Review: Well established Croatian dubsmith presents his most diverse and boundary-pushing body of work to date: Brainstorm. A genre-defying project that applies his grimy, unforgiving tightly textured funk in a number of tempos and contexts, this is an album that seamlessly takes us from the light, loose-limbed 125 styles of "Ground Zero" to the brutal steppy D&B funk of "Clap Back" in the flick of a switch. Other brain-bending moments include the steady dub kicks and pranged out tones of "Acid Dust", the dusty jazz key strikes on "You Knw Wsp" and the pulverising halftime punch of "Shocker". The only shocker here would be to sleep on this... Easily one of Macabre Unit Digital's boldest and most boundary-less releases to date.
Review: MUD always come up with the dirtiest of goods and this album sampler is no different. 'Clapback' is a filthy little number, grimey to its core, with dirty twisted stabs which are sure to give you septicemia and with its high energy and diverse collection of sounds, we're sure it'll have the dance going off. 'Shocker' is the more somber track of the pair, with slow reverberating steps and itchy white noise and an all-consuming sub. Together they prove the forthcoming album will be varied and interesting, one to watch.
Review: Destination Croatia for the next M.U.D adventure as label newcomers 207 and Kodin lay down three examples of industrial strength futuristic gritty grooves. "6 Block" is a physical roller, all elbow jabs and shoulder rolls by way of well-oiled drums. "Scelestic" takes us down a deeper, more reflective path but still rolls with precision tuned rhythm dynamics and ghostly bass tones hanging ominously like low hanging clouds. "Tanc" is the silkiest of the set thanks to well-spaced detuned synth stabs and another lesson in liquid-like kick/snare patterns. Looking for a bit of rough on the side? Look no further than label boss Demon's remix of "6 Block". Rocking.
Review: Who says Dubstep is dead? The scene has had a proper revival over the past few years, but I don't think those who've stuck with it since the late 2000s glory days would even say it died - it just went back to is underground roots. Ammon-Ra represents those roots perfectly with this EP and the title track smacks of Dubstep as it should be and 'Artificial Intelligence' -the title track - is exactly that: looping drums and slowish pace but obscenely heavy on the back end and a real feeling of travel. 'Eluesinian Mysteries' takes things in a choppier direction, sharp bass stabs penetrating deep into the range. This is proper Dubstep.
Review: Brand new to MUD, brand new to the game, the mysterious Ammon-Ra makes his debut with four precision cuts. "The Halls Of Amenti" is a haunted graveyard stepper until the metallic broadsword bassline swathes into the viscous blend, "Kybalion" ups the theatrics with big orchestral dynamics, spacy humanised textures and drop that teeters on naughty trap while "Streetwise" strips things right back for a much more alarming, creepy piece of work. Finally "Barely Human" jolts us with some high voltage wobble bass, all wrapped up in iceberg synth blasts. More of this place Mr Ra.
Review: When it comes to releasing original dubstep, there are few who boast such a forward thinking catalogue as the Macabre Unit imprint, continuing that trend here as they invite Ammon-Ra in for five tracks of pure heat. We kick off with a look at the title track 'Shamanism', a writhing, gnarly beast, patterned with super clean drum sampling and a real punchy feel. This is then chased up by the trap-like tones of 'Way Back When', the big room emotive synthesizers of 'Gaia' and ferocious feels of 'Fire Blazing'. We then finish up with the hard hitting basslines and crunchy percussion of 'Afterlife', again showcasing the Macabre talent for finding real original heaters.
Review: If you're into grumbling grooves, bass as thick as half-set concrete and drums that sound like no other dubstep producer's, then Biome's "Cypher" EP is so up your street it's built a granny annex upside your bedroom. The title-track is Biome at his grumpiest; all slug bass and anvil halfsteps. "Rumble" flips the switch with a genuinely unique beat that nods towards hip-hop or quarter-speed jungle much more than it does dubstep. "Sentinel" goes back to the deep dungeon lab with a swaggering half-step and a bassline seemingly made of a swarm of wheezing wasps, while "Stone Throw" maintains that deep, minimal technoid flavour but with more emphasis on some interestingly pitched drums. "Man Made" closes the show with yet more unique rhythmic arrangements and an eerie prayer call that's so cold it could summon the spirit of Cthulhu himself.
Review: Macabre man Demon up to his old tricks again: "Light" is a foundry-smashing design, all concrete slaps and smashes. Soul is found deep in the barbed vocals of Monika who creates a sheen that's not far off Portishead circa Third. Immense. Hot on its heels is a sight-blurring, blood-pumping, fist-bumping VIP of last year's breaker "Narkotics". Now with added busted beat jungle designs, it's even more complex and sense-popping as it was before. Stick this to the man and tell him the drug war is over.
Review: Rising up through the ranks of the digital dubstep world, Dyad are a Reading-based duo with a score of high-end productions behind them and now they've made their way on to Macabre Unit's own label with a gnarly four-track EP of enhanced floor wreckers for those who like their beats sci-fi. From the low-riding punch of the title track through to the high-flying tech-step tones of "Fear is A Choice", the production levels never dip for a moment while balancing a necessary menace with some pleasant melodic ingenuity. Check "Incept" for a more raucous grind-out, while "Resist" brings some choppy sounds to the table but really all four tracks come from the same mentality of dynamic, face-contorting dubstep for the modern age.
