Reviewed this week
The one and only Oris Jay relaunches his seminal Texture imprint with three crucial rumblers from long time confidant Chris Innasound. It's bubblesome business from the off as "Tall Bear" flexes a trippy underwater vibe with strange humanised harmonics, "Drop Sine" sends out a signal with creeped out J:Kenzo style minimalism while "Popped Off" flips the finale with a smouldering 85 halftime shakedown. If you know your bass music, you'll know how important the return of this label is.
German deepsmith Oakin makes his debut on the ever on-point Surfase. "Cognitive Process" takes the lead with a strong sense of jazz to its mournful introspective chords while "Dub Attitude" lives up to its name with impeccability, all sub-drenched and swaggering like a purring Truth cut. Last but not least we're bounced from here to the heavens on "Mystic Path" thanks to a beautifully rounded and bulbous bassline that vaults through the dubspace with serious funk.
No droning or moaning about this one. Boofy & Lemzly Dale's Sector 7 unleash these overwhelmingly forthright and innovative thumpers from fellow Bristol badman Drone and the world is a better place for them. "Sapphire" is genuinely unique with its harmonised percussion panel beating a riff deep into your psyche while the spooked out arpeggiated 23rd century horror film OST "Been This Way" looks out from within your psyche to a panel beaten world where hope and resources are as rare as a duff Sector 7 release. Powerful and wildly forward-thinking.
Cue Line bring home the bacon once more with this homage to the essential elements in life RDG & Cessman bring the air vibes with the breezy, rejuvenating atmospherics of "Guidance", Gaze Ill & 3WA bring us down to the earth with their rich grainy warm bass on "Manipulated", Binary & Zygos are all about the water elements as the technoid bass hits us with oceanic wave after oceanic wave n "Existence" while Murk & Shiva close with pure fire as the "Akousma" scuffs, scraps and savages you with roaring, uncontrollable drum pattern and skin singeing sound design. Bring on part two.
Wake up and smell the bake up, Walsh's Biscuit Factory have cooked a fresh batch from three relative newcomers and the results are highly scrumptious; Nottingham three-piece kick off with abyss plunged bass tones and more space that Professor Brian Cox's daydreams, Rufus!'s "Slug Crawl" lives up to its name perfectly with molten rhythmic elements and stacks of tightly coiled funk in the groove while Reaction closes the show on a mystic introspective tip. Grub's up!
German murker Grawinkel steps over from Subline with his debut EP for Southside Dubstar. Four tracks heavy, the results speak for themselves... "Ping Pong" pangs with a 2007 era Dub Police style bassline, "Staile" is a mean and pensive 2am graveyard creeper while "Cap" conjures up a little trippy vocal mangling magic. Finally "Catz" closes the show with a strong bounce theme to both the well tuned drums and the springy, fizzy bassline textures. Feline this! (not sorry)
We find your lack of faith disturbing.... Nomine fires up the dance with two insanely heavy VIPs from the man like Macabre Unit. "Darth Vader" keeps the 70-a-day breathing and ominous tones but jacks up the riff into something much choppier and wilder while "Mash Up Da Place" enjoys a subtler shake up with tripped harmonics laced into twisted bass riff. These are what VIPs were invented for.
As ever with the mighty LW Recordings, when we saw this one pop up in the delivery bay we were over the moon. As a label, they have become synonymous with high quality multi-genre releases, primarily balanced between deepening dubstep and tearout bassline. As the second edition of their 'Leftfield Bass' series, it fills the niche perfectly. For us the immediate highlights have to be the swampish textures and dirty bass remedies of 'Motion' from RUFUS! along with Babie GION's incredible 'Princess Takiyasha' mix of Cam Lasky's 'Summoner'. A special mention also has to go out to Venz for his fantastically nostalgic bassline creation in 'Dun Yas', featuring Swiftz on the vocal stabs.
One of Shambhala's most revered and friendliest neighbourhoods Fractal Forest celebrate 20 years of leftcentric bassline hurly burly with another resplendent all-star cast compilation. Ranging from the snake-like sleazing and horn melting funk of Opiou's "Ginger Lizard" and the organ melting sassiness of Neighbour's "Summertime Girls" to outright Krafty Kuts classics ("We Do This") and zippy bumpers from the Stanton Warriors ("Walking") via powerful full fat funk such as Gramatik's "Future Crypto" and A Skillz almighty brass band blazing classic "Dead Ringer", this whole collection represents one of North America's wildest, warmest and vibiest parties. Here's to another 20 years of Fractal fire.
