Review: The Artikal Music imprint has been providing us with heavyweight belters for quite some time now, so when we saw they were teaming up with Akcept for a two tracks vibe out we couldn't be happier. The title track 'Might Of The Trinity' is a subtly spooky roller, packed to the rafters with mind boggling sub work and unpredictable snare delays, topped with eerie ride cymbals and marching drum rhythms. On the flip, 'Night Crawler' is a more mellowed out exploration of space and texture, with dubbed chord structures shimmering left to right above smooth drum movements and perfectly crafted bass tones.
Review: Argo nails the sounds of the deep like few can with this EP. Daredevil harks back to Cockney Flute, haunting woodwind that blends with sonic smoothness to create disturbing, eerie soundscapes. Keje is next and it's more of a 2-step vibe, relaxing melodies juxtapose with penetrating lows to create melancholia that makes you want to move, an almost nostalgic track that has a cinematic edge. Dimez takes a more downtempo turn, a floaty piano sample nurtures distinctly old-school vibe, rusty drums and broken atmospherics nicely diversifying the EP. The final track, Scholarship, is a subtle creeper with a wallowing bass, grounding the tune in a thought-provoking swirl of pads.
Review: J Kenzo's Artikal Music imprint is a solid as the bass frequencies throughout its catalogue. Yes, that means a blockade of low hertz with one single mission: to dominate all corners of the dance floor. Argo has grown since his debut in 2014, and "Nooo" is what some would call 'true' or 'original' dubstep - a murky, slithering cascade of half-step beats contorted around folds of swamp bass. "Glowz" is no less foreboding in tone of voice and, in fact, this one is even darker and more ominous than the last, leaving "Stigma" to procure a more musical succession of chimes for the dread dubstep beats.
Review: Both parties involved in this dispatch are on a serious roll right now... Kenzo's Artikal continues to go from strength to strength with its boundary smelting visions while Causa's currency continues to rise as more and more established men co-sign him as a hot future prospect. As these four tracks confirm, he's a hot present prospect too... The bulbous squidge of "Medication", the Tubby horn flares and fissures of "Undubbed", the twisted radar textures on "Stages" all hit hard with classic dubstep characteristics while remaining exciting, refreshing and future-thinking. A Causa for concern.
Review: Having previous collaborated with Youngsta (both individually and his and Truth's Shadow Project), Cimm makes his official Artikal debut with an ice cold 85BPM strutter. Lean elements, each one crisper than a frosty night at the cracker factory, fuse to create a spacious space-age funk groove that's sprinkled with a woozy but pristine triplet cascade and a melodic fluidity that really comes into its own after the breakdown. The vibe might be frozen but Cimm is just warming up.
Review: It's been a fantastic 2019 for dubstep, as we have seen the newer breed of artists become seriously established and flourish. We see one of those flourishing artists here, as Cimm steps out on Artikal music with three absolute heaters, kicking off with the long awaited percussive switches and glittering plucks of 'Godsmack'. This is then followed by this bubblin synths and lethal reesey extensions of 'Stonebridge', which leads into the more unusual rhythmic persuasions and expansive LFO movements of 'Wolf Council', rounding off this project nicely.
Review: Dark Tantrums has been on a fantastic run of releases of late, and that trend is set to continue as he teams up with J:Kenzo's Artikal imprint for a heavyweight single drop. This brand new track entitled 'Rage' is a reesey warhead, focussed around a gnarly central bass synth with percussive backing rotating above and below like clockwork. When you couple this with the demonic chord structure and punchy drum processing you are going to be in for a treat.
Review: Chestplate and Artikal = Chestikal. If that doesn't already grab your attention then the fact that it's Distance and J:Kenzo on two massive collabos and the tunes are every bit as smoking, spacious and sick as you'd like them to be most certainly will. "The Offering" is a pure swaggering jam with rasping, distorted basslines striking through anything and everything in their wake. "Dhyana" offers sublime contrast with a much deeper, smokier blend of mystical atmospheres, roomy drums and an eerie eastern call that will have your skin up in so many goosebumps you might just grow feathers. Big up your chestikals.
