Review: Matthew Farrow takes a break from his Kepler alias to deliver this sure shot of garage rudeness to Burnski's Instinct label, and he's sounding absolutely on point. "Inside" has plenty of MC flava sprinkled over it, not to mention all the 4x4 rudeness you could wish for from the bassline upwards. "Steppa" is a more soulful cut with a crafty breakstep twist to it, while "Rouge Fader" brings it back to that naughty middle ground between uptempo house and proper swinging garage, DX7 organ and all. "Break" gets tricky with the drum licks again, completing a set of good time rabble rousing business.
Review: The Southpoint unit have had yet another sparkling year, with their sound constantly evolving at the forefront of UK bass music's ever expanding boundaries and parameters. This year they have taken it to the next level, with the seventh edition of their 'Southpoint Presents' series launching across all platforms, including bangers from the likes of KXVU, Jakebob, Bushbaby, Muttley, Moony, Mofaux, Dunman, Drax, Movement, Tengu and more. We also see Presents debuts for the likes of MPH, On1, Negativ and Daffy, arguably rendering their strongest compilation in the series.
Review: If we were to give an award for label of the year based entirely on consistency, it would be hard to see Four40 not running away with it as they finally round off what has been an untouchable year with one last killer compilation. Royal Flush takes the role of compiler on this one, pulling in some scorchers from the likes of Soulecta, ZeroFG, Jack Junior, Tuff Culture, Earthnut and of course Royal Flush himself. There are a couple of tracks here we feel really hold their own amongst a stacked line up, with Pavv's classic sounding '3210' being one of them, alongside 'Guilty Twitches' from Ozwald and the choppy vibes of 'Love Is Coming' from the legendary EL-B.
Review: 2019 has been a resounding success for the 1Forty imprint, with a fantastic run of releases under their belt across the realms of multiple different genres. Today we check out their last drop of 2019 as they continue their run of funky and garage compilations. Firstly, they bring together both Muder He Wrote and Logan for a tasty roller by the name of 'Worthwhile', before Razor & Hamdi bring down the vocal fire over Retrospects funky infused 'What You Gonna Do'. Next, the vocal flavours and nostalgic chords come to life in Higgo's smooth UKG smash entitled 'Soul 2 Soul' before LR Groove & Dryman conclude proceedings with 'Life Form', a stomping, carnival-ready creation!
Review: It's been a little while, but boy were we pleased to see this one come together as the Bash / Julio Bashmore combination reigns supreme on this brand new single entitled 'Jubilee'. The team at Trule has delivered us an absolute gem, as the spacey atmospheric design and crunchy drum shuffles work their magic atop warm 808 bass drives with fantastic results. It's a heartwarming UKG original, topped off by a more uptempo rethink from Al Wootton, who smashes it out of the park with his simple, but effective overhaul.
Variations On A Theme (original mix) - (4:38) 138 BPM
Review: For this latest selection of excellence from the Deep Heads movement, we are again introduced to Geode, a producer with a serious point to prove as he unleashes twelve tracks of stunning steppers quality. From the techy drum manoeuvres of 'Oblong' to unpredictable melodies of 'Phi' and high energy rhythms of 'Lark Ascending', this release packs something for any dubstep fan! For us there are two clear standouts, the first of which comes to us through the mesmeric harmonies of 'Jade', alongside the crispy minimalism of 'Ruh', in collaboration with C Tivey. Awesome work!
Review: Bergsonist aka Selwa Abd follows 2017's From Dualism To Monism long player with this collection of left of centre tracks. Drawing on her Eastern roots, Middle resounds to organic drum sounds. At times chaotic and dense, audible on the title track's clattering arrangement, in other instances club-friendly and direct - just check "Gaza Border Violence" or the electronic groove of "Otology" - it marks her out as an artist with a unique approach. In case you are in any doubt about Bergsonist's capabilities, on "Magnesium" she deconstructs beat down house and adds extra, textured layers that are nothing short of hypnotic.
