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: 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: 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.
Our Best Trip (feat Julia Marks - original mix) - (6:02) 140 BPM
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: At this point it is genuinely quite difficult to imagine a poor release from FatKidOnFire, who over the years have really established themselves as one of the most consistent 140 projects out there. Konessi is in the hot seat this time around as we open up with the emotive melodic arrangements and beautiful atmospheric layers of 'Sophia', before continuing down the more strippec back, melodically-lead themes with the more skippy arrangements of 'Shiva' and percussively driven rhythmic designs of 'Kambo'. Next, a slight pace quickening on 'Sutra' as this gorgeous ball of vocal distortion and aquatic harmonics delivers another stunning display, before 'Union' unveils an OST-like arrangement to round the project off with some serious style.
Review: Next up from Strictly140, we see a very wavy selection of dubstep & grime inspired rollers, showcasing some seriously hard-hitting sounds. First up, Slimmaz delivers a skippy 2-step inspired instrumental, fusing catchy vocal samples and blipping melodies for a spicy result, followed by a solid collaboration between himself and Tripta entitled 'Vacuum', focusing this time on high octane kick rolls and bulbous 808's. Tripta then steps out solo for a classic grizzly grime instrumental by the name of 'Shadowboxing'. This one combines Davinche-esc brass and string stabs with fluttering drums for a vibrant showdown, followed by a tidy outro from YYZ, fusing Asian instrumental plucks with rolling trap-like drums on 'Jiga'. Awesome stuff!
Review: Etch is a complete and utter badman, we can all agree on that, and this extended play on Seagrave will please all of those who recognise Etch for what he is: a superb, multi genre producer who formats groove and energy into myriad shapes and patterns. This EP moves from ambient kicks to deeply penetrating breaks and it's 'Distrust' which really caught our attention, as it moves from simple pads to 140, low frequency shudders that hook your ear and keep it locked. 'Naitsri Complex' is similar in its emphasis on space, with ample room for subtleties and small details to really shine through. It's an incredibly unique piece of music that we can't recommend highly enough.
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: Not many tracks are as widely renowned as Nasty Habits' (AKA Doc Scott) 'Shadow Boxing', a seminal number from the 1990s which you'll still hear out in clubs to this day (well, not right now). It's therefore about time it was given more remix treatment, as Benny L, Traumatize, J:Kenzo and Scott himself step up to bring us four new versions. Benny L's is hotly anticipated and the talented producer has stretched things out and toughened them up, leaving you on your seat with the suspense of his two-minute-plus introduction that gives way to a refined, growly take on that signature bassline. J:Kenzo contributes some percussive steppiness, whilst Traumatize injects some grit and Scotty rolls things out even more. Outstanding.
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!
Dubbing Sun & Echo Ranks & Small Town Dubz - "Politician" (Small Town Dubz Roots version) - (3:58) 140 BPM
Dubbing Sun & Echo Ranks & Radikal Guru - "Politician" (Radikal Guru remix) - (3:51) 140 BPM
Dubbing Sun & Echo Ranks & Radikal Guru - "Politician" (Radikal Guru dub) - (3:51) 140 BPM
Review: It sure is a tasty one for the latest edition of the Moonshine Recordings run as they invite the high energy combination of both Dubbing Sun and Echo Ranks together for a marching system delight entitled 'Politician', stooped in bass bin busting sub tones and inspiring vocal chants. They have also supplied a few very tidy remixes to run alongside, With the legendary Radikal Guru leading the way with his metallic rethink alongside a fully reworked dub version. This is then followed up by the super spacey sounds of the Small Town Dubz Roots version, rounding up the whole project nicely.
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: Whenever we see the Basskruit logo pop up in the store, we tend to know we are in for a good time. That is an idea that reigns true with this fabulous new four track showcase from BunZer0, who kicks off the project with a sumptuous buzz on the title track 'Dystopia', a glittering, high energy roller driven by gnarly LFO drives and subtle breaksy rhythms. Next, 'Flow' continues the theme of interesting rhythmic manoeuvres with a wicked design of drums and dizzying chord stabs on 'Flow', before the gorgeous harmonic structure of 'Stochastic' gives us something even more enjoyable to play with. Finally, we dive into something a little more swampy as the drippy atmospherics and writhing sub tones of 'To See A Specialist' give us one hell of a send off. Fantastic work!
