Thursday, 25 June
**Edition of 300. Includes Suicideyear remix** DarkO debuts with typical drama on Rinse, following a striking shot for Visionist's Lost Codes label in 2014. It's a sweetboy grime ting, treading a fine melodic line of effusive heartburst and melancholic heart-break between the teetering trance arpeggio peaks and crashing trap snares of 'Abrasion', and the beat-less R&B lush-out of 'The Past', also taking in the buoyant Reese and 808 bass and breathlessly ascending blips of 'Fuschia', and a slippery, colourful grime zinger in 'Spiral'. On the remix buttons, American producer Suicideyear follows his relea… Read more
Manchester's Walton consolidates grime, techno and dubstep frames in a taut collection for Tectonic. Last spotted on a trio of 12"s for Hyperdub, he remains true to a mutant 130bpm stylein the 'Bulldoze' EP, throwing down the icy strings and whirring worksite percussion of 'Wrench' beside the ruffneck bongos and wheezing grime melodies of 'Flute Riddim' up top, whilst B-side brings a killer sound synching pirate radio barks with EBM-strength drums and massive subs, and 'L.E.A.N.' comes off like some Chiraq drill infused with roadwise UK flex. Cold and deadly.
Thursday, 18 June
Dreader UK pressure from Bristol via London on PAN affiliate Beneath's Mistry label, coined for his peers and like-minded bass cadets. The label's 4th drop is Laksa's first, framing the ruggedest UK house sounds with red-eyed night vision. 'Draw For The' strides over the A-side with drunken master style; all sloshing subs and roiling drums inna cold and brittle echo chamber style. B-side, 'Baded' drops the tempo a few notches but brings up the celsius at the same time, finding a woozy sub-tropical swagger in its hard surfaces and synthetic bird calls, whilst 'Touchdown' forges a killer sort of bl… Read more
Thursday, 11 June
Sharp Veins reveals a captivating debut dream sequence of emirg-ent hybrids for new age grime pushers, Glacial Sound. Hailing from Alabama via the U.S. East Coast, he was one of Fact magazine's "producers to watch in 2015" based on the strength of his soundcloud alone. Like fellow American mutants Elysia Crampton or Rabit - with whom he shared a side for Bristol's Blacklink Sound - the Sharp Veins sound errs to a more electronic, IDM-style sci-fi atmospheres, but with the economy of UK grime instrumentals and emotive incision of R&B. He describes them as "functional places - idyllic, iso… Read more
Boss level grime business from Slackk on R&S. Ten years after Rephlex surveyed the grime/dubstep scene with their seminal compilations, R&S host the nexx stage of the instrumental grime and techno/electronica dialogue, presenting six cuts of emotionally rich sino-grime melodies and mercurial drum programming that don't sit easy in either category, preferring to occupy their own fresh space between styles. Rolling out with the bittersweet tang of 'Bells', the session twists between skeletal, nervy 8-bar drama in 'Posrednik' to the hardstyle-d baroque halfstep majesty of 'Monument' and state… Read more
Keysound link up LHF and UK dance legends, The Ragga Twins, on a ruffer set of 'nuum mutations. Amen Ra, Double Helix, Low Density Matter and No Fixed Abode divide duties accordingly, coming with four tracks ranging from darkside megadome wreckage with the dread 2-step junglism, 'Fugese', beside the radar-skimming roller, 'Exodus', whilst '2000 Dust' runs at a ruder, Ghost-style garage tilt, and 'Street Wise' dips with jazzy midnight halfstep flex.
Black Acre bruk loose with Tsunga's solo debut volley of 'ardcore/B-more rufige. 'Maris Piper' bangs out choppy jungle swerve streaked with darkside pads and brooding breakdowns inna classic fashion, whereas 'B More Dog' feels more upfront, closer to say Mumdance's brittle but lushly expansive sound designs mixed with a cheeky old skool rudeboy attitude.
Thursday, 04 June
*White vinyl* The vocalist formerly recognised as Butterclock steps up solo under her own name with four Rinse-ready pop tracks. 'Fade' crosses reggaeton and dreamy '90s pop modes; 'Slowly' marries blue trap and ethereal, echoic vox plus raps by Nina B; Cold' is a dated autotune outing; 'Fantasy' gently bounces in a mid-air pop reverie.
Thursday, 14 May
Brooding dubstep/bass mutations from the Tempa regular. Four tracks stretch out between Reese-loaded darkside 2-step, Burial style, with 'Closed Doors', to woodblock built steppers' house in 'Empty Room', and over into bellicose grime with '99' Aachen' featuring 9ER, and clocking out with a canny tribal house swagger in 'Voodoo Native'.
Kano's Bigger Picture Music slung out this Rustie-produced tune for RSD. Over naughty hair metal guitar chops and drums Kano welcomes you to the jungle. Instrumental on the flip.
