Friday, 31 July 2009


I just realised I’ve not really pushed any young indie/whatever bands in a little while on this here blog so I got curious and wondered what up and coming young things were making the good stuff, so take a look at what I found…

The XX

I’m addicted to the track ‘Crystalised’ its got this melancholic, cool, calm and collected feel to it that draws you in. Nothing else has quite stuck with me as much as that but their debut album in on its way and I’m looking forward to seeing what it has to offer.


Spunky upstarts with a razor sharp party style punk rockin’ pita shitting sound. They are singed to the fantastic Holy Roar and already have their debut album called ‘Cardio-Vascular’ on the shelves (note to self… buy it).


The only Americans in this little roundup for some reason… But anyway they make a mad racket that I can only describe as a lo-fi indie noise crunk crossover, full of loops and 909s, its strange and pretty addictive. They have a few EP’s out right now I think. I’d love to see some MC’s jump on these beats, its almost grime-y.


Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Luke Vibert – We Hear You [Planet Mu]

Vibert is back this time under his own name pushing his unique brand of dance music with its high-end production values and sense of humour. He flirts with many styles and always has done over his long career in electronic music and We Hear You is no different, you get a bit of dubstep, a bit of hip-hop infused electro, break beats, acid house and much more, yet it always sounds like it belongs together as one.

Album opener Belief File shows off Viberts knack for cheeky samples, chopping up hip-hop sound bites to introduce you to the listening experience before your pummelled with a big dirty bassline, skippy drums and a melody made up of what sounds like Steel Drums not unlike the ones used in some classic Aphex Twin. There is an almost dubstep-esq groove here but with a funked up live drum sound. Dive And Lie Wrecked has that dubstep feel to it as well with dubby techno chords and a half step beat and evil sounding bass, but what really makes this track for me is the spooky female vocal sample.

Hot Sick comes on like a ghostly Daft Punk house track with funky filtered bass, beautiful melodies and electro drums. When Vibert plays with melody he creates some really wonderful stuff, the synths here have a chiming reverb drenched feel that sounds, just sublime. One of the more funk infused tracks Batting For England takes samples you swear you’ve heard all your life… and makes a cracking track out of them.

I always like it when Vibert turns his hand to some acid tweaking and that’s exactly what he does on Pretty Old Acid Music, whips out the 303 or whatever he uses and just gets tweaking over a wicked old sounding electro beat. House Stabs is another banger that does exactly what it says on the tin. He takes the ye olde and maybe slightly cliché elements from early house and makes it all into something kind of refreshing.

The slightly mad Marvellous Music Machine comes on like a deranged robot he found lingering on the set of an old sci-fi film, there is a electro meets dubstep feel going on here but with singing robots, it’s a quirky little master piece and the sound of the bass kills it. The vinyl exclusive track Electrophy has a similar vibe going on but with less robot singing and the bass pulse sounds a bit like Dizzee Rascal’s I Luv U.

We Hear You is a quality album that’s really enjoyable to listen to it will get you coming back for more without you realising, it all flows with ease has humour a plenty and loads of interesting ideas. Luke Vibert turns out another quality album that oozes personality.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Mount Kimbie – Sketch on Glass [Hotflush]

Dom and Kai aka Mount Kimbie are back with their second offering on Hotflush after the sublime debut EP Maybes earlier in the year, which got them noticed by such a diverse range of music heads. Being on Hotflush they pretty much got picked up right away by the dubstep community but Mount Kimbie’s sound takes them beyond that and into the consciousness of everyone from hip-hop heads to post-rock fans and beyond.

The EP kicks off with the future soul glitch riddled ‘Sketch on Glass’ with its short, tight bleepy organ like stabs, crunchy popping drums and a big fat bass not unlike one Joker might dream up. The pitched vocals and pure unadulterated funk of this track just kills it, no one does it quite like Kimbie.

The deep earth shaking drones of ‘Serged’ sound like a natural progression from the ‘Maybes’ EP there is the same post rock meets dub and hip-hop though bleeps and soul feel to it. This is a laid back, eyes down mesmerising piece of music.

The flip opens in a similar vein, ’50 Mile View’ has big echo chamber stabs, ambient pianos and high-tech drums that sound like they’ve been taken from R&B from the year 3000. The vocoder vocal likes that play off the beats and funk-drenched soundtrack really get in your head.

