Review: As always with the now infamous 1985 Music imprint, they have assembled the great and good to explore the darker realms of electronic dance music, primarily focussing on dubstep and neurotic drum and bass flavour through this fabulous new 'Atlas' compilation. The names involved are pretty mind-blowing with a roster including the likes of Alix Perez, Drone, Headland, Foreign Concept, Safire, DRS and many more heavyweight names. The entire project has a touch of finesse and musical class about it, from the beautifully processed drum clanks of 'Nibiru' from Visages to the stunning vocal processing of 'Do Me No Good' from Nymfo. There really isn't a low point to this project with the sweeping soundscapes and electronic destruction of Deft's 'Scars' original being a real high point for us!
Review: Since their inception, there are few labels that have been able to tie the fusion of Jamaican system-influenced sounds with the UK underground as well as the Nice Up! Team. We have been absolutely loving their journey in recent times, with this latest selection seeing them gathering some of their biggest hitters for one of our favourite compilation drops of 2021. That list of heavy hitters includes the likes of Danny T, Tradesman, Red Eye HiFi, Taxman, Escape Roots and many more, all of whom contribute a fantastic combination of instrumental and vocal fire. The quality level is so high, from the footwork inspired drum rolls of Casement's 'Mutiny', to Congi's spacious rethink of Origin One's 'Dead & Buried' and even Gray's big room recreation of 'Strangers' from Mr Benn & Tiya X An. There are a couple of clear highlights for us, including Wrongtom's dubwise rethink of Seanie T's 'Veterans', which features one of the most vibrant collections of UK hip hop vocalists we have ever seen. As well as this, the Riddim Punks rework of Think Tonk & General Jah Mikey's 'None Of Dem' is anthem material if ever we heard it. Fantastic work!
Review: Over the years we have seen the vocal mastery of Strategy rise right to the top around the deeper side of electronic dance music. Therefore, when you pair him with producers with as much firepower as Regents & Cartridge, you know you are in for a treat. We begin with 'Shegry', a ferocious fusion of subtle reesey bass textures and scattered percussive rhythms, followed by the intense drum rolls of 'Greengate Adhesive', within which we hear the very best of Strategy's more classic-sounding verse structuring. Next, another roller with 'Nuff Noise', which unleashes more of those outlandish bass designs, morphing into an electronic pulser, before the super catchy melodic jitters of 'Heritage' round off a fantastic EP with a touch of new school finesse.
Review: It's been a pretty crazy run from the Artikal Music team, with their recent catalogue additions looking stronger than ever, a theme that continues with this brand new selection of sizzlers from MYTHM. We dive right into the thick of it with 'Vex' as destructive synth scrapes are deployed in an unpredictable arrangement of twisted synthetic bass and vocal slices. It's one hell of an intro, followed up in style by 'Run Up', another grizzly goblin of a riddim, sweeping together tightly processed drum licks with a raucous display of bassy goodness. Finally, 'Watch Out' gives us one last dash of gnarly sound design, wrapping up a super-demonic yet incredibly pleasing selection.
Review: Once again the Foundation team have rallied to deliver a system busting selection of original belters, this time welcoming back Arkham Sound. We kick off with the monstrous distorted bass punches of 'Smoke', unleashing pure carnage onto sound systems across the country, before the softened LFO pulses and gnarly textures of 'Nothing Left To Lose' deliver something a little more subtle with their warbling design. From here, 'Gravediggaz' delivers a blippy display of system ready melodic crunches, leading into the slower-paced madness of 'Unrelenting' which uses an array of distorted bass swipes to send the listener into an absolute tiz. Finally, we see the last stroke of sonic-destruction land as 'Bloodless' unleashes one of the most violent displays of distortion out there, giving us a whirlwind of a final addition.
