Review: One first listen, "Dwell" could be something you'd play to an old hippy splashing out on a bit of time in a floatation tank; all deep wafting pads and subaquatic cries and cosmic twinkles. Then you listen a little closer and you realise there's a full-on funky two-step riddim riding roughshod in the background. Crisp soothing ambience coupled with crafty drums - "Dwell" really does what its cogitative moniker suggests. "Fall Apart" plays the ideal foil to such a brooding lead cut. Again, it's garage, but a twisted, distorted, fractured garage where sprightly synths and the processed vocal carry class, while the lolloping, off-kilter rhythms add weight and progression. Don't dwell on this for too long.
Review: Nphonix and Car Crash Set go together like beats and bass, a perfect unison that forms a mutual bond with one another. The label has done well to pick him up for this four-tracker because these might just be the artist's best tunes yet, and a real testament to the level of creativity that is still taking place within UK dance music. "Hijack" is neither house nor dubstep, but manages to merge the two into seamless groove, and "Ijustdontunderstand" takes the same equation but adds a little garage sensitivity to into the formula. "IceVII" is a swinging, wall-to-wall house bomb with a heavy UK element at its core, leaving Gillepsy's remix of "Hijack" to offer a more traditional house approach. Mighty fine.
Review: New from the good people at Car Crash Set, QP's "Sol Jerk" thunders in at a +130bpm tempo for glorious some footwerk-inspired 808 patterns, which get nicely offset by a sloping half-step snare and some brutally lean synth stabs. HxDB focuses more on the half-step while adding some killer rogue Balkan sounds to this delirious makeover, while Cosmic Revenge adds some Miami flavour.
Review: Car Crash Set is up with some crazy new sounds by their new badboy, Secundus. The young producer has done nothing but impress since he's landed on the imprint, instilling his own version of grime and nu-bass with great effect. This six-pack EP is a lesson in bass-making, twisting and winding all sorts of sci-fi sounds with a wide range of beats and breaks. This is a continuation of the UK hardcore continuum, along the lines of the Chicago footwork equation and, yes, the TRAP virus that has afflicted masses of dancers over the last few years. Quality assured.
Review: Subverted breakbeat/130 jungle business from Seoul/Sydney operators Victoria Kim... "Kiko Kicks" sees them teaming up with spitfire vocal waxer Divoli whose lyrical charges fit the breakbeat perfectly. Remix-wise super-hyped Air Max '97 maintains his do-no-wrong reputation with a subdued, steppier, heads-down blend. Finally we're treated to "It My Woman", a bashy banger loaded with coded chops and slams. Kick it!