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.

Monday, 27 October 2008

The Ergon Carousel

Short and to the point The Ergon Carousel make more brutal noise in six tracks in six minuets than most heavy bands do in a lifetime, just one more six and I swear the devil would be involved.

This is their untitled debut EP and it comes to you on the excellent Holy Roar. The Ergon Carousel rise from the ashes of British grind-core aficionados Narcosis, along with members of Breecher and Carmen.

They stop and start, slam on the breaks, then twist and grind out the riffs. The fast as fuck drumming and guitar mashing is pure primal energy pushed through some industrial machinery it really shouldn’t have been using because… well they are fucking insane!

You can still pick out riffs from the carnage in-fact for grind-core this is pretty tuneful and maybe one of the heaviest things I’ve heard in quite some time.

I can only imagine what this onslaught would be like live; I would have to arm myself just in case it all kicked off to be honest. If you want your brain kicked out through your ear holes then grinded into a pulp The Ergon Carousel are for you.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Two new Blakfish demos and album recording news

Right from the horses mouth...
Fighting with bouncers, run-ins with the police, exploding vans, drinking til they puke, puking til they drink again - it's only rock n roll but Blakfish like it.

Our queens of Midlands-rowdiness have just made two brand new demos available online. The first, 'Pretty As A Peacock (Fashion)' can be heard on episode 9 of the BSM podcast. Along with tracks from Pulled Apart By Horses, Shield Your Eyes, Anathallo and more, it can be downloaded from
iTunes or as an MP3 from the multimedia section. The second new demo, 'Economics', can be heard at

In January our little darling buds of mayhem will pack their bags and jet off to lovely Seattle to record their debut album with Chris Common, drummer with the amazing These Arms Are Snakes. Tentatively set for an early summer release, it promises to be one hell of a record.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Deerhunter – Microcastle

Microcastle is album number three from Atlanta’s Deerhunter the self-titled debut (aka Turn It Up Fagot) was a noisy and raw punk racket, this was followed by Cryptograms, which in my eyes was one of the best albums of last year.

Cryptograms, was an album of two halves. Side one being an ambient punk hybrid and the flip being a more song based shoegazer. Then they went and dropped the Florescent Grey EP, which continued the more tuneful theme and really tightened up the song writing. This brings me to Microcastle, which continues this idea of bringing songs into the ambient punk template.

Deerhunter have got a bit more of a spring in their step here compared to the sweeping melancholic fuzzy swamp punk soundscape of Cryptograms. Microcastle still has moments of mellow gold but for the most part they have made a more focused snappier affair with a slight pop edge.

The pop comes in the form of either Brain Eno ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’ era influenced nuggets or 50’s / 60’s doo-whop like Martha & The Vandellas. A garage/punk vibe can also be heard that brings the raw edge of people like Half-Pint And The Fifths and other Atlanta natives The Black Lips, one of which feature on the album. This is all filtered through a kind of dreamy shoegaze machine into a My Bloody Valentine or Cocteau Twins shape before the final stage comes in the form of a Krautrock infused motorik beat of the likes of Faust or Can. It also sounds a bit more like the Atlas Sound side project than previous Deerhunter stuff.

Deerhunter take all these influences and make them their own. The tightness of the group is outstanding the drums and bass really drive everything forward, while the vocals and guitar make for some sweet music for daydreams. The balance of mellow and driving noise is something of beauty on Microcastle.

Microcastle has a beautiful, bright, warm, organic and crisp sound that is perfect for the autumn / winter you can imagain wrapping yourself up in a big coat and walking through the first frost or hazy evenings.

The intro melts into the wonderful Agoraphobia, which is sung by guitarist Lockett Pundt and is defiantly one of the highlights of the record. Never Stops & Little Kids continue in the same kind of vain before the mellow mid section of the record comes along. This starts with the title track and ends with Activa this is so blessed out and brings the mood right down, which makes the final motornik section all the more exciting. The closer Twilight at Carbon Lake sounds most like material from the previous album and brings it all back full circle.

Overall Microcastle is a fantastic album Deerhunter and Bradford Cox’s side project Atlas Sound have managed to make two of the most engaging and well realised albums of this year.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Maths + Throats - Split EP (3barfire review)

More fire on the 3bar crew from me, this was posted on my blog the other day but now check out the 3barfire version here.

Expect more tasty bits from Holy Roar soon, I've got some more words on the way for up and coming / just dropped releases soon...

Monday, 20 October 2008

Big Scary Monsters Autumn Collection Sampler

The Monsters spank out another one of their excellent samplers for the Autumnal season this time. Get yourself over to and get it on the download it’s totally free and features some awesome artists.

