Review: Appleblim, one of the figures who we can associate with the birth and rise of dubstep, has been releasing since 2005. That's now 13 years of experimenting with bass and dance equations. However, Life In A Laser is his debut album, having only ever released singles or remixes up until. His big release comes via Sneaker Social Club, and it takes his sound somewhere it hadn't been before - the doorways of Berlin. That is not meant to imply that this is straight-up techno - not at all! It's the style and aesthetics used by Appleblim which give a much more polished and rounded approach to the way he makes music now. These 9 tracks are, in one way or another, dance-oriented, but there is a story to tell and a clear thread running throughout. One thing is always evident, however, and that's his extensive use of percussion and quality production work, championed from the infamous hardcore dynasty. LUSH.
Dead Man's Chest/Sonic - "Pum Flex" - (6:53) 145 BPM
Dead Man's Chest & Response - "We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes" - (7:06) 150 BPM
Dead Man's Chest & Coco Bryce - "The Dead Will Dance" - (6:23) 150 BPM
Dead Man's Chest - "Exorcisms" - (5:36) 145 BPM
Review: Now it is time to into the nostalgic and unexpected as we welcome back Sneaker Social Club to unveil their brand new four track project, in which Dead Man's Chest takes the lead alongside a host of names with fantastic results. The first track we touch on is entitled 'We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes' alongside Response and is a truly hypnotic experience, working together beeping tones with breakbeats and circular melodies. Next, Coco Bryce gets involved with the more bubbly breaksy sounds of 'The Dead Will Dance' before Dead Man's Chest steps out on solo duty for 'Exorcisms'. We finish up this one with a dive into 'Pum Flex', an almost juke inspired drum creation alongside Sonic, stacked with rhythmic energy from start to finish.
Review: It's funny, the Sneaker Social Club always seem to be able to find a way to deliver something fresh, exciting and new in their releases, with this brand new box from Dogpatrol being no exception to that rule. We kick off with the laid back garage flavours and subtle sub expanses of 'Clownery', before moving swiftly into the unpredictable shuffles and wonky synthesizer tones of 'Don't Follow Us'. Following this, the EP takes a funky turn, as the lively percussive shuffles and rhythmic expanses of 'The Return Of The Gorgons' ride into view, before the authentic drumlines and cowbell goodness of 'Serena' put the cherry on the cake. Excellent work!
Review: Following on from his debut form last year, Dream Cycle returns to Sneaker Social Club with three supplementary doses of bass-centric tech-stomping. Thanks to strong elements of dub techno, Chicago house and UK dubstep, Dream Cycle has crafted his own sound, his own way, and he now belongs to the realm of what we like to call 'legends'. The opening "Influence" is a weighty, rolling slice of broken beat, minus the jazz, while "Afters (3am mix)" takes a look at UK garage for inspiration, and "DCYX 5" rolls on through with a badness and intent that we always saw in peeps like Derrick Carter or Glenn Underground. BAAAD!
Review: Jamie Russell's Sneaker Social Club is one of those labels that just don't give a damn. We love them for that. Across its catalogue, you'll find an array of releases spanning from Bass Clef to Neil Landstrumm, and all sorts of continuous newcomers, such as this latest EP from the unknown Dream Cycle. It ain't really house and it ain't really tech, but somewhere in between, peppered and smoked with just the right amount of UK bass sensitivity. To give you a taster, "Dream 93" is a resurrection of the jungle and breakcore movement, stripped-back and repurposed for the 2017 mentality, while "Start Like It's Hot" takes some lessons from peeps like Leo Anibaldi - pure deep house magic! "Paradise State" is another magnetic jungle reinterpretation, and Them & Us' remix of "Absolutely" floats the waves drone and ambient with a touch of class rarely heard these days. Most importantly, Dream Cycle seems to be all about movement and progression. Two winning tactics.
Review: The Sneaker Social Club imprint seemingly have a knack for unearthing real gems, as we can see here with the tasty tonality from Dream Cycle, who arrives with a dash of flavour across four wicked originals. We kick off with the super skippy sunshine delights of 'Told You' before everything takes a more laid back twist on the warm, fuzzy designs of 'Long Time', which lays doused in gorgeous piano melodies. Next, the bubbly percussive thwacks and affected vocal slaps of 'Sensa' arrive on the scene before 'Untitled Dream' finishes us up with some incredible soundscape action.
Review: Etch gets chemical on this epic return to Sneaker Social Club with four unique broken grooves; "Chemotaxis" rolls with Zed Bias-style breaks before switching into a hazy steppy halftime arrangement, "What Lies Beyond" is a love letter to Reinforced at 130 BPM, "Green Park" slides and glides with a warm warped funk before mutating into a savage rave stepper, before "Prismatic" slides down the shutters on a dreamy jazz breaks finale. Reactions guaranteed.
Review: A debut album from Etch on Sneaker Social Club isn't something to be sniffed at. The producer has proven time and time again he can make some of the most creative breaks music around, this time his skills being shown off in a nasty 12-track format. The diversity on this release is just mad, from the soulful sampling yet gully undercuts of 'Groove Control' to the penetratingly deep ambience of 'Outsider' featuring Farrah. This is dance music diversity at its finest and Etch is the purveyor. Don't miss 'Snell's Law', where bass notes underpin crisp drums that constantly switch and keep you on toes, as well as 'Swirls and Spirals', a hip-hop leaning number that bring some gawpingly good funk influences into the mix. All twelve are interesting including some wicked interludes, so be sure to grab this one.
