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: Following on from a fantastic selection of full length drops across 2020, the Duploc team continue their exciting run of form here, presenting the fourth chapter of their sumptuous 'Duploc Selects' series. They offer up another 10 system scorchers, with the likes of Rez, Oddkut, Hotcut, Nova and more all supplying the goods. The full tracklisting is pretty outstanding, but there are a couple of highlights we couldn't not mention, with Hella's spacey saxophone genius on 'Trinity Centre' being an instant hit. The sub-busting basslines and explosive reesey textures of 'Me N My Speakaz' from DRTY HBTZ is also an absolute bop, with the sizzling low end of Idioteque's 'Morality' also raising some eyebrows!
Review: The Encrypted Audio team have been putting together some outstanding drops across the breadth of 2020, with this new six track system-buster being another example of just how strong their catalogue has become. This extensive compilation brings together the very best of their recent releases into one handy pile, with the likes of Hypho, DubApe, Ekula, Hunter Reed & BSay providing the goods. When laid down next to each other, we do notice a couple of clear standouts, with Hypho & Logan_olm's 'Badman Tune' being an incredibly catchy techy roller, alongside the system shaking bass notation and sweeping atmospheric pressure of 'Emparedado' from BSay. It shows just how well they have done over the last few months and we absolutely love to see it!
Review: The man of unlimited talents we know as Zha is back at it once again, this time landing on his home imprint of 'White Peach' for a joyous four track EP, exploring the complete spectrum of 140BPM-based music. We begin with the wayward plucks and syncopated drum expressions of the title track 'Snails', which kicks us off with a somewhat minimal vibe, before the eerie instrumentation and jazzy licks of 'Daisy' drag the EP into a completely different ballpark. Next, the high energy rhythmic switch ups and choir-like synthesis of 'Shattered' inject some choppy energy into proceedings, before we round out on 'Tunnels', a super swampy masterpiece, driven by both it's gnarly bass lead and those piercing eastern vocal samples. There appears to be no stopping Zha, no matter how many projects he takes under his wing!
Review: The boys at In:flux Audio are back at it again, this time unleashing a wicked link up EP between label founders: Tik&Borrow and the more recently acquired sounds of 1Point5. We begin with the breakbeat-stepper fusion of 'Thunder Dub', a futuristic electronic masterclass, jam packed with interesting rhythmic expressions and fluttering metallic melodies. Next, 'Dirty Sean' continues along a similar vibe with more raucous breakbeat action, focussing on a less intrusive but no less potent bassline below. As well as this, J.Kong gives 'Thunder Dub' a complete overhaul, sending in an army of LFO's to wonk out the dance in style!
Review: Next up from the WiddFam squad, we take a peek at this wavy five-producer link up as Kraken, Serpent Eyes, ZiEK, Makak and Legend4ry join forces for a sizzling six track delight. We begin with 'Salvation', an eastern inspired stepper jam, packed with catchy vocal samples and lethal subs below, before the title track 'Osiris' sees Kraken deliver a punch of eastern woodwind and precise drum processing, before 'El Dorado' deploys more mysterious pluck melodies with a much more whirling sense of bass instrumentation. The rest of the crew then get involved on remixes, with Legend4ry's 'Banging On The Percs' mix of 'Salvation' giving us a vibrant, bouncy rethink, alongside SerpentEyes & ZiEK's synthy overhaul of 'Osiris' and the floating sub-textures of Makak's 'El Dorado' recreation to round us out in style!
Review: The consistency at which the Deep Dark & Dangerous team continue to move is up there with the best in the world right about now, as they unveil this fabulous new four track experiment from Isded. The EP kicks off with a weighty introduction as 'Fear' combines spooky woodwind lines with a minimalist drum crunches and a potent sub pulse below for some magical results. From here, the warbling begins properly as 'Abysmal' lets loose a swampy LFO line, followed by the stripped back bass pressure and bright drum slaps of 'No Gimmick'. Finally, 'Milk' sees Isded really let loose, this time beefing up the drum lines for an incredibly punchy arrangement, topped with some world famous meme-sampling and an alarm-line synthesizer that carries the track perfectly.
