P Jam & Trends - "Alien Encounter" - (4:13) 140 BPM
Trends & Boylan - "SideIron" - (4:40) 140 BPM
Kromestar - "Dancehall" - (4:40) 140 BPM
P Jam X D.O.K - "Funky Nandos" - (4:10) 93 BPM
Review: Following on from a short hiatus away from releasing, we are super excited to see the return of Trends' Mean Streets label project, who unveil the second edition of their 'Trilogy' release series. If you are a fan of grime music in general, this isn't a tracklisting you can ignore as the likes of Boylan, D.O.K, P.Jam, and more all join Trends for eight tracks of grimey flavour. As always with Mean Streets drops, these aren't light and fluffy creations, these are instrumentals designed to cause a ruckus in the rave. Our particular favourites include the super skippy drum manoeuvres and colourful bass arrangements of 'Source' from Silas, alongside the raucous horn arrangements and lethal synthesis of Kromestar's 'Dancehall'. Amazing work from an incredible label!
Review: It's always an exciting time to see new music from Hebbe, who for us, remains one of the most underrated producers to emerge from the newschool dubstep wave. This brand new two tracker shows exactly why as we first dive into the stunning percussive displays and super-crunchy sub arrangements of 'Quiche' which are then greeted by some seriously regal melodic twists further down the line. Following this, the pace slows significantly with 'Looters', which deploys swampy bass drones and choppy drum slices to give us some really cool variation. Amazing work!
Review: Appearing on his second release of the weekend, the ever-ready Karnage unleashes some serious flavour on this brand new collaboration with the Infernal Sounds team, one of the most consistent imprints out there right now. We begin with 'Mordekaiser', a stripped back LFO-driven system stomper, alongside the much more eerie soundscaping and buzzy textures of 'Off Kilter'. Next, the shimmering chord progressions and shuffling drum work of 'Shitamachi Walk' provide us with a much more mellow sounding addition before rounding off with the title track 'Spirit Bomb', a gnarly combination of humming, speaker-busting sub basses and glitchy melodics above, putting the final touches on yet another top quality selection from all involved!
Review: Michael Omari's Stormzy project has played a big part in the grime revival of recent years, and we always respect any artist who chooses one genre and sticks to it until they've reached perfection. This new behemoth of an album drops on the fresh and provocative #Murky label, offering sixteen gnarly curb-side tunes that share a lot of the same energy and freedom as Wiley's Eskimo output. The vocalism comes first and foremost across all these bangers, but there are also plenty of moments where the straight-up hip-hop swagger is replaced by deeper, more seductive r&b nuances. Stormzy manages to transform what is usually a heads-down, lighter-out kind of genre into something more musical, more representative of the multitude of listeners listening to the grime spectrum these days, and altogether more focused on the UK's experimental heritage.
Review: The Infernal Sounds team have gained a real reputation for their respectful showcasing of the deeper side of the dubstep sound, which is why we were so excited to see a legendary figure such as Cluekid landing a potent two-tracker on the impressive imprint. We begin with the super nostalgic LFO designs and colourful, breakbeat-influenced drum arrangements of 'Electric Avenue', a warbling masterclass in original dubstep wizardry. On the flip, 'Horizontal' gives us an opportunity to explore Cluekid's more melodic side as we are greeted by regal sounding horn-lines and glittering synthesizer patterns to match, before descending into more wobbly madness!
Review: Grubs up! eatmybeat and Soukah cook up a storm right here with this delicious three course feast with two special remix side dishes. Such a banquet was only a matter of time as both artist and label have been cultivating the same exciting leftfield bass pastures for several years. Hot on the heels of his personal and highly explorative 'Art Of The Devil' EP late 2020, each of these cuts bring us back to the dance. 'Illusionist' stutters and slides into dark oblivion with the help of key MC phrases and loose-limbed beats, 'Magnetic Fields' looks to the heavens with its sweeping synth chimes and soft harmonics while 'Puerto Rico' closes on a bashy percussive flex. Complete with exceptional versions from Kahter and WZ, we guarantee you won't feel disillusioned by this 'Illusionist'. Yummy.
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: The legendary Deep Medi Musik is one of the most popular unground imprint in the UK and their latest release is exactly what we were hoping for as the invite Bukez Finezt in with four tracks of steppers bliss. We kick off with 'The Idea Of The Devil', a haunted, grubby expanse of haunted synthesizer presses and metallic percussion. Following on from an explosive start, 'Rekt' gives us some serious wobbly goodness before the 3/4 rhythms and colourful LFO work of 'Interrogation' are let loose. Finally, 'Critical Mass' gives us something a little different as melodic layers are stacked up above the breathy drums to add some differentiation before the final whistle.
Review: Following on from the earlier release of the first edition of Skream's Unreleased Classics', Skreamizm now presents a very vibrant second volume, this time exploring his previously archived creations from between 2004 and 2006. Unlike the first volume, this selection sees the sound really take a turn towards that more classic dubstep approach, focussing more on halftime snare structures over bubbling, funky beats. We see Skream move through the weird and wonderful, from the quirky synth glitches and patois vocal samples of 'Hurt The Soundboy' to the slightly dissonant harmonies of 'BassTrapz' and jazzy arrangements of 'Live & Learn'. There's something for everyone in here as we ride through a fabulous chapter of UK music history.
