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Their minds might be broken but their spirit or their technical abilities most certainly aren't... Russian duo Two Minds split an EP with Method for a firing five-piece banger salute. We kick off with a VIP of "Won't Stop Killing", a track that opened the year for them with menace. Elsewhere we have the Benny L-esque groans on "What The Hell" and the laser-blazing murderation session with Method that is "Broken Minds". Elsewhere Method closes the shop with two utterly savage steppers: "The Lost Mine" is a guttural, grizzly lash-out while "The Hill Rats" is all about the sandpaper funk, brain-melting textures on the fills and beautifully strange halftime twists. If it ain't broke...
Oof! Just when you thought their album Wardance slapped us back to the golden age hard enough, along comes this disgusting five four track trench stomper. "Jungle All The Way" lives up to its name with sweeping, sneering electrified bass licks, "Killimanjaro" is a titanic stampede with fat percussion tones and reams of pranged out hoover stabs, "Lose My Head" joins the team at Benny L's foghorn factory and heads up the armageddon division while "Dubplate" wraps up affairs with a love letter to the foundations, all tingly Headz-style synths and a drop that's so sick you'll need a repeat prescription. Stinking.
Mystery man of the moment Unglued follows up his en mass scene-supported "Bootstrap Bill" with his debut single proper for Hospital and he's clearly developing a signature, both in terms of fun track titles and, most importantly, a loose minimal funk that's loaded and coded with surprises and strange twists and turns along the way. "Chicken In A Spacesuit" brings the soaking wet farty bass textures to the fore while the (not so humorously titled) "Ghetto" brings a rougher techier edge to the vibe with crunchier drums and a sharper step momentum but the funk is still there in its distant rippling wah wahs. Another superbly sticky situation.
No questions asked: when Tomoyoshi tells you to get funky, you flipping do it... Especially when he's delivering obscenely good floor fire like this. So simple, stripped back but loaded and coded with wry groovemanship, "Get Funky" is all about the classic wet fart bass and fluttering, wobbled subs. "Mad Jazz" continues the funk with a classic Bristol-style brock-out. Tunnelling, tubular subs and a slight whiff of Clipz-style relentlessness, this is Tomoyoshi at his heaviest and hairiest... And we love it. Don't mess around with this one.
No drama, here's Trauma... And he's here to make you question every fibre of your existence. "Selfish" sets the scene with its all-out sandpaper riff and sudden swoop into ravey bliss on the breakdown. "Lies" takes a more leftfield route with a Serum-style slimy Q&A while "Code Red 2017" dusts off the chainsaw and cuts us all down a peg or three. Finally we hit "Artificial". The stankiest stinkier of the set; one buzz on those alien bass textures and you'll be speaking in tongues.
As the sun still sets on their evergreen third album How We Live Spectrasoul deliver a series of killer remixes and versions to celebrate. First up is this golden twist from Calibre. Immaculately redressed to highlight the delicate emotion and beauty of the original, it's yet another heart-stopping work of art from the singular Signature bossman. Spectrasoul themselves take care of "Say What" themselves by twisting up the swaggering halftimer into a beautiful rolling moonlit 170 jam while "Remember Me" closes the wax with its spacious plucks and barbed vocal. You won't forget this in a hurry.
Consistently adding spice to our sets since he emerged on Ingredients in 2011, Trex comes correct with the fittingly-titled "Tabasco". A waspy, buzzy bass-tickled jam with rugged drums and a 3am Randall vibe stamped all over it, it sets the scene for two more exceptional floor remedies... The spine-melting synths, trippy textures and burped-out bass of "Gonna Get Up" and the slightly more understated growls and crystalline drums of "Murphy's Law". Trust in Trex. Trust in Trust.
Get your buckets out and fill them up... It's "Feeding Season" at the zoo and, judging by the outrageously fat bass groove the monsters are hank marvin. Expanding and mutating on every 32, there's an old school G-Dubs feel the riff and as it punches and evolves. "Acting Up" provides the dessert. A crisp rolling damager with an on-point vocal hook and some superb development in the layered drums. Another bullseye release from the ever-reliable Dialogue.
Run Tingz Cru invite us deep into their stomping ground with this walloping five track west country jungle odyssey. "Welcome To Bristol" gives us a hearty handshake by way of some very clever reference points and razor sharp breaks. Elsewhere we're skanked to high heavens with "Spit Fire", we get slapped by the ghost of Clipz on "Women Dem" while "Legalize" is all about the heady rave stabs and stick gunfingers. "Fully Loaded" provides the final fire of the EP with a nagging vocal, haunted elements and drums that punch from here to no man's land. Bring on the second part!
Celsius mainstay Surreal dials in US scientist Jaybee for three pristine rollers. "Signal" shows us a signal with divine rattling breaks, a groaning bass and some ace late-entering jazzy keys. "Blow" takes us deeper into the storm with an introspective sidewinder; sashayed with an air of early Lenzman, there's an immense soul coded deep into the feels right here. "Minimal" closes the show on a high with Detroitian synth tones and a classic sense of foundation insistency. Three swings, three hits; this one strikes in all directions.
