Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kingdom - That Mystic EP

01. That Mystic
02. Bust Broke
03. Fogs
04. Pang
05. Seven Chirp

Kingdom reps his mutant NYC Funky style with a rugged mix of R'n'B spiced Heavy House soaked in underground club juice. It's his well poised combination of pop strokes and bulky basswise values that make Kingdom records a cherished commodity round these parts, giving an American accented, and stylishly brash take on Night Slugs' neon mongrel aesthetic. 'That Mystic' again nods towards the C*nty niche of voguing showdown tracks with bitchy snares rasps and welting bass kicks while 'Bust Broke' goes on a Bok Bok style bruk-up mission armed with soca dums and stinging Hardstyle swipes. Furthermore, 'Fog' comes off a Wiley beat augmented with nifty R'n'B vocals and 'Pang' rips out a skeletal halfstepper with swooping subs. We don't want to tongue the Night Slugs arseh*le any more, but this is f**king hot!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Terror Danjah vs DOK - Bruzin / Hysteria

1 Terror Danjah - Bruzin
2 DOK - Hysteria

Artfully dodgin' riddim futurism from the grime godfather, Terror Danjah! This is his second 12" for Hyperdub, following the hardcore reflux of 'Acid/ProPlus' with two highly unique builds in his signature style. 'Bruzin' loosens the joints of grime and dubstep with a twisted hardcore junglist sensibility coming from highly controlled string slashes and those inimitably sliding rhythmic gear changes. No doubt, 'Hysteria' is the more up for it tune, ramping out with lurid rave chords before switching up with super swung halfstep and back again before ya know it. Drop this at the right time to wreak a reet havoc in the dance.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Semesters II

A1. DJ Jus-Ed - Maryland Jam
B1. Fred P. - It Is What It Is
B2. DJ Qu - Ahead

If the praise being hurled toward the UQ crew is starting to sound a bit like a broken record, blame the guys making them. DJ Qu has come into his own in 2010, Fred P has continued his remarkable run and Jus-Ed...well...he's just Jus-Ed. You know? The trio unite on Semesters II, and it's business as usual, with each producer offering a distinct take on the deep house that they love so much.

Jus-Ed's simple and effective "Maryland Jam" beats anything on his underwhelming Next Level. He keeps thing shorter and sweeter than almost anything there, and layers on repeated snares and lovely bells over the usual synth washes. Fred P switches up the beat on "It Is What It Is," syncopating the normal 4/4 thump to give the track a driving momentum that contrasts perfectly with irresistibly slow synths that only complete their lengthy loops until you're completely locked in. Fred's a master at this, which is why despite knowing exactly where it's going, you can't wait to hear it anyway.

Finishing off things is yet another DJ Qu funhouse mirror masterpiece. Everything in it seems slightly off: The tentative piano playing that echoes awkwardly, the vocal sample that seems to say "fire in the hole" at random moments, the bleeps that just won't go away. And yet it works wonderfully. "Ahead" sounds like Hieroglyphic Being, if the Mathematics boss had spent more time listening to DJ Duke instead of Ron Hardy. "Ahead"

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mount Kimbie - Mayor / Would Know

1. Mayor
2. Would Know

Due to demand from DJs and audiophiles alike, Hot Flush have pressed up two tracks from 'Crook & Lovers' on a loud 45rpm cut. 'Mayor' is one of the album's most dancefloor friendly tracks, flowing from thick house grooves to purple scrunched R'n'B via shards of angular Harpsichord melody and back again. It's a joyful as it is crafty and that's a special thing. In its own way 'Would Know' is a true dancefloor gem too, fusing Actress-alike compression trickery with the clipped ultra-funk style of James Blake to turn the dance upside in. Two mighty

Kidkut - ILove04 / Lilt

01 Ilove04
02 Lilt

Immerse records chief Kidkut presents two breakbeat heavy workouts for Applepips. 'ILove04' edits a live and crispy drum break over dutty dark garage bass and misty-eyed hardcore pads with a respectful nod to Dego or Seiji, while 'Lilt' arranges wickedly melodic Afro-Latin drums with a breezy Broken Beat swing. Fans of Joe, Blawan or Peverelist really must check!