Review: Next up from the DNO camp, we jump into this tasty helping of 140 goodness from Kercha, kicking off with the swamp-like bass textures and sweeping synthetic energies of 'Ignorants', a sumptuous creation injecting energy from the off. Next, 'Mental Ballast' unleashes a sizzling display of pulsating sub-tones before Yoofee arrives for some additional collaborative input on 'Analysis', a perfect fusion of fluttering arpeggios and grizzly bass energy. Next, up, 'Tigers' continues with the pulsing arpeggio theme, this time using jittering high ended melodies to deliver an intense display of original dubstep flavour, before the lethal sub-textures and moody LFO arrangements of 'Acid' sees the EP out with a well rounded closer.
Review: Finding fault in a recent White Peach drop is similar to trying to find a needle in a haystack, with their recent run of drops being doused in the highest quality of both sound design and production techniques. This latest four track display from Lofty pays homage to that consistency with 'Solstice' kicking us off with a combination of creeping flute trickles and a seriously groovy sub melody, giving us a high-energy level from the off. Next, 'Desert Storm', focusses on a more high ended combination of bass synths and organic percussion, followed by the grotesque synth growls and sidechained atmospheric drones of 'Nightfall', again adding a whole new sonic direction to the project. Finally, the chiming bell plucks and lo-fi synth stabs of 'Impetus' give us a more mellow outro, closing the door on a sensational selection from Lofty.
Review: As always with the Deep Dark & Dangerous faithful, we are in for a treat as Leo Cap unveils a spicy five track display of original dubstep delight. First up, 'Lemon & Cognac' unleashes a grizzly combination of gnarly synth swipes and eerie vocal samples to kick us off in style, before 'Los Angeles' takes the sound back to the essence with a jumpy, percussive-lead roller, packed with tasty distortion and shimmering shakers. Next, the wicked vocal lines of Julia Marks join the party for a hypnotic dive into sweeping synthesizer textures on 'Our Best Trip', followed by a lo-fi coated cave dweller in 'Flavour', a serious title track. Finally 'Stick Inside' allows the weirdness to run wild, giving us a gut-busting finale that we can really enjoy. Excellent work!
Review: Few producers have carved out a production signature as twisted and unique as Monty, and the Toulouse-based artist is back on his home imprint of 1985 with another absolute percy of an EP. It's just as diverse as the others, and F4DE moves from jagged dancefloor rollers through to dubstep destruction and deep, distinct liquid sounds. The title tune smacks of previous conquest 'Quest', and its hugely complex array of interlocked sounds ooze sophistication in a manner that's befitting its clubland persona. 'Righteous' is a monster of a 140 track and you can smell the blood from the off, as a foreboding introduction leads you down the path of no return, straight into the belly of the beast. More minimal force follows on 'SVP' feat. Icicle, before two liquid cuts round off the lineup; we especially love the deliberate, purposeful bassline of 'Whatever You Need'. Sensational.
Review: With the re-emergence of dubstep's wide-spread popularity, labels such as Foto Sounds are starting to really capitalize with a selection of top quality releases, including this next drop from Volume A. Kicking off with the grizzly LFO pressures and spacey drum processing of 'Dranks', we can tell we are immediately in for a bit of a treat, followed by the wibbling synth pulses of the title track 'Manipulate Dem', which gives us a horror-influenced backdrop of chain-like percussion and demonic harmony. Next, 'Fit Fort' ties together distant percussive skips with a lethal sub-line for a system-busting weapon, before 'Solid State' draws attention to itself through some higher-pitched synth work for good measure. Finally, 'Jenkins' gives us a warbling behemoth of a finale, focussing on another killer bassline lead, this gives us the perfect amount of juice for a killer finale.
Review: Visages has been one of the big A&R success stories of Perez's 1985 Music, and this four-track EP is the next evolution of his techy, hybrid sound. Dark Guru is titled with an absolute gem of a dubstep track, a loping 140 monster which oozes force and sophistication through waves of undulating low frequencies; a true class act that simply deserves to be heard in a club. The rest of the EP is 170, and the highlight is 'Egotrip', a devilishly sharp minimal roller that stays clear of boring tropes and instead blends guttural bassline sweeps with jagged synth stabs and biting percussive touches. 'Yalda' is also obscenely good, as a crunchy groove beds down amongst soulful vocal notes and shuddering basslines. Best in class.
