Friday, 31 December 2010

Looking Forward >>>

There is plenty of music to look forward to in ’11 as always, so much so that this list could go on forever. So I’ve chosen a load of people I’m looking forward to hearing more of in the coming year. Plus I’m keeping it to people that are either bubbling under, pretty new, just need shouting about or have something cool on the way I’m excited about.

They dropped plenty of teasers in ’10 their first EP for Keysound is just the tip of the iceberg just check out their massive radio/mix archives for proof. More EPs and hopefully an album on the way in ’11 means we’re all in for a treat. They’ve built their own world that sounds unlike anything else but gets close to what I’d imagine Flying Lotus soundclashing DMZ on a pirate radio station in another dimension would be like.

Martin Kemp
Easily sitting quietly at the forefront of the UK’s dance underground the Blunted one keeps the quality stuff creeping out consistently. His sound has so much bump, flex and weight that they’re a pleasure to dig out. Its got to be tough to make a tough yet supple house groove that really flexes but he makes it sound easy. More of that will make ’11 more than a pleasure.

He’s been so consistent with his deep techy bass addled vision of the UK house sound in ’10. I’m always reaching for his beats and those of his Deep Teknologi label mates. There is something about the dark side of UK Funky that really appeals to me, the balance of rough and raw with a subtle soulful flex is a killer combination.

Kassem Mosse
At the front end of ’10 I was still pretty bored of house/techno it had been years since I’d been excited by the sound. UK funky and its hybrids slowly brought me back to that tempo and this man Kassem Mosse alongside, MMM, Kyle Hall, Omar S and John Roberts feel it again. A steady stream of 12”s would keep me hooked for sure.

Bakey Ustl
His debut EP on Unthank is one of the most fucked up and compelling house 10”s I’ve heard for some time. I’m really looking forward to hearing what’s up his sleeve for ‘11. More curveballs and mad house grooves are more than welcome around these parts.

Jam City
He’s been taking it kind of slow in ’10 after some hefty hype before anything had really happened he kept his cool and a couple of 12”s later and I’m on board, expect big things from the Night Slugger next year. Rumours of an album on the horizon and god know what else should see that he has a big year. His sound is just infectious, that raw blend of eski grime, supple electro and an ear for turning things on their heads are a good combination.

Non Person
He just dropped a few hints in ’10 but its wet my appetite that’s for sure. The 12” on Clouds label Channel Zero is a killer slice of out there hip-hop with a heavy bass music thread running through it. Sitting somewhere in no mans land between Clouds, Brainfeeder and Mount Kimbie, Non Person finds a place of his own. I’d love to hear more.

Every time a track of his comes on the radio my ears prick up. There is something about his synths and infectious melodies that puts him next to the likes of Hyetal, Rustie and half of Night Slugs as someone that can bring a load of emotion to a dance floor in a twisted euphoric ball of energy. With releases on the way for Keysound and Local Action in the pipeline he’s going to be making moves and I can’t wait to hear it.

Esben and the Witch
Like quite a few tips here they where one of mine for last year as well and they delivered some quality stuff bubbled under and got singed to Matador, where they’ll be releasing their debut album ‘Violet Cries’ next year. Top quality brooding post-rock drenched indie music.

Dro Carey
Hazy dreamlike visions of hip-hop and R&B from a youngster from OZ, he’s had one 12” so far on Trilogy Tapes, a load of tumblr posted bootlegs and the odd mix. It all sounds pretty irresistible I’m intrigued. With forthcoming material on Ikonika’s Hum & Buzz label and god knows what else he’s got to be one to watch.

Golau Glau
The mysterious silver pop duo have been a top tip of mine for some time now, they’ve got an album in the works and have been in the lab getting their sound down. No one does the haunted silver pop like them and I for one can’t wait to hear what they come up with.

Murdz 86
He’s a UK Funky machine, raw house sounds with some of the most infectious percussion around. Its tough but with a load of flex, big bass and dance floor potential. Along with the likes of Funkystepz, Ill Blu, Coobe Beatz and Mad One, Murdz is someone I’d love to see releases from in ’11 because every time I tune into Live FM his tracks make my head turn.

Royal T
He’s been around a while but has built up a nice set of 12”s over the last year or so for the likes of No Hats No Hoods and Butterz, which are a solid foundation to build on for this coming year. He’s always switching up and coming differently with his sound by making grime bangers that fit his vibe and spread it out all at once. Alongside SRC, TRC, Teeza, Swindle, Darq E Freaker, Spooky and a load of others grime beats are in good hands.