Sketch on Glass finishes with ‘At Least’ with its loops, crackle and double bass before a drum shuffle takes you away and the deep soundscapes of Mount Kimbie wash over you. This drops into some serious bleep funk and sub sonic bass manoeuvres and a voice comes out of the blue asking if there any other effects on and it all turns into a dreamy outer space number.

On this EP Mount Kimbie take their sound even further and into bleepier glitch riddled twisted dance floor areas. The future funk and soul shines through, no one else really sounds like them. There nearest contempery is probably Kimbie collaborator James Blake, sound wise they have a similar pallet but still come out in slightly different directions. Hotflush are pushing boundaries as ever and the two Mount Kimbie EP’s are up there with the best of them this year, they’re the very definition of essential.

Sunday, 26 July 2009


Here’s another run down of random 12”s from my record bag that I’ve not wrote about else where. For more bass music recommendations you should check out Sonic Router too. Now get your ears round this lot…

BUBBLEZ/Lady Saw and Cecille – Move Down Low/Loser (BUBBLEZ Refix) [Devotional Dubz]
Funky Bashment refix action from Grievous Angel alter-ego BUBBLEZ. Raw energy harnessed for your dancing pleasure. Caned by Kode 9 with its grime meets house on a dark dance floor vibe, these are certified bangers.

Untold – Just For You/Just For You (Roska Remix) [Hotflush 2]
Future Jungelist flavours from Untold, it’s an energy rush of broken beats, Eski bass and space age synths. Roska flips it into a funky banger with ravey vocal snippet: when the bass changes up things kick off. Perfect.

Pangaea – Memories [White Label]
Soul shaking tear jerking future garage with a moving vocal that gets even the most militant headz emotional. It’s maybe the most beautiful dubstep track since Archangel, smooth and melancholy with a driving 2-step beat and catchy bass.

Johnny Clark Vs. Mala/Coki – Sinners/Gobblin [Ringo]
Mala goes deep as Coki goes bonkers. It’s been a long time coming, Sinners is a sublime dub drenched slice of pure mediation and loved up vibes it’s just amazing. Coki switches it completely and takes wobble to the EXTREAM, with a gnarly fucked up Gobblin bass and not much more.

Brackles/Brackles & Shortstuff – LHC/Sutorito Faita [Planet Mu]
Heavy weight duo fix up some future sounds, making bleeped out hybrids of garage/dubstep/funky out of the remnants of the Large Hadron Collider expeiment just before it rips the Earth a new black hole and we’re found floating round the International Space Station, well that’s what it sounds like anyway but with added Street Fighter samples.

Ramadanman – Revenue / Revenue (Untold Remix) [2nd Drop]
Ramadanman does it deep and techy as Untold ups the percussion, glitches it out and makes me want to mix it with Mala’s Left Leg Out. Original is deep and dubby with a subtle tribal groove that’s tight as fuck. Untold twists it into new shapes that only he knows the name of, I’d plump for it being something like a ‘gowreckthebass-ahedron’.

James Blake – Air & Lacktherof/Spring Horse [Hemlock]
‘Maybes’ ahem my favourite new artist since Mount Kimbie, who coincidently he works with providing vocals and suchlike (he’s a badman on the mic). This is some kind of twisted soul with a freaky post-dubstep vibe, it doesn’t sound like anything else and it’s beautiful for it.

DVA ft. Badness / Riko / Flowdan / Killa P – Bullet A Go Fly/Bullet A Go Fly (Dusk & Blackdown Remix) [Keysound]
Hardcore, dark as hell grime that only Keysound have the balls to release it seems… It’s hard to come by and hard as hell, pure violence, rudeboy riddims and a snapshot of what you don’t want to see round the next corner. The remix gives it a dance floor skip.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Jimi The Exploder // Club Defcon // Fibbers // York // 24th July 2009

I really enjoyed this night it’s the best set I’ve done for a while and it went down really well with an un-expecting crowd, this is roughly what I played.


