Review: Having soared us through the dense black marsh earlier this year, Portuguese deepsmith 3WA takes us through even swampier, intense territories with this Crucial debut. "Viagem" is like stepping into a deep boggy cave where the drips from the stalactites get heavier and the ground swallows you like quicksand. "Encanto" then hauls your keister out of there with insistent hang drum percussion and rolling kicks before blowing you dry with powerful flutes and pipes. Charmed.
Review: Last year Burial and the Bug joined forces as Flame 1, delivering an in-demand EP on the latter's Pressure label featuring two sizable slabs of industrial strength soundsystem science. Here they return as Flame 2, once again offering up a pair of weighty dancefloor excursions. A-side "Dive" is a loud and claustrophobic affair, as the duo wraps dystopian dub bass and sparse, mutilated post-drill rhythms in layers of apocalyptic aural textures and mind-altering dub techno style processed noise. Flipside "Rain" is arguably more suitable for dancefloor plays and sees the esteemed twosome combine pulverizing sub-bass heaviness with dancehall style drums that come smothered in mind-melting effects and paranoia-inducing aural smoke.
Review: Finally. More presses of the killer 002 from Run Outs land and it's every bit as chilling as it was when they first teased us with it. "Unstable" is a meditative shimmering brew, unhurried and pace-setting while "Monolith" flips the vibe for something a little more warped and weird. Linking with mysterious producer Gisaza, they add a grumbling bassline, creepy arpeggios and sudden switches under a hazy cosmic sheen. Powerful stuff. You'd be wise to snap up on this before they Run Out again (not sorry).
Review: Mean Gene Headland returns to the perennial dub stable Innamind with three more bone-shaking beauties. "The Judge" slams the hammer of justice down and declares us all innocent as an accordion chord weaves around middle eastern strings, "Camino" puts its foot down and drives us into the horizon on a road made of naked drums under a sky of dreamy harpsicord arpeggios while "Strays" summons us all back to the courtroom and declares us guilty in one fell moody, groaning bassline swoop. Court dismissed.
Review: Uncompromised 140 magic right here as Tokyo's Helktram returns with their first full single in over two years. This time coming on Trusik, each cut flexes into a different dimension. Opening track "Suggestive Effect" hits like a pneumatic techno drill, marching militantly into your cortex with its staccato drill. "Insecure" plays the consummate foil with its glacial textures and weeping, woozy chords while "Iron Box" brings things together with a classic Coki-style pinched wobble driving the groove both back and forth in time.
Review: J:Kenzo strikes us down with pure bass weight once again, this time on Infernal Sounds with an almighty remix of San Francisco's Saule's ploughman stepper "Cure Dem". Adding an orchestral twist to those murderous stabs, this remix doesn't so much as cure but completely blazes every possible inch of your skin. Flip for an escapade of more ominous proportions as "Shijima's Revenge" takes us deep into Japanese legend with a powerful droning bass and a march-like groove that will have you trooping into the shadiest of graveyards. Absolute murderation.
Review: Having appeared on the likes of Nous Disques, Dream Eater and Collection Artaud, it was only a matter of time before London beat splicer J-Shadow's glacial, unnerving textures and sounds would find a home on Bun The Grid. With strong senses of techno and electro deep in the low-end mix, highlights include the nutty, almost breakcore style flippery of "No Gravity" the powerful technoid dirge of the title track "Embers". Loaded with remixes from none other than Etch and Danny Scrilla, once again BTG have spoilt us rotten.
Review: Oof! It's finally here; two east London mic dons link up over a heavy Chimpo beat on Jamakabi's Rhythm Rollers for a name that truly lives up to its name. Doing the rounds in various forms since last year, "Wickedest Ting" touches wax in two perfect version; the body-slamming original and a bashing jungle twist from the Ghosty Men. Wicked.
Review: Encrypted follow up Mesck's incendiary "ENV020" with two warped and woozy cuts from the enigmatic Manta. "It Lurks" switches the standard MC vocal for a crow screech and spoken word from the devil himself. Gloopy and swampy, this will lock your floor down in slo-mo like gorilla glue. "Zealot" takes us even deeper into the darkness with a wonky off-beat kick palpitations and big graveyard washes lapping over the top. It lurks, it lives, it bangs... The devil's music never sounded so good.
Review: Dirty in both name and delivery, Mr K offers up two tracks of deep, low-slung, venue-rattling dubstep that pays homage to the formative half-time years before people started using words like 'post' and 'not' to try and define the genre's development. Skankers of the world unite, if you catch the drift. 'Ol Dirty' threatens to ruin subs with its reverb'd lows and loose, easy going drums, reminding us of why dubstep should start with dub. 'Forever' is a more complex outing, smoky piano keys lolling over the top of a lazy rhythm, top end brass stabs jazzing things up before slow and sexy wind adds to the impressive musicality. Throw in a timeless spoken word sample and the result is an accomplished piece that'll sound equally intoxicating at home, in your headphones or setting late evening vibes.
Review: He's back... Riding on the crest of his near-majestic collaboration with Subscape for UKF's UKF10 series this spring The Others flips the switch once again with two dark designs on the consistently on-point Sentry. Revealing much ruff corners of his underbelly, we kick off with "Shaolin", a track that's powered by agruff sandpaper funk bassline and warped, skewed Japanese strings. It's followed by "Feedback" where every shade of The Others we love is whipped up in a blender; an epic intro, a gritty bassline, off-beat funk and sudden shards of light breaking through as the track progresses. After a few release-light years, it seems The Others has really and truly got the bug again. More please.
Review: Following a whole run of releases on labels such as Encrypted, Version Collective and Deep Dark & Dangerous, Dutch darksmith Ramsez makes his debut on Jack Sparrow's Navy Cut. He does so with three stark blueprints; "Big Boi" backs up its badman title with a savage drill-like bassline and some of the wooziest beats he's crafted to date, "Swinger Club" gets a little sweary over deep space beats and a bassline that breathes while "Talk Crime" ends things on a pranged note as dissonant textures whip up deep mists and the bassline warps, melts and eventually combusts before your very ears. The only crime to talk of here would be to sleep on this...
Review: Scrub A Dub dub, two men in a tub. They're called Rapture 4D and newcomer Ruda and they're making some pretty stinking noises. "Hubble Flow Dub" transmits messages to the furthest corners of the cosmic over a rumpy-pumpy bass riff while "Left Hand Path" celebrates all the southpaws of the land with an eerie theramin-led bleep mosaic. Flip for two Rapture originals as "Skylab" takes us right down under the earth's crust with its swampy, gloopy flow and textures and "Kosmos Redshift" closes us on a freaky space jazz trip. Scrub's up!
Review: It's finally here... V.I.V.E.K launches a brand new label and, as the title suggests, it's something a little different to the deep 140 piledrivers his System Sound is known for. Two rootsical excursions and two killer versions, this is the sound of the System champion bringing things back to the source. The title track (featuring longstanding System MC Dego Rankin) is a warm dub jam, spaced for good measure. Flip for "Galactic" as V.I.V.E.K flings us further east on a ship powered by Oriental strings and another rolling dub groove that's designed to make rigs purr. Beautiful.