Tuesday, 23 December 2008

<< Backwards / Forwards >>

First lets have a quick look back over the year and all that wicked music that has graced our ears, or mine at least. Have it in a vauge list based form:

1. Flying Lotus – Los Angeles (Warp)
2. 2562 – Aerial (Tectonic)
3. Starkey – Ephemeral Exhibits (Planet Mu)
4. Polar Bear – Polar Bear (Tin Angel)
5. Deerhunter – Microcastle / Weird Era Cont. (4AD)
6. Eero Johannes – Eero Johannes (Planet Mu)
7. Atlas Sound – Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (Kranky)
8. Trim – Soulfood Vol.3 (Self Released)
9. Gang Gang Dance – Saint Dymphna (Warp)
10. The Bug – London Zoo (Ninja Tunes)

11. Distance – Repercussions (Planet Mu)
12. Minilouge – Animals (Cocoon)
13. Adebisi Shank – This Is An Album By The Band Adebisi Shank (The Richter Collective)
14. Rolo Tomassi – Hysterics (Hassle)
15. DJ/Rupture – Uproot (The Agriculture)
16. Trouble Books – The United Colours Of Trouble Books (MIE)
17. Dusk + Blackdown – Margins Music (Keysound)
18. Down I Go – Tyrant (Undergroove)
19. No Age – Nouns (Sub Pop)
20. Dot Rotten – R.I.P. Young Dot (Rotten Riddims)

Any I’ve not talked about before on here look out for some words on them sometime no doubt.

It’s been a really good year for music, for me at least. I have really been feeling the dubstep, grime and bass music in general. There seems to be one hell of a vibrant scene that I had only vaguely dipped into in the past. It’s been the year of the blog for me as well, it’s got me talking to loads of cool people and hooked me up with some really nice music, so thank you to all of the people who have hooked me up and helped me out, you know why you are. Massive props to 3barfire and Drowned in Sound for letting me write for them as well.

Now lets move forward >>>

I’m really looking forward to a whole load of dubstep albums:

Kode 9 seems to be getting one ready to go and if his collaborations with FlyLo and LD are anything to go by it’s going to be special not to mention his funky shenanigans.

While I’m mentioning FlyLo I may as well say he will have the 3rd EP from the LA series dropping next year no doubt. No idea if he has other plans but lets hope so he has blown me away this year.

Antisocial Entertainment seem to be working on a load of albums. Kromestar has an album on the way for early next year called My Sound, which I’ve heard already and I must say it’s pretty damn nice. Other members I’ve heard are making albums are, Silkie, Heny G and ConQuest. No idea when they will see the light of day but I swear something is happening. Look forward to some new skool funky techy grooves with a fuck load of soul.

Martyn is working on an album that will drop sometime next year on his own label that will no doubt be very special indeed. Pretty much every track I’ve heard from him has moved me in some way, shape or form.

Maybe just maybe we will get some new stuff from Burial, but who knows hey he is a secretive chap and I doubt we will know anything until it happens.

Zomby has been killing me this year with his really deranged Zomby EP on Hyperdub, it seems like an age ago I started to hear these fucked up creations and now they are finaly out to buy. I will write about them soon no doubt, but I really hope he will make a wonky deranged bleepd fest of an album this coming year to follow up his backwards looking rave revival album Where Were You In 92. No idea if this will happen but I can dream can’t I?

A dude that goes by the name of Guido has been killing me recently with his futuristic R&B meets grime and dubstep creations. I really hope he is planning a follow up to his last mixtape collection at least a few 12”. I have heard Guido, Joker and Gemmy be described as the Purple Trio from Bristol so hopefully they will all kick off next year.

I’m pretty sure Rustie is working on an album for Warp or something like that anyway, if I’m not mistaken. Now that will be well worth a listen for fans of wonky as hell street bass and bleep-hop.

In a similar kind of vibe Samiyam is rumoured to be making an album for Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. Rap Beats Vol.1 this year was a wicked little CD and so was his Hyperdub EP.

Hudson Mohawk & Mike Slott are working on an album that is ready to drop early next year, which should be interesting.

Dalek have Gutter Tactics ready to go as well which will be a mad slice of forward thinking noise drenched hip-hop.

Grime is shaping up to be a bit special too. Trim will be dropping Soulfood Vol.4 and I hope to be getting this to write about when ever it’s ready and I for one can’t wait. Durrty Goodz is dropping the pre-album album (what ever that means) CD called Ultrasound and if the radio session on Logan Sama the other night is anything to go by then it’s going to be wicked. Goodz will also have his vocal version of Starkey’s Gutter Music appear on Dusk & Blackdown’s Keysound label early in the year.

Making some serious underground noise right now is the UK Funky scene. Grime and Dubstep headz are all taking notice along with the bassline and electro posse. Funky is some kind of bastard hybrid of funky house, grime and big dirty bass. It’s all pretty murky and fun sounding. I first heard about it after Kode 9 started shouting about it on a radio show and span a little set. Then I got hooked when hearing Markus Nasty, Mac 10 and Spyro on Rinse FM playing it all the time. In recent months it’s really kicked off with people from all areas jumping on the sound and doing there own thing with it. Big productions from Roska, Apple, D Malice, Crazy Cousins and Geeneus have all blown me away. Dubstep is already getting into the vibe of it all with the most notable playas being Kode 9 & LD who dropped the amazing Bad EP with one side being a funky tempo and the other being dubstep tempo. I think there is going to be some BPM wars going on in coming times as headz from all scenes try and blend everything together.

Now I have got the bass and beats out of the way I may as well give you some guitars hey? Dananananaykroyd will release their debut album Hey Everyone! I for one am excited about this one.

Grizzly Bear have been working on one as well I think and if the few tracks they have played live and stuck up online are anything to go by then it’s going to be pretty special.

There has been a hell of a lot of hype and noise about Animal Collective already, well if you hang around with music geeks on forums there has been anyway. The few tracks I’ve heard sound damn nice to me too and I’m not really much of a fan.

Maybe just maybe Final Fantasy will drop Heartlands on us, I know I would really like to hear another album from him.

I’m really looking forward to hearing Worriedaboutsatan’s next album entitled Arrivals. It’s dropping early next year I think and it’s shaping up to be beautiful, a real mix of minimal techno and post-rock soundscapes.

Bradford Cox will hopfuly decide to finish off Logos after all that drama of it leaking all over the place in unfinished form earlier in the year. More Cox is always welcome round these parts.

Some Tubelord would also go down a treat, I saw them a few times this year and really enjoyed what I heard. There progression has been quite something too, so I think they can pull off a wicked album.

Just for the sake of dreaming I will also mention Daft Punk and My Bloody Valentine as who knows they might make something happen…

What I’m looking forward to most though are all the surprises, bring it on!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Lost 8 of '08 - #3: Flying Lotus (AKA my first DiS feature)

I've been a long time reader of Drowned in Sound and hang out on the boards probibly far to often. But the other day Editor and DiS Headhoncho Sean asked me to write an article on Flying Lotus for his Lost 8 or '08 feature. So I jumped at the chance, see what I wrote by clicking on the link bellow.

My First DiS Feature!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Neil Landstrumm – Lord For £39

Landstrumm has been around for ages now on the underground electro bass margins he may even been one of the pioneers and even ahead of the game at times. He is damn good at cooking up a sort of techno / electro / breakbeat / rave / dubstep thing even before dubstep was called dubstep. So can he keep it up with his new album for Planet Mu?

Well I’m slightly torn about that, Lord For £39 has its moments for sure but there seems to be a little something missing.

The production is really top quality, as you would expect from Landstrumm. Full on bass sounds, bleeps a plenty plus punchy, crunchy drums are all over these tracks.

So it’s not the sounds, it must be the songs. There is nothing really bad about them by any means. They revive a low budget (hence the name Lord for £39) bleepy rave electro sound, but the tracks don’t really stick in your head for to long. Don’t get me wrong there is a sense of cheeky fun to the album and some of the tunes will no doubt shake a dance floor.