Warm Up…
Cooly G – Nasrt
Martin Kemp – No Charisma
F- Epilogue (Ramadanman Rerub)
Hyetal – The Last Time We Spoke
Dark Knight – Reasons
Brackles & Shortstuff – Sutorita Faita
Untold – Just For You (Roska Remix)
Lil Silva – Different
Bubblez – Move Down Low
Kode 9 – Black Sun
Rustie – Zig Zag
Joker – Snake Eater
Quest – Eden
Mark Pritchard & Om’mas Keith – Wind It Up
Joker – Re-Up
Jakes – 3kout
Mr Larger & Alys Be – Tell Me
LD – Woodblock
Benga – Buzzin
Ikonika – Please
Starkey – Gutter Music VIP
Jakes – Rock Da Bells
Joker – Digi Design
Geiom & Earlybird – Net Weight
Zomby – Strange Fruit

Warm Down…
Untold – Anaconda
Darkstar – Need You
Joker – Untitled_Rsn
Guido – Orchestral Lab
Pangaea – Memories
James Blake - Air & Lack Thereof

Friday, 24 July 2009

Club Defcon @ Fibbers, York. 24th July 2009

I’ve been asked to play at Defcon this Friday (aka tonight!) at Fibbers so if your in York get down and check out some of the freshest sounds around. Check out what the facebook event says:

10:30pm - 3am // £4 otd, £3 b4 11:30 with NUS/Flyer

After the crowd surfing, Fibbers-busting chaos of GRUM at Easter, York's hypest party returns with resident Decoy Rocktopus playing out the most danceable beats and the heaviest bass. Electro, techno, fidget house, bmore, baile funk, dubstep, uk funky, grime, bassline, we're going all in!

Joining him will be dubstep don RLM (Uprooted / Base / Cranky Radio) dropping some serious dub-techno fire as well as the triumphant return of Grim Beeper. Get on it York!


Due to Grim Beeper's numerous STDs finally catching up to him and leaving him hospitalised, he will be replaced with…

Jimi The Exploder (Sonic Router)

Excellent writer for the peerless Sonic Router blog ( The blog seems to be getting exclusives from nearly every exciting producer in the country right now so expect to hear some new and futuristic sounding dubs from spacebass to uk funky!

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Facebook Event

Club Defcon Facebook



Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Kurtz - +1 EP [Soundmaker Records]

The two-man team of Kurtz take the tools of baritone guitar, drums and effects and create a kind of primal post rock meets punk aesthetic. They’re two brothers: Frederick and Ralph Fuller originally from Wakefield now residing in London and this is their debut EP.

Opening track ‘Drumming’ eases you in with a tribal percussive session that gets more and more intense before ‘Run Faster’ brakes out of it with some riffage that somehow reminds me of Joy Division but played by a metal band, its got a slightly spiky edge but drives along with a raw rock mentality into distorted passages and hard hitting drumming. You could also make comparisons to Leeds noisemakers That Fucking Tank; they share some aesthetics at least.

The skippy and almost happy go lucky ‘DDD’ uses a twangy jaunty riff that’s overlaid with sweet pads of feedback. There is a melancholic and restrained euphoria to it somehow, that brakes into the heavier elements of deep riffing and my personal favourite a mad high-sounding tomtom hit that just makes the song for me.

The back end of the EP shows off the more meandering laid back stuff, that Kurtz pull off really well, ‘Music Words Text’ has a mesmerising feel full of melody and loops that build an atmosphere of beauty. ‘Skyscrapper’ takes things even deeper with subtle drones, percussive clicks and fret sounds, which open out into a sludgy doom drenched metal riffing not unlike a more guitar based Legion of Two. There is space, tension and a lovely droning bass feel to it that I really dig, and it all builds into a swaggering beats of a track. The finial track ‘Underneath’ is a looped out collage of sound, really laid back and otherworldly. It closes the EP in a blissful fashion.

Kurtz have made a quality EP that goes from brutal to sublime with ease. The upbeat noisy punked up stuff brings some swaggering energy and the more ambient stuff offsets that and adds tension to create an interesting listen.

Video: Kurtz @ Off Modern

Monday, 20 July 2009

Alpine. – Fr:om Harmed Weather To Stark, Micro, Climates. [Highpoint Lowlife]

Alpine. are the next to release an EP on Highpoint Lowlife, a label that has seduced me somewhat this year not literally of course but the sounds have certainly struck a chord and ‘Fr:om Harmed Weather To Stark, Micro, Climates.’ Is yet another example of why… Coming off the back of the ambient explorations of The Village Orchestra and his soundtrack interpretations comes Alpine. again on an ambient tip.

This is the work of Alex Smalley one half of Pausal who have toured with the likes of Stars Of The Lid and Grouper to name but a few. Alpine. is his solo project and ‘Fr:om…’ will only be the second release.

