Review: Without argument, Terror Danjah has been one of the most influential and respected producers in the grime scene since day one, and "Invasion" is his sixth album. Fully instrumental and loaded with ideas, samples and a myriad of musical twists and turns, this far excels any standard grime boundary and celebrates everything that's great about UK bass and beatmaking culture. Every beat has its own story; the soulful swoons on "Scene 1", the absolute gully daggers of "Snowfall", the wheezy eastern pipework of "TBC" and the dense, intense head-spin "After Dark". Total blueprint business and releases at a very poignant time. We wish Terror a speedy and full recovery.
Review: It's hard to think of a DJ with the global profile of Nina Kraviz who runs a label as underground and innovative as trip. The latest comes from Shadowax, who has previously contributed to the label's compilations but now makes her full label debut. Unlike much of the frantic and frenetic material trip has dealt with in the past, this EP slows the tempos and explores more moody and hypnotic techno. Opener "Nikolai Reptile" is a super slow motion and dub rhythm with searching synth lines gently riding up and down the scale, while "Ochen" recalls the icy minimal perfection of Daniel Bell. "What About Me" has spoken word mutterings and paranoid, pressurised kicks that hurry you along and lastly "Mortal Talking" is a flurry of hyper-speed drums and synth loops to fully flip you out.
Review: Om Unit takes it to the bridge once again. His label's first V/A collection since its evergreen "Cosmology Selections" in 2017, it's another vast plain ripe in sonic depths and textures from some of the most left-minded, boundary-fusing captains in the bass game. Featuring two crucial link-ups from the bossman himself with two kindred spirits Djrum and Synkro plus a whole cosmic cornucopia of voyages from the likes of Danny Scrilla, J:Kenzo, Vromm and stacks more, every track is a highlight in its own beguiling way. No label flares with the same level of dark vitality, there's more than enough for our brains to chew on right here.
Review: Destination San Francisco: Artikal snap-up Saule for his debut EP release. Long-time selector but an emerging producer, he's pushing all the right buttons here. Opener "Zeroes" is all flabby moving subs and shimmering theremin harmonics, "Baro" hits with more of an industrial twang in the percussive textures without losing any sense of warmth, trippiness or weirdness (watch out for the danked-out breakdown, though). The final shots are fired on "Pistola" as things take an even stranger turn; tones melt, drums turn into pistons and the sub wobble is off the chain. From "Zeroes" to heroes - this one is a keeper.
Review: Bandulu strike again! This time with fellow kindred system spirit Bengal Sound. Two more totally disarming, otherworldly experiments, if you've just returned from Outlook then you'll already know what damage these are causing. "Never Mind" warms up with graveyard stroll before opening up into a strange shimmering organ riff that doesn't quite sound as if it's made on this planet. "Short Stay" meanwhile twists up the percussion and drum arrangements, making them almost breathe with trippy toxicity and a wooziness you just can't find in any other style of music. One of a kind and already teased out a few months ago. This new batch won't last long.
Review: Chonkster Rygby comes correct once again on one of his earliest stomping grounds, Encrypted. Opener "Jansky" doesn't so much as make you swoon but will have you swiping right all night long with its emotional chords and affable off-side bass bubbles. "Twinkle Toez", however, isn't quite the lover's lullaby. Creepy Halloween feels a-go-go, this explores a much darker side of Rygby's bounce athletics. "Deadliest Force" closes us off on more of a grime instrumental vibe but with a wry filmic edge. Emotions remain high. As they always do with this Bristol basssmith.
Review: Deep mischief from the Bangor triad LSN. Their first EP since December 2018, it's an instant hit of low end refreshment that stretches the full terrain. On the A: "I Don't Know What That Means" is a deeply trippy workout that turns the spoken word samples inside out while "Oscillator" flips for a raw vocal cut that swaggers and smoulders in equal measure. Meanwhile on the B: "Gone For Never" is a stern jam sprung with a tightly coiled buzzing riff and "Rubberhands" brings every bit as much funk as its name implies. Squelchy.
Review: Big bites as P Jam unite with Capo Lee for a beat hotter than Peri-Peri Vusa. Jam lays down a bouncy riddim full of character and cheeky trippy flurries while Capo gets down to business with a tale of a hectic schedule. Flip for an even spicier dish as the instrumental neck-snapper "Kumasi". Robotic, squelchy, bashy. It's the perfect side for the main banquet. Black card business.