Review: Rising 140 sculptor Samba proudly presents his own label 26.RAIN. Following a whole string of heavily supported releases on the likes of System Music, Deep, Dark & Dangerous and Encrypted, the label is a new outlet for a fresh synth-led fusion style he's been developing gradually. Deep, musical, not shy of an 808 or a two-step or two, there's a touch of UKG, wave and trap deep across both sides. "Acecloud" is the big neon dreamer of the duo while "Cookies" crumbles a little more delicately and introspectively. An excellent launch release, we're saving our rainy day money for 002.
Review: Last spotted on Boka shotting "22 Ounces", Chad Dubz now returns to find us all fully fledged "Addicts" awaiting our next Bristol fix. The lead track is at once bouncy and subdued with a heavy pressure and filter on the riff fluctuations. "Out Of Here" gets us on the first train to rehab city, its tricky percussive rolls and deep space slowly cleansing our souls before "Teachings In Wub" diverts us with scholarly wobble-whipped subterfuge. The final stage of our program takes us deep into the wilderness to find ourselves; "Iggy's Castle" leaves us on a mystic finale, all cobweb sonics and strange shadows. Moreish.
Review: It's been a while since we last heard from Kerem Sevincli AKA Iskeletor, an Istanbul-based beat-maker and bass-loving experimentalist who last featured on Tektosag way back in 2013. His return to the imprint boasts a trio of tracks on one-side, with an attractive, etched illustration on the other. He begins with "Afromax", a two-minute flurry of chopped experimental hip-hop beats, mangled bicycle bell and nuts-and-bolts percussion and wonky, shape-shifting electronics. Gantz Seytan remixes, cannily emphasizing the wonkiness of the beats on an outer-space excursion that's near hallucinatory in its twisted, slow motion approach. To round things off, Sevincli offers up his rework of Grup Ses cut "Mimar", re-casting it as a dystopian, ever-changing experimental beatscape rich in redlined sounds and epileptic drumbeats.
Review: If every record in The Weevil Neighbourhood acts as a location or hub within its community, this is the town hall. The nucleus from which all information and threads of consistency spread, it's where it began: 2011 with two robust, technoid dubby fusions that owe as much to Croydon as they do Detroit. The two came as a whole and have remained both in demand and breath-taking ever since. Still sounding contemporary and fresh, this is a timely reissue of a timeless release.
Review: Fresh Sector 7, Bristol's Drone makes his debut on V.I.V.E.K's System Sound with two smoking slabs of bass weight. "Amphibious" funks up the radar for a bleep excursion through the swampiest of textures with only a trippy riser and noir spoken word. Flip for "Lucid Dreams" where things take a creepier undertone thanks to the cavernous space, waterdrops, roomy switchy kicks, pranged out reverse manoeuvres and a sub as thick as marmite. Immense.
Review: It's 2019 and Chestplate bossman Distance is well and truly woke. Dropping his first officials since his outing on J:Kenzo's Artikal last spring, the whole four tracker is a pungent trip back to the stinker golden age. Rough funk, distorted and tailored strictly to kick the living peanuts out of the crowd, each cut is Distance doing what he does best. From the psychedelic dirge of "Awaken" right through to the orchestral darkness of "Settling Scores", Distance isn't mucking around here. Neither should you.
Review: The cavendish crusaders are at it again. And this time they're rolling out the barrels with full V/A power. Chad Dubz opens with the provocatively titled "Pricks", all sludgy, swampy and twisted while Karnage & Dayzero up the energy with a dramatic symphonic loopy nod to the far east on "No One" while Guesswerk close the show with the long awaited "Persian Dub". On dub for a good couple of years, this gravel throated swinger has been doing the business for a select amount of DJs for some time. Now it's finally yours. From Bristol with fruit. Tuck in and be quick about it.
Review: Copenhagen-based dub warrior RDG (Circle Vision, Surfase Records, All Out Dubstep) returns with more fire on his new jamdown version "Bellyass Dub". Bringing together powerful ragga vocals, fierce bass frequencies and skilful riddims that altogether exclaim it one jah! On the flip, he ventures down a darker, left-hand path on the personal dub of "Born & Grow" a sinister and paranoid joint that calls to mind the early days of UK style dubstep on Tempa or Skull Disco.
Review: Two sides, two vibes: Well Rounded Dubs get real with two refreshingly singular pieces of 140 innovation. Yung Jackson builds on his releases on the likes of Dub Tribu and Under Surveillance with this long awaited industrial strength minimal swagger jam. Sounding like it was made in the hottest part of a metal foundry while wearing an iron shirt, it's the sound of a new generation artist making a serious statement of intent. Flip for more forthright soundsystem fury from Denver's Ether as he gets his grunge on with a rough, sludgy bass riff that scuffs the beats, the gutter, its knuckles and your own purdy little features. Limited to the not-so-well-rounded amount of 297 copies, sleeping on this is not recommended.
Review: Where to place Weevil Neighbourhood? Is this dub techno? Perhaps. Dubstep? Maybe. Drum and bass? Sometimes. Experimental? Yes: in the truest sense of the word. It draws from all these aforementioned styles and more, resulting in the formation of a reclusive German label breaking the framework of many electronic music genres wide open. The title-track from Anthone's second EP for the label is where the dub techno suggestion comes from thanks to its caustic chord sequences, only there's flashes of dubstep beat designs and loose drum and bass textures similar to what can be heard on Felix K's Flowers Of Destruction. On the flip, "Lungs" is instrumental and live feeling. In parts it sounds like a band playing, while in others you can here the work of samplers looping, and when combined, it offers an industrial soundscape that's like merging some of the darker rock and metal stylings from Sex Tags No Amfibia with Regis' Sandra Electronics project, only reduced to the point of almost being ambient.
