Review: Ahadadream recently dropped the hymn-like urban anthem Pray For You, which showcased the light and ethereal vocals of Olivia Louise and some observational MC'ing from Scrufizzer. Now we get the remixes - Tarquin delivers some killer stop-start carnival action, Jamie George opts for a deep garage vibe laced with digital pops and fizz. Finally Murder He Wrote conjures up a supremely atmospheric rework with moody synth washes over a percussive shuffle.
Review: With this new single Ahadadream displays a talent beyond merely inventing witty band names. "Pray For You" is an hymn-like urban anthem where the light and ethereal vocals of Olivia Louise waft above simple piano chords and restrained percussion, before giving way to some observational MCing from Scrufizzer. Coming soon to radio playlists everywhere.
Review: Newcomer Tom Akin makes his debut and on the excellent Four40 imprint out of Birmingham, one of the remaining UK strongholds for all things bass. "Worm" is a solid house stepper complete with an itchy percussion flex and cinematic sonics in its underbelly, but it's "Greize" that turned us on to Akin when we heard this EP. It's a slow-building, utterly stripped and lo-fi techno nugget for the early morn'. Production quality is solid, this dude will be back soon, no doubt.
Review: Having headed out to LA a couple of times over the last few years on tour duties, we are always excited to see Albzzy and Iamphantvm join forces, uniting both the British and West Coast bass scenes with incredible results, courtesy of the all powerful Four40. This new collaboration, entitled 'Real Funk', is a subtle womper, driven by it's crunchy drumwork and earwormy bass melodies, perfect for adding a touch of energy to the dance. This release also comes complete with a more tearout style VIP, which again, provides an excellent injection of rhythm and groove to any set listing.
Review: Having introduced himself via a remix on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood, Alex makes his first full debut on Four40. Two cuts of heady house/garage fusion, both coated in well executed vocals, if you're into the likes of Black Butter, Woz, My Nu Leng or Mak & Pasteman, you'll be all over the simple-but-effective deep bass gurgles of "No Good" and melancholy, minor key soul of "How I Feel". With a dub mix and instrumental thrown in for good measure, this is a very accomplished debut.
Review: Southampton's Andy M typically digging deep into his niche roots here, who delivers a four to the floor bassline single featuring Amnesia and Slick Don, backed up by huge remixes from Foor. Having just had a highly lauded album in the UK Charts, they add their spin on the track with a dark garage roller which has already been causing a lot of hype in their sets. Northern producer Brent Kilne (3000 Bass/Tumble Audio) finishes the package with a tear out club version.
Review: Fresh from their ball-bouncing escapade earlier this year Midland house murkers Turner and Marie collide once again for another pulverising party piece. Deep penetrative bass on every kick and a nagging KRS-One style hip-hop vocal sample ensure this will work well across bass, house and beat circles. Label co-boss Hybrid Theory ups the broken factor further more with a smoking Trappist fusion. No messing.
Review: More dark designs from rising Midland duo Ash Turner & Jade Marie... Following the demonstrative ghetto grit of "Act Stupid" comes this equally cold break stepper. Loaded with a nagging high end riff, smoking 808s and another hooky vocal sample used to killer affect, it's a certified dark room danger cut that guarantees rare reactions. Tuff Culture join in on the remix with a funkier, jacking jam with squelchier bass and trippier textures on the topline. Murksome.
Review: This latest cut from Four40 features Beacon on the production duties with some quintessentially hybrid bass music that spans electro, juke and UK Funky. The title track is led by a massive snare, which gets tempered by the bright and bold synths and R&B vocal hook. It should slot nicely into any number of styles, much like the more sparse Funky vibes of "When You Go". With restrained bleeps and a subtly booming sub, it's just left to the vocal looping to give a nod to the juke styles of recent times. "Jiggly" meanwhile plumps straight for the tech-house floor with a fat, driving bassline and rigid beats.
Review: Now, from watching Four40's recent run of releases, it's hard to not have them right at the top in the UKG scene right now as they bring forward their fifth release in as many weeks in the form of this brand new single from BK2BASSIX & ABI. This recent run of quickfire releases has done nothing in the way of diminishing quality, as we are given an absolute corker here, from the sweeping harmonic structures to the perfectly levelled skippy drum designs and frankly awesome lead vocal, we are impressed from top to bottom. The Four40 gang have done it again!
