Review: Next up from the ever-ready Burke we see him move back onto his solo imprint for an extremely haunted four track selection, headed up by a title track named 'Cross The Line'. The combination of dissonant harmonic layers and grizzly, gnawing low end textures on this one send shivers down the spine before the creepy-crawly sounding percussive layers and pulsating subs of 'Detail' send us in a completely different direction. From here, the drill-like bassline and plucked melodies of 'Harps & Home' send us again into completely new territory, before rounding off on the monumental basslines and scraped bass textures of 'Craic Fiend', putting the cap on a fiery selection.
Review: There really does seem to be no way of stopping the Deep Dark & Dangerous onslaught once they hit their stride, as Coltcuts returns for yet another incredible four track selection, kicking off with the sweeping string lines and clunky drum smashes of the title track 'The Haunting'. The spooky vibes remain apparent as we move forward into the warbling LFO pulses of 'Concrete' which work in tandem with a layer of dissonant string swipes before 'Passage Of Arms' strips it back to a good old wobble, kick & snare combo. Finally, 'Skrrrt' unleashes the horns of Valhalla, strapped onto an epic soundscape, complete with blasting bass tones and glittering atmospheric inputs. What a drop this is!
Review: Infernal Sounds have most certainly been on a pretty killer run so far this year, seeing the likes of Taiko & Saule grace the imprint in recent times. Their latest drop sees the magnificent De-Tu deliver a three track bonanza, kicking off with the spacy, dub-infused chords and system rattling basslines of 'Fruitcake', a potent title track indeed. Next, 'Wicked Skank' delivers more syncopated chords with an incredibly hard hitting warbling lead, again delivering a tonne of weight to the low end. Finally, the crunchy percussion and eerie atmospheric patterns of 'Secrets' gives us a final tad of variation to round off another top quality body of work from the Infernal Sounds camp.
Review: Whenever we see a new one land from the Artikal Music team we know we are likely to be in for a good time, so when we saw that Deadcrow had landed for another explosive two tracker, we had to take a listen right that second! Both tracks on this one deliver something pretty special, with the spacey drum designs and warbling 808 pressures of 'Scrape' landing first of all. From here we move onto the flip side with 'Concrete', another gnarly masterpiece, slapping together a sub-busting reese line with highly energetic rhythmic manoeuvres and colourful background FX to really work a system to its limit.
Review: The Encrypted team look to continue their highly rated recent run with this one as they invite the intriguing sounds of 'El inside for a three track dubstep experiment. We begin our journey through this one with a taster of 'Repetition', a blippy, stuttered original design combining bubbling synthesizer plucks with moody sublines to create something quite ear-opening. Next, 'Start A War' stitches together an array of organic percussive chimes with a spooky atmospheric overtone for more thought-provoking listening, before rounding this off with 'Wake Up Lisa' another crunchy creation that ties together an heavily reverberated drumset with spacey melodic drifts and off-key piano stabs for an eerie adventure.
Review: The consistency of In:flux over the lockdown period is something we never seem to be able to keep quiet about, purely because it becomes more impressive with every release that seems to land into the store. This latest helping from Ekula is a perfect example of that as we kick of with the shuffling, breaksy drum works and sizzling sub-bass structures of the title track 'All Night', before 'Afterparty Sunrise' combines with sunshine chords with a more scattered drum design for some fantastic variation in rhythm. Next, 'As I Go' arrives with Ca$tle on collaboration duty, unleashing marching kicks and smooth melodic chimes, reminding us of early Anti-Social radio shows, before we get into a pair of weighty remix creations. Firstly, Dystinkt gives 'All Night' a bit of a hardcore face-lift, upping the energy levels dramatically, followed by the legendary Benton arriving to rework 'Afterparty Sunrise' into a nostalgic party starter. Excellent!
Review: Now over the years, Footsie has rightly become known as an outright legend with grime in the UK, both through his work alongside D Double E at Newham Generals and as a solo recording artist. Today however, we need to discuss just how undersung Footsie is as a producer, having delivered top quality 140 riddims left, right and centre over the past 15 years. This brand new project is the perfect way to celebrate his ability as we are gifted 12 storming original instrumentals, showcasing the full spectrum of his production ability, from the spectacular horn sampling of 'Black & White' to the trappy sub rolls of 'Lemz' and classic grimey melodic structures of 'Got Cheese'. The whole project is a masterpiece to say the least, with our standouts including the smooth Asian woodwind slicing of 'The Massage Riddim', alongside the constantly shifting soundscapes of 'Badman Orchestra' and dubstep inspired bass wonks of 'Fire Door'. Amazing stuff!
