Review: Last year Burial and the Bug joined forces as Flame 1, delivering an in-demand EP on the latter's Pressure label featuring two sizable slabs of industrial strength soundsystem science. Here they return as Flame 2, once again offering up a pair of weighty dancefloor excursions. A-side "Dive" is a loud and claustrophobic affair, as the duo wraps dystopian dub bass and sparse, mutilated post-drill rhythms in layers of apocalyptic aural textures and mind-altering dub techno style processed noise. Flipside "Rain" is arguably more suitable for dancefloor plays and sees the esteemed twosome combine pulverizing sub-bass heaviness with dancehall style drums that come smothered in mind-melting effects and paranoia-inducing aural smoke.
Review: Sheesh! And the award for the swampiest, most mutated and wooziest 140 jam of recent times goes to Sibla & Teffa's "Bobby". Presented here on the a; proper sleazy, rolling, oily cosmic dub funk - with some fantastic vocal stamps from the master - it's quite remarkable for the pair's first ever collaboration. As is 'I Wonder Why' on the B. Taking a slightly more traditional dub route, here they dig deep into the roots and really get involved in the sounds and elements, gradually easing us deeper and deeper into the blend before we realise we're cap-deep in a pretty heady psychedelic stew... And we have no plans to swim to shore. Limited to 300, this won't hang around.
Review: Torsten Profrock’s T++ project has continually spread its wings since conception in 2005. Championed by fans of techno, dubstep, experimental and drum & bass alike, his latest EP for Honest Jons (and rumoured to be his last under this monkier) showcases the amalgamation of styles and sounds that has earnt the German such a far reaching fanbase.
If it does prove to be the final T++ release ever, then the alias will have left us with the most expressive and energetic of his works. Adding a real sense of personality, Profrock unearthed a handful of samples of the singer and ndingidi player Ssekinomu, recorded in East Africa in the 1930s and 40s in the label’s vaults for this release. Skilfully, the producer works these snippets into the complex rhythm structures, giving his music a human touch that has never been seen before. Profrock looks to the radical fringe of UK garage for the snapping 2 step vibe in these rhythms that remain central to all four tracks on the EP. This results in a clutch of tracks that take on an immensely tribal and subconsciously innate feel. They morph new structures from the forms of 2 step, techno and drum & bass around which Profrock wraps twisted FX and weighty sub bass to create one whole, throbbing organism. So with quite possibly his final release, T++ leaves us, rather fittingly, with a record that sounds at once both ancient and modern. It has a totally unique tone, like a form of tribal language that can only speak to and be understood by today’s culture through these sub-heavy, atmospheric sounds.
Review: It's the release that recently moved Skream to tweet he'll make 140 music again, Rarefied dig deep back over the vaults for their first remix release. First up is the Skream co-signed remix of T. A. R.'s "Amplivagant" in which Navy Cut captain J.Sparrow flips the bassline into a steamroller of a mix where the groove has a technoid mind of its own and the demolished results speak for themselves. Flip for Crypticz twist on Primer's "Signals". Switching out the skittering two-steps for ghostly amen echoes while keeping the tone and vibe just as eerie and haunted, it's another remarkable remix. Absolute solid gold.
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: Most recently spotted on Foundation Audio's digital arm collaborating on Krook's EP, LA's Tetrad switches lanes to the label's vinyl league with three outstanding system slugs. "Shakuhachi" sets the tone with a rounded unhurried bounce that ploughs though any scoops like lava. It's joined by the similarly flabby bass-slapped "Samos" where there's less of a bass melody but these epic trippy trails coming off each sub. Finally, "MIC" closes on a slightly cosmic-yet-barbed touch as dreamy arpeggios wrap around thick treacle subs and some dark politic messages. Serious bass integrity.
Review: Following up great releases by EVA808, Epoch and V.I.V.E.K, American bass imprint Innamind returns with some deep dubstep - courtesy of Utrecht's Tomas Roels, better known to us as TMSV. Moody low-end pulsations permeate the powerful opener "No Sleep", while "Temple" gets off on a more uplifting vibe with its ethereal pads, creative rhythm arrangements and hypnotic melodies. Lastly on the flip, "Maniac Mansion" proudly wears its U.K. influence on its sleeve. Following up great releases for labels like Cosmic Bridge. Artikal Music and Black Box, Roels is, well - on a roll!
Review: Having first collaborated on Oil Gang two years ago, Trends & Boylan have developed a heavyweight reputation across the 140 territories and here they take things to a whole new level with their debut album Bedlam. The title says it all; fork-tongued grime, savage beats and a rollcall of MC titans. From the previous Riko-fronted single "Kreuger" to the neck snap two step of "Crack Ya Back" and the absolute gutter operatics of "The Eye", the whole 12 track trip swathes through the grime / dubstep axis with menace and confidence. Time to cause some bedlam.
Review: One of the most prominent and on-point dubstep labels to emerge in recent years, Youngsta's Sentry hits new peaks with their first V/A album. The full set will include the likes of Argo, Taso, Sukh Knight, Mr K, LSN, Nomine, Opus and many more contemporary low end visionaries. And it kicks off right here with a truly international collective; Truth, Caspa, Bukez Finezt, Onhell. From New Zealand to Cali via Germany and UK, all vibes are explored here... Cosmic swagger on Truth's "Simulation Theory", paranoid gravity-defying deepness on Caspa's "Anyone Else" and proper Mozart-flavoured 808 mischief from Bukez Finezt. Onhell brings this remarkable syndication to a close with the wavey, poignant "Sun Ra". Bring on the whole album.
Review: Nine years deep and still sounding as future as ever, Kode9 and The Spaceape's first album is historic in so many different directions... It's the first ever Hyperdub album, Kode9's sonic scope and barbed soundscapes and Spaceape's paranoid poetry and rhythmic narratives complement and tailor each other in a way no other dubstep-related producer and MC have ever sounded (before and since), the beats remain a unique, diverse, creative dynamic almost a decade later... And, sadly, the late Spaceape's stories now come laden with added portent poignancy. All proceeds from this reissue go to Stephen Samuel Gordon's family; if you haven't got this on vinyl you know what to do.