I just get the feeling it has all been done before, by the likes of Si Begg who even appears on some of the tracks or even electro heads like The Hacker or LFO. I can also hear echoes of Radioactive Man in tracks like Nike Volume.

Highlight include the big booty number Shit Daddy Bass with it’s large low end, gritty dancehall breaks’n’bleeps plus Carlton Killawatt toasting on top. Old Rabbits has some balls I guess in a Robokop kind of way. One of the more dreamy tracks The King Of Malta works pretty well, the twinkles and blips move into some dirty electronica to make a nice track. The driving Gameboy dancehall number The Dose with Ebola is also pretty effective. The final track Ross Kemp as Pixel needs a mention just for it’s massive bass tones and the icing on the cake that is a John Peel sample.

Lord For £39 leaves me a little bit cold overall like a tramp stuck out side a club asking for a smoke. The odd moment catches you and takes you on an electro rave journey but there is nothing revolutionary about it.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits (3barfire Review & Interview)

More 3bar business today in the form of my review of Starkey's excelent debut album Epemeral Exhibits right here, go on click it!

Then just as a little reminder if you didn't catch it the first few times I posted about it. My interveiw with the man himself Stark Bot AKA PJ. Click me!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Echodub Presents: Anechoic Chamber (A free album)

Go and grab this excellent free album from the people over at Echodub its twenty tracks of blissful and deep dubstep, techno and anything in-between. Don’t sleep on this it has to be one of the best free packages I have come across in a while. Link at the end of post…

Track List:

Absense - Good Love
Kwality - Doug Wilson
Vishnu - David Makes Triangles
Indigo - Golden Proportion
Furesshu - The Leopard
Sines - Beneath Me
DFRNT - Surface
Foiledtorsos - The Specialist
Furesshu - Tel Aviv
HxdB - Silent Q
Indigo - Matter
Solar Constant - Northern Divide
king slaFF - Sacrifice
Sines - Test Four
Akema - Cold Hearted
king slaFF - Within
Substep Infrabass - The Entity
Tangka - Salamander
Foiledtorsos - Ultra Analog Dub
DFRNT - Quite Simply

If I had to choose some highlights I would go for the opener Good Love by Absense with it’s Deep Chord style dub techno vibes, Ingo’s sublime Golden Proportion this track has some bass weight to it and the flickering melodies play off the tinkling percussion perfectly. Sines turns in a soca infused deep number with skitting drum patterns and techy overlays, not to mention the vocoder style breakdown on Beneath me. Echodub collective founder DFRNT smashes it with the bass heavy Surface as the pads build a dreamy atmosphere around you. Ingo’s second beast on the album Matter is also a big one with hard swung techno drums and dubby vibes. Northren Divide by Solar Constant slays me each time I listen to it, the future garage drums skip things along nicely with the deep and menacing chords as the female vocal snippets add some soul. Talking of Menace King slaFF brings it in bucket loads with Sacrifice with bass drones and four to the floor techno drums. Tangka’s water drenched jungle tones on Salamander bring some dense heat to the album you can almost feel your clothes sticking to you. DFRNT finishes things off in a melodic melancholy tech-dub style on Quite Simply quality stuff.

Check out the feedback from the Dubstepforum crew if you don’t believe me.


Promo Video:

Echodub - Anechoic Chamber Video from Echodub on Vimeo.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Man is Slapped

The one man indie electronica fella from York dropped me his demo and he won’t be getting a slap from me for it. He brings together some synthy computer elements with a bit of instrumentation to make a lo-fi yet truly compelling listen.

The tracks are a nice mixture of blissful elctronic soundscapes with bleeps and accessible indie pop hooks with nice lyrics about girls and airports.

Opener The Crash is a quirky number about just waking up in a hospital and not really knowing what’s going on. This turns out to be a pretty up beat number considering the lyrical content. The way he harmonises with himself is excellent and the hooks are damn good too.

The Air of Budapest has some really beautiful understated instrumentation but the vocals make me cringe a little at times. I love the use of duh duh dum dum’s in a cheerful yet subtle way. The epic strings really make this track for me.

Running to the Airport has some almost junglist drums under some digital voice harmonies. For some reason the vocals remind me of early Flaming Lips but I’m not sure why.

Closer Unnecessary Fuss has some very nice what sounds like looped acoustic guitar samples and some vocals that all make it sound a bit like Alfie crossed with The Field. The bleeps and more loops build with harmonies to make a cracking little track.

Go and check out Man is Slapped on myspace


Download the demo here


Monday, 1 December 2008

Flying Lotus Essential Mix, Radio One, 29th November 2008

Alice Coltrane ‘Galaxy In Turiya’
Charlie Hayden+ Egberto Gisomonti / Gonjasufi ‘Testament’
Flying Lotus ‘Massage Situation (Stripped)’
Dimlite ‘Sun Sized Twinkles’
Flying Lotus ‘Robertaflack Ft. Dolly’
Flying Lotus ‘Robertaflack (Mike Slott Reflunk)’
Ahu ‘I Know All The Bitches (Bullion Remix)’
Heralds Of Change ‘Amuse’
Carlos Y Gaby ‘Happy Summer Solstice’
Pudge ‘Yung Infamous’
Dorothy Ashby ‘Myself When Young’
Nosaj Thing ‘Bach’LL ‘Turf Day’
Flying Lotus ‘Infinitum (Dimlite Remix)’
Clark ‘Springtime Epigram’
Burial ‘Shutta’
Blank Blue ‘Blank Blue (Flying Lotus Remix)’
Daedelus ‘I’m String Struck’
MHE ‘Untitled’
Daedelus / Madvillain ‘Experience/Accordion (Flying Lotus Live Remix)’
Hudson Mohawke ‘Zoo0000oom’
Rustie ‘Black Block Remix’
Teebs+Jackhigh ‘Idea 1 (Clutch)’
Matthewdavid ‘Tallahassee Tapes’
Martyn / Flying Lotus ‘Vancouver+Pet Monster Shotglass’
Fulgeance ‘Chico (Dorian Concept Remix)’
Joker ‘Solid State’
Rusko ‘Moanerz’
Daddy Kev ‘Invite8’
Ras G ‘Star Messenger’
Madlib ‘Unreleased Gem’
SAMIYAM ‘Cheesecake Backslap’
Knowledge ‘Dawn’
Flyamsam ‘Princess Toadstool’
Sa-Ra ‘Hollywood’Muhsinah / Flying Lotus ‘With Me/ Melt’
Flying Lotus ‘Dissecto’
Flying Lotus ‘Breathe’
Mike Slott ‘Home’
Flying Lotus ‘Sangria Spin Cycles (Ambient Mix)’
Danny Breaks ‘Cosmic Dust’
Flying Lotus ‘Beginners Falafel (Free The Robots Remix)’
SAMIYAM ‘Falafel Cannon’
Flying Lotus ‘Beginners Falafel’
Slum Village ‘Players (Instrumental)’
Flying Lotus ‘Cackle’
Flying Lotus ‘Raise It Up’
Osborne ‘Definition Of A Breakdown’
Baron Zen ‘Burn Rubber (Dam-Funk Remix)’
Mono/Poly ‘Needsdeodorantbitch’
Chocolate Star / Nelly Furtado ‘Stay With Me/Promiscuous’
Gonjasufi ‘Suzie Q’
Kiing Midas ‘Lost (Flying Lotus Live Remix)’
Rusko / Flying Lotus ‘
Terminal3’ / ‘Tea Leaf (Dancers Live Remix)’
Daedelus ‘Hours Minutes Seconds (Beat Invitational Version)’
Kode9+Flying Lotus ‘Kryon’
Zomby ‘Spliff Dub (Rustie Remix)’
Busta Rhymes ‘What Up’
SAMIYAM ‘Crystal Lake’
Weather Report ‘River People’
SAMIYAM ‘Flintstone Car’
Flying Lotus ‘Backpack Caviar’
Radiohead ‘Reckoner (Flying Lotus Remix)’
Bjork ‘All Is Full Of Love’
Broadcast ‘Winter Now’
Portishead ‘Elysium’
Linda Perhacks ‘Hey Now Who Really Cares’
Flying Lotus ‘Infinitum (Exile Remix)’
Flying Lotus ‘Live Set Practice Run’
Listen Again:


Well that’s my listening sorted for the week.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Oren Marshall & The Charming Transport Band @ The Shed, 29th November 2008

Tonight The Shed welcomes Oren Marshall who I have heard be called, ‘Hendrix of the Tuba’ now this made me wonder what the hell was going to happen? Turns out he was in a dance to my African riddim’s mood rather than a Hendrix freak out, and you know what that’s fine by me.

