Review: Buxom and deep dubstep aren't terms you see together that often. Then again, Anthologic has barely scratched the surface of his career... As he gets the spotlight he deserves, perhaps we'll see more of this full bodied approach to the darker side of dubstep. As the title suggests "Strictly Dubplate" is the most shapely set piece thanks, largely, to its floral arrangement of rattling congas. The twists and drops on the bassline melody of "Blessed" are on the rather plump side, too. Refreshingly chubby.
Review: According to his SoundCloud profile, Portland, Oregon's B1T CRUNCH3R is a producer, composer, sound engineer and founder of the American label Gradient Audio. This time appearing on local imprint Phantom Hertz, which is equally dedicated to to subterranean sounds of the rainy northwestern city. First track "IO" is dystopian sub level futurism from a post apocalyptic time. The intense sub bass therapy of "Callisto" is supported by some seriously sinister atmospherics and is one paranoid headtrip if we ever heard one. Finally "Europa" gets some washes of emotive pads into the mix over some intricate rhythm programming and pulsating low end frequencies, which he's proven quite competent in executing by now.
Review: Hot on the heels of his debut album Duality, Gradient Audio boss returns to his and Jay Cotton's 2008 hurter "Scratching At The Air" adding heavier kicks and a lively, funkier swing to the riddim. "Let Me In" continues the drum drama with a head-turning broken beat groove and breathy pads, while "Acoustic Weapon" stalls and stumbles over industrial levels of thick, toxic bass and trembling, delicate pianos. You've done air guitar, you've air drummed until your arms fell off, now get air scratching...
Review: Who knew Creep N00m was a cosmonaut in his spare time? We certainly didn't, but the outer planetary sound designs on "Attack From Space" are so authentic that we can't come to any other conclusion. Our intrepid Russian explorer hasn't just checked his socials in at deep space either; "Amazon" is a direct rain forest romp and the hard, sheet metal slams and bangs of "Radical" sound like there was recorded in a steel mill. Elsewhere we get crazy-jazzy on the firing broken beat badness of "Mood Indigo" and unleash our spiritual side on "The Buddha". Complete with a VIP of last year's "Midnight", this EP more than lives up to its title.
Review: Following extensive releases on KFR, Moscow-based Creep N00m jumps aboard the good ship Phantom Hertz for a quartet of truly unique bass gems. "Swing" sets the tone with processed funk guitars tailored deep into the riddim and a jazzed-out break that oozes flute power. "Bluff Factor" continues the organic motif with sweet trumpet parps that mirror the jaunty drum arrangement and dramatic synth-horn stabs. "Pursuit" is much more minimal in its make-up where a bellowing sub, snake-like LFOs and heartbeat kicks create a hypnotic effect throughout. "Cyberton" completes the set with authentic dub cheer. Well-measured with bounced-out sub shots and ricocheting snare licks, it's yet another example of Creep's creative abilities. It don't mean a thing if you ain't got this "Swing"!
Review: At a crossroads in life? Allow French dubstep demon Darj to enlighten you with his "Chosen Path". Cutting swathes from the thick bass forest, his scenic percussive route through heavy breathing pads is an ideal direction for any deep dubstep DJ. "Damaged" follows suit with more percussive headiness; slinky, swinging and accentuated with just the right amount of light, it's another well-defined sub sensation. "Seek & Destroy" flips the flavour for a more spacious post-club meander while "Aldebaran" ends us on a poignant high as cosmic pads play cameo over a Kryptic Minds-style staccato bass pattern. Heavy.
Review: Finnish producer currently residing in France, Davth's quite the international playboy. Who can blame him? Dub beats that lick with such crafted depth speak such a global tongue they're a passport to any dancefloor in the world. The wonderfully titled "Befuddle" is the more rhythmic, driving of the pair with a soft pulsating bassline bouncing with each swinging kick. "Taama" plays an able swampy counterpart with a grumpier, pronounced half step and considerably more minimal make-up.
Review: Japanese freshman Dayzero makes his entrance with two unfathomably deep dubstep joints on Phantom Hertz. "100000" surges forward with iced-out, cosmic pads and a slow, swaggering kick/snare combo that's constantly evolving and pulling itself back. "Unexplored" is all about the densely weaved hand drums that double up over each other to create a hypnotic energy and pace that's not dissimilar to that of a Truth or Kenzo cut. Comparisons don't get much stronger. Neither do debut releases.
Review: Endorsed by bass tastemakers Fat Kid On Fire, Italian producer Displace gets his sonic spook on with two perfectly measured moments of undiluted deep dub. "Stray" pivots on pneumatic halfsteps, nodding gravely with gravelly bass and deep-breath synth textures. "Hyde & Seek" takes the darkness further again by way of croaking mids and a subtle wobble on the subs. Programming a distant funk into the shakers, its unforgiving phasers are set to maximum stun.
