Anonymous Series Vol.2- Praxis 45
The second of three volumes of anonymous broken noise that forces the listener/user to experience sound without any judgments about names/egos. Tracks range from the melancholic detuned synthetic strings, bass-quakes and cut-up broken tek beats of A1, to the snarling distorted mid, industrial dubstep riddim, cone-rattling subs and twisted, mangled double speed breaks of A2, to the spacious atmospheres and more
tek orientated broken beats of B1, to the strange b-movie atmospheres and lofi breaks of B2. Essential tools and limited to 300 copies.
Electric Kettle – News from Berlin – Praxis 50
Welcome return to wax from the man last seen putting out a full-length release on Peace Off 5 years ago. Powerful broken riddims that for me work best on the track co-produced with GVK: a bruising, broken core cut that re-imagines stepping rhythms into powerful, unsettling constructions, over-laying them with a cut and paste approach with snatches of vocals, noise and other audio strangeness.
Bulkrate – In The Temple Of The Serpent – Praxis 49
A first commit to vinyl from Bulkrate, and a five track release that wouldn’t sound out of place in the Zhark catalogue. Infact Bulkrate already released a set of mp3s as one of the last outputs from Zhark. This release has a less hectic feel than the previous digital releases, but is still dark and cinematic broken core with an occult edge.
V/A – Accretion EP – Darkmatter Soundsystem – DM12004
A four cut EP featuring tracks from Minion, Poxxe, Fiend and Resurrector covering harsh broken styles at different speeds, with Baseck rounding things off with a set of scratch samples. For me Fiend provides the heavy cut here with a powerful 140ish party smasher that combines hardcore beats with waves of modulated mid that operate at the very edges of the dubstep framework. The digital version contains two extra tracks.
Dead Fader – Work It, No – Robot Elephant – RER012
Following the wicked but unfortunately digital only release on Tigerbeat, DF is now down to one member but still providing a caustic vision of industrial funk. Cuts like Industrial Funk Stains and fishsh should get played by those locked into the 140 bpm scene, at least those that wanna keep the crowd awake – with DF it’s less about meditating on bass weight and more about crushing with overdriven bass avalanches.
Circuit Parallele: The Last Traces Of Civilization cd – Spine 02
The second release on Spine from Circut Parallele aka CCP aka Yann Hekate drops five years after Umani Autodistruttivi. This time moving to a CD format, but no less well packaged coming in a silk-screened cloth bag. A really incredible trip through awesome experimental sonic atmospheres and cut up beats. If you can’t find a copy of the CD, check out the Dan Hekate directed video that accompanies Mekanischer (http://vimeo.com/33741442 ) for a taster.
FZV – SoundSump CD – Anathematica
The man FZV releases a self-published long player that collects together fifteen cuts that were produced over the last few years; his first release since Assimilator issued by Rag and Bone in 2006. If you’ve been lucky enough to check-out his live set either in a warehouse or on Pitchless radio you’ll know that these sounds are built to feed an urban temporary space. Precise broken rhythmic programming is paired with a passion for unusual mutant audio objects and intricate sound design. Great to see these tracks finally released, and well mastered too!
Fis – Duckdive EP – Samurai Horo – HORO007
Twisted experimental psychedelic dnb from Fis, a young New Zealander, dropping an EP of cuts that’ll stretch dnb heads’ views of what dnb can be. Released by Samurai Horo a sublabel of Samurai Music which describes itself as a vinyl only label for experimental 170bpm music. Track titles like K Slap give the listener some idea where he’s coming from. A couple of tracks worth checking: DMT Usher, mixing heavily modulated dark threads that descend over an off-beat deconstructed dnb aesthetic, and Duck Dive, a crunchy strangely syncopated track.
Theory/Double 0 – Rupture London 01
Brand new vinyl label from the Rupture crew (Mantra and Double-O), who’ve been running a regular night at Corsica Studios London for while, that features a couple of massive amen smashers bringing the junglist vibes uptodate.
Theory rinses heavily edited breaks, switching them down while smashing them with distortion tinged bass, while Double O on the flip rinses out a dark smasher with old school 92 style dark pads punctuated by offkey rave stabs brought nicely uptodate with good production. Also, only available on vinyl!
Theory – Final Confrontation – Universal Grooves LP Sampler – Translation
Coolest cut on a double vinyl set – Theory sends the mentasms and rave stabs flying while sweeping a thick bass under jungle breaks.
