Review: As the title suggests, this split EP from Mak and Pasteman is something of a throwback to simpler times. More specifically, it offers up a quartet of cuts inspired by the halcyon days of UK garage. Mak's deep and delicious "Work On You" apes late '90s two-step, throwing in some New Jersey garage and Todd Edwards-ish vocal stabs. Pasteman's "Beggin It" goes for more of a 4/4 flex -complete with warped dark garage bassline - while Mak's bass-heavy, breakdown happy "Cameo" is bursting with chiming melodies. Best of all, though, is Pasteman's "Thinking of You", which mixes classic US house and early garage to superb effect.
Review: GRRL returns to Car Crash Set with an extended EP of multi-faceted bass flavours that we're honestly quite into. The producer wastes no time in introductions or small talk and gets straight to the point with the machinegun percussion track that is "Warmup", followed by the comparatively housier 'Hands", and back then back to the violence again through "Do It". 'Whoa" is the killer in the mix, the tune bound for the rewind, and "Drop Ha" will satisfy fans of DJ Funk and the like. "Workouts itself" is loose but extremely effective at making you dance, and "Cooldown" feels like its natural continuation.
Review: Rippling rhythms, crackling white noise and muffled, hissing beats dominate for the most part of Mak & Pasteman's delectable "What Love Is". Setting the tone for their release on Car Crash Set, the pair go in with the deep, heavy rhythms, pulsing beats, hissing percussion and eerie vocal which hides behind the rest of the music somehow. A midway breakdown adds a brief moment of melancholy reflection before we return to the main tune. "So Much" continues in much the same manner, with sparse beats in a gentle, humming soundscape, broken by a labored groan and dripping SFX and pattering percussion. A must buy, right here, right now.
Review: Having previously had "The Bells" remixed by Girl Unit among others, Welsh funky merchants CRST return with a lean, stripped down VIP of "The Bells" which absolutely smacks you round the face with raw, focused club energy. With pitch perfect snares and motorik chords they really keep the funk fresh on a tune that clearly going to get a lot of love in the next few months. "Saturday Tingz" is just as vital - sampling some huge female vocals and chopping them over a highly percussive beat which CRST skilfully reduce down to a minimal stomp for breakdowns. Highly recommended!
Review: Bristol's Actraiser drops a big, brash and bouncy set of deep funky riddims on this latest EP for Car Crash Set. Lead tune "Kong Riddim" is a dark, cavernous gem with an infectious set of UKF drums anchoring floating pads and subtle, echoed synth leads. "Adventure Island" on the other hand is heavier on the congas and the stacked snares, while "Bubblun" brings a joyous 2-step rhythm out to play and nestles it around spacey pads and female vocals shots. Quality modern funky to be ignored at your peril.
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!
Review: Car Crash Set, a label ever ahead of the curve, present the debut from US production duo Celoso. On the strength of "Already Know", the pair have a bright future ahead of them; combining lithe ghettotech beats, effervescent R&B influenced synth work and a vocal hook that gets right under your skin, it's an example of how to combine several well worn tropes and come up with something fresh. Meanwhile, Tectonic's Distal steps up to provide a typically hard to pin down remix; taking in juke and dubstep, his version of the title track places the chopped up vocal on top of some jackhammer kicks and an almost eastern melody, whose laid back feel is entirely at odds with the frantic rhythmic flow.
Review: Mike G brings us "Throw Back" on Car Crash Set and in doing so unleashes a load of heavily reverbed, bass heavy beats on us with brutal force. The title track is all chopped up lyrics on frenzied loop, with pulsing beats and driving b-line adding further pressure to the proceedings. Pounding and pumping for the duration, this one's for the heads. "Disco Radio" again focuses on a distorted vocal with booming subs, hollow bongo beats and surging synths adding to the Hessle Audio meets Night Slugs style atmosphere.
Review: Pronounced "adverb", this solo American producer lays down some beautifully textured and very glitched out bass-step on this release for Car Crash Set. "Lust" rips apart its atmospheric opening with a torrent of fierce leads, while "Colourful Eyes" sounds on a par with Rustie's sci-fi voyaging. Check out the maximal joys of "Sugar Glaze" as an excellent first step into the world of +Verb.
Review: Atlanta's Distal drops a pair of future-bass winners on the Car Crash Set label, with the title tune leaning heavily on the techno side with a signature shifting arpeggio acting as a mainstay while the beats shift between moody half-step and full-on tech-stomp. In a Pearson Sound-style, "We Are VCR" is a chilly 808 'n' claps fest, topped off with some deliriously wonked-out leads twisting away in the background.
Review: Don't let the novelty, yet awesome name fool you - Ill Cosby has got some serious tropical skills and flexes them with all his might on the excellent "Lo Oyen". A bubbly, multi-percussion worker which uses some huge claps and polyrhythmic sequencing to craft something that'll prove fiery on any dancefloor. Emvee adds a Latin/Reggaeton feel with some grimey strings, while Palms Out's Dubbel Dutch gets busy on another Ill Cosby tune, "Kalakuta". which features the maddest sax lines since Guido's massive "Sex Sax".
Review: The latest in Car Crash Set's "No Northwest" series sees Vancouver's Daega Sound share the spotlight with Seattle's Kid Smpl for some deep and moody tech winners, including DS' tech-step menacer "Legion" and his equally crystalline and reverb-soaked half-stepper "Winter's Horse". Kid Smpl gets deeper and trippier on "Timber" and almost nails Sigur Ros' aquatic swoon on the excellent "Over".
Review: Australian producer Galtier debuts on Car Crash Set with an impressive pair of contemporary techno tracks with nods to the UK end of the bass spectrum and Detroit styles. "Ring Twice" is a no-nonsense slice of 4/4 with dry stabs, granite rhythms and simmering bass with the arid atmosphere of a Terrence Dixon production and recomposes it with a big-room sensibility. "Shaped" is a different beast, taking sparse, swung 133bpm drums, abstract whistles and subdued chords and wrapping them up into a package that is part ghetto house, part dub techno. Fans of Blawan, Bambounou and Tessela take note.
Review: A truly mesmerising house tune from San Francisco's Cosmic Revenge, backed with some equally ace mixes from Ratcatcher and Beat Connection, making for a very strong single indeed from Car Crash Set. A delirious mixture of subtle pads, trippy arpeggios and laid back 808 drums characterises CR's original, which Ratcatcher (who previously collaborated with Doc Daneeka as Rodski) exploits for his minimal/tropical reworking. Beat Connection (who've just recently toured with Toro Y Moi) add a little more jacking skank to their version, boosting the spacey, sub-aquatic chords as well for good measure. Smart, forward thinking house at every turn.
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: A label on a roll following great releases from CRST, 214, Mistamen and Kingthing Car Crash Set continue with these two new tropical heaters from Cardopusher. "Tarradella Nights" keeps things bubbly thanks to some distant and trippy organ sounds as well as a Balearic-meets-bruk out beat that's so good that it's just left to simmer and build rather than be disrupted with gimmicky fills or drops. "All Bellaca Parties" starts with a set of high-pitched 606 drum hits, a la Ramadanman, and quickly winds in some excellent urgent synths - fantastic stuff.