Review: Well the Four40 gang are well and truly at it again as they bring forward this demonic selection form Clarity and Greed, who team up across three dark bass bombs. The title track goes by the name of 'After Dark' and works as a very creative murky roller, bringing jittery LFO movements into conjunction with skippy drum beats and lethal sub weight beneath. It gets more lively as Greed steps forward on solo duty for 'Drama', which brings a more shuffling set of bass leads to the front, with Clarity scatting out his synth designs on the unpredictable flavours of 'Catch My Drift'.
Review: Despite sharing its name with a Christian record label in the States, Birmingham's Four40 only really pray in one church, one with a soundsystem that boasts bone-rattling subs. Their latest signing, the mysterious Cloaka, is certainly all about the bass: this EP features bass so brutal and low it's positively subterranean. "Don't I Know You" features a low rolling bassline and eerie chants, "Booty Chatter" boasts harsh, stamping riddims and extra wobble on top, "Konkle" again centres around a hard, stamping kick but is more sparse and finally "Wuxi Riddim" is all about the voodoo beats.
Review: As time moves forward and the world of bass music expands, it becomes more and more realistic to assume that there is no ground Daze Prism could not traverse. He teams up with forward thinking bass imprint Four40 here for a full three track project and what a project it has turned out to be. The title track 'Shipwreck' is straight breakbeat masterpiece, encapsulating the creative heart of the genre with pulsating reese bass leads and pleasing percussive melodies. From here we move into the bass / UK funky hybrid creation labelled as 'Rumba, which combines sharp techy bass tones and kuduro-esc drum patterns to great effect. Finally we come to 'Anoxia' which is another bass / funky hybrid, this time however focusing more on syncopated percussive patterns and rhythms. This one is a great way to round off the year for the Four40 imprint.
Review: It's quite astounding to witness the run of quality that Four40 are on at the moment, as they bring forth what seems like their 100th release of the year, courtesy of the smooth production stylings of Deadly Habitz. He kicks off with colourful three track outing with 'Garage Girls', a melodic roller packed with subby energy and uplifting harmonic structure. This is followed by the charming vocal layers and choppy, nostalgic composition of 'Set Me Free', which leads us into the final track 'Thinkin Of You', a sharper piece of drum design and smooth subby textures, wrapping a delightful body of work.
Review: As Four40 enter into their second explosive run of the year, they here welcome in the ever-ready sounds of Deadly Habitz, who lands with four original UKG scorchers as part of the 'Past North' EP. We kick off with the mellow chord progressions and distant vocal expansions of 'Calling', before sidling into the more nostalgic drum shakes and pulsating bass rolls of the well named '90's Vibe'. This is then chased up by the housey organ sounds and catchy vocal lashings of 'Love It', before rounding the project off with a look at 'The Night', a hard hitting garage skanker from start to finish.
Review: It's always a thrill for us to see the Four40 imprint make a return to releasing as they here unveil three tracks of UKG inspired fire from the Scunthorpe based sounds of Deadly Habitz. We begin this one with some fragrant flare as 'Circles' kicks off the EP with a soulful punch, working smooth vocals in amongst skippy garage drums and fluttering subs. 'Rumours' follows with a more stripped back structure, still packing some serious weight with its subtle bass pressure however. Finally we take a dive into 'Chemical Love' which rounds up the 'Black & Blue' EP in style, using spacey atmospheric and wooden sounding percussive stabs to bring a real sense of space to the table.
Review: It's been a very exciting start to the new decade for the Four40 crew, who were a truly unstoppable force last year, cheffing up over 25 incredible releases. Next up from them, they join forces with the wonderful Deadly Habitz, who supplies us with five potent UKG heaters. First up, 'Are You Dumb', sampling a classic Jammz vocal with smooth percussive slices, alongside the sweeping bass LFO's of 'Falling 4 U' and nostalgic chord expressions of 'So High'. Following that, 'Stay True' deploys some incredible vocal stutters and hard hitting horn stabs, before we round up on the sweeping subs and electronic vocal lines of 'Your Love'. Awesome work.
