Review: In a sense, Denmark feels like a perfect home for dark, spectral bass music. It somehow reflects the weather, the colors and the mood quite well; RDG knows this, and has found the perfect formula to deliver his own strain of dubstep music, an echoey, foreboding affair that has much in common with the Mala tradition. In fact, "Solutions" successfully blurs the lines between dub and a strange new form of percussive industrial music, followed stealthily by the subtle shots of "Reverse Blank" alongside Gaze III. If you're solely into the beat side of things, there's also an instrumental of "Solutions" here, a frosty, shimmering skeleton of a tune that is just perfect for this time of the year.
Review: Bay Area bassmith Dom Mali makes his Tuba debut with a quadrant of sublime steppers. "Neo Dub" has a simple but deadly allure as its elastic sub is stretched into a pulsing groove that builds on every twist and turn. "Secrets" is the early bird soundtrack, all crisp, dewy and full of hope while the oceanic ripples of "Fisherman's Dub" sees us reeling out for a trout but catching a barracuda. Finally we lean back and chill with "Benzo", all flutes, tubular subs and lazy beats, it's an instant soul soother.
Review: Active since late 2010, its fair to say Tuba have put NYC district Brooklyn on the bass music map with their wealth of output, calling on an international cast of dubstep and bass-inflected talent. The label's latest draws a line from the East Coast to the West Coast, as New Yorker Blind Prophet and British Columbia's Self Evident pair up as Folding City. The four cuts here swerve between 130 and 160bpm, and suggest the duo had plenty of fun flinging stems back and forth with "Groundswell" particularly impressing. The snares and vibes come from jungle but the way it's all put together is more reminiscent of footwork. "Spacewalk" shows a deeper, more soulful side to Folding City and it's followed by a fine remix from New Yorker Doctor Jeep that veers off into DnB territory. A great EP!
Review: Longstanding UK deep dub representer Guy Chambers returns to Tuba with two well-oiled 140 rollers. Both cuts celebrate the vital role of percussion in their own unique way; "Evocation" sees hand drums militantly pockmarking the eerie breezes while "Monsoon" is plastered with rhythmic elements as a variety of percussion emphasises the drama of the string and woodwind. Soulful.
Review: America's Tuba label has booked its place in the running for number one bass label in The States thanks to a now impressive catalogue of dancefloor deviants and bass wizards. Subtle Mind returns to the West Coast with a thrilling remix series by some of the label's best and brightest. Within, you got RDG, EshOne, Cuttle and Mesck, but our pick of the lot comes from Karnage and Mark IV who rewire "Shokunin" into a deep, mystical half-step wanderer with a gorgeous melodic and cinematic kind of flair.
Review: Relative newcomer Sub Basics steps up to Tuba with a serious six-track report on the state of his creative health. The result? He's fighting fit and ready to demonstrate some discerning darkness with crystalline clarity. Highlights on this deep and deadly document include the precision positioned percussion on "Khora", the naked drum jungle homage "Shadow" and the breath-taking jazz pianos on "Sub Basics". Forward-thinking throughout, we're anticipating plenty more next level bass business from Sub Basics as he develops.
Review: Hailing from Vancouver on Canada's west coast, Daega are two brothers making international waves. Their latest missive, Under Pressure, should only further their reputation in the world of bass, with three tracks of doom laden dubstep with icy techno ("Under Pressure"), ghetto ("Spirit") and spacey soul ("Abyss") overtones.
Review: Brooklyn-based bass dealers Tuba blow their sub trumpet with a rich collection that spans their impressive history so far. Ranging from the meditative steps and jazz shimmers of Subreacher's "Future Target" to the techy breakbeats, sub-soaked steps and dreamy breakdown of D-Operation Drop's "Origami" via the ghostly, cavernous resonance of Below's self-title nightmare soundtrack, Tuba have curated a fine selection that represents their clear and confident contributions to the ever morphing and mutating dubstep sound. If you've not picked up on any of these yet, now is most certainly the time!