Cooly G - Up In My Head / Phat Si

01. Up In My Head
02. Phat Si

The UK's first lady of Funky offers two hip melting joints for Hyperdub. She's taken 2 minutes out from updating her facebook and twitter to grace us with another pair of effortlessly astounding riddims following last years killer 'Narst/Love Dub' set, which everyone rightly got the gush over. Again there's a masterful balance of light and dark, or sensuality and feisty aggression, at play here. 'Up In My Head' is helplessly loved up, caught in the raptures of swooning strings and sumptuously swung bass with those cascading machine rhythms yearning for able bodies to lock into their sinuous grasp. And if that's the foreplay, tings gets nastier with 'Phat Si', unloading the G-ruffest subs under metalic synth spasms and constantly unstable percussion imbued with that most unattainable element of squashed music found everywhere from Chicago house to Jungle, a febrile tension of psyched and hypersexual dancefloor interplay. Cool as f*ck, and ESSENTIAL, no

Cosmin TRG - Tower Block / Béton Brut

1. Tower Block
2. Béton Brut

Following his peakin' Funky drops for Tempa and Rush Hour, TRG goes dark and techy with two steely focussed actions for Hemlock. The imagery is set with the title for 'Tower Block', taking the vibe pan-ghetto sci-fi with a blend of frisky Latin shuffles and calculated Zomby-esque motions craftily nodding to the Dutch Bubblers sound. 'Bton Brut' stays in that occluded Nether zone with cranky dry textures and haunted pads circling proper tricksy future techno rhythms like a darkside version of Rishi Romero's 'African Forest'. Severely ON IT gear. Well recommended!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quest - Special Edition Digital Bundle

1. The Seafront
2. Deep Inside
3. Stand
4. Eden
5. Last Days
6. Unknown

Deep Medi do us all a flavour and collect Quest's work for the label in one essential set. From the laidback boogie swing of 'The Seafront' to the widescreen strings and loved-up steppers vibes of 'Eden' these are all essential cuts for the deepest dubstep pickers, now available at a very fair price. Highly

Caspa / Emalkay - Ready Eddy / Critical Hit

1. Caspa - Ready Eddy
2. Emalkay - Critical Hit

The first part of three 12” releases featuring tracks originally released on the Scion / Dub Police CD only collaboration compilation not too long ago. This twelve offers up two heavyweight tunes from arguably the biggest names in the aggro-step (new genre alert!) world, Caspa and Emalkay! Caspa switches his usual profanity-dropping spoken geezer intro to a speak and spell machine ('R U ready'), but keeps the gnarled bass riffs and thudding beats as per. Emalkay's "Critical Hit" is another typically hefty wobbler that's sure to get the rewind request. Don’t sleep on this

Four Tet / Mala - Nothing To See / Don't Let Me Go

01. Four Tet - Nothing to See
02. Mala - Don't Let Me Go

Soul Jazz pair two disparate but cosmically inclined UK stalwarts on a killer sampler 12" for the forthcoming Future Bass compilation. Mala's 'Don't Let Me Go' is an earthy mover, rooted in shuddering subbass and stone cut drums while spaced out with frothy, Zomby-esque bleeps and evaporating melodica motifs. Four Tets 'Nothing To See' is a craftier piece of music, wrapping tumbled thumb pianos (maybe it's a marimba?) with trapped techno loops and flurries of jazz percussion in a proper kosmiche house style drawing wonky lines between Krautrock, 'tronica and

Digital Mystikz - Walkin' With Jah / Earth A Run Red

01. Walkin' With Jah
02. Earth A Run Red

After months of white labels and airings on every dubstep affiliated radio show/station in the dubosphere the most anticipated DMZ of them all drops like a 300lb rasta after a well packed chillum. 'Earth a run red' is instantly recognisable, a holler from Sgt. Pokes introduces the electric riff and a rootical half step swing, thoroughly modern steppers styles. 'Walkin' with Jah' boots up a notch into a garage compatible 'up' roller with spooked out theremin FX and a turbulent Babylon sent bassline. Comes complete with full artwork courtesy of Soul Jazz musical entertainment company for your aesthetic pleasure, but then again, you're probably too redeyed too see it