Review: It would seem that Scrub A Dub are intent on continuing their high quality run of releases as they bring forward this potent three track selection from Traces, who doesn't hold back one bit. We kick off with the title track 'Cc', a raucous, writhing speaker buster of a composition, pushed forward by it's grizzly synthesizer manoeuvres and spacey drum slaps, before the more stripped back LFO expressions of 'Nature VIP' deliver something on the more swampy end of the spectrum. Finally, we get ready to get our wonk on with 'Hear Seh', a super syncopated wobble-fest, perfect for sending the dance sideways.
Flava (feat Magugu - original mix) - (5:04) 126 BPM
Hidden (original mix) - (4:40) 62 BPM
Respek The History (feat Rakjay - original mix) - (3:05) 124 BPM
Hidden (Doctor Jeep Steppin mix) - (4:13) 140 BPM
Review: Well well well, what a link up we have here as two of the most consistent forces that operate in that tasty space between dubstep and techno join forces, namely Hypho and eatmybeat. We kick off this absolute winner of an EP by seeing the ever-ready Magugu land for a super rhythmic vocal appearance on 'Flava', which itself combines dungeon-like percussion with warbling subs for a smooth experience. Next, 'Hidden' deploys some incredibly potent drum work below a hypnotic pad and synth combo, giving us a refreshing look at the 130 sound, before Rakjay delivers a top quality vocal performance on 'Respek The History', a worthy title track indeed. Finally, Doctor Jeep arrives to send 'Hidden' to the 2-step blender, bringing a groovy end to this wicked body of work.
Review: Dubstep has arguably never been in a more consistently top quality position, with nearly every release boasting incredible levels of both innovation and bass-driven mastery, a theme into which Infernal Sounds most certainly deliver with Bukkha's brand new 'Badda Dan Dem' selection. We kick off with Killa P's highly impactful vocal feature on the title track, slapping the mix to pieces with a well processed vocal line, followed by Blackout JA's more dancehall influenced toasting over 'Rise Of The Beast', a seriously weighty dubwise sound for the system. Finally, we round off this selection of three collaborations with Gaze Ill joining the party on 'Stems Dub', another swampy design, pushed forward by it's distorted flute lines and shimmering percussive inputs, putting the final touches on yet another top quality selection!
Review: Crossing the Atlantic in style each and every time, Ternion Sound are back at it again, this time unleashing a sumptuous new four track delight for the dons at Artikal Music. We begin with the hypnotic synth twists and amazonian atmospheric delays of 'The 14th', which unleashes a raucous display of percussive power, before 'Parasite VIP' delivers an outstanding piece of dirty dubstep production. Following this 'Smoke Em out' brings forward more sweeping pad textures to add an eerie sense of depth to the EP, before the fluttering flute lines and dubbed snare delays of 'Far North Dub' puts the final touches on one of the strongest releases from the Ternion camp we have ever seen!
Review: Whenever we open up a new package from the Deep Dark & Dangerous team we now know to expect something that is likely to knock our blocks off, a promise that Khiva most certainly keeps with these two absolute scorchers. We begin with the title track 'Where The Reaper Stood', a horrorcore stepper, doused in eerie vocal delights and sharp, impactful percussive design, this one could spook out any dance. On the flip, 'All These Things' delivers a combination of gnarly LFO gobbles and sharpened metallic bass distortion to provide a haunted B-side!
Truth & Lelijveld - "Psychological" - (2:37) 140 BPM
Lost - (2:24) 105 BPM
Shrouds - (3:41) 140 BPM
Earthlings - (4:10) 140 BPM
Review: It's been a brief minute since we last took in a brand new release from the legendary Truth trio, who we are pleased to see returning to their home imprint of Deep Dark & Dangerous for a lively five track expanse. We begin with the title track 'Neptune', a jittering collection of delicate synths and punchy kick patterns, glued together with an array of glittering reese tones. Next, 'Psychological' sees Lelijveld get involved with some stunning vocal additions, giving us some incredible soundscaping mastery before the grizzly atmospherics and glitchy manoeuvres of 'Lost' take us somewhere completely different. From here, 'Shrouds' supplies us with a much more aquatic sounding creation, linking crunchy percussion with volatile bass tones, before we round off with 'Earthlings', a big synth system-buster, stuffed with hypnotic energy and terrifying horn stabs to see us out in style!