The six tracks showcased here sound like a trip through beautiful countryside on an early morning, the sun just rising as the subtle chords glide over you. There is an almost classical feel to this music, you hear pianos and orchestral sounds but they’re tweaked and made into subtle reverb drenched loops into electronic soundscapes rather than any traditional notion of classical music or sounds. This coupled with a subtle use of field recordings and found sounds, which gives the pieces an out and about in the countryside sort of atmosphere somehow.

There are many highlights as it works so well as a single flowing piece but the organic crackles and mesmerising drones of ‘micro,’ do it for me. As do the tweeting birds and looping chimes of opener ‘fr:om’ that descend into orchestral bliss. The field recordings on ‘weather’ are something else too you can really feel the ambiance captured on tape from these places.

Here we have music for late nights and early mornings, Alpine. shows the way on a journey mapped out through sound. Its compelling and beautiful, it just shines with a shimmering laid-back energy.

Alpine. - Fr:om Harmed Weather To Stark, Micro, Climates. (mp3/FLAC: £3)

Saturday, 18 July 2009

2562 – Love In Outer Space/Third Wave [Tectonic]

Dave Huismans is back with another slice of 2562; this one almost sneaked out with little notice after the fantastic Tectonic Plates Vol.2 12”s and compilation, but it wont stay unchecked for long this is quality. Two tracks of pure fire are held on this disc.

Love In Outer Space is defiantly THE one, fusing his love of techno sounds and super skippy grooves to create a monster. You can hear elements of Detroit and old Acid records in the bleeping tweaking synth lines, but at the same time it doesn’t really sound like anything else out there right now. The skippy swung beat programming is something else, taking tight and punchy electro drums and twisting them out into strange new shapes. It’s the synths that give it the Outer Space feel the title suggests, first to appear is a pulsing, ascending-descending arpeggio before the soulful spaceage pads build tension and shift from mellow to discordant and pitch shifting new sound as the track rolls, almost like the neon smear Kode 9 has been deploying of late but not quite its got more of a Deep Space 9 feel rather than a Kode 9 feel. This has to be one of the best 2562 tracks around right now.

Third Wave is a deeper less twised affair with a 4x4 pulse that shows off Dave’s techno leanings in full effect. It may almost be techno but its still got that funk and swing with the added percussion bringing some flavour. Deep atmospheric synth lines keep things rolling as dubby tweaks and pulses finish the track off, its got this hypnotic feel for a real eyes down shuffle. It’s a subtle little dub techno number that could add a nifty four to the floor action and energy to your sets that’s for sure.

Yet more quality from 2562 and Tectonic they’re flying the flag for deep and techy sounds in dubstep and always pointing the way to new and interesting takes on their sound.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Trim Freestyle

This is fucked, Trim slays it with Obese on a sick beat this is wetting my appetite for his forthcoming mixtape Monkey Features Vol.1 (
See interview).
Listen to Plastician with Nomad, Trim and Obese on Rinse FM the other night, here (Right Click Save As).

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

EL-B – The Roots of EL-B [Tempa]

Ammunition & Blackdown Present: The Roots of EL-B is a killer retrospective of rare gems from garage legend and dubstep innovator EL-B aka Ghost, if you want to know the history of it all Blackdown has done his thing on the liner notes explaining what its all about and why its so important. So I wont / can’t go into to much detail here as I don’t have the knowledge, as I mostly missed garage at the time apart from the odd bit from Wookie, MJ Cole, Zeb Bias and dark breakbeat stuff from Zinc. But with a heavy garage influence in much of today’s dubstep and even funky from everyone from Burial who has confessed to being heavily mesmerised and influenced by EL-B and his effortless way with swung drums and grooves, to the likes of Pangaea with his soulful explorations and Roska on a funky tip even remixing Neighbourhood by Zed Bias just as EL-B does on this compilation. The garage vibe is still alive that’s for sure.

Every track on here is a gem the drum workouts are something else they are all so punchy, rolling EL-B has a sick sense for a groove. There is also a lot of darkness involved with big bass and melancholic synth hooks but this is balanced out with soul and melody, it’s the contrast of light and dark that makes EL-B so special.

A few favourites for me are the Ghost tracks ‘The Club’, ‘2000’ and ‘Lyrical Tempo’ the latter having a deep rolling almost Detroit techno feel to it that I really relate to, plus the bassline is stupid! You can really hear dubstep in its infant stages on tracks like the dubby ‘Express’ with its ragga infused vocal hook, the same goes for the Juiceman featuring track ‘Digital’. The Neighbourhood remix often has me reaching for a rewind and singing along the bass drop is something else it really kills it after the jaunty piano licks, toasting and female vocals. ‘Serious’ has everything I want from an EL-B track. This really is the roots of something special.

