Review: It has to be said that the consistency of Boka is something quite phenomenal to take in and witness, with this latest outing from the deadly duo of RDG and Dubape being a perfect example of that. We kick off with the title track 'Storm', which through amazonian atmospherics, gnarly basslines and subtly eastern string plucks kicks us off with some serious flare. Next, the spacey synthesizer moves of 'Drift' add something very different, before 'Brok Out' darkens the vibe with raucous bass movement and satanic vocal delays. Finally, the scattered drum expressions and pounding 808 subs of the speedy 'Decoy' round off the originals, with RSD's old school wobbler of a 'Brok Out' remix adds the final touches to a wicked selection.
Review: Hot on the heels of other similar initiatives, it's now the turn of the Fjaak trio to weigh in with support for their clubs. All revenue from SYS01 will go the four clubs that the tracks are named after. Representing Berlin, "OHM" is a tough but deep chord-soaked affair, powered by heavy kicks, while on "Lehmann", named after the Stuttgart club, a harder, steely techno sound prevails. The direction shifts radically on "City Club", with the Stuttgart club portrayed using a stab-heavy, old school house groove, but it's back to tougher fare again for the firing, chord-stabbing finale, with "Pal" dedicated to the Hamburg club of the same name.
Review: Matt Edwards departs from the script for his latest Radio Slave material. Taking influence from old school hardcore and a cut and paste production approach, on "Stay Out.." he delivers twitchy, good-time break beats that are full of hip-hop and soulful vocal samples. It's quite a departure for the creator of linear techno tracks like "Grindhouse" and "Another Club". On "Wait A Minute", Edwards returns to the techno realm; while still containing a repetitive vocal sample that intones the track's title, the rattling percussion, tough kicks and driving rhythm all come together to form a deadly effective big room techno track.
Review: As always with the Innamind team, we are in for somewhat of a treat here as Las unveils a weighty six track experiment, kicking off with the siren-like synth leads and scattered percussive grooves of 'Flo'. From here, the pleasing, spacey chord progressions and pulsating sub structures of 'Trippin' arrive in a flash before the aquatic bass tones and glittering chiming flutters of 'Float' bring us something completely different. Following this, 'Swamp Dub' stays very true to its name with some squelchy bass work before the dubwise drum designs of 'Tarot' and slow marching bass notation of 'Morning Glow Dub' put the final touches on a pretty exceptional package.
Yogtze - "Please Hold The Line" (Fred Asquith remix) - (6:39) 135 BPM
Review: Running Back bring us four despatches from disco's more experimental fringes. The EP opens straightforwardly enough with Llewellyn's 'Synergy Bar', a lively, throbbing houser with hints of both disco and prog in equal measure, not to mention a distinctive fluttering topline. But Yogtze's pacy, EBM-ish 'Please Hold The Line' soon takes us into somewhat more leftfield territory, before John Noseda gives us 'Spiral Galaxy' - think John Carpenter trying his hand at Italo-disco. Lipelis X AC then close out the EP with 'Central Store', another Euro-inspired cut beamed straight in from around 1983 or so.
Review: Charlotte de Witte returns to her own KNTXT label with another big room release. Both in its title and sound design, there are dystopian undercurrents at play; "Sgadi Li Mi" features an apocalyptic mixture of gritty acid lines and tribal chants - playing out over one of de Witte's typical tribal rhythms - while on " Return To Nowhere" she fuses haunting looped vocals with a similar rhythmic backdrop. While "Emsemble" appears to summon up lost spirits thanks to its fusion of snaking rhythm and ghostly chants, the closing track, "What's In The Past" offers hope for the future thanks to de Witte's use of mesmerising choral loops.
Review: We have been singing the praises of the 2TUF4U imprint for a fair few weeks now, but this latest release takes that to an entirely new level as they unveil a phenomenal 30 track selection featuring heavyweights such as Mad Tuff Project, Leanne Louise, Don Oliver, Kele Le Roc, Gary Esson, DIY and a tonne more. It's a pretty monumental project, showcasing the best of the combination between old and new UK garage in it's richest formats. Despite the tracklisting being super stacked, our highlights would have to include the dreamy landscapes of Undertone's Instant Mood Vocal mix of 'Let It Be' from Xavier, alongside Solution's Doctor dub mix of 'You', put together originally by the exceptional combo of Fully Loaded Project, Karl Brown & Todd Edwards. What a legendary compilation this really is.
Review: Truncate has attracted an impressive remix line-up for this fifth remix instalment, including a contribution from Kai Van Dongen, the winner of a remix contest. First up is Josh Wink with a bleep-laden minimal version of "Concentrate", which true to form, contains pitch bent, chopped up vocals and a cacophony of bleeps. For his take on "Reflex". Radio Slave also favours a 'less is more' approach, but on this occasion, he underpins shifting tones and chord stabs with tough tribal beats. Meanwhile, Lauren Flax's take on "Culture" is an acid-soaked jacker, while Van Dongen's take on "Missing" is a building, chord-heavy affair, full of dramatic twists.
