Review: Versa returns to his Atone imprint with more classic dub explorations. "Transcending Space & Dub" sets the parameters with springy, trippy ease; it's warped and so roomy you could lose yourself inside it for days. "Saint" hits with more of a traditional dub warmth countered by the melancholy of the French horns. Finally "Snowfox" is a creeper just as its name suggests. Nodding much more towards dub techno, once again Versa lays down a little hypnosis trickery before the melodica takes the lead and adds a whole other story. Grab this while you can.
Review: At long last, Von D makes his Deep Medi debut and he's packing some serious Egyptian-Greek wisdom for the ride. We kick off with "Chestlick", a tune that lives up to its name with thick sludgy waves of low-end dynamics oozing out of the speakers. It's followed by the EP title track "Hermetica". Featuring the vocals of Sinerise, there's a deeper sense of contemplation as the wonky loose beats swagger with dubby hypnosis and all manner of trippy layers. Finally Von D signs out with "Symbolism". Tapping into the traditional dub style with consummate ease, it's the sound of Von D delivering an EP we've been eager to see for a long, long time. Salute.
Review: Fresh between releases on Deep Medi and Artikal, French bass lord Von D makes his debut on Infernal with three more hot slabs of bass drama. 'Hunedoara' takes us deep into the heart of Transylvania with its swaggering drums and spooky undertones, 'Akasha' takes us further east on a rocket powered by eastern pipes and pure bass sludge before we climax with 'Layers'. Saving the best till last, 'Layers' is Von D at his most melodic and emotional. Heavy, thoughtful, focused but maximal; there's almost a classical schooling behind the bass weight. Stunning, as always from Von D.
Review: For Dubs Galore's 007 release they leave us shaken and stirred as label boss Von D goes toe-to-toe with two close compadres Mr K and Arta for two 10" system bubblers. 'Dem Tuff' lights the fire with bulbous kicks, wafting flutes and snake-like percussion as K and D lock in for a 2am heads down stamper. 'Let Down' takes us further into the night as Arta and Von strip the elements right back into something more authentically dub. Dreamy pads, rolling hang drums and a series of strange bass tones underneath. Sometimes the old ways are the best...
Review: It seems fitting that the hundredth and final volume in the "FabricLive" mix series should also be its most hotly anticipated. Coming from heavyweight heroes Kode9 and Burial - whose previous back-to-back mix for Mary-Anne Hobbs' show eight years ago has reached near mythical status. The album is a wonderfully full-throttle and mixed-up affair, with the shadowy bass lieutenants giddily flitting between quick-fire sections focusing on South African gqom, footwork, Juke, vintage hardcore, early jungle and more contemporary dancefloor experimentalism, each broken up by typically blazed and paranoid ambient interludes and the occasional surprise selection. There's a lot going on throughout, but that only adds to the fun. In other words, it's a triumphant finale to a landmark mix series.
Oris Jay & Chris Innasound - "Ghost & Darkness" (5:11)
Krust - "Escape From Finland" (3:39)
Au & Jesta - "Just Don" (5:36)
Danny Scrilla - "Clockwerkz" (4:52)
Von D - "Ah So Let It Go" (4:40)
Akcept & Another Channel - "Don't Believe" (6:16)
Monic - "Storm Doris" (4:53)
Review: Let's just list the amount of stone cold bass OGs on this collection: Krust, dBridge, Om Unit, Danny Scrilla, V.I.V.E.K, Von D, Moresounds, AU, Oris Jay & Chris Innasound and whole load more of soundsystem culture's most innovative craftsman working at the deepest levels of the low end coalface all feature on this immense and forward thinking document. Including the curator Amit himself. Every track is a highlight, each one and abyssal, immersive experience but essential highlights include the toxic bass bounces of Moresounds' "They Can't Handle It", the 23rd century UKG of Oris and Chris' "They Can't Handle It" and Krust's big screen masterpiece "Escape From Finland". Amit deserves a holiday. Or a massive trophy. Or both. Bass compilations don't get much bigger than this.
Review: The fourth but not quite final instalment of the DUPLOC SELECTS compilation series is a heavy hitting double 12" featuring two tunes from each of the previous four releases. Feonix & A:Grade's "Prumeer" is an early highlight with its spacious swagger and whip-snapping synth sounds depicting a desolate urban landscape, while for a totally different vibe the lush harp ripples of Ourman's "Harpy" is a great escape. With the complete 10-track Chapter III and Chapter IV compilations landing in October and November respectively, think of the final two sides of this release as a fine taster of what to expect.