If you’re after some killer garage you really can’t go wrong with the Roots of EL-B. It shows the past and points to what came after, plus it will give you a head start as EL-B is still in the game and working on new material that sounds damn exciting. Just check out the EL-B showcase on Ramp Radio for evidence of that.

Download: EL-B Showcase on Ramp Radio

For an added bonus watch EL-B at work in the studio flexing his dubstep muscles:

Untitled from significance on Vimeo.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca [Domino]

This album is a big surprise for me I’ve always found Dirty Projectors either pass me by without notice or annoying the hell out of me. So when I heard ‘Stillness Is The Move’ and most of Bitte Orca I was taken aback at how good it was. This is my biggest musical surprise this year so far, almost as big as when I fell for Tha Carter III by Lil’ Wayne last year after thinking I hated auto-tune and found it really annoying.

Video: Dirty Projectors – Stillness Is The Move

Now I’m not saying Dirty Projectors and Lil’ Wayne have that much in common apart from both managing to win me over despite and probably because of their distinctive voices. DP do have a slightly R&B sound mind all be it filtered through their super trendy indie pop stylings, but that’s about as far as it goes...

I’m not going to try and compare it to their other work or anything like that I really don’t have a clue about this band apart from Bitte Orca sounds ace, I even had a go at comparing them to Lil’ Wayne for fucks sake! So here are some of my favourite moments and reasons why instead:

The main reason for me picking this up has to be the aforementioned ‘Stillness Is The Move’ something about the loose yet somehow tight and funky drumming combined with the plucking guitar patterns and deep and bleepy bass gets in your head and wont budge. They have this off-kilter strange atmosphere that’s only heightened when the vocal gymnastics kick in and gives it an almost Beyonce feel but super stripped back. The clean and clear production has a really simple yet shinny feel to it that really makes this stuff glow. Now all it needs is a Lil’ Wayne guess appearance… and it turns out The Hood Internet went for a shite mash-up with Major Lazer instead.

Dirty Projectors remind me a lot of Love on this album, but Love being covered by half of Volcano! I say half as this all sounds so much smaller and stripped back like a one-man band, which I have a feeling it is for the most part with a few collaborators. And I say Love as they have the strange harmony led sunshine and darkness. Volcano! have a similar disjointed playful style to Dirty Projectors, to my ears at least. The vocals are certainly similar as is the off the wall guitar playing.

This Love-esq vibe comes out strong in the mellow songs, like the super sweet ‘Two Doves’ that also happens to remind me of the chart smash ‘Call on Me’ by Eric Prydz in the chorus at least.

But that doesn’t put me off too much, most of the time anyway. The acoustic guitar melodies and orchestral arrangements are really beautiful.

The opening track ‘Cannibal Resource’ is another cracker that opens with a tiny shimmering guitar hook and a big strange bass that makes a sporadic groove all of its own. As is the all over the place ‘Useful Chamber’ which goes from lo-fi electronic to chanting the album title and flipping through cheesy and annoying to sublime passages in quick succession. ‘No Intention’ is a bit like a mellow ‘Stillness…’ and is easily a highlight for its snappy drums and tight melodies. The mantra like chant of ‘Remade Horizon’ is so catchy that its joyous. The final track ‘Florescent Half Dome’ reminds me of the Baywatch theme but with a more gospel influence, because lets face it Baywatch was lacking that big time. It’s a brilliant way to finish off the album though.

Bitte Orca has this bitty disjointed flow to it that is all at once compelling and a little off putting. Like you know something a bit strange is going to happen and sometime you just want it to roll on a little and keep a grove for longer than it does. This is all dependant on mood though sometimes its just perfect then on another listen I’m reaching for the eject button. Dirty Projectors have made a really interesting album that shimmers with a playful quirky energy that will either draw you in or push you away, maybe at the same time.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest [Warp]

A hell of a lot has been said on this album in blog land already with them being one of the indie darlings of the moment getting coverage from everyone from the smallest indie blog to the broadsheet news papers, oh yeah as well as being shit hot and making one of the most compelling and quality indie albums this year of course or that’s what the main jist of pretty much everything I’ve read is anyway. And you know what I agree. This year indie has taken a big back seat its just not been talking to me like it use to, but there is something about Grizzly Bear that draws me in. The previous album Yellow House got me hooked with its spooky Beach Boys from beyond the grave vibes and killer songs like ‘Knife’ and ‘Little Brother’ the whole thing won me over. But Veckatimest is a new beast entirely.

