Thursday, 26 February
Janus resident Lotic fracks the future with five expansive club visions in 'Heterocetera', his first vinyl release and debut for Tri Angle. Finding and opening fissures of possibility in the facade and body of current club music, his unique approach to meter, space and tone results a genuinely affective impact: it challenges the way we dance; probes and teases our pleasure centre's tolerance for off-kilter, oily tones and soured timbre. It's quintessentially queered to the core, all deliquescent structures and plangent harmonics, perhaps finding close analogs in the music of Arca or certain E+E/E… Read more
UK's baddest duo do it again with the '1 Sec' EP landing on XL after the blinding 'Take Time' 12" for Rinse. Mumdance makes the music, Novelist runs rings around it. This is the OG sound developed by BBE and Wiley accelerated with incredible vision, imagination and tenacity; bending your ear to the preternaturally observant, incisive lyrics of 17 year old MC, Novelist, while Mumdance's ballistic, collaged production slaps up from every angle. Both the title track and 'Shook' set the levels head-high for 2015, outmaneuvering all comers at every swerve, each near miss with a bus and in every rave-eyed bass stab. This is what music needs to sound like in 2015.
**10" mastered and cut from 1/4" tape by Lewis at Stardelta. Edition of 300** Some make-your-own-pizza business from Fxck Punk aka APE (Vessel) and Chester Giles paying dues to their local 24-hour Asda (Walmart for Americans) in Bedminster, Bristol. Obfuscated yet direct-to-the-dome, the session combines off-the-nut poetry from Giles with some of Vessel's most burned and turnt production. Bowling red-eyed and lo-fi from industrially reclaimed grime, 'Spud-U-Like' to mucky pockets of stress-testing noise and lyrics about sniffing glue on 'Trash And Reapy', the session takes an … Read more
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
Tuffened dubstep/grime hybrids from the Rinse FM DJ and producer. The tensile half-step lurch of 'Technoid' appears one side, backed with an 'Urban Gorilla' vocal version starring Juiceman, and the skippy cyber-grime styles of 'Expansion'.
"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
Twysted groove techniques from rising producers, Acre and Hodge, for Facta's promising Wisdom Teeth label. The Hodge face, 'X' strikes into robo-bogle zones reinforced with EBM-strength drums and some star-gaze pads in the latter quarters. Sounds sorta like Andy Stott meets Vessel. Flip it for a freakishly ace shake-down by Manchester's Acre, slicing up some serious swing drums and steppers bass patterns like a lost Zomby or Lukid joint. Wicked.
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.
Obey City switches tipple to 'Merlot Sounds' for a smoother follow-up to his heady 'Champagne Sounds' for LuckyMe. Laced with vocals by Kelela, Anthony Flammia and l-O.A.K & Eric Arc Elliot, six songs twyst traces of grime, B-more, and EBM into blinging riddims ranging from the Jones-referencing glyde and swerve of 'With Grace We Go' thru The Dream-style lushness in 'Water Bed' or 'Chantè'; giddy grime-funk in 'The Motion Blurs', and a sparkling run of electro-soul with 'Cloud Lust', and lissom Linn groove, 'Air'.
**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.
Thursday, 12 February
District brings some burly 2-step pressure to Chestplate. 'Alpha House' flexes nifty hi-hat shuffles and swinging snares around an almighty subbass shape; 'Inorganic' double dips with proper, El-B styled swerve. More stuff like this, please.
Thursday, 05 February
Wicked version face-off from Jus Now and Kahn & Neek for Hotline. On top, Bristol-based "riddim obsessives" Interface and LAZAbeam aka Jus Now curry 'Backchat' with a darker bashment flavour full of glancing percussion and ragged dub stabs. Down under, Kahn gets wild with Jus Now's take on Bunji Garlin and Stylo G's 'Tun Up', girding the riddim with grimiest brass stabs and wheelin' drums.