Review: You can always rely on Eshone for 'out-there' sounds... Refusing to resort to type or formula, every release (albeit criminally spaced out) forces you to leave your expectations at the door. As a result, you can expect acidic wriggles (a la late 90s dark garage) on "Monopoly", relentless percussive 4/4 tech that drops into outer-planetary bleeps ("Scrap Night") and outright warehouse-ready techno that wouldn't go amiss on the likes of Crosstown or Moon Harbour. Powerful!
Review: We have come to expect nothing but top quality projects when viewing the latest Artikal Music releases, a stereotype they gladfully live up to here as Grawinkel is joined by a couple of very special guests for an explosive two tracker. We begin with the warbling bass tones and stunning drum processing of 'Reckless' which invites Busted Fingerz into the party. On the flip, we see Quasar get involved with some additional production work on system-ready sub slaps and aquatic textures of 'Data Dungeon'. Both tracks pack some serious umph on this one!
Review: After a thrilling set of EPs for imprints like DUPLOC and Holland's Subway, among others, HEBBE comes through on Artikal Music with three nutty dub skankers that reside on the steppier end of the hardcore continuum. "Skanking Alone" is a deep, cavernous wash-up of phazer glory and Eastern chiming, along with plenty of dread bass, while "B-Side Dub" rolls its off-kilter drums over a cinematic bass wave that takes us back to mid-90s era Metalheadz, and "Nu" steps elegantly into oblivion thanks to a dominating sub-bass and wavy, brutalist atmospherics. Large up.
Review: Released last year, Kenzo and Collinjah laid down serious sermons on "Straight Defeat". Now time for an instrumental (in case Collinjah's words are too much to handle) and two industrial strength remixes: Caspa bangs the war drum for a greasy mechanical roller while Jubei ups the tempo ante with a tribal stepper that strips back the elements and lets Collinjah's vocals take the centre spotlight. Serious dancefloor business.
Review: Teasing us ahead of the release of his label's inaugural compilation, J Kenzo lays down a supreme slice of contemporary bass with Collinjah. The beats ooze Kenzo's demonstrative dark, restrained drama - all weighted but never too OTT - but it's Collinjah who really gives the track the edge. Clearly refining his lyrical flow and penchant for Newham General-style melody subversion, bars like these will worm their way into your head for days after the dance. Bring on the full Artikal.
Review: Ahead of the massive Architects Volume 1 album, featuring some of Artikal's most innovative creators, bossman Kenzo drops his first original since last year's jungle damagers on ThirtyOne. "Cross Polarity" sees an endlessly shifting bassline slipping and sliding between evolving drum patterns before diving naked into a deep pool of ageless elements that's deeper than a late night whiskey with Hawkin. A taste of things to come and a reminder of why J:Kenzo is an absolute monster at the controls.
Review: Hello is the serious burns unit? Yes it's Juno Records here, we've been in direct contact with J Kenzo's latest Artikal release and have lost several layers of skin. Get an ambulance right away you say? Just after we've listened to this a few more times! "Battlefield" twitches a ruddy sub that bounces around beneath big system horns and a strident energetic drum groove. "Zbantu Shake" is a much more stripped back stepper that's all wooden kicks, trippy flute flurries and ladles of thick treacle subs. Soundboy killing material.
Review: Dubstep is well and truly back into the conversation when it comes to popular UK underground music. Over the last few years J:Kenzo has cemented himself as one of the UK's top names through his own releases, his regular appearances on Rinse.FM and the heading up of the infamous Artikal Music imprint. Here we see him return to the fray with two absolute belters. On the A-Side we have 'Shark Eye', a gritty monster that has been highly anticipated for release for a long time. On the flip we hear a super swingy piece of electronic sound design entitled 'Asutoraru' which makes a great accompaniment! If he continues on this type of form, 2018 is looking to be a very exciting year for Mr Kenzo.
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: This is a release we were dying to get our teeth stuck into as the legendary Artikal Music imprint welcomes home J:Kenzo for a fantastic new single, alongside the man himself: Flowdan. The pair join forces for a wicked new creation which takes the name of 'Like A Hawk'. You can tell that this is a track that has been created to send the raves into a frenzy, as J provides a stunning steppers backdrop, over which we hear the legendary vocal presence of Flowdan let loose, with classic, gritty lyricism and aggy flow patterns. The release also comes complete with a J:Kenzo 'Darkside' VIP, which sends the track even further into a new dimension.
