Thursday, 16 May
Pearson Sound shares four lean, moody and experimental riddims on his eponymous imprint. Up front he unleashes the strafing, darkside synthlines and fractured steppers flux of 'REM' and a daedly body swerve entitled 'Gridlock' laced with proper subbass pressure and almost Anthony Shakir-style percussive edits. Down town, 'Figment' figures Mr. Kennedy at his most reflective, jettisoning the beats in place of Popol Vuh-style chorales and piquant synth sparkle, and almost acting as an intro for the rugged, filtered 'ardcore tessellations of 'Crimson (Beat Ritual). Really strong twelve...
Bristol's Footwork fiend Addison Groove fuses with its D&B hero, DJ Die on a pair of propulsive riddims. AG takes the lead on 'Keyhole', setting the tempo to 135bpm and banging out a lean, whirring ride melding traces of Dutch Bubblin' and UK Bass. Die takes the lead on 'Hydropump', a funked-up mix of old skool UK hip hop/hardcore and up-to-the-minute bass work.
Notts stalwart Kamal Joory aka Geiom tweaks out the electroid funky flex of '2-4-6' for Brighton's Well Rounded Records, backed with a ruggedly sprung Desto remix. Voiced by Terrible Shock, the original plays out a sort of lean, uptempo UK bashment bubble seared with strobing synthlines for the MDMA crew. The Desto remix cooly resets the riddim to a sparse 808 step 'n roll with bumping subbass and spacious sound design.
Niche with a Reese bassline? Yes please! Royal T goes large with extra sweet 'n sour synth sauce on his 2nd single for Rinse Recordings. Up top is the club-slaying speed garage rhythms and darkside Reese bass drops of 'I Know You Want Me', and flipside comes with the trapped out lean of 'Koopa Shell', plus the wicked and wild 'Saints' featuring grime hero, D.O.K.
Mixed bag of grimy dubstep instrumentals by the Purple one. 'Zim Zimma' wields some axe licks on a Terror Danjah-style, sprung electro-grime bass and martial drums 'Gully Side' is ruggedly squashed futurist rave swagger laced with Belgian mentasms; 'Handz Up' is hypercoloured hardbag trance; 'Newham Generals' does what he does best, lazer-synth'ed dubstep swagger.
Truth return to wreck your bassbins on Tempa. From waaaay south of the river, New Zealand to be precise, they give up two authentic halfstep heavers; the cinematic dread of 'Devil's Hands' and a more fragrant vocal piece featuring Yayne and reminding of Kryptic Minds work with Alys Be.
Thursday, 25 April
Kode 9 returns with his first single in two years, would you believe. We're a long way from the UKF-inflected house manoeuvres the Hyperdub skipper was making on 2011's Black Sun; instead lead cut 'Xingfu Lu', which fans will know has existed for at least a year, firmly channels footwork through Memories Of The Future's haunted dancehall. Spend even a minute with 'Xinfu Lu', though, and you'll see it's no ordinary juke pastiche: it's properly dubwise, its sickened, weasly synthesizer lines and chopped-to-f**k drums seem designed less to mobilise your feet than to stir up the voices in your head.… Read more
Pinch & Roska reprise the London-Bristol connection for Tectonic. their collaborative 'Should Rolla' hinges on a darker, restrained halfstep lean with rolling congas and vintage-sounding '06 bass moves, proper dread stalker styles. Solo, Roska's 'Asbestos' indulges his darkest tastes to killer effect with sinuous, minimalist syncopation accentuated by crashing snares and staggered, technoid kicks inna gloomy chamber dub.
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** Wicked dubstep junglism from OG South London producer. Includes the bustling, polyrhythmic carnival hustle 'n shuffle of 'Spider Monkey' and the inner-city jungle jazz dub of 'Rainy Street Light' with its Burial or AGCG vibes.
Stripped down halfstep meditations by Brum's Ben Ewins aka Be-1ne. 'Disrepresentation' hinges on a moody halfstep drums under inclement atmospheres; 'Data Touch' conducts a haptic experiment in creepy, skin-crawling subbass pressure and grimy dread-step rhythms.
Thursday, 18 April
Tightest hardstyle trap and jUKe from the Numbers affiliate and his pal, Akka. 'Synergy' swerves between the emosh trance swells and lean, slowfast 808 bounce of 'Illusory' to the grimy 8-bit bully riddim 'Mobius' on the A-side, and over to the hilarious vocal chopping of 'Paul Is Dead', slicing up the phrase "Paul McCartney Is Dead" over hi-NRG jUKe flux and bubbling synths, beside the saccahrine hyper-boogie of 'Trapped In '82' on the flip. One for fans of Rustie, Hud Mo, Krampfhaft.