This Town Needs Guns: Well I have talked alot about these guys recently after seeing them live and reviewing their album Animals for this very blog and 3barfire. All you need to know is they have to be heard…

Tubelord: They are a wicked band that just keep getting better with every release and the new tracks I heard them play live not so long ago where crackers. BSM are releasing a tasty 7” of theirs. Oh yeah they make a mad punky, poppy, deranged sound that makes you want to move in strange ways.

Pulled Apart By Horses: I was thinking just the other month when I saw these guys supporting That Fucking Tank and Dananananaykroyd in Leeds that I wish someone would pick them up and release some stuff. Then low and behold I find out one of my favourite labels Big Scary Monsters did just that; the new 7” is going to drop soon it’s called Meat Balloon and the artwork looks pretty damn hot too.

Mimas: I’m not very well versed on what Mimas are like apart from the excellent video I got hooked up with not long ago that featured some sexy sock puppet action along with a wicked song.

Native: I’ve really not heard of these guys but they are apparently BSM’s new favourite band so I will have to give them a good listen hey after that endorsement.

Grab it now for free and check out the rest of the stuff on BSMrocks too they have a wicked set of podcasts to download along with a nice roster of artists to check out. I do enjoy reading the blog too...

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Large Hadron Collider (Double Vox Bass Tube Mix) by Jimi The Exploder Feat. MC. Prof. Brian Cox (ex D:Ream): The scribbles

I said I would write about the tracks on this mix here and my original post here, and to be honest I got distracted. But here we go, plus it’s a good excuse to bump the mixes profile a little more as I’m proud of it (so far I've had 147 downloads and counting of this mix)…

Kontex – Falling to Weightlessness [Immerse]

Kontex opens the mix in a fine deep and melodic style, I pitched this one up some what as it needed a bit more pace on it for dubstep’s 140 bpm trade mark speed. I can’t get enough of this double 12” on Immerse, Kontex has done some good work here in merging minimal / dub / dubstep / electronica and god knows what.

TRG & Dub U – Losing Marbles [Hot Flush]

I try and melt things smoothly into TRG & Dub U and you know what, I think I pull it off. These two have more beauties that will no doubt see the light of day in my next mix, but for now lets loose some marbles… It’s another deep one as is a lot of the LHC mix, I love the groove on this one though it’s so funky and driving yet subtle all at once.

Appleblim and Peverelist – Circling [Skull Disco]

Well what can you say about Skull Disco, Appleblim and Peverelist? A fuck load to be honest they are pushing things forward so much right now. Circeling is a triumph in rolling deepness, I love the bass on this and have done ever since I heard it on Dubstep Allstars Vol.6 with ‘blim. The second drop just kills it for me every time, make sure you listen out for that.

Grievous Angel – Lady Dub [Devotional Dubz]

Now for some deep spaced out R&B from the Angel from Sheffield, the bass on this is huge it’s like he has grabben an 808 and throttled the fucker until it popped. The smooth vocal samples and huge beats just make this some future garage / Nu-Soul cross over that is to die for. If you haven’t copped his mix that I posted the other day you really should. Also I suggested on dubstepforum that I would love to hear a Grievous Angel and Joker collaboration and he was very happy about that and would love to do something, I for one would love to hear that…

TRG – Generation (Breakage Remix) [Naked Lunch]

Breakage is one of my top tips right now, he comes from the D’n’B scene and is pushing a proper eyes down huge bass thing that is so big that it will no doubt blow air at you through even the shittiest of speaker systems. He mixes up TRG’s Generation is style here. I love the way the bass mixes with the Lady Dub’s bass before it, I can mix these two forever and be happy.

Martyn & Marcus Intalex – After Seven [Revolver]

Another D’n’B dubstep mix going on here, Martyn has been making drum’n’bass for ages and making waves recently in the dubstep scene with some soulful rollers of his own. He hooks up with D’n’B legend Marcus Intalex on this 12” and it’s pretty special to be honest. After Seven sounds like Detroit techno with hip-hop samples gone stepping for the afternoon, it’s some next level stuff.

Shackleton – Shortwave (Pole Remix) [Scape]

Pole goes stupidly deep on a mix for the one and only Shackleton, I think this one will make it onto the next Skull Disco collection. The original Shortwave is on the last ever Skull Disco 12” a label which I can’t big up enough. This mix sounds like a wired phone in radio show that has gone all wrong and been hooked up to an alien spaceship that is obsessed with bass.

Martyn – Storm Watch [Revolver]

This is the B-Side to the other Martyn track I played, the jazzy melodies works so well with the phone sounds that I just had to mix them. The piano and skipping beats are just perfect, that bassline really moves me as well. Martyn really is a bit of a talent worth keeping your eye on.