Review: The run that the team behind the Artikal Music imprint are on is pretty phenomenal to say the least, with an almost uncomparable catalogue for 2018 already under their belts. However, they still have a gift to give as they unveil this corker of a project from LSN. The title track 'Systematic' is a crunchy ball of bass heaven, topped off by the unmatchable vocal presence of the one and only Warrior Queen. Following this, Gone sends us down an avenue of electronic grit, with 'Join Em' being a stick of dynamite in the dungeon. Rider Shafique then joins the party with his memorable vocal appearance on the dubwise expressions of 'Reality', bringing this project to a very smooth close.
Review: 2019 was without a doubt an excellent year for the Artikal Music imprint, constantly tabling exciting new projects, which always seemed to hit with a serious bang. This time around they kick off the year with the ghostly sounds of LSN, who gets us underway with the haunted vocal lifts and broken drum textures of 'A.I'. Next, serious drum work comes into play as the percussive brilliance of 'Spirit Dub' is unveiled alongside the sharp sub slaps and vocal lines of 'Machine', before the 8bit melodic structures and shifting rhythms of 'Breakin' round us off in style.
Review: J:Kenzo and Mosaix's Artikal Music can be credited as having had an influential part to play in the bass years that have followed the 'post-dubstep' sound. However, this crew has always done things their own way, and they've always employed the services of artists who like to measure their success by being single-minded in their approach to the wider bass music amalgam. Markee Ledge steps into the limelight alongside FWD legend Youngsta - who should probably be seen as one of the original iterators of dubstep. "Terror" is not a revolutionary dubstep tune but it does what it does in the most effective way possible; a slow, lingering swarm of mutant bass spreads across sparse percussion shots and grey-scaled atmospherics. "Industrial", on the other hand, ups the tempo and the energy thanks to a deafening injection of sub bass and classic steppahs beats. The sort of gear you'd expect to hear at a DMZ rave...
Review: For this mighty selection, we see Mystic State land on the incredibly impressive Artikal Music imprint for another absolute shellout, this time consisting of two tasty solo pieces and two corking collaborations. The title track 'Tomahawk' makes the most of a twisted, eastern-sounding string line, pressed between moogy bass plucks and crispy percussive elements to match. Next up, the VIP mix of Hemisphere is unleashed, jam packed with neurotic bass twists and sharp drum patterns. We then move into the remixes, as the legendary J:Kenzo joins the party for the sub-heavy expressions of 'Competition', before JFO's additional input on 'Cuatro' wraps the EP up with some serious sauce.
Review: The dubstep resurgence we have seen taking place of the last couple of months has been nothing short of mesmerising, with so many label projects releasing top quality content weekly. Artikal is one of the front runners without a shadow of a doubt and this new Mystic State project proves exactly why. We begin with the hypnotic reversed melodies of the title track 'Mahdi', backed up with potent sub structures below, before diving further into the deep with the subtle reese growls of 'Nines'. We finish up with a look at the amazonian percussive rolls and succulent bass tones of 'Hemisphere', wrapping up one tasty meal indeed.
Review: The Italian-Bristolian has done it again: responsible for one of 2015's most inventive dubstep tracks "Conquer", Piezo has returned with two more creative, exciting and forward-thinking 140 tracks. "Sweat" is all about the big drum swing where the toms sing in harmony and the track rolls with such a funk it's impossible not to dance. "Sugar" is even sweeter thanks to its ever-mutating dub bassline and stark weeping horns that foretell a future we're not even ready for. Trust us; this one's going to pop hard.
Review: Longstanding NoMad warrior Piezo steps up to Artikal with two game-changing deep dubstep bumpers. "Conquer" genuinely sounds like no other track in the field; cascading kicks give an elephantine weight to the lolloping groove and the bassline is allowed to run free and growl as loudly as he likes. "Space Conjectures" is more classic deep dub but there's a freshness in the drums and the placement of the bass that give it a really distinctive subverted funk sensation. Imagine if Mr Oizo made "Flat Beat" in a floatation tank, under water on heavy sedatives. This may be close to the outcome.