Review: As ever with White Peach, we knew the second we opened the package that we were going to be treated to something special as Yoofee touches down for a sizzling display of 140 mastery across four top quality creations. First up, 'Calibration' gives us a solid display of atmospheric pressure and rolling drum technique, before the shuffling drum skips and organic percussive stutters of 'Freak' give us a completely different look into Yoofee's production range. Following this, the quirky melodic jilts and creeping harmonic textures of 'Ok Cold' send us down a much more low-ended route with a heads down warbler, before Orlando gets involved on a killer finale entitled 'Negative Released', delivering a gut-punch of dungeon-ready bassy goodness to round off the project with a slap.
Review: The recent run of drops from Hatcha's infamous Hatched imprint is pretty spectacular, with this latest helping welcoming Darkai inside for a gnarly display of gritty dubstep flavour. We open up with 'Badman', an industrial display of powerful bass processing and grotty sound design, pushing the boundaries of the dungeon sound right to it's limit, before the sub-busting frequency manipulation of 'Eyes Down'. Next up, we dive into some breaksy rhythms as 'Nebula' unleashes more bass-driven goodness, again showcasing some real synthetic mastery from Darkai. Finally, the shuffling metallic stutters of 'Stones' gives us a powerful punch of a finale, rounding off things in style!
Review: There has been a very consistent feel about the last few Navy Cut drops, always seeming to hold a uniquely crunchy feel within their release catalogue. This latest drop from HIJINX again plays into that, kicking off with the grizzly kick stabs and low-ended whollups of 'Venom', combining subtly with punch in the best way possible. Next, 'TRU' flips together a devilish collection of bass melodies with a minimal yet lively drum structure for a serious skanker of an original. We then move into a sizzling finale on 'Addict', into which HIJINX pours a tonne of dubwise energy, dungeon-ready themes and system-busting sub structures. This is a killer finale to round of a solid body of work!
Review: We always try to keep an eye out for upcoming Substrada drops, so when we saw his unique production stylings were teaming up with the wonderful team at Dread Or Dead, we knew we would be in for a treat. We open up with the precisely designed LFO purrs and bubbling sub structures of 'Whale Dance', a fitting title track for this fabulous selection, coupled with sub-busting sizzler of a remix from EKSTR, who takes the track and reformats it into a dubwise experiment. We also get to take in two more originals, firstly, the industrial synth grinds and metallic drum licks of 'On The Run' and secondly the super-syncopated rhythms and glass-like chimes of 'Grained', giving a serious dose of depth to an already solid project. Excellent work as always!
Review: As always with both Teffa & Breez, the quality level for this latest drop is absolutely through the roof, courtesy of LDH. We begin our dive into this joyous ball of stepper energy with the title track 'Passing Through', which deploys some old school DMZ sounding energies across delicate LFO pulses and shimmering drum pulses, before 'A17' sees Teffa step out on solo duty for a bass-bin-rattling display of synthetic glory. Next, Breez delivers a solo smackdown with the bitcrushed clunks and brass-like bass stabs of 'Upper', before the pair finally combine again on '7 Days' for a haunted finale, dripping in unusual synth shakes and halloween-inspired atmospherics for good measure. A collaborative EP done properly!
Review: As an imprint, 1985 have always championed the weird and wonderful, which is why this fabulous new four track adventure from Tsuruda fits so perfectly. We begin our treacherous tale with 'Fugitive', which sees the man himself, Mr Alix Perez arrive on collaborative duty, supplying us with a truly magnificent journey through syncopated rhythm and synthetic action. Next, 'Kaioh' once again throws us wonky drum arrangements and other-worldy soundscaping, drawing us in with some fantastic compositional value, before the creeping melodic manoeuvres and grizzly low-ended writhes of 'Out Of Pocket' launch themselves forward. We then dive down a whole new hole of sonic depravity, as the gut-wrenching synth swipes of 'Migi' provide us with a suitably eye-opening outro. What a project it is!
