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.
Cooly G returns with her unique vision of sex music in 'Wait 'Til Night', her 2nd album and follow-up to 'Playin' Me' (2012). With no verifiable evidence of its efficacy, we're gonna play it straight here and judge it with our clothes on, you'll just have to use your imagination. It's a smart, deliberate shift from her signature house styles to a sort of stark South London R&B, bringing the minimalist sensuality of her earliest 'Dub Organizer' EPs full circle into twelve subtle, well-crafted song structures. The sound is very much about private space, dealing with varying degrees of infatuati… Read more
"Swindle dives straight in at the deep end with sirens and footwork inspired drums, gradually building themes of energetic brass brilliance into the mix…"
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
Tempa Allstars Vol.7 represents a widening and readjustment of UK dread/bass space with a mixture of new halfstep and cyber/tribal aesthetics. Keysound hero Wen defines the new sound with the gutted grime-techno sound designs of 'Push Back', where Alex Coulton and Batu follow suit with a palette of tribal drums and cyber-dub dread also at 130bpm - Batu's 'Ghosted' is a big one for Beneath fans. The rest of the session tends towards subtle mutations of the halfstep genome, from Innasound's Loefah-style loper 'Step Fourth' and the tectonic shockwaves in Perverse's 'Jacobin', to the biting electric edge of 'Nano' from AXH.
Thursday, 09 October
**180g vinyl. Edition of 300** Project 13 resident, Acre, throws his weight around on a wicked debut 12" for the MCR club-night's new label. His 3rd and arguably sturdiest single to date after drops on Visionist's Lost Codes and Pinch's Cold Recordings, the 'Symbols' EP stakes his claim as one of wiliest yung producers in the UK's techno/dubstep/bass nexus. All three productions are stoically minimal but detailed with enough grit and dynamic to rub any dance the ruff way: running from a gutted hybrid of vintage Mala/Kode 9/Martyn-isms at 126bpm in the barrelling topside roller, 'Symbols', and over t… Read more
*Limited series of nine 12” celebrating Rinse’s 20th anniversary, each individually numbered and limited to 300 copies* A1 Broken Record (Jacques Greene Remix) A2 Skream : Rollercoaster (Jimmy Edgar Remix) B1 Katy B: What Love Is Made Of (MK Remix) B2 Headhunter: Prototype (Modeselektor Remix)
Thursday, 02 October
Contemplative, agile dubstep and techno hybrids from the Tempa ranks. 'Nomine's Chant' makes use of what sounds like Buddhist chant over sparse, booming 808s and resonant gong timbres. 'Ninjah' is a proper techy weapon flexing out with twutchy drums and snarling neuro licks. 'Syncopator' intrigues the most with a fine meld of bleep techno and UK/US garage at 123bpm.
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
Liminal Sounds follow that deadly Air Max '97 plate with three grimy jungle and R&B mutations by Berlin's She's Drunk. 'Talk To Them' strikes out with a taut fusion of grimy bass pressure and split jungle breaks alloyed in airborne structures; flipside drops the quickstepping ragga wine-up 'The Wild Yard', and something a bit more unique with the cut-up, 'Mariah Believes'.
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.
Tight smash 'n grab grime session from Asa & Sorrow. It's one for the emosh rudeboys, handkerchief times. All about the big R&G ace 'Untitled' with its bittersweet balance of scatting vocal hook, folk strings and scything bass attacks, whilst the other three are heavy exercises in nu skool instrumental grime.