The impressive output of the Zip Sound Recordings continues as they unveil their official remix EP for Aeom's highly rated 'Asha Asha'. We begin with Soble's grinding rework, incorporating grizzly electronic subs and skydiving arpeggios together to create a harmonically pleasing arrangement. On the flip, DJ Variant steps in for his punchy refurbishment, incorporating well rounded bass stabs and subtle eastern vocal snippets into the fray, creating a fantastic sense of atmosphere within the composition. Two very good remixes of a top draw original recording.
We have a winner... Frequency Dreams entered Dank N Dirty Dubz' Pushloop remix competition last year and this epic three tracker is the result. Building on his Version Collective and Dub Sector releases, Frequency Dreams hits home with a trio of tightly coiled vibes; "Axis" is a well oiled machine humming with pneumatic funk, "Radiate" is a little more introspective with its heavy atmospheres and gutter scuffing bass while his remix of Pushloop's "Secret Society" provides the grand finale where a whole new quirky staccato riff ups the energy while paying full respect.
Hot on the heels of his "All I Do" EP, LA's Nato Feelz returns to the mighty Firepower with three absolute stinkers. From zero to headbang in 0.2 seconds, "It Don't Stop" throws us into the mosh unapologetically with a grotty stadium-blazing riff and dramatic chords, "Woah" flips the coin for a much deeper, trappier twist with smoking 808s and ever-flowing liquid textures and "Crazy" closes with the show with a high voltage vibe that more than lives up to the title. Crazy? You will be if you sleep on this!
We wade into murky waters on this brand new project from Indigo Movement as they team up with Qant for the Siberia EP. The selection kicks off with the 8bit driven glitchy rhythmics of '13_12' before rolling into a darker more spaced out territory as the unpredictable lasers and numbing subs of 'Alienated' take over. Following this we hear the scattered drum grooves and LFO expansions of 'Few Moments Later' before landing on the title track 'Siberia', a shuffling showdown, focussed on unpredictable syncopated percussive placement and haunting atmospheric synthesis. Excellent work!
Over the last few years, DJ Sly and Swifta have been setting some serious pace, with the Levels movement supplying them the platform to release their joint album project 'Grimey Levels'. As a full length project, it really epitomizes the breadth of musical styles the pair can pull together with ease, with a genre range spanning from grime to D&B. For us the immediate standouts from this have to be the raw power of 'Bust A Little Skank', bringing serious jump up flavour, alongside the descriptive Grimey lyricism on 'London' and the bassline infused rhythms and bass synthesis of 'Get Back'. A very complete project indeed!
The first question you're likely to ask when it comes to this new EP from Berlin newcomer Vasko is 'what does the "Unlock" EP actually unlock?' We'll put you out of your misery; both "Symbiont" and "Telos" unlock portals into a whole new space / time dimensions where absolutely nothing is what it seems and everything you knew about 140 music is flipped on its head. The former is a super woozy sludge packer with more reverse twists than a rewind addict while the latter balances tribal and trippy with precision weirdness. More Dilla than Darqwan; Kwaioto know what they're up to.
As ever with the Shanti Planti catalogue, prepare yourself for something truly unique as Mantismash steps forward for his full length 'Omnipresent' LP, encompassing a vast array of styles, forged together with impeccable production prowess. As an extended project, it really takes you everywhere, from the luscious soundscaping and textures on 'Ocean Of Clouds' to the wavy synth design and percussive perfection of 'A Star Behind The Sun'. Things also get weird on 'Midicina' as a shed load of glitchy percussive pips and pops run riot alongside breathy atmospherics. Other highlights include the unpredictable oscillations and chord movements on 'The Observer' and the spliced disco vibes of 'Real Eyes'. A fantastic project and one we highly recommend getting your teeth stuck into.
OAKIN - Dub Attitude (Surfase) - exclusive 16/07/2018
MACABRE UNIT - The VIPs (Nomine Sound)
VARIOUS - Elements Part 1 (Cue Line) - exclusive 23/07/2018
VARIOUS - Fractal Forest: 2018 Compilation (Westwood Recordings)
CHRIS INNASOUND - Popped Off EP (Texture)
MAJOR OAK/RUFUS/REACTION - The Descendants EP (Biscuit Factory)
Top Labels
Box Clever
Innamind Recordings
Macabre Unit Digital