Thursday, 11 April
Lurka launches the 2nd straight ace from Bristol's promising Hotline Recordings. With some of the most refreshing dubstep issues of recent years under his belt for Box Clever and Black Box, Lurka now twists his signature palette into new tempos with exceptional results. Topside, he unloads a 'Full Clip' of lion-esque bass growl and swaggering clanks coming off like Dillinja with a dancehall lean. Underneath, 'BR Greaze' corrals rugged subbass pressure and dive-bombing mentasms with an industro-dub lurch. Tipped by Om Unit, Mark Pritchard and Loxy, no less.
Thursday, 04 April
Dub Mechz debut on Deep Medi with a pair of precise, pressurised halfstep variants. Hailing from the birthplace of dubstep, south of the river, they've hatched a proper insider's take on the sound with the lip-bitingly tight rufige of A-side Broken LFO' and its hardcore, off-kilter bass growls lashed to bleeping, mercurial drums coming off like Zomby's 'ard cousin. 'Change Of Direction' switches tack to a rolling gangsta boogie sound 'pon the flip, oscillating to the deeper side of that Anti Social Ents patent.
Wild and diverse Carib-Bristol fusions veering between bashment and soca. On disc one he adapts vocals from Bunji Garlin's 'Tun Up' on a rowdy, swaggering dancehall bash, and links with Neva Chatelal on the sinous, dhol-loaded bump of 'Jouvay'. Disc two brings the ruckus proper with the 160bpm soca pelt and James Bond-like brass flares of 'One Time', and the carnival-ready Kuduro parry of 'Cut Meh Loose' with MX Prime.
Thursday, 21 March
Weighty halfstep from the Truth trio. 'Iron Lung' measures in with sparse, swirling drums and swooping subs inna dread manner. Flipside 'Medusa' is more atmospheric, deft.
**Includes download code redeemable from the label** Kanji Kinetic works up a right old Bass-jak sweat with his mates. A-side him, Hadean and Krissi B lock off the steaming pound of 'Kick The Bass' and the hyper EDM of 'Work It Out'; flipside with Audiogutter he goes on 'ardcore with 'Evil Ends' and 'Keep Ya Hype' with Heapy.
Thursday, 14 March
MCR-based producer, Alex Coulton, scores up the cheeky bashment/funky of 'Too Much Talk' for 92 Points, backed with Beneath and Tessela remixes. Cold snare rimshots and full sunk subs of the original tussle out with a live deftness that's got us doing the office chair skank right here. Flip it and you'll find Tessela on a wilder ragga-jungle tip with that signature rudeboy swerve, whilst Beneath does his tucked-in and iced-out dread thing with swagger. Tipped!
Heavyweight six-track EP from the OG dubstepper, featuring a wicked guest vocal from Kelis. Noticeable by his absence from the release schedule since 2011, 'Skreamizm Vol.7' at once reinforces Skream's signature halfstep style whilst showcasing expansion into new sounds and tempos. The most striking is 'Copy Cat', featuring a purring, feline vocal from Kelis and even a miaowing Henry The Cat-style breakdown framed by gossamer bleeps. To be fair we've only heard it a few times, but we'd say it's gotta be one of his best tracks to date. The other anomaly is 'Sticky', paying deference to the tida… Read more
Wiley's eski crew protege and RBMA graduate, Danielle Gooding aka Flava D debuts on Butterz with fresh garage/grime pressure. 'Hold On' is lushed out and swinging club gear with slicing hi-hats and tidy hooks; 'Home' gets down to business on a jacking 4/4 eased off with sweet keys and ruffed-up with technoid bass jabs.
Thursday, 07 March
**Limited edition vinyl issue on the excellent Signal Life imprint** Impeccably presented bass productions from Teeth and Desto's excellent Signal Life label. Zebra Katz quasi-speed club-squeezer 'Sex Sellz' rides up on the front beside the tense 150bpm slowfast flux of a killer Teeth remix adding gleaming pads and crisp 808 cadence to the original vocal and wide-ass subs. Flip it and you'll find Clek Clek Boom boss French Fries at a swanging deep techno-meets-Bass music flex, all cavernous chords and jeep bass pressure with kinky, splintered drums.