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
Glasgow's highly-touted beat builder debuts with this killer five track EP on Local Action. Since first appearing on Big Dada's Grime 2.0 collection, he's dropped the unique beat suite 'Faded With Da Kittens' for Astral Black and remixed DJ Q's 'Trust Again', synthesising a unique mix of grime, fluoro/sino folk melody and moody technoid pads. 'Crystal Children' gives up his best work to date, including the bubbling grime-techno of 'Zen' and balance of pounding subs with delicate hooks in 'Thinkk Star', whilst the subtler sweetness of 'Daisy Chain's sino-folk licks and the drifting s… Read more
Thursday, 31 July
*Vinyl edition of this excellent No Corner tape which was also included as part of the 'From The Reels' set* Young Echo's El Kid makes his mark on No Corner with a 4-track concept EP featuring the final transmissions of the fictional SS Labyrinth, moments before it reached crush depth. This 30 minute EP employs recordings from "a skeleton radiophonic crew trapped inside a critically damaged nuclear submarine listing in deepest arctic waters", woven with scudding minimal techno and ice-deflected signals, recounting in abstract, subaquatic detail the fictional sub's final voyage, from the A-side's… 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
Lewisham grime prodigy Novelist shows some serious production chops on the follow-up to his vocal for Mumdance's 'Take Time'. Much like his angular, agitant mic style, Novelist's beats are all clipped vectors and kerned bars laced with luminous lines of logic, very similar in fact to the relation between Wiley's vocal and production styles. Anyway, these debut productions are fiyah, popping off from the gunshots and snake-charming sino-melody of 'Sniper' to the cheeky bubble of 'Christmas Riddim' and the Chipsy-like motifs of 'Mee2 Remix', and the sparring dancer, 'Messy'. Recommended.
“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."
Thursday, 03 July
Proper Bristolian swagger-tech from Lurka, making his debut on Black Acre after hot shots for Hotline and Black Box. Up top his anxiously coiled 'Holding' riddim consolidates dancehall and minimal techno with motorik groove and serious low-end dynamics whilst flipside 'Nah So' skanks to an even dread coda of voodoo drums and bass, and 'KMT' comes to bury the dance with Carpenter-esque arpeggios lcoked to garotting hi-hats and belly churning subs. RIYL Visionist, Kowton, Commodo…
Thursday, 19 June
Brizzle's Atki2 winds up two bashy waist winders for Frijsfo Beats. The follow-up to his 'Knock Knock' 7" for his home city pals brings a ruder, 'floor-skimming sound with the deft swagger and juggled vocal samples of 'Bubble', whilst he employs some classic pop motifs on 'Galaxy Zoo' for a breezier sort of ambient reggaeton wiggle with infectious percussion and super bright, crisp electronics. Tipped!
Modeselektor slice off a sweet taster for the 3rd volume of their cherry-picked 'Modeselektion' series. L-Vis opens the account with a swaggering future boogie zinger called 'Funk 4D' - presumably a follow-up to 'Ballad 4D' for Night Slugs - and Schlachthofbronx team up with Buraka Som Sistema for the low-slung, fizzing Kuduro/Bass percolations of 'Volumen'. Manchester's Hoya: Hoya cap'n Illum Sphere brings the 4/4 with a poised jacker called 'Bullet', and French Fries rattles off the gritty drum machien patter and cute electronic motifs of 'Shift'.
Thursday, 12 June
Lisbon's Lake Haze represent another strain of that city's unique dancefloor sound with a diverse, expanded follow-up to their debut on UTTU and follow-up for Photonz' One Eyed Jacks label. The Zomby-esque ectoplasm of 'Water Reflection (Intro)' secedes to a nifty R&B-garage sound on 'Brandy Riddim', and full frontal bassline rave on 'Tsunami Riddim' beside the blunted 2-step of 'Vapor Riddim', the West Yorkshire-via-Portugal badness of 'Lightning Riddim' and the R1 Ryders-style tribal futurism of 'Typhoon Riddim'. Maaad!
Thursday, 05 June
Nexx-level club dynamixx from Berlin's M.E.S.H. for new music thunk tank, PAN. As a co-founder and resident at the influential Janus club-night, M.E.S.H. is hard-wired to the core of Berlin's accelerated night scene and deeply connected to the global digital arts diaspora thru collaboration with contemporary artists, Aleksandra Domanovic, Fatima Al Qadiri, Arca and TCF, among others. Operating at the intersection of electronic hip hop, techno and chimeric sound design, the 'Scythians' EP motions a bracingly fresh sound modelling skeletal 808 patterns perfused with hyper-criss foley and thrillin… Read more