JNO & Giovanni Carozza - "Crispy" - (6:31) 138 BPM
Risa Taniguchi - "Enough" - (6:40) 135 BPM
Review: With a hot run of records this year coming from Pan-Pot, Amelie Lens and Industrialyzer alone, Second State Audio closes out 2019 with a compilation taking in tracks from label regulars and newcomers, with highlights coming from Secret Cinema, Gary Beck and Carlo Lio. The latter hooks up with John Rundell with a techy number of warehouse beats and neon synths in "Parallax", while Beck turns in a booming slab of vocal dub techno with "Rapture". Raffaele Rizzi supplies some darker synth and rave inspirations in "Fluorescence" with more '90s influnces abound in Hyperloop's "A Journey". For something more industrial and militant there's JNO & Giovanni Carozza' "Crispy" with Sara Simonit delivering some classy streamlined techno in "13 Guns". Chk chk.
Review: Jan Schulte aka Bufiman drops his debut album on Dekmantel, and it's a thing of cosmic beauty. There's the odd ball groove of "Galaxy", on "Sara Sara", he tackles electronic boogie with great flair and "Hoolock Rock" is a superb slice of spaced out disco. However, Schulte's project is not just concerned with revisiting existing styles, and he seems to be just as content when teasing out weird and wonderful new hybrids. These are articulated most impressively on the frazzled acid and steely drums of "Blow Your Mind", the dreamy down tempo drums and tropical sounds of "News From The Treetops" and the sludgy electro funk on "Langsam Aber Slowly".
Review: Those with a good knowledge of Melbourne's vibrant club scene should already be familiar with Escape Artist, a producer who has previously released suitably psychedelic deep house club cuts on Salt Mines. This outing on Kalahari Oyster Cult picks up where previous EPs left off, first offering up a fine slab of psychedelic acid/electro/breakbeat/deep house fusion ("Another World"), before charging on to symphonic, hybrid broken techno/electro (the rather fine "Digtal Natives") and soaring, string-laden breakbeat-house lusciousness ("Inner City Pressure (Relief Mix)"). A must-have EP is completed by Florist's fine re-imagining of "Another World", which is deep, groovy, hypnotic and spaced-out while remaining formidably dancefloor friendly.
Review: 2019 is a year which has seen a major shift in the landscape of music, both in regards to the status of the genre worldwide, and the evolution of the sound itself. One of the leading projects in the more tearout corner of bassline is of course CruCast, a label that remain at the forefront of the sound, shutting down raves around the country every weekend. This latest helping from them comes in the form of a twenty track strong compilation project, featuring some absolute heat from the likes of Papps, Moda, Tengu, JGE, Jay Faded and more. There are a couple of clear standouts for us, with the super original bass rhythms of 'Don't Bother Act' from Tekraw and Dread MC being an immediate earworm, along with the super oldschool niche vibes of 'On My Mind' from Vamos.
Review: Take a look down the tracklist of Fabric 20th anniversary release and you'll be met with a generation of artists that have helped shape the institution in all manner of ways, be it legendary DJ sets or residencies to previous releases to the FabricLive mix compilations and so on. Inside you'll find a who's who of genre influencers, be they Margaret Dygas and Marcel Dettmann with their European minimal and techno connection, to the more left field and UK-centralised club sounds from Pinch & Trim, Call Super and Special Request. Classics have been leafed from Source Direct, UNKLE and Shackleton, with B.Traits, Maya Jane Coles and Daniel Avery rankable alongside Sascha, Nina Kraviz and Groove Armada in filling a most influential time capsule of club music and DJ culture history.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a brand new album from sometime Classic Music Co contributor Eli Escobar, a producer who has proved to be one of the most distinctive and consistent in house music over the last few years. "Last Summer" contains a mixture of short interludes and inspired, almost uniformly dancefloor-friendly workouts that bring together a range of complimentary influences. Our picks include the atmospheric and acid-fired deep house warmth of "Flashing Lights", the muscular peak-time Moroder-isms of "(All Night) Rhythm", the melodious, sun-kissed Balearic house brilliance of "Blu" and the woozy warmth of "Last Night".
