Review: Sneaker Social Club are not messing around! Following their previous outings from the legendary trio 2 Bad Mice comes remixes from two impeccably forward thinking break crafters; Sully takes "Gone Too Soon" into some fantastical places as the breaks scream jungle but the big breeze pads scream Alex Reece but both elements work together emotively. Falty DL, meanwhile, gives us a hardcore schooling on "Limit Of Paradise" with its heavily layered breaks, wall of sound pads and dynamic drops into spacious hooks. Bad to the (clear vinyl) bone!
Review: Bristol's Addison Groove is back to get well funky! The Groove boss and 50Weapons staple gets some low slung party vibes in full effect on "F1nk" which is a wicked tool that's looped to perfection. On the flip, he goes deeper into the night on the well hypnotic and very exotic polyrhythmicity of "Sudoeste" and features good mate Bim Sanga - it follows up their excellent Where Are The People EP ?on Bags Inc. last year. This one was our pick of the two and is perfect for those heads-down or 'get weird' moments on the dancefloor. Tip!
Review: Remix klaxon! Addison Groove unleashes "Shango" from this summer's heavily played "Changa" EP and passes it round his mates for a cheeky buzz. The results include a harmonic Julian Jabre-style tech house riff from Ejeca, a sub-aquatic bubble-n-bleep stepper from O'Flynn, a woozy slo-mo broken beat affair from Nan Kole and a pounding operator-style 4x4 dub shakedown from Professor Amit. Subp Yao takes the closing honours with a spaced-out beat jam that sits somewhere between IG Culture and Roska. Shango-a-gogo.
Review: Scottish artist Aether emerges from the ether with some of his most spell-binding material to date. Twinkling, evocative and hazy, there's a dreamlike theme as the narrative runs throughout and we're taken down lullaby lane with woozy and wondrous results. From the startling sunrise soul of the first encounter to the poignant, lingering final goodbye, Aether's sonic imagery and consistency makes this more of a mini album than an EP. Utterly beautiful.
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: Time Horizon's second episode enlists another team of dancefloor snipers delivering 5 brain-dancing tunes crafted appositively for late night use. After his appearance on the first XCPT record, Andrea is back on the label with his unmistakable shuffling drums and a heavy square bassline followed by Anybody Anytime covering the uptempo-zone with a rotative junglistic tool dressed with celestial pads; closing the A side TANS reveals his new robot alias The Sympathizer providing a neurotic electro progression fully based on his modular system. Flipping the records you will find two XCPT homies bringing the audience straight into Matera landscapes: Farron gets a 909 unceasing toms orchestra surrounded by his atmospheric leads while Kreggo illustrates clearly his hypnotic mid-low vision of breakbeat locked by a mystic bass for the whole track.
When Grounds Shift (The Otolith Is Obsolete) (5:47)
Gravity's Pitfalls (6:13)
Review: Kl.ne and CRESC continue to developed their APHTC project with two new rhythmic spells on brand new kinetic body music label Arcane Patterns. Wild freestyle percussion, fractured breaks and an all round physical sensation to both sides, once again we're hurled into unchartered sonic territory. "When Grounds Shift" sideswipes from the off with a curious polyrhythm that sits somewhere between IG Culture Shackleton. "Gravity's Pitfalls" rolls with a little more of a conventional sense of techno and tribal momentum while still sounding like nothing else on this planet. Follow the patterns...
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: His first new material as Basic Rhythm since his 2017 album The Basics, the London artist known as East Man steps over to Warp offshoot Arcola for two heady dancefloor slap-abouts. "Dough Boy" is a beautiful magpie of a track that comprises classic jungle pads, a naughty LFO style bassline and Art Of Noise-style talking keyboard notes while "Can't You See" slows the rave right down and strips the vibe right back to its emotional, naked essentials. With an EP on Sneakers Social Club coming up soon too, it's a great time to be a Basic Rhythm fan right now.
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: UKG and dubstep originator Benny Ill launches Good 4 Ya with two exceptional originals and two equally heavyweight remixers. "Sugar" is as sweet as it sounds; spacious, laced with Chicago style house chords and a sexy sense of hypnosis before man like Zed Bias enters the fray and murks up the groove with a 2001-era squelchy bass and a bit of crushed break for good measure. Flip for the horsepowered 4x4 jam "Triple S". Thumping relentlessly into the light with more US-flavoured synth work, it's a tune you could just as easily imagine in Shelter back in the early 90s as you could in FWD in the early 2000s and any era since. The mighty El-B closes the show with more of a darker two-step twist while retaining the jazzy pep of the chords. Four cuts, three bonafide originators, one essential record.
