Review: Now many have guessed that this one has been in the works for a while, but that makes us no less excited to unveil this tasty new album projct from J:Kenzo, who returns to his home imprint of Artikal Music for 'Taygeta Code'. From start to finish, the album is a true exploration into electronic music, primarily of course focussed around 140BPM. It's got bass pressure on 'Desired State', it's got acidic originality on 'Hoodwinked', it's even got a weighty guest vocal from the legendary Flowdan who returns on Kenzo's Darkside VIP mix of 'Like A Hawk'. This is an excellent showcasing of J:Kenzo's ability within a crowded dubstep scene.
Review: Sentry Records has put together some serious releases over the last few years, showcasing the latest and greatest in dubstep and its surrounding genres. We are therefore introduced to and absolutely storming compilation here as we reel off bangers from the likes of dubstep legends such as Caspa, Truth, Sukh Knight, Youngsta and more. For us, the highlights of this incredible compilation are quite clear, kicking off with the stunning production of 'Judas' from Nomine, who brings forward his uniquely metallic sound design on mass. Another absolute heater we couldn't forget is the spooky yet satisfying 'Crocodile' from Dayzero, packed with wicked drum flavours and haunted overtones.
Some Friday Flavour (original mix) - (4:32) 89 BPM
Review: For this latest selection of excellence from the Deep Heads movement, we are again introduced to Geode, a producer with a serious point to prove as he unleashes twelve tracks of stunning steppers quality. From the techy drum manoeuvres of 'Oblong' to unpredictable melodies of 'Phi' and high energy rhythms of 'Lark Ascending', this release packs something for any dubstep fan! For us there are two clear standouts, the first of which comes to us through the mesmeric harmonies of 'Jade', alongside the crispy minimalism of 'Ruh', in collaboration with C Tivey. Awesome work!
Review: This is an EP that oozes class from start to finish, and for us, sits pretty solidly as one of the most powerful dubstep releases of 2019 as OME lands of Simply Deep for five tracks of pure brilliance. We kick off with 'Another', a shimmering behemoth of glittering flutey tones and whirling atmospheric pads, followed by the warbling crunches of 'Way Too Far'. Next up, we face the haunting arpeggios of 'Luna Sangrante' before diving into a pair of very well designe remixes. Firstly, Busted Fingerz flips 'Another' into an apocalyptic grimey explosion, with Allone then reimagining 'Way Too Far' into a smooth hip hop roller. Awesome stuff!
Review: When we heard the news that Cimm had an album on the way, we could barely contain our excitement. When we then learnt it was to be featured on Sentry, our expectations tripled, and boy does Cimm deliver! The project takes the name 'Unknown Caller!!' and is a perfect embodiment of what today's deep dubstep scene represents, from the irresistible sub pressures of 'The Corner' alongside Rider Shafique to eastern-dub hybrids of 'Blue Sapphire' and lower tempo bass quakes of 'I Am Jack Travis'. The collaborations are fruitful on this one, as Cimm also invites Youngsta, Mr K, SGT Pokes, Riko Dan and Animai to take part in what is undoubtedly one of the strongest dubstep projects of the year.
Review: It's been a while since we heard of such a match made in heaven as this as we see Manchester's Hypho touch down on the legendary 81 UK for four tracks off pure bass-driven class. We kick off with a potent collaboration with BeatBoss champion Rakjay, who delivers some wicked vocal leads on the moody 'Round Ere', followed by the eerie bass tonality of 'Yinliao'. Next, Rakjay returns again on vocal duty, bringing poetic twists above a fantastic arrangement of subtle sub expansions and rolling drumwork on 'Graft', which is chased up by the crunchy tech infused breaks of 'Module', rounding this one up in style.
Review: Albion Collective have had an undeniably fire 2019, showcasing an array of exciting new artists through their highly respected label platform. They continue this energy as they invite in the spooky sounds of LSN for four tracks of pure power, kicking off with the scattered, unpredictable drum work and warbling electronic subs of 'I Don't Know What That Means'. The title track rolls into play next as 'Oscillator' combines hard hitting bass tones, shimmering Asian melodies and haunted female lead vocals for a tasty recipe, followed by 'Gone For Never', a lethal combo of violent bass slides between LSN & AxH. To round up, the choppy, hip-hop drum work of 'Rubberhands' provides the perfect contrasting finale!