Thursday, 07 May
Deadboy makes super nice on Local Action with the 'White Magick' EP. There's a mini-epic's worth of ideas and vibes inside, playing out like the soundtrack to a sci-fi short about occult computer hackers in the ends or, equally, some new age grime romance (we'll leave the casting to your imagination). From the crystalline synth blooms, angelic chorales and roto-drums of 'White Moon Garden', he 2-steps into lush 4th world dimensions with 'Inner Palace' and the beatless R&B sim-stim serenity of 'Rye Angel', all rendered with meticulous attention to hyperreal details. At the mid-point, the ambient… Read more
Frenetic shot of tribalized fusion from DJ Khalab and Clap! Clap! Originally only available at Bristol's Independent Label Market, now available to all other terrestrials, it ramps a 150bpm+ mixture of Shangaan-esque marimbra flickers and footwork snare punctuations with whooping party flair in tandem with Clap! Clap! across the front, whilst 'Substance' cools off on a more fluid roll flipside, weaving-a-body between lilting melodies and lolling footwork patterns freshened up with bird calls and beaming synth colours.
**Edition of 500** A 2015 Dreem Teem - Royal-T, DJ Q and Flava D - go hard and sweet as TDQ for Butterz. Up top, their 'Day Mix' plays with tuffened West Yorkshire bassline vibes speckled with eski flutes and darker Reese bass blooms for the dancefloor captains. Downtown, the 'Night Mix' eases off to a 125 bpm swing, bringing fwd the crackle and glistening chords for an altogether more sensuous and low-lit version.
Manchester's Zed Bias works at a warped electro-house and broken techno bent with 'Couch Life' for Loefah's 81. The sub 120bpm swagger of 'Couch Life' gets busy on a sorta Latin Freestyle update crossed with the kinda mid-tempo zones explored by DJ Samrai, factoring abyssal dub drop-outs into whirring drum machine flickers and wonky LFO dynamics. With 'Chokehold' he pushes the tempo up to 130bpm and rocks the bells over amorphous sub-bass shapes and the kinda bustling drums you'd expect from A Made Up Sound. The dancer's choice.
Berlin's Version label follow their leader with two techno and dubstep dreadnaughts. On the A-side, 'Nucleus' delivers skanking bleep techno built on wide monotone subs and smoked-out pads; B-side, 'Lights Off' runs a classic '06 halfstep sound streaked with echo chamber FX.
Thursday, 30 April
Man like Wen on a darq wan for Tectonic, now deep in its 10th year of operations. Remember that sensi fantasy you had back in 2007 that grime would cross-breed with techno and dubstep? That's the A-side 'Backdraft'; a crushing reduction of darkside sub pressure and shanking stabs with a 127bpm heartbeat. B-side, 'Finesse' follows that line with dread rollers purpose and 'Ghost' finds him stretching out on a deadly unique 160bpm flex, somewhere between halfstep D&B minimalism and Twwth's icy electro. Forward ya dancer >>>
Thursday, 23 April
*Finally in on Vinyl* Joker continues to burn up that purple Bristol sound on his 2nd album, 'The Mainframe'. Wildly colourful but controlled with deadly steady hand, it presents a far more plush and intricate sound than the rest of peers still pushing a sound rooted in post-'06 dubstep/grime styles. In fact, he's pretty much a lone soldier in this case - fusing boogie, adult contemporary jazz motifs and cod ethno flutes to a bulky yet agile halfstep. Man clearly loves this sound and relishes it from the explosive dynamics and Casualty theme tune nods of 'Boss Mode' to the dichotomous clash of boogie niceness 'n nasty rave elements in 'Fuzz Bop'.
Bambooman teams up with UK hip hop MC Jehst for Sonic Router. The instantly recognisable drawl of Jehst is smeared to a woozy, skunked-out bass and smoky chords in the A-side's 'Rusted' - quite funny how the production feels up-to-date whereas the vocal sounds totally stuck int he '90s (really, MC's still sound like this?!) - whilst the B-side's 'Thickets' drops a dollop of grimy pastoral futurism.
Thursday, 16 April
*Deluxe / Expanded Box Set featuring a bonus 12" of remixes from Girl Unit, Jam City, Nguzunguzu, and Kingdom Kelela's world-taking 'Cut 4 Me' (2013) mixtape blooms from 13 to 22 tracks, augmented with dramatic new remixes and riddims from Jam City, Neana, Kingdom, Mike Q, Massacooramaan… Y'all know what the sublime original sounds like so let's skip fwd: Jam City entirely overhauls 'Keep It Cool' with a smoother sorta tension; Kingdom resets 'Enemy' with a low-riding ballroom swagger; Mike Q ramps the spare Jam City mix of 'Cherry Coffee' with flash and bolshy ballroom flair; 'Go All Night' … Read more
Shawhin Izaddoost aka VVV returns with his finest material yet on this 6-track EP for Hush Hush. The sound here is heavily indebted to Burial, but the vocal arrangements provide a flash of brilliance, making this a recommended listen to those of you enamoured by those amazing Arca productions for FKA Twigs.
Thursday, 09 April
The most prolific player in dubstep comes with cutthroat rave styles on the Nebula Music Group's first vinyl release. On top, 'Monster' arches up with stormy intro subsiding to a barrage of mid-range honk and knee-quaking sub-bass with some tricksy calculations in the 2nd half. Down below, he sharpens his knives for the cattle-prod percussion and swarming, discordant synths of 'Despite' on a mad halfstep-electro flex.