Review: Not content with absolutely smashing the game with their Deep Dark & Dangerous label this year, Truth return to one of their strongest spiritual homes: Deep Medi Music. Naturally they're packing some serious sentiments: "Lion" is a pounding roller that chugs with an industrial strength toxic bassline and demonic call from Teklife's Taso. "Messages" flips the situation for a much lighter, mystical and spatial exploration with fluttering break echoes and unhurried, yearning chords. Finally we're knocked seasick by the slobbering kicks and boa-like bass of "Ruffneck" which doesn't so much as live to up to its name but sets a new benchmark in dangerous, knife-edge ruffneckism. Powerful frequencies.
Review: It's been a hot minute since BBK made a collective appearance, so when we saw that Frisco had gathered the troops for a long awaited collaborative return, we couldn't be more excited. Produced by Trooh Hippi, we hear the grime veterans let loose with a barrage of mainstage lyricism and intricate grime flows over a selection of eastern flute action and pounding sub structures below. It's always good to hear Frisco lead the way as well, who for us is one of the UK's most undersung vocal talents. It's a fantastic new single to reintroduce themselves to the world in 2020.
Review: Whenever we see the Wheel & Deal logo appear in the store we do tend to jump for joy here at Juno Download, with N-Type's now veteran imprint very rarely managing to disappoint. This latest three track display from Oddkut is a perfect example of just how good their discography is, with 'Wonderland' proving to be a very worthy title track, jam packed with hypnotic melodic twists and stuttered key leads. Following this we take it old school as the rowdy LFO textures and heavily syncopated drum rhythms of 'The T-H' gives us a punch of old school energy, before the unpredictable synth flutters and shaker-heavy grooves of 'Nem Fudendo' rounds us off with some serious finesse.
Review: Critical Recordings and 20/20 LDN mainstays Ivy Lab make it further into the echelons of of 2020 with Blonde; four tracks of undefinable rhythms, beat making and dub experimentations. To be split into an EP of two halves; there's the more trippy side in "Q.Nix" and "Blonde" with bleepy tones and curmudgeon rhythms in the former giving way to the hypercolour sci-fi Kubrick synths of the title track. Billed as the final instalment of three part series that takes in the duo's Tea Cup and Fidget EPs, "Start The Clock" flirts playfully with demonography in its beats and undulation, while pulsating waves of subbass and street chants light a fire in "Gopher". Seriously wicked.
Review: Flexing across his two more prominent aliases, Raff AKA Demon AKA Macabre Unit AKA Nurve b2b's himself hard in the kisser at the behest of professor Nomine. Three tunes a-side, his 140 dubstep-inspired Macabre Unit guise takes the lead with drama and dark humour; "Darth Vader" is a theatrical skanker, "Mash Up Da Place" is a woozy, toxic jam with a bassline that spirals into paranoia while "Man Up" gets all stiff upper-lip with its rising bass hook that flips between textures with a nervous twitch. Raff's slower, tech-inspired Nurve constructions complete the story with glacial glee... "Silentium" is a sparse, deep space twist on halftime and alien jungle, "Amazon" is a swampy triplet swinging riddim while "Best To Just Ride It" sends us packing off to space on a rocket of off-grid drums and raw man-eating bass. Immense.
Review: New boy Bass peddler Drax (not to be confused with Thomas Heckmann's Tecno project) has been bubbling under the surface and building a reputation for himself in all the right circles Southpoint have managed to secure his services with these five curbside bangers, and the lead track "Frostie" draws the first weapon with a classic sort of grime approach, which allows "Leave" and "Locked" to both work on the same sort of aesthetic with a deeper focus on the half-step beats and additional harmonics. There's a couple of remixes, to boot; Beanzo turns "Frostie" into an even icier affair thanks to the help of a more penetrative beat shuffle, and JFO morphs "Leave" into an early-days Skepta kinda flex. Big.
Review: The dubstep don turns his hand, as he is apt to do, to a bit of jungle. Returning to where he left off with "Burnin' Up" in Sept '09, Skream re-works the Loleatta Holloway sample, adding some warm, reverberating bass and clinking piano keys to "Hats Off" alongside rolling breaks and euphoric builds. "Heavy Hitter" does exactly what it says on the tin with smashing snares, grizzled b-line and thumping kicks, Hatcha style. "Rigging" is a bit more grimey, dominated by groaning SFX, clashing SFX and murky subs. "Sea Sick", possibly the rowdiest of the three dubstep cuts with wrenching synths a-plenty, concludes the EP.
Review: If we are talking about legends of the UK underground, there really aren't many names that rank above Skream. A veteran of many sounds, we see him return to his roots with this latest selection to release some prized unreleased classics, spanning from 2002 to 2003. This is a must have selection for any serious steppers fan, with the project bleeding authenticity across the entire track listing, from the bubbly drum bounces and warped bass tones of 'Depth Charge' to the grimey synth textures of 'Disfunktional Minds' and high energy eskimo-inspired drum switches of 'Oh My Gosh'. It's one for dubstep historians, that sees Skream's earlier more grime-influenced productions finally land in the public domain.
Review: YouTube phenomenon-turned-dubstep label and erstwhile London promoter, UKF, brings us the proverbial goods from Doctor P and Flux Pavilion's circus of fun. And what delights are in store for the latter day dubstep lover; from current chart troubler "Bass Cannon" through hands-in-the-air rave anthem "I Can"t Stop" with its trance tinged, mournful slo-mo intro and juxtaposed raucous, synth-ravaged main part, it's fun and games all the way. Other key cuts include the ubiquitous sing-a-long (saccharin) "Sweet Shop", the quasi-metal "Mosh Pit" from Cookie Monsta and the swaggering, grime inspired "Lines In Wax". Big.