Review: Now here we are greeted by two artists who really refuse to be placed into brackets as Brighton's ETCH teams up with the fascinating vocal displays of Nico Lindsay for three tracks of pure fire. We kick off with the carnival inspired drum rolls and poetic lyrical designs of 'Don't Wanna Know', followed by a dive into 'Predator Vs. Prey (Toxin)', a slowly bubbling exploration into bass tones and crunchy reverberations. Finally, we take a look at 'Photosynthesis', a more grime-inspired creation which features 'Tranq Sinatra', showcasing just how creative things can get when you work truly outside the box. Awesome stuff.
Review: As ever when we come to view a Sneaker Social Club release, we are filled with excitement as we see them employ the notable talents of Filter Dread for a tidy eight track selection, showcasing the future of breaks and bass as we know. From the swooping synths of 'Ice B8ss' and choppy drum snaps of 'Time 2 Let Go' to the shimmering 8 bit manoeuvres of 'Crush Sphere' and spacey moog stabs of 'Tekker Wave', this EP showcases real depth from start to finish. Our highlight would have to be 'Ice Rave' which combines warbling breaks tones with unpredictable drum breaks with real impact from the off!
Review: Sneaker Social Club's run has been pretty magnificent over the year, with a near flawless run of releases in that time. They here welcome the break-heavy production vibes of Hooverian Blur for three tracks of rhythmic bliss, kicking off with the stuttered bleeps and steadily evolving drum chops of 'Old Gold'. Next up, we dive into the bouncy oldschool jives and distant reese work of 'Eyes Closed', before finally finishing up the EP with a look at 'Laluviah'. This one sits in between the two previous tracks, combining moogy arpeggios and organic drum sounds for a perfect sign out.
Review: It's time to get groovy as the Sneaker Social Club invite Hornsey Hardcore into the blend for a storming two track pairing, If you are looking for a real hardcore taste testing, looking no further than the title track 'Don't Get Strange', which combines unpredictable organ riffs with glitchy electric chord patterns for a real nostalgic effect. On the flip, we unveil the mega gritty movements of 'The Wiz', which uses clean breakbeat drums as its lead source of energy. Both of these ones are perfect for sending the ravers into another dimension.
Review: Right about now we are witnessing the return of the legends, as the immortal production outfit of Horsepower Productions return to us via the Sneaker Social Club for a very weighty two-track come back EP, laced with breaksy influences from start to finish. We kick off with a look at the track named 'Stranger', a super moody roller backed with old school flavour, from the rough cut drum slices to the moogy bass patterns that stay lurking below. On the flip side we are given a wash of more hardcore inspired breakbeat drumwork, with shimmering vocal layers dancing in the frequencies above, and gnarly sub structures encircling below. Amazing stuff, and who would've guessed otherwise?
Review: As ever, we were super excited to dive into this latest helping from the Sneaker Social Club, who have championed the breaks sound to the maximum across this latest offering from Interplanetary Criminal. We kick off with the subtle drum slices and potent sub explosions of 'Tension', followed by the super original 4x4 breaks hybrid sound that is featured within the title track 'Sleepwalker'. Next, the pace slows dramatically as we enter the fluctuations and grizzly bass tones of 'Unfair', before the EP is finished up with a listen to the super clean 'Give', packed with weighty underlying sub flavours and incredibly well processed drum samples.
Review: UK label Sneaker Social Club - still reeling in 2019 from releases by Horsepower Productions, Basic Rhythm and Soundbwoy Killah (to name a few) - introduces Low End Activist to its roster. Source material for the record is said to come from a VHS recording of Muzikon Sound System documentation made in Blackbird Leys estate in Oxford in 1988, with the record drawing heavily on soundsystem culture and in particular its social function in the Afro-Caribbean communities. Futuristic drums and subtle bleep generation references can also be found in amongst the distorted boom and dub of a retro-active yet wholly futuristic and contemporary approach to bass music.
Review: Soundbwoy Killah excels with this release and making the older amongst remember old-school raves, and the younger wish you could've been there. 'Yours' glides into the start of the release with bass shakes and soulful vocal samples, before a refreshing bout of 2-step tumbles out of the swirl and cuts in with a naughty, diving sine bass. 'Come My Selector' takes you back to 2005, in a good way - one for the rude boys and the ravers. 'Abra Cadabra' is packed with eclectic percussion, bumping you along before taking a dive down into the deep, the dark and the dirty, blackish atmospherics providing the backdrop for a non-stop sink into the bass below. You might recognise the sample in 'Turn Off The Lights' from Mak & Pasteman's 'Oh Baby', but this is a different beast altogether. More punchy kick drums and tight, spinny back ends evoke even clearer notions of the rave. Top stuff.
Review: As ever, when we see a new Sneaker Social Club project land on our shelves, we were super excited to take a trip into the unknown and unexplored, as Soundbwoy Killah touches down for his feature length album 'Halycon Daze'. The album is an excellent showcase of vibrant drum designs and rhythmic exploration, as we hear most potently on the lively percussive curls of 'Under The Influence', along with the more subtle sub pushes of 'Pang'. For us, the stand outs have to include the super crunchy UKG flavours of 'Wanna Hold U', along with stunning percussive expanses of 'Loiner Dub'.
Review: Up next on Bristol's Sneaker Social Club is Up on Sneaker Social Club, West Norwood's finest...the one and only cassette librarian - keeping it hardcore! Following up great releases by legends 2 Bad Mice, Bass Clef and The Brothers Grimm. Starting off with the very Shut Up And Dance sounding tribute that is "Everytime You Touch Me (I Get Hype)" they then get stuck into the savage junglist roller "Theme To Street Knowledge". The aforementioned Brothers Grimm make an appearance with The Brothers Grimm appear with "Exodus (The Lion Awakes) - WNCL VIP". Closing out the EP is the back to '93 trip that is "Feeling Too Big To Dance". Retroverts rejoice!