**Hand-stamped and numbered white label edition of 300** Deep end dubstep straight outta L-o-n-d-o-n. Rooted firmly in the '06 aesthetic and buffed with up-to-date production, A-side launches the electro-licked halfstep lurcher '4117-AA', and B-side bites down on a super menacing, slo-mo a technoid bomb 'The Fort'. Fans of nu skool players like Killawatt, Kryptic Minds, Biome should cop this.
Koan Sound, Om Unit, Billian, and Doshy recalibrate the hi-tech torque of Reso's 'Tangram' tracks. Om Unit impresses with a pensile slowfast overhaul of 'Simple Pleasures', riding inflated Reese bass and whirring percussion with romantic melody. Billian and Koan Sound run with the lacerating sawtooth synth flex, and Doshy gives a darting, jUKe style take on 'Coronium' for the quick steppers.
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* Italian neo-dub project backed with remixes from Sam Binga, Danny Scrilla, and T-Woc. Originals step up with tidy mix of digital and analogue production, taking in soulful roll on 'Rise Again' with Suz, and more rugged steppers' styles on 'Rude' with Soul Boy. Sam Binga boosts 'Rise Again' to a manic slo/fast flux and T-Woc turns 'MMD' into a Morcheeba like dub slump.
Heavy steppin' DJ Madd and TMSV versions of Horace Andy's classic 'Cuss Cuss' vocal. DJ Madd's is built with big drops and rattling drums for the rave, whereas TMSV connects with the eerier essence of the original, all woozy melodica and dread sub shapes licked with filtered congas for the zoned-in steppers.
**Printed inner and die-cut jacket housed in clear poly sleeve** Stabber's 2nd EP throws down a slo-mo electro-bass raver 'Huh!' and the nastier, crooked Trap styles of 'Chromoly'. Randomer and Matthias Zimmerman give ruffed-up and technoid remixes of 'Huh!' and Girl Unit turns 'Chromoly' into a snapping, elastic 808 bouncer with a dose of proper rudeboy minimalism.
Thursday, 28 February
Fade To Mind captain Kingdom, lays out four previously unreleased VIP dubs and remixes. Face up: there's his booty bashing refit of Three 6 Mafia's 'I Thought You Knew', replacing Gangsta Boo from Memphis to the middle of a Dutch gabber party, beside a sweet 'n flighty edit of Usher's 'Appetite'. Face down: his remix and instrumental version to Ciara's 'Goodies', riding with trill hi-hats, whomping subs and lushest synth chords. Big club trax.
Prime footwork from Chicago's DJ Earl, backed with a remix by Barry Lynn (Boxcutter) as The Host. As always, it's a pleasure to see and hear this stuff on vinyl - Planet Mu and Hyperdub aside, who's really gotten this far? - and they're wicked cuts to boot. Earl plays sweet 'n rude on three originals, from the fleet-footed boogie of 'More Than Special' to the astro-soul synth sweeps of 'Life In The Cloudz' on the front, to the typewriter snares and shoulder-rolling hooks of 'Blue Summer'. The Host is an inspired remix choice, and lives up to expectations with a stuttered, glitch-smudged revisi… Read more
Young Echo's Zhou starts Punch Drunk's 2013 with two dread weapons. 'Locust Tribe' heads up the A-side with chilling atmospheres circulating about brittle, steel 'n bone percussion and brute subs, locking into a sort of gothic bashment/halfstep that's distinctly Bristolian, but forward with it. B-side his 'Dub' ups the ante with electro-tipped drums and more dynamic envelope shaping coming off like Mala meets Peverelist.
Thursday, 21 February
Weapons grade grime instrumentals from Slew Dem's Spooky. Prayers are answered on the front with a prime vinyl cut of the tribalist romp 'Coolie Joyride' whilst flipside stars the shocking dread bass, gunshots and stabs of 'Electric Fence' beside his take on Darq E Freaker's 'Rhythm & Slags'. Murder!
Deepest dubstep killers from Tempa's mysterious new operator. After debuting on Dubzilla Records in 2012, Nomine's sound was been showcased on Plastician's Dubstep Allstars Vol. 10 mix and plays a vital role in recent sets by Youngsta and J:Kenzo. And it's easy to hear why: 'Nomine's Sound' is a robust update on the classic '06 sound, all melancholic string sweep and fragrant eastern vocals fused with billowing subs and exotic drum work in ruggedest style, while 'Searching' is pure dread business, dispensing tightly coiled breaks and scarily powerful subbass under spindly harpsichord melody and bleakest atmospheres. Fans of vintage Digital Mystikz need to check this one.