Review: Squish: Ill Truth and Defex team up for four diesel-burning thumpers on Ulterior Motive's ever-essential Guidance imprint. We kick off with the title track that catches you like a rabbit in the headlights before flattening you with bass. "Da Da" sees Ill Truth go it alone for a gritty bassline headbutt while the gang re-collide for "Long Out", a spine crushing roller that spits feathers everywhere. Finally we have "Digital Style" a piece that flings you 30 meters down the road before you get to kiss its low profile, bruisey woozy bassline tyres. That's the badger!
Review: Kiril is a relative newcomer to the world of spooky D&B, but he's rapidly becoming a stable hand. Two releases this year on the legendary Critical Music have proven that and an appearance now on Ulterior Motive's Guidance UK - the first outside artist they've ever released from - is simply the next chapter in an inexorable march in the right direction. Boxes is dark, simple, minimal, techy and all the rest of it. The title track itself is pummelling and unforgiving, a stream of energy consisting of futuristic groans, streaming bass notes and glitching synth stabs. 'Amarcord' is next level stuff and has one of the best second drops of 2018, a halftime switch up that'll make anyone's toes curl as it clicks with clinical precision back up into full speed D&B. 'Cubo' has a sensational, loping feel to the percussion that lends it a unique flavour, whilst 'Kotki' brings an old-school drum sound that rounds out the release in style. Shouts to Kiril for this one.
Review: Ulterior Motive's Guidance label is new, but it feels like it's been around forever, with a slew of sick releases already under its belt. Lovely is the next artist to take up the mantle and he's done so with Run The Square, a five-tracker of blackish, minimal proportions. The title tune is ominously bouncy, with stabs and cuts that lend it a genuinely eerie sense of atmosphere and progression. 'J'undastan' is equally as banging, its monochromatic bassline gurgles and grates with satisfaction and the EPs overall sense of eeriness is present at even higher levels. Top EP from a top label.
Tyrone & Ulterior Motive - "Velvet" - (5:15) 172 BPM
Review: Fire in the hole! Following his Metalheadz EP earlier this year, Newcastle's Tyrone steps over to good mates Ulterior Motive at Guidance for a full four-track slab of D&B excellence. The title track is an absolute beast that slices through the air and space with incredible weight and width while elsewhere "Beg Of U" takes us on a tour of Tyrone's deeper space-aged side, "Lost Witness" rolls out with rattling menace and muscle and "Velvet" (with Ulterior Motive) closes the deal on a deep introspective one. Prepare to be severed.
Review: Guidance has rapidly become a must-follow imprint ever since its launch by Ulterior Motive, and Tyrone has taken to it like a duck to water. This single is his second release on the label and The Disciple/OG's maintains the high standard we've come to expect from the Newcastle-based producer. It's rough and tumble rolling goodness, and 'The Disciple' represents this mission statement with devastating clarity, as resonant synths give way to penetrating percussion and a growling, tendril-like bassline. 'OG's' has a wicked old-school vibe to drum line but it's bassline is as futuristic as they come; vicious chops sweeping left and right with a visceral sense of movement. Potent, potent stuff.
Review: Metalheadz alumni Ulterior Motive go back to their roots with Guidance. Taking us back to their entry point into drum & bass and giving us a peak into their unique perception, Guidance is where it all began for Greg and James Ulterior (literally - they started in the game with a night called Guidance) Each of the four cuts rattles, worms and physically hits with stark sinewy dynamics. "The Wobbler" comes with classic SP flowage and some cool bendy synths on the fills, "Clay Ya" hurls a ton of technoid fire into the blend while "Anode" sees the south coast duo crash head on into Planet Icicle with rasping mutant techstep funk. Finally "Kamakura" is the Ulterior Motive take on halftime, all space, eastern strings and heavy mysticism. This is the way you launch your own label.
Review: Ulterior Motive take time to guide us through the muddier, grittier pastures of drum & bass with their first full artist EP in almost two years. Naturally it's more than worth the wait. "The Ripper" (with their old mate Judda) sets the tone with its savage bassline striking and stinking up the mix like it's 99 all over again. It's joined by the playful buzzs and jazzy keys of "OneTwoSeven", absolute bass hurtery on "7x7" and a delightfully creepy roller with Jubei in the form of "Walnuts". Yum.
Review: Ulterior Motive's new Guidance imprint has already proven to be a top-notch destination for music that's vibrant in its darkness and effortless in its movement. The grungy soundscapes and industrial tones are back with Trip Hammer/Intuition, the first of which is deadly satisfying: curling bass nodes, crisp drum licks and an ambiance of hopeless energy. Quadrant & Iris feature on the flipside and oh boy, this one is a real creeper. Boulder-like basses tumble over one another on their race out of the stocks, a perfectly weighted drum line sits just below the tangled low frequencies in glorious fashion and the overall package is as slick as can be. This is proper Ulterior Motive.
Review: Guidance remain in full control this year as yet another powerful EP from Ulterior Motive's label lands. This time it's from Was A Be, no longer signed to Shogun and now just a solo act, it's another bold statement. "Passive Aggressive" takes the lead with, ironically, no passivity whatsoever. Subverting a ravey riff over a real growler of a bassline, it's another certy stinker from Italian stallion. It's back by three more gully blunderbusses: "Mirrored" (with Visages) strips things back and drags us down the bassline sewer with one of the grumpiest basslines you'll hear all season, "Shell" follows suit with more low-end toxicity and a sweet roll to the drums while "Double Tap" takes the Was A Be to some pretty cosmic, warped places. Last but not least we have the dramatic "Blue Roots" where more of a techno influence can be felt in the pulsating bassline. Immense.