The same elements are in place, the sweet harmonies, gentle atmospheric drums, shimmering guitars and quality song writing but it all has a completely different feel to it. There is a sweet sunshine vibe instead of the hazy ghostly premonitions of Yellow House. The layers have been stripped away, its not as dense that’s for sure. Everything is that little bit simpler in some ways. This isn’t a bad thing it’s just different and leaves a little bit of the Grizzly Bear behind that I fell for, they make up for it though by writing some of their best songs so far.

These tracks would have to be ‘Two Weeks’ and ‘While You Wait For The Others’, they may well have been around for quite some time now ever since they got played in live sessions that were posted on so many sites and blogs including this one if I remember right… But they have lost none of there magic for me; I did refrain from rinsing them out mind. The two tracks are just brilliant the chords and melodies have this 50’s feel and the melancholy sweetness they have is kind of moving.

Video: Two Weeks

That’s not all of the highlights of course, but just the most familiar and catchy. The opening track ‘Southern Point’ is defiantly up there with the best of them on the album. With its glorious reverb and floaty aesthetics it kicks off the album in fine style, it reminds me of a dreamy modern indie version of something from Forever Changes by Love. ‘Cheerleader’ and ‘Ready, Able’ are a bit special too. The production is all so clear and full of personality all over the album; you can almost feel that these instruments were recorded in organic lived in spaces rather than a studio. Yet they defiantly have an almost to perfect sound that a big studio brings, this has been laboured over down to the finest detail you can just tell.

The album as a whole flows past you for the most part it’s subtle and doesn’t really fight for your attention. You have to dig deep and keep at it or it will just come across as any old mobile phone advert/coffee table music that has become so common place in indie circles, its certainly easy enough listening for that to happen. Yet Grizzly Bear have this slightly otherworldly feel to them as well as oozing quality. If you’ve been slacking on the indie front like I have of late then this is a good a place as any to get stuck in.

Grizzly Bear – Cheerleader

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Bizzy B – Retrospective [Planet Mu]

Planet Mu has been looking ahead a lot this year so far so when I got a retrospective through the door it made me turn my head. This is a look back over the work of original jungalist innovator Bizzy B who pushed the hardcore sound into jungle territory way back in 92. This is all way before my time but with the recent resurgence in interest in ’92 with the likes of Zomby with his throwback rave album ‘Where were you in ’92?’ and MIA asking similar questions this retrospective is a welcome reminder of what was actually going down then as apposed to the late thousands revivalist renditions.

This isn’t for the light hearted Bizzy B is the master of the high speed Amen break with loose and raw cut up techniques all over the place that come out like energetic noisy smashes in the face. This is all coupled with massive sounding bass that shakes the living shit out of everything around you and rave-hoover synth lines. It’s harsh on the ear that’s for sure. You don’t even really get the now over used cliché rave horn sample; these tracks were made to make the crowd blow the horns not show the crowd what rave was like when everyone had horns.

Personal highlights on this compilation have to be the collaboration with d’n’b legend Peshay ‘Merder Style’, which takes spacey riffs, rudeboy bass and break neck Amen into sublime dance floor tear out territory. ’10 Inch V.I.P’ is another banger, well they all bang you don’t get a slow jam… but the deep breakdown and cut up rave ‘ooooh ooh ahh!’ female vocals do it for me. I like ‘Rubadub Style’ for similar reasons. The bass on ‘Weekend’ absolutely kills it; it’s like being punched in the stomach over and over, plus the synth sample is the same one used on LFO by LFO which is an all time favourite of mine.

Listening to this compilation gets tiring, there is no let up what so ever and all the tracks use a very similar all be it killer template. Some days I fucking love it and it has me bouncing off the walls and others it has me wanting to tear down the walls to get out of the room away from the madman relentless breaks.

