Review: Now let's be real here. There aren't many people matching up with Deep Dark & Dangerous when it comes to dubstep release quality. This last 18 months has been a display of extreme dominance, with this latest five track project being yet another example of that. Featuring 10 steaming originals, from the likes of Oxossi, Sepia, Taiko Dalek One and more heavyweight names, they really aren't playing around. Highlights for this one have to include the horn-heavy LFO ramblings of Angelic Roots' 'Thunder Dub', alongside the subtle eastern twinges of 'Cobra Shake' from Khanum and the slapping percussion of REZ's 'Adidas'. Lovely stuff.
Review: Now this sure is a tasty link up as we welcome the top quality combination stylings of both Numa Crew and Riko Dan, two veterans in their respective scenes, delivering banger after banger for years. The track itself takes the name 'Babylon' and is a certified rave-ready roller, driven by Numa Crew's incredibly crisp instrumental triplet structure, dripping in sub heavy sauce and bouncy clap energy. This base provides the perfect platform for Riko to unleash his lethal patois flows, making this one a must have for any 140 DJ!
Review: UK duo In:Most deliver their debut album on Soulvent and it's a serious statement of intent. Opening and closing gently with piano strokes and charmed, emotional flurries of "Stay" and "Harbour"), the whole LP covers the full spectrum of drum & bass from classic vocal liquid ("Glimmer"), deep jazzy space-bound grooves ("Silver Lining") and grumpier, star-gazing dark funk ("Do You", "The Watchman") and cuts like "VR" that flip between three or four styles all in one, this is a highly accomplished debut album from a duo who are at the forefront of the new D&B generation. Ready for take-off?
Review: So at this point in time, it's hard to imagine Alix Perez making a stale tune, as he lands here on the wonderful 1985 music for another twisted collection of heaters. We kick this one off with a look at the spooky overtones and warbling synthesizer growls of 'Ravana', before the shivering LFO designs and glitchy melodic plucks of 'Lifeline' stutter into play. Next, 'Post-Mortem' arrives with more lethal reese bass action driving the stripped back drumwork forward in a blaze of system energy, before rounding off with the catchy arpeggiator flexes of 'Ends' alongside Headland. What a project this is!
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: Well, what a selection we have here as Strictly 140 drop one hell of a compilation project, featuring an array of dubstep heaters under the title of 'The Overseas'. Featuring nine absolute scorchers, this project sees the team showcase some of the hottest names in the 140 scene right now, including WZ, Dalek One, RDG, Gaze Ill, Pharama, Roklem, Sebalo and more. For us there are a couple of very clear standouts from this project, with Subtle Mind's stunning 'Subtle Mind' composition being one of them, alongside the twisted eastern string tones and pulsating subs of 'Nani' from Ourman!
Review: It looks like Locus Sound have done it again with this one as they invite the wonderful sounds of OME in for three tracks of colourful dubstep expression. Let us kick off with the beautiful arrangements of 'Canarios', which combines subtle percussive lines with sweeping overhead pad lines and short woodwind bursts to give us a smooth, soothing roller. Next, the title track 'Bermuda' is rolled out which switches up the vibe completely, driving forward with fat LFO warbles and distant shimmering melodies. Finally, 'Rollin' is unveiled, switching the organic percussion for metallic slaps and rounding us up in style'.
Review: Now with dubstep compilations, it's often the case that we will see projects stacked up with a couple of bangers and a bag of average creations, however this latest fifteen track body from the For The Heads gang consists of nothing but pure steppers flavour. The line up alone is immense, pulling together some of the biggest new school names in dubstep as a whole, including: WZ, Kali, Ome, Mistah, SBK, Mungk and more. If we had to pick a pair of favorites, it would have to include the delicious delays and marshy bass textures of 'Deep Meditation' from Teffa, alongside the glittering LFO's and scattered drum beats of 'Curren't from Sedan. Awesome stuff!
Review: It's time to dive into some delicious new breakbeat creations as Samurai Breaks land on Hardcore Energy for a very exciting four track selection, showcasing their breaksy brilliance. We kick off with the sounds of 'Putting In Werk', a smart roller, dripping in finesse and original breakbeat energy, followed by the more futuristic tripletted pulses of 'Rush'. Next, we move into the nostalgic realms of 'Bad Boy Beats', a super choppy, party ready rinse out, followed by 'Power Hour' as Private Caller gets involved on the perfect sign out track, laced with high energy drum manoeuvres and booming bass tones.