Review: Melbourne's own Pugilist makes a spectacular return to the Artikal Music imprint with a belter of a 3 tracker, showcasing everything his sound is about. The title track "Saturn" is a dubwise experiment, focussing on smooth subs and epic delays. The next track "Solaris" follows on a similar vibe, bringing more percussive elements into the mix along with more rapid fire drum arrangements. We round up with the amphibious vibes "Outback" which utilizes didgeridoos and rumbling bass tones to create a swampy atmosphere from the off.
Review: Previously known as half of Perverse, Alex Dickson makes his full debut as solo artist Pugilist on the deep bass mothership Artikal. It's fire from the off as "Raindance" brings more than just a shower as a waspish bass conjures thunder before the cloudy keys come in. Dig deeper for the sludgy warped spacefunk of "Terraform", the dubby echoes and cavernous space of "Mumur" and the Skeptical-style two-step tease of "Septic". Serious moves.
Review: Now if there was one label we could say really fuses the void between system culture, dubstep and dub music, it would have to be Artikal Music, who here arrive on the scene again with absolute peach of a release from Quasar. We kick off with a ride through the dubwise snare delays and pulsating subs of the title track 'Soundsystem Addict', followed by the alien drum switches of 'Oops', a tasty collaboration with Haze0. Next, 'Post Echo Dub' arrives with a bag of potent sub pressure and onedrop rhythms, finishing up with the marching drum lines of 'Dub Speech'.
Review: The levels we have seen coming out of the Artikal Music imprint over the past few years have been nothing short of exceptional, with this latest two track masterpiece from Sabab being no exception. We begin with a dive into the swirling synthesizer whirlwinds and dizzying sub pulses of 'New Dawn' which combines eerie atmospherics with dubwise drums in perfect balance. On the flip, we take in 'Downshift', a much fuller creation, jam-packed with colourful arpeggiator tones and a constantly shifting bass-heavy soundscape, certain to dazzle dances up and down the country!
Review: As ever with the now legendary Artikal Music imprint, we are gifted a fantastic four track selection, courtesy of the dubwise divisings of Sabab. We kick off with the title track 'Guidance', which perfectly combines classic rootsy vocals with dungeon-ready drum smacks and earthy subs for a real heavy hitter. The bass tones continue to play vital roles as the shimmering low-end of 'Youthman Dub' and more explosive synthesizer rays of 'Harmonic Dissonance' come next. Finally, all hell is let loose on the tearout bass instrumentation of 'Dutty Babylon' which sees the project span the full breadth of the dubstep banner.
Review: As ever with Artikal Music releases, we are in for an absolute treat on this one as they invite in the forward thinking sounds of Saule for three tracks of steppers bliss. We kick off this one with the title track 'Zeroes', a high pitched warbler, reminiscent of early Clue Kid heaters, followed up by the super deep sub tones and war like drum slaps of 'Baro', already giving the EP some seriously cool contrasting points. We then move into the eerie overtones and unpredictable drum punches of 'Pistola' which boasts yet more weighty sub movements, rounding up a tight body of work.
Review: There are many dubstep labels who have had a very productive 2018. One of these without a doubt is Artikal Music, who have excelled in their release schedule, dropping banger after banger. This latest drop from Ternion Sound makes no exception as we kick off with the mammoth title track 'Parasite 6', which stomps forward with a bag of energy, drawn from it's super powerful synth design. We get swampy next on 'Loonz', which combines dubwise delays with punchy production, before hitting the unpredictable percussive grooves of 'The Chamber'. Finally, we finish up the selection with the glitch-driven stylings of 'Nicky P', filled to the brim with electronic energy and delightful groove pockets.
Review: Can you believe it's been 18 months since Thelem last dropped a big release? Time flies and all, but he's been sorely missed... And these six tracks remind us why: "We Ain't The Same" is a barbed grime-referend battle anthem with all the vitriol you'd expect from a T-Man feature. Dig deeper for rolling titanium punches ("Get A Grip"), bulbous 8-bit bass funk ("Equippin'") and Joker-style velveteen spatial strutting ("Latched"). For added measure, Thelem also shows us how does things on a D&B flex with Enei-level iced-out D&B ("Mind Games") and a crisp, haunted Commix-style rattler ("Cascading"). Don't leave it so long next time Thelem!
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.