Review: For the most recent edition of the Dank N Dirty Dubz catalogue, we welcome the sounds of Demure, a Zimbabwaen dubstep mastermind who's uniquely melodic approach to the deeper side of dubstep is a real breath of fresh air. The title track 'Velezansi' gives us a real taste of this as we are greeted by breathy pad textures and pulsating drum layers, over warbling LFOs far beneath. Next, 'Umoya' deploys subtle sub textures and cute drum processing before we hear the unpredictable rhythmic manoeuvres of 'Thin Line' and shimmering synthesizer saxophone combinations of 'Starlight'. The project then signs out on 'Power Shift', a haunted, OST-like design, driven by spacious synthesizer pulls and apocalyptic guitar plucks. Stunning work.
Review: Spearhead are coming out with a huge compilation that seeks to be a statement of intent for 2020, combining a load of new tracks with some of the choicest cuts from the Spearhead back catalogue. There is old school talent like Need For Mirrors, Bcee, Carlito & Addiction & Saikon, as well as recruits from the new school like Whiney, Black Barrel, Monrroe and Walk:r, all of whom have done a wicked job walking the Spearhead stylistic line between hard and soft. Need For Mirrors' 'Zxana' is the ideal example; it's stripped back and minimalist in its percussion but expansive in the low-frequencies, with a hypnotic feeling of movement and a seriously solid piece of sound design. The rest of the LP is typically epic as well, so shout out to the Norwich crew.
Review: Melinki has been dishing out the goods on labels like Fokuz for a few years now, as well as running his own 'Four Corners' imprint, but he hasn't done many projects like this. The S.T.L project is a full, album length collection of collaborations with producers all over the scene. T>I is on remix duties for previous Melinki banger Dancehall Sound, flipping it into a spaciously destructive bit of work, whilst HLZ is present on the sub-heavy and drum-excellent 'Nemea'. Softer notes abound on 'It's Over' featuring Macca & Maverick Soul, a soft and deftly rolling vocal slice of liquid action, a trend repeated on 'What's Real' with Low:r. This is an expression of scene strength and an excellent one at that.
Review: Now as far as compilations go, this without a doubt has to be one of our favourite dubstep selections of the year so far as Dank n Dirty unveil seventeen original creations, featuring high profile appearances from the likes of Aztek, Arta, Liquid Memoirs, Enigma Dubz and more. For us, this compilation showcases so much, from the emotional tones of 'Shaking & Withdrawn' from Legend4ry and the dubwise inspired arrangements of Otz's 'Moody Dub', to the super shuffling rhythms of 'Kashmir' from Khromi. For us, there are some real standouts to this one, the first of which comes from living dubstep legend: The Widdler, with his spacey, dub-infused original entitled 'THC'. As well as this, the potent collaboration between Roomate and Dokter named 'Overstanding' packs a serious punch.
Need For Mirrors - "Speedy Boarding" - (5:12) 174 BPM
Alexvnder - "Continuity" - (4:55) 174 BPM
DJ Ransome - "Arctic Blizzard" - (5:41) 174 BPM
Review: One of the most iconic and prolific labels in the D&B scene, Fokuz Recordings manage to simultaneously show off the best in the game whilst supporting new talent and the results are fantastic. This album - a recap of 2018 - exemplifies their approach. It's full of big names and bigger tracks, including S.P.Y's remix of 'Always Yours' by Macca & Loz Contreras, Artificial Intelligence's remix of 'String City' by Lenzman and Calibre's remix of 'Forward Thinking' by Satl. Whilst these are obviously great, the bigger story lies in the lesser-known participants and their ability to pull at your heartstrings. DJ Ransome, Edlan, Soligen amongst others all come seriously correct on this LP, turning it into a seriously good release.
Review: U Wot Blud? Is the UK's most forward-thinking bass label, and when they decide to celebrate something, they don't mess about. The occasion in particular here is the label's 25th release, and to mark it they have prepared this 52(!) track compilation. It's a flippin' rollercoaster ride of bass shenanigans, with some of the many highlights including the trancey, leftfield trap of "Hater" by Wizard, the neon-flecked bass pulses of "Blackmail VIP" by Aliii and the techy-disco fizz of "Nonsense Skank" by 94 Bliss. Best take a month off and get totally lost in this jungle of bass gems.