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: We're not sure who Leftlow is/are but anything with the System stamp of approval passes all necessary filters. Especially when the lead track whisks you straight back to 2006 with the squelchiest hook this side of "Cluedub"'s dub dungeon and a sub grumpier than thunder. "Boa" is a little more contemporary in its minimal Rotterdam style. Strange, stripped back and sprung with a peculiar bounce that's as addictive as it is trippy, with its soft, subtle kick it's a genuinely unique piece of 140 craft. For good measure Skeptical swings by for a knock out remix of "Cluedub" where even more flabby low end gets baked in the mix. Don't get left out.
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: Croatia's Ognjen Zecevic, otherise known as Egoless, has been absolutely smashing over the last three years, with releases for imprints like ZamZam Records and Deep Medi Music instilling his sound at the top of the contemporary bass game. To that point, here he is on Youngsta's Sentry Records, home to producers like dBridge, Caspa and Gramz - so you know the quality is on point. The title tune "Decolonize" is an Eastern riddim, mashing up tough dub-steps with flutes and chimes from the Levant; "Global" keeps that narrative going with some Middle-Eastern melodies blended up and filtered-down into a heady, percussive groove for the ultimate mood-switcher.
Review: Recovering from the damage caused by Caspa's "Gutter Riddim" earlier this year, Youngsta's Sentry returns with a rightfully-hyped newcomer Gramz. Following a strong range of flips and self-releases, here we find the UK talent in full vinyl mode with two ridiculously on-point 140 jams. "Dip Dip Potato Chip" is every bit as tasty and filling as it sounds. Trippy, slurring and woozier than a disgraced celeb, this one sucks you right in and doesn't even bother to chew you up; it just swallows you whole. "Illa" takes the freakiness to even more refreshingly vital levels with its pitched ghetto vocals and drill-like snares. As with all previous Sentry releases, this is nothing short of essential.
Review: Three releases deep, each one an absolute peach: Youngsta's Sentry label has been total fire so far. Kicking off with dBridge, then Nomine, now the label take us to New Zealand for its third outing as Akcept takes the controls and proceeds to drive on both sides of the road; "Dreader Than Dread" is an epic bounce back 10 years with its brazenly funk horns and rolling chubby bass groove while "Howl" is a lot more spaced out, starker, late night jam with a fatty sub line that should come with a health warning. Stay alert.
Review: Following their beguiling "Signals" EP, enigmatic Primer returns to Rarefied with four more trips. With its desert sand storm textures and staccato vocal clip, "Nowhere And Nothing" isn't quite as bleak as it sounds, it's actually super warm and intense. The same can be said for "Drowned"; while sombre and introspective, the dub sounds and elements are buoyant and eventually rise into something pretty hopeful after the second drop. "Tal (part 2)" provides closure for those of us who are still nursing sore minds from "Tal (part 1)" on Primer's debut release as it uses the same mystic elements to wind down the chaos into a subtle woozy brew. Speaking of woozy, "I Had A Faraway Dream" brings us back home with a beautifully sleepy harp, stumbling kicks and a vocal that seems to melt into itself. Singular. No one's doing it like Primer.
Review: There's no stopping this American trio right now; after a massive year of ugly thumpers on the likes of Dank & Dirty Dubz, Chestplate and Artikal, they return to DUPLOC for another EP, this time fully vinylised and loaded with two VIPs of their label debut last year. "Forest Temple" is a real foundation shaker where the subs do all the talking and the eerie textures ripple through the spaces while "Up Up" is just a straight up stinker with full wobbles and teeth gnashing filth. Flip for two crucial VIPs as "Verify Me" and "Yellow & Grey" are given the most dapper go-gullier-stripes you ever did hear. Sound as a pound.
Review: Don't be fooled by the title; this ain't no sampler from Skeppy's fantastic debut album Enjoy This Trip, these are two fresh new tracks that remind us the Exit artist depths and versatility. His first 140 jams in a while, "Paper House" shudders under the weight of DRS's crystaline poetry while "Nebula" shoots us to the edge of the sub bass cosmos on a rocket made of spacious, skippy beats and shows us no way of returning home. It's the trip that keeps on giving...
Review: Keeping it loose as we wade into a new year, Encrypted Audio ask Japan's Karnage back for more faraway jams. As with previous outings together, it's an enveloping sea of shades ranging from the woozily bent and cascading tones of "Leaper" that almost slime off the beats to the bleary flute loop that's mangled with precision levels of uplift on "Mysticism". In between we have the industrial strength "SOL" which sounds like a steel foundry melted into a waveform. Powerful.
Review: Last spotted on Encrypted's Codedinsound V/A album in 2017, Denver's Malleus returns with his first full EP for the label. If you've been following his sounds on the likes of Gourmet Beats and Foundation Audio, you'll know exactly what's up here; swampy, otherworldly textures, trippy aesthetics, warped and weirded out sound designs. "Damien" takes the lead with demonic graveyard arpeggios and pressurised kicks while "Dragging The Lake" is swampy, grotty and gloopy in consistency but poignant and barbed in emotional energy. For maximum wonk jump on "Grinn" while militant nightmare heads should jump straight onto the finale "To Kiss The Witch's Flesh". Filth.