Review: Volume Six of Tempa Allstars collects contributions from some of the underground music scene's pioneers and leading lights Skream. "Rollin' Kicks" begins the EP with a tapping drumbeat and a Breakage hued sonic palette (circa "Open Up") which is a million miles away from Magnetic Man. D&B-turned-dubstep minimalist Icicle steps up with "Anything". Crisp, acerbic breaks feature heavily, perfectly calculated beats and a futuristic touch. Falty DL adds a funky touch with "Sunday" as chirpy bleeps and bellows of bass underpin the fidgeting rhythms here, with notable sunny, upbeat vibes in the synth work. Benga injects a dose of humour with the ticking percussive lisp and robotic chant of "I Come From London" driving things along into a hypnotic state of sentiency. SBTRKTs "Sleep In Tokyo" is all broken, funked up beats, warm keys and delicately textured rhythms. Alix Perez brings the EP to a close with "Metric". Deep, atmospheric crackling, crisp SFX and rumbling subs roll along with dark menace. A superb finale to one of the finest releases in the Tempa Allstars series so far.
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: 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: 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: It's time to step into the Bristol shadows with Sector 7 once again as label co-runner Boofy invites Young Echo to the fray for two instrumental grime / dub hybrids. "Roll The Dice" pelvises with its dense subs and shimmering atmospheric textures while shattering trap snare roll and a mystic melody and skippy drum arrangement flicker in and out of the foreground. "Cane Sword" is a little more on the pure grime tip with some superb drum momentum, breathless atmospheres and cool samples that skid to a halt when you least expect them. Roll again...
Review: Last year, Dream Eater Records offered up a "versus" release boasting weighty and intoxicating cuts from both Kromestar and Ironsoul. It was something of a success, so they've decided to repeat the exercise. Kromestar handles side A, wrapping fuzzy, grime style beats and pulverizing bass in fluttering flutes, heady synth strings and dreamy chords. Ironsoul takes a totally different approach on flipside cut "Temper", an off-kilter chunk of wonky dubstep/grime fusion full of buzzing, echoing riffs, mind-altering electronics and sub-bass pressure. It's rhythmically curious, but that's undoubtedly part of the track's seductive late-night allure.
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: Uprising Sounds returns to Indica with a powerful original and even heavier version. "Militant Dub" leads heavily on the main synth line that's almost oriental in its allure and mysticism. As the title suggests, the rhythm is persistent and just on the right side of rigid to maintain the essential funk. "Dub The Bass" is a much deeper exploration of the low end as the warping bass is allowed to turn itself inside out as the track progresses. Standard Indica procedure: only 500 have been pressed.