Review: After a relatively quiet 2013 release-wise Ross Tones offers up a fresh proposition for his ardent followers on regular haunt Local Action, switching up his usual Throwing Snow moniker for the spanking new pseudonym Alight. With a full four tracks to showcase this new sound on, there are definite similarities to be drawn from his more prevalent output but in the minimal atmospherics and molten bass undulations of "Darqa" there is definitely a new beast at work. The title track too takes a distinct stance with haunting Eastern vocals hovering over malevolent bass growl and a curveball drum & bass excursion in the climax of the track. Ziro is on hand for a remix of "Obelisk" that takes the crisp and polished 4/4 of the original and lays some dubby dirt down on it to create a more techno-minded beast.
Review: Having already marked himself out as a producer to keep an eye on with his EP for Deadplate early this year, Artifact moves to Local Action for another EP of swung UKG influenced techno. Two of these tracks are refined versions of tracks that have been in Local Action sets for the past few years; "Worn" combines a strong but lean rhythm with a wonky acid-tinged bassline, building up the drama with its rising strings to create a unique hybrid of techno and UKG, in the vein of Mosca's killer cuts for 3024, while "Turtle Fight" takes the acid theme full throttle with its combination of fierce squelch and rapidfire vocals. Finally, new track "Drain" combines the atmospherics and vocal trickery of early Joy Orbison with metallic, industrial percussion and warbling sub-bass.
Review: Parisian in London Big Dope P has been releasing influential artists from Jersey, Chicago and more for over a decade on his Moveltraxx imprint. He and cohort maggyDMP have linked with Feadz, who has been a part of French club music since his work with Mr. Oizo in the late 1990s. Altogether they create some 'MPC jubilance' on "Freak"' via London's Local Action. If you are a fan of '90s R&B then you'll be delighted by the samples of Adina Howard's classic "Freak Like Me" This jittery and bass heavy party starter is sure to bang the party. The Jersey club queen UNiiQU3 is up next with a remix that adds some wicked breakbeats and adds just a little bit more of the "Freak Like Me" hook.
Review: Female house sensation Dawn Richard started off as a vocalist for the likes of Supplemental Facts back in the day, bust she's since developed into a sublime beat producer with an unmistakably singular style and mentality. She's back with a bunch of remixers to help re shape some top tunes from her recent album, Redemption, out through Local Action. Alla shades of house and bass are on offer here, starting off with the funky stride of Florentino's version of "Lilies", followed magnificently by Mr Mitch's seductive R&B take on "Vines". Sega Bodega launches an instant pop hit with his version of "Voices", while Orlando transforms "Lazarus" into a bittersweet ballad made of beautiful ambient soul, and Hi Tom follows suit with a more beat-driven pop remangle. This is chart material.
Review: After a string of releases for Numbers, the intermittently active Deadboy makes a welcome return with some plush, emotive tones for Local Action that show him to be in a thoughtful mood, not least on EP opener "White Moon Garden". Cascading, glossy synth lines are the order of the day, with a strong dose of magic and mystery woven in for good measure. "Rye Angel" meanwhile melts Burial-tones down to a hushed murmur and "Sad Sniper" equally calls out a spacious lament peppered with momentary flurries of rhythm. It's "Copwar" that shakes the EP up at the final hurdle with a more energised construction that keeps the synths intact but works a greater sense of urgency into the drum lines.
Review: Deadboy will release his debut album Earth Body. Eight years into a varied career, the UK born, Montreal-based producer has made everything from R&B-sampling club tracks to ambient music since his debut in 2009. According to Local Action his first LP is a pop record inspired by Scott Walker, Sade, Drake and the Beach Boys, "filled with bold choruses and multi-tracked harmonies." The album was written and recorded during a Montreal winter, using his own vocals for a change, rather than using sampled ones on this brazenly pop inflected outing that is a noticeable departure from his previous work.
Review: DEEMZ is a new four-track EP by UK beat merchant Allen Wooton aka Deadboy, following up great releases on Aus Music, Ten Thousand Yen and New Atlantis. Incorporating techno, house and more, it is one one of his strongest records of late and sees him return to the dancefloor aesthetics of his previous releases. From the jagged, bass-heavy futurism of the title track, the street level tech house shuffle of "R Less" or the splintered industrial beats of "Come Back To The World" the now Montreal based artist further proves that he is a sonic force to be reckoned with.