Review: Now is one the strongest periods in the history of UKG, at least over the last decade or so. The Time Is Now crew seem keen to get involved as they welcome Interplanetary Criminal inside for three wavy originals, kicking off with the nostalgic chord expressions and choppy breakbeat influxes of the wonderful 'Supreme Level'. Following this, we steer down a much more grunge route as 'Darkside' provides us with some sub-busting LFO warbles and classic 2-step rhythms, before the subtle yet potent subwork and minimal drum designs of 'The Way' rounds the EP off with a real dash of finesse for good measure.
Review: Well well well, it looks like CruCast are back up to their old tricks again as they assemble a weighty new compilation collection to fill out the fourth volume of their flagship series 'Shake The Bass'. As per, the heavyweights have arrived as we see some incredible creations from the likes of MPH, Burt Cope, NLMT, Massappeals, Vital Techniques and more. However, it is in the more underground names that have found the most excitement, with our highlighted features on this one coming firstly from Namena, who delivers a gnarly, metallic monster with 'Chains', alongside the techy influences of 'Honey Dip' from Foul Play and the charged up melodic bass-driven madness of Cooky's 'Behind'.
Review: Five years after his debut release, Sean Dodd aka Reflec returns to Lobster Theremin for a great follow-up. In the intervening years, he has put out material on the Clergy imprint, but this EP sees him mix up styles. The title track resounds to a rumbling jungle bass, while on "Wolf", searing acid and broken beats vie for the listener's attention. "Hiatus" sees Dodd up the pace to deliver a jittery, 303-soaked drum'n'bass track, while on "Chrysalis", he opts for a more playful approach, as vocal snippets and wobbly sound effects inhabit the percussive groove. Finally, "Orchid" sees Dodd slow down the pace for a more atmospheric cut.
Review: An established artist since 2015 that's earned a reputation through labels like Civil Music (think Darling Farah, Drums Of Death, Debruit) and a release with Headman on Relish Recordings before that, Brassica makes his return to Feel My Bicep! Having debuted on the label in 2016, the artist's last transmission was a solid three years ago and like before Brassica continues to channel early dance music inspirations attached to a set of UK influences, and it's sounding fresh. Think space age electro given a silky bleep touch in the title-track with highly effective acid progressions to tug at those heart strings, with some more lo-fi, underwater dwelling electro in "Storm 87". Find an undeniable bassline, syncopated rhythm and flecks of Aphex Twin acid furthermore in "Sauna" next to the EP's definitive rave track "Synthetic Being". Stellar release.
Review: Based in London, Tici Taci specialise in "electric funk rekkids at tempos below 120BPM, with live instruments to the fore". Which makes the label the ideal home for this debut long-player from Albanian producer Uj Pa Gaz, AKA Erlind Hoxha. Across the album's eight tracks you'll find an enchanting cocktail of Balearic, Italo, EBM and straight-up disco influences, with standouts including the lazy, hazy 'Chuga' with its earworm of a whistling synth and 'Nepotik' with its unusual pairing of Underworld-ish synths and vocoder vox, until the gentle, beatless Spanish guitar piece 'Mallorca' brings the album to a more chilled close.
Review: There really aren't many things better than a classic, old school bassline wobbler, which is why we were thrilled to see this new rave-ready selection from Kegone land on the legendary Chip Butty Records this week. We kick off with 'Let You Get To Me', a vibrant singalong number, with a ticket festival season slapped right across the front of it with its bright LFO designs and uplifting melodic structures. To add some extra sauce to proceedings, Thorpey gets involved right off the bat with a high energy recreation of this one, before we dive into the super punchy 4x4 drum pattern ups of 'Classical Music', complete with more fabulous bass work. Finally, we round off with the more minimal breakdowns of 'Subzero Stylee', putting the finishing touches on a project we cannot wait to hear in the dance!
Review: Having previously proved his mettle with a pair of albums in quick succession ((2015's "Projections" and 2016's "Love Songs: Part 2"), Archie Fairhrust AKA Romare decided to take a little longer to produce his third album for Ninja Tune. The thing is, you can tell. Full to bursting with great ideas and canny fusions of various strains of house, techno, electro and IDM style electronica, the album's nine tracks bristle with sparkling melodies, raw analogue basslines, occasional choice samples (see the bluesy "The River") and beats that demand further attention. The plentiful highlights include picturesque downtempo number "Deliverance", sleazy and rave-ready opener "Gone", cheery upbeat workout "Heaven" and quietly jazzy downbeat closer "Home".
