Review: A shimmy of pitched up, distorted vocal introduces us to "Gist", the first of two track from 501 on the Subway Holland label before we are plunged head first into a big barrel of wobbly basslines, grating synths and jittering mid-range. Aggression meets melody here, which will have followers of the Skrillex school of sound baying for more. "Borderline" is an unashamed bassline monster with juddering, tractor bass and thunderous drums keeping things in line. Eerie midway breakdown with a goulish voiceover adds further menace to Gist's work.
Review: Dutch dubsters Subway have been on a major recruiting drive, building their bass army to a size that will rival a small country by 2014. Here they present four new troops, each of them armed with a devastating battle weapon. "On My Own" is a screaming scud, laced with just a smidgeon of eastern charm. "Zero X", meanwhile, is a militant march busting techno tasers. "Mercy Killing" has the menace of a million drones, hovering just inches above you, creeping on your every move. "Duplicate" completes the set with pure sub low nuclear fusion. Game over.
Review: Do not panic - Radiohead's "Creep" did not get harmed in the making of this deviously dark EP. In fact Brownz and Requake have proof that no Radiohead album was within a 10 mile vicinity of their mysterious Belgian beat lair. Anyway, who needs mournful rock music when you're pressing all of dubstep's best moody buttons? Three cuts are on offer here; the trio's sparse, stuttering original headlines the set with sharp production prowess while Brownz's own "They Don't Sleep" acts as a fine alternative for earlier, mood-setting slots or deeper mixes. Requake ensures the final chapter in this sonic saga is littered with interesting rhythms and intricate bass layers aplenty thanks to his remix of "They Don't Sleep".
Review: Delving deep into the synthy, hard-hitting 140bpm genre straight away like Skream on speed, Taz Buckfaster is certainly not one for taking things slowly. Getting straight to second base in a matter of minutes, the Glaswegian riot starter whips out the pelting drums and gun shot delivery, leading faster, faster and more frantically into the drop. Get the bullet-proof vest out, cos these beats are hard! Slowing down the aggression just a fraction with twisted, gut-wrencher "Headlock", Buckfaster takes things on a more jingling, jangling tip, with swirling atmospherics and a grouchy b-line belying the intended message of the tune. Rip-roaring stuff here....
Review: One of Germany's most respected dubstep producers, Bukez celebrates 10 years of honing his skills - often with humour and always with heaviness - with his debut album. Known for spanning the range from the deepest, shadowiest of cuts and the silliest of balls-out drops, Bukez lays it on the line right here in style. We slouch to the skank-packed summer jam "Shaka Taak", we gyrate uncontrollably to the timpani teases of "Eerie Voices" we enjoy sweet dub dreams in a ghost town on "Illuminated Droplets" and we're hurling our shoes out of the window by the time "Neonzombieattack" cuts through the rig. A lot of time has been spent on this body of work and you can really tell.
Review: Also known as Germany's Next Top Wobble, Bukez Finezt has taken things next level with "Under Control". Hyped across the board (from deep heads to tear-out boys) as one of the key releases of 2014 so far, this sub-saturated swagger-jam has an ability to sing to all corners of the ever-fractured dubstep floor. Want to go deeper again? Head for "You Don't Belong Here". Wonkier than a wooden legged pirate with gout, it's peppered with spooked SFX and a bass tone so ominous it could raise the Devil himself, Bukez clearly has a dark, dark mind! Finally we hit "Pace Yourself". A percussive hype track with a very cheeky horn sample, all manner of madness has been coded into the vast space between the elements. Minimalist chaos anyone?
Review: The Greek economy may have had a kicking but its dubstep scene is still thriving in a major way. Represented by both Camelorg and UZZI, they've developed quite the reputation on the international circuit over the years and here they collide for a feisty sub-slaying five-pack. The results are deeper than you'd expect with cuts like the title track and "Doghouse" both rolling with a slimy, stank dungeon vibe. Looking for some funk in your halfstep and wobbles? Head for "Doomsday". Looking for some audio napalm? Head for "Sonic Boom".
Review: Palatial space galore as Aussie dubber Droid Sector gets whacked out on Holland's finest. "Catharsis" marches forth under a cloud of suspicious pads and classic reverbed synth action, making it a great intro or green light for sudden mood switcher in your set. Alarmingly, the B-Side title "Sarcophagus" references a funeral receptacle for a corpse! Luckily it lives up to its killer moniker thanks to a distorted vocal sample and the menacing bass murmurs. But if you ask us, sarcophagus should mean sarcastic dinosaur. We digress... This is a worthy check-out for all steppers.
Review: After that recent killer EP for Vision Collective, Hebbe lands on his native Subway imprint with four ice-cold dubstep licks for the corner dwellers. In fact, this is some pure rewind gear too, if we want to get all technical! "Dubmedika" literally stutters its bouncing bass bumps across glitchy percussion swings, while "Flute Song" unleashes a wavy haze of smoke in the air not too dissimilar to the sort found in Dutch jungles. Our man then teams up with Samba on "Subway", a harder, more imposing piece of steppers, leaving "Shanty Town" to provide the 'outernational' vibes thanks to a more swinging, more off-kilter set of percussion jingles. LUSH.
Review: Released late summer 2012, "You Turn Me" became a runaway rewind prize piece for most of last year. Ever the switch flipper, Jamie Laxx has unleashed a VIP that serves as a dramatic game of two halves. The first half is an enriched echo of the original, with all the quirky piano stabs and jaunty flare intact. The second half sees him diving deep into a cesspit of metallic bass. Angular, yet swampy, it's yet another prize piece from the Oxford producer. Turn it up.
Review: Longstanding Subway lurker Lifecycle gets his frown on for this unique track-trio: "Fronsfunk" is a wonked-out scratcher of the tune that lollops and scrapes with its gutter-chomping bass. "Pussy Mobil" takes everything you know about dubstep and bass music and twists it inside out with a strong helping of country redneck feels while "A Long Time" brings us back to the subverted funk Lifecycle has made his signature. Guaranteed to turn your frown upside down.
Review: Budapest based artist Matt U unveils a glorious three track venture on the Subway label. Expect smacking drum kicks and moody, murky, bass in title track "Watchin U", which bears passing resemblance to Instra:mental's track "Voyeur", with its creepy message, screeching electrified synths and insidious nature. Next up, "Down With You" switches things up for a vocal-led journey into blissed out electronica with its clipped, ticking beats and electro / funk synth washes. Finishing things up with "Magma", it's back to the explosive dubstep temperament as we round off the EP. Big.
Review: Watch out as Noah D's big anthem gets unleashed on Dutch label Subway. Having made something of a household name for himself in the dubstep fraternity in recent years, the man otherwise known as Noah Dickinson puts on his straightest face for "Seeeriousss VIP" and gets down to business. A Jamaican accented, dread style, distorted, super slowed down vocal sample sweeps across a purple wow style synth haze that would make Joker and Gemmy quiver a little, whispering "this is serious music…serioussss" over the beats. Lurching, nocturnal breaks predominate with a ganja hazed half step rhythms and chirping SFX making this a sure fire winner for the synth hungry dubstep brigade.
Review: Benny Page turns up on Dutch label Subway with two incendiary cuts. "Original Killa" finally sees the release fans have been craving, a long lost classic hammered by Youngsta and N Type back in the day. It still stands up now, dripping with low end menace and dubby atmospherics! Accompanying track "Take You Back" features a pitched down vocal line intoning "I'll take you back to the deep dark jungle", which holds its line as smacking drum hits and arppegiated rave synths tumble on top. Tip!