Review: Despite their relatively short time within the spectrum of releasing new music, The Sub Merchants have unveiled an absolute corker with this latest 'Ridley Road' compilation. The project showcases some of the freshest sounds in 140, kicking off with Distinct Motive delivering a warbling robotic display in 'WY', followed by Hella & Logan linking up for the dungeon-ready arrangements of 'Chattings'. Fearless Dread then arrives with some fungal flavour with the dingey subs of 'Sucker Punch', before the weighty basslines and minimal percussive arrangements of Distinct Motive return on 'Therapy'. The pace refuses to slow as Hella delivers a percussive overload on 'Low Rider', followed by the breaks infused twists and powerful low ended maneuvers of 'Light Em', seeing Fearless Dread arriving for his second outing. We then move into three corking remix additions, with Oxossi giving a more dubwise twist to 'WY', Logan_olm treating 'Chattings' to a skippy refurb and Mincy giving 'Light Em' a ferocious roller of an overhaul. Amazing work from all involved!
Review: Following on from the fantastic response to its original release last year, Tru Thoughts have supplied us with an absolute gem here as they welcome back the legendary Flowdan for an official remix of 'Welcome To London'. This was one of Flowdan's more spooky creations, operating at a slower tempo, which has been completely revamped by the wonderful Jack Sparrow, who takes the acapella and sends it to an entirely new dimension, speeding up to around the 140 mark and layering it between sumptuous, bouncy bass taps and inventive drum work to give a fantastic original an additional dash of magic!
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: Since the inception of White Peach, founder: Zha has seemingly never dropped the ball when it comes to the overall quality of the label's releases. This latest drop from Ourman sees the project steer towards its more dubstep-influenced roots, kicking off with the haunted harmonies and crunchy percussive displays of 'Namarie'. Next, the delicate drum processing and wonky string plucks of 'Meknes' sees us dive down a slightly different direction before 'Sinning' sees us take in some fluttering, woodwind-style synth work above some more potent bassline action. Finally, 'Vulgar' delivers the darkest punch yet, with swampy LFO pulses and demonic-sounding horn stabs see out one hell of a project in style.
Review: Now we have known just how good Ternion Sound are for a hot minute, so seeing them link up with the impeccable Duploc dons for a collaborative four tracker was always going to be an enjoyable experience. First up, they welcome ENiGMA Dubz inside for the monstrous bass design and lethal synthesizer action of 'The Engineers' before the themes shift to a much more melodic place on 'Mediator' which sees Opus arrive with a smashing introduction, doused in blippy pad textures throughout. Next, Lost joins the party for the gnarly LFO designs we find within 'Catacombs', a system-busting original perfect for the 5AM ravers, before the haunting synth pulses and twisted dissonant harmonics of 'Heart Machine' give us a hard-hitting closer. It's Ternion at their best and we can't get enough.
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: 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: 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 a label, we are always pretty impressed with what the FatKidOnFire team are able to deliver, a feeling which extends to this tidy new remix drop as they unleash four new versions of previous corkers. Firstly, District unleashes a powerful display of steppers-inspired madness with his sub-heavy resketch of 'F#cking Spiders' from Dark Harmonics, before Chad Dubz lets the LFOs run wild with his dubwise overhaul of Maes' 'Jah Jah Livin' original. From here the project takes a more experimental turn as Leon Switch delivers an organic, crunched up rework of 'Dossier' from WZ, before Biome gets busy rebuilding the trippy synth flutters and powerful basslines of 'Nilaari' from Chad Dubz, putting the finishing touches on another top quality drop!
Review: Mr.K is exactly the sort of producer to fit into the Wheel&Deal imprint, a label whose sole purpose is to detonate seriously hazardous levels of low frequencies upon any listener of dancer. These five tracks all offer something different; "Chit Chat" feels like the sort of beats that Mala likes to get his hands on prior to a DMZ rave, and "Dope Fiend" is like its natural successor, a track with higher level of bass emanating from all corners. "O.G" is a slower, bumpier ride with an eerie crescendo of sonics, and "Pho" leaves plenty of smoke in the air with its hazy, imperceptible later of shady harmonies.