Review: When we look at some of the fantastic releases that the team at eatmybeat have put together, we struggle to understand why they are not held in much higher regard, with this latest five tracker from Duckem justifying that further. We kick off with the satanic harmonies and rattling subs of 'Loner', followed by a fantastic collaboration between Mob Killa & Rakjay, who provide additional production and vocal support on 'Talk Is Cheap', turning it into a swampy banger. Next, the evil twisted bass synthesis and creative drum work of 'Dat' lands in front of us, before we hit the title track 'Spreading Rumours', which runs as a crunchy steppers original with additional features from Bluez. We then finish up on the sky cruise of an original named 'Space Surfer', which combines shimmering square waves and colourful drum work with wicked results.
Review: One of Artikal's firmest faces, here we find Dutch dynamo TMSV stamping hard on the dubstep landscape without wiping so much as a speck of dirt off his kicks. "Jackhammer" lives up to its name with a pernicious percussive pattern that tattoos your inner soul, "Guillotine" slices savagely with a tense string arrangement while "Elegy" palpitates with an emotional series of chord changes and unforgiving atmospheres. Dig deeper for the sub-aquatic slaps and skanks of "Fire Dub" and the powerful, cinematic drama of ideal set-opener "Head For Home". Make yourself at home.
Review: Straight out of Kingston, Jamaica, Moonshine Recordings team up with the unstoppable force of Bukkha for a melodic masterpiece of an EP. Featuring multiple original vocal performances, this EP entitled 'Unity' sees Bukkha delve deep into his dub roots, especially with the vibrancy of the first track 'Unite' featuring Clinton Sly. The combination of dub-style drum arrangement and airy woodwind melodies on this and 'A Burial' featuring Don Fe makes for very enjoyable listening. The stripped back dub-reggae stylings of 'Peacemaker' alongside Blind Prophet and the murky drum and bass switch ups of 'Dark Future' round the EP off perfectly. This is another fantastic look at dub music from a different angle, a scenario that Moonshine Recordings have become synonymous with in recent times!
Review: New artillery of dubstep swelters from the on-fire FatKidOnFire imprint - yessir! Militant bass vibes and deathly percussive stabs all-round with this new four-way compilation from a bunch of newcomers, and it's all very much in the typical spirit of the label. "Fear Spud" by D-Operation Drop is like a war march guided by a band of low frequencies, Iskeletor's "Charizard" is a wild, venomous slice of neuro-funk with a broken beat, while "S.90" by Saule is a more typical dubstep anthem a-la DMZ, and Bukez Finezt goes more acoustic with his harmonious bass experiment tagged "False Friends". Bad.
Review: The team at Numa Recordings have assembled one hell of a selection here as we see them introduce four fantastic originals as part of this brand new 'Heartless Badboys' EP project. Firstly we see the well renowned Numa Crew get busy alongside the super catchy vocals of XL Mad on 'Broka', before we jump into the super smooth yet grimey flavours of Hypergrade's 'Cabala'. Next on the menu, we tuck into what we presume is the title track as 'Heartless Badboys' ushers forth with a tonne of half-time synthetic energy, courtesy of Ago & T.Kay. We then finish up with the old school junglist twists and turns of 'Old Ravers' from Lapo, wrapping up a very clever four track piece.
Review: With a reputation for being one of the most creative artist tags in electronic music, Ivy Lab returns here for a six track extravaganza, kicking off with one hell of a collaboration. Onoe Caponoe & L-Zee Roselli are drafted in to supply some high energy vocal pressure on the title track 'Space War 169', and they most certainly deliver. The EP also boasts a strong selection of instrumental pieces, from the shuffling electronic tones of 'Wideboi' and super choppy drum slaps of 'Rococo' to the trap-like bass jangles of 'Zip It' and frankly phenomenal hip hop grooves of 'Suburbia'. This is yet another production masterclass from Ivy Lab.
