Thursday, 24 April
After 2012's corrosive Unknown Vectors EP on Visionist's Lost Codes label and a subsequent agonising silence, SD Laika's debut album for Tri Angle 'That's Harakiri' makes absolutely sure that no one in this new grime renaissance has a stranger, scarier, more enterprising voice than he does. Peter Runge is based in Milwaukee, but sounds like a jeep-sized inter-dimensional arachnid being based in a mess of webs underneath Wiley's house. This especially deranged collection of tracks branches outwards in two directions, exploring more experimentally noisy forms and textures as well as a wider ar… Read more
Buzzin10, Sully, Point. B and Warlock weigh for the 4th volume of Frijsfo Beats. Buzzin10 dances to a organ-bubbling garage groove haunted with slick, noirish strings and Sully makes a welcome return from the cold (where ya been?!) with the devilish dark garage twyster 'Feel It'. Turn it over and Point. B pivots off glancing garage woodblocks into a deep, synth-heavy techno space, and Warlock works out the grubbing acid swing of 'Too Late'.
Atmospheric, percussive dubstep trips from the 4th world. 'Circular Thinking' is a classy arrangement of virtual jungle sounds, tricky tribal drums and surging neuro bass; 'Jata' rocks on a Shacklton-esque drum coda and wide, spacious synth sculpting. Both cuts sound like they coulda come out on Black Acre. LAS chimes in with a more rugged, skippy dubstep dancer's remix of 'Circular Thinking' vibing like vintage Toasty.
Grimy, synth-driven dubstep and D&B from the one like Thelem. It's an interesting and unique breakthrough for the often hermetic end of the dubstep scene, alloying the common elements of '05 dubstep and eski grime in the gully halfstep of 'Haunted Harmonics' whereas 'Forces Of Nature' dices with tense halfstep D&B inna Dub Phizix style, and 'Shottaz' comes forward with militant, bullish steppers rhythm. Get an MC on these, stat.
Weight dread halfstep standards from the Kiwi crew on Mala's Deep Medi label. The floating cirrus synths, lonely sax line and plunging subs of '30,000ft' were conceived whilst mid-air , and 'Gangsters' rolls to a proper, minimalist halfstep sound favoured by Youngsta. 'Trenchtown' puts a heavy foot forward with rocking bassline and cold drums laced with virulant mentasm, and 'Lucid' returns to more tranquil heights with a misty-eyed mid-'90s jungle sensibility.
Excellent Black Acre showcase - Ferox loads up the A-side with his debut tribal romp, 'Mondo', and Clap! Clap! follows suit with a slower, humid reggaeton bouncer built for fireside soundsystem rituals. Flipside, 'H-SIK follows up on the promise of his 'Sonic Rage' 12" with a crackshot footwork mutation riding skittish hi-hats, choking bass pressure and slickest synth washes, and DJ Khaleb debuts with the Shackleton-esque ace 'Walkania'.
Thursday, 17 April
Thursday, 10 April
Murky dubstep/garage/grime hybrids from Promise One on the revived OpenEarz Recordings. Sparkz vocals the El-B-styled dark garage swagger of 'See We Roll' on top; Promise One links with Innamind player Geode on a jazzier, techy 2-step move titled 'Chroma' for the flipside.
Thursday, 03 April
Manchester's Acre returns with a solid 4 track EP for Cold Recordings. 'Burning Memories' opens the twelve with a typically dark, bass-heavy deployment of clipped jungle loops running through without ever dominating proceedings, while 'Switchblade' makes use of an electroid template, albeit with a pounding, bass-heavy construction. 'Trace Loops' on the flip employs a slow, trance-like buildup with a brooding, tempered quality while 'Northern Shadows' provides a more standard bass-heavy edit, full of low-end menace.
Swing Ting captain Samrai steps solo with the super sophisticated 'Riddim Trax' for London's Niche N Bump. Four tracks coolly explore the binds between UKF, Deep House, Boogie and Bashment at a breezy 115bpm, bolstered by a shot of pure vocal sunshine from MC Fox on 'Let It Ride'. It's all testament to the open-minded and focussed aesthetic guiding Samrai's duties as DJ co-host at Manchester's Swing Ting dance where he and DJ Platt seamlessly strafe styles under the street rave spectrum with quicksilver soul and finesse. Set to such a specific tempo, the 'Riddim Trax' are a pointed shift away from… Read more
Deft, spaced-out instrumental Grime riddims from Spare on the up-and-coming Coyote Records. Following an appearance on the 'Coyote Kings' compilation, the London-based producer debuts proper with a slippery, kinetic sound taking on mercurial, darker grime garage on '1bit', beside the silvery arpeggios and sensual chord progressions of 'Venom' and a the aggy 8-bit bounce of 'Boss Hog', but best of all is the sweeter feminine pressure of 'Glide' with its dancing melody and rugged breakbeat flow nodding to Zomby.