Oren kicked things off by wandering around the room blowing what only can be described, as Jazzberry’s also know as the Jazz Raspberry along with some more rhythmic low end grunting. He even came at me and made me put my balls in his Tuba, which to be fair I was more than willing to do. After he had freaked out a nice section of the crowd with his testicular jazz march he made his way to the stage and the full band joined him.

This was no ordinary band this was The Transport Band. It featured well let me give you a roll call…

The line-up:
Oren Marshall (UK) – tuba
Afla Sackey (Ghana) - atenteben, vocals, percussion
Yaw Asumadu (Ghana) - djembe, congas
Annor Asamoah (Ghana) - gome drum
Nana Kwesi (Ghana) - keyboards
King David Sobiyi (Nigeria) - guitar
Julian Siegel (UK) - alto sax
Miles James (UK) - guitar.

So that gives you a little bit of a flavour of what was in store. A mish-mash of tuba led jazz and high-life was the call of the night. As always The Shed needs a little bit of a wakeup call, it is a sleepy village hall in rural North Yorkshire after all. This meant the first half was a little bit mellow in the crowd at least. The grooves where subtle, yet had some of the funkiest vibes I have heard for a while.

Jazz was the mainstay of half one, the tuba set the groove as the percussion which featured congas, drums and a gome that is pretty much a plywood box with a dude sat on it, lay down one hell of a rhythmic bed for the jazz improvisation to really get things going.
So as pockets of people got there bop on and other slowly nodded their heads. The kids at the front behaved and got praised from Oren as did we all, Pat’s on the backs all round…

By the time part two kicked of though and the crowd made up of locals and madmen had had some of that special local ale Shed Bitter down them, everyone was ready to move.

And they knew it, so picked up the pace by hitting us with the High-Life. The tempo came up, the grooves got hectic and the funk got rolling. Each track pretty much featured an improvised section from each artist then ended with them playing off each other then back into the groove. Improvised sections even got cheers and claps.

The vocalists brought a heavy African influence to the table along with the percussion this melted together with the jazz so well it was a perfect fit. Things really heated up when they worked the crowd with some work out style double time dance manuva’s. Even if it looked a bit like a mad line dancing class it was great fun and there was smiles all round.

Oren then let us know he was recording the set so as soon as that appears on his site I will link it on here right away just so you can get The Shed flavour from your home.

Some of my favourite moments must be when the two guitarists played off each other in a solid groove, just building the tension in the dance until you couldn’t help but move. Sax man Siegel was on form too when he really took over and let fly to make some hypnotic segments, when him and King David Sobiyi on guitar played off each other it was pretty special. The Gome drum was pretty damn special too, I couldn’t believe some of the beats coming out of that. The whole band was tight as hell and ready to roll. Orem kept it all in check and everyone did their thing.

To finish things off after some hardcore claps and stamps Oren Marshall and The Charming Transport Band picked up the pace even more with some super fast soca style beats. They gave us a warning to get those feet moving fast. This just kept going with improvisation after groove after improvisation until people had to sit down and the bar was drunk dry.

The Shed pull off another quality night.


Saturday, 29 November 2008

Jason the Swamp (RRR095)

First of all, this album is a free download from Rack & Ruin so go and grab it right now. Second of all, it’s wonderful.

If your one for some dreamy indie pop with a laid back fuzzy vibe, and lets face it we all are at some point, then Jason the Swamp is one for you.

Full review to come a bit later, but right now just have a listen for yourself…


Thursday, 27 November 2008

Starkey – Ephemeral Exhibits

Starkey the Philly based street bass badman is only going to drop his debut album on the excellent electronica label Planet Mu imagine that. If you’re not familiar with Starkey yet pick up your ears and take them over to the dance floor. He makes street bass, which is a kind of mish-mash of all things a little bit dirty and full of bass. It could range from Grime, Dubstep, Bassline, Electro, Hip-Hop and god knows what else in-between. He also likes to make it all sound a bit wonky and Sci-Fi in a kind of B-Movie style.

Ephemeral Exhibits takes us on a journey through space via the gutter, Starkey manages to pull off beautiful melodies and dirty skanked out dance floor hype all at once. The guy has an ear for music, this may be something to do with his classical music training; he has been playing piano since he was about five and has done classical scores. He is defiantly in love with the dirty end of the dance floor spectrum though as this album suggests in bucket loads.

Gutter Music kicks off the album in fine style, it sets the tone perfectly with wonky, growling, wobble bass and punching drum patterns designed to move you. Check out the forthcoming Gutter Music EP on Keysound for some tasty vocal action from renegade Grime don Durty Goodz on this one. The album just features the original instrumental though, but good god its pure hype.

Starkey doesn’t just go for all out dance floor bombs though he also has a mellow side that comes out every now and again in the form of a emotional dance floor weeper, like Marsh. With its hushed pipe blows and half step, dirty south Hip-Hop drums; it has a sad kind of vibe with a spooky edge, Yoda might skank to this on his marshy little planet all on his own in Star Wars. If you listen carefully you can even hear him moaning with an alien pitch bend. More mellow vibes come from the classical string led Time Traveller.

Other highlights on the album are the aggravated bass shakers of Pictures, Dark Ally, Pressure and the hypnotic music box banger Striking Distance; they all have the hyped energy of a madman Stark Bot on a rampage with a digital chain saw with lasers in his eyes.

The final two tracks are kind of special as well: Bang Bang the Witch is Dead, which featured on the Angel EP earlier in the year on Creative Space and the epic closer Spacewalk. Bang Bang… is a wonky bubbler that sounds a little like you are falling over and dancing all at once, which lets face it we have all done at some point. Spacewalk is a classic last track, it has everything you want: happy and euphoric vibes and a bouncy up-tempo rhythm mixed with huge bass and beats, plus that melancholic end of night kind of sound.

Starkey’s Ephemeral Exhibits: Robo Street Bass From Out Of Space.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Beat Pharmacy - Wikkid Times (3Barfire Review)

More 3bar business in the form of this review of Beat Pharmacy's Wikkid Times, it's a really nice album check it out now!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Jimi The Exploder Presents: Mojo’s Wonk Farm

I re-recorded this mix as there was a problem with the bass, it just didn't cut thruogh. I'm just getting use to my new laptop and it's settings. But now I have improved on it alot, so grab it to replace the old version and really feel the vibes.
Track List:

Ikonika – Direct [Hyperdub]
Untold – Yukon [Hemlock]
D1 – Joy [Tempa]
Ramadanman – Dayrider [Soul Jazz]
Millie & Andrea – Black Hammer [Daphne]
Pangaea – You & I [Hessle Audio]
Jack Sparrow – For Me [Earwax]
D1 – Chocolate Orange [Dub Police]
Silkie – Skys The Limit [Deep Medi]
LD – Swing Dat Skirt [Ringo Recordings]
TRG & Dub U – Harijouka [Tempa]
Shackleton – Shortwave [Skull Disco]
Jus Wan – Action Potential [Apple Pips]
Pangaea – Router [Hessle Audio]
Quest – Stand [Deep Medi]
Likhan’ – Qumran [7even]
Breakage – Untitled [Digital Soundboy]
Shortstuff – Never Mine [Berkane Sol]
Peverelist – Clunk Click Every Trip [Punch Drunk]
Ikonika – Millie [Hyperdub]
Gemmy – Bass Transmitter [Punch Drunk]
Rustie – Tempered [Kapsize]
Scuba – Twitch (Jamie Vex’d Remix) [Hot Flush]

New Link!!!!!!!!!!