Radikal Guru & Junior Dread - "Together We Shall Overcome" - (4:05) 78 BPM
Radikal Guru & Baptiste - "Beyond The Borders" - (5:01) 79 BPM
Ready Fi War - (4:36) 80 BPM
Radikal Guru & Lady Skavya - "Lost & Found" - (4:00) 70 BPM
The Dreamer - (5:11) 71 BPM
Review: Four years on since his last LP, Moonshine Recordings spearhead Radikal Guru returns with this Beyond The Borders album! Packing collaborations with the likes of Marina P, India's Lady Skavia, fellow Moonshine artist Baptiste to Vale and Lion Posse Soundsystem Tenor Youthman, a solo-wise Guru sends in a sweetly devilish instrumental in "Melody Dub" - that goes lengths to collide the sounds of Crystal Castles with something you might expect from Mala - next to some resonating skittering riddims in "Ready Fi War". 'We are all refugees' sing the lyrics of the title-track amidst suggestive themes of jungle warfare and funky drummer breaks alongside the industrial-tinges of a jazz-laced "Riddim 1". With further collaborations coming from vocals talents like Junior Dread in the slowed-down dub-wisdom of "Together We Shall Overcome" to the freewheeling spoken word of Troy Berkley in "Higher Frequency", Radikal Guru adds yet more heavy weight digital dub to a new soundsystem culture that's ready and waiting.
Review: It goes without saying at this point, but screw it, we will repeat ourselves with a good old uttering of 'It looks like Chad Dubz has done it again'. Landing on his home imprint of Foundation Audio, the 'Foundations' LP is an excellent showcasing of futuristic dubstep brilliance. Made up of twelve swampy stunners, Chad Dubz once again confirms his spot among the best in the game, with the tracklisting varying dramatically between the more 'Anti-Social' inspired spaciness of 'Space Cadet' to the electronic mastery of 'System'. The whole project is a delight, with highlights including the moody LFO expressions of 'Anxious', alongside the exceptional soundscaping work behind 'Life', which links up unorthodox percussive lines with a hypnotic sense of rhythm throughout. Top stuff as per!
Review: It's safe to say that the Numa Recordings catalogue is a pretty spectacular thing to take a peek at, which has been added to by this fabulous new collection as they unveil the second edition of their 'Heartless Badboys' EP Series. We begin our four track journey with Lapo, who delivers a synth-heavy party starter in 'Automatic Soul', a crunchy number that finds itself switching perfectly between electronic leads and dubwise delays. Next, Leon P is joined by Ago for a piece of breaksy brilliance on 'Juju', followed by a serious upswing in tempo as T-Kay delivers some metallic mastery on 'Monarch'. Finally, things get a little techy as XL Mad unleashes 'Death Valley', a crunchy tech-inspired roller, giving us an excellent final touch.
Review: The thing we have always loved and will continue to love about the Simply Deep imprint, is their commitment to exploring the unknown. They are never afraid to take their releases into uncharted territory, with this new slap from Moosiqunt being a scorcher to say the least. We begin with the haunted atmospheric design and unpredictable percussive expressions of 'Refugium', which gives us a real look forward into what we can truly expect. Next, 'Untitled' combines a more traditional drum backing with bubbling textures for something a tad different, before Sedan arrives for two exceptional collaborative pieces alongside 'Scetta' who adds his sauce without spoiling the broth. Finally, we move into our remix section, with Woven Thorns giving 'Untitled' a more conventional yet moodier dubstep feel, before Stizzla & Eater remix the track into a sub-aquatic slap'. Incredible scenes!
Review: Now this sure is a tasty link up as we welcome the top quality combination stylings of both Numa Crew and Riko Dan, two veterans in their respective scenes, delivering banger after banger for years. The track itself takes the name 'Babylon' and is a certified rave-ready roller, driven by Numa Crew's incredibly crisp instrumental triplet structure, dripping in sub heavy sauce and bouncy clap energy. This base provides the perfect platform for Riko to unleash his lethal patois flows, making this one a must have for any 140 DJ!
Review: The Fent Plates team seem to be able to do no wrong as the moment, with this latest gorgeous helping from the outstanding sounds of Sorrow being another piece of gold to add to the pile. Kicking off with the VIP mix of 'Mourner', The project starts up with some serious flair, combining shuffling, almost garage like drum textures with some truly outstanding vocal sampling and atmospheric processing. There is just emotion coursing through the project from start to finish and despite the more raucous nature of 'Voynich' on the flip-side, the use of soundscaping is absolutely second to none. Lovely work!
