Review: Par Avion collective member Agrippa returns with his first full release since last year's "Mygraine Urgraine". Once again getting playful with his titles, once again covering some vast and unforgiving terrains, each of the four cuts takes you to a different corner; "Squid Girls" is an aquatic bashy piece with its techno tendrils lashing wildly, "Dead Wait" is pure crushed stomps with a crunchy warehouse vibe while "Spice Raiders" takes us deep into techno territory; loopy, paranoid and laced with unnerving sound designs before "Scabs" brings us to a fractured close as the 'hot pick' of the EP (not sorry). Time to get Agrippa yourselves...
Review: Keysound's South Coast connection expands as Atlas, a Brighton contemporary to Etch, is welcomed into the fold with the Solitude EP which stretches the boundaries of the label's rollage aesthetic, weightless synth experimentation and established sub heavy paradigms to near breaking point. Keysound followers should recognise the title cut, it's been a set opener for Dusk + Blackdown for well over a year and it's easy to see why. A palate cleansing opener subtly shifts towards intricate, skeletal drum flickers and sub gravity and the sort of emotional apex "Hyph Mngo" once delivered. Atlas deploys a similar approach on subsequent track "On The Cusp" whilst the B-side features some superb experiments in bass science. The dubby, bass-heavy rollage of "Calm" is a fine way to end a super Keysound debut.
Review: You can always rely on London's Blank Mind imprint to deliver the freshest, most gloriously noxious bass twists around. After a short hiatus, the label returns with four slithering licks of beats and low frequencies from South Africa's AudioBoyz, Durban's collaborative project consisting of Fatonic, Motion, Mudpunk and Njeh. Now, this particular strain of tribal dance music has been coined 'Gqom', and it's the perfect balance between urban and rural, modern and ancient. "Danger" and "Gibbon5", although different in their choices of sounds and aesthetic, are both made up of the same sort of ritualistic outlook that has been missing from the bass world for a while. On the flip, "Insomnia" slices its sharp percussion stabs over a thin layer of bass and an even more stripped-down sonic landscape, leaving "The Legendary" to deliver the most musical content on this EP, a dark and alluring wormhole of sonics. TIP!
Review: Hessle Audio's emergence from hibernation in 2012 really has seen the label release some of the most extraordinary music of its life, and this EP from Bandshell might top the lot. Tapping into the grainy, murky sound world of the like of STL, Shed and Actress, this record explores strange rhythms constantly on the verge of breaking out into a frenzy. The title track is comprised of little more than rattling percussion and dense, fizzy bass, while "Rise 'Em" places a jungle breakbeat atop a mucky hum. On the flip, "Metzger" takes the vibe of classic dubstep and fills it with subtle melodies and clipped snares, but "Dog Sweater" is the real killer - a homage to soundsystem culture whose threadbare rhythms are the only thing to stop you being dragged into the track's viscous centre. Make no mistake, this is a serious new talent.
Review: Sometime Arcola artist Basic Rhythm returns to action via a fine four-track missive on Hypercolour's rave-inspired little sister, Sneaker Social Club. As you might expect, he's hit the mark once again via a quartet of cuts that gleefully blur the boundaries between a myriad of bass-music styles. We're particularly enjoying the broken computer style electronics, scattergun drums and discordant sci-fi sounds of "Too Nuff" and the Actress style madness of "London Warehouse", though we could also make a case for the sludgy vocal samples, post-dubstep pulse and weighty sub of "Ready Again" and slightly more melodious "New Style". In other words, it's a very strong EP.
Review: It's been a while since Blackest Ever Black turned the key in their A14 machine but it's clearly in working order as Beneath takes us for late night drive through the murkiest of bass/techno/breakbeat hinterlands. "Cloudy" is a sludgy, warped jam that would sound just as good in an Om Unit set as it would a Radioactiveman selection. For a little more grunt flip for the stripped back and rolling "Outsource" where the industrial strength drums suddenly get wrapped up in a short series of pure chord uplift. Hardboiled just as A14 likes to cook them; let's hope both parties don't leave it so long next time...