Review: For their fifth grime project, the 1Forty team really have gone all out, inviting some of the most popular names in the 140 scene to take part in this monstrous selection of bangers. We begin with Hamdi's 'Raw', a behemoth of a riddim, dripping with vibrant LFO energies and skippy drum structures, closely followed by the lethal steppers link up from 9TRANE and Logan entitled 'Evil Side'. We move back into instrumental madness next as ManGo delivers an old school squarewave explosion entitled 'XO', before YGG leap onto an incredibly energetic piece of production from 'JHuttz' on 'Royals' to round this one off in style.
Review: We are always filled with excitement when we see a new Foundation Audio drop hit the shelves, especially with so much good dubstep around at the moment. They get busy here with a tasty four track offering from Aki, who kicks us off with the spooky bass phases and warbling LFO structures of 'Fruit Punch', before the crunchy drum textures and eerie pads of 'Peripheral' wade into play. Next, 'Sofa Schwenger' applies some incredibly potent triplet action to proceedings with a booming sub-line before we round the EP out with stunning drum breaks and constantly evolving compositional structures of 'Schizoid'. Awesome stuff as per!
Review: Next up from the Dread or Dead team we take a peek at a fantastic compilation project as 'Dread Rising' pulls a wicked selection of producers together to showcase their evident skill sets. This project showcases the weird and wonderful, from the unorthodox radio sweeps of Qant's 'Puzzlism' to the awesome melodic expansions of 'Luminescence' from Hundo.Our stand outs for this one however have to be 1137's stunning harmonic exploration within 'Tactical' alongside the super choppy rhythms and warbling synth designs of Mental Medication's 'Toybox'. This is a project that we feel really encapsulates a full spectrum of 140BPM music.
Review: We are always excited to see the Foundation Audio team unveil a new project, with the A&R skills of Chad Dubz remaining at a constant high level. This latest project sees them unveil Mikrodot for an epic dubwise episode, kicking off with the minimalist bass twists and horn lines of 'Big Sound'. Following this, the marching percussion and potent sub-lines of 'Conquering Lion' push themselves forward, before the classic reggae-style chord syncopation and warbling LFO designs of 'Jamaica' emerge, dragging the EP in a different direction altogether. Finally, the haunted overtones and sub rattling basslines and of 'Monolith' rounds off a very impressive collection!
Review: We are always excited to see a new offering from Innamind Recordings, who here invite the futuristic production stylings of DE-TU inside for two tracks of pure steppers power. We begin with a look at the eerie nature of 'Stay Low', which applies a dark and demonic vocal line with spooky atmospheric pad layers and sharp drum switches with fantastic results. On the flip side we also take in 'Come To Play', an incredibly potent original roller, driven by warbling sub textures and a spacey vibe which runs throughout the composition, providing an excellent contrast between the two tracks.
ENiGMA Dubz & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Exosphere" - (4:37) 140 BPM
Leon Switch & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Rokyudan" - (5:41) 140 BPM
Wheelton & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Wormhole" - (4:46) 140 BPM
Truth & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Show Dem" - (3:56) 140 BPM
Brassic & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Footsoldier" - (3:47) 140 BPM
Pushloop & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Age Of Fear" - (3:12) 140 BPM
Khiva & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Flight Club" - (3:42) 140 BPM
Oudjat & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Dulce Amor" - (5:07) 140 BPM
Sectra & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Reciting The Grimoire" - (5:29) 140 BPM
Coltcuts & Abstrakt Sonance & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Morals" - (4:36) 140 BPM
Outsider & JLEON & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "The Devil In Disguise" - (4:46) 140 BPM
Review: Following on from last week's release of 'Deep', the Deep Dark & Dangerous crew continue their 'Trilogy' series with the second edition: 'Dark'. They have again assembled one heck of a line up for this one, welcoming in the sounds of Enigma Dubz, Leon Switch, Khiva and Pushloop just for starters. The project is a perfect encapsulation of the darker side of the DD&D discography, with a couple of immediate standouts being 'The Devil In Disguise', which sees JLEON and Outsider link up for an incredibly spooky harmonic thrill ride, alongside Brassic's 'Footsoldier', which deploys a regiment of lethal horn stabs to turn any rave into a ruckus!
Review: Now this is a link up we didn't expect to see, but by god are we happy to see it emerge. ALXZNDR links up with the wonderful Scrub A dub for a super hard hitting six track explosion, kicking off with the sweeping string melodies and choppy drum textures of the title track 'Golden Gate'. Next, 'Lei Shen' deploys an array of eastern woodwind melodies for a haunted vibe, alongside the heavy sub lines and twisted melodic switch ups of 'A100'. These are then followed by the sweeping scale plucks of 'Johari Bazaar' and the epic harmonic layers of 'M C W' before we round off the project with 'Red Raider', a sneaky, grimey roller, putting the finishing touches on an incredible body of work!