Thursday, 29 January
Lean, mean hybrids of UK rolige and European techno from Roska, Roska, Roska. Back for his 3rd outing on Tectonic, he reflects the label's current aesthetic with tightest, jabbing drums and dread bass for the darkside skank 'n shuffle. 'Hyperion' rolls with effortless momentum guided by zombied 4/4 bass pressure and frankly fxxking evil drones; 'Off' is distinctly UK-centric, synching the widest swing from fractured drums and offset sub swells for the dancers; 'Only Human' really gets our vote though, setting a pensile balance of crisp rimshots and slicing claps poised with noirish dub chamber vibes precipitating the nastiest bass shapes..
Dutch turbo skank pressure from TMSV on Artikal Music UK. Three rotten riddims stepping out between the gabber bass pulses of 'Jackhammer' to dread halfstep and pinging congas with 'Guillotine', and the reek of dank dungeon spaces in 'Elegy'.
Truth coin the Deep, Dark & Dangerous label with four burly halfstep moves. A-side features the ruff fusion of Fis-like stagger and stoned bars by Ill Chill, plus the hard-stepping accent of 'Last Resort'. B-side, 'Love Someone' sprinkles a nasty halfstep template with piano keys and strings for the sweetboys and girls, and 'Istanbul' bites the horns from Tim Taylor's hardcore classic of the same name (the follow-up to 'The Horn Track'). Need to have a word about those facebook and twitter logos on the jacket, though.
Thursday, 22 January
Oil Gang lock and load four big grime instrumentals from Slew Dem OG, JT The Goon, and hyper-tropical specialist, Murlo. Heating up with the sweeping orchestral strings, Sino flutes and whirring trap grime of JT's 'Garden Of Eden', he links with Murlo on the lushly heady, quick-fire tilt of 'Plume', before Murlo takes control with the slick R'n'G orientalism, 'Cold Stroke', and a searing, pointillist rework of JT's 'Twin Warriors'.
Youngsta and Truth on weighty remix session for Tempa. Rinse FM OG, Youngstar launches a nimbly technoid steppers take on Truth's 'Devil's Hand'; Truth refigures J: Kenzo's 'Invarderz' as a swooping halfstep heat-seeker.
Thursday, 04 December
Diverse, techi dubstep and D&B torsion from Gijs Snik aka Proxima, including a collaboration with his brother, Jeroen Snik aka Icicle, and vocal by P Money. First plate comes with the creepy darkside lurch and Coki-style bleeps of 'Trapped' beside the grimy slaughter of 'Pressurized' with P Money and the raving old skool Skream styles of 'In Vacuo'. 2nd plate is all about the pensile pressure of 'Gravity' and the aforementioned, killer D&B mutant, 'Redshifted' featuring Icicle.
Monday, 01 December
Acre on a mad one for Tectonic with four brukken, mongrel club constructs. In the best sense, each cut nimbly evades concrete classification, twysting out between battered 'ardcore mutation reminding of Millie & Andrea in 'Ping' to the bit-crushed aquatic dancer, 'Blue Moon' and further out into hyper Afro-centric styles with the Shangaanese percolations ov 'Icon', and an MDMA-smudged flux of chords and dub detritus in the bittersweet close, 'Reload'. RIYL Andy Stott,, Actress, Dynamo.
Thursday, 27 November
London vs Liverpool in the street rave stakes; everyone's a winner. Champion and Melé go toe-to-toe with the sparring breakbeat swagger and wide-ass bass wobble of 'Get Down' up top, and step off again with sparring, fractured breaks and caged animal bass prowl in 'Radio Babylon'. Wicked and bad.