FaltyDL – Phreqaflex EP

1. Phreqaflex
2. Because You
3. My Friends Will Always Say…

FaltyDL massively impresses with three 'floor dedicated garage cuts, confidently sidestepping the cluttered complexities of his two previous albums for Planet Mu. There's a feeling of spacious freedom and sensuality written all over these, from the kinky hardcore tropes of the title track and its quicksilver scuff 'n skip, right through the dubbed shuffle and empty warehouse reverbs of 'Because You' on the A-side. 'My Friends Will Always Say...' on the flip consolidates the best of both his worlds, designed with an advanced sense of jazzy electronic arrangement, yet keeping everything sparse and still poppy enough to really capture the crowd's affections. A massive tip for all future garage nuts!

L-OW - Pinpoint / Diver

1 Pinpoint
2 Diver
3 Diver (Furesshu's Die Welle Edit)

After a run of smart goodies for On The Edge and Z-Audio, L-ow drops two prime dubtech swingers, backed with an elegant dub techno remix from Furesshu. Both the garage clipped roll of 'Pinpoint' and the aquatic dub flow of 'Diver' are up to the standards of label mates Indigo or Synkro, and as cleanly finished as anything by F. Furesshu's remix of 'Diver' ont he flip should gain him some attention, laying a Scion versions style dub techno roll before introducing shivering hi-hats with a Hood-esque

Major Lazer – Lazers Never Die

1. Sound of Siren (ft. M.I.A. and Busy Signal)
2. Good Enuff (Cash Flow Dub) (ft. Collie Buddz and Lindi Ortega)
3. Bruk Out (Buraka Som Sistema Mix)
4. Can’t Stop Now (K.L.A.M. Remix)
5. Jump Up (Thom Yorke Remix)

If there's one complaint you can lobby against Lazers Never Die-- the new EP from Diplo and Switch's global party project Major Lazer-- is that we're only now getting our hands on it, a month or so into summer. A minor qualm, but it's a shame to think about how many Fourth of July barbecues could've benefitted from this batch of originals and reinterpretations from the duo's hybridized dancehall debut, Guns Don't Kill People-- Lazers Do. To paraphrase Scott Plagenhoef's review of that album last year, this is clearly music that works best in the heat, but it still has the dexterity to stick around once the flip-flops have been tucked away. On this concise and surprisingly fresh sounding EP, Major Lazer retain the sweat-soaked club feel that's curried them so much favor but also appeals to their perennial accessibility.

It's no secret that Major Lazer have racked up some serious frequent flyer miles this year. And in between the daggering instructional videos and recording at the legendary Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica (where much of Lazers Never Die was created), it's surprising to find that these guys have had the time to get any kind of work done at all. Last month, they released a remix record with La Roux, a somewhat mismatched pairing but one that proved fruitful and thoughtful. And even if the brunt of the work here has been shouldered by the remixes of tracks found on Guns Don't Kill People, you can tell that the EP is no toss-off.

Among the new songs is the mp3 blog favorite "Sound of Siren", which features Lazer's most familiar affiliate, M.I.A., and Jamaica's Busy Signal. With its rigid snare-snappings and militant, sing-songy hook, it's a clever entry point given the Major Lazer mythology. Dancehall heavy-hitter Busy Signal swoops in and does his thing effortlessly, snarling and flailing all over the otherwise uncluttered, straightforward lurch. Somewhat overlooked when it wound up online at the beginning of this year, it's nice to see "Siren" getting its proper shine here, with both M.I.A. and Busy making their stop snitchin' talk convincing. Better still is the Collie Buddz- and Lindi Ortega-assisted "Good Enough", a pretty down-the-line island-riddim affair that employs great melody and some aqueous synth accents that help lodge this one right into your brain. Ortega-- an under-the-radar Canadian singer-songwriter-- somehow walks away with it, deliciously channeling a rocksteady-pumped Gwen Stefani.