Track by Track:

Ikonika – Direct [Hyperdub]
This girl can do no wrong right now, this is the flip side to her latest Hyperdub 12” and it comes on like a wonky, electro, Detroit techno monster with lush pads and bassy raw synths.

Untold – Yukon [Hemlock]
I love this first Hemlock 12” so much, I played the flip to this to death and put it in my last mix, which I shall link to at the end as well for anyone who missed it. It’s a deranged garage beast full of strange atmospherics.

D1 – Joy [Tempa]
Deep and soulful vibes from D1 here it reminds me of Balearic sunset parties and tech house, Beautiful stuff from a great and varied double EP on Tempa.

Ramadanman – Dayrider [Soul Jazz]
I can’t get this track out of my head with it’s slow vibe and mad 4 to the floor sections offsetting the beautiful melody twinkles. Ramadanman is one smooth operator.

Millie & Andrea – Black Hammer [Daphne]
This is a wicked 12” from two techno producers having a go at making Martyn style techno infused dubstep. I think they pull it off with style, the bass is pretty huge and it rolls along really nicely.

Pangaea – You & I [Hessle Audio]
Now this is one hell of a track, it’s the flip to the sublime Router but more on that a bit later. This could well be my favourite 12” of the year, pure rolling garage vibes with a soulful yet dark edge. Perfect!

Jack Sparrow – For Me [Earwax]
More future garage techno soul from Leeds (just like Ramadanman and Pangaea) there must be something in the water… again this reminds me of a sunset beach party, with people vibing out to house music.

D1 – Chocolate Orange [Dub Police]
Reggae dub style he from D1 I can’t get enough of the melancholic melodies and housey style. The drum patterns are so danceable it hurts.

Silkie – Skys The Limit [Deep Medi]
Deep Medi are running things right now, Silkie of the Anti Social crew smacks it with some seriously skipping and funky as hell dubstep. This is one hell of a sexy dance floor beast, with a euphoric rush.

LD – Swing Dat Skirt [Ringo Recordings]
I love LD right now; his funky jungle vibes kill me. This is an old track from Ringo Recordings to wet my whistle for grabbing a ton of his new 12” soon. The mixing was a bit rushed here and the sound a bit quiter on LD’s tune after Silkie but fuck it hey!

TRG & Dub U – Harijouka [Tempa]
Colaberation stuff now from TRG and Dub U, this is only just reaching the shops after me playing it to death on Appleblim’s Dubstep Allstars Vol.6 from earlier in the year. I’m still no tired of it, everything is there the beat skips along with a punchy and funky rhythm and the bass is big and hypnotic.

Shackleton – Shortwave [Skull Disco]
Maybe my favourite track from the last ever Skull Disco 12” (if you exclude the remix package they just dropped). This is the usual top quality dark and rolling carnage from Shackleton, spacey loops of chattering voices and a monster bassline that kicks in about half way through plays off the electro drums perfectly. I take it into the darkness for a bit here people.

Jus Wan – Action Potential [Apple Pips]
Apple Pips business here, I only just got this 12” a few days before I made the mix and just had to put it in after caning it on the Appleblim Dubstep Allstars CD again. Massive bass and huge techno vibes that still grab me every time.

Pangaea – Router [Hessle Audio]
Perfect track in almost everyway, there is soul, heart and darkness all rolled into one with Router. The spooky detached soul vocal samples tug at your heart strings while the future garage vibes just roll along and make you move. Enjoy the blissful tones of Pangaea.

Quest – Stand [Deep Medi]
If that last track wasn’t enough I decide to drop Quest on you, I just had to play this epic beast all the way through with minimal interference. The breakdown kills me every time, it’s got that balearik style to it again but with a funky slowed down half step dub thing going on instead of skipping house style. Close your eyes for this one…

Likhan’ – Qumran [7even]
An epic techno style dub mix out of Quest all the way from about half of the breakdown as I felt it didn’t interfere to much and played off it really well with the mellodie and a bit of extra bass. I can’t get enough of 7even I was gutted I didn’t fit F’s recent 12” into this mix.

Breakage – Untitled [Digital Soundboy]
Massive production from D’n’B maestro Breakage, the bass is immense and the drums are just huge techno rollers. The melodies and soulful sample from Nina Simone work perfectly. One of my favourite producers right now has to be Breakage.

Shortstuff – Never Mine [Berkane Sol]
This whole 12” blows me away, I could only choose one side for this mix though so Shortstuff won. Never Mine is a beautiful flowing techno monster, the electronic squiggles get me every time. Plus it mixes into Peverelist so well.

Peverelist – Clunk Click Every Trip [Punch Drunk]
Now then what the hell can I say about this track! It’s maybe my favourite on here, which is one tough decision I can tell you that now. The bloop, bloop bloopbloop bloop bloop melody builds and builds befor dropping an epic techy string section that just blows my mind. Then when that has dropped out again it just keeps building again and into the same strings right at the end. Clunk Click Every Trip leaves you gagging for more of those sweet strings, I could have played this tune about 8 times in this mix. Peverelist has outdone himself on this one.

Ikonika – Millie [Hyperdub]
I had no idea how to come out of that last track smelling of roses so I just had to get wonky on all your asses and turn the mix up a notch to some freaky party style, off kilter mayhem. This is the flip to the sublime Direct I started the mix with, but this time it’s more in your face and bouncy. The bass is pure filth with 8-bit dirty blips and growls. She named the track after her cat, big up Ikonika!

Gemmy – Bass Transmitter [Punch Drunk]
More 8-bit grime wonk from Punch Drunk Peverelist’s label this time in the form of Gemmy, Jokers mate from Bristol. His tracks are addictive and sound massive, I have no idea what he makes them on but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a Sega Mega Drive and Fruity Loops or something basic and mad like that.

Rustie – Tempered [Kapsize]
I almost put Joker from the flip of this here instead but I was just felling Rustie’s Dirty South aquacrunk beats more at the time. This has that boom of Southern US Hip-Hop like no other track around right now, well apart from the flip, which is Joker & Rustie on Play Doe. Rustie at 140 bpm always gets me going.

Scuba – Twitch (Jamie Vex’d Remix) [Hot Flush]
The final track had to be a bit of a strange anthemic type of beast and as I didn’t think I had time to drop Zig Zag by Rustie I plumped for Jamie Vex’d and his remix of Scuba. It’s the hugest sounding wonky thing around and really addictive with it.

So there you go another mix from me I hope you enjoy it as much as have making it.

If you missed them the first time grab my two other Dubstep style mixes bellow:

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?41jhtxelnen (195 DL's to date!)

Mojo’s Wonk Farm: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?q5zzkygznzz (70 DL’s to date!)


Saturday, 22 November 2008

Starkey - Trouble in Space (3barfire Interview)

I got the opertunity to shoot some questions to the Street Bass producer for 3barfire (originaly posted here) and this is what happened.

Starkey, known to has family, friends and publishing company as PJ, has been dominating the airwaves recently with an instantly recognisable brand of synthesized mayhem. His beats are expressive saws off sound that splinter and chip away at your eardrums just as much as they slap them.

Fresh from running his labels Seclusiasis and Slit Jockey and pioneering the gritty grime sound of the UK capital in his native Pennsylvanian home town, Starkey took a few moments to explain his love for the sound and introduce to his Planet Mu signed full length album 'Ephemeral Exhibits' to James Balf.

James Balf: I love the term Street Bass you use as a catchall phrase for what you play and make. What first got you into the underground urban dance sounds?

Starkey: It had to be, first and foremost, trip hop. Tricky, Portishead, Alpha... downtempo, hiphop influenced electronic music. Also, Bjork around the same time I think. I was also into some of the random tunes I would hear.... like from DJ Wally and such. Still to this day that era of music is still my favorite. But when I started college, I quickly got into the Warp and Planet Mu stuff.... Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Boards of Canada, Venetian Snares, Shitmat. I was going to school for music production and started producing my own tunes, basically to practice what I was learning in class and trying to have another output for creativity (besides playing in the band I was in).