Untold – Walking Through Walls [Hemlock]

Untold has to be one to watch his tracks are brilliant. There are a lot of atmospherics in the tracks, it’s like he is twisting Burial’s ambient nighttime London sounds onto the dance floor. Hemlock is his own label and I expect some next level stuff to pop out on it in no time. Listen out for when I manage to knock the needle of the platter half way through, it got a bit of fluff snagged in it and I decided to blow it a bit to hard to get it off and the fucker skipped hard…

Starkey – Angel [Creative Space]

Starkey aka Stark Bot is a master of street bass and this tune is no exception. I have already reviewed this 12” on this very blog not to long ago if you search through the archives. It’s a subtle yet pumping number that moves the floor with plenty of melody, it’s not one of his massive bangers but I think it’s pretty special. His new album is so good expect a review of that soon.

Matty G – The 808 Bass [Argon]

Matty G brings the half step bass power to the mix, another US native just like Starkey, I thought I would bring them together and use this huge track as a bit of a breakdown considering I haven’t rolled with the half step yet in this mix. The 808 Bass is a big one a bit like Loefah doing hip-hop or something, the female vocal snippets work so well with Starkey’s tune too.

Cluekid – Monkey Style [Subbalicious]

This is a wicked pink 12” from Subbalicious it’s proper party time Jungle Step with a bassline that sounds like Super Sharp Shooter and that kind of era Jungle productions. The drums are what drew me to this though, it’s just pure hyper skipping 2-step meets jungle riddims. The flip by Chef isn’t half bad either, talking of Bad L.D. and Kode 9’s Bad is on a similar tip and will no doubt feature in my next effort of a mix…

TRG – Post Rave Blues Part 1 [Tube]

TRG again and the man from Romania drops another deep deep deep beast on us. It has subtle dub and reggae influences while keeping the party rolling on a garage and techno tip. The mixing here isn’t to hot but it works, I got this tune and the next in the post right before I recorded so I wasn’t to familiar but they just had to go in. TRG is the king of the floor, he moves your feet as hard as your mind.

Shackleton – You Bring Me Down (Peverelist Remix) [Scape]

Peverelist ripping up Shack, what more do you want to know really?!? Well it’s the flip top the Pole mix I played earlier and it’s just something else. The beats are some next level rolling techno infused stepping that bring a mad driving groove to the table. I decided to pretty much mix this from the edge as it’s so huge and the drums just phat as hell. Get ready for more Shackleton latter I just couldn’t keep an original bit of his away from this mix…

Mala – Bury Da Bwoy [DMZ]

Mala is a legend in dubstep terms, no-one touches him on deep, paranoid dance floor meditation, you can’t for love nor money get his early releases he is THE pioneer and I wish he would step up and kick everyone’s arse with an album or something. Bury Da Bwoy is maybe my favourite Mala track, it’s a perfect mix of dubstep and techno styles, which is what got me hooked in the first place. The drums are funky and off-kilter, the bass is huge and subtle while the groove just keeps on rolling.

Peverelist – Die Brucke [Punch Drunk]

More Pev now but this time an original production on his own label Punch Drunk, which you just have to look out for the man has taste as well as talent and puts out some of the most outstanding 12”s in the scene. Die Brucke is one of my fave Pev joints the techy influence is brilliant. The synths are out there and hypnotic, where Peverelist really nails it though are in the drums, his beat programming is something else.

Made Up Sound – Density [Sub Solo]

Made Up Sound aka 2562 who featured so prominently in my first dubstep mix and pretty much pushed me into the genre, spanks out what I can only discrube as a freakin’ master stroke of techno / dubstep cross pollination. I had to pitch this up somewhat to fit the tempo, but you could play this in a techno set just as easily as a dubstep one and not really notice. The skipping drums funk the techno groove up so much, it’s like the old days of techno in Detroit all over again, the groove just propels forward and and takes you and the floor with it. Made Up Sound needs to stick out an album as the 2562 one was just brilliant.

Kontex – Plumes [Immerse]

Full circle we come back to Kontex, this one is a slow slow sub sonic dub techno, 4 to the floor number but I pitched it up like 19 % or something stupid on my super powered decks (this is all vinyl by the way). Plumes is deeps as fuck and just a perfect slab of dub techno that will mix into anything from the slowest electronica all the way up to the 140 bpm dubstep I have on show here, I would mix it with techno too if I was slipping it in here. A Ramadanman mix of this is dropping soon for people without super pitch capabilities.