**Ships Friday** "The Peninsula’s finest purveyors of everything bass-related are back for the fourth installment of the Tax Haven EP series, featuring cuts from Geiom, Noaipre, Pacheko and Klipar. Berkane Sol label founder Geiom showcases the unpredictability that led him to sign with diverse labels such as Planet Mu, Frisfjo Beats and Skam as he gets things started on a percussive mood with 'I Don’t', a subterranean voyage through deconstructed breaks, bouncy bass and vocal chops, followed by the rolling beats and hypnotic lowend of 'Lost Monarch'*. A Coruña native and RBMA alumni Noaipre, one … Read more
Thursday, 27 March
*Housed in hand-numbered sleeve. Edition of 320** Four-way face-off from Osiris' hand-picked yung-guns. Killawatt opens with a roiling techno-stepper and Ipman twists out a proper sound-system test loaded with cone-crumpling sub pulses and dive-bombing dread synthlines. Kryptic Minds' own Simon Shreeve debuts his Mønic alias with a bleak as f**k dubstep techno vortex, and Metrist cuts out an undulating piece of noise techno chicanery.
Devilish debut from instrumental Grime architect Gage for Bristol's Crazylegs clubnight/label. 'Telo' is a bilious, destructive bit of work infusing the usually hyper-crisp palette favoured by his contemporaries with traces of incendiary distortion at pivotal points whilst galvanising the rest for optimum impact inna dance. Like the ruffest early Grime styles, it's borderline industrial in its unrelenting drive and angularity, and like the best industrial dance music, it's built of a core of steeliest, forward funk. 'Shiftin' is equally aggy and up-for-it, firing hyperventilating stabs, winding sub drops and militant snares for the maddest heads. Recommended.
**Hand-stamped white label** Antipodean stepper Epoch follows sterling drops on Keysound's 'This Is How We Roll' comp and alongside Rabit on his Egyptian Avenue label with two rogue riddims for Soundman Chronicles backed with a stunning Gantz remix of 'The Steppenwolf'. As opposed to his 130bpm rollers and grime deconstructions, Epoch's originals mix halfstep dub with a hip hop lean, resulting the sprung, metallic swagger of '11:38' and the dread trap styles of 'Numatik', but the real star of the show is Gantz's remix on the flip. The most exciting new dubstep producer gives a dextrous dismantling of … Read more
Thursday, 20 March
Anticipating a stunning 12" coming up on PAN, we've got a handful of M.E.S.H.'s killer vinyl debut, featuring an excellent Teengirl Fantasy remix. Resident at Berlin's influential Janus club night, remixer of Fatima Al Qadiri and producer for DFA's Dan Bodan, M.E.S.H is a pivotal player in the new wave of producers distilling the most effective elements of R&B, Grime, Jumpstyle and Club Music with a forward electronic sensibility. While practically rudimentary compared with his most recent workouts, 'Share the Blame' is still right upfront and crucial. The title cut works on a 130bpm bounce p… Read more
Thursday, 06 March
Jack Sparrow and Ruckspin's Author project arrives at a 2nd album of plush, blue dubstep variants following their 2011 debut on Tectonic. For this outing they're joined by a slew of guests, including Quark, June Miller, Jehst & Stig Of The Dump, Rider Shafique and Dan Man. Eight tracks spell out the more cinematic, home-listening side of dubstep with a mix of midnight atmospheres, moody vocal contributions and crisp, well-layered production.
Ardcore, rootical dubstep from Utrecht, Holland's TMSV. 'Haze VIP' rides a tumultuous skank accented with splashing cymbal, tribal percussion and billowing subs, and 'Gunman' comes stronger with darting, snake-like syncopation and dread subs on a vintage DMZ tip beside the airborne triplets and X-Files vibes of 'The Cosmonaut'.
Tuesday, 04 March
Distance returns with a steely brace of halfstep dreadnaughts on his Chestplate label. Volume 1 proves his longevity and originality in the scene with a fearsome display of scything, body-wise dynamics and expansive atmospheres. The burning synth brass on 'Broken Down' bears strong comparison with recent Kuedo aces while the rhythmic syncopation feels more supple, elastic and deadly than ever. 'Andromeda' is a proper war riddim, raising the hackles with doomy intro before cutting loose with snarling hounds-of-hell guitars/synths and ravenous, slavering bass.