Review: Chicago-based bossman at Deep Dark Dungeon Dubstep jumps over to Phantom Hertz and showcases a seriously expansive sound. The strangely titled "Ragnarok" is sodden with classic deep dub drama motifs; staccato stabs, smoky bass, haunting vocals and a weeping top line. File under 'well measured moodiness'. "Jabberwock" flips the switch for something a lot more upbeat and direct. Its rolling tribal breakbeats tease and please while a high-end riff mirrors the riddim in a kind of "Township Funk". Complex yet deadly simple; it's the perfect future fusion.
Review: Deep dubstep from Rochester, NY. Not where you'd expect some of the most authentic minimal 140 sounds to be coming from, but since the brostep boom over the Atantic, many producers are stuck on reclaiming the genre. Fabricator's newcomer status belies a devastating talent for deep atmospherics and dark, head-turning bass manipulation. Utilising wide open spaces in his production as well as judicious layers of sub pressure, there's also an element of experimentation to this release. "Hey!" in particular has a surprise waiting in the fifth minute. One to watch.
Review: Estonian bass baron Felix has carved a unique name for himself over the last year or so with a pedigree in both breakbeat and dubstep. While the two scenes were very much entwined back in the day (thanks to artists such as Tayo and Freq Nasty) they've seemed pretty disparate of late...until now. Here Felix joins the dots by way of thick sludgy halfstep ("Ritual"), classic Botchit-style sheet metal bass grit ("Skank") and icy, star-gazing subverted soul that stars down the barrel of a dungeon gun... But no one dares to pull the trigger. Smoking.
Review: So far, the shadowy FJH has only felt in EP's and has appeared on a wide number of different imprints dealing in stepping bass rhythms. Moreover, he hasn't released any albums as of yet, so this is his debut and it comes on the excellent Phantom Hertz label. You have over fourteen tunes to salivate over here, and there isn't a filler in site, this is all masterfully executed percussion beating at its best, ranging from more smooth, docile patterns, to darker and more ethereal grooves fit for any sort of bass dance floor. Heavy stuff, check it!
Review: Here are a few facts you didn't know about God's hands... They're covered in tattoos. They can crush steel-reinforced concrete. They can batter you in a thumb war. They've been immortalised by Forensics as a track title. Here we find them remixed in two totally different, but both equally alluring, ways. Trashbat goes in for the deep with shimmering minor chords and a woozy oozy groove while Infra locks us deep in the dungeon and throws away the key. Captivating stuff, give yourselves a hand.
Review: Hailing from Lecce in Italy, Hashkey has clearly been dieting on only the strictest of dubstep drip lines from the UK, with a sound that could fit into the sets of any spinner in the DMZ fold with its spacious production, moody bass and careful balancing of dirt and dexterity. Sidling up to Phantom Hertz with a confident three-tracker, the vibe on Project Monarch remains intact throughout as icy pads linger behind growling bass tones that glitter with the studio sheen of tech step D&B, even as they lurch around the 140 bpm blueprint. "Co.Ward" is the most restrained beast of the lot, while "MK Ultra" should fulfill all hair-raising needs any dubstep true-skoolers have out there.
Review: Parisian low end purveyor High Dude unleashed this toxic, sludge-fest way back at the start of 2015. It's already enjoyed some serious version science from 6Blocc, now it's in the hands of eight competition-winning upstarts. Each comes with its own unique flavour: Skaar plays with harmonics, Master Balance gets busy on the polyrhythmic drums OverNose adds chilling chords and an overall graveyard finish, Kardium adds a fresh layer of trippy sound designs, Low-K brings us up to D&B speed, Ghosthack switches the bass for something much more menacing, Sektor 122 gets creepy with haunted moans and shadowy switches while Gleb Choutov gives 'Abstract' its most abstract version of the pack with a spaced out near-beatless rendition. Each remix an original piece in its own right; the future of bass music is fine hands if these next-gen candidates get their way.
Review: Sweaty, sludgy business: Bordeaux badman High Dude returns with three dynamics slices of deepness that all cellar dwellers should take note of. "Abduct" is all about the mourning bassline; soaking wet and amorphous, it's as dark as you can get without needing counselling. Dig deeper for the title track "Alchemy". Coded with trippy drum patterns and even trippier atmospheres, it's the type of track you'd drop if you wanted to completely spin your floor on its axis. Finally we hit "Wraith". A total vibe-flipper, here HD shows us he's just as capable at 170BPM as he is 140. Skippy beats, soulful subs and warm pads. This is what liquid sounds like in the apocalyptic future.