Review: Remix klaxon! Addison Groove unleashes "Shango" from this summer's heavily played "Changa" EP and passes it round his mates for a cheeky buzz. The results include a harmonic Julian Jabre-style tech house riff from Ejeca, a sub-aquatic bubble-n-bleep stepper from O'Flynn, a woozy slo-mo broken beat affair from Nan Kole and a pounding operator-style 4x4 dub shakedown from Professor Amit. Subp Yao takes the closing honours with a spaced-out beat jam that sits somewhere between IG Culture and Roska. Shango-a-gogo.
Review: Scottish artist Aether emerges from the ether with some of his most spell-binding material to date. Twinkling, evocative and hazy, there's a dreamlike theme as the narrative runs throughout and we're taken down lullaby lane with woozy and wondrous results. From the startling sunrise soul of the first encounter to the poignant, lingering final goodbye, Aether's sonic imagery and consistency makes this more of a mini album than an EP. Utterly beautiful.
Review: Par Avion collective member Agrippa returns with his first full release since last year's "Mygraine Urgraine". Once again getting playful with his titles, once again covering some vast and unforgiving terrains, each of the four cuts takes you to a different corner; "Squid Girls" is an aquatic bashy piece with its techno tendrils lashing wildly, "Dead Wait" is pure crushed stomps with a crunchy warehouse vibe while "Spice Raiders" takes us deep into techno territory; loopy, paranoid and laced with unnerving sound designs before "Scabs" brings us to a fractured close as the 'hot pick' of the EP (not sorry). Time to get Agrippa yourselves...
Review: Batu's Timedance label is in red hot form and Aussie talent Air Max 97 only stokes the fires with this scintillating two tracker. It comes hot on the heels of his link-ups with Loft and TSVI on the "Falling Not Walking" EP back in summer and hones in on tight, well trimmed dance floor dynamite. "Ice Bridge" is post-jungle madness with bold sub bass underpinning a scampish brew of steel plated drums and hits. "Bruxis" is a crowd teasing slow jam with heavy, dragging drums and twisted vocals that will leave you begging for more as you tumble freely through a darkened corner of the cosmos.
Review: Time Horizon's second episode enlists another team of dancefloor snipers delivering 5 brain-dancing tunes crafted appositively for late night use. After his appearance on the first XCPT record, Andrea is back on the label with his unmistakable shuffling drums and a heavy square bassline followed by Anybody Anytime covering the uptempo-zone with a rotative junglistic tool dressed with celestial pads; closing the A side TANS reveals his new robot alias The Sympathizer providing a neurotic electro progression fully based on his modular system. Flipping the records you will find two XCPT homies bringing the audience straight into Matera landscapes: Farron gets a 909 unceasing toms orchestra surrounded by his atmospheric leads while Kreggo illustrates clearly his hypnotic mid-low vision of breakbeat locked by a mystic bass for the whole track.
Review: De Grey launched last year with a 12" from Webstarr, and now it follows up with the raw, rough and ready sound of Jack Angle. "Week-End" is a lithe, percussive beast of a track that matches bloated kicks with glassy hits for a tracky but distinctive end result. "6PNHHPE" is a looped up, off-kilter affair that sports an industrial techno thread but heads into stranger territory with ease. "Stablilizer" is a more balanced, melodic affair but again those distinctive metallic tones pervade the mix and inject some real character into Angle's music. "Selta" takes this approach and whips it up into the most lively, peak-time minded belter on the whole record, sneakily tucked away on the B2.
Review: Keysound's South Coast connection expands as Atlas, a Brighton contemporary to Etch, is welcomed into the fold with the Solitude EP which stretches the boundaries of the label's rollage aesthetic, weightless synth experimentation and established sub heavy paradigms to near breaking point. Keysound followers should recognise the title cut, it's been a set opener for Dusk + Blackdown for well over a year and it's easy to see why. A palate cleansing opener subtly shifts towards intricate, skeletal drum flickers and sub gravity and the sort of emotional apex "Hyph Mngo" once delivered. Atlas deploys a similar approach on subsequent track "On The Cusp" whilst the B-side features some superb experiments in bass science. The dubby, bass-heavy rollage of "Calm" is a fine way to end a super Keysound debut.
Review: You can always rely on London's Blank Mind imprint to deliver the freshest, most gloriously noxious bass twists around. After a short hiatus, the label returns with four slithering licks of beats and low frequencies from South Africa's AudioBoyz, Durban's collaborative project consisting of Fatonic, Motion, Mudpunk and Njeh. Now, this particular strain of tribal dance music has been coined 'Gqom', and it's the perfect balance between urban and rural, modern and ancient. "Danger" and "Gibbon5", although different in their choices of sounds and aesthetic, are both made up of the same sort of ritualistic outlook that has been missing from the bass world for a while. On the flip, "Insomnia" slices its sharp percussion stabs over a thin layer of bass and an even more stripped-down sonic landscape, leaving "The Legendary" to deliver the most musical content on this EP, a dark and alluring wormhole of sonics. TIP!