JB: Can you tell me a little about your native Philadelphia and how it’s shaped your music?

S: Philly is a hip hop town... plain and simple. That definitely comes through in my music - a bit. Even if you aren't too into hip hop, you're surrounded by it every day. It definitely influences many aspects of the city... from how people act and talk, to how they interact with each other.

JB: The dubstep scene has embraced you over here in the UK and it’s wicked to see the age old US, UK dance music exchange isn’t dead. Since house and techno and even before that, the US and UK has been feeding off each other and bringing different influences to the table. When did you first hear about this stuff we call grime and dubstep and think, wow we could add this to what we have going on here?

S: For me... I was living in London in 2001, going to school, when I first discovered garage. So Solid's album was dropping and all that. I also heard ‘Has It Come To This’ by The Streets and instantly fell in love with it. It was just so different from the stuff I was listening to at the time. So after I came back to Philly.... I tried to stay in touch with what was going on with the sound. I remember hearing Wiley & Dizzee for the 1st time back in the states and was like "WTF?"... that was the most exciting thing I'd ever heard, It had such a raw energy to it.

JB: You flew all the way from the USA to come and spin a 10 minute set for Generation Bass - I have to big you up for your level of dedication to the Street Bass cause... How did it make you feel when Vex’d picked you and who would you pick if you were in their shoes?

S: Well of course it was something I wanted to be a part of. I was really honored when Vex'd asked me. They were a lot of people's first introduction to what is now dubstep in this country.... particularly with the Planet Mu link. They are amazing producers and such good guys. I couldn't believe they asked me to do it. I was flattered to be honest.

If I had to pick someone.... I don't want to say.... if there is a Generation Bass 2009, I may have to do just that.

But it will be difficult.

Starkey on Generation Bass

JB: Can you shed some light on yours and Dev79’s Seclusiasis Crew and the Sub FM show...? How did you hook up and what’s your plans for the label?

S: Dev79 and I met back in 2004. When we started talking about music, he asked me what I was into and I said, "well I'm really feeling this music out of London called grime." And he was like, "no way... I thought I was the only person in Philly who knew what that was." So… the rest is history really. That year we started the first party in Philly to play grime... seasoned with hip hop, dancehall and such. Seclusiasis was already a crew, throwing parties around Philly and such... but we kind of pushed the brand into a different place.

The radio show had been going on in some form since 2002.... a couple of years before I became involved with Seclusiasis. When we decided that I would take over the hosting of the show at the end of last year, I hit up the SubFM people to see if they would be interested in hosting the show because I really wanted to get back into the interactive aspect of doing a live show... and the chat room helps to achieve that. It's been great on SubFM.

Regarding the label side of things... I've been really pushing to make moves with things this past year. We started releasing Seclusiasis and Slit Jockey 12”s this year... with a bunch of releases planned for the coming months, including an EP from Raffertie, an album from Kotchy and a Dev79 single. We're also dropping a lot of digital releases with people from all over, including Small Professor, a Philly hip hop producer.

JB: I heard you drop some tunes on your radio show from a forthcoming mix CD for LoDubs, it sounds big! What’s some of the hottest tracks going to be for that?

S: Yeah... going to be mixing that very, very soon. Got all the tracks in now. A ton of great tunes on there... Zomby, Joker, a Raffertie remix of Food For Animals, O-Dessa, Dev79, BD1982, a Blackdown remix, Toast, DZ, Bombaman, Dubsworth, Cardopusher + more.

JB: What are your top dubplates right now and what do you have to keep wheeling back at gigs?

S: Every Raffertie tune... haha. There's also this guy called Stagga from the UK who makes crazy drops; everyone goes mental for them. Bombaman makes some stupid drops as well.

I'm not the type of person who wheels up tunes just because people are calling for it.... it needs to be completely warranted.

JB : Apparently ‘The Message is Love’ was voted the sexiest breakdown in grime history (this may or may not be true) and the other night I heard Blackdown play your remix of it on Rinse FM. Did you give it a good work over to see if any of that good lovin’ advice would rub off on you or do you think you were the only person qualified for such a task?

S: This was in the same week that Boomkat was talking about touching me with a big massive stick... hahaha. I guess it's a sexy breakdown... but it contradicts some of the other lyrics in the tune, obviously.

Silverlink ft. Badness & Jammer - The Mesaage Is Love

That tune is just wild. I remember running into Robin who runs No Hats No Hoods on the corner of Bethnal Green Road and Brick Lane earlier this year. He was like... “I got this new tune and I don't know what's up, it's just wild. I'll send it to you”. I was like, “cool... I'm playing fabric tonight so I'll drop it”. So I think I was one of the 1st people to drop that tune - ever. It's crazy... plain and simple. I slowed it down a bit for the remix to 140, so it would mix better with my typical sets.

JB: I hear you’re a classically trained musician, have you got any non Street Bass endeavors on the table at the moment or are you concentrating on ripping up the dance?

S: Nah... not right now. The concert music is on hold. I mean, if I got commissioned to work on a piece, I'd be all about it. But, the last piece I did, ‘Bending Light’, took a year and a half to complete. It's really all about the Starkey stuff right now.

JB: What’s you studio like now compared to the set up you started on?

S: When I started producing music as Aunt Jessica (which subsequently became a group of mine)... I was using a Gateway PC w/ Acid Pro 1, Fruity Loops 1 and the Hammerhead drum machine. I had a Sound Blaster soundcard which was fed by a Behringer mixer and my Korg N1 keyboard. I was mixing on the speakers that came with my computer.

Now I have a couple of Mac laptops.... and still use the Korg N1 (but mostly as a MIDI controller for the fully weighted, 88 key keyboard). I mostly use a Motu 896 interface w/ Logic 8, Reason 4, Ableton Live 7, Kontakt 2, Melodyne plug-in and a few other plug-ins here and there. I'm all about re-wiring. I'm not a hardware junkie at all... but I do have a Juno60 and the Moog Satellite Synth along with a 1/2" 8tk machine.

JB: What else inspires you outside of music?

S: Sci-Fi movies are a big one.... definitely. I'm all about outer space and thinking about the future of the world. Also, been getting back into comics a bit lately…

Zomby - Spliff Dub (Stareky Remix)

JB: Your hooking up with Blackdown’s label Keysounds to release ‘Gutter Music’ on 12”, I heard him describe it as being, “like a mutant Daft Punk/grime jam”, which isn’t far off at all. You two are kind of pushing a nice grimey, off kilter, urban bass thing as well as the deep meditational stuff. What was it like hooking up with Blackdown and what treats can we expect on the flip side to the 12”?

S: Blackdown hit me up because he had heard some stuff of mine that he was feeling, and he wanted to write about me in his Pitchfork column. It was really great to hear that he was interested in what I was doing. So I sent him a bunch of tunes, ‘Gutter Music’ being one of them. He hit me back saying that both he and Dusk loved the track and would be interested in putting it out on Keysound. Mike at Planet Mu subsequently wanted to put it on the album as well... so that's why it's only on the CD version of the album, and not the vinyl, because I had already promised it to Keysound. The 12" will be all gutter.... with a vocal and a VIP mix.

Can't tell you who will be on the vocal yet... but believe me, it will be good.

JB: Your debut album 'Ephemeral Exhibits' drops soon Planet Mu, what can we expect from that beast?

S: To be totally honest, I'm really happy with how this album turned out. You know sometimes after something is finished you look back and say there's things you want to change or would do differently, and I really truly feel as though this album is a snapshot of where I am right now. That's where the title comes from. It wasn't written per se as an album, but it really flows well. Mike has a great ear for picking out tracklists and running orders.