Review: It's always good fun to see the return of a dubstep legend, a scene we can enjoy today as Caspa returns to Ghost Town for a sumptuous four track display. We begin with 'Locomotive' a grizzly display of waving LFO slides and subtle percussive influxes, followed by the system-smashing snare drives and bulbous bass crunches of 'Full Flow'. From here the super wonky rhythms and swampy bass textures of 'Original Bad Bwoy' send us down an entirely different avenue, throwing us left, right and centre with some unique sonic expressions. Finally, 'That Low Low' unleashes a creepy, warbling masterclass in sublow-inspired dubstep, rounding off with the EP with a cracking finale
Review: The Duploc / ENiGMA Dubz collaborative history continues to grow into something truly beautiful as they link up once again for another sizzling display of dubstep mastery. This new project houses four more system-ready scorchers, kicking off with the alarm-like synth melodies and grinding LFO expressions of '40 Fathoms', before 'Earth Giants' unveils an aquatic sounding display of jittering melodic grooves and harmonic structure. From here, the eerie strings and gnarly bass manipulations of 'Silverback' roll into play, once again showcasing the pure finesse we have come to associate with any ENiGMA Dubz creation, before the more emotional designs of 'Too Close To The Sun' close out another killer project with some serious flare. This is a collaborative link up we would be happy to see time and time again.
Review: Across the breadth of 2021, there aren't many heads who have been able to amass as crazy a catalogue as 3WA, who despite a high multitude of releases is yet to drop the ball in 2021. This latest drop sees him link up with Subaltern for four system-dusting rollers, kicking off with the swampy synthesizer growls and frog-like LFO's of 'Master Of Finances', giving us a real taste of original dubstep flavour. Next, the dizzying drum slaps and spacy processing of 'Slimy' gives us a more stripped back dose of goodness before 'Balaclava' ties stuttering percussive delays together with spooky vocal sampling and a twisted selection of synths for another sonic masterclass. Finally, 'Stalagmites Rain' unleashes a destructive display of pulsating industrial bass drones, marching away through a soundscape of aquatic droplets and shapeshifting sonics, giving us a whomping closer to a wicked selection.
Review: There really does seem to be no stopping the Locus Sound rampage, as they continue to push forward with exciting new dubstep releases left, right and centre. This latest helping from Mistah sees them deliver another bag of weaponry, kicking off with 'Forge', a fireball title track, focussing on clunky rhythmic pulses and hard-hitting electronic bass design, before the more shiver-driven LFOs of 'Because' explore a more tripletred style of rhythmic arrangement and hypnotic compositional value. From here, 'Forward' then unleashes one final sub-busting blow as iron-fisted kicks lead the way amid devilish melody and arpeggiating bass tones, rounding off the EP in good fashion.
Review: As always with Wheel & Deal, we are in for an absolute treat on this one as see the gnarly production styles of Unkey join forces with unmistakable vocal prowess of Slowie for 'Disrespect'. This one has such a unique flavour from the off, combining the subtleties of Unkey's stripped back bass design and minimal drum pressures with Slowie's fabulous use of pocket-aware flows and energetic performance to give us one of the strongest dubstep vocals of the year. This one also comes complete with Unkey's top notch instrumental version to round off another successful Wheel & Deal outing.
Review: The In:flux team appear to have continued their monthly theme of leveling up with every release as they unveil a top notch display from AxH, unleashing two monstrous steppers originals for us all to enjoy. The project begins with systemized sub-pulses and hypnotic vocal slices of 'Hands Of Time', sending us deep underground right from the off with a fantastic showcasing of low-end flavour. On the flip side to this, we then move into the sounds of 'Pizza Face', which again, utilizing a more old school approach, combines bleeping bass melodies with organic sounding percussion and eerie chimes for a solid B-side. Both of these are perfect for the late night ravers, calling back to some original dubstep flavour with a real feeling of style and finesse.