Review: Naturally, there's been plenty of hype surrounding this new Hyperdub 10", which features Burial indulging his often-discussed ambient influences. It's a typically creepy and ghostly affair, with the lack of beats - if not rhythmic elements - only serving to amplify the shadowy producer's impeccable sound design and brilliant use of manipulated field recordings. A-side "Subtemple" is particularly paranoid in tone, featuring as it does chilling melody loops, curious vocal samples, looped vinyl crackle and all manner of layered background noise. Flipside "Beachfires" is, if anything, even more dystopian, with Burial basing the action around the kind of pulsing chords that gust back and forth like an autumnal breeze.
Review: Burial's first multiple-track release since "Rival Dealer" three years ago: "Young Death" takes the lead with weave of deep, scratchy and evocative human textures while soulful vocal shards yearn and flutter over soft faraway beats. "Nightmarket" takes an even more introspective meander through the shadowy unknown with fractured arpeggios, distant whispers and thick graininess that envelops almost overwhelmingly. As forward, unusual and unique as ever, Burial remains in a league of his own. Limited.
Review: The Mancunian tones of Swamp81's resident MC Chunky are well known to those who tune in to the label's Rinse FM show on a regular basis. However, this debut EP, forwent any kind of vocal showcase for the kind of hefty, refined fusion of garage and techno we've come to expect from Loefah's empire. Arriving as a 12" doublepack featuring four tracks, The Chunky EP shows Chunky to have the production chops to match his skills on the microphone, showcasing a wide range of influences channeled through a uniquely dark mood; "Decca" is a straight up piece of rolling deep house with a shadowy basement vibe, while "Experiment 727? recalls the syncopated techno of Bambounou or Boddika's leaden beats, while on the second 12?, "Thang" is a masterclass in stripped back garage mechanics, and "Rugged" provides a lo-fi beat that ploughs the darkest recesses of instrumental grime for inspiration.
Review: Previously spotted on Nomine's Nomine Sound and Fox & Hound, Berlin's CPE gets his fractured jig on with Georgian label Transfigured Time. Weighing in at six tracks it's near-album sized, too. Highlights include the brittle neck snaps and alien charm of opener "CTRL", the grainy decays and paranoid ghetto funk of "Projects 32" and the physical rabbit punch beat blows of "This Is Science". And that's just the half of it...
Review: Fresh from a fine outing on Bahnsteig23 under the alternative Cassiard DJ alias, Thomas Cassiard dons the C.R.K alias for an expansive outing on Comic Sans. There's a surprisingly symphonic feel to opener "Sad React Only Plz", which flits from a deep space ambient number to a shuffling IDM wriggler midway through, but there's more forthright fare to be found elsewhere across the EP. Check, for example, the off-kilter drums and sparkling melodies of "100g De Balls" and the intergalactic jungle-techno revivalism of "Plus Loin Que La Police". Arguably the EP's greatest moment, though, is closer "Les Etoiles Sont Plus Hautes Que La Ciel", where elongated chords, bubbly beats and tumbling melodies combine to create a poignant and melancholic mood.
Review: Blank Mind return with their first release since last year's all conquering Goron Sound platter from the Alan Johnson duo, and it's the turn of label founder Sam Purcell to show off his production skills once more as Dance. Lead track "Heyvalva, Heyvalva, Hey" is distinctively named and you are unlikely to forget the track once you hear it either, which plays out like a bizarro version of Demdike Stare's "Hashashin Chant". Whereas as that track was darkness personified, Dance's production is all about the lightness that surrounds the heavily chopped vocal that acts as a focal point as drums snap in and out of action. "Bottomless Pit" is however a much darker production, with loose half step 909 rhythms cascading in an erratic fashion almost in reaction to the sheer terror of the squalling synth tones and jagged junglist basslines. The sense of dystopian dread is only magnified by the foreboding titular vocal sample that repeats itself with a sense of desperation.
Review: London's Dark Sky trio have come a long way over the last three years, first appearing on the mighty 50 Weapons, then jumping on to Mister Saturday Night's catalogue, and now landing most vertically on Germany's Monkeytown - quite impressive if you ask us! The NTS Radio residents serve up "Voyages", a wonky techno side-stepper complete with tribal percussion and a distinct UK feel. Remix duties are taken care of by Francis Inferno Orchestra, who deliver a hypnotic and floor-ready version of the original, and techno God Reshape with his slithering, ultra-stripped back version. Another class act from Monkeytown camp.