‘To move forward you have to look back’ is a phrase you hear knocking about and dance music right now in is showing this to be true. I mean you have retrospectives popping up from the likes of EL-B showing off the early garage innovations of the time all while Funky kicks off and being described as garage 2.0 in some places not to mention pushing dubstep heads in new directions. You also have a J Dilla retrospective all while the
'W@*#y' glitch hop scene is picking up momentum. Then you have this proto Jungle retrospective and people like dBridge, Instra:mental, Clukid and Kryptic Minds making interesting dubstep/d’n’b hybrids with the likes of Skream and Kode 9 throwing d’n’b back in their sets. So Bizzy B seems to be a timely addition to the retrospective cannon in some ways at least. But in others it still seems as alien and out there as it probably did at the time, you just don’t get this rough cut full on hyper rudeboy junglist vibe anymore not in such a noisy break neck way anyhow. In that respect this is a brilliant reminder of that old skool energy.

Bizzy B – Retrospective [Planet Mu]

Friday, 3 July 2009

Floatingpoints – J&W Beat/K&G Beat [Planet Mu]

I originaly wrote this for the sublime Sonic Router but I thought I'd put it up here too as its so damn good plus I'm excited my 12" is on its way to me right now. Have some words...

Floatingpoints aka Sam Shepherd a composer and producer residing in London via Manchester has already made an impact on the thriving beat scene after only a handful of releases on labels like Eglor Records that he runs with Alexander Nut, R2 and now Planet Mu. With a mix on Mary Anne Hobbs’ Experimental show already under his belt he really is making moves and you can see why.

J&W Beat has some of the skippiest funky rolling garage rhythms around, which is underpinned by a seismic dancehall bass, dense melody and psychedelic bleeped out synths. K&G Beat on the flip takes things a little deeper with the electronics and pads taking more of a prominent roll. Both tracks have a really warm soulful even jazzy feel but unlike some of Floating Points deeper house/disco style cuts, which are more grounded this sounds like they came from outer space.

He takes slanted 2-step and hip-hop beats, smeared synths and layers of mesmerising atmospheric electronic trickery coupled with some earth moving bass and that all important slice of soul that runs through all his work. This is defiantly one of the most exciting sounds on the underground today Floatingpoints show how its done.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Legion of Two – Riffs [Planet Mu]

Mu are always pushing something out that’s a bit different and Legion of Two really are on a different tip they blend electronics and noise in an almost post-rock like fashion with live drumming that gives a more rock edge to the electronica stylings, this is the good shit. The group consist of electronic producer Alan O’Boyle who has had releases for Mu and Rotters Golf Club amongst others and stick man David Lacey who’s been at the drums for years working with many people. Riffs is full of slow brooding experimental rock music that’s full of power and energy.

There really is a menacing dark atmosphere to this album the opener ‘Starbound’ growls and twists into huge deranged shapes before ‘And Now We Wait’ takes off with a funkier edge; the live drums really add swing to the tracks. Droning electronics sounding like long lost and re-tweaked dark techno classics make blistering shapes of noise, full of distortion. There is a controlled feel to all of this though, sure it sounds evil but its not evil unleashed with no boundaries. The tempo keeps everything brooding and focused, imagine a zombie film as the creatures step to you at a shuffle getting closer and closer; the tension builds and just gets more terrifying as it goes on.

Along with the dark swagger, Legion Of Two show they have an unhealthy appetite for bass, ‘Palace (dub)’ and ‘Legion Of Two’ show this off as good as any tracks. Pulsing gnarly bass tones, trudge under some ear splitting rings and bleeps, as an unhealthy growl grows in-between. There are even riffs as you would expect from the album title, low slung dirty head banging riffs and all without the aid of a guitar… as far as I can hear anyway. The whole album may use old guitar pedals and reverb units but that’s just to filter the electronics into disturbing shapes.

It’s not all doom, sludge and dirge though; Riffs has a healthy slice of melody all the way through it. From oriental style twangs to ethereal pads that shine like something from out of space. There is a really mesmerising flow to the songs, like when ‘Turning Point’ breaks down into melody and high hats before the almighty bass and kick drop back in. Things can get really subtle as well like on the almost dreamy, ‘Handling Noise’.

Probibly the final string to Legion Of Two’s bow is the deep dubbed out sounds that can be found on the two closing tracks, ‘It Really Does Take Time’ and ‘Cast Out Your Demon’ the echo chambers and reverbs are out in full force here and they create some beastly walls of noise in the process.

The dark side of rock and electronics meet on Riffs to create a truly wonderful piece of work, Legion Of Two are a compelling group making a noise all of their own.

Legion Of Two - Riffs [Planet Mu]

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