Review: Oh Lord, it's been a while but the one like Chunky is back on Loefah's mighty Swamp 81 with a trio of house-tinged bass bangers tailor-made for some festival lap-ups! "Pash" opens with a glitchy, minimal garage rhythm that clearly sits somewhere along the hardcore continuum...but we just can't say where, exactly. "Imminent Threat" has grime all up in its DNA, the majority of the tune made up from curb-side lyricism and some of that cracked beat-making that used to represent the whole Fruity Loops trend; "Verudela Squad" bleeps and hums like a Boddika tune except that Chunky has a little more funk to his production style, adding in killer vocal chops and even a little bit of a soulful sway to boot. Lush.
Review: We were very excited to see this one land the in store as we see the legendary LX ONE kick start his brand new label project 'Vantage Recordings' with an absolute womper alongside Killa P. The pair combine perfectly on 'Link Up', with LX ONE's dark, gritty instrumental structures allowing Killa P to run riot with his highly impactful patois flows. On remix duty, Icicle emerges from the shadows with a powerful techy reimagining of the original recording, layering his uniquely crispy neurotic sounds in the mix with serious power.
Review: Throughout the last three years, the Delta Heavy coalition has been at the forefront of the mighty Ram's new sound. Once known as a label pushing the most futuristic strains of jungle and drum&bass, Andy C's imprint now focusses on provocative bass music of any kind, whether that's more on the dubstep-end of even back into d&b. "Bar Fight", for instance, is a tune that does both, kicking off with a placid half-step groove, and morphing into a straight-up-jump-up lick, backed by gruesome level of squealing bass and hard-hitting semi-breaks. A kick though the front door, and more.
Review: FaltyDL arrives on venerable UK imprint Ninja Tune with his most accomplished productions to date in tow. Typically, trying to pigeon-hole this release into a single genre is an exercise in futility, with sounds and textures flittering between disparate samples and tempos with effortless ease. Title track "Atlantis" is a melodic, smudged out roller with a bassline that evokes memories of LCD Soundsystems' "Tribulations" which dovetails snugly with some twangy plucked instrumentation. "Can't Stop The Prophet" is more adventurous still, with crackly atmospherics, toyed-with vocals, sumptuous strings giving off a languid, relaxed air; that is until the frenetic jungle breakdown arrives! Up next is the hip-hop esque swagger of "My Light My Love" and clattering hats and deep house chords of "The Sale Ends". Highly recommended.
Review: With an interesting career already behind her, Emika steps up with her debut album for Ninja Tune. It's a canny mixture of pitch-black pop, bass and dead-pan vocals that draws its influences from the melee of contemporary beats. There's no doubt that the music is produced immaculately, full of detail, neatly balanced, and loaded with atmospherics. Emika's vocal delivery is a chilly one, and pop music was never meant to be weathered by the warmth of the real world. Ultimately, she has succeeded in crafting an album that is undeniably her own - highly recommended.
Review: Following his "Moonbeam Rider" single for Nina Tune, this new instrumental EP from Greg Feldwick's alias finds the UK producer straddling the gaps between bass music and broken beat/nu-jazz perfectly. The opening title tune is a slow and spacey delight, complete with slowly unfurling arpeggios and some truly unexpected static gaps. "Whirlpool" follows a similarly astral path, while the beatless and cinematic "Dragon Drums" and the Boards of Canada-esque "Mist" are both future classic Ninja Tune cuts.
Review: It's been some six years since renowned misery guys Kevin Martin won plaudits for London Zoo, a typically dark, intense and aggressive full-length that showcased his unique ability to blend dubstep, grime, dancehall and dub techno textures into nightmarish new shapes. Angels & Devils, his belated follow-up, is intriguingly different. While the second half of the set is blessed with plenty of robust, floor-friendly riddims (each blessed with vocals from a range of impressive collaborators), the first half is an altogether more downbeat affair. In fact, it's these moments - the droning, dub-inflected ambience of "Pandi" and the bluesy, soundscape dub-soul of "Save Me" - that hit home hardest.