Review: Etch and Nico Lindsay make good musical bedfellows; the former's spacious left-footed soundscapes providing plenty of room for Nico's narrative, evolving lyrical style, they're kindred spirits linked by a glacial sense of adventure and refusal to compromise. Opener "Don't Wanna Know" kicks the doors down with force. Rough and switchy, there's a pulsing 2002 feel to both the step and flow while "Predator Vs Prey (Toxin)" takes us on a much swampier, weirded out trip that buns everything but survival. Finally, Tranq Sinatra joins the fray for an urgent finale where fast-tongue tales from Nico are backed from Tranq harmonies and another iced riddim from Etch. Cold.
Review: Making a welcome return to Swamp 81 after the Mean Streets pair of releases, Falty DL is on superlative form as ever with a pair of direct cuts that play on different sides of his production personality. "Huff & Puff Bruk" takes the fundamentals of 2-step and infuses it with lazy jazz and ethereal tones for a crisply funking, whimsical cut that should get all soulful spinners in a lather. On the flip things get edgier as "Mo" takes sharply looped vocal samples and works them around clattering slices of breaks to whip up the kind of frenzy that Tessela and co. inspire with their own rum choppery.
Review: Shadowy London producer Filter Dread returns from Beyond Saturn with four new futurist designs. This time on Seattle newcomer label Tech Startup. Maintaining his stark ravey elements, pneumatic breaks and grainy bass signature, the vibe remains hardcore, rough around the edges throughout. "Rainforest" is near militant with its drum edits and warped, detuned synth washes while "Blizzard" brings a crush sense of decay to the percussion and much more of a subverted electro feel to the mix. Flip for two more weapons: the gnarled, schizoid "Tripping Up" which touches on breakcore but at a much slower tempo and "RX 4 Real" which taps into the classic hardcore aesthetic and flips more switches than Battersea Power Station.
Review: Tom 'Dam Mantle' Marshallsay and Rich McMaster from Golden Teacher were first granted an outlet as General Ludd through Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter's Mister Saturday Night last year with the breathless pair of house burners that made up the Woo Ha 12". Since then the General has brought the Luddite house sound to Clan Destine, 10 Thousand Yen and Autonomous Africa among others and now lands back on the Mister for the keenly anticipated Are You Losing My Hearing? Another two-track exercise in 12" dynamism, the title cut finds GL in sprightly house mood with a rubbery feel not too dissimilar to Gerd's Geeeman output. Flip it over and "Moneychangers" veers off into more dystopian, heads down territory with some killer modular squiggles throughout.
Review: It's been a little while since Kyle Hall dropped his album The Boat Party, but now the Detroit powerhouse is back on Hyperdub to indulge the freakier end of his studio output inline with his previous Kaychunk 12" for Kode 9's outpost. "Girl U So Strong" is a stirring beast of a track, starting in scattered fragments of bass patterns, vocal snippets and woodblock hits, gradually forming into a starlit stepper of the highest calibre. "Take Me Away" comes on like a Detroit take on the Purple phenomenon, all sticky synth lines and Mega Drive melodies but roughed up with ample grittiness.
Ames Henry & Paul Kav - "Business In Hasenheide" (5:57)
Ames Henry - "Tribute" (6:28)
Fanu - "Dubia" (6:48)
Octo Octa - "For My Girls" (3:29)
Review: It's been two years since Kellam Matthews launched his retro-futurist, breakbeat-driven Frendzone label via a fine split EP featuring cuts from Ames Henry and Octo Octa. This follow-up is therefore arguably long overdue. Fittingly, it's Henry that gets things going in stellar fashion via Paul Kav collaboration "Business in Hasenheide", an urgent fusion of two-step drums, thrusting acid bass and jumpy synth stabs. Ames then goes solo on the breezy bounce of "Tribute", before Fanu successfully roughs things up via the mutant sub-bass, dystopian noises and distorted breakbeats of "Dubia". The undisputed highlight, though, is Octo Octa's "For My Girls", a wonderfully spooky and hectic jungle roller that's guaranteed to set pulses racing out on the dancefloor.