The music is basically a culmination of everything I've been doing for the last year or so. It's got the vocal cutups, the grime-influenced stuff as well as tunes that are more dubstep or hip hop influenced. There's even some sci-fi / electronic stuff on there. But it really does feel like a complete album when you listen to it from start to finish. I'm more a producer that wants to write songs, not just drops. If something doesn't keep your attention for 4 minutes... then it shouldn't be 4 minutes.

Also, Love the Chaos did the artwork and it's completely gorgeous....the CD especially. I can't wait to see the finished, printed version.

JB: And finally... are you planning on coming back over soon to play some more hype sets in the UK?

S: Yeah... I'm looking at January 2009. Another Europe mini tour with hopefully some dates in the UK…

Words: James Balf

For more info on Starkey go here: www.myspace.com/starkey

Starkey's album 'Ephermeral Exhibits' is out on 24th Nov on Planet Mu Recordings

You can download a pre album mix from Starkey at the Electronic Explorations website - Week 43: http://electronicexplorations.org/the-show/week-043-starkey/

With thanks to PJ.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Pinch – Midnight Oil / Joyride (Tectonic) 12"

Pinch drops one of his own now on his excellent Tectonic imprint. His material is always worth having a listen and this is no exception. Pinch makes the deep stuff yet keeps it interesting with a soulful and techy flair that others can only just reach in some cases.

Midnight Oil opens the 12” with a space age swagger and a bass bin rattle. The drums skip and beat you in to submission while they roll along. The spacey aesthetics come in the form of huge sounding synths that sweep around and remind me of 2001 a space odyssey for some reason. The chatting, growling synth sounds echo around until string enter your ear holes and sooth the brain. Midnight Oil is maybe my favourite on the 12” right now, but then its all pure gold. This is mediation bass weight with balls of steel.

The flipside Joyride has a similar kind of feel but this time with an almost primal raw along with space synths, it puts a picture in my mind of the X-Wing’s in Star Wars shooting past. This is laid on a bed of huge punchy drums and bass to shake your ribcage. On a recent Marry Anne Hobbs show I heard her mention that she thinks this is the best thing Pinch has dropped for a while and if that isn’t endorsement enough I don’t know what is.

This 12” drops very soon on Techtonic so look out for it, Pinch is up there with other Bristol masters of the bass such as Peverelist and Appleblim, he can easily hold his own in the scene he helped create. I just hope that he is on with making a follow up to the excellent album Underwater Dancehall. Pinch is the sound of the future, but right here and now so don’t sleep on it.


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Beat Pharmacy – Wikkid Times

Brendon Moeller is the man behind Beat Pharmacy, he hails from South Africa and this; his fourth album under the Beat Pharmacy name, drops on Francois K’s label Wave Music.

This is deep dub techno at it’s best, you get the driving four to the floor house style beats, mixed with echo drenched chords played by sweeping synths in a Basic Channel kind of way. There seems to be a lot of this kind of thing around at the moment, not only in techno circles by the likes of Deep Chord and Shed but dubstep as well with the likes of Appleblim and 2562 bringing the vibes. What makes Wikkid Times stand out is the big vocal influence.

Vocalists include legends of the dub-techno hybrid Paul St. Hilaire AKA Tikiman from the Rhythm & Sound crew from Berlin. Also featuring is the Kode 9 collaborator Spaceape, who happens to be one of my favourite dub poets out there.

The tracks come across as a mix of a dub-reggae-danchall protest songs in a deep house or dub techno vibe, and I must say the hybrid works a treat.

Rooftops opens the album in catchy style, which features the vocal styling of Coppa. I find myself humming this little ditty sometimes; the chorus just gets in your head. The bassline has a nice bump to it while the deep echo chamber dubbed out synths offset the rhythm and give it all a sweeping hypnotic atmosphere.

Spaceape’s first track Strangers is a stunner and one of the highlights on Wikkid Times. A deep acid bass tweaks in the low frequencies and there is a dark paranoid feel to it that ups the tension of the album subtly. The vocals deal with the troubles of modern life through a kind of personal perspective.

Sunshine featuring Paul St. Hilaire is another definite standout track. This has a warm feel to it as it does its deep house thing. St. Hilaire is on good form here brining subtle melodic tones to the dubby backing track.

Other tracks of note include; The Ras B collaboration Hope & Frustration, this track deals with the ups and downs of life in general it gives the beautiful techno sound behind a brilliant and human feel to it. These tunes are both grounded and uplifting it’s pretty refreshing to hear. The slow pulse of the melody and bass are just sublime.

Each track follows a similar template and could be seen as being a bit samey at times. The flow and mood of the album ebbs subtly all the way through, yet with a driving vibe that the house beats bring to the table. So if you are in the mood for some deep dancehall protest techno you really can’t go far wrong than grabing yourself Beat Pharmacy’s Wikkid Times.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Distance – Repercussions

Distance drops album number two on Planet Mu, his first ‘My Demons’ was brilliantly received by dubstep headz and allot of normal people too (I’m one of the headz if you’re asking by the way). His latest offering ‘Repercussions’ looks to follow in its footsteps with a sure swagger and balls as big as it’s bass weight and if you know Distance you will know that is pretty damn hefty.

Turn your speakers up high; I mean you have to feel this album, sure put it on in headphones and bask in it’s beautiful textures but you may want to punch yourself somewhere tender every now and again just to get that big bass effect at the same time... To really feel the full ‘Repercussions’ you want the speakers to quiver in fear and the bass pulse to hit your square in the chest. The production is tight so it just sounds huge on pretty much any system; I guess it’s just powerful music.

A dark foreboding atmosphere rings through the whole album, it kind of sounds like a huge metallic beast stalking the streets of London in the dead of night. Distance is kind of like an older brother of Burial who is more into metal than 2-step.

The tracks are subtler and more percussive compared to his debut album. Tracks like Out Of Mind take Arabic style beats and twanging strings layered over the top of massive bass and clattering half step beats. It sounds like something Dusk & Blackdown may have done on Margins Music. The track Free Me follows in a same sort of vain but with Distance’s love for film samples shining through with a quality speech about devils and angels really adding to the feel of it.

You still get some absolute floor shaking dance floor material though in the form of Magnesium, Koncrete, Mirror Tell and Skeleton Grin. They take some industrial guitar style noises and twist them into growling monsters of the night. The drums on these tracks are pure rock as well; Distance is the master of transferring metal energy into dubstep beats.

Repercussions is a deep, flowing album that is easily digested as a whole, it ebbs and flows brilliantly so one minuet you are sitting back with your eyes closed hypnotised by the groove then you find yourself nodding your head with one hell of a bass face.

The title track Repercussions is another highlight, and to be fair there really isn’t a low-light on here. The layers of drums offset an almost wonky sounding industrial synth line that bounces with a boign that builds and drives forward making your feet move and your head nod. Even though these tracks use some metallic sounds and can be kind of industrial there is a very human warmth to the sound, it flows so organically.

Distance pulls off another quality album with Repercussions.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Distance - Repercussions & Interview (3barfire)

Go and have a look at my review of the Distance new album Repercussions over at 3barfire here. Then if you missed me post it before go and check out the interview with the man himself here. Big up to everyone involved...

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Marvins Revolt – Killec

Melodic, mathematical and full of pop hook’s while keeping things energetic and rocking; Copenhagen’s Marvins Revolt have pulled off one hell of a balancing act that bands like Foals, Yourcodenameis:Milo (R.I.P.), Biffy Clyro or even someone like The Automatic couldn’t quite achieve, musically anyway they aren’t quite as huge as those lot right now.

Killec was self released by the band back in 2007 but now it’s got a full release on The Richter Collective in the UK, which is a welcome scenario if you ask me.

Each track is a joyous, powerful romp full of melodies that will make you smile but all the while keeping the cheese out of the way and piling on nice inventive song structures and parts.

Opener Deliberate Deeds starts off as they mean to carry on with a driving catchy guitar hook and fun time handclaps, before smacking you with a sugar sweet synth line and vocals that really get in your head.

The skiting rhythms of Bugs in Time propel things forward with a propulsive energy that builds with subtle guitar progressions and harmonies. There is nothing really innovative about this band but they do their thing really well so what more could you want, hey?

