this we are given 'Bravo Zulu', a more marching style of composition, built to cause somewhat of a ruckus in the dance with it's hard hitting sub line and sharp snare delays. Lovely stuff!
Review: It appears that FatKidOnFire show no intent of slowing down their storming start to the decade as they unveil yet another top quality four tracker, this time inviting the sounds of 11th Hour to display the magic. We begin with a dive into the breathy lead melodies and hypnotic sub textures of 'Gorilla Glue', before 'Stryker' combines a more grizzly sounding bass instrument with big room snare smacks and subtle horn injections. Next up, 'Murda' arrives with something a little different, packing the mix with suspenseful delays and reverberations above clinical sub bass designs, before finishing everything off on the fabulous percussion lines and system ready low end of 'Plasmator'. A top quality selection to say the least.
Review: When 123MRK's Noname EP dropped in 2011 creating waves all around the dubstep and bass music scene. Moulding the sound of his generation into a style all his own, the Frenchman suddenly found himself held aloft as an innovator as well as simply a producer of sounds. This remixed release of his seminal EP was a lofty undertaking and the finished item features remixes from some of the future dubstep scene's brightest young stars alongside long-time innovators. From Liar's metalic, lo-fi flavours to Troy Gunner's understated clicks and swirls; ViLLAGE's heart-pounding house remodelling to Heblank's old-school twist, even the likes of Pixelord and ReSketch play their garage-influenced hands to create an all-new modern-day canvas of what exactly bass music is right at this moment. It can never be truly defined, but this is a pretty good encyclopedia.
Review: The reign of Duploc continues to expand as we are here greeted with their 27th official release, and it packs just as much potency as the first one they ever put together. They here employ the darkened production stylings of 207, who touches down with two absolutely lethal originals, the first of which goes by the name of ''DSP'. Through a high energy combination of gnarly reese growls and stalwart drum sounds, this one marches forward with some serious pace. On the flip, 'Jungle Lizard' does just as much damage, focussing more of extended, distorted bass tones and war-like drum designs. Crunchy stuff!
Review: Well established Croatian dubsmith presents his most diverse and boundary-pushing body of work to date: Brainstorm. A genre-defying project that applies his grimy, unforgiving tightly textured funk in a number of tempos and contexts, this is an album that seamlessly takes us from the light, loose-limbed 125 styles of "Ground Zero" to the brutal steppy D&B funk of "Clap Back" in the flick of a switch. Other brain-bending moments include the steady dub kicks and pranged out tones of "Acid Dust", the dusty jazz key strikes on "You Knw Wsp" and the pulverising halftime punch of "Shocker". The only shocker here would be to sleep on this... Easily one of Macabre Unit Digital's boldest and most boundary-less releases to date.
Review: Is it us or are Bacon getting tastier and tastier with every release? The same can be said for emerging Croatian producer 207, too; with previous on Badmood and Indigo, here we find him stepping up to Sparxy's porky imprint with a series of unrelentingly heavy slabs of contemporary dubstep. The title track is total naked menace as snake-like kickdrums rattle and his under a series of deep breath textures. Elsewhere "Acylon" flips to a steppy and ghostly 90BPM vibe, "Active" goes straight for the jugular with crisp punctuated kick militancy and Ohmtrix takes his Zeiph status to new levels with total remix subversion. Sinfully good.
Review: It's actually becoming quite a scary prospect to see people compete with Foundation Audio, who's release catalogue continues to grow and improve as we move further into 2019. This latest helping is served to us by 3WA, who gets extremely spooky from the off on the haunted tones of 'Glory', before the rapid-fire LFO twists of the title track 'Black Marsh' roll into view. Next, the bumping percussive maneuvers and spacey processing of 'Protect Ya Neck' really does the business before the unusual sounding 'Blackbird' brings an extra dash of originality to the pot before we finish up.
Review: It's safe to say that the dubstep scene is in a very good place at the moment, looking incredibly healthy thanks to labels such as Crucial Recordings who have been pushing out some serious heat. They here invite the futuristic sounds of 3WA to the party, who brings forward two corking originals, beginning with the aquatic drum structures and shuffling drum movements of Viagem. On the flip we have a track named 'Encanto', a percussion-heavy exploration through bouncing rhythms and woodwind lines, forming the perfect B-side compliment.
Review: Foundation Audio really having one heck of a year, with a string of super impactful releases hitting the shelves in quick procession, being topped off most recently with this bag of fun from 3WA. The title track kicks us off, which is well titled 'Tripping', packed to the rafters with wonky grooves and deep LFO patterns. Next we delve into the super swampy mass of 'Caves', which swings it's way forward through dubbed out drum designs and potent subs. To follow, we have more syncopated sauce with 'Tom's Basement', before rounding off this project with 'Elephants Memory', a super eerie dungeon dwelling beast, putting the cherry on the cake for sure.
Review: Two consecutive shots fired on Cue Line's digital series: 3WA follows up last year's "Immortal Combat" with three new smoulder sessions. "Entao" lets the undulating sub do all the talking the beats space themselves as far out as possible. Things get progressively heavier; "Weednesday" hints at the promise of a foggy sesh before dropping into a sharp, industrial strength groove while "Bye Bye" fuses elements of techno and UK funky into the mix with demolishing results. Pure thunder.
Review: Following a long line of luminaries such as Drew's Theory, John Matrix and Chad Dubz, Portuguese bass-smith 3WA makes his Cue Line debut with two unique constructions: "Skeleton Symphony" rattles the bones with its active bassline that buzzes up and down the spectrum with a raw sense of funk. "Royal Rumble", meanwhile, invites us to step in the ring with some wily percussive fighting talk, crafty sample use and tripped out reverse techniques. Head-bending.
Review: Here is a release we have been anticipating highly, as 3WA steps foot onto the After Dark Music imprint for a monsterous four track dubstep delight. We begin with the title track 'Lusos', which is from the off driven by sharp percussive smashes, padded out by rolling subs below and dubbed out drum work. Following this we have the tripletred delays of 'Swordfish II' which sits atop yet more phenomenal sub design before landing on the classic LFO riots and unpredictable drum arrangements of 'Warhammer'. Finally we finish up with 'Payne', a super syncopated journey into steppers space, driven by its shuffling percussive grooves and outstanding bass layering, rounding off an excellent body of work.
Review: The young RealRoots Int'l drops their third EP since Wasteman's opener back in March, and its newcomer 3WA who lays down some jah-fuelled science for the corner dwellers. "Kame" sounds like the outside of a Jah Shaka rave - all woozing bass and minimal percussion - while "Rumours" is more grounded in the grime end of the spectrum. "Try" heads down the dubstep terrain with its stop-start groove and swarms of bass, and "You Can't Hide" injects some much needed sci-fi karma into the mix - our favourite of the lot apart from the opener!