Review: Given his recent form, it was probably only a matter of time before fast-rising Glaswegian Inkke made an appearance on LuckyMe. Variously informed by grime, heavy Memphis rap, Rustie and Hudson Mohawke, Inkke's productions slip effortlessly into the LuckyMe catalogue. There's much to admire amongst the six tracks that make up Secret Palace, including a pair of robust club instrumentals - "Chores" and "Simmer" - which have long been staples in the sets of Skepta and D Double E. Our pick, though, has to be heavyweight grime roller "Tales From The Quick", which peppers a weighty sub-bass line and machine-gun percussion with woozy synthesizer lines.
Review: Having recently notched up 100 releases, Tectonic begins a new era by offering up a suitably weighty collaborative release from Peng Sound regular Ishan Sound. On side A, the Young Echo member joins forces with Hodge - owner of the nicest hair in techno - for the deep and dreamy dubstep shuffle of "C5", where fluid riffs dance above a blazed but powerful beat. Muttley lends a hand on flipside cut "Still Smoking", an altogether livelier and more aggressive - if still suitably deep and hazy - 140 BPM workout that comes complete with stabbing, grime style riffs and some serious subsonic bass.
Review: Previously spotted on Boomarm Nation, Turkish bass experimentalists make their debut on Innamind's Blacklist imprint with four of the nuttiest, most far-out tracks you'll hear this season. Sitting somewhere between Modeselektor and Squarepusher but with dubbier roots, highlights include the tripped out harmonic headiness of "Heavy Machyn Gun" and "Phix", the slo-mo white knuckle ride with fellow Turk Gantz. Off the planetary hook.
Review: With praise for his wonderfully leftfield but formidably floor-friendly "Ever Orbit" EP on Exit still ringing in his ears, Alex Godoy AKA Itoa pitches up on Italian imprint Beat Machine Records. Appearing on a 7" single - a rarity for a D&B release - "Strange Attractor" sees Godoy wrap indigenous Amazonian flute lines, madcap electronics, metallic percussion noises and creepy strings around a punchy, revivalist jungle rhythm. Long-serving bass-head Sully provides the flipside remix, stripping the cut back to the bare bones (think booming bass, sharply edited mid'90s jungle beats, and those haunting flute style melodies) with impressive results.
Review: Man Band mandem Toma Kami returns to Livity with more sharp tools and insanity, this time in the form of "Negative Extasy". Each cut primed with big roomy broken beats, each cut more beguiling and trippier than the last, each cut rising in intensity; "E-Ache" warms us up with soothing harmonic stabs over a cavernous beat, "Aces" spins us round the stars with housey chords and pretty percussive vapour trails while "Suomi" is nothing short of a 24th century funeral march. For most the title track will be the highlight; more upbeat and bumping, with fat layers of percussion, it's Toma in pure peaktime mode... And everyone's invited.
Review: Kouslin launches a brand new label and he's doing it total style. While no one can deny the crucialness of the name Le Chatroom, the real focus is on the music as the London artist tags up with two mates for a trio of far-out, forward-thinking bass/broken cuts. "Brothers" leaps with flautist delight while snake-like percussion rattles and rolls beneath. Aussie Nostro Hood winker Galtier gets his tech on with a Rolando style sense of melody and menace while Bumps man Sheik flexes a much slower jam, all 909s and raw machine soul. Covering corners you didn't even know existed, Le Chatroom has us in the palm of its paw.
Review: Re:st regular Lcp has so far proven to be a producer with many musical talents, offering up a string of releases that flit between ambient, techno, IDM and off-kilter dancefloor moves. "Carried From Secret Seas" marks the producer's first solo EP for two years and sees him combine club-ready rhythms with evocative ambient chords and far-sighted, intergalactic electronics. The most robust of the three tracks is "Rural Nightline", a heavy, stripped-back and effects laden drum workout that's as creepy and clandestine as it is tough and intense. The other two cuts, "Minus 10" and "Carried From Secret Seas", are both far more dreamy and positive in tone, with Lcp wrapping ambient textures and soft focus melodies around deep broken techno beats.
Review: Hyperdub kick off the vinyl side to their ten-year celebrations with this weighty four-tracker from some of the leading lights from the label's story. Mala is in a strident mood with "Expected, Level 10" carrying through that extra touch of melody from the Mala In Cuba LP. DVA cuts loose with the leftfield scattershot groove of "Technical Difficulties", reveling in tonal experimentation and jagged rhythmic flair to a stunning end. Still locked into the sci-fi trap tangent that characterised Severant, Kuedo turns out the haunting "Mtzpn" and Helix pops up for a remix of Kode9's "Xingfu Lu" that strips down to bare essentials with a little starlit soul rubbed into the framework.
