Reviewed this week
The super consistent sounds of Gourmet Beats make another high profile appearance as they team up with Boneless for a flawless two track project! Let's begin with the title track 'Escape' which is a steppers paradise as luscious sub layers are glued together by impressive synthesis, eerie atmospherics and crunchy drum maneuvers. On the flip side we are gifted the shimmering LFO patterns of 'Wizzro' which throws a really old school feel out there, reminding us of early L-Wiz or The Others.
The fantastic Sublimated Sounds are back with a top draw compilation, featuring 10 tracks from some of the most exciting new names across the dubstep expanse. The blend of styles is worked to perfection, from the riddim inspired synthy madness of 'Reaver' from Ophi, the neurotic growls of Thanom & Aimerie's 'Fasten Your Seatbelt' or the more subtle subs of 'Stealth' from Basiclee. Our highlights have to include the haunted rolling weight of 'Fuck Your Eyebrows' from Thromb and of course the distorted brilliance of Tetrah's 'Soul at Hazard'. A great collection ideal for any dubstep fanatic.
Bristol's Joker is without a doubt one of the most respected 140 based producers in UK dance music, constantly bringing fresh flavours to the forefront of the scene with his unique ability to sniff out a quirky melody. Here we see him team up with Newham Generals' own: Footsie for a dubstep driven tearout with beefy lead synths and super crunchy drums topped with trapstyle lyricism. We are also treated to 'Polka Dot', a shuffling gem of melodic genius, made up of experimental chord progressions and skylined synthesis.
Southpoint continue their 2018 hot streak in spectacular fashion by bringing together 9TRANE's long awaited debut EP: 'Mile High'. Since breaking into the grime scene in 2016, 9TRANE has been on everyone's watch list, releasing regular 130/140 belters. This EP consists of 6 tracks, the first of which being a powerful collaboration with Over The Edge's J River, jam packed with witty lyricism and pounding subs. We are also treated to the grimey percussive power of 'Clap Weapon' and the stunning soundscaping of 'Space'. As a bonus the EP also features the 'Mile High' instrumental as well as two top draw remixes, as Dubzta rebuilds 'Clap Weapon' into a breaksy monster and Tik&Borrow send 'Space' for a classy dubstep refurb.
Insane scenes as Karnage returns to Encrypted with four of his moodiest sluggers to date. "Death Proof" sets the pace with its rifle bass shots, tense atmosphere and harrowed chords, "Kefka's Revenge" takes us deep into the machine with a cascade of data textures and that rains defiantly over some gut-punching swaggered-out beats while "Prog Knife" pays homage to the Genesis with staccato bass shots over a brutal mecha beat. For the finale (fantasy) Karnage gives us a round-the-world trip with a dizzying set of, wavey sci-fi aesthetics and chords that rise to cathedral height. Immense material to the last detail.
For this one, the incredibly consistent sounds of Dubtribu team up with the super conceptual production prowess of Platypus for an explosive two track release, as always, pushing the dubstep boundaries as far as they can be pushed. The title track 'See Your Face' is a lot slower than 140, but through the haunting lead vocal, intensely spooky atmospherics and grinding bass synths it packs just as much energy. We speed right up as we flip over to the B-side 'Sugahbeeb'. This one is experimental as ever, with unpredictable melodic staps flying around atop hypnotic LFOs and punchy drum arrangements.
Samurai Breaks debuts on Forest Biz with his third release to date, and we have to say that his particular strain of beat-driven bass music is becoming more and more addictive by the week. Pick N Mix is a perfect representation of both his skills and style, mashing up all sorts of East Asian influences together with rough, percolating beats from the depth of the UK hardcore spectrum. Broken, jagged, lagged-up and bassed-out, this is the gnarliest form of UK-steppin' that we've heard in donkey's years, and it forms what is likely to be a long and prosperous road ahead for Samurai Breaks. Large up!!!
Two originals, one co-lab, one remix: Ghast returns to Encrypted with long-time Free Love Digi cohort and fellow Tuscaneer Thomas B. As always with these two, it's a high pressure experience with a wry balance of tension, angst and funk. Thomas takes the lead with "Goom Room", a cut that rides a clever bounce thanks to the sudden switches into skippy drums and strange humanised bass tones while Ghast deconstructs it with dark pranged out textures. Deeper into the script we hit the cavernous twangs and pneumatic hisses of "Cryo Bomb" where the pair lock horns over a groove that gets trippier as the track progresses before Ghast closes the show solo with the woozy deep space sojourn that's fittingly titled "Beyond Repair". If it ain't broke...
Danjah Danjah high voltage... Hardrive bossman is back and once again it's pure heat. Building the groove momentum from his "Infrared" EP, it's vibes from the off as he gets straight down to the funk business with a little co-lab hive mind heaviness from friends. "Control Alt Delete" is straight up bruk business with the currently avoidable Trends. Rocking a sparkled swing you could easily imagine in a Silkie set, it's a vibrant side to the grime OG. The same can be said for the soaking wet funk of "Shock After" with long-standing mate DOK. A cheeky reference to the roots with its head stuck right in the future, it's another game-changing slammer from man like Terror. Elsewhere "Nosedrive" takes us back down into the trenches with a swampy, low-swung bubbling bassline while "Patron XO Caf?" puts on the charm and takes us home for the warmest nightcap imaginable. Time to get wavey.