Review: DJ Jayhood is one of the most important producers from the second generation of Jersey Club. A regional form of dance music that evolved from Baltimore Club after artists like DJ Tameil started putting their own twists on 'B-more' drum breaks and kick patterns, it is is one of the most influential and imitated dance styles in the world today. Although he's not received the same international DJ bookings as some of his peers, DJ Jayhood is one of the most respected and popular artists in and outside of the state. He's also built a successful sideline as a rapper and hip-hop/r&b producer through his production work for Sharaya J and Missy Elliott, and coined his own sub-genre of Jersey Club called Booty Bounce Music.
Review: Not to be confused with the Strength Music boss, or Glasgow's infamous house producer, this DJ Q is known as Shollen Quarshie to his friends, and has been heavily associated to the UK garage sound since the early 2000's. He's finally back to grace us with some of his magic, and it's London's Local Action that picks him back up from the depths of the underground. Thankfully, he's still very much in the mood to make garage these days, except that "Rocky" contains a thick layer of UK grime wobble, something which was subtler in his past tunes. "Poison" is on the same kind of tip, but its drop contains broken vocal samples that add to that killer drop feeling in the club. Bangahs!
Review: The instantly palatable grime and garage of DJ Q has been satisfying bassline lovers for many a year, not least with his appearances on Local Talk. Now Shollen Quarshie follows up on the mixtape showcase he did for Unknown To The Unknown with a full length album proper, and its packed full of the plush production and catchy hooks you would expect. There's a whiff of techno about the dreamy synths that open the album, not least with the spiralling notes that hover over the trap-rave stylings of "Two Faced", but elsewhere there's a wholesome dose of sugar-coated jungle with the pop vocal stylings of Kassandra and Louise Williams. It's a diverse album with a broad appeal to those who like their beats immediate and colourful, and might just be one of the unlikeliest pop albums of the year.
Review: Bassline king DJ Q lays down a cheeky 1Up: a homage to everyone's favourite spiky ring-pinching blue hedgehog, "Sonic" is a bouncy two-step/breakbeat hybrid littered with vibrant 8-bit samples from the original game. With a bassline the strength of five end-bosses, it's clear Q's having a lot of fun right here.
Review: Following their collaborative work on "Trust Again" and "Through The Night", Q and Louise Williams deliver yet another insatiable garage groove. Q's groove jacks and struts with presence. The organs pump with warmth and weight while Louise delivers her trademark emphatic vocals with panache. The result is that feeling that you've known this tune all your life even on the first listen. This is the third single from his forthcoming album, and we can't wait to hear it.
Review: Shollen Quarshie is making no bones about his intentions on this latest release for Local Action, with his formidable production sights fixed on the charts with a helping croon from Louise Williams. This is unabashed pop music for the modern era, even if it is driven by an early 90s breakbeat. The straight-up keys and synths should sit perfectly on drive time radio, while the light touches of trancey stabs are crying out for a stadium-filling remix from one of the Dutch titans. As if baiting such an occasion, the single comes packaged with an instrumental and an acapella for good measure.
Review: It's fair to there's currently nobody in the business making proper garage with the same flair that DJ Q currently does, and his new single, entitled "Trust Again", featuring the vocal talents of Brit School alumnus Louise Williams, is possibly his most classicist piece of 90s-leaning garage to date. Those who heard the producer's excellent vinyl-only track "Brandy & Coke" last year will know what to expect - strong vocals, clipped 2-step rhythms and razor-sharp production. Serious remixes are included too, withthe first remix in some time from from Karl 'Tuff Enuff' Brown, member of the old school garage outfit Tuff Jam, a bassline remix from DJ Q collaborator TS7, and a 4×4 mix from DJ Q himself.
Review: It's chart baiting garage time once again as DJ Q and Flava D link up on Local Action to turn out the kind of crossover hit that matches brains and brawn in equal measure. "PS" comes on bright and chirpy in its lead-in, all sugary synth splashes and catchy diva vocal hooks, while the drops rip into a deliciously freaky workout with alien melodic wobbles and plenty of weight bottom end. Balancing edgy underground qualities with unabashed accessibility has always been Q's game as much as Local Action's, and here the team more than deliver with a perfect slice of contemporary UKG.
