Review: Symbols Recordings regular Jason Burns returns for his third outing on Kastle's label, perhaps one of the most prolific new imprints in the world of forward thinking bass music this year. Here he teams up with Brent Still Life for five tracks of futuristic R&B action; first up Burns goes solo with "Lightning", a piece of 2-step infused house with a killer vocal hook, then its Brent Still Life's turn with "I Could Blame You", a cool piece of icy R&B sampling bass smeared with sumptuous square waves. Next the pair team up for "Right Here" and "Ain't Nobody Do It", two tracks that combine the same pop sensibility with a ghettotech vibe.
Review: North Carolina duo Clicks & Whistles return on Kastle's Symbols Recordings, trading in the southern hip-hop style of previous releases for high energy footwork. "2 Much Higher" combines chopped up chords, synth flutes and tumbling snares in a 150BPM package with a murky and mangled vocal, while "Hightower" repeats the formula with a more lush set of synth tools and jazzy melody. "Waiting 4" meanwhile sounds like a lost cut from Machinedrum's Room(s), combining frenetic percussion and a warm sidechained backdrop as contrast to the sirens going off in the background. Finally, Canadian producer XI turns in a moody 2-step tinged house remix of "2 Much Higher", inverting the bright tones of the original into something more greyscale.
Review: The latest signing to Kastle's Symbols Recordings is a man called Lion. Imagine being called Lion! With that name and these production skills, people are likely to lie down and want to get freaky with Mr Lion. "Robot Text" is a seductive slice of 90s RnB-referencing future bass - all dreamy pads, waywardly pitched vocals and intricate tropical beats. "You Sound Like You're Close To Home" follows a similar formula but with a harsher synth style, "American Dreams" is deep and sensual house and finally "Lodosa" ends things on a perky, bright high with those chipmunk RnB vocals set against driving percussion and a chirpy keyboard melody.
Review: Label boss Kastle states that for his imprint, Symbols Recordings, 'the feeling is the genre'. However he does let is slip that it is at least in the sphere of 'forward-thinking electronic music'. With recent releases from either side of the Atlantic, it is now the turn of San Francisco producer Grenier to provide some bass-inflected ammunition. "Cursive" is the kind of sinister post-dubstep that you wouldn't want to meet down a dark alley, while "Gutta' is all broken up beats and a wayward 303. Title track "Intentions" is slammin' satanic garage and "Silver Surfer" features some pretty cinematic synth work. Things end on an introspective note, with the chopped-up brittle beauty of the downtempo "I Miss The Hiss".
Review: Utilising drum & bass siren Riya's silken vocals on a bass release might be this year's best idea yet. Weaving in and out of that house and dubstep and garage and footwork sound we're all so keen on right now, technical beats and lush atmospherics keep harsh synth stabs in check in the title track, while "Absense" and "Ruff" shake off their Mr Whippy soft sweetness and launch into an icy world of techy house and cool sampling perfect for late night dancefloors filled with long-haired girls and pastel strobes. For extra pop-quiz cool points, Kiri's remix of "Mindgames" was recently played in a Disclosure mix for Rinse FM. You're in with the Eton Messy crowd now, guys.
Review: The latest release on cult US label Symbols Recordings is a one-off treat by the label boss himself, Kastle. Literally bursting with musical ideas, "Red Light" often appears as a mash-up of different tunes, but nope, the gender-bending pitched RnB vocals, glam stomp beat, garage breaks, retro-house organs and trancey synth pads all belong to the one, gleamingly epic beast.
Review: The long-awaited solo LP from US-based soulful bass music producer Kastle has been the talk of music blogs around the world for months. Now its finally made it to a full release , there's something of a feeling of satisfaction that can be heard in each track. Whether that's projected by the listener or not might be hard to prove, but there's a definite positive energy that flows through everything Kastle produces. From the garage beats of "Been A While" and "Red Light" to the irresistibly hip house groove of "Insatiable" and trap-hop crush of "Death From Above", it's clear that versatility is what this album is all about. Clean, crisp production matched to soulful, blissed-out dance music that's unashamedly fashionable yet different enough to be taken seriously. An album of 2013 no doubt.
Review: The Symbol Recordings head honcho, Kastle, continues his string of one-off treats with this newie featuring JMSN (aka Christian Berishaj). It's a catchy, low-slung leftfield RnB track boasting smooth Timberlake-esque vocals from the rising singer/producer/fashion designer that's almost guaranteed to increase your chances in getting jiggy with da ladieez (almost).
Review: We here see the fusion of two of the coolest newschool funky producers currently working in and around the UK scene as Leda Stray and High Class Filter team up for three tracks of pure fire, courtesy of Symbols Recordings. The first track is a dark percussive roller, featuring an array of war-like snare drives and a fantastic vocal addition from Nane. Following this, 'Bengal' lands with immediate impact, packed to the brim with tribal percussion and intense kick-snare combos. Finally, we strip back the extreme rhythmic movements slightly and add a more eerie design to the mix with 'Sphinx' arriving to top of another fantastic release for everyone involved.