Review: Zoo Look follow up on their welcome return (the Similar Steps EP on Lost Palms) with this choice drop for Lazare Hoche, the Parisian bastion of all things deep and housey. Zoo Look has lost none of their charm as you can hear on the sultry and seductive "Sight Unseen", while "The Reason" sees them exploring dubby realms to enchanting effect. "Tranmission7" brings an intriguing broken beat flavour to the rhythm section, capturing a mood somewhere between techno, electro and dubstep and dipping it in honey for a sweet finish. Then Malin Genie steps up with a masterful remix of "Sight Unseen" that works some Detroitian flavours into the mix to great effect.
Review: Have Duploc dropped a poor release in the last eighteen months? We honestly can't name one as we dive into their latest offering from Ourman for their thirty-fifth official project. We kick off with the stunning drum designs and Asian inspired melodic structures of 'Sp00ns' which uses shuffling rhythms to bring us something incredibly vibrant. On the flip side, 'Bad Things' rumbles forth with a box of molten flavours with gnarly synth reeses bucking and weaving amidst murky subs and bubbling glitchy plucks above!
Review: It's safe to say that Crucial Recordings have been on a bit of a standout spree over the past few months, so when we saw that they had linked up with living dubstep legend: The Widdler, we could hardly contain our excitement. In traditional swampy style, we kick off this project with the murky LFO expressions and aquatic flute lines of the title track 'Venting', before diving head first into 'Out There', an unpredictable roller packed with gnarly horn drives and suspenseful tones amidst a low hanging forest of unusual percussion. Finally, Smilodon gets involved with the luscious soundscaping and incredible melodic structures of 'Magnetic'. Just wow!
Review: Now this is a truly interesting project as we see the well respected production crew: Hexagon Dubs get to work on rebuilding some of most classic original dubstep tunes there has ever been with this brand new 'DMZ Rebuilt' EP. Firstly, Grey.scale unleashes his production wizardry for a moody recreation of 'Mud', before Sheik unleashes the breakbeat bullets for his tidy take on Loefah's 'Ruffage'. Aranha then switches the vibe up immensely, unleashing some silky pad textures for his 'Demilitarized Bootleg' of the anthem 'Anti War Dub', before Rafe & Umpah get busy with their potent overhaul of Mala's 'Lean Forward' classic. It's a dangerous job to remix cult classics, but we feel the Hexagon Dubs team have done the originals proud!
Review: Within the dubstep scene, it's quite hard to not view Von D as anything other than a legend, boasting an incredible back catalogue of classics. He here lands on the fantastic Artikal Music imprint for three tracks of pulsating power, kicking off with the distorted kick shells and metallic percussive presses of the title track 'Obstacles'. Following this, we dive into the incredibly gnarly drum switch ups and sizzling sub textures of 'Goat', before finishing up our voyage on 'Whatevs', a twisted combination of distorted 808 slaps and writhing reesey tones. Awesome work!
Review: Following on from the latest Archive Edits release in 2019, Slam bounce back with this storming EP. The title track is a pile-driving, pounding affair that is built on visceral kicks and eerie chord loops. As its title suggests, "Primitive Shift" is a primal, tribal groove that rolls and builds against the backdrop of a spiralling acid line. "Container" sees the storied duo draw on early 90s influences to deliver a chilling, hardcore-themed banger, while rounding off the release "Zero Dip" is a powerful looped affair; populated by vocal snippets it comes to a crescendo against a series of intense builds and drops.
Review: We do always end up with a smile on our face when we see a new project from Dubtribu land in store, as we just know we won't be disappointed. This time around they invite the heavy hitting sounds of Takjacob inside for a monstrous three track exploration into 140 music, kicking off with the lethal melodic reese leads of the title track 'Say Nothing', kicking us off with a serious bang. Next, the electricity is turned up as 'Sounds Of Anarchy' is unveiled, packed full of fuzzy synthesizer pulses and plucked arpeggios, before we round up on the pulsating 808 slaps and glittering harmonic layers of 'System'. What a project this is!
Review: It's always exciting to see new music land from the Dirty Beats Music team, who here employ the vibrant stylings of B-Say across four tracks of potent steppers heat. We begin our exploration with the grizzly bass designs and constantly evolving landscape of the title track 'The Pact', before then moving into the wonky percussive expressions and unusual synthesis of 'Parlotear'. Next, Mungk joins the party as more percussive leads are deployed within 'Maleficium', which combines multiple rhythmic lines with subtle yet spooky chord expansions and low sub melodies, before Hitman steps up with huge warbling rethink of 'The Pact' to round off proceedings.