Review: As ever with In:flux Audio, the team have worked their socks off to deliver another show stopping selection of dubstep flavour, this time giving the central role to 1point5. There is no disappointment to be had as 'Solar Signal' firstly kicks us off with a warbling selection of LFO-leads are met with tap dancing percussive pushes and a minimalist set of melodies, before the aquatic arrangements and devilish, twisting melodies of 'Backspace' steer us in a completely different direction. Next, 'Cassini' gives us a much more grizzly sound, with more swampy bass processing taking centre stage for this gnarly creation, before we move into two spicey remixes. Firstly, Ali McK & IYZ return to the In:flux fold for a glittering rework of 'Backspace', jam packed with interesting melodic twists, before Fork & Knife provides a super skippy rethink of 'Solar Signal', twisting it into a garage-inspired party boat.
Breathing (feat Jack Shaw & Trixx) - (4:40) 140 BPM
Messenger - (4:08) 140 BPM
Cool N Deadly - (4:38) 140 BPM
Breathing (feat Trixx) - (4:36) 140 BPM
Review: Dubstep pioneer Coki, one proud half of the Digital Mystikz duo alongside Mala, doesn't out a whole load of music these days, so to see him land on Hatcha's Hatched label with four new cuts is kind of a big deal. This is even more special thanks to the fact that he finally seems to be making music that he enjoys outside of the wobble-bass continuum; Hatched 12 is essentially a collection of cutting-edge dub tracks with a subtle electronic, London sensibility. Take "Breathing", for example, a solid dub stepper that would make the likes of Jah Shaka proud like the lion of Judah. Even "Messenger" is utterly heartical in its approach, and the only time we're faced with a hint of DMZ days is through the louder, brasher bass tones of "Cool N Deadly". FIRE!
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: It appears that the Deep Heads team have put together quite an impressive selection here as they welcome the incredible Escapism Refuge inside for a full length album project, spanning 16 stunning original creations. The most important thing to remember when exploring the concept of a dubstep album, is to remain as expansive as possible, which is exactly what has happened here. From the delicate harmonic structures of 'Red Lights' and 'Moon Cake' to the jittering percussive flickers of 'Traps' and high energy electronic drum thumps of 'Growing', we see such a vast area of the dubstep spectrum covered with great levels of quality and aptitude. If you can find the time, this project makes so much sense to take in as a full long-play, but if you are looking for the instant highlights, the stunning soundscaping and tap dancing rhythms of 'Over Time' along with the glittering pad designs of 'Lost Water' both stand out as seriously cool creations.
Review: Time for some Taiwanese dub: regular face at Instigate, DTR returns with his debut full lengther and it's nothing short of a contemporary low end odyssey. Bedrocked by rich weight and space, throughout the album he weaves subtle but strong musical elements with a measured sense of detail. From the lilting horn flutters on "Inner Strength" and the trippy tape stop spirals of "Creator Dub" to the mountainous peaks and abyssal troughs of "Kalimba", DTR ensures to immerse, entertain and constantly develop. Modern dub bliss.
Review: A producer to go down in the folkloric pages of the UK's deep dubstep and soundsystem culture through releases on label like Deep Medi, Hotline Recordings and Black Acre, it's the latter that's housed the producer's darkly motifs and sub frequencies this last half-decade. Stakeout provides a follow up to this year's already lauded Loan Shark EP, with Stakeout here offering heavily swung percussive fields, dubbed out synths and reflections of new music experimentalisms in " Transit" alongside the subterranean rhythms, amplifier gristle and expletive samples of "Crooked Law". With the EP seemingly playing with masked themes of jungle warfare that sits somewhere between the smokey hip hop of Cypress Hill and the Prodigy's "Minefields", Commodo once again pulls the mask down and goes deep behind enemy lines in the title-track with a touch of strangeness and funk.
Review: Next up, we see the return of the Basskruit crew as they welcome the ever-ready production mastery of 11th Hour inside for a five track display of dubstep-dominance. We begin with the gnarly bass squishes and almost retro distortion of 'Forensics', before the super wonky bitcrushed bass pulses of 'Hijacked' give us a swampy masterclass. The aquatic bass sizzles and demonic horn sweeps of 'Headrush' then follow before the flickering synth pops and scattered drums of 'Chimera' give way to 'Orbital' a perfect outro, doused in chunky bass energy from start to finish. The Basskruit team have most certainly done it again!