Thursday, 27 February
**Gatefold triple vinyl** Blue, downbeat, conscious Hip Hop/Dub hybrids from Amos & Truenoys for Mala's Deep Medi. 'A Taste Of Struggle' is their debut album following a teaser 12" with Skream and Commodo remixes. It's a low-lit, late night confessional hingeing on Truenoys slow, caramelised vocals delivered with impassioned urgency to a backdrop of shifty, molasses bass movements, dusty drums and trip hop atmospheres.
Thursday, 06 February
Last heard by us on the nutty 'Quadrant EP', Splurt follows production duties for Merky Ace with this heavy trio of instrumentals. Suitably road-rugged and gut-punching production values make for a convincing solo debut proper, from the 808 bass, shredded samples and knuckled crack of 'J3' to the stone cold dancefloor murder, 'Lamped' and a synth'd-out, heat seeking 'Ethnic' madness.
Thursday, 23 January
Grimy, technoid feminine pressure from the renamed Twwth (fka Teeth) on his and Desto's excellent Signal Life label. As with their previous editions from Visionist, Kowton, LAS and themselves, the 'Thousand Million EP' finds a sweet spot between sleek European techno, gruff UK grime and the rudeness of US club music. Whilst built around similar elements of gut-punch bass, rippling 808s and iced-out stabs, the vocal samples make a clear dichotomy: topside 'Naomi XX' sweetens gully swagger with a darkly sensual breakdown and female R&B stab intoning "it's automatic", whilst 'Boy You Down With… Read more
Thursday, 12 December
Wild bashment fire from DJ Die's Gutterfunk label. A-side rides ruffshod with crazed electronics and double-dipped drums to mek 'em wine, enhanced by MC Swappi's energetic urgency. B-side 'Vodou Riddim' booms with badass 808s, brassy stabs and tumbling tribal percussion.
Tuesday, 03 December
'HD7' sees Darkstar remix themselves alongside a dreamy Zomby take on 'You Don't Need A Weatherman'. The trio give their own 'Timeaway' a lilting, glassy overhaul for the 'floor, sweetly synching a swinging house groove with chiming harmonics to sound even more like Pantha Du Prince, whilst their 'Hold Me Down' is budged towards a sort of pastoral techno sound. The 'Cult x Zomby remix Kollaps' is the highlight, taking the original to celestial, slinky garage heights.
Thursday, 21 November
**2 x 180g LP's housed in printed inners, debossed jacket and Houndstooth-printed PVC sleeve** Aerobic mystics, Joe McBride (Synkro), and Liam Blackburn (Indigo) aka Akkord, present a slickly engrossing debut album for Fabric/Rob Booth's Houndstooth label. It's the definitive manifest of their convergent interests in sacred geometry, mathematics, minimalism and bassbins, deftly balancing dancefloor appeal with the sort of detailed production appreciated by headphone and home listeners. Over its ten tarcks the genes of jungle, dubstep, techno and ambient electronics are spun out and re-encoded wit… Read more
V.I.V.E.K stokes the original dark spirit of Dubstep with four mighty halfstep productions for System Music, including V.I.P.s of his biggest tunes. First plate steps up with two new pieces - the atmospheric epic 'Mantra' and the stush, technoid badderman rufige of 'Show Me' with its soaring synth arpeggios - whilst the 2nd plate plummets way deeper with V.I.P.'s of his Deep Medi weapon, 'Soundman' and the body scanning subbass masterpiece, 'Asteroids', which sounds ass-quakingly heavy on a subpac, we tell thee.
Thursday, 14 November
Chi legend DJ Slugo reps the original Juke sound for Thug Records. Four cuts for the lewd and discerning DJs ranging from the technoid pump of ;Work That Hoe' to the call-and-response verses of Edgar "Big Gemini" Porter and K Scrilla on 'Watch Me Juke' and a pair of proper slammers on the flip, 'All Purpose Pussy' and the freaky 'Booty Clap'.
Guido's sophomore follow-up to his acclaimed Punch Drunk LP is an assuredly mature and measured affair refining his feel for fluoro funk. Eleven tracks juice the tastiest traces of sino-grime, purple funk, jazz-trance (yesss), R&B and off-world folk with an inquisitive, considered approach that's deeply involving for the listener. Highlights have to be the cheeky juxtaposition of oriental hooks, scat and spurting grime on 'Heartful Dodger', the spaced-out keys and twinkle-toed bounce of 'Jupiter' or the militant pomp of 'NRG' for starters…