Another highlight is the catchy New Years in Warsaw where some heavy guitar crunches and a pounding drum workout punctuate another pop smash hit. This is one tight band that can turn and twist out mathematical melodies a-plenty; I bet the live shows are a real joy to behold.

If you in need of a sugar shot to the arm with some melodic indie-rock pop that wont make your brain bleed then Marvins Revolt are the band for you. File them next to bands like Cats and Cats and Cats, Tubelord, Adebisi Shank, Blakfish and This Town Needs Guns and you will be in good hands. Killec is a joy to listen to.


Sunday, 9 November 2008

DJ / Rupture – Uproot

This is one hell of a diverse mix album taking in lots of rootsy influences from around the urban dance genres, and then blending them seamlessly into an epic and atmospheric whole.

DJ / Rupture comes from New York and has an ear for melody and a sublime beat. All at once the selection sounds old and new, it’s got a timeless kind of feel to it. In this sence it reminds me of classic mixes like Coldcut’s Journey of the DJ, but only time will tell if DJ / Rupture has the staying power to match that.

Uproot travels through styles and genres with ease touching on Dubstep, dancehall, ambient, and Dub to name but a few; it’s a kind of global bass mash-up. Baby Kites and Nokea’s electro tinged steppa gives way to a pure dub reggae style shaker from Clouds and the excellent Elders. Hardly any of the tracks are dwelled upon for to long the mixing is fast passed, he gets through 23 tracks in total, but this doesn’t spoil the flow at all.

Other highlights include the absolutely wonderful Winter Buds by Atki2 that leaves me really wanting to dig this tune out on 12” to hear it in full. This track sounds like a long lost Aphex Twin ambient classic brought up to date with dubstep style beats and electro glitches.

Rupture even makes the wobblers sound good in this mix by keeping things moving and having a big dirty dub reggae edge to them. Plus they often drop off into some ambient meanderings as Clouds and Ekstrak do into Frescoe’s string led breakdown, which in turn builds with a bit more electro filth.

The beautiful strings of Jenny Jones and her Capilano Bridge bring a classy soundtrack feel to the mix as they melt seamlessly into more classic music in the form of Ekkehard Ehlers "Plays John Cassavettes pt. 2". It’s kind of moving in places and a refreshing change to hear a DJ build and break down a mix as they please instead of throwing in banger after banger.

After a complete holt after track thirteen, which I can’t quite make my mind up is a good thing like when you get that feeling after flipping the tape over in the olden days, you know a bit excited at what’s to come. Or a bad one in that it stops the flow completely… He soon gets back in the groove though with some dancehall vibes and dirty dubstep from Scuba. Then comes the one two punch of Quest and Shackleton. The Team Shadetek acapella over Quest works especially well.

A nice deep wind down ushers the album to a close, the awe-inspiring beauty of Moving Ninja "Uranium" almost fades to absolute silence before the hushed blows of Professor Shehab + lloop come in.

DJ / Rupture’s strength comes in his selection and mixing abilities, which is all you really want from a DJ really. It’s not the most upfront and in your face exclusive mix you will ever hear but in terms of an enjoyable listen Uproot comes out as a winner. With a warm and spacey glow DJ / Rupture with mesmerise you.

Baby Kites and Nokea’s ‘Reef’ free download


Saturday, 8 November 2008

Chickenhawk (3barfire Review)

Check it out here.

Some exciting bit's coming soon on 3barfire keep an eye out for that.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Throats and the_Network – Notes From The Turncoat Campaign

Holy Roar unleash another brutal storm in the form of a split EP featuring two wicked bands. Throats are some kind of monster of a band that incorporates hardcore energy and heaviness with a bit of an epic metal style at times too. the_Network are from the USA, New Hampshire to be exact. It’s the first time Holy Roar have hooked up a Trans Atlantic collaboration and it’s a sweet one at that. the_Network are insane, I say insane but this is no dumb ass heavy metal stuff. It’s heavy as hell yes, but it doesn’t’ skimp on creativity.

Throats open the EP with three tracks of what can only be described as pure energy streaming out of the speakers. Screams and grinding guitars clash and melt into massive heavy riffs while drums smash and skip with a beastly brutality. It’s only about five months since they last dropped a split EP on us with the excellent Maths also on Holy Roar and Throats have not let up at all in the mean time.

All of the tracks are crackers but Hibernate sounds pretty damn special to my ears. The opening riff is awesome and when another guitar starts joining in and the harmonies of the two sound like the pitch is bending up the tension builds and builds before the grinding punk noise smashes you in the face. This then breaks down into a bit of a slow groove for the first time on the whole EP and you get chance to catch your breath before it all kicks off again.

the_Network’s side of the split fits so well with Throats style it all just flows so well as a whole EP. I’m pretty sure they are some sort of hybrid of hardcore / grindcore / punck / metal they are pretty intense anyway. They can scream like creatures from the underworld of long gone prehistoric times or even have a good old sing as they do on the final track R. Taylor.

Rabid Electronics kicks off the_Network’s section and it’s like fighting off a deranged dog with a power drill. Well it probably doesn’t sound as gruesome as that but you get the idea. 500 Pounds of Idiot is hard as hell as you would expect from such a title. They have this testosterone-fuelled beastliness to there sound.

These two bands shred fucking face and kick arse grab it.



Saturday, 1 November 2008

Sunship Featuring Warrior Queen - Almighty Father (Skreamix)

Skream has been in the scene for what seems like forever and being the nice guy he is he has decided to unlock his dungeon or where ever he keeps his tunes, maybe it’s the fridge next to his Stella, I don’t know. But he has decided to give away this lost gem for free, so grab it while it’s hot people, I doubt it will be up forever and I’m one to start re-hosting stuff. Check all the love in the thread over at dubstepforum. Badman…

‘Its been so long thought i might aswell share it..... The mix downs not the best in the world but i did make it 04' so........ Here ya go hope u enjoy it!’



p.s. while I’m on a nostalgic dubstep tip check out Blackdown’s recent blog post it’s fascinating and has some really good pictures. So good I’m going to put it up here too…

Deerhunter - Microcastle (3barfire Review)

Here we go again with the Deerhunter review, I bloody love it so much that I'm going to post the link to my 3barfire review right here.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Joker & Rustie – Play Doe / Tempered (Kapsize) 12”

12” number two from the new label Kapsize, which is owned and run by the young talent Joker, the 19 year old from Bristol. The first 12” was a solo effort and features one of my favourite Joker joints 80’s, number two comes with even more fire power.

Side A is a collaboration between Kapsize head honcho Joker and Glasgow wonky beat maker Rustie. They fight over whatever equipment they have laying around the studio to create a track that is the best of both their worlds.

You get sparse lilting beats with that dirty south hiphop bump to them and deranged synths that Timberland wishes he could have thought of. Not to mention the massive bass weight, the low-end spectrum to this as with all Joker stuff is pretty huge and will make your teeth shake on a big system. I’m pretty sure they sample Busta Rhymes or something with the small vocal sample, ‘Ha’, but I could be wrong there. I remember hearing this on Generation Bass in Jokers set and thinking man this is a banger. Rustie brings a bit of a hip-hop swagger to the beats that is more than welcome, he gets his wonk on and makes this track a certified future R&B, Hip-Hop, bass bin shaker.

The flip side is Rustie flexing his 140 bpm mussels on his own, Tempered is a real treat I just love it when people like FlyLo and Rustie bring the tempo up to dubstep kind of speeds for a few tracks. They really know how to bring different things to the table. This track is no exception, it goes really well with the A Side and has a kind of aquatic vibe, with some massive 808 style drum work outs and a synth to die for. Rustie with his wonk on, keeping it bumping and aquatic.

This 12” is kind of special and there isn’t quite anything like it around right now. Kapsize are doing things differently and with style. Joker the young’un is tearing up floors world wide now as is Rustie. These two better keep working together when they find them selves in the same town, the Bristol Vs. Glasgow combination needs exploring more. Big up Joker & Rustie.




Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Distance - I'm A Big Fan Of Gary Numan (3barfire interview)

Distance - I'm A Big Fan Of Gary Numan

Written by James Balf
Monday, 27 October 2008

Distance aka Greg Sanders is somewhat of a scene lynchpin. He was one of the original seven artists selected by Mary Anne Hobbs for Radio One's seminal Dubstep Warz broadcast, his debut album, 'My Demons', was voted by Dubstep Forum's purest public as the album of 2007and his label Chestplate has rumbled its way into the hearts (and record bags) of many a fan.On the eve of the release of his second album for Planet Mu, 'Repercussions', Distance clocked in for a chat with James Balf, who managed to get him to admit his love for industrial power tools and reveal a hidden passion for the work of gloom pioneer Gary Numan.

James Balf: We all know you as a bit of a legend in Dubstep circles, you’ve been on the scene for what seems like forever now, tearing up places like DMZ, FWD>> and anywhere with a big enough soundsystem, not to mention on your Rinse FM show, tons of 12”s your own label Chestplate. But what got you into this music, pushed you into DJing and making your own beats?
Distance: Well as most people know I was a huge metal fan I listened to bands like Pantera, Sepultura, Fear Factory and didn’t really have any interest in dance or electronic music. It wasn’t until I started college that I began listening to loads of different styles and started going to raves. I picked up on a few D&B artists, mainly Dillinga… I could really relate to the live drum sounds he used in his tracks and he had an energy about his sound which reminded me of metal. From there I got into Aphex Twin, Redsnapper, Portishead and Prodigy but the tunes that stuck out for me were always the darker more atmospheric edged ones.
A close friend of mine Phil used to play me loads of garage and 2 step beats and that kind of started things rolling. I bought decks, a drum machine and started using my PC to build a few loops but I didn’t take producing that seriously. I became a massive DJ EZ fan and would record his Kiss FM sets every week. Bit by bit these slightly darker sounds crept into his shows. Most were produced by Wookie, Oris J, Zed Bias, Ed Case and Zinc and I would desperately hunt for these in records shops.
I used to go to a load of garage nights and would always be waiting be for the dark beats drop like Narrow’s ‘Saved Souls’ and Wookie’s ‘Little Man Rmx’. I then found out about a new rave in London called FWD where I could hear what I was calling "dark garage" being played all night. I religiously went every month, it was a night purely about the music not about shiney shoes and over pressed shirts and trousers.
Producing was naturally the next step to take. First real tune I made was called ‘Trust My Logic’ and EZ was the first person to drop it. I still have the tape somewhere. Things just grew and grew from there.
JB: What was your first set up like for making tracks compared to what you use now?
D: I had a pretty standard PC running Cubase v.5, a Terratec sound card which wasn’t bad… my first 2 tunes where made with just 1 stereo speaker - ha ha. The first monitors I had were Fostex PM1s which done me proud but now I’m on a Carillon PC, with an RME sound card, running Cubase V4. I upgraded my monitors early this year to a set of Genelec 1032a's… that was a special day.
I don’t think it is so much the equipment which makes the biggest difference it’s your self, training your ears and getting your mixes sweet. You could be sitting in a 30 grand studio but if you don’t know about your frequencies then that equipment is worthless.
JB: Dubstep takes a lot of influence from all over the place, what other kinds of music do you love listening to that you find influence your sound?
D: I listen to so much music, loads of metal, rap, dnb, dub… I’m a big fan of Gary Numan, Kate Bush and Prince I have my Dad to blame for that… I would say my main influences come from Metal though. I love the sound of live instruments, the natural distortions and Harmonics are what I’m all about. I always try and create a live feel in my tracks.
Films have played a huge part in my music too; I pay a lot of attention to the way music is used to create tension, emotion and suspense. I try and inject some of that into my beats.
JB: Who are your favourite DJ and producers in the scene pushing it all forward and keeping it exciting for you right now?
D: Pinch, Mala, Jamie vex'd, Cyrus, Benga, and Skream. They never stay in one place, they are constantly progressing. Plus there are loads of new artists coming through who are keeping the whole scene fresh. Joker, Ramadanman, Peverelist, Silkie and Quest really stand out.

JB: I want to ask you about Metal. I hear strains of metal or heavy guitar music in your sound at times, even a bit of Doom laced heaviness at times in the form of someone like Sun O))) or Khanate as suggested from your Marry Anne Hobbs mix with Vex’d. I’ve even heard your stuff to be called Mosh-Step, I think the metal sounds and influence work well in dubstep, I mean it isn’t that far a step from a skanked out head nod to a full on headbang session is it?
D: I get approached by a lot of people voicing how they are metal fans and are feeling what I am doing. That’s mainly because they can hear my metal influence coming through. I’ve been playing guitar for 18 years now and use it where I can in my beats. The riffs in ‘Headstrung’ and ‘No Sunshine’ are me on guitar.
I never forget Joe Nice telling me how he played ‘V’ in Belgium and started a full on mosh pit… it also happened to me in Rotterdam. The moshers got asked to stop by the promoters - ha ha. I don’t know how but I think im able to inject the same energy metal has into dubstep.
JB: Some of your stuff sounds quite industrial, do you dabble in a bit of DIY? What’s your favourite tool? I’m pretty fond of lump hammers and the monkey wrench myself…
D: Well I am a builder so that might be why, favourite tool hmmmm???? Has to be the circular saw, it’s a beast. I truly fear it as much as I love it.
JB: What influences you outside of music?
D: People influence me most definitely. If it wasn’t for certain people in my life introducing me to different sounds and experiences I probably wouldn’t be here.
Films are on a par with music, they’ve have had such a big influence in my music. My Dad was heavily into films, and most of my childhood was spent watching films I shouldn’t have. Omen, Blade Runner, Alien… I’ll never forget, my Dad had Nightmare On Elm Street taped after Snow White, that’s enough to traumatise any 7 year old.
JB: What was it like being picked up by Planet Mu and what’s it like releasing on such a big electronica label?
D: If I’m honest I didn’t know that much about Planet Mu previous to be being signed. That’s mainly because I was listening to metal more than electronica. I was aware that Mark One and Vex’d had released albums with them but that’s it really. I did my research though and soon found out how big they were and felt privileged to be offered the opportunity to produce an album for such a respected label. Mike’s got an ear for great music.
JB: How did it make you feel when all the heads at Dubstep Forum voted your debut album, 'My Demons', the album of the year in 2007?
D: Completely unexpected… I went to the awards just to go and support, at about 12am someone came up to me and says “congratulations on the award”, I was like, “what award?” he said, "Best Album of the Year Award...!"

I had no idea I was going to win or even that I was nominated. I was gutted I wasn’t in the room when it was announced though but it meant a lot to me.
JB: You picked Cyrus for Generation Bass the follow up to the pretty damn huge Dubstep Warz on Radio One with Marry Anne Hobbs, what drew you to him? Did it make you think about the state of the scene now compared to way back when you first spun on Warz?
D: Cyrus provides a much needed side to the scene. He has his own unique style and he’s a sick DJ as well as a producer. When I got asked to pick an artist he was the first person I thought of. The first Dubstep Warz was very much about 7 individuals with very different influences and styles, and I think Generation Bass adopted that brilliantly. Every artist stood out and made it very clear that Dubstep will continue to excite people. Cyrus was an important part of that.
JB: What can we expect from your forthcoming album Repercussions, how do you think your sound has progressed from ‘My Demons’?
D: Its a little darker then ‘My Demons’. I went in deep on the percussion arrangements, hence the name ‘Repercussions’. I wanted to take it back to what dubstep was originally about: beats, percussions and bass.
I wanted the album to be more of a listening experience rather then straight up club bangers. My production as a whole has definitely improved; I find it hard to listen to my old beats without cringing. I’ve spent a lot of time mastering my mix downs and I’m a lot happier with them now.
Words: James Balf
'Repercussions' is out 24th November on Planet Mu Recordings.

With thanks to Greg and Jonas.
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