Review: Now it's been a brief minute since we last took in a brand new drop from Drone, one of the finest 140 and grime producers to emerge out of Bristol in recent times. This brand new drop on 1985 music however sees him return to that fantastic form of old, kicking off firstly with the title track 'Evil Sky', a demonic, slightly slowed roller, jam packed with grizzly bass energy from start to finish. Next, the minimal yet potent sub-splashes of 'Back & Forth' are chased up by the dungeon-ready percussive twangs of 'M416' and system-busting bass growls of 'Disturbed' for good measure. Finally, the eerie, bitcrushed landscapes of 'Reptar's Revenge' sees the EP round off with an evil twist, putting the finishing touches on an exceptional body of work.
Review: Well when we say Duploc are on fire, we couldn't be more accurate than on this latest link up as ENiGMA Dubz is joined by a fabulous host of friends for two incredible remix creations. First up, ENiGMA himself steps forward on remix duty for 'Wayside', originally crafted by the combined talents of Hebbe, Melle & Mr.K. He twists and reformats this one into a haunted basin of horror-core synth work and delicate drum tap dances, giving us something truly unique. On the flip, the inevitable Ternion Sound arrive just in time to send 'The Eyes' through the remix blender, unleashing an earth shattering combo of bass pulses and flamboyant LFO swipes, providing a potent match for the A-side. Awesome stuff!
Review: When you see both The Bug & Ninja Tune involved in a release these days, there is an instant expectation of greatness, due to both their catalogues and history as musical entities. Therefore, this brand new album from The Bug entitled 'Fire' has a lot to live up to. Right from the off we can see that The Bug has taken the project in entirely his own direction, firstly by recruiting some of the most popular MC's to grace grime over the last decade, including FFSWhyThough?, Irah, Manga St Hilaire & more, displaying their unique vocal talents over the industrial introspective sound design behind them. It's safe to say that The Bug is in his own unique lane when it comes to sonic creativity, from the raucous, rapidfire drum punches of 'Hammer' alongside Flowdan, to the explosive reverberations of 'Clash' alongside Logan. There is a truly individual approach to this album, going no holds barred in exploring distortion and dissonant harmony with some incredible results, our favourites of which include the treacherous twists 'War', featuring the 'Nazamba', alongside two masterful poetic pieces with Roger Robinson, who recites a couple of awesome verses on both 'The Missing' and 'The Fourth Day'. This is definitely one you need to let yourself explore over time, allowing your ears the process the carnage in their own way.
Review: Since he first emerged, there are few people that have made as much sonic impact as Phaeleh, whose beautiful harmonic dubstep and garage originals still stand out as a breath of fresh air to this day. We are here now however to take in his brand new album project, which as expected, showcases mastery as work. Across 13 gorgeously crafted original compositions, Phaeleh showcases exactly why he is so highly regarded, from the organic drum clips and stunning harmonics of 'Dusk' to the stipped back synth jitters of 'Distant Echoes' and dramatic soundscapes of 'Horizons', the man simply doesn't miss. His understanding and wielding of pad textures are pretty much unmatched, with a couple of standouts including the beautiful melodic leads of 'Elysian Fields', the acidic synthy twists of 'Okob' and of course, the sensitive sonic landscaping of the title track 'Soma', which through dripping percussion and perfect balancing, gives us a seriously impressive collection of audible experiences. Fantastic work!
Review: There have been a lot of label success stories over the course of 2020, despite their being so many obstacles in the way. One of those for us, without a doubt, has to be Locus Sound, who look to start to round off 2020 with this exceptional new full length compilation project. Featuring 15 scorching originals, we see the likes of Ome, Photom, Sedan, Lord Jabu, Ourman, Pharma and many more unleash some serious weight over the course of 65 minutes of steppers goodness. The entire project is dripping in quality, with our highlights being the voluptuous bass gurgles and unpredictable drum shifts of Root from Nizth, alongside Koma's groovy post-garage experiment with 'Step Two You'.
Review: The last few months have seen a rich run of form from the Locus Sound crew, who continue to impress with innovative and forward thinking dubstep originals. This latest three track display from Cel falls right into that box as we open up with 'Choke', a dungeon-ready stomper, mashing together bulbous drum pulses with alarm-like synth pulses and a grizzly sense of atmosphere for an explosive introduction. Next, the sliding LFO drives and choppy drum snipes of 'Blue Ivy' give us a bit more of a stripped back sounding creation, before 'D.T.T.T' takes us on a journey through studied distortion and colourful moogy design for an unusual yet memorable outro.