Review: As the year comes to a close, we can safely say that it has been an incredible 12 months for the more experimental sounds within electronic music. We have noticed a real surge in individualism, with this latest drop from the Beat Machine team providing a perfect example. For this one, Soreab is joined by Parallax's sharp vocal prowess on a system-ready title track named 'Wrinkles', built around tripletted rhythms and rolling kick drum patterns. We continue to take in the taste of originality as the acidic bass tones and super choppy drum rhythms on 'Watchme' take us for a real ride into the unknown. On remix duty for this one, we see Basic Rhythm give a tidy re-lick to 'Wrinkles', with the ever-ready Benton on hand to dish out a vibrant dose of breaksy goodness on his overhaul of 'Watchme'.
Review: With industrial techno brandishing its other cheek these days with a burgeoning cast of new producers on the scene, it's the likes of Ansome and I Hate Models that this sound is looking to. Add some heavier Italian wares and harder Australian stuff from Rvde and Tymon, and you have the summation of Perc Trax in 2019. With Ali Wells' dropping in himself with the tongue in cheek Three Tracks To Send To Your Ghost Producer EP, this compilation lifts a visceral selection of music to feature across the label this year. All menacing and with a story to tell, Perc Trax in 2019 presented a fresh and hazardous form of ballistic techno in its approach to crunching drums and new school industrial aggression. Check it here.
Review: One of two turntablist-oriented compilations this week from School Yard Breaks, but where 'Dusty Fingers' is jazzy and cinematic in mood, this one's smooth and soulful, with cuts from well-known veteran players like Mandrill, Larry Sanders, Con Funk Shun and Silver Convention nuzzling up alongside contributions from lesser-known 60s and 70s artists (The Soul Tornadoes, Kansas City Express, Lee Williams) and contemporary practitioners (Finland's Soul Investigators). Highlights include Silver Convention's phat, sleazy 'Madhouse', Lee Moses's country-soul-blues take on 'Hey Joe', Art Butler's Hammond-tastic 'Soul Brother' and a blistering James Brown medley courtesy of the Max Greger Orchestra.
Review: One thing we have noticed about the CruCast release model, is that it is perfectly balanced between their more established faces and a constant wave of exciting newcomers. This release pays homage to the first of those options as CruCast roll out the red carpet for an all-star affair as the likes of Skepsis, Darkzy, Bru-C, TS7, Tsuki and more come together for a scorching selection of brazen bassy badness. There are some tasty pieces involved, but the ones that leap out the most have to include Skue-K's colourful rework of Bru-C & D Double's 'Heater', along with a vibrant VIP mix of 'Jungle' from Nu Aspect.
Review: Since breaking through in 2016 with his Interstellar Systems EP for Berlin label Dystopian, Jon hester has since gone on to release with the likes of DJ Deep, Radio Slave and Derrick May. In four years the likes of Deeply Rooted, Transmat and Rekids have all released the American's music and this Momentum EP continues Rekids' techno assault in 2019 (see EPs from P.Leone, Roberto and the always faithful Phillipe Petit). Industrial beats all round, "Zone" sends in spiraling rhythms, claps washed in reverb and a relentless forward motion, and "Part 4" is a touch syncopated in comparison, its held together by a hypnotising vocal snippet. Same goes for "Beatwave" only with deeper atmospheres and bleep inspired notation, while a fan's favourite can be in the happy hardcore and contemporary rave of "Accelerator".
Review: What a year it has been for the team at Dubtribu, a label who continue to impress in all areas, with their homegrown roster looking stronger by the second. This last project of the year sees them firing on all sides as they invite eight of their best in for 'Deep Dub Inside 2019', a comprehensive showcase of the labels sound, featuring potent originals from the likes of Arta, Tinky, Muhla, Kismat, Cel and Ran for starters. We have two clear highlights for this one, with the gnarly sub work of Takjacob's 'Can't Own Me' being a real heavy hitter, along with the spooky overtones of Copley's 'Bombay Bad Boy'. Awesome stuff!