Review: Cong Burn made a mighty splash with its first release, clearly flaunting the kind of wares you'd expect to hear from Livity Sound alumni or other such esteemed techno renegades. The second installment is no slouch either, featuring a new cast of crooked creators offering up their wares for the modern mutant dancefloor. BFTT has a weighty low end thrum powering "Public/Private", while Lack takes things in a scuffed and nimble direction. Chekov pushes out into more experimental pastures with the broken beats and displaced sound design of "Celeste" and Howes creates a wonderful strain of mystical deep house for darkened souls. Each one of these tracks is loaded with flair and personality, yards ahead of your average generic knock offs and presenting something with real merit to the convoluted world of dance music.
Review: Big Hands, big heart, big ideas; Milan man now based in London Andrea Bonalumi blesses us with his biggest release to date on Beat Machine. Fractured, frazzled and fried in future innovation, we're blindsided by the offbeat bubbles on "Prequel" and shunted and stuttered by disco freakery on "More Than Love". Elsewhere the title track boils things down to a much sludgier, warped and weird shuffle, "Tensegrity" reimagines rave for a modern day jilted generation while "Kick Blood" kicks us down a twisted UKG rabbit hole. "Blood" concludes this extensive extended player both in its breakbeat original form and gun-toting instrumental grime take from Walton. Big.
Review: The seventh volume in Beat Machine's ongoing "Swinging Flavors" series of singles arrives on vibrant turquoise vinyl. This time round, it's a relatively new artist at the controls: Breaka, whose debut 12" on Holding Hands tickled our fancy earlier in the year. Happily, "Damn Hot" lives up to its title, brilliantly joining the dots between the snappy drum machine snares, cut up vocal samples and incessant hustle of Chicago Juke, the crunchy breakbeat since of old school jungle, and the futurist intent of contemporary drum and bass. It's really rather good, all told, with Danny Scrilla's flipside remix - a spacey fusion of intergalactic synthesizer melodies and ruffneck early '90s jungle tropes - also hitting the sweet spot.
Review: Grid bunning, convention shunning heaviness of the highest order right here from BTG bossman Bulu as he offers a lesser spotted solo EP. Well, we say solo but of course his mate and all round super G Etch is along for the ride for "Collide". An outer planetary stepper with trippy tendrils and a DJ Trace style ricochet bassline, it's joined by Bulu's own cosmic basher "Fiyah", a divine space age breakbeat remix from J Shadow, and a bumping turbo jungle shake up from Itoa. All essential; in this case if you don't play with fiyah, you're gonna get burnt...
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: Cong Burn continues to exercise one of the most promising instincts for future-minded music on this, their third release. It's surprising they haven't done more previously, considering the maturity of their curation, but either way the quality remains at an all time high here, leading in with some light and liquefied 4/4 sonics from Chekov before pirouetting into one of Duckett's illustrious abstractions around the techno blueprint. Label regular Lack is back on side B with the stern and punchy "Track 3," and then Haddon finishes the record off with "Anabiosis," a densely textured, slow creeping trip of a track.
Review: Cape Town's CTS dive straight into a new year with the show-stopping "If You Want To". Rolling on an unhurried break with rich emotional textures, it pulls you into their world with a molten persistence that never sits still. Remix-wise Gacha Bakradze adds a little Balearic charm with maintaining the spirit of the original's liquid, perpetual groove development while Edmondson brings us back to the bruk with a broken beat, slightly UKG vibe. There's no ifs about it, you will want to.
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: Based in Peckham, Tokyo Wax is a unified collection of creatives sharing an appreciation for a broad range of Electronic Music. Having refined their tastes and gathered experience through promotion and radio shows their focus has since shifted to releasing records and in doing so, providing a platform for auspicious piers to bloom. In the wake of the success of that inaugural record from label owners Presence and Persona they ready their carefully crafted return with the second installment coming courtesy of 20 year-old mastermind Circula backed up by Endeguena Mulu of Ethiopian Records on his first ever remix.
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: The second collectible EP out of three, arriving on double white 10" vinyl, and containing tracks from Jon Convex's debut album, Idoru sees another four hard hitting fusions of techno and contemporary bass music. Unlike the first EP, which was surprisingly melodic, these tracks aim squarely at the floor, with "What I Need" a heavy tom-led piece of Detroit influenced techno, and "Aversion" providing some tracky functionalism. "Desolation" and "Four Faces" meanwhile provide some bleak electro dystopianism, much indebted to his Autonomic heritage.
Review: For the fourth release on their promising Wisdom Teeth imprint, founders Facta and K-Lone have turned to the combined talents of old pal Alex Coulton, Italian produer Chevel, and fast-rising studio boffin Simo Cell. Coulton kicks things off, delivering a deliciously heavy and floor-friendly concoction that sits somewhere between broken techno, contemporary bass music, and the kind of comforting deepness more associated with hazy house productions. Chevel does an excellent job of calming things down, layering up bleeping electronics and ambient textures to create something reminiscent of mid '90s IDM, before Simo Cell attempts to "Escape The Fate" on a creepy cut that combines fizzing hi-hats and wonky ambient melodies, with drum programming and musical touches borrowed from EBM and industrial
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.