Review: Next up from the Basskruit crew, we take in this fabulous new selection from an artist by the name of Cubiqule, whose brand new single seems to find itself lurking between about ten different genres and yet not sounding out of place at all. The electronic magnificence of 'Duna' is something to behold, with the half-time, almost hip-hop inspired rhythms of the track sitting so comfortably alongside incredibly metallic percussion and swampy bass sounds, the fusion is frankly mind-blowing. Despite the original track being so exceptional, we also find ourselves blessed with four remixes, kicking off with SCHIM92's colourful steppers rethink, alongside a much more dungeon-inspired 140 relick from Datra. Next, Crowley gives the track another dubstep overhaul, speeding up the rhythms into a system-busting soundscape, with the wonky drums and sizzling synth action of Moonstreams's rework providing the final touches of this excellent projecty
Review: eep Medi Musik continues to be the leader of the deep dubstep sound after many years in the game. Kahn is now back on the label with new versions of "Dread" which was an absolute stone cold classic way back in 2012. The originally restrained and atmospheric track gets some much-celebrated Dubkasm treatment here and the results are then pressed to limited white label vinyl for the first time. All four versions bring the goodness despite them being heavier takes on the OG with plenty of fresh, fine warrior leads and effects added to the mix.
Review: The Deep Dark & Dangerous team really do have a top knack for spotting and crafting high end releases, with this brand new 'Ishtar' album from Abstrakt Sonance being yet another winner. Featuring 17 incredible originals, it's a masterpiece of 140 themes and dubstep influences, from the grizzling reeses of 'Mindstate' and subtle sitar slides of 'From Wallah With Love' to the percussive brilliance of 'Beautiful Time To Be Alive' and system ready sub-marches of 'Deep In The Jungle'. There's just so much to enjoy throughout the project, including some high end collaborations, which sees the likes of D Double E, Killa P, Long Range, Crowell, Vandull and EniGMA Dubz all get involved with top quality contributions.
Review: It seems that the Subaltern team have absolutely no intention of slowing down any time soon as they deliver yet another earth shattering EP selection, this time welcoming Kodama in to flex those steppers muscles. The release is a real masterclass in modernized dubstep production, firstly seeing the legendary LX One get involved 'Cronauer', a stuttered gritty chopper, followed by beautiful melodic plucks of 'Piranha Plant'. The vibe then switches across the slightly distorted harmonies and trap-like drum designs of 'Dorsia' before Shenza arrives to provide some smooth vocal fire atop the spacey arrangements of 'Il Tempo E Oro'. Finally, 'Crookshanks' delivers a strong, subby finale to a wicked body of work, fitting perfectly into the Subaltern discography.
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: The discography we are seeing form under the Instigate banner is starting to become quite a goliath looking collection, with this extra drop from Lampa adding fuel to the fire. We begin with the title track 'Celestial', which stands a sizzling creation, driven by glittering high end synth plucks and a lethal reese sound below. From here, 'The Details' sees Enigma join the party for a spooky 140 roller, alongside Gnasha's influence on the eastern inspired melodic twists of 'Highlander'. Finally, B-Say steps forward to have his way with 'Matrimony', giving us a sumptuous sub-pounding rework to round this project off with a bang!
Review: We are absolutely loving the direction that the legendary Alix Perez has been taking recently, driving his uniquely techy production style into the dubstep scene with fantastic results. This latest project on 1985 music is the perfect showcase of just how good it can be, kicking off with the eerie atmospheric sweeps and gnarly bass excursions of the title track 'Last Rites'. Next, the engulfing subs and classic vocal fx sampling of 'Deep Six' burst onto the scene before the stripped back bass tones and impactful reverberations of 'Spooked' touch down. The project is rounded off with a dive into 'Melodrama', a track teetering with emotive energy and rolling sub tones, driven by it's unique, Burial-like lead vocal line.