Review: Racer Productions came steam-rolling through the scene earlier this year with an excellent debut single from Emma De Seze, and now the label are back with another fresh name, the supremely talented newcomer Mischa Lively. "Pillow" sounds like it's come from the hands of highly experienced producer - someone like Joey Anderson - and its rickety, off-kilter percussion is full of swing and pleasure; "Blakeup" breaks down the rigid 4/4 groove in favour of a more twisted, kick-heavy hybrid cut. "A Posture For Thought" is considerably more stripped-down and carries more of a techno swag, while "Held Open" once again tears the house format down to a jittery, dub-infused vibe.
Review: For their debut 12", freshly minted label Reflektion Tapes has pulled off something of a coup by signing up Von D, a storied producer who has released killer material on such imprints as Apron, Trojan Audio, Sub Freq and Black Acre. On this outing, the Frenchman showcases a pair of collaborative tracks. On the A you'll find "Dub Compulsion", a deliciously soulful, organic sounding hook-up with Deep Medi and Eglo sort Mizz Beats. While the crispy beats and bassline and suitably heavy, it's the wavering vocal samples and sparkling keys that really catch the ear. Former Diagrams man Mr Lager lends a hand on side two's "Some Other Place", a deep space fusion of delay-laden percussion hits, ultra-deep bass and swirling, intergalactic atmospherics.
Space Afrika - "After They Entered It Was Only Evident" (3:59)
Review: "Shared Meanings" has been one of Mumdance's most ambitious and explorative projects to date; pulling together the four corners of the hardcore continuum and tying them in a tight bow, his mix has drawn elements and parallels between all genres and laced them in a narrative that mirrors and reflects throughout. Now, for limited time only, we have five of the 32 tracks he included in the mix ranging from his and Logos' totem track "Teachers" which pays homage to the UK's forefathers, to the pulverising thumpy bumpy techno of Nkisi's "Kinenga" via stasis sensation ambience from Space Afrika in the form of "After They Entered It Was Only Evident". Coordinates don't come much broader or deeper, "Shared Meanings" is Mumdance in full on explorer mode. Long may his meaningful trips continue.
Review: Through These Eyes come through our ears and into our brains with maximum pleasure results. This time with Italian-in-London Noh Vae who builds on his sterling work with labels such as Modern Ruin and Terra Null with four more unidentifiable beats. "Flow" kicks in with halftime ghetto grit, all mentasms and loopy vocal punches, "Shaka" glides through space with a touch of the Skeppies to its icy off-beat groove while "Double Standards" takes us up to around 170 with a real low-slung purring Vromm-style sense of predator menace. Remix-wise Belgian dub don Digid rips up "Shaka" and rebuilds it on a smouldering 160 halftime beat. Noh Vae... No worries.
Review: The singular sounds of Jim Coles make their mark on Library Music as he drops his more typical tempo of around 85 to 70BPM with these cosmic futuristic bass jams. Pensive, slow-burning, laced with otherworldly textures and laden with chasmic dubspace: "Fire Exit" insists with a hypnotic twisted chime loop and shadowy basses groaning underneath and "Dark Vistas" takes us even deeper into the cosmic realms with heady layers of pads and ricochet heartbeat rhythm that envelop your every sense. Remarkable.
South East Of The Mountain (Sam Kidel remix) (4:37)
Skeletal (Osvmvsm remix) (3:25)
Bloom (Helm remix) (6:38)
Review: Berceuse Heroique's Ancient Monarchy adds to the Parris story with three beautiful remixes that add and enhance the mysterious London artist's unique vibe all the more. Sam Kidel condenses the vast spacious valleys on "South Side Of The Mountain" with more of a rolling, hardened feel to the drums. Osvmvsm, meanwhile, pays respect to the kick-free "Skeletal" but turbo charges the glock melody with much more of a militant focus and energy. Finally Helm strips "Bloom" right back to its key atmosphere then rebuilds with an ambient, heavily textured and sensory experience.