Komonazmuk – Bad Apple [Hench]

Bad Apple is a dubstep passed techno bomb the beats are 4x4 and driving yet the groove some how has that swing to it that a good steppa just loves and feels in their bones. I really like this track, it’s featured on Appleblim’s Dubstep Allstars Vol.6 and is somewhat instrumental in pushing the sound on me since I was familiar with mixing techno and house before I found this sound…

Shackleton – El Din (Part One) [Mordant Music]

This is some of the newest Shackleton stuff around and my oh my its good, but what would you expect from the Skull Disco founder hey? It’s so deep and so dark with that old skool vibe to it, yet it’s so forward thinking that it’s just on another level. He is just doing his own thing and what a thing it is too, melodic strings drone away in a far east kind of style while the bass and drums rattle away like a dark dance floor shaker… Oh yeah ignor the beat clashing shit mix into this one if you will…

Digital Mystikz – Misty Winter [Soul Jazz]

To close the mix off and flow on from the mood Shack brought to the table I could only really go for Digital Mystikz really. I would have closed on Shack but I like to throw in an old surprise if I can to get the heads excited. This old Soul Jazz 12” is Mala and Coki at their best mixing mad rhythms with HUGE bass and pure soulful vibes. I read in an interview that this is one of Burial’s top tunes of all time and who is going to argue with that?!? Not me that’s for sure…

So that’s it, it fades to grey and you have been listening to my selection of the deepest / finest dub kuts I could string together. I hope you enjoyed it and had a good read through about all the amazing music, big up to all the artists and labels featured on the mix it really wouldn’t have been possible without your skills, beats and vibes.

I’m working on my next mix so keep your eyes and ears peeled for that on this very blog or the mix section of dubstepforums and the boards of Drowned in Sound where I like to hang when I can. It’s going to be wicked, I’m excited already.

Download here…

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Mirror Music – The Strange Things I’ll Remember

Graeme Reedie of Silicone Soul and film score aficionado Dave Donaldson combine forces to make an album under the guise Mirror Music on Soma records.

With two people with such talent and skill in the studio you would expect something pretty special that combines the sexy deep house skills of Silicone Soul and the atmospheric soundscapes of a big budget film score. Well that’s what it sounds like so they get points for that, but it’s maybe one of the most bland dance albums I have heard in a while.

There is no vitality that the likes of Minilogue have with their excellent album Animals, which covers much of the same ground but with a more minimal pulse and an ambient atmosphere. The Strange Things I’ll Remember isn’t a complete loss though.

The sounds and the influences all have their hearts in the right place. By that I mean the overall feel of the record is warm and punchy with some seriously excellent instrument sounds, like the comfort of the lounge drenched Rhodes on ‘Rack and Ruin’ , which also features a spacey dub sounding drum loop.

The deep dub house thing has been done before a long time ago and a lot better in the time Tribal house ruled the clubs and people like Hipp-e and Halo were kings, even Silicone Soul had their hayday then. None of the tracks reach the heady heights of ‘Right On!’ or my personal favourite, ‘Chic-O-La (H-Foundation Mix)’ but that’s all in the past now…

I will get the low points out of the way first: The title track that reminds me of a boring version of Superstition by Stevie Wonder but with a plod and no soul. ‘Fun’ is the lowest of the low, I can see what they have tried to do, take the mick out of a Bond soundtrack and have a bit of a laugh with the music. But in the end it’s less like actual fun and more like the fun you have watching an embarrassing uncle dance, while drunk, with someone’s sunglasses on and his fingers held in a 007 pistol position.

And now for the high points: ‘Medicine’ sounds like a classic Soma release of recent years from the likes of Slam. ‘Gateway’ starts well with some hypnotic Rhodes and a pounding beat; this is some nice, deep, cosmic disco. If you want some disco cliché’s but done well you can’t go far wrong with ‘Gravity Groove’ and its shimmery guitars and bouncy style. ‘Sight Unseen’ reminds me of Slam’s ‘Lifetime’ with its subtle and almost Reece bassline, there is also a breakdown in it that sounds like a house version of ‘Come As You Are’ by Nirvana.

The Strange Things I’ll Remember is so hit’n’miss it becomes a big bland plod, but if you own a cheesy little posh bar that sells really expensive cocktails and only let people in with shoes this could be the album for you.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Maths + Throats – Split EP

First up on this Holy Roar split EP are Maths a three piece hardcore / screamo band: they don’t just scream for the sake of it, they have passion and can write one hell of a tune. They prove this over the course of their five tracks with a great deal of quality, aggression and skill. Each of them can really play hard and agility, they are on the look out for another bassist now mind as he went to uni… Heavy Heart kicks things off with some huge pounding drums and screaming to die for. This is music to let all your anger and passion out to it’s cathartic as hell. Statue Of Her keeps the riffs coming and the emotions running then slides into a tender breakdown with shiny guitars and primal beats. The fragile beginnings of Breath As If It Were A Story give way to Maths closing track Solace, which just slams out the riffs and screamo energy. Short, sweet, brutal, to the point and well thought out: Maths shred.