Review: Following on from a seriously killer run in 2021, Wheel & Deal look to close out the year strong with another monstrous 4-track display, this time inviting the heavyweight collaborative flavours of MYTHM & Tappa inside. We begin with the title track 'Crooks', with MYTHM on solo duty to create a grizzly roller, packed with sizzling reesey energy and haunted atmospheric dithering to kick us off in style, followed by the first collaboration as Tappa arrives for the devastating synthetic stings of 'Clipz'. From here, MYTHM returns to solo activity for the more low-key bass growls and skippy drum injections of 'Like This', before Tappa arrives once again to close the EP out with the spacious arrangements and dungeon-like drum-runs of 'Demise', closing off another killer addition to the Wheel & Deal catalogue.
Review: The Smoking Sessions team have always had a knack for putting top quality compilation projects together, with this latest selection being another fantastic addition to their already outstanding catalogue. This second V/A project under 'The Session' title sees the likes of Occult, Synkro, Versa, Sunpal and many more make their return, all delivering sonic-masterclasses across UKG, bass and dubstep themes. The whole project oozes class, from the glittering arpeggios of 'Deeper Future' from Teefreqs to Escapism Refuge's stunning 'Dust' original. The project sets a very high standard, but our highlights including the spacy pad textures and stunning melodic twists of Lews B's 'Hush' and of course Geode's gorgeous 'Some Friday Flavour' original, channeling smooth squarewaves into a fantastic harmonic masterpiece.
Review: So at this point in time, it's hard to imagine Alix Perez making a stale tune, as he lands here on the wonderful 1985 music for another twisted collection of heaters. We kick this one off with a look at the spooky overtones and warbling synthesizer growls of 'Ravana', before the shivering LFO designs and glitchy melodic plucks of 'Lifeline' stutter into play. Next, 'Post-Mortem' arrives with more lethal reese bass action driving the stripped back drumwork forward in a blaze of system energy, before rounding off with the catchy arpeggiator flexes of 'Ends' alongside Headland. What a project this is!
Review: As always with the incredibly consistent Locus Sound crew, we are once again given the pleasure of enjoying another sumptuous three track experience, this time being unleashed by the one and only Yoofee, we kick start this one with the glittering percussive inflections and grizzly sub-lines of 'Pendulum', which sets the tone perfectly with some blistering bass action, before 'Zuma' gives the bass-bins a real workout with a systematic warbler, pushed forward by metallic drums and stripped back atmospherics. Finally, 'Medusa' puts the cherry on the cake with a sizzling display of percussive perfection and low-end processing, rounding off this project with a heated finale.
Review: As ever, the consistency and A&R skillsets of the Albion Collective team ring very true in this one as we are greeted by Yoofee, who delivers three system ready chompers. We begin with the vibrant rhythmic displays and colourful drum skips of 'Seek & Move', a throwback, marching goliath. Next, 'Janker' arrives with a much more demonic vibe, combining gnarly sub punches with eerie, high ended melodic flutters to really unleash those devilish tones. Finally, 'Make You Believe' gives us one hell of a finale, combining delicate ascending arpeggiators with shuffling drums and molten subs below. A wicked selection to say the least!
Review: With an already impeccable catalogue of top quality releases, Sector 7 sees the return of the legendary Kahn & Neek combo for four new scorchers. We kick off with the title track 'In The Mansions Of Bliss', a highly harmonic steppy roller, fueled with twisted melodic grooves and pleasing sound design throughout. This is chased up by the slower tempos of 'Random Lab', a more dungeon-ready design again filled with chilling atmospheric layouts. Next up, the glitchy synth stutters and subtle eski-influences of 'Shimmer', before we finish up on 'Venus', a stunning piece of soundscaping, incorporating angelic vocal lines, emotive string lines and luscious pad textures. Very cool indeed!