Jason Fine - "Puttin It Out" (A Made Up Sound remix)
Jason Fine - "Human Need" (Heinrich Mueller Celestial Sphere mix)
Review: Repress: As one of the younger breed of Detroit talents, Jason Fine is still just starting to get a foothold, despite having a good few years of releases behind him. His Kontra Musik relationship has proven to be the most fruitful, and this remix package capitalises on that with two top shelf commissions. A Made Up Sound brings his unmistakable broken house swing to bear, with warming subs and thick swathes of pad and melody twisted to Dave Huismann's crafty designs. Heinrich Muller brings the Drexciyan vibes in abundance with his punchy electro stance that remains peerless after all these years.
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.
Henry Wu - "Substance" (IG Culture & Alex Phountzi remix) (4:36)
Son Of Scientist - "Spartan Riddim" (4:52)
NameBrandSound & Sonar's Ghost - "Can't Hold It" (4:43)
Alex Phountzi - "2nd Intention" (feat IG Culture & Henry Wu) (4:39)
IG Culture & Seiji - "Gangz" (4:26)
Review: Bruk bastions, the CoOp collective were one of the brightest, most exciting musical movements in the early to mid 2000s with their barbed, broken soul take on bass music emanating from Plastic People playing a heavy role in the forms of contemporary house music, dubstep and all things in between. Freshly reformed since a Boiler Room comeback in 2015 and loaded with new affiliates, the ensemble, First Word proudly present their first collective EP. Ranging from the jittering soundclash bashment of "Spartan Riddim" to the sensual Bias-like harp heaven of "Can't Hold It" via the technoid stutters of "2nd Intention", this marks the start of a very exciting new chapter for the CoOp crew.
Review: 50 Weapons indulge Tony Williams's expansive take on current dance culture as Addison Groove. Put simply, Transistor Rhythm looks gorgeous, with design heavily indebted to Williams' clear passion for the Roland 808 and the tracks spread gloriously across two slabs of thick vinyl (there's an even beefier 3xLP version out too!). Musically, Transistor Rhythm explores the same areas of crisp, finely sculpted rhythms that have graced Swamp 81 and 3024 in recent times, with the smart sample usage on tracks such as "Night To Remember" complemented by a clutch of guest spots.
Review: Stepping up with his second album for 50 Weapons, Addison Groove is once again mining the rhythmic excitement of juke and footwork and working it into his blue-hued melodic headspace. Standout vocal cut '"Just You" is a prime example of the upbeat flavour across the album, while "11th" matches the plush harmonies with moodier switch-ups, and "The Spirit Level" drops the tempo into a house bump that lends itself to the illustrious synth sweeps. Typically though the beats are in that twitchy middle ground between dubstep and footwork, leaving plenty of space for razor-sharp constructions and dazzling edits as best demonstrated on the dynamic acid roll of "Space Apples". Chaos abounds on the B Side where Developer's frantic side is shown via "Promiscuous" whilst the tightly wound "Pulstar" is quite hypnotic.
Shanzhai (For Shanzhai Biennial) (feat Helen Feng)
Review: Multidisciplinary artist Fatima Al Qadiri aligns with Hyperdub to release Asiatisch, a keenly anticipated debut album that's described as a "simulated road trip through an imagined China". First coming to prominence on the UNO label in 2011, Al Qadiri has subsequently provoked critical acclaim for the 2012 Desert Strike EP for Fade To Mind that played on her time spent living in Kuwait as a child, while her work under the Ayshay moniker for Tri Angle explored vocals in a unique manner. Asiatisch expands on the political themes of Desert Strike in a new and unexpected way, and acts as a homage to the style of grime known as "sinogrime". Asian motifs and melodies are prominent throughout whilst conceptually Al Qadiri runs through "the fantasies of east Asia as refracted through pulpy Western pop culture". If that wasn't enough to sell you on the concept, opening track "Shanzhai" is a "nonsensical Mandarin" language cover of Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U".
Review: Icelander-in-Berlin and card carrying member of the experimental shape-shifting oqko collective, Astvaldur's debut album enjoys the vinyl attention it deserves. A delicious web of splinters, shards and shadows, the whole body of work tessellates and twists in crazed games of contrasts - the eerie ambient and broken glass drum hits of "Flesh" the stuttering kicks and gurgling bass of "Locked On" and the warped reverse tones and textures of "Rotary Credo" are just three examples of the stark, futurist fusion at play here. Tip.
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