Review: When Peggy Lee slinked around in the 50s to the sultry strains of "Fever", could she ever have imagined that half a century later, people like Romare would be turning her tune into a weed smokin', love makin' slo-mo RnB jam? Unlikely to say the least, but "Your Love (You Give Me Fever") is on the money and respectful, if different to the original's mood. Elsewhere on Romare's latest Black Acre release, "Jimi & Faye" is a warped take on blues, "Taste Of Honey" recalls the days of daisy age hip-hop and "Hey Now" is a weary and haunting piano lament.
Review: Schockglatze is a long standing collaboration between artists working across several disciplines. With audio-visual performances, band projects and international exhibitions thus far, they have been causing a stir within the art and music worlds. Spank has already collaborated with a range of acclaimed vocalists, including Warrior Queen, Sensational and Christoph Waltz. As a competent producer, he forms the solid basis for the studio productions of Schockglatze. Nik Nowak has attracted international attention with his mobile sound sculptures and worked with Chicago footwork pioneers like (the late) DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn as well as Kevin Martin aka The Bug. Graphic artist, VJ and video director Moritz Stumm aka Ultramoodem brings to the project an 'inimitable rhythmicity' while creating a singular technique of audio-visual effects: the aesthetic of which has become a signature style of the collective.
Review: Rounding up another year of dark experiments, Nervous Horizon invite Second Storey to bring 2016 to the warped, wrangled close it deserves. Hot on the heels of his "Bismuth" EP and Appleblim collaborations come three more adventures in pastures unclaimed: "Spin Cycle" is a grainy, decaying hypnosis loop, "Critters" is the type of two-step the devil dances to while "Sludge 3D" is a pounding slab of lo-fi fuzzy techno that unravels into a brilliantly trippy drum arrangement. Three tracks, three tales, one Storey.
Review: Sam Shackleton's "Deadman" was the surprise hit of his recent Fabric mix - a sought-after gem that took his particular take on techno and dubstep in a thrilling new direction. Now, it's finally available on vinyl, alongside an impressive King Midas Sound remix from Kevin Martin. "Deadman" itself is the one for club plays, an intoxicating fusion of conga-led percussion - influenced, one expects, by the tropical beats of UK funky's most forward-thinking practitioners - and his usual densely layered atmospherics. The King Midas Remix, meanwhile, offers a spaced-out, heavily ambient take that delights and confuses in equal measure.
Review: After putting out a free compilation last year, Biome and Madam X's Kaizen label attained a sense of legitimacy in 2016 when they started putting out vinyl. After Biome took care of the first 12", Kaizen turn to Brotherhood paring Silas & Snare for this second offering, a killer two-track exercise in modern bass science. Title track "Biometric" demonstrates how well this Leeds duo utilise the sense of space in their productions, all elements crisply and sharply executed and built around that laser-like bassline. Complementing this, "Patience" sees Silas & Snare bring their percussive structures to the fore, all brushed textures shooting in intricate patterns for a fine club tool.
Review: Having set our world alight with his third Ilian Tape 12", 2012, back in the spring, Munich man Skee Mask delivers another essential collection of loose-limbed, broken techno workouts. Typically, he's on point from the word go, enveloping swinging, off-kilter techno breakbeats with swirling chords and cascading melodies on brilliant opener "Inti". His love of African-influenced polyrhythms is explored further on the ghostly, percussion-rich club cut "Kappelberg Chant" (which, incidentally, makes great use of choral chants), while "Routine" is a warm, loved-up and evocative tribute to rave-era British breakbeat-house. His debt to British dance music's formative years also comes to the fore on killer proto-jungle jam "Skreet Lvl Dub".
Review: Fiery dynamics abound as Detroit's Snakepiss delivers a caustic six track document. Ranging from the paranoid and intense overlapping vocal samples of the angst-ridden "Blaze" to the slow-and-steady tribal thunder of "Our Love", each cut reveals a different shade of Snakepiss's sonic personality. There's anger here, but it's displayed conservatively and creatively; "Set Fire To The Living", for example, is an icy slice of electro that develops into such a rich groove you can't avoid the heat. The vocal texture on "Frig", meanwhile, sounds as if the devil has been sampled himself... And wrapped around a meditative cosmic sermon that would sit well in any daring disco set. Strike a light.