DMVU & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Dem Fi Kno" - (4:13) 140 BPM
Ternion Sound & Deep Dark & Dangeorus - "Funky Shit" - (4:34) 140 BPM
LOST & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "Hexagon" - (5:06) 140 BPM
DayZero & Deep Dark & Dangeorus - "Submarine" - (4:36) 140 BPM
Computerbeats & Deep Dark & Dangeorus - "Arc" - (3:39) 140 BPM
SubDocta & Deep Dark & Dangerous - "The Spirit" - (4:14) 140 BPM
Review: Part three is upon us as Deep Dark & Dangerous unveil the final piece of the puzzle in their latest release line with 'Dangerous', showcasing the most rawcus sounds on their roster. The line up for this one is sublime, with heavyweight names such as CITY1, Ternion Sound, Lost, Dank Frank, DayZero and SubDocta all being drafted in to showcase their unique skill sets. The project as a whole bleeds creativity and musical innovation, with particular points of interest coming in DMVU's incredibly swampy 'Dem Fi Kno' original, which unleashes a wash of pungent synthesizer sweeps and impactful percussive inputs, alongside the unpredictable electronic brilliance of 'Arc' from Computerbeats. This compilation series has been truly magnificent to take in and is a real testament to the DD&D commitment to pushing dubstep forward.
Review: To celebrate an incredible run of releases and festival stage takeovers, CruCast have collated some of their most popular releases over the last few years into one handy compilation, taking the name 'Cru100'. Now over the past few years we have seen CruCast lay down a pretty dominant release schedule, which shows in this tracklisting as we reminisce with classics from the likes of Skepsis, Darkzy, Distinkt and Tsuki, with more recent bangers such as Bru-C and Simula's 'You & I' making it onto the listing also. If you are looking for certified dancefloor ammo, look no further!
Review: It has been a seriously long while since we saw dubstep in such a strong position, with an incredible selection of newcomers making their way to the forefront and a number of the old guard continuing to up the levels. This latest single drop from the team at Sentry sees three powerhouses in Abstrakt Sonance, Substance and Pushloop come together for a grimey roller on an official 'Smoking Blunts' remix. Pushloop gives this one a seriously gritty edge, using stunning horn stabs and warbling metallic bass stabs in a perfect call and response motion. This one will most certainly be lighting up dances up and down the country.
Review: Are there many better pleasures in the dubstep world than seeing a new Crucial Recordings drop? When we then see that Sleeper and Youngsta are back in collaboration, it becomes really hard to contain our excitement. We kick this one off with the jittery synthesizer pulls and spacious drum designs of 'Systematic Error', one hell of a title track and a perfect way to set the tone. Next up, the weighty sub smashes and eerie melodic moogs of 'Hello', followed closely the stunning harmonic structures and gnarly synthesizer grooves of 'Iridescence', which when coupled with subtle percussive rhythmic action provides us with the perfect outro. Lovely!
Review: Hang on, Hebbe, Melle, MR.K and ENiGMA Dubz all on one track together, no your ears do not deceive you, that is indeed the incredible new offering that Duploc have put on the table during these troubling times. Being one of the most versatile producers in the land, we often see ENiGMA floating around UKG and bass these days, but to see him back in his home-realm of deep dubstep is always a pleasure. He gets busy here with a disgusting rethink of 'Wayside', rebuilding the original elements from Hebbe, Melle and MR.K into a scrumptious chomper, packed full of spooky pads and grizzly warbling synthesizer fun.
Review: With the years Strut has spent cataloging modern times music with the countless amount of compilations and reissues, curated or otherwise, the label now dips into something from the current day, and nevermore have we needed the positivity of sun-drenched polyrhythms! Add bright and vibrant future electronic percussion intertwined with traditional afro-folk, chant and spoken word, ONIPA's debut LP breathes new life and brings a carnival atmosphere to the revival we're all looking forward to this spring.
Review: American producer Steve Moore is widely recognized as one half of ZOMBI, his numerous thriller movie soundtrack works, as well has his clubbier output on Ron Morelli's L.I.E.S. imprint. He's back on Cologne institution Kompakt with 'Frame Dragging EP, 10 years since his last appearance on Speicher 67. Some truly soulful and emotive techno journeys featured, as heard on the epic title track or "Gamma Quadrant" which tread a similar territory to label mate John Tejada - and will surely lead to some life affirming moments on the dancefloor. Finally, the contemplative off-kilter and ethereal feelings of "Proto" moves into much more hypnotic territory.