Throats are a slightly more epic metal meets punk five man shred machine they can do it short and sweet or stretch it out a little bit more while still keeping the brutal energy. Headclouds sets off their side with some grinding buzz saw riffs that aim to take your face right off in the darkest manner possible. the energy of Locked Blue is just something else and the licks they spaff out are some of the best in the business. The stop / start antics of Reign Of Low suck you in then throw you off before smashing your head in and pummelling it into the middle of the pit. If I had a comedown like Comedown I would probably seek help and order myself a straight jacket; pretty intense. The finale comes in the form of Deathnaps but if you think it’s going to make you sleep you have another thing coming, the riffs are catchy as hell.

Maths + Throats combine on this EP so well, they compliment each other and both bring something different to the table. I can only imagine the carnage they both produce live. Slam this on and let it all out, go on…

Thursday, 16 October 2008


This is just getting silly now Hyperdub...

In the last month or so Hyperdub have been on a roll announcing some amazing 12"s of pure next level music, check this list out:


12" vinyl & Digital

A. King Midas Sound - 'Cool Out'
B1. King Midas Sound - 'One Ting' (Dabrye Remix)
B2. King Midas Sound - 'Lost' (Flying Lotus Remix)

for the delay folks. . .new release date is October 27th


12" vinyl & digital

A. Millie
B. Direct

Sorry for the delay folks. . .new release date is October 27th


2 x 12" vinyl & digital

A1 Zomby - 'Spaceman'
B1 Zomby - 'Kaliko'
B2 Zomby - 'Test Me For a Reason'
C1.Zomby - 'Aquafresh'
C2.Zomby - 'Gloop'
D1 Zomby - '1 Up'
D2 Zomby - 'Diamonds & Pearls'

November Release

HDB017 - Quarta 330

12' vinyl & digital

A. Quarta 330 - 'Sabacco'
B. Cardopusher - 'Homeless' (Quarta330 rmx)

Soon come

HYP008 Kode9 vs. LD - BAD E.P.

A. Kode9 vs. LD - 'Bad'
B. Kode9 vs. LD - '2 Bad'

November Release

More news and full audio soon at

You see what I mean hey?!?

It's probibly not the end of it either Darkstar's new track ‘Aidy’s Girl is a Computer’ has been played by Oneman on Generation Bass the other month and the tracklist say's it's a Hyperdub. Then when Burial unmasked himself he mentioned that an EP would be coming soon, he has since said on that very same blog that he is making the tracks at the moment and I for one can't wait for that. Plus he can take as long as he wants its Burial for goodness sake.

Hyperdub wow!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


The UK Metal and Hardcore scene’s are in very good shape, especially if you look to the underground. This year has already spawned some heavy gems in the form of Down I Go, Rolo Tomassi, Montana, Adebisi Shank, Maths, Throats… I would go on but I’m nowhere near immersed enough in it all to be an authority. I just know I have heard a truckload of awesome heavy stuff this year.

Chickenhawk’s self titled album is one monstrous slab of brutality filled to the brim with ideas that span thrash, hardcore, metal, and just down right in your face heavy stuff. They even hint on electro on the opening track, this isn’t inductive to the rest of the album mind, but it opens the thing well. That track is called Dude-a-tron and reminds me of Kernkraft 4000 by Zombie Nation but not as annoying and a lot more shouty.

If you want your head to nod until you have whiplash then this is an album for you. But this is no balls to the wall no brain metal album, it is full of passion and intelligence, with a wicked sense of fun.

The rest of the album has some massive riffs; Piglosaur has huge clattering drums like some primal beast as the guitar just tear it all up. At times Chickenhawk remind me of a meatier grunge band but not in a throw back sense, they sound fresh and I doubt they look at their shoes as much. The vocals are just as catchy as the riffs and are sung or screamed in an on edge kind of way or melodically harmonised in other places. Minus Infinity Killswitch brings the mood down with some beautiful yet dark acoustic strumming that gives way to some heavy guitar lines that get you stomping around wanting to smash your head into things. Things just get more messy when the absolutely huge sounding My Name Is Egg comes flying out of the blocks like a rampant freak looking for something with darting eyes and a limp. The hushed vocals add menace and then the riffs come back and some kind of chorus happens that sounds like the fragles gone metal, it’s brilliant. Other highlights include Kerosene, which just sounds so cool and catchy with a huge breakdown that twists and turns then drops back into the chorus. Mandarin Grin is blistering, The Pin makes for a freaked out slow jam that drops into beastly territories in a heartbeat. The closer Bottle Rocket shreds it too…

Chickenhawk RAWK! Hard and do everything you want a heavy band to do; bring the riffs, bring the fun, let loose and unleash some furry with passion so you can just let go and let it consume you.