Review: Following last year's chest-pressing debut album A Music Of Sound Systems, Infrasonics scientist Spatial returns to Never Ready with two blistering originals that flex around the broken and 4/4 axis. "Netz Room" is sprung with a fractured grime aesthetic to the rhythm. Icy with just the right amount of drama, this causes commotions in all scenarios. "Hut 6" reminds us of Spatial's technoid mindset with a carefully sculpted deep hypnotic groove. Remix-wise J Tijn gets all fuzzy and broken while Munstac strips things right back and dusts off with a little timpani magic. Singular.
Review: Loose synthed Englishman in New York, Spokes takes Flight once more and delivers his follow-up Coyote EP to last year's "Green Eyes" with his broadest soundscape to date. Three sides to his soul, each one armed with different sense of electronic charm from the fluttering arpeggios and yearning vocal texture of "Failed State" to the plucked off-beat almost oriental wilderness of "Flight" by way of the much more rigid instrumental grime banger "Mercurial", Spokes showcases a widescreen spirit that stamps across all the most exciting electronic contexts.
Review: Miguel Gil Tertre dusts off his Strand hat for some glitched-out IDM beat freakery. The title track sets the statement for the whole EP: a chaotic 8-bit brew of frenetic drums and over-layered data textures, it's instant insanity. Dig deeper for an array of weirded out compositions; the 22nd century jazz creativity of "Alvaro" and the mischievous mangled juke-meets-rave styles of "You Need A Friend" and the discordant Apparat-style stretches and bends of "Ana & I". Unique.
Review: YES! We'd been waiting on this collaboration from UK start vocalist Wiley and shadowy electronic pioneer Zomby for a long time now, and it's about time it's landed on our shelves. "Step 2001" is a straight-up grime piece, a clicking, twisted groove made up of darting hi-hats and pacman sounds; you know when they say "they don't make them like they used to!"? Well, this doesn't apply here, as it's a serious head-dive back into the early noughties scene. There's also an instrumental version for maximum damage.
Henry Wu - "Substance" (IG Culture & Alex Phountzi remix) (4:36)
Son Of Scientist - "Spartan Riddim" (4:52)
NameBrandSound & Sonar's Ghost - "Can't Hold It" (4:43)
Alex Phountzi - "2nd Intention" (feat IG Culture & Henry Wu) (4:39)
IG Culture & Seiji - "Gangz" (4:26)
Review: Bruk bastions, the CoOp collective were one of the brightest, most exciting musical movements in the early to mid 2000s with their barbed, broken soul take on bass music emanating from Plastic People playing a heavy role in the forms of contemporary house music, dubstep and all things in between. Freshly reformed since a Boiler Room comeback in 2015 and loaded with new affiliates, the ensemble, First Word proudly present their first collective EP. Ranging from the jittering soundclash bashment of "Spartan Riddim" to the sensual Bias-like harp heaven of "Can't Hold It" via the technoid stutters of "2nd Intention", this marks the start of a very exciting new chapter for the CoOp crew.
Review: Woof! Hyperdub bring together two of the most recognisable and enigmatic artists of recent times on this 10", as Zomby and Burial square down ahead of the former's new album for the label. Zomby's Ultra LP is undoubtedly one of this year's most anticipated albums and "Sweetz" suggests it may be a very moody affair indeed. Whilst rooted in UK dance, Zomby and Burial do look elsewhere for inspiration too. Just under seven minutes long, "Sweetz" veers through various sub-heavy soundscapes with intermittent rhythmic patters and a distinctive looped vocal sample whose pitch changes with dramatic effect.
Review: Stepping up with his second album for 50 Weapons, Addison Groove is once again mining the rhythmic excitement of juke and footwork and working it into his blue-hued melodic headspace. Standout vocal cut '"Just You" is a prime example of the upbeat flavour across the album, while "11th" matches the plush harmonies with moodier switch-ups, and "The Spirit Level" drops the tempo into a house bump that lends itself to the illustrious synth sweeps. Typically though the beats are in that twitchy middle ground between dubstep and footwork, leaving plenty of space for razor-sharp constructions and dazzling edits as best demonstrated on the dynamic acid roll of "Space Apples". Chaos abounds on the B Side where Developer's frantic side is shown via "Promiscuous" whilst the tightly wound "Pulstar" is quite hypnotic.