Junior Fairplay - "End Of Love" (Roy Of The Ravers remix 2) - (4:45) 131 BPM
Review: (Emotional) Especial heralds its 30th release with a killer package from an all-star cast that takes in label regulars and newcomers alike. The vibe starts heated and heavy with modern acid champ Roy Of The Ravers taking a blunt instrument or two to Junior Fairplay's "End Of Love," firing off the kind of bludgeoning b-line and fizzing drums that makes his direct approach to the dancefloor so potent. It's somewhat surprising to see Freeform Five pop up on this 12", but Jamie Paton's remix of "Throwing Stones" sounds utterly natural in the habitat - a brooding, simmering trip shot through with noirish synths. Kris Baha gets busy with Red Axes' "Waiting For A Surprise," twisting out an exotic bubbler perfect for the low tempo chugging crowd, and then Bal5000 wraps things up with the gorgeous electro-disco delights of "Kids".
Review: The Unknown Cases' "Masambabele", first released way back in 1983, has long been considered an "Afro-cosmic" classic; a Daniele Baldelli favourite popular for its' tribal chants, growling guitars and chugging electronic groove. It's been remixed numerous times over the years, and here Emotional Especial have a go, handing over the original parts to Justin Van Der Volgen and The Durian Brothers. The latter jammed with some of the original musicians when creating their interpretation, which brilliantly fuses their renowned wonkiness and polyrhythmic beats with dubbed-out snippets of the original horns and electronics. While fantastic, it's Van Der Volgen's shuffling afro-cosmic-goes-dub-disco take - an altogether breezier proposition - that will undoubtedly get most plays from DJs.
End Of Love (Roy Of The Ravers remix 1) - (6:40) 132 BPM
End Of Love (Roy Of The Ravers remix 2 - Digital Bonus) - (4:45) 131 BPM
Review: It's been a hot minute since Timothy J. Fairplay slipped on his Junior Fairplay guise, but he's done just that for this bleep-tastic new 12" on (Emotional) Especial. "End Of Love" is unabashed in its embrace of early Yorkshire techno tones, making a fine job of resurrecting the bleep spectre and letting it shake up the dance once more. Roy Of The Ravers is a smart choice of remixer, and he brings an off-kilter acid rub to the table in his idiosyncratic, braindance-inflected style. The B-side is equal laden with purposefully dusty dance grooves transplanted from the late 80s / early 90s, with "Faxes From The Future" hitting a particularly sharp point in its lazy breakbeat roll and the clanging harmonies of the stabs.
Review: After just a few EPs, Elliot Adamson releases his debut album. It opens to the subtle static hisses and ghostly textures of "Make You Do Wrong" and remains beneath the radar with the organic break beats of "I Just Wanted To Breathe". Adamson showcases his diversity and the range of his sound on the tortured rant of "Are Your Feelings Easily Hurt", before focusing on a primal approach with the tweaked, glitchy groove of "Liberated" and "Every Single Day" (which both also contain vocal samples). It's clear that Adamson is a hugely talented artist who can turn his attention to a variety of emotions and approaches - just check the visceral "Migraine" if you are in any doubt.
Review: Right about now it's time to jump into some truly exciting original bass music as Mamboussa steps forward with a very interesting self-entitled body of work, showcasing a range of vibrant production styles. We take a look at 'Open' first, with its rolling percussive leads and constantly rotating soundscapes. Next, we dive into 'Nen Ability, a funky breakbeat hybrid, smashing together distorted expanses and tight drum selections. Finally, 'Swan' breaks into the picture with is unusual structure, perfect for sending the dance in a different direction. This project also comes complete with four official remixes, as Lil Crack and Akito jump in to the mix with 'Swan', alongside Jaymie Silk's emotional recreation of 'Open' and Jesza's juke-like rethink of 'Nen Ability'.
Review: The (Re)Sources label is still relatively young in terms of releases and artists, but they've already instilled a sense of reliability from our viewpoint, particularly for the diversity AND quality of their output, whether that be house, techno, or straight-up bass. This is their first compilation yet, an eight-track spew of all sorts of forward-thinking beats named Club Hexagon Vol.1. Chaams' opener is a twisted pile of bass and morphing samples, and other stand-outs include the techno-minded "Diamonds Foot" by Sheas Drunk, Tommy Kid's gunshot ride "Shanghai", and the moody, deep bass weight of "Bloom Doom" by John Vitesse. Hold tight for the second chapter!
Review: When is an intro not an intro? When it's an "Untro". Igniting Chaams' second EP with serious widescreen intent, there's so much going on from the sparkling churchy melody to the dubsteppy bass to the sudden switch to deep, dark tribal tub-thumping. Dizzying. "Run Til Ruin" takes us on more of a sci-fi flex with big Vangelis synths cascading over a gritty 808 bass-out. Chaams' final original of the EP brings us back to reality softly with a Champagne Drip style waterfall of shiny elements and major chords. Complete with two remixes - Celestial Trax's graveyard stomper shake up of "Untro" and Distal's deep sea shake down of "Siest" - [RE]Sources have kickstarted the year in the most chaaming fashion.
Review: Rolling deep with Paris's subversive M-Town Clew, French grime beat carver Lil Crack unleashes his generous (Re)Sources debut. Resonating with the Spookys and Sh?ms of the scene, there's a crisp iciness while still retaining a level of groove and funk: "Inner Fight"'s eerie insistency and steel yard clangs on the rhythm, the wavy barbed dream of "Path To Ecstatic Life" or the paranoid, twisted rises and peaks of "Clausevitz Abstraction". Lil Crack...Moorish.
Review: After outings on Sound Pellegrino and No Brainer among others, Douster lands on his feet for the fledgling (Re)Sources label with a raucous new four-tracker. "Raptor" is more animal than track thanks to its rolling flurries of sharp percussion; "RZ" and "YZ" are both nasty, stripped-back bombs with enough chills to carry you through a storm, while "Ninja" takes an almost D&B tempo, flips it on its head and comes out all guns blazing with some proper beat flexing. More from Douster, please!