Review: If timeless warehouse music and bass-heavy rave revivalism is your thing, there's a fair chance you already own some Soundbwoy Killah records. Whether you do or not, we'd heartily recommend checking the shadowy producer's debut album, "Halcyon Daze". It's little less than a breathless, saucer-eyed romp through heady fusions of dreamy UK garage, melodious jazzy jungle, loved-up breakbeat hardcore, African-influenced tribal percussion and gargantuan low-end pressure. It's all arguably a little more relaxed and sunrise-ready than some of his 12" singles - this is an album, after all - but that's not a criticism: in fact, the album's sporadic ambient moments are uniformly excellent, sounding like long lost early 90s classics.
Review: Sometime Arcola artist Basic Rhythm returns to action via a fine four-track missive on Hypercolour's rave-inspired little sister, Sneaker Social Club. As you might expect, he's hit the mark once again via a quartet of cuts that gleefully blur the boundaries between a myriad of bass-music styles. We're particularly enjoying the broken computer style electronics, scattergun drums and discordant sci-fi sounds of "Too Nuff" and the Actress style madness of "London Warehouse", though we could also make a case for the sludgy vocal samples, post-dubstep pulse and weighty sub of "Ready Again" and slightly more melodious "New Style". In other words, it's a very strong EP.
Review: Etch and Nico Lindsay make good musical bedfellows; the former's spacious left-footed soundscapes providing plenty of room for Nico's narrative, evolving lyrical style, they're kindred spirits linked by a glacial sense of adventure and refusal to compromise. Opener "Don't Wanna Know" kicks the doors down with force. Rough and switchy, there's a pulsing 2002 feel to both the step and flow while "Predator Vs Prey (Toxin)" takes us on a much swampier, weirded out trip that buns everything but survival. Finally, Tranq Sinatra joins the fray for an urgent finale where fast-tongue tales from Nico are backed from Tranq harmonies and another iced riddim from Etch. Cold.
Review: Kicking off with 'Stranger', we're talking serious jungle-revivalist fare, amens and gunshots abound as the inimitable Horsepower Productions again prove why they can do little wrong in the eyes of bass heads. Reversed strings and wobbly bass stabs counterbalance the track, bringing tempo down below where it actually is without losing any of the raw power. A workout that'll do well within a warm-up or when used for a reprieve from the mayhem of energy-filled peak time sets. 'TP' is a heavier, less forgiving assault, its rolling broken drums, vocal shouts on the fourth of each bar and frenzy-inducing hoovers build an intensity at odds with the speed of the tune itself. Emerging from a beat-free intro featuring a sample from iconic 80s movie 'Trading Places', it's evidence that full-throttle doesn't always mean fast.
Review: Sublime retro future breaks from Keysound affiliate Etch. As suggested in the title, none of these breaks have real titles; it's just all about the crisp drum work, vast roominess and old school dynamics from the brushed drum swing of the first slice and the rubber ball bass of the second, right the way through the ghostly vocal tones and MC commands on the fourth slice, this is the sound of a man who knows his foundations inside out. Sneaker Social Club don't release anywhere near as much as they should.... But when they do you should always pay attention.