Review: Over the years, Scratcha DVA has been one of the most consistently forward thinking producers to grace the UK scene. In our eyes, this latest 'Afrotek' drop on Hyperdub is a perfect example as to why he is held in such high esteem, kicking off with the euphoric yet apocalyptic harmonies of 'Flex' which sees :3LON explore a combination of amapiano & afrobeat flavours with some truly wicked results. Next we have another dancefloor ready roller as 'Bless The Earth' sees Mez, Scottie D & DJ Polo get involved on a super groovy, futuristic funky twist up, followed by the stripped back, much more ama-sounding arrangements of 'Sleeper'. To round off, Mxshi Mo gets involved for a potent display on the title track 'Afrotek', which explores industrial atmospheric textures and grizzly subs below for a killer finale.
Review: We all know very well of the impact that DRMTRK's powerful catalogue brings to underground dance music in the UK. For this particular project, we see two legends combine as Scratcha DVA joins forces with the immovable Mak10 for a weighty two track display. We begin our listening journey with 'Promise U', a percussion heavy fusion of drifting soundcaped pad textures and vocal snippets with delicate rhythmic arrangements. On the flip to this, 'Smoke Signal' offers us an alternate direction, linking up fluttering woodwind arpeggios and other percussive drives with a skippy set of rhythmic instrumentation, making this one a real creeper for the dancefloor!
Review: Inspired by a sound that collides afro house with dancehall and gqom influences - next to flirtations with UK funky and grime - Scratcha DVA's & Baga Man EP inspires newfound influences to thread their way into soundsystem culture. Bringing elements of digi dub and reggae to "Banx Skanx", get your broken beats, playful horns and warped basslines outta "Razzclart". With featured credits given to the likes of Scottie Dee, DJ Polo and Razzler Man next to LR Groove and Karen Nyame KG, get your ambient rave and LA Beatscene synths in "Baga DMs" with a dope alternative version of "Banx Skanx" found in "Murderer's Reprise". Another great addition to the Drmtrk series of tracks!
Review: Even The Strong have gone out of their way to explore the unknown with this one as they invite the combined powers of both Scratcha DVA & NKC onboard for a pair of fabulously creative originals. We begin with the shuffling kick drum rolls and techno inspired arrangements of 'Hardbody 999', in which Scratcha DVA once again displays his incredible ability to deliver the unexpected, as the track descends into a more UK funky inspired combination of rhythm and distorted basslines the further on it travels. On the flip, NKC gives us something just as impressive as the industrial drum designs and choppy arrangements of 'Shuvvin Match' give us a gnarly, system ready smasher. What a combo!
Review: As one of the original kings and front runners of UK funky, it's always and absolute pleasure to see Scratcha DVA return to the releases, as he does here with this absolute corker alongside the DRMTRK imprint. As a recording, 'FOH' hits every note you could ask for in an original funky stomper, switching between the high pressure introduction sections to carnival style drum circulations and hard hitting chord stabs. This is most certainly one we would recommend drawing for in the dance, just watch the room implode! Excellent stuff from Scratcha as per!
Review: Taylor Burch and Joe Chocherell's DVA Damas project has always inhabited a sound space all of its own. While heavily influenced by post-punk rock, new wave and minimal wave synth-pop, quite a few of their records also draw on contemporary minimal techno and Visionquest style tech-house. It's the latter that comes to the fore on "Clear Cut", with Burch's stylized, groaning, Mascara-clad vocal riding a dubby, hypnotic tech-house groove and spiraling, EBM electronics. It stretches out for a mesmerizing 10 minutes, too, and subsequently overshadows the fine - but not quite as potent - bonus tracks.