Review: Now what a selection we have here from L Nix & Outsider, two heavyweight faces in the dubstep community who have linked up here to provide us with an absolute madness, courtesy of Iron Shirt Recordings, who just so happen to be smashing it themselves. We kick off with a look at L Nix rolling out solo on the gnarly LFO flexes of 'Gravity Distortion', before the pair leap into four potent collaborations, with the lethal reese bass structures of 'Extinction' and the spacious arrangements of 'Seam Splitter' being the two stand outs tracks. As well as this 'The Fallen' faces a hefty makeover from Internal Frequency who rejigs the track into a bubbling ball of spacey goodness.
Review: As this month's special guests on the Juno Download podcast, it's only right we say a few words about the infamous Project Allout, who in their tenth year of activity are still going as strong as ever. This latest collection of dancefloor dynamite from DJ Airmax is a perfect example of their vibe, kicking off with the skippy 2-step rhythms of 'Bass Blaster' and post-bassline synth licks of 'Ergh Riddim'. Next, the vibe takes a moody twist as 'EsDoubleVeez' unleashes a wave of low warbling bass designs, alongside a super catchy vocal, before the haunted yet niche flavours of 'My Bae' and jumpy structures of 'Pop Off' round off the project with a dash of dancefloor finesse.
Review: Next up from the ever ready Duploc imprint, we jump into a heavyweight solo remix release as we see Ourman get busy with a potent relick of Juss B's impeccable 'Sandman' original. As far as remixes go, this one is truly exceptional, refitting the track with an entirely new compositional structure, We begin with spooky overtones and twisted atmospheric chord expressions, leading into a constantly evolving soundscape of metallic percussive rolls and gnarly sub lines, followed by demonic vocal chants and more. It's special to say the least!
Review: Yan Cook follows his Somatic album on Cooked with this raw, banging release. Inspired by the gated rhythms of Luke Slater's X-Tront Series, the title track's visceral percussion and distorted kicks provide a menacing soundtrack. "Abstract" is less frenetic, and sees Cook deploy pitched down vocal snippets over a steely, pulsating rhythm and concrete-weight drums. "Tidal Disruption" resounds to spaced out filters and a pulsating acid rhythm that's not dissimilar to the kind of tough 303 tracks that Synewave used to specialise in. "Noiser" meanwhile, see him change tact again, with a textured, atmospheric piece that has a hypnotic, Mike Parker-style groove at its heart.
Perc - "Look What Your Love Has Done To Me" (I Hate Models Primitive remix) - (8:28) 142 BPM
Review: The eighth series in Perc Trax's remix series sees some of techno's biggest names rework the label's back catalogue. It opens with Amelie Lens delivering a thumping, big-room take on Perc's own "Look What Your Love Has Done To Me". DJ Boss goes down a linear but visceral route for his Schranz take on RVDE's "90s Hammer", while Ghost In The Machine turns Perc & Truss' "Leather & Lace" into a juggernaut banger, led by screeching riffs, looped vocal samples and a pounding kick. For a more streamlined take on peak-time techno, take a listen to Perc's own VIP take on "Look What Your Love Has Done To Me" ,while for those lovers of layered, noisy bangers, look no further than Ansome's remix of Manni Dee's "London Isn't England".
Review: The latest drop on Constant Sound's electro branch, Infiltrate, comes from wild-card Bristolian chameleon Borai. When he's not dropping tuff, jungle-hewed rave wreckers for Hotline and Higher Level he's collaborating with October on refined house bumpers or dread-filled noise excursions in Spiritflesh. As if that wasn't enough, here he is turning his hand to genuinely fresh twists on the electro formula - a breath of fresh air in a crowded marketplace. "Flutta" keeps things snappy and decidedly pacey, but the overall mood is really quite light, while on "Rashaba" things get much darker, to an almost theatrical degree. Some of that breakbeat ruffness sneaks in on "Runnin" and then a little garage swing offsets the dubbed out showers of melody and cheeky rave stabs on EP closer "Narroways". Stunning stuff.
Review: When it comes to long-form dubstep projects, it is often easy to get bogged down, with a lot of producers wanting to write the same track over and over again 12 times. Off-Switch Audio however have provided us with a very special project indeed as they welcome Nuboid's outstanding 'Nomad' LP. From the intense soundscapes of 'Authority', and sweeping eastern flute melodies of 'Shuji', to the grimey reese lines of 'Relic', this project showcases an incredible level of versatility from start to finish. Our highlights from this one have to include the pleasing reversed-string melodies and smooth drum work of 'Shizen', alongside the plucky arpeggios and unpredictable rhythmic switch ups of 'Flash'. We would highly recommend listening through this one on long play!