(released 17/11/08)

Monday, 13 October 2008

Lykke Li Live @ The Dutchess, York. 10th October 2008

Sometimes even a beatnik blogger needs a bit of pop in their lives, and Lykke Li was just perfect because a) It’s endorsed by Pitchfork b) she isn’t big yet… I’m kidding of course, but there does seem to be a bit of a buzz for Lykke Li in the hipster circles for what is pretty much a middle of the road pop act. This isn’t to say she is bad at all, in-fact I really enjoyed her live show, it was just a bit tepid rather than a joyous pop romp.

The gig was in The Dutchess, which I still haven’t made my mid up about yet. The venue it’s self is pretty cool but they need to beef up the soundsystem so you can hear it over the millions of people who seem to just want to chat through the whole gig right near the stage. The sound man is miles away as well, I wouldn’t be surprised if he couldn’t hear what was going on. I can’t be arsed moaning about it anymore the place has potential.

Lykke’s support was a loan singer / guitarist who did the looping the stuff I bang on the body of the instrument thing. I think he was called Jova or something, I can’t find anything on him now, and he was pretty hard to hear over all the shouting hordes so that kind of watered down his performance somewhat. So I feel bad judging him on that, but he didn’t really stick in my mind at all…

Lykke Li was me with a lot of enthusiasm by the crowed and launched right into one of her upbeat numbers, for me this is what she does best by a long shot. I’m not a fan when she goes all slow-mo ballad style on us. She only had about three or four top class tracks though in this vain so the set was a little light and I think even she knew it as she had to resort to playing about three covers, and dropped the odd rap tune to liven the place up. KRS One was whacked on and they left the stage so we could just dance to it, this was one of the highlights of the gig for me, and kind of unexpected. The percussion was loose and fun, like they were just jamming at home. Lykke’s presence on stage is wicked she really rocks out, to the tracks which adds some much needed energy to it all. She has passion and makes me swoon a heck of a lot.

Overall Lykke Li was pretty damn good and enjoyable, yet a little bit mellow for a Friday night with lots of people shouting and wanting to party. I left feeling I would have seen more of a spark…

Check out this video of her anyway:

Lykke Li Space

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Devotional Dubz

I mostly just stole all this from dubstepforum as it came back up earlier and then I found this mix posted by Grievous Angel himself, I will let him do the talking:

The first Devotional Dubz mix is now up. It accompanies the Lady Dub release. I am grateful to FACT magazine for hosting and promoting it for me. Big up all at FACT.
You can find it here.

And this is what
FACT had to say:

The same way fat kids famously do cake, we love
Grievous Angel. If there was ever a man you can rely upon, not just to release great music (his ‘Lady Dub’ twelve and Belief is the Enemy double album are two of 2008’s highlights) but to knock out cracking mix after cracking mix, it’s him, and that’s why we’re chuffed to have him release the first of his Devotional Dubz mixes through FACT.

As old Grievous puts it, “In the summer, [I] released Lady Dub, the first of [my] Devotional Dubz series of dubstep / dark garage refixes of r’n’b tunes, which was the counterpart to the harder ragga techno styles on the double album, Belief is the Enemy"

"‘Lady Dub’ is a refix of D’Angelo’s nu-soul classic ‘Lady‘, or rather of DJ Premier’s remix of it; it turned out to be fairly popular, helping to propel the garage revival that we’ve seen this year. It also offered a different vision of dubstep, one that reaffirmed the form’s original tolerance for sweetness and vocals while offering the biggest booming 808 sine waves I could manage. Each Devotional Dubz release will be accompanied by a DJ mix that acts as a sonic manifesto, and I am delighted that FACT has offered to host the first one. The mix includes exclusive refixes and blends of r’n’b tunes, alongside unreleased Grievous Angel garage tracks that have previously only been heard on
Blackdown’s Rinse show, and some special edits of dark garage classics"

"It’s lush, it’s spacey, it’s skippy, and at the end it’s unremittingly heavy, but all the way it’s pure garage flavour. Turn it up and feel the sunshine. Volume two will be out in a few months when I’ve got some funky stuff out of the way. Thanks to FACT for the support!”It's a mix of deep space, refixed and dubbed r'n'b and garage. It's the one Blackdown alluded to in the big interview with me on his blog - a few people emailed me about it. It's probably the best thing I've ever done.

00:00: Jill Scott: Slowly Surely (Grievous Angel's Erzulie Edit)
02.20: Craig Mack: Brand New Flava (Grievous Angel's Iron River Edit)
05:19: Grievous Angel: Lady Dub
08:07: Jill Scott: Watching Me
09:30: Vaccine: Wishful Thinking (VIP Mix)
12:03: DJ Abstract: Touch
15:18: Jill Scott: Crown Royal (Grievous Angel's Fucking In Sunshine Edit)
17:07: Jill Scott: My Love (Grievous Angel's Deeper, Tighter Edit)
19:29: HorsePower Productions: Gorgon Sound
21:56: Grievous Angel: Lady Dub (2Step Remix)
25:10: Groove Chronicles: Be Happy
28:09: Grievous Angel: What We Had
31:47: El B: Bison
31:58: Groove Chronicles: Faith In You
34:13: Dru Hill: Freak Like Me (El B Remix)
39:11: El B: Two Thousand
40:34: Our Lady of Rage: Afro Puffs
42:00: Grievous Angel: I Love Dem
49:13: Ends


Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Rolo Tomassi - Hysterics (3barfire Review)

Yep I have been writing again for 3barfire, go and have a read and check out all the other stuff as well it's a quality site ran by music lovers spreading the good word.