Review: We have heard a tonne of fantastic music from Gastah over the years, which is why when we saw he was in the process of building a brand new LP project we struggled to contain our excitement. 'Forlorn' is a fantastic look into the mind of one of 140's most slept on figures, from the icey synth leads of 'Obscurities' to the uplifting chord expressions and vocal genius of 'Resting In', the project delivers a fantastic range of sounds, all unmistakably Gastah. We would have to recommend taking this one in throughout a longplay format, however, if we were to point out a couple of highlights, the sweeping roller textures of 'Negativity' deliver a weighty gutpunch, alongside the nostalgic grimey synth lines of the title track 'Forlorn'. What a project!
Review: So it would appear that Cue Line have arranged a bit of a treat for us with this one as Gaze Ill lands for three tracks of experimental fire, kicking off with his brow-raising overhaul of 'Sudd' from Zygos. With this we see him rework the original into a boiling ball of bass and bounce, allowing a minimal drum set to push the whole track forward with some real style. Next, Gaze then reworks RDG's 'Shapeshift' into a piece of half-time percussive perfection, packed to the brim with shimmering bassy throws and high energy rhythmic ideas before VIP'ing his own 'Combo' original. This puts the cherry on the cake as a well thought out collection sub bass synths and reverberated congas deliver a very finale.
Review: The consistency of dubstep labels such as Duploc in recent years really is something to behold and celebrate, with their latest drop continuing the themes we seem to bring up every time, as Hella drops two beautiful bangers. Firstly, 'Maple Trees In Spring' combines an emotive, Asian sounding string-lead harmonic structure with beefy, well thought out drum structures to create something somehow both introspective and outward facing. On the flip, the slightly quicker tempos and horn driven rhythms of 'Cascades' provide a fantastic level of differentiation, holding both tunes in a well designed balance of subtlety and beauty.
Review: The days of deep dubstep ruling the 140bpm bracket are back again and boy are we glad. LSN is on Vantage UK for this superbly put-together four-tracker and its one certain to make your jimmies rumble and your pennies tumble, coming as it does form into broad archways of stunningly deep, loping tech. The title is appropriate, and the title tune is the standout, with stabbing 808s offering a sense of lift to its gorgeously lethargic yet stepping percussive overlay. There's torn and ripped low frequencies on 'Twin Dub', eerie textures on 'Rebirth' and wobbly creativity on 'Fun Guy Funk'. Wicked stuff.
Review: Next up from the fabulous Dread Or Dead imprint we see yet another top quality addition to the catalogue, following on from recent heaters alongside the likes of Shinobi Yurei, Ivo, Cyrax and more. Nova makes his return with a vengeance as we first dive into the original mix of 'Noughts & Crosses', a sub-heavy steppers sizzler, destined to cause incredible amounts of damage in any 140 dance through it's wavy bass slides and overall haunted vibe. The remixes for this one also add an entirely new dimension to the release, with Repulsion firstly sending the track to the electro blender with his outrageous recreation. On the flip, Dayzero delivers an aquatic rethink of the track, complete with bubbling synthesizer pulses and an unusual percussive line to keep it as unpredictable as ever. Lovely stuff from all involved.
Review: Following on from the recent launch of White Peach's new vinyl website scheme, they are back at it again with yet another top quality drop from Opus, who really struggles not to hit the back of the net it would seem. The title track 'This Damn Feeling' sets the tone perfectly with it's glum, chiming introduction and super-sidechained sub pulses that sit atop a sharpened sitar-like synthesizer line. From here, 'Day & Age' delivers another glistening sub-heavy masterstroke, before the moody bass LFO's and eerie upper textures of 'Ghost' prepare to bust open the first sound system they can find. Finally, 'Renegade' sends the release completely leftfield with a wonky half-time experiment, glued together by epic string work and an irresistible lead synth that packs one hell of a punch!