Ding Dong – Badman Forward Badman Pull Up (The Bug Remix) – Greensleeves
Johnny Osbourne – Fally Ranking (VIVEK Remix) – Greensleeves
As with the jungle scene in the 90s Greensleeves has (finally) tapped into the dubstep thing releasing a Greensleeves Dubstep series. Some of the more dubwise dubstep artists (including Digital Mystikz, VIVEK, Coki) have been given the chance to reinterpret a mixture of dancehall and roots tunes from the GS back-cat. Seven tracks made it to vinyl, and these and a further seven have been collated onto a CD version. Of these tracks it’s the heavy duty remix of Ding Dong by The Bug that really stands out. Punishing toughened dancehall beats undepin a completely over-the-top warped, modulated b-line which snares slice through. The Bug provides a vocal version featuring Flow Rider, but it’s the version that smashes it. Also interesting is the VIVEK mix of Johnny Osbournes classic roots cut Fally Ranking. VIVEK joins the dots between 70s JA roots, the UK stepper style and dubstep vibes, dropping a 4/4 dubwise stepper that recycles the original vocal but floods the low end with bass-bin rattling freqs. VIVEK and Mala have, in the last months, begun a new night called System which taps into the UK soundsystem tradition of basically filling a room with nothing else but a massive soundsystem a selector and a crowd. It’s these kind of vibes that are captured in VIVEK’s remix.
B-key – The Mask (DubOne VIP Mix) / DubOne – Murder Sound (B-key VIP) – Scientific Wax 10
Champa B – Torment/Soldiers of the Cause – Scientific Wax 17
Scientific Wax is a rare thing at the moment: a label with a strong identity that focuses on a particular sound, in this case a modern junglist/breakage vibe. Run by Equinox, the roster of artists also includes other established beat-manglers BKey and DubOne, but also bringing in newcomers like Nolige and Champa B. SW 10 was the first of five releases on the main label in 2011 and sees B-Key and DubOne remixing a track of each others, both great powerful cut-up moody breakage. SW 17, just out, sees a release from Champa B clearly fond of the old school jungle sound, who cuts and chops his way through a couple of tearout amen tunes.
LXC – I Know U – Bustle Beats 002
Firin sideways junglism from LXC the man behind Alphacut records, pushing punchy 808s and crashing snares into your area. Reminiscient in some ways of early Digital tunes like Natty Dread or Rockers, and that’s no bad thing.
Scorn – Yozza – Ohm Resistance 21M OHM
A four track EP of grinding slow downpressor pieces combining crushing beats with oppressive atmospheres and overdriven bass. Mixes well with heavier tunes around the 140 mark, but a couple of tunes stand out: Piper, with its cymbals flying, solid beats and a subtle repeating hypnotic motif, and Shake hands delivering us straight into the echo chamber, driving overdriven beats and a metallic snare through moody atmospheres as things get shakier and noisier. Both mix well with other heavier cuts around the 140 mark.
PointB – Suicide Beauty Spot (Cloaks rmx) – Combat 025
Wicked mix from Cloaks, feeding the originals almost 2stepish beats through the Cloaks man gle and spitting out a slice of jerky distorto-funk.
Nanotek – Venus –
Awesome original harsh dnb and a wicked set opener. After a hi-hat led intro spinning out the scifi vibes a intense drop lifts the tune spitting out kicks in an offbeat structure held in place by a repeating bass hook.
Scorn – Super Mantis
(King Cannibal rmx) –
Super Mantis gets the King Cannibal dancehall/rave treatment with an energetic mix that twists that bass synth under a powerful riddim section. OK, this is the third remix of this tune, but it’s a dangerous mix and well worth checking.
Data – Making simple things complex Part 2 – Blackout
Data – Visualizations Vol 1 – Horizons Music
Data’s gathered a reputation in the last couple of years for building super minimal post-techstep dnb tracks that strip everything back to the essential elements: crisp drums and dry bass, invariably accompanied by what can best be described as audio events, perhaps long shifting dark pads or a twisted synth. Some of these tunes just end up sounding dull, filtered away to almost nothing, but when Data gets the right balance, things get interesting. Torn has a doomy, dystopian feel, opening with bladerunner-esque strings and a growling filtered bass. Mask of Sanity, also taken from Visualizations Vol1, is more of a half-speed groove sounding very PCP with its grim sinister pitched down cello-like pads. Sentinel taken from Making simple things complex Part 2 is in a similar vein: ominous slow synths and super-tight drums moving into a rasping dirty bline.
Barcode recently began issuing vinyl releases again after a 3 year hiatus using a new cat numer BWARELTD. So far we’ve seen four editions, each (i think) limited to 250 copies. Actually all of these tracks were previously released in 2011 as five digital releases using the usual cat numbers BWARE007-011. So what happened? Is this an indication that the files didn’t sell well and vinyl is back on the agenda? Or was this always the plan? In any case there’s a few cuts worth checking from this batch.
Donny – Wraith – BWareLtd003
Massive stepper with a wicked twisted, running bass groove. Fierce!
Unknown Error – War Games – BWareLtd002
Wonky tech stepper with unusual bass switches keeping things interesting.
Parallel and Relapse – Parasitic Oscillations – Alphacut 025
In the last couple of years, Alphacut have continued to release tracks from less well known artists in small 1-200 copy vinyl runs and are always worth checking. Parallel and Relapse turn in a nice old-school techstepper here which reminds me of old Position Chrome releases like Problem Child or Disorder – cool metallic vibes, tough lofi breaks, raw bass and moody atmospheres. Wicked.