Review: If we are talking about legendary grime producers within the UK, there are very few who rank higher than Terror Danjah, a name so cemented within the foundations of the UK underground that you would be hard pressed to find an era in which he hasn't remained extremely relevant to the culture. This latest project comes to us courtesy of Tru Thoughts, giving us a glimpse into just how important he is to grime's past present and future, from the twisted bass distortions of 'Nightmare' and hard hitting guitar stabs of 'Metal', to the more classic jumpy rhythms of 'Red Card Riddim' and instantly hard hitting arrangement of 'TBC' alongside Sir Spyro. With other highlights including the gnarly synth leads and dramatic strings of 'Last Days' and moogish warbles of 'Scene 1' alongside Nii-Teiko, this is definitely one for the long play! We at JunoDownload also want to wish Terror Danjah all the best and a speedy recovery during this difficult time
Review: We are always excited to see a new offering from Innamind Recordings, who here invite the futuristic production stylings of DE-TU inside for two tracks of pure steppers power. We begin with a look at the eerie nature of 'Stay Low', which applies a dark and demonic vocal line with spooky atmospheric pad layers and sharp drum switches with fantastic results. On the flip side we also take in 'Come To Play', an incredibly potent original roller, driven by warbling sub textures and a spacey vibe which runs throughout the composition, providing an excellent contrast between the two tracks.
Review: Now let's be real here. There aren't many people matching up with Deep Dark & Dangerous when it comes to dubstep release quality. This last 18 months has been a display of extreme dominance, with this latest five track project being yet another example of that. Featuring 10 steaming originals, from the likes of Oxossi, Sepia, Taiko Dalek One and more heavyweight names, they really aren't playing around. Highlights for this one have to include the horn-heavy LFO ramblings of Angelic Roots' 'Thunder Dub', alongside the subtle eastern twinges of 'Cobra Shake' from Khanum and the slapping percussion of REZ's 'Adidas'. Lovely stuff.
Review: Polish dubwise alert again on Moonshine Recordings via Radikal Guru and Italian reggae vocalist Marina Peloso; fresh off her recent collab with Mungo's Hi-Fi. It presents a second Radikal Guru release for Moonshine Recordings this year following the Radical 10", with this connection seeing Marina P bring her reggae singer-songwriter techniques applied to a head-nodding groove and metallic tinged melody and chorus passage. With a big version coming in via the "Righ Thing Riddim" instrumental, Do The RIght Thing is a true release for the soundboy / soundgirl selectah.
Review: We're not quite sure how they keep managing to unearth these instant gems, but it seems as though Wheel & Deal have done it yet again, as we take a look at this brand new sizzling three tracker from MRSHL, doused in original steppers heat. We begin with the eerie chord work and slithering synthesizer ascensions of 'On One', which work away amidst harpsichord-like string plucks. From here we take in the bumping basslines and floating pad textures of 'When The Light Fades', which leads us nicely into 'Letting Go', an emotive expanse of distant vocal lines and sweeping synthesizer melody. It's the perfect round off to a top quality body of work.
Review: Now we don't know what is in the water where Cartridge is living right now, but blimey! This new selection from him on the super-consistent Locus Sound imprint is yet another showcase into his dubstep-driven brilliance, kicking off with the sub-shattering low end and unpredictable drum manoeuvres of 'Iron Lung', before 'Two Of Us' combines fluttering melodic inputs with lethal bass growls. Next, 'Tek Time' unleashes a stunning soundscape of glitchy lead synth designs and haunting string jerks, before rounding the EP off in style with the crunchy bass exploits and groovy percussive marches of 'Brute'. Awesome work!
Review: The team over at Infernal Sounds must have something very unusual in their porridge, because they have yet again arrives to provide us with some absolute dirt for the system from SWR, beginning with the truly raucous reese bass stutters and bubbling melodic lines of the title track 'Square Soldier'. From here we find ourselves drifting into 'Vertigo', a breathy yet metallic synth chopper, followed by niche-hybrid basslines and subtle brass stabs of 'Cypher Zero'. Finally, the warped eastern melodic structures of 'Isshin's Theme' give the EP that final dash of the good stuff to round this off as one of the most creative drops of 2020.
Review: We'll just go ahead and call it here: "Not That Safe" is Hypho's best production yet! Super heavy and super deep with a blasting kick drum that sounds more like an oversized powderkeg being thrown off a building, its circulating loop only adds to the epic, free flowing spirale of this track and its spacious, left-to-right percussion. Mountain splitter.
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.