Review: Woof! Local Action home in one the end of 2015 and the hotness doesn't look like stopping any time soon. Tom Lea has only gone and sweet talked T Williams into returning to his grime alias Dread D for the first time in almost a decade. As Dread D, Tesafa Williams pushed buttons on numerous grime classics for the Black Ops label including "Invasion". He has of course gone onto house music greatness as T Williams, but a return to this grime sound as Dread D seems perfectly timed.
Run.Away / There's No Face In The Strings - (4:06) 97 BPM
Lease Of Youth - (4:08) 59 BPM
Accord - (1:11)
Review: This year, there has been no one more fundamental to the development of Local Action than the prodigious, and extremely talented Erskine Lynas. Lynas is based in Aberdeen, and was only recently churning out future-grime frameworks across the scene; this new step into the vast, bottomless pit of Balearic electronica is both a refreshing surprise, and utterly impressive given just how damn good he is at crafting the stuff. This new LP, Lease Of Youth, is his third outing for the label, and it offers listeners a chance to cop some pure synth vibes of all shapes and sizes. "Feather Fall" and "Craiger Caught The Sleeper" open with sweet, poopy vibes backed by subtle house rhythms, but the album soon precipitates into much looser, abstract notions of electronic dance. Form the bouncy waves of "New Concrete" to the gentle ambience of "Forever Rain", the one consistent factor is Lynas' own voice, riding majestically along a river of endless euphoria.
Review: Finn McCorry presents his longest and most complete release yet, a collection 'of six house jams for trying times.' Part of the team behind NTS Manchester, each of the tracks on Sometimes The Going Gets A Little Tough have been thoroughly tested on his monthly show and his B2B series - which has recently seen him play alongside UNiiQU3, Teki Latex and Eclair Fifi and at Manchester's Soup Kitchen club. Finn has crafted his own take on house music, taking aspects from speed garage, grime and hardcore in the UK, to regional club music from the USA. From the feel good, neon-lit, disco inflected house of "Who Is This (It's P)", the French Touch influenced "Give Us A Hand" and the melancholic bounce of "Trying Your Best", its a fabulous EP.
Review: UK pseudo garage hotspot Local Action returns to action with a follow-up EP from the busy bass bee that is Finn. In line with the imprint's general mood, Finn delivers the goods in the form of five diverse club knockers, for all shapes and sizes. Our picks from the bunch gotta be the slithering, stop-start house piece that is "Coming 2 U" - some serious sampling chopping going on there - and the "Finn Theme", a gliding bass anthem in all senses of the word. This is for the UK heads.
Review: It's still early days for Inkke but this release for Local Action should find the emergent grime-influenced producer reaching a wider audience with his distinctive synth rich take on bass music. With six originals to choose from, this EP is a perfect primer for those wanting to get a feel for the artist, ranging from the uptempo thrust of "Thinkk Star (Club Mix)" with its 4/4 stylings through to the exotic slow-motion funk of "Paradise" featuring the soulful croon of Julia Jaban. There is diversity at every turn that points to a multitude of fates awaiting Inkke as his star rises in the multifaceted work of electronic music.
Review: Brooklyn producer Lil Jabba has already popped up on Local Action once before, and it makes sense seeing as his limber sound tips its hat to Night Slugs futurism while also being rooted firmly in the US footwork style of rhythmic delivery. It's playful stuff, from the cheeky keyboard breakdown section of "Stalka" to the madcap jazz and funk samples flitting around razor sharp construction "Dusty". "Skates" shows off Jabba's diversity with a slower, more atmospheric piece, and "Tea" takes things even further into introspection, but there's also space for faster material such as the rigid junglisms of the beat programming on "Silencer". All the way through though the EP is made consistent thanks to the glassy, beautifully realised synth lines and keen deployment of melodies.
Review: Brooklyn darksmith Lil Jabba returns with his second full-lengther and the title says it all... Grotto. Not the type where Santa sits around and orders elves to do his dirty work, but the type where the walls drip with sonic slime and it's so dark there are no shadows. Some say you can hear the crunch of bones underfoot on the title track, some say you can hear the echoes of your unfulfilled dreams in the breakbeat ricochets on "Cave Painting", some say the chimes on "Hazy Ox" are made rattling chains, some say the deep background gurgling textures on "Solem" are made from Jabba's empty stomach as he continuously lurks in his grotto penning incredibly soundscapes and never stops to eat. Some say the whole album is haunted. We say the whole album is incredible.