Review: For us, there aren't many people doing it bigger than Cartridge in the UK dubstep scene right now. He returns to Subaltern for a fiery four track display here, kickstarting with the grizzly bass drives and shuffling, almost drill-like drum work of 'Stone Cold', a powerful title track indeed. Next, the charming, bitcrushed bass pulses and super clean hi-hat work of 'Choker' lands with some real oomf, before the horror-influenced synth twists and shimmering soundscaping of 'Sweet Doughs' takes the project somewhere completely different. For our round off, we find ourselves travelling through a much more eastern-inspired style of instrumentation as lightly plucked string arpeggios lead the way in 'Balance', adding one final twist to the tale.
Review: It seems that the Subaltern team have absolutely no intention of slowing down any time soon as they deliver yet another earth shattering EP selection, this time welcoming Kodama in to flex those steppers muscles. The release is a real masterclass in modernized dubstep production, firstly seeing the legendary LX One get involved 'Cronauer', a stuttered gritty chopper, followed by beautiful melodic plucks of 'Piranha Plant'. The vibe then switches across the slightly distorted harmonies and trap-like drum designs of 'Dorsia' before Shenza arrives to provide some smooth vocal fire atop the spacey arrangements of 'Il Tempo E Oro'. Finally, 'Crookshanks' delivers a strong, subby finale to a wicked body of work, fitting perfectly into the Subaltern discography.
Review: When we saw this one land in the store we could barely contain our excitement, seeing Imajika and Subaltern on the same project together, what more could we ask for? The project holds five beefy originals, kicking off with the title track 'Stagger', a system ready march, driven by high energy percussive lines and pulsating subs. This is then followed by 'Unti Pundi', which deploys more spacey goodness and vibrant bass tones before 'Inside The Sycamore Root' unleashes a much more swampy style of composition, complete with growling synthesizers and aquatic percussion. We then dive into the super wonky LFO designs and creepy atmospheric feelings of 'Stoker' before finishing up on 'Walking Through The Elephant's Foot', an eerie, post-dubwise delight. Amazing work!
Review: Whenever we see that Subaltern are gearing up for a new release we find ourselves excited, but when we then learn that Oxossi was the next producer up, we were literally jumping for joy. This latest four track project is a masterpiece, showcasing the experimental side of dubstep in all its shining glory, kicking off with the alien-like compositional structures of the title track 'Sama'. Next, 'Saut Dans Le Vide' arrives with a swinging set of potent sub structures, alongside the glitchy textures of 'Undead'. Finally, 'Rejoice' unleashes a gnarly array of gloomy atmospheric pressure, rounding this one off in style.
Review: As we move towards the end of 2019, we can definitely see that it has been a top notch year for dubstep as a whole, primarily thanks to labels such as Subaltern really upping their levels all year round. This latest selection from Helktram is an excellent example of that, kicking off with the moody moog bass action of 'Recoil' before landing on the title track 'Mineral', an original dripping in warbling bassy flavour. Next, 'Beware' arrives with some glitchy synth manoeuvres before we round off proceedings with the angelic choirs and eerie harmonies of 'Air'.
Review: The dubstep scene is looking as healthy as it has ever been as we draw towards the end of 2019, with high end releases such as this one from Subaltern dropping every week. They invite Ill K into the blend, who supplies us with four original heaters, kicking off the project with the breakbeat-steppers hybrid sounds within 'Warp 6'. This is then chased up quicktime by the big room drum smashes and colourful percussive influence of 'Mirage' before Chad Dubz touches down on collaboration duty across the dungeon-fueled sound design of 'Ninja Technique. Finally, 'Walking Home' sees Koobas enter the project as we are driven down a nostalgic, hardcore avenue.
Review: CITY1 has been catching some well deserved praise of late, as his forward thinking dubstep production style sees him continue to grow in both popularity and production skills. This latest project comes to us courtesy of Subaltern, kicking off with a storming collaboration alongside the legendary, poetic vocal prowess of Rider Shafique on the title track 'Speak Out'. Following this we leap into the electrifying wonks of 'Koroga' and the colourful glitchy percussion of 'Zee', before rounding up the EP with a dive into 'The Deepest', an eerie roller to wrap everything up in sinister fashion.
