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: It's been seven years since Wehbba's last album, Square Two, and in the intervening period, he has forged a strong link with Drumcode through a series of killer dance floor EPs. Straight Lines builds on that work: collaborating with other respected artists like David Caretta and Thomas Gandey, it sees him consolidate his reputation as an underground producer of the highest calibre. The eerie ambience of "Prelude: Goya" shows that Wehbba is a diverse producer, the rolling tech-house of "Dove Rush" prove that he's not afraid to experiment, while dance floor bombs like "Hyper Real Decadence", "Deluge" and "Basic Pleasure" all show that when it comes to visceral big-room techno, he has few peers.
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: 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: All matter of Deadboy dubs here from Al Wooton, turning in four new echos for the everfresh Trule. Presenting the label's first 2020 release, housey chords wander in pastures of flowing dub in "Operator" with deeper minimalisms and pitfalls that flirt with the abyss in "Teresa". Straight up two-step madness in "Levi" with minimal as f*ck drums leading the way in "Franz".
Review: Well, it was only a matter of time before this one came together as Earthnut's recent run of form continues with a long awaited debut Southpoint EP. Having released some of the most popular UKG tracks of the past few years, the STPT team invite the creativity of this fantastic production duo to run wild across three scorchers, beginning with the glitchy arpeggios and hard hitting horn stabs of 'Sea Anomaly'. Next, we move into the alien-like chord shifts and digital atmospheric designs of 'Estrella Breath', before rounding up our journey through this one with the aquatic melodies and sweeping LFO textures of 'Maybe So Really'. Incredible stuff!
Review: Like many of the artists that grew up and were nurtured by the Smallville label, Christopher Rau's music owes a debt to deep US house and techno. On The Keys, his first release on the label for a number of years, those influences loom large, but are intertwined with other sources. "Who Am I" sees Lone-style psychedelia fused with lithe break beats, while on the title track, Rau strips back his approach for a lean dance floor track. However, he returns to deeper territory with the woozy synths and pulsating bass of "Slu Terms", while "Beamer" ends the release with a swinging, summery groove and dreamy chimes.
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: 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: Following on from last week's bumper release, CruCast continue their high intensity start to 2020 with another New Blood compilation, showcasing the freshest new talent within the ever expanding bass scene. They have amassed quite the collection as they welcome the likes of Sisko, Cooky, Event Horizon, Tension and Digital Koala just to name a few. For us, this project holds a couple of immediate stand out projects however, with Namena's 'Jack In The Box' providing us with a sack of rawcus dancefloor energy within its shimmering synthesizer slaps, alongside the chomping drum smacks and unpredictable synthesizer explosions of Wheeto's 'Skull Punch'. Excellent work!
Review: Constant Sound's electro arm, Infiltrate, calls upon the considerable talents and technical heft of London Modular Alliance for a bruising EP of body-popping exploration strapped to a tough n' funky beatdown. "Crack Fox" is as nervy and nimble as the title might suggest, while "Regular Customer" takes things in a hyper-detailed direction compatible with the kind of advanced machine funk you expect from Silicon Scally. "Blinky" follows suit with another artfully woven web of twitchy synth hooks and deftly sequenced drums, and then "Other Worlds" switches things up with some seriously hefty bass pressure pivoting around a dubstep attitude towards space and moodiness.
Review: 9719 is the work of an inspired hook-up: at one end of the world there's Wata Igarashi, who has released on Bunker NY and Time 2 Express, while at the opposite end, there's Voiski with a catalogue that includes work for L.I.E.S. and Dolly. The fruits of their collaboration is just as far-flung; it moves from the dreamy, bubbling groove of "Pronom" into "Pomme", a pulsating slice of peak-time hypno-techno track that would not sound out of place on a Mike Parker EP. " Regex" is also an uptempo affair, but here they use tranced out synth riffs to accompany the pacy rhythm. "Riff" is another irresistible piece, bolstered by a throbbing acidic groove.
Review: With an already impeccable catalogue of top quality releases, Sector 7 sees the return of the legendary Kahn & Neek combo for four new scorchers. We kick off with the title track 'In The Mansions Of Bliss', a highly harmonic steppy roller, fueled with twisted melodic grooves and pleasing sound design throughout. This is chased up by the slower tempos of 'Random Lab', a more dungeon-ready design again filled with chilling atmospheric layouts. Next up, the glitchy synth stutters and subtle eski-influences of 'Shimmer', before we finish up on 'Venus', a stunning piece of soundscaping, incorporating angelic vocal lines, emotive string lines and luscious pad textures. Very cool indeed!
Review: Sneaker Social Club's run has been pretty magnificent over the year, with a near flawless run of releases in that time. They here welcome the break-heavy production vibes of Hooverian Blur for three tracks of rhythmic bliss, kicking off with the stuttered bleeps and steadily evolving drum chops of 'Old Gold'. Next up, we dive into the bouncy oldschool jives and distant reese work of 'Eyes Closed', before finally finishing up the EP with a look at 'Laluviah'. This one sits in between the two previous tracks, combining moogy arpeggios and organic drum sounds for a perfect sign out.