Review: Following on from their excellent 2013 album Nightshade, new wave/punk act DVA Damas return to Karl O'Connor's label with Wet Vision. The title track sees the duo fuse the rockabilly guitar chimes of late 80s/early 90s The Fall with atmospheric textures as Taylor Burch's breathy meanderings makes its way up through a stepping rhythm. "Wet Vision II" is more abstract, held together only by reverberated claps, while "Silence" is like a spikier, more forthright version of Tropic of Cancer, its mysterious textures supported by broken beats. DVA Damas also make concessions to the dance floor on this release and "On Your Heels" is a brilliant, dubbed out stepping techno track.
Review: Hyperdub's resident freaky styler DVA throws down a sizable six tracks of loose-limbed cuts that further branch his sound out from his UK Funky roots with typical creative flair. Lead track "Mad Hatter" best demonstrates this, starting life on a live drum stomp before snaking into a broken funk while off-key bass wobbles and manically frayed hits of percussion do the nasty around the snappy beat. Throw in a completely unexpected boogie sample breakdown for good measure and it's clear DVA is having fun in the studio. "Chilli Burrito" is equally deranged in the most essential, party starting of ways, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Review: As a long standing member of the UK's experimental bass community, Scratcha DVA here joins forces with the twisted creations of Gage for two tracks of blissful unpredictability, really exploring the barriers of sounds and beyond. The first track we here is 'PIFFD', a weird and wonderful showcasing of creative sound design, alternating between toad-like plucks and retro synth harmonies. On the flip we are approached with a tad more structure, as the mysterious melodies and unusual drum sounds of 'FLYTNURSE' are allowed to roam free. We are also treated to a very clever rework entitled the 'Darq' mix, stripping the track back slightly with a more concise structure.
Review: As ever it seems that DRMTRK are intent on exploring new musical grounds as the mastery of Scratcha DVA is again deployed across four tracks of futuristic fire. We kick off with the industrial percussion and choppy melodies of 'Storm' before landing on the minimalist sub splashes and choppy drum switches of 'Whoo Hoo', giving the EP an excellent sense of contrast from the off. On remix duty we see the marvelous Bakongo get busy with a super funky relick of 'Fatherboard', complete with colourful LFO expressions, before we then hear Nazar unleash a dramatic, glitchy overhaul of 'Storm'.
Review: It looks like DRMTRK have done it again here as they arrange a top draw line up to join the legendary Scratcha DVA on 'DRMTRK VIII'. We kick off some super slick production along with an incredibly lively vocal performance from Mez, who lets loose with some typically energetic flows over a grimey madness from Scratcha. Following this, Griffit Vigo joins the party with some excellent contributions on the unpredictable drum work of 'Goosebumps', with DJ Polo then getting involved on 'Boog'; a bass heavy ride through interesting funky grooves and well designed percussive layers.
Review: Mr Scratcha DVA gets deeper and more inventive with every release. And this limited 10" for Hyperdub is one of the broadest, most exciting releases he's put together to date. "Take It All" is a 23rd century ballad with barely any drum work in sight, just pensive bass and a purring alluring vocal. "Worst" takes a more tribal Afro-stomp with system rattling bass and dubby vocal call-outs. "Soundcheck" sits on the right side of weird with its weave of drums, studio FX, reverse twists and a classic soul sample breakdown. Finally Sinjin Hawke takes "Worst" back to halftempo arrangement with more space around the horns and added synth soul. Quite frankly a ridiculously good EP. Don't miss it.
Review: For us there is no doubting Scratcha DVA's legendary status with underground music in the UK, having traversed multiple corners of the scene over his many years of service. Here we take a look at some of his classic grimey bangers, kicking off with 'Kill All A Dem', which has to go down as one of the most instantly recognizable 140 rollers of all time. This is followed up the gnarly sub rolls and circulating melodies of 'Taliban', originally vocalled by Wiley. Next, his remix of 'Dangerous Liaisons', a hard hitting metallic design which held a famous Chipmunk vocal on 'Mr Miyagi'. We finish up with a look at the more funky influenced drum workings of Scratcha's 'Apocalypto', putting the finishing touches on a fantastic collection.