Liquid D&B's man-of-the-moment Monrroe flips the coin for a sweet slo-mo sojourn. A hazy, rolling 128 jam that rolls with tight percussion but drives with much chunkier breaks, it's awash with deep breath pads and vocal textures so hypnotic they'll pin you to the floor. Need something a little peppier? Look no further than Utile's blissful D&B remix. See you "Soon".
Following a series of sludgy numbers on the likes of Subworld Audio and Sub Garden comes this Substantial debut from Nottingham low-rider The Cosmos. His sounds as spacious and dizzyingly deep as his name, each cut marches through the fog with purpose. "Whale Blubber" is a woozy halftime bass banquet, "Flames N Fire" is all wobble and wave while "Beating The Block" bounces with badman badinage and "Twisted Ankle" swivels and jives and with a weirdo wonk that's tailored for the darkest of hours. The cosmos is never ending...
Raw innovation from Istanbul newcomer Fosil. Fresh from his Badmash knuckle "Soundwich" comes another intrepid frequency excursion. Four tracks deep, each one seemingly designed to probe your deepest, most tender cranial corners. "N.O.D" is all sleaze and swamp drone swag, tension pulled taut with cinematic string sweeps. "Fondip" captures your nightmares and spits them back at you with coated with sugar while "Gray Matter" plays the consummate role of Professor Trippy Roller in a strange game of twisted 140 Cluedo. Nothing else matters.
As far as compilations go, a lot of the time labels and artists struggle to find a defining set of voices within. This selection from the guys at Shanti Planti entitled 'Rhythm Code III' is a great example of how to do it right however. The tracklisting ranges drastically in styles, from the smoother sounds of Wolf Tech's 'Interstellar Transmissions' and 'Plant Pontificate' from Chris Komas, to the more neurotic vibes of Ecometric's 'Embers' or EurthmY's 'Delirium'. A special shout has to go to Duffrey and Sub.conscious for their futuristic contributions also.
We feel that Route 1 Audio have struck gold on this one as they bring forward the delicious sounds of Kiite with this fantastic new single entitled 'One'. The use of melody and harmony within 140 music is often underappreciated, but it's near impossible to do that here as we hear phenomenal soundscaping, made up of erupting square lead synths, incredibly textured arpeggiators and beautiful piano patterns. This one sits in between grime and dubstep and come to think of it, a thousand other genres as well. Fantastic stuff!
The Firepower imprint continues to plough through strongly as they bring in the services of Chime for a voluptuous four track monster. We kick off with the title track 'Featherweight', which is a collection of bitcrushed melodies, super gritty bass synths and knockout ready drum punches. From here we move into the scatty metallic synths and random breaksy slices of 'Damage' alongside Lost Vegas before landing on the explosive sound design of 'Smokescreen'. Finally we wrap this weighty project up with the hellish expanse of electronic madness that is 'Missingno', complete with demonic melodics and powerful drum design.
For this one, we hear the sweeping emotive sounds of T-Mass return for a trapstyle tearout by the name of 'Ignoring My Heart'. From the beginning we are treated to tremendously well layered melodies, all speeding towards a super vibrant crescendo, composed of grinding sub patterns, emotive lead synth sounds and reverberated drum designs. This one has come just in time for the festival season we feel!
The EDM/ trap combination continues to wreak havoc in its path as Yellow Claw teams up with Creek Boyz & A$AP Ferg for a boisterous three way collaboration. From the off It's jam packed with weighty goodness including super catchy synth melodies and pounding 808 bass movements. Between the vast array of highly energetic rap vocals and the flawless, big room production, it's hard to find fault with this one, which you can expect to hear in any major arena.
Ever the creative ones, Soundfield return with another epic two track release, this time from Fish Fugue entitled 'Rain Man'. The title track itself is a truly astronomical score, bringing together shimmering percussive synths and grunge-like guitar riffs. This is one that wouldn't sound out of place in a high end video game soundtrack or during a mainstage festival set. To round up we have 'Kohinur', which is a synthy detonation of colour, topped off perfectly with an expertly arranged electronically treated vocal.
Exclusives
CHIME - Featherweight (Firepower)
PLATYPUS - See Your Face (Dubtribu) - exclusive 05/06/2018
GHAST/THOMAS B - ENC035 (Encrypted Audio)
Exclusives
YELLOW CLAW/A$AP FERG/CREEK BOYZ - Fake Chanel (Barong Family)
MONRROE - Soon (Split Minds)
THE COSMOS - The Cosmos EP (Substantial Audio)
Top Labels
Innamind Recordings
uprise audio
Deep Heads
Box Clever
fatkidonfire