So many more…

Monday, 27 December 2010

Mixes of 2010

This is a tough one the amount of mixes that can be found online is pretty insane, week in week out another arrives and gets a play. So off the top of my head I bring to you a selection of the finest mixes from this year. They come in no particular order, so don’t watch the ranking...

The Final Ruffage Session w/ Ben UFO, Ramadanma & Pangaea
What a way to start a year by killing off one of the best radio shows around: Ruffage Sessions. It was the brainchild of the above Hessle Audio crew, they made moves from their Leeds base with this show, not to mention their club night that went by the same name, which also ended this year in a quality send off with Shackleton, Kode9 and every Hessle guy within a 1m radius. This show was a special four-hour send off on Sub FM before the crew headed off to new things. It was bitter sweat at the time but ever since the crew have moved onto bigger things so its all good.

Bonus Best of Ruffage Sessions

Burial & Kode9 for Mary Anne Hobbs’ last show on Radio One
This was a watershed moment this year, Mary Anne Hobbs left radio one for pastures new after leaving one hell of a legacy and impact that rings through the UK underground far and wide. She managed to coax out Burial for a mix with non other than Kode9 and it’s a special one that’s for sure.

Ben UFO - Hessle Forever and Ever and Ever Mix #62 for LuckyMe
If your some kind of fool that doesn’t tune into the Hessle Audio show on Rinse every other thursday or so w/ regulars like Pangaea and Ramadanman or go to clubs then you’re missing out on one of the best DJs around in Ben UFO. His record bags are deep his mixing is insane, genres clash in the smoothest most unexpected ways, he’s the one and this will give you a taste.

LHF – Keepers of the Light Mix
This mysterious crew turn in mix after mix of solid gold on Sub FM and from their studio’s, they where one of my tips for ’10 and they continue to be for 2011 and you can see why from getting your ears around Keepers of the Light. I’m not messing around when I say they carve their own unique sound out in these mixes, it’s a world of its own.

Petchy on Live FM
Its tough to pin point an actual mix here, he’s on the radio most weeks and kills it every time with his MC Topsee. They epitomised UK Funky in 2010 with their raw charismatic pirate radio party vibes. Tune in to see for yourself or you’re missing out big time but catch the vibe from this teaser.

DJ Spinn & DJ Rashad’s Mix #195 for Fact
Two original juke heads go deep into the mix for fact and show us how its done Chicago style, which is a refreshing change to hearing bits from people from outside of the scene or cruising youtube, which was about the only way we could hear this until this year. It’s a mix full of hypnotic party vibes with a load of soul and drum machine workouts to die for.

Addison Groove Mix #157 for Fact
Headhunter went ape-shit this year and decided to break juke in the UK, he got addicted to the drum-machine/sample workouts and took it upon himself to make his own variants of the Chicago sound all while representing the native sounds of Rashad, Spinn and many more to UK audiences, it caused a hell of a stir and you can taste it in this mix. If you didn’t already have it this one from late last year is a must too:

Peverelist Mix #218 for Resident Advisor
He’s got to be one of my favourite producers around, no one sounds like him and that goes for his DJ sets too. His mixing is tight and selection on point, he lets the music breathe and find its own feat perfectly. Here you can see him blur the lines between dub, techno and dubstep in a distinctly Bristol way.

Levon Vincent Mix #46 for mnmlssgs
This came early in the year and still kills it big time. His spacious, tracky dubbed-out techno sound already feels timeless in its own way. If you like to get lost in a groove then you’ll be swimming in this one. Deep NY underground house sounds just keep bumping, it’s a subtle one that gets under the skin that’s for sure.

Shackleton Mix #133 for Electronic Explorations
Rob Booth’s EE mixes have been an inspiration for some time now and he pulls in one hell of a guest on this one. Shackleton’s sets are more like hypnotic tribal freak-outs than mixes. He plays live via laptop instead of DJing and does it the only way he knows how… Like a post-apocalyptic bass-addled thing, no one sounds like Shackleton. Its dark yet groovy spaced out and intense. His Fact CD has to be one of the best since Omar S too.

Kyle Hall & Floating Points on Rinse FM
Two amazing producers/DJs get together and cause mayhem on the airwaves by digging deep into their crates to create a vibe so big it stretched from Detroit to London. Rare house and techno gems sat alongside modern UK bass variants and laid back funk rollers with ease. You get the feeling these guys could keep mixing for days and it wouldn’t get tired.

Brainfeeder Radio w/ Flying Lotus, The Gaslamp Killer, Ras G, Samiyam, Daedelus, Jeremiah Jae, Tokimonsta, Teebs, Strangeloop, matthewdavid, Kode9 and more…
Flying