But the remixes feel equally vital to the EP, because after all, the great appeal of Major Lazer is watching these dancehall concoctions transform, as elements of dub and hip-hop and reggae are also smashed into one freaky, juiced up mutant (kinda like the fictional Major Lazer himself). Buraka Som Sistema do a house-y two-step all over "Bruk Out", giving it the extra 10% of oomph that Einstein's gleefully whacked-out feature always deserved. And even if the K.L.A.M. remix of "Can't Stop Now" doesn't break much new ground, guest rapper Miss Banks brings enough clever, dirty sass that it's hard to pass up. Even the big name-drop moment doesn't disappoint: Thom Yorke laces "Jump Up" with queasy, slow-burn dubstep moves, providing an unexpected amount of movement with some simple, sandpapery claps. And it might go without saying, but everyone gets a bonus points for knowing to leave "Keep It Goin' Louder" well enough

Ill Blu - Bellion / Dragon Pop

1. Bellion
2. Dragon Pop

Ill Blu's 'Bellion/Dragon Pop' 12" is easily one of the most anticipated Hyperdubs in a while. In the last few years they've remixed everyone from Shystie to Cheryl Cole and their productions have figured prominently in the sets of Marcus Nasty, Kode 9 and Supa D, so they're undoubtedly one of the hottest production units around. 'Bellion' is a proper DJ special built with bouncing Funky drums and snaky shakers to hold in a superbly sparse and glassy lead marimba line. 'Dragon Pop' is the busier, and for our money - better - of the two, placing controlled congas and deep driven subs in the echo chamber, siphoning off any explicit melody to leave dancers enthralled to the melodic cadence of clipped Afro-Latin drums and subtle sub harmonics. Lovers of stripped and deadly UK dance music need these tracks, badly!

Peverelist - Better Ways of Living / Fighting Without Fighting

1. Better Ways of Living
2. Fighting Without Fighting

Following the unanimous acclaim for his 'Jarvik Mindstate' LP, Peverelist drops two righteously forward riddims for Punch Drunk - and for our money they're his finest yet. The Bristol ringleader has built his rep on quality, not quantity and these tracks bear testament to his prinicipled and stringently executed approach. 'Better Ways Of Living' nods to the pared down 808 aesthetic of Swamp 81 with a brittle bustling beat scaffold acting like monkey bars for a piped synth organ to twist, scuttle and roll around in, while 'Fighting Without Fighting' continues the rhythmically busy flex with slick dipping edits and bespoke dub measurements applied inna future jungle-hardcore style. His built-from-the-ground-up style and the exquisitely brief yet sprightly synth motif make this one of his very finest tracks to date and a deadly mixing tool to slip with your Ramadanman, Blawan and Joe 12"s. Utterly sick twelve - don't

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Al Tourettes and Appleblim - Lipsmacker

1. Lipsmacker
2. Mr Swishy
3. Mr Swishy (Linkwood'S Codeine Remix)
4. Lipsmacker (Deadboy Remix)

Appleblim and Al Tourettes on a garagey tech-house mission for Aus Records, backed with a prime Linkwood remix! Their A-side effort 'Lipsmacker' finds a contemporary sweetspot between the fractured Todd Edwards inflections of Akufen and the garage techno of Tim Wright, leaning towards Panorama Bar rather than Tresor vibes. 'Mr Swishy' on the flip cuts a techy garage figure with twitching synth bursts and a swampy bassline, but Linkwood reconfigures it as a beautifully judged deep houser finished with his refined analog

Monday, August 2, 2010

Matthew Dear - Black City

01 Honey
02 I Can’t Feel
03 Little People (Black City)
04 Slowdance
05 Soil to Seed
06 You Put a Smell on Me
07 Shortwave
08 Monkey
09 More Sugery
10 Gem

Matthew Dear’s Black City can’t be found on any map. It’s a composite, an imaginary metropolis peopled by desperate cases, lovelorn souls, and amoral motives. Like most literary Gothams, Black City is a place to love and hate, as seedy as a nightclub’s back room and as seductive as the promise of power. Matthew Dear, the musician, may live in New York City, but the Matthew Dear of Black City inhabits a sound-world unlike any other: a monument to the shadowy side of urban life that bumps and creaks, shudders and wakes up screaming in the middle of the night. Black City is Matthew Dear’s third album on Ghostly International, and it’s his darkest and most engrossing work to