Review: As ever with the Duploc team, they have assembled an EP of pure quality as they invite a cohort of their finest into the fray for the second chapter of 'Duploc Selects'. From the off highlights include the regal horn tones and catchy melodies of 'Cumulus' from Cartridge, before the gnarly bass tones and crispy drum slaps of 'What Are You Saying' land, courtesy of Dalek One. Drumterror also combines sharp drums and chiming patterns in 'Mineral' before Feonix fuses experimental drum arrangements and super-deep sub pressure on 'Lost & Direct', with the glitchy plucks and wavy leads of Ghostek's 'Seek War' putting the icing on the cake. A very strong selection indeed.
Review: Over the years, there are genuinely very few labels that have been able to amass as impressive a catalogue as Project Allout, a label that continue to unleash bass and grime music at the highest level as me move into 2020. This latest compilation release takes the title 'Keep It PAR, Volume 2', and is a terrific showcase of the different styles on offer within the imprint, including music from PAR allstars such as Dubzta, Moony, Dutty Tingz, Daze Prism, JT, Killjoy, Palize and more. For us, there are two clear highlights, with the super groovy twists of 'Baby Boy' from Venz being the first, followed by the smooth garage flavours of 'I Dont Know' from Lushen.
Review: When we see new releases land in the store, we like to explore the names aren't as familiar with first, which is why we instantly fell in love with this latest drop from the Vantage crew. We kick this one off with the trap-like drum rolls and bubbling 808 bass tones of 'Days End' before 'Don't Sleep' combines unusual digital signals with more bassy goodness. We dive down a smoother avenue next as 'Quelle Vie' showcases some excellent melodic sampling, before we touch down on the chilled out harmonies and lingering bass textures of 'Persan Beaumont' to wrap this one up.
Review: Delta Funktionen delivers his debut EP for Cultivated Electronics. In keeping with the revered label's signature sound, North Point sees him focus on electro instead of the dubbed out techno that this project is often associated with. It kicks off with the intricate, eerie rhythm of "Intrusion", before "Moonstone Road" sees the Dutch producer transport the listener down an acid-flecked path, where tones warble against the backdrop of shadowy synths. The impossible to pronounce "Gl_T2C_H3Tr4" descends into glitchy abstraction, with its hiccuping robotic vocal samples pushing it towards the edge of malfunction. "Siberian Surf" closes out this fine release with a warbling bass and crisp claps prevailing.
Review: On We Are The Mod! hardware trio London Modular Alliance help Billy Nasty celebrate the twentieth anniversary of his revered electro label. "Concerning Irregular Figures" revolves around a brooding bass, niggling percussive ticks and a filtered synth loop that floats off into the cosmos. By contrast, "Exit Strategy" is much more pared back, with a focus on a wobbly bass and jittery drum patterns. This less-is-more arranging is also audible on "Glove Box", where they fuse 303 belches with a warbling bass and garbled vocal. Rounding off this landmark release for the label is the Assembler Code take on "Glove..." where crisp drums and frazzled acid tones prevail.
Review: Turntablist-friendly US label School Yard Breaks serve up 25 jazz, funk and soundtrack gems, especially collated with the scratch DJs in mind. It's an approach that throws together some strange bedfellows: Louis Clark's 'Crime' is string-led, suspenseful and cinematic, as is Eugenio Grandi's 'Killer Squad', and Zdzislawa Sosnicka's 'Good Night Darling' is an Eastern European torch song, while other tracks such as Betty Davis's 'Your Mama Wants Ya Back' or Reith's 'No No No' operate in more straight-up funk/soul territory. But if it's simply big, dramatic stabs, jazzy horn flourishes and scorching vocal licks you're after, you'll find them in abundance here.
Review: Existenz is Dave Sumner's third artist album as Function, and it partly ushers in a change in style. While there are echoes of his typical brooding, hypnotic techno on the mysterious, acid-tinged "Nylon Mood" and the heads-down roller, "Golden Dawn" - which features Stefanie Parnow - much of the album comprises a more mellow mood. There's the wonderfully hypnotic 90s ambient of "The Approach" and "Sagittarius A (Right Ascension)", while Function hooks up with vocalist Robert Owens to do deep house on the layered, textured "Growth Cycle". It's without doubt Function's most diverse long player, and ranges from the rickety electro of "Pleasure Discipline" to the dub shanty of "Interdimensional Interference".