Review: Now, following on from their previous link up on the illustrious White Peach imprint, we are thrilled to see a secondary collaboration project between Bristol's own Glume & Phossa, two of the most creative faces in the dubstep scene at this moment in time. We kick off with the stunning chime sweeps skippy kicks of the title track 'IMHK', before diving into Glume's solo creation 'Shriek', which packs some serious dungeon weight. Phossa then continues on the spooky vibe with his original 'Deathly Stare', before the pair combine their powers for a second time across the incredible melodic structures and arpeggiated melodies of 'Luko', rounding off another incredible body of work from the pair.
Review: It's difficult to not look forward to seeing new music drop via the Subaltern platform, having such a potent back catalogue tends to have that effect after all. We here see them introduce the sounds of MRSHL to proceedings, who teams up with Grim Sickers for a very energetic grimey title track which goes by the name of 'The Crown'. This one comes complete with an instrumental version also which is titled '0-0-7', before we dive into the rest of the instrumental content on the EP. We hear the aquatic tones and in your face substructures of 'Death Dealer, the extremely moving harmonies of 'Endless Mirrors', also known as 'Harp Riddim', before finishing up on the trapstyle drum work of 'Concussion'.
Review: It's time to saddle up and strap in as we dive head first into the second edition of Subaltern's heavyweight 'Kaleidoscope' series, championing new school dubstep creations with a real dash of finesse. We begin with the untouchable unpredictability of Dalek One, who unleashes a horde of glitchy tripletted bass stabs, expanding into epic horn-like leads as the track progresses. This leads perfectly into Clearlight's more minimalistic 'Stuck Inside' composition, focussing on hypnotic atmospherics and spooky vocals, before Phossa rolls through with the haunted arrangements of 'Vacant'. Finally, Bisweed rounds this one up in good fashion as the rolling 808's and jittery percussive layers of 'Profround' emerge.
Review: Within the dubstep scene, Taiko has earned his rank as one of the modern front runners of the genre, consistently delivering innovative creations and enthralling compositions wherever he lays his hand. This EP via the guys at Subaltern sees four stunning tracks put forward, starting with the super swingy shuffling drums of 'Wings'. Following this we step into darker territory as 'Trenches' runs wild with sharp drumwork, urgent string themes and catchy synth lines in a call and respond fashion. It then gets even darker as 'The Raid' brings out more chilling string motifs before we finish up with the horn-like lead patterns of 'Mana Pool'.
Review: Two titans from two sides of the bass Atlantic team up for a seriously sticky situation: "Gorilla Glue". Hairy, scary and endangered, this will have you beating your chest for years to come. The other three tracks are equally beastly. "World 8" is a classic dubwise affair, all stripped back and spooky, "Close Chatter" is real hurricane of ice, skanking and stepping with dramatic mischief while "Crypt" wakes up the dead with its creepy organ textures and abyssal subcraft. This is prime mate.
Review: With previous on Tuba, Surfase and Gourmet, it was only a matter of time before Cali collective Subtle Minds dented the discog of do-no-wrong imprint Subaltern. Marking the occasion with four tracks, it's every bit the consummate label debut. "Ambitions" soothes with a purple tint, all west coast and softly sleazy. "Gelato" brings even more sweetness with pining melodic poignancy and a lush sense of sadness, "Standard Strain" eases back on some dewy eyed harp plucks subtle barbed bass grunts on the fills while "Sun Valley" brings things to a close with touching humanised textures, and deliciously trippy percussion. Ambitious and accomplished.
Review: Everyone loves swampy dubstep, and who better to supply us with our fix than Estonia's own: Bisweed. In collaboration with Subaltern Records, he has put together a very potent two tracker, focussing on the deepest and darkest ideas within the dubstep bracket. On the A-side we hear the unpredictable percussive rolls and downright dirty bass patterns of 'Shelter'. The first of the two B-side tracks are entitled 'Swamp' and 'Dolmen'. These two are real rollers complete with amphibian-like percussion, chilling synths and perfectly timed chord stabs. The EP is then rounded up with the digital only download of 'Chase' which is aptly named for its incredibly high energy journey through amazonian percussion. Great stuff!
Review: Lately we've witnessed well-respected dubstep imprints announce their spin-off release series. Subaltern Records is amongst those few, launching its first various artist compilation on the 20th of October 2017. Entitled as "Kaleidoscope" you can expect music from respectively Helktram, D-Operation Drop, ILL_K, Shu and Zygos on Volume 1. Interestingly quite a few new signees are being introduced to Subaltern via this four track EP, which makes us even more excited for the series' future. Briefly, this compilation of different styles and artists, attentively picked by label owner Mentha, is blending all together smoothly like a Kaleidoscope.