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'.
**Red paper sleeve and Eye of Horus artwork insert. Edition of 200 copies* Lazer-etched instrumental electro-grime-D&B missiles from London's one-n-only Darq E Freaker for the mighty Numbers crew. After cutting his teeth with Channel U faves Nu Brand Flexx, Darq E Freaker defined modern grime with blazing, bilious production on Tempa T's 'Next Hype' and his killer solo 12"s, the 'Horus' and 'Cherryade' EPs. More recently he's been busied with hits like 'Blueberry (Pills & Cocaine)' for Danny Brown and 'Mardi Gras' for Gita, and arrives at the Numbers hyperplex with suitably colourful impact. … Read more
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
The Hyperdub capo and his dread spar at their best on 'Killing Season' - their first joint release since 2011's 'Otherman'. Strikingly, it reveals The Space Ape at his most honest, both lyrically and aesthetically, with sparing use of effects and pitching sharpening his position over whipsmart drill snares and depth charge subs in 'Chasing A Beast', or eerily panned and centred around the coil groove and drones of 'Devil Is A Liar'. In 'Heart' he's heard lucid amidst recursive echoes and skittish hi-hat patter, whilst the beatless 'Pictures On The Wall' could almost be one of Le… Read more
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
Thursday, 25 September
T Williams' party house styles on PMR - label home to Disclosure and Jessie Ware. A-side curls out the electro squeeze of 'Shake That' and the warped Uk funk of 'Bahia Repluse'; B-side plays sweeter with the shape-cutters swing of 'Want You To' and an old sjkool house tribute, Dreaming Reruff'.
Thursday, 18 September
Dubstep as hyper trip hop from Phaeleh. His 2nd album of 2014 features guest vocals from Sam Brookes, Fifi Rong and Geode on some tracks, interspersed with emosh ambient instrumentals.
Sunday, 14 September
Exquisitely iced-out, instrumental grime from the Goon Club Allstars boss. Issued a few weeks on from the haughty hybrids of his eponymous solo debut, the 'Satis House EP' is a high watermark for instrumental grime in 2014. Much like his Keysound stablemate, Logos, these three cuts represent the sound at its most forward, searching, meshing radiant harmonics and crystalline melody more redolent of kosmsiche trance and computer music than anything else, to the stark geometries and dynamics of grime proper. A-side, he orchestrates sweeping arpeggios and shuddering bass waves with the visceral … Read more
Thursday, 11 September
Lil Silva reveals his tender underbelly alongside label-mate Banks in the romantic, modern blues of the 'Mabel' EP. Moving much closer to the sound of former collaborator Sampha, the London-based producer balances rhythmic weight with emotional impact in five tracks contrasting metallic halfstep and house flux with heart-swelling trance chords on 'First Mark' or naked, vaulted vocal harmonies in 'Kimmy' and its sister-piece, the bittersweet slide guitar-infused soul surge of 'Don't You Love' with Banks. The title track is best, suspending his vocals in the chromatic ether over a sumptuous, swingi… Read more
Technoid dubstep weight from West Canada via Brooklyn's Tuba Sound. 'Under Pressure' rolls out on top with trancey licks and searing neuro lashes yoked to a billowing bottom end and tumbling drums. B-side, 'Spirit' builds another trancey head of steam, this time on a pneumatic footworking riddim a la Addison Groove, and 'Abyss' bowls into exotic halfstep terrain with shades of vintage Tempa and DMZ 12"s from Skream, Horsepower Productions, Mala.
Thursday, 04 September
Kowton carves up his Livity Sound associate, Peverelist, in two dread versions. Acting as a smart tease for Punch Drunk's forthcoming 'Worth The Weight Vol.2 - From The Edge' compilation, it presents ruggedly refreshed takes on a proper Bristol classic. Up top, the Linear Mix stretches out on retuned kicks and gut-sloshing subs, looping up the melodica hook into cirrus wisps around droning pads to a densely psychedelic climax. Dung below, the Dub Mix opens out more space between the beats, revealing the sub as a tortuous, speaker-tormenting beast.
Thursday, 28 August
*Includes a copy of the CD free inside* Some of the UK's most colourful producers make-over Joker classics. Swindle deep fries 'Purple City' with typical flair, and Gemmy yokes the bombast of 'Snake Charmer' to leaner hiphop/halfstep. Trolley Snatcha amps the electric potential of 'Newham Generals' with cutthroat dubstep style, and the OG Kromestar reworks 'Tron' with pendulous, cosmic swagger.
Thursday, 21 August
Tensile techno, grime and electro-bass rhythms from the ever-luminous Ikonika for Hyperdub. In contrast to her previous records, there's the feeling she's taken a step back from full-on modernism to bring vintage styles forward in her unique way. A-side, 'Position' jacks up a wily fusion of Dance Mania/Chicago house with Socafied Grime and electroid synthlines, and 'Praxis' twirls a glistening helix of industrial halfstep drums and bittersweet, 3D synth motifs. Flipside is better yet, bringing the crisply punctuated latin freestyle flex of 'Strawberry Underlay' and the dextrous twine of jackin' old skool drums with hairy guitar riffs and Atari blips.
Thursday, 07 August
Debut shot of dynamic grime futurism from Chemist for Coyote Records, backed up with Last Japan and Rabit remixes. Twinning his studies in composition and technology for film and games with current strains of HD UK grime, Chemist coins two lucidly detailed, kinetic constructions with the intricate polymetrics and strafing square waves of 'Defiance', and the robotic Eski origami of 'Blocks' marking him out as a slick sound designer. Rabit's remix of 'Defiance' is condenses its energy into pensive, droning subs, militant claps and sino licks owing as much to Angola as An… Read more
Thursday, 24 July
Dungeon dubstep tearouts from Brett Bigden aka Leon Switch. It's not very nice, scrawling proper mid-range graffiti all over the caged halfstep beast 'Deadlock', and again with disciplined control in the fierce flipside 'Persepolisia'.
Thursday, 10 July
“The fourth release from Western Canada’s bleeding edge of bass assimilates dancehall tradition into something fragmented, digitized, and newly coherent. Tiny bits of human voice are appropriated into a dissonant soundscape of shuddering percussive elements, reamplified and decontextualized into a hypnotic computed chant. Love Lies Bleeding leads listeners from euphoric dance to angular breakdown and back again along a shifting path of falling bass tones and modulated drums. Modern Math steps boldly into vinyl’s warm embrace with White Label Renegade and its accompanying Grenier redo."