Review: On this extensive compilation, Luke Standing's Blue Hour project gets the remix treatment from some of electronic music's most respected names. There's a booming bass take on "Axis Motive" by Answer Code Request, while Marcelus turns "Reference 97" into a dense rhythm track and Mark Broom serves up a big-room tribal take of "Common Ground". VC-118a drops an expansive electro version of "Introspective II", replete with a brooding bass and eerie synths, while on a deeper tip, there's Steffi's sublime remix of "Moments". Meanwhile, Substance's version of "Untitled", which fuses a nagging groove with razor-sharp percussion and eerie chords, is the collection's undisputed highlight.
Review: Next up from Al Wootton, we see him unveil his latest LP, showcasing his eccentric yet delicate approach to bass music down to an absolute t. We kick off with a look at 'Come Close', which gives the classic dancehall triplet rhythm an electronic update, before the warbling synthesizer throws and minimal drum clicks of the title track 'Witness' arrive in style. Next, 'Gloamer' combines bouncy drum patterns with reverberated atmospheric pressure to deliver a spacey experience, followed by the sub-busting basslines and nostalgic chord flexes of 'Over' alongside the high tempo drum expressions of 'Sema'. From here we then take in the meditative delays and pounding rhythms of 'A Clean Heart' followed by the darkened breakbeat rolls of 'Starlite Xpress' before finishing up with the groovy rhythmic twists of 'Cephas'. What a project this is!
Review: Channelling the futuristic, retroactive and electro inspirations of a neon lit, sci-fi movie score, Philthtrax turns in a fresh batch of electro numbers to soundtrack your next apocalyptic escape from New York. Championed most by the sounds of Iteration Corporation's "Nonconvex Isohedral Polyhedron" Drexciya and Dopplereffekt influences grace this compilation through the likes of Dpcld's "Monorail", Cherriep's "Da Bass (feat Letryp)" to the tougher, contemporary sounds of Cryogenetic's "Feel Da Groove". Harder still can be found in "People Enter Music" with its wormholing phaser effects alongside the rough distortion of Ghostwhip's "Boom & Dust". Get Stripped backed with Go Nuclear's "Bass Frontier" and year 3000 funk with Buen Clima "AAO". Quality controlled!
Review: This 14-track VA comp will delight anyone who loves UK garage but has really had enough of partying like it's 1999, as London-based Dansu Discs showcase new directions in post-UKG bass music. Opener 'December' does for Al Green what High Contrast's 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' did for Julie London, and sets the scene for an album that's full of surprises, from the prog-isms of DJ Life's 'Blue' to Pinder's broken beater 'Hot Feet' to Warwick's ominously rumbling 'Only Way'. Elsewhere, Suki's 'Mind Control' could cross over onto deep house floors, while 'Original Style' from Main Phase will please the ragga-garage diehards.
Review: Well well, we do have something special here as Soul Mass Transit System deliver a pair of old school rollers, perfect for a refreshing dancefloor dip. We begin with the title track 'Tryna Take My Man Away' which combines a catchy, almost seductive sounding vocal sample with pleasing bass warbles and crispy drum structures with fantastic results. On the flipside to this, we then take in the sounds of 'Slapcrack' a proper throwback of a garage roller, again employing subtle LFO structures to a groovy bassline alongside well processed drums for an instant dance floor-ready slap.
Review: Following 2019's Yuzu, Klein returns to Cocoon with this powerful techno EP. The title track is a riotous affair, with wild acid lines unfolding over a pumping groove and punchy drums as Klein makes a nod to the menacing synths of Frankfurt's past. In contrast, "My Castle" is a lean, rolling affair, with a tight, rolling groove populated with steely percussion and visceral, filtered stabs. But as "Their Kingdom" and "Noises" both demonstrate, old school influences are never too far away, and Klein drops tranced out hooks that swirl over rolling techno rhythms and tough drums - exactly the kind of material you'd expect Sven Vath to spin.
Review: Krafty Kuts & Bomb Strikes, two names that when combined leave us with potentially incredible results. They join forces here to curate and design the fifth edition of 'Bass Funk', showcasing some of the most prominent faces across the entire breadth of breaks. The tracklisting for this one looks pretty monstrous, featuring the likes of A Skillz, Dubra, Arteo, Fort Knox Five, K+Lab & more. There are a couple of immediate stand outs however, with the latin horn melodies and vibrant rhythms of Ninjula's 'Spanish Princess' and the pure rawcus devilry of 'AI' from the legendary Delta Heavy both standing out!
Review: Hybrasil follows last year's Afra EP on Matt Edwards label with this dance floor-focused four-tracker. The title track is a tough percussive workout that features rough industrial tones and a series of smart breakdowns. On "Hour Glass," Hybrasil changes tact somewhat, with droning synths underpinned by steely percussion and a driving rhythm, and all of these elements make for a mesmerising combination. "Ikigai" is just as impactful, but sees Hybrasil favour a more stripped-down sound, with bells ringing and chords churning against a metallic backdrop. Leaving the deepest cut to last, "System H" features hypnotic chords that surge and dip over doubled-up claps.