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: Dub maestro Mala joins forces with prominent British writer, dub poet and Rastafarian Benjamin Zephaniah and Natty for this heavy hitting, hand-stamped 12". "I'm a bad man anyway, this is my sound" says Zephaniah with real passion as spaced out pads and delicate chords soften his battle cry, and his musings on the black man's struggle, righteousness and Rastafarianism play out in absorbing fashion. Best believe this one is going to become a real cult favourite, not least because of the exceptional sound design and sense of space inherent in any Mala tune.
Review: The mysterious Macker returns to the scene of the crime. Previously spotted shaking up the dancefloor two years ago on a similarly anonymous release, here he's back and armed with more sonic treacle. Dark, thick, swampy with just the right amount of drone, "Faust" is a cathedral creeper that's weighted by insanely heavy kicks while "Isolation" takes us even deeper down Macker's rabbit hole with grainy depth charge bass plucks, samurai samples and that crucial overall sensation of a cosy graveyard picnic somewhere on another planet. Crucial; don't slack on the Mack.
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.
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.