Review: Following a release on Affekt at the start of this year, Hollden delivers this heads-down release for Spanish imprint Rhod. "Below Deck" resounds to tough, dense drums and a psychedelic riff running through it, while on "Calamidade", Hollden opts for a more visceral approach, as acrid electronic textures unravel over a rough, rolling rhythm. "Continental" sees the Portuguese producer explore a more minimal approach, with a steely, stripped back rhythm underpinning a mysterious synth pattern and chattering percussion. It's only a temporary divergence from his signature sound however, and he closes out this release with the rolling, tribal techno of "Letter Boy".
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: Gottwood residents Krywald & Farrer have been slipping out some choice club wares for a fair few years now, not to mention running the Persies label among many others. But now they make their first appearance for the mighty, prolific Constant Sound. "Landing On Mars" blows open the creativity of these two fast-rising producers in spectacular style, fusing taut drum machine propulsion with loose percussion and cosmically charged synths. "Olympus" is a fair contrast with its gnarly acid line and peppy tempo, while "Pulverise" makes use of a breakbeat to weave something spooky and sinuous in equal measure. "Bump Strasse" finishes things off with some tasteful, dusty deep house for the late morning crew.
I Hate Models - "Spreading Plague" (Perc remix) - (5:59) 135 BPM
RVDE - "90s Hammer" (Perc remix) - (6:00) 135 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: 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.
Review: As we've enjoyed watching Livity Sound mint an array of new artists to its label like Forest Drive West, Laurel Halo and Leif, it's also been fresh names like Toma Kami, Two Shell, and now Kouslin, that are keeping Livity's undercurrent in motion. Given a full debut, Kouslin emerges from the 2010s with 2020 Vision, supplying Livity Sound with four shaded bassline dubs, diving into various forms of sub-aqueous melody, tribal rhythms and far-flung, trippy percussion. Find touches of rave, trance and bleep culture in "Ice" with more references to dubstep and streetwise Bristol spook in the EP's lead track and "The Beast Of Bolsover". Clear.
Review: It's clearly good vibes only over at PointBlank who here unleash an incredibly uplifting selection of garage flavours from the Relatives as part of 'The Foundation' EP. We begin this one with a nostalgic dive as we lean into the groovy bass riffs and choppy chord expressions of 'Getcha', before then moving into more classic UKG flavours with the vibrant drum skips and vocal impressions of 'Just Moove'. Finally, we take a slightly more LoFi road as 'Take Me In' is unleashed, driven by its super fun vocal chops and intense low end waves. Tasty stuff!
Review: Few contemporary techno producers do crafty, functional tracks as well as Gary Beck - and this quality is audible from the outset on Cycle Series. It opens with the slinky, streamlined "Crocodile Fears", which is littered with looped samples and powerful claps, while the title track sees Beck use a visceral, meaty bass to underpin a rolling electronic rhythm. Once again, the use of effective steely percussion shines through. Beck deploys a similar approach on "My Fake Candles", although on this occasion a dense low end underpins spooky synths. On "Arden Rocket", Beck goes back to basics for a drum-heavy percussive workout that has echoes of 90s Marco Carola.
Review: Garoni follows last year's Phobia release on Second State with another highly distinctive EP. Combining grungy undercurrents with vocal samples and tough dance floor rhythms, the release starts off with the title track's pounding drums and ominous chord builds, before he ups the pace with the sleek "No Border". On "Gece", the approach is somewhat different with Garoni favouring a more linear, streamlined rhythm that supports menacing synth lines and a lone, robotic vocal.
"It's All Yours", which features Cook Strummer, sees Garoni at his most punk-ish, as androgynous vocals unravel over a gritty rhythm track, while "Hello" is all melodic synth rushes.
Review: Did somebody say UKG? What we feel the world needs right now is a healthy injection of feel good music, which Marvel & Eli have provided for us here, alongside the wonderful Rebecca Scales. They have collected a number of super vibrant remixes for their latest single 'Life To Evolve', which are all available as part of this colourful selection. We see wonderful recreations from Jason Eli and Ayrton Hood, alongside in-house 'Garage House Dub' and 'UKG' reworks. Our stand out remix however has to be the Brixton Bass overhaul, which turns this into an instant radio smash!
Review: Putting Bright in James Alexander, the UK artist brings more of his acoustic, electro pop to K7 with the awaited Headroom LP. It follows his Strange Folk EP from last year and introduces to the masses a kaleidoscopic sound of 70s futurist synths, italo basslines and indie rhythms topped with folk-tipped drums, jazz, and more summer breeze than what we're all getting right now. Headroom brings a concoction of future feel good classics to be enjoyed in the outdoors, like sultry exterior numbers "Gold" all the way through to the finger picking, flute and ambient reverb of "Dancing With Birds". Heavier disco ballads in "Lead Me Astray", all time sax in "6am" to the chill vibes of "Go" and bassline country funk of "Friends (Lovers Lost)". Premium pop.