Seven Nautical Miles – Every Ocean Reversed

Sweden and other Scandinavian countries have a bit of a history of unleashing bands of the heavier end of the spectrum of rock music onto the rest of the world; maybe it’s something in the meatballs? After all meat is kind of metal and so is having balls…

Seven Nautical Miles are pretty heavy in a restrained kind of way, they know when to hold off and when to let loose. They are a kind of post-rock or post-metal band that do the epic quiteLOUDquite thing to great effect.

Each track clocks in at around the eight minuet and up mark and they paint some of the most furious, frazzled and melancholic sounds, that range from blissful melodies and chords to guttural screaming and some massive heavy riffs.

The music is fairly straightforward and stripped back, they take the normal kind of band set up with minimal effects and tomfoolery and out of that shape what can only be described as a primal emotional energy. It’s like they have harnessed a beast and taught him to sing, it’s probably a sea monster as well to fit in with the albums aesthetic and name.

If I listened to more black metal I might compare the vocals to this kind of style, but I don’t yet this sounds exactly like I would imagine it to sound like in my head. In places the screaming is so raw and gruff, like a low growl of a grizzly bear that enjoys a bit of metal on a weekend. At other times the vocals are fairly melodic, with harmonies that sometimes feature the scream and singing all at once.

At times Every Ocean Reversed is a little one passed, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as if you’re in the mood for the long and brooding arrangements then it’s very rewarding and grows on you with every listen.

Seven Nautical Miles are a heavy band that executes their ambitious experimental ideas with a brutal sadness and a doom drenched sludge of guitar riffs. They build tension really well in their compositions and the pay off is no damp squelch in some forgotten sea either.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Dubstepforum / Deadstepforum?

To celebrate their third birthday Dubstepforum has decided to give us a mix, oh yeah and close down indefinitely, check this out…

WE ARE 3! On 6 October 2005 Dubway created 3 years on and here we are. A lot has happened in those 3 years. We’ve gone from being a community of just a few hundred to over 20,000. We’ve fostered a co-operative forum label and hosted a few raves, including the bete noire that was the awards. So whether you lurk innocuously, post ferociously, inform and engage debate or simply offer up your very much valued opinion on moderation issues; thank you for being a part of it. To celebrate, please
download and listen to this mix, expertly crafted by the indomitable BunZer0 using artisan ingredients produced by our very own members, highlighting the talent and passion at the heart of this community. It’s interesting to compare it to the 1st birthday mix by N-Type to see how the sound has progressed within 2 years. Check it out. The full tracklist can be found here. So let’s clear a few things up. To kill the speculation, there will be no awards this year. After last year’s success / jolly good fun / catastrophe / embarrassment (delete as per your opinion), we have decided against doing them again. We’ve always been about putting the music and community first and the awards were merely an attempt to celebrate both these things but it also seems that those two things dictate whether or not the awards are a good idea. And this year they aren’t. On the flipside, we are going to have a birthday party in November. There will be bass. There will be booze. There will be no Buffalo. November 14th is a date for your diary. And oh yes, we’re also closing the forum. Indefinitely. Happy Birthday! DSF x

Is it dead? Who knows, it could just be a clever marketing plan or a bit of a rest for all the hard work that must go into running such a huge resource. It was a wonderful place full of enthusiasm and a wealth of information.


Long live GetDarker and all the dazed and confused bass heads out there that are stumbling around cyberspace looking for a new home.

Shouts out to and too.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Rolo Tomassi – Hysterics

Hold on to your hats because Rolo Tomassi will blow it sky high… This young Sheffield band have been making waves in more than one circle for a while now, from the indie scene on tour with the likes of This Town Needs Guns and I Was A Cub Scout, to the circle pits of Download Festival.

They manage to span so many very different audiences, it’s pretty beautiful to see, and I urge you to see it live in the flesh. You get people moshing sporadically, disjointed spazz dancing, hardcore flailing or others just stood mouths agape not knowing what the hell is happening in front of them, I even once saw a human pyramid built during the end of one of their sets, but I digress, on with the Hysterics…

Rolo Tomassi are a strange beast they come on like a hardcore band guitars blazing with a burning emotional passion, yet they do it in this cut’n’run disjointed style mixed up with free jazz like on the track Fofteen, and a digital 8-bit Transylvanian horror soundtrack with epic ambiance as on An Apology To The Universe. Vocals come in the form of either beastly screams from Eva the glamorous front woman and James the keyboardist, or sweet ghostly serenades.