Thursday, 13 November
**Inaugural white label from Her Records - Hand-stamped edition of 400** Her Records at long last deliver their first ever vinyl release after a slew of essential Digital-only releases, featuring grimy rebuilds of a classic Baltimore club vocal by Devon's No.1 club trak specialist, Fraxinus. After lighting up the scene with a string of advanced club constructions starting with Miss Modular's 'Reflector Pack' and taking in debuts from label bosses Sudanim and CYPHR, they commit their ass to club music's divine, physical format with timelessly fwd style. Uptown, the A-side buxx wild with flanging su… Read more
Third and quite possibly strongest release yet from Beneath's Mistry label canters back to the 'floor with two deft, blocky riddims by Enklav. boss Chevel. Working a stripped framework of percolating bleeps and woody, splintered percussion greased with oily Reese and 808 bass, the Italian producer unfurls two lean and mean productions every bit as shark-eyed and skunked-out as his recent remixes for Webstarr's 'Agreus' (Misty002) and Downliners Sekt. A-side, the icy countenance of 'Tank' is primed at a 115bpm swagger for early doors in dark, claustrophobic bass pockets and cold warehouses alike… Read more
Thursday, 06 November
Wild one from LuckyMe: the debut proper of bubblegum techno pop from Edinburgh's Joseph Marinetti. Operating in that same wipe-clean sphere as Felicita, SOPHIE and the PC Music gang - he contributed to their Christmas 2.0 release in 2013 - Marinetti arrives squeaky clean and fresh with the Makina bounce of 'Ms. Telesales' and indulges some '90s nostalgia with the natty garage bubble of 'Kenzo Lee' and the laminate 'flooring of 'Lipsync' whilst '3D Hentai Stud' freaks out with a sort of piquant, grimy hardstyle burn, and French ghetto house player Big Dope P flips 'Lipsync' for the club.
Saturday, 01 November
Refreshing debut album of hip hop/grime fusion from Toronto-based MC/producer Tre Mission starring guest bars from Wiley, JME, Skepta and Murky Ace, among others. With 'Stigmata' Tre presents a unique, relatively outsider perspective on UK styles concisely mixed with North American hip hop memes. In the wrong hands this could be another dodgy slab of EDM "fusion" stodge, but Tre's the real deal, from the clipped and moody 2-step itchiness of 'On Road' to his tripped-out trap nod to Dizzee Rascal on 'Boy In The Corner' and, of course, the nimble slyding squares and R&G keys of 'Real Grind' with … Read more
Thursday, 30 October
Fatima Al Qadiri, Lit City's J-Cush, Nguzunguzu's Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda team bring their debut Future Brown single to land on Warp. Their presence has been felt on the scene for quite some time now, via inclusions in Visionist and Kode 9 mixes and much-hyped shows across the world. Their first physical offering is a worldly blend of trap, ballroom and grime with nods to global dancefloor diaspora, resulting in the low-lying bounce and chiming Far Eastern influences woven below Tink's and 3D Na'Tee in the original and remix of 'Wanna Party', and a fine stab at authentic … Read more
Sick twist on the classic dubstep template from Sleeper on Distance's label. 'Lander' recoils an electroid take on halfstep at 130bpm, almost bearing more in common with reggaeton or tarraxho than your usual dubstep styles. B-side, 'Crucially Dubbing' rocks up with a proper future rudeboy skank, and 'Stronghold' does that crooked Lurka-style shift with dread finesse.
Thursday, 23 October
Another reminder of Fantastic Mr Fox's dance-pop brilliance with a sterling Visionist refraction. The Visionist mix ain't concerned with pop potential though, flipping Kid A's vocal into wavering, liquid reflections of itself around his signature pads and a re-sequenced bassline right out of the Actress or Zomby textbook.
Thursday, 16 October
**The download version bundled free with this release includes two bonus mixes** Dusk & Blackdown seal a vintage year for Keysound Recordings with the darker pressure of their 'Back 2 Go FWD>>' doublepack, including remixes by Horsepower Productions and Facta. The pair's first material since the 'Dasaflex' (2012) album finds them reminiscin' about the red-lit sweatbox at Plastic People, which used to host the foundational FWD>> events - the Rinse-affiliated precursor to the DMZ events and today's influential Boxed nights. But Dusk + Blackdown don't feel beholden to it, instead findi… Read more