Review: Denmark's Ruben Dag Nielson pays homage to his sub-zero hinterland with this hefty five-track EP and covers every corner of the 140 bass dance in the process. "HMT" is a tightly woven roller, injected with techno-like tenacity while "A Safer Place" gives a cheeky nod to the ravers with subtle amens adding a dynamic edge to the well-textured groove. Elsewhere we get all meditative and deep with the pensive pulsating "Mountain Walk", we go back to 1992 with the stunning rushes of the breakbeat heavy "Jungle Terror" and we get tribal with the minimal tropical riddim and gritty bass of "Valley". Outstanding.
Review: Destination San Francisco as Tuba invite dubstep duo Subtle Mind to the fray for some forward-thinking bass science. Initiating with earnest, the title track is a unique fusion of tropical 4/4 and halfstep murkery laced with iced-out pads and eerie processes. Further on "Shokunin" takes a more traditional riddim route while lush, jazzed out chords wrap themselves around the snake-like percussion while "On Deck" takes us to slo-mo central with a wonderfully sludgy, cinema-level of emotive beat craft. Finally "Inner Self" explores the heritage of breakbeats and horns while "Sand Snake" provides a slinky finale with percussive aplomb.
Review: Matt Pulsar's dubstep project continues with aplomb as he makes his debut on US bass imprint Tuba. Four-track heavy, each journey explores the furthest reaches of the bass template, taking us to extraordinary places at the very fringes of the low end movement. The title track is the most traditional of the set; sultry half-tempo beats and gurgling bass wubs while "Future Target" takes this further with an even more spacious dynamic, jazzy chords and a really cool spoken word sample. "How You Feel" comes with an almost Detroitian tech feeling, seen on the likes of TRG releases while "Darka" is like a classic jungle record played a warp speed -10, all tripped out and head-bending. Give Subreachers a reach around today... your playlist deserves it.
Review: Tuba are enjoying their best year to date with some exceedingly forward-thinking releases right now. Italian collective D Operation Drop are the perfect example with these two deep, pensive compositions. "Origami" runs amok with wild percussion that jumps and jitters with jazz sensibility and soothing chords that, like the title suggests, fold into themselves shyly. "Genesis" is deeper again with tightly layered aquatic percussion elements, sorrowful pads and guttural bass groans. If you're looking to hypnotise your floor this summer, look no further.
Review: Originally released on Lovewave in 2010, "Future Samba" gets two contemporisations from both Prism himself and Mancunian artist Compa. The VIP adds more swing and fractures to the original's 4/4 while retaining all the jazzy mysticism of the horns. Compa's rub, meanwhile, takes things in a much spacier realm with pads so heavy and swooping they could align planets and trumpets so heavily processed you need to be in a coma to hear them. Welcome to the future.
Review: Dubstep really doesn't come deeper than this; "The Cell" is a minimal hum of reverberating low-end soul. Stark, trippy and instantly hypnotising, the bass purrs and groans under a series of spacious percussive hits that float gently in and out of the mix. "Below" continues this flavour but more of a palpitating twist on the kicks and soft, heavenly chords that linger gently in the background. Understated and rich in texture, Juss B has nailed this.
Review: Just in case some of you still think America is still all about the screaming 'bro' vibes when it comes to dubstep, the Brooklyn-based Tuba provide a lesson in how things are done on the US bass underground. The delightfully unpredictable Roommate gets gritty and sleazy on the title track, adding a little Bay Area bass technique to the mechanical groove. Noah D, meanwhile, adds more of a Detroit sensibility to his "Succes", creating a techno-like serenity to proceedings. Not a screaming 'bro' in sight. Get dirty!
Review: A split release from the Tuba imprint, with Britain's J Kenzo sharing the honours with San Francisco's The Spit Brothers. Having an exceptional year so far, with big releases like "Stomp", "Tropic Thunda" and "Ruckus" already under his belt, J Kenzo carries on the good form with the moody dub of "Nocturnal Feelings" - a starkly bare dubstep/UKF fusion with some evil stutter bass and urgent percussion hits keeping things nice and driving for the floor. The Spit Brothers' "Beg To Differ" comes in on a very similar vibe, with woozy textures and a halting, threadbare beat leaving plenty of space in the mix and giving it an enjoyably sinister slant. Two very deep and very cool tunes indeed.