One second you are bouncing high reaching for the sky or getting pushed around by the hardcore kids. Then the next you are swaying gently to some droney noise or sweet melodies see Everything Went Grey, which sounds a bit like Aphex Twin’s ambiance in places. They genuinely throw you off with a knowing smile, the tension this disjointed juxtaposition brings to the music is just incredible.

Some picks from Hysterics are: I Love Turbulence that has some phat licks and that metal guitar sound where it goes really high for just one moment… ‘duh duh duh, wah!’ it’s hard to convey in words to be fair, but it’s pretty exciting.

An Apology To The Universe runs into the massive Nine, which is just insane and my favourite one on the album right now. The way those two tracks come together is like Gary Numan swooping in majestically with heavenly wings then being ripped apart by a Triceratops. Then if that wasn’t enough we morn the death of the angelic Numan premonition by breaking it down into a meandering chilling serenade. The album finale Fantasia is a blistering burnt out trailblazer that hits pretty much all of the moods on the album over its course.

Rolo Tomassi have made a compelling album in Hysterics they are very talented indeed. This certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste but the ones who dig it are in for a treat.

Tracks for you, download get a taster, get hooked, buy the album...



Sunday, 5 October 2008

Trouble Books - United Colour of Trouble Books (3barfire Review)

Yet more of my scribblings for 3barfire for the lovable music for day dreams fuzz pop Trouble Books. My version is already on my blog, if you go back in time a little.

Read it

Friday, 3 October 2008

Montana – Montanimals

Montana from… the Midlands of course, are not a metal band they are much more than that. Heavy? Check. Guttural screaming? Check. Brutal guitars? Check, I could go on. Montana have a hardcore energy that oozes a pure brooding joyous zeal of monstrous proportions.

At first I didn’t quite get Montana, I mean sure it was a heavy beast of an album pretty straight forward I guess, nothing to complex or any curveballs thrown at you or anything like that. It was the vocals that I couldn’t quite get on board with, they didn’t seem to quite click or sit well with me. Then one night it hit me, I’m an idiot… The pure brutal screaming adds so much power and energy to the tracks; it’s some insane catharsis.

After these initial responses I found myself going back to the album time after time, you could say it’s grown on me like some kind of monstrous growth that grabs hold of you and wont let go until you are exhausted on the floor sweating and hot wondering what just happened.

The riff’s are catchy as hell each of the eight tracks has a similar vibe to it yet they have such a eccentric style that they keep you interested throughout. It’s a heavy band doing what they do well, no massive bells and whistles, just in your face hardcore edged bliss.

Stand out tracks include the opener Snakes’n’barrels with its rolling intro that opens out into heavy licks and that huge vocal scream, it sets the tone perfectly. The title track is another one to loose yourself too in a pit full of sweaty people, one of which has to have dreds and another in nu-metal shorts, that’s just the way it is I’m afraid.

I.V.F. brings the mood down to a brooding eyes down slow head banger with a dirty swagger. Potato Famine leaves you hungry for more (it actually does I didn’t write it just because it made me laugh) it has the most energetic and insane ending that you just want to keep going... Childrens Bones closes Montanimals with a nice weighty mellow vibe with a melodic edge to it.

Montana’s brand of brutality makes you keep on coming back for more as they do it with a big smile and tons of passion. This is some good shit.
(released on 20th November)

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Worriedaboutsatan – I Am a Crooked Man / Evil Dogs

Yet more slabs of Satan come my way from the Worriedaboutsatan camp and I’m far from worried about what they have to offer. The album Arrivals is shaping up to be a cracker, so far I’ve heard 3 finished tracks, these two I’m posting about and the title track Arrivals.

I Am a Crooked Man is a beautiful melancholic yet uplifting minimal monster with chords that shoot right through you and remind me of some Detroit techno of the ye olde days. The bass is huge and the kick’n’clicks really hit you and take it all forward. This would fit into a DJ set as much as an ambient electronic post rock set as it builds slowly into some epic guitar noise, before descending into fireworks and explosions that crack, fizz and pop all over the shop.

Evil Dogs was always one of my favourites from the early demo stages, its an echo drenched ambient brooder. By the time the high hat style sounds and throbbing kick come in your mesmerized and then you get some massive bass, that makes my speakers really work for it… cold air streams out of them and a faint smell of warm wires hits my face.

More of my words on satan

Worriedaboutsatan Space

More to come from these lot no doubt as the album is out next month and I’m hopping to see them Live.
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