Review: Macabre Unit as a label have seriously cemented their position as one of the most innovative imprints currently working in and around the 140 bracket. For this one they employ the services of Feonix for selection of bass-heavy goodies. The title track "Spliced" kicks the EP off as it means to go on with grinding reese synths taking the leading role. From here the 160 BPM of "Eon Eyes" featuring Kaya sends us down a speedier avenue before the sharp percussion lead vibes of "Part Deux" and "Yeh Mi Say". We then round off with the accelerated half-time structure of "Speek" and the stripped back neuro inspired arrangements of "Anything". This EP shows real versatility and depth, both for Feonix as a producer and Macabre Unit as a movement.
Review: It's been a minute since North Walian low end warrior Feonix last stepped up to M.U.D. - six months to be precise. Naturally he's made up for lost time with this rule-shredding quintuplet of jams. There's a heavy emphasis on tempo flexing and rifle-like riddims, too, as both the subverted jungle smasher "Heavy Rotation" and the skippy, steppy "Peashooter" both roll and flare with D&B verve. Dungeon-dwelling dubstep purists should jump on the gruff, guttural "Inhale" and the grunty, hooky lead track. For added variety, scope and depth Feonix has also thrown in the 80BPM "Mandatory". Slo-mo breakbeats coded with ominous, paranoid baritone frequencies, it brings the EP to the unique close it deserves. Impeccable stuff; only squares wouldn't like "The Cube".
Review: The Macabre Unit Digital imprint has made itself home to a number of heavyweight releases in recent times, with Manchester's JFO being the latest to join the illustrious roster. We kick off this four track bonanza with the title track 'Spectrum', a phenomenal piece of dubstep inspired sound design, driven by blazing subs and masterful mix work. This is then followed by the similar stylings of 'Mind Control'. Next up we splash into the pool of weighty subs and precisely processed percussive rolls that is 'On My Skin', descending into delightful synth growls and sharp drum work. Finally we finish up this masterful body of work with 'Hailstone', an incredible arrangement of haunted atmospherics and powerful beat stops, reminiscent of early DJ Madd.
Review: We always get excited to see a brand new JFO release hit the shelves, so when we saw he had teamed up with the ever-ready Macabre Unit team for a two track special, we were absolutely over the moon. This one is a perfect showcase of what JFO is all about, as 'Bodom' kicks us off in style, channeling incredibly clean bass synthesizer processing, spacey pads and punchy drums to provide us with an absolute heater. On the B-side we welcome 'Virus', dripping in a more classic deep dubstep flavour as growling synthesizer rolls run riot amidst delicate percussive leads and smooth atmospheric textures. Another job well done for both Macabre Unit and JFO!
Review: With the team at Macabre Unit always looking to expand the label and sound into new and exciting areas of electronic dance music, this latest offering from Lampa fits perfectly into their mantra. We firstly examine the title track 'Dubious', which combines metallic synth growls with crisp, bouncy drum punches to give us a dungeon-esc vibe from the off. This is followed by potent sub pressure and minimalist drum designs of 'Black Wax', before 'Convenance' lets fly some seriously grizzly synth work, alongside a wash of eastern vocal exerts. Finally' the pace is slowed with the more stripped back melodic bliss of 'Nowhere To Be Found' providing the outro credits.
Review: Sam Zeiph Wheeler dons his black Ohmtrix shroud for his boldest, most diverse collection to date. Two dub, two D&B, all unique: "Image" is the swaggering dubstep we've come to expect from the young Londoner but the drums roll with much more of a loose 'real drum' feel which creates a new sense of funk the man has only hinted at before. "Myriad" ups the pace with dreamy vocal snaps and teases of really well chiselled synth hooks and molten bassline before we drop into the D&B territory: "All Alone" pumps with a classic early Brookes Brothers style synth hook and guitar twangs while "Tearing Me Down" plays the consummate role of gully roller with DLR style gurgles and bass sneers.
Review: We?re always happy to hear more deliciously devised dubstep from the Macabre Unit collective and this one is definitely no exception. Straight from the off on Drifter we hear warm rolling subs lashing into whirling atmospherics and sharp drum processing. Next up we have Killamanjaro which is comprised of eastern melodies, choppy break patterns, rolling percussive stabs and of course gritty bass synths. From here we move onto Monarch which is a real steppers journey, bringing out lush jazzy synth textures and sound design over rogue bass oscillations below. Finally we finish up with a blast from the past in Remember. This one is comes complete with classic hardcore synth chords across the introduction, later descending into an electronic cluster bomb of unique sound design.
Review: Ohmtrix returns to the Unit with five more diverse and stark creations. "Bugs" skitters and writhes amid tripped-out dubspace and tricked out textures before we plunge into oceanic future drum & bass soul on "You Should Know", get dizzy in the ricochet percussive currents of "One Mind" and get hype on the straight up tech funk of "Mythical Beings". "Fire" is the ultimate tonic with its Scientist-style spaciousness and sub bass playfulness. Whatever side of the 80/140/160 axis you're happiest in, there are some real gems here.