Dutta & Hizzleguy... Now that's combo you could crush concrete with. Two of the most exciting names at the forefront of new jump-up, both famed for their chiselled laser tones and uncompromised energy, "Stardawgs" represents both men's skills and energy in one lavish, aggy banger. Rattled with its swinging triplet, charmed with its soft synth riff and blasted inside out with the high end harmonic bassline, it's an instant sing-along with added grotty grit. You gonna bark all day little dawgy?
Furney's not fluffing around here gang. Prolific since he emerged in the late 2000s, things seem to have ramped up to new speeds with his output this year. And all of it is absolute gold. Just take "Intruders"; a classic jungle track with some pretty rasping stabs, it suddenly turns into a soul hurricane midway with playful subversion. "1990" takes us back in time with a superbly crafted sample that only truly unfolds on the majestic breakdown, "Letramento Skies" is all about the happy slappy double bass twangs and dope spoken word sample while "Out Of Luck" closes on a bare disco tip. Feeling lucky?
Dominic Martin returns with an EP that's deep even by his standards. Stirring corners of your soul you didn't even know existed, "Falls To You" is a heart-breaking piece of work that trembles under his lonely vocals and delicate layers of instrumentation. "Crawler" lures back into the dance with a mystical cascades and far-away beats while "The Spirit" breezes and rattles with a dubby, slo-mo 140 style. A one of a kind EP from a one of a kind artist; sublime.
We haven't even begun to recover from his "Sonic Boom" and Syndax returns to Dub Damage with two more vitamin-enriched hurters. "Savage" lives up to its name with a strange textural twist to the heavy riffing bassline and a creepy graveyard feel to the breakdown. "Angry Man" leaves you under no illusion, either. Rasping, wheezing and screaming with aggression, it packs nothing but pure vitriol. Venom session!
Easing selectors across the 170 sphere for several years now, German groove hound Dub Defense lays down his debut album and, as we ease into sunnier months, the timing couldn't be better. It's vibes from the off as well known chimes herald a spiritual soundsystem call on "94 Style" before rusty amens knock our block off on "Early In The Morning". Elsewhere "Funk Attack" plucks and tucks with a sublime twanging b-line, "Operation" slices up our soul with its barbed wire breaks and scalpel skanks and "Live In Love" reminds us why we all fell in love with music in the first place. A highly accomplished album for heads, headphones and heady dances. Tip.
Rising faster than a bitcoin bro's portfolio, young Dutchman Signal makes his full release debut on Friction's Shogun Audio. One track for now (but we suspect more is to come), "How Will I Know" develops the emotional side he started to truly reveal with his killer Camo & Krooked remix last year. Flexing a delicate vocal around sinewy fast lane beats with soul and subtlety, it's yet another precision piece of work for the unstoppable talent.
Remix o clock! Brawlin Beatz get busy with the refixes once again as Dead Intent's single from September '17 gets a twist up from two key BB fiends. Raz totally mashes up the botty squelches on the bass of "Gunfire" giving it even more funk. Certified, meanwhile, brings a whole new level of energy, weight and character to "Monsters" with a whole new stripped back one-note bassline. Galvanise those gunfingers today!
Direct from Toronto via Shenzhen, David Louis follows up his serious sermons on the likes of Repertoire and Deviant Audio with this crucial four-piece for Chinese label Mettasonic. We end with the emotionally-charged "Father". "Crystallized" is the consummate opener with its big jazzy sax blasts and insane break edits, "Springs" takes place in a sci-fi footwork battle royale while "Fluid" is pneumatic minimal stepper that wouldn't go amiss in a Loxy set. Finally, breezing with a wry air of Headz legacy in the synths and chords, we have "Father", the perfect way to bid us adieu... For now.
Hyper prolific Aliman returns to Dubstomp 2 Bass for the first time since 2015 with two turbo-charged riff monsters. "Rock" is as hard as its title suggests; all granite bass, lazery riffage and stripped back pressure cooker drums, this works so well in any double drop scenario you can think of. "Face" is as ugly as its name suggests; more rasping, high-end bass textures, a twisted sense of melody in the riff and a wonderfully weird set of harmonics on the breakdown. Rock and rolling...
There ain't no stopping Brummy badmen Evil Intentions this year. Barely a quarter into 2018 and they're already on their third Audio Overload EP. This is one of their heaviest to date with four absolute scorchers so hot your hair is singeing as you read these words. "Modern Science" is the brute-force masterblaster of the set, "Remember" is all about the laser bass swathes while "Bad Boy" pays homage to Belgium with its belligerent bouncy insistency. Also included is a turbo-charged VIP of their pitched-up vocal bone-shaker "First Time". Evil intentions, generous actions... We're getting mixed messages right now, and we don't want them to stop.