Thursday, 02 April
Drummer Richard Spaven shows off some nimble chops backed with a blooming Mala dub remix. Spaven's is probably best described as modern jazz fusion, synching his dextrous percussion to melted dubstep rave bass and soulful vocals. The remix is much better, though, as Mala gives the riddim acres of room to breathe with each element sprung i's own sector of the frequency spectrum for optimal impact on a big soundsystem.
Thursday, 19 March
Sweeter, ruder bass turns from Champion and Terror Danjah on the 2nd 12" warm-up for the f= Bass² compilation. Champion gets tropical with the whopping bird calls and tribalized bounce of 'Cannon' up top; Terror Danjah shows off with inimitable style in the taut but fractious UK techno funk of 'Run Out'.
Thursday, 12 March
Delinquent, deliquescent grime from Damu on return to Keysound. M.I.A. since 2013, his 'Holed In The Hovel' session reveals an even shinier chassis and curdled silicon aesthetic, in chromatic flux somewhere between SOPHIE and PC Music or the most lucent Her Records releases. 'iPolice' starts up like some Matrix sentinel, all laser scanning bleeps and wavey synths with a sci-fi agenda, while 'Whirlybird' rolls out like a mutant mix of Fis-t's 'Night Hunter'. At his maddest, 'Holed Up In The Hovel' wields wild claps and meter-melted Ballroom beats, and 'No Pain, No Gain' gives up frantic, frothing grime patterns infected with some mad computer virus.
*New Edition with full artwork* The biggest Grime riddim of 2010 with DJ Q remix, finally repressed on 12 inch. A-side features the bubbling 808s and shark-eyed synths of 'Woooo Riddim' straight up, sounding as lean, futuristic and skunked-out as every time you've heard it on the bus, youtube or soundcloud. D Double E may be missing but this riddim goes hard regardless. On the flip DJ Q's remix lends a flush of feminine, twinkled-toed synths and cut-up vocals for the club. It's possibly symptomatic of the times that it's taken so long to land on wax, but Butterz have just made a lot of grime heads very, very happy with this pressing. Essential!
Thursday, 26 February
Air Max '97 follows one of 2014's sickest singles with three fluoro aces on 'Fruit Crush', including an exceptional hook-up with Strict Face. This is the new skool in full effect, twysting the genes of grime, kuduro and freestyle electro with vaporous 'tronics in sheer hyperspace. 'Fruit Crush' steps out first with a grimier analog to SOPHIE and PC Music styles, streaking mad FX around sharp electro stabs, chattering melodies and wobbly bogle; 'Shape Cut' resets to a slower roll nodding to Lisbon's taraxho sound, but with xtra subs and off-kilter, lilting licks. Best of all, 'Armour Form' inc… Read more
"Twenty-year-old Amsterdam-born producer Ebbo Kraan presents his first EP proper. The Aletta EP is a nocturnal, eclectic meld of explorations in hip-hop sound and ambience. Like an enchanting siren, opener "Bag of Medicine" lulls the listener into its dark midst. It's a pretty intense rush, a screeching joyride of grating bass. "20" is a viscous onslaught of side-chained choppy abuse, while, "No Amount" is a distorted, ethereal mind-trip. Dreamy, refined "Pian808" slows things down -- a must for after-hours -- only to be potentially upstaged by "Thirst," the spatial and trippy closer with equal portions of low-end theory pulsating through."
Thursday, 19 February
**Spotgloss-printed jacket with download code** Strong debut album from the multi-faceted Future Brown collective for Warp. Numbering Fatima Al Qadiri, plus Lit City Trax's J-Cush and Nguzunguzu's Daniel Pineda & Asma Maroof, they represent a worldwide perspective (LA, NYC, Kuwait) via myriad dancefloor strains shaken for their sweetest, futurist fruit and voiced by an international roll call including MCs from Chiraq, Jamaica-via-London and Latin NYC. Holding up a mirror to the world's increasingly mixed and itinerant population - and it's disproportionate representation in mainstream med… Read more
UK rufige allstars on a heavy Formula Records sampler session. Flava D's 'Home' is ramped with bristling bassline flavour by label boss, Champion - sounds killah on 33rpm, too! - while flipside is given to a clash of the titans with a dream hook-up of Terror Danjah & Zed Bias on quicksilver 2-step tip sporting vocals by Olivia Louise.
**ncludes 20 track bonus CD** Back on Big Dada - Wiley rises to the top again with 'Snakes & Ladders' featuring guest spots from JME, Footsie, Wrigz, Flirta D and more. He's as mad as ever, dropping baffling bars and signature non sequiturs across 17 of his strongest tracks in years, from the bouncing summer 2014 anthem, 'On A Level' to the gulliest new skool grime in 'Reel Off' to the extended, eleven minute chicanery of 'Snakes & Ladders (Part Two)' which surely sets a new precedent for modern grime. Get in.