Review: It's bashment o'clock round Decibel towers judging by the sound of his new bomb, and the currently on fire Newcastle producer doesn't appear to be mellowing any time soon. It's all about the party here on "Skanks", mercilessly so, especially with the legendary grime MC Flowdan on vocal duties - there won't be a dancefloor left alive after this incendiary fusion of footwork, tropical and hysterical rave is dropped. Just in the (unlikely) case it doesn't rock your world, there are two extra mixes supplied - Hybrid Theory deliver a slower, wobble-heavy housey version, while the Enigma Dubz mix defiantly keeps the classic dubstep sound alive!
Review: Decibel and Flowdan tore things up with "Skanks" earlier this month, and now they're back with a tasty remix package spanning all types of bass styles. Network delivers a deep and dark bassline house version, pitching Flowdan's vocals down into the murky ether, while I Killed Kenny builds on the original's frenetic style with a rave-infused UK funky bomb, something mirrored on DJ Cable's similarly furious remix. Lol Gurlz meanwhile offer a moody and atmospheric take filled with syncopated, head-nodding drums, while Toni Moretti's remix offers much the same but with trippy hi-resolution percussive tones. Amazing stuff!
Review: Now we all know very that there's only one kind of work that's any good, and it's not the kind that finds us sullen faced on public transport every morning. Here Decibel teams up with Slick Don to reiterate this universal truth via the medium of pounding peak time ghetto-ton, coming across like Oxide & Neutrino's effervescent younger siblings in the process. The remixes continue to up the rump/bounce ratio with Hybrid Theory's wobble-heavy 4 x 4 remix being the hard to beat Goliath amongst these heroic Davids.
Review: Big, booty-shaking bass squelches that seem to seep out the walls and crisp, retro claps announce the arrival of this year's hottest house party-starter. Jacking and jerking with the arrogant strut of Birmingham's bright new stars, this release is gritty and filthy enough to satisfy the most underground of dance addicts, while keeping a severe line when it comes to on-point dancefloor etiquette for those with more clean-cut style. The even more stylish "Drop That Ass" with its perforating dancehall beat and mercenary-dark synths turn nightmarish atmosphere into something well worth staying until closing time for.
Review: As a solidified bass music imprint, there's nothing more important than making a good start to the new year. Its safe to say that the responsibility was left in more than capable hands as Development team up with Tuff Culture for a weighty three tracker entitled "Time Away". The collaboration occurs on "Harmony" which is a straight 4x4 skanker, demonstrating very original bass synthesis and crisp drum processing blended with well sampled vocal sprinklings. Following this "Time" is a futuristic 2-step anthem, utilising creative vocal processing over skippy drum arrangements. The EP is then rounded up perfectly with "Away" which combines the themes of both previous, but repackages them for the dance with a classic UK bass breakdown. Fantastic stuff all around on this one!
Who You Talking To (feat Snowy - clean) - (4:34) 140 BPM
Who You Talking To (feat Snowy - dirty) - (4:34) 140 BPM
Starscream - (4:34) 140 BPM
Review: Serious banger operations with Cable and Snowy right here. "Who You Talking To" bumps with KO licks from both parties: Cable's riddim is electrified and hell-raising while Snowy reminds us of his boss levels with a venomous nonstop tongue. Added proof of how hard this hits is found on "Starscream", the full instrumental... See if you can find an MC who can themselves around it as efficiently as venomously as Snowy (spoiler: you won't be able to)
Review: It's 2016 and DJ Darko is just getting started on his quest to rule the garage charts, and give us some much needed dust-percussion that we very much need in our lives. Last time we saw him he was in deep house mode on Bullet Train, but this time he's up on the sublime Four40 with three nuggets of pure UK dance music for the underground masses. "War Food" is a bass-driven monster with a mutant edge, while "Girl" gives a nod to the early 2000's, and that whole early Hotflush sound. Last but not least, "Hear This" goes all swollen on the low-ends, and manages to wrap hazardous level of sub bass around a flexible, garage-driven groove.
Review: We're still recovering from the drop that was Suckfake's recent EP on Four40, and now they follow it up with three deadly UKF leaning weapons from DJ Spookz. "Turntabala" takes the essence of dub and combines it with incisive laser bass and rolling snares, while "Rock the House" places chopped vocals and insistent stabs over deep low end. "Amen Danger" might be the pick of the bunch, with it's chopped up amen breaks combined with devastating bass blasts.
Review: Well well well, here we are again. We find ourselves listening through yet another highly anticipated Four40 release, who again find it impossible to disappoint as the incredibly creative sounds of Earthnut are brought to the forefront with an excellent three track adventure. We kick off with a listen through the quirky percussive switch outs and unusual vocal samples of the title track 'Lily's Answerphone' before then landing on the more stripped back, broken-beat drum chops and rogue bass expanses of 'Mayday'. Finally, we finish up this super enjoyable body of work with 'Katana', another stunning piece of production, driven by its chilly atmospherics and super groovy rhythmic designs. Excellent work!
Review: Veteran UK producer EL-B had taken a sabbatical from garage, but has recently set about producing a 21st century take on the style. Hooking up with likeminded Birmingham label 40Forty, we now have the Attitude EP in our proverbial hands. The EP boasts four bleeding edge cuts, the first of which, "What you Mean To Me" riffs heavily on the classic 2-step sound with diva style vocals. Elsewhere, "Erase My Mind" is thumping, raw underground garage, "Down With The Programme' is a soulful, choppy, leftfield cut and "Attitude" is a upbeat party joint that samples Colonel Abrahams!
Review: This is the follow up to the first Attitude record released last year and sees Lewis Beadle aka veteran producer El-B deliver four killer underground cuts. "Love is Coming" resounds to dark stabs, frequent spin-backs and an insistent, spiky rhythm. Its spiky drums have echoes of classic 2-step, but the production is tighter, more techno-focused. "Memories" is a different proposition; this time, the drums swing looser and provide the ideal backdrop for a soulful vocal sample and evocative organ riffs. On "Under Ground Girls", Beadle turns his focus to raw garage, but this time the horn samples and rough dub beats call to mind Tony Humphries rather than Twice as Nice. Rounding off the EP is "Baiah", a smooth deep house track, where Beadle uses thumb-clicking percussion and rich chords to showcase his soulful side.
Review: Midlander James Vine, aka Enigma Dubz, deals in tough, straight up, party-rockin' beats. Now he's back following a recent split EP with Sub Antix with his own solo release and it's a banger. "Fresh" features filthy post dubstep chugging bass and a messy 2-step swing. ""What Must I Do" is all heavy wobble craziness and an infectious hands-in-the-air female vocals. Finally things end on a head-nodding, sinister vibe with the menacing electro-dub of "Without You By My Side".
Review: Grimey vibes abound on Four40 as Enigma, Screama and Trilla rep the 0121 emotions. Enigma's beats are the perfect balance of heavy presence and eerie melody while allowing enough space for Screama and Trilla to trade melodic bars with each other. The remix-list is mind bogglingly good with all flavours catered. From slinky, well-polished two-step (El-B) to haunted house trap (DJ Cable) via savage breakbeat garage (Filthy Vicars), Four40 have curated a very generous package that will suit every shade of bass addict.
Review: West Midlands finest, Nu Era, are back on their preferred label, Four 40, for more forays into the bass music universe. Their wide range of influences is again showcased here, so we get booming, badd ass, night cruiser trap on "Red Box", deep, sumptuous and off-kilter jazzy swing step on "Runaway" and wobble-heavy feelgood piano house on EP closer, "Have You".
Review: Rising Leicester bass duo Everyman have already received support from the likes of Benga and Skream. This latest EP should raise their profile even higher with it's exceptionally well-produced sheen. Title track "Take The Block" is high-octane bass music pure and simple; "No Doubt" meanwhile is very retro house and certainly riffs off 90s classic "To Be Real" by Ladycop. "Player" recalls vintage R&B, but distorted out of all recognition by helium voices and stop start beats. Finally "Let It Up" is a dubby, percussion-heavy instrumental.
Review: Almost exclusively found on YoSH, here Southampton act FooR switch to Four40 for Luv U Right. They've marked the release with a James Corden Carpool Karaoke-style video too. The title track is first and delivers some moody and sparse UKG married to a seriously raw bassline, "Never Meant To Be" is a dark garage/half-step hybrid powered by the warped vocals of Chanai Zinyuku and "Something, Something" is the most powerfully viscous slice of tech-garage-wobble-whatever! that we've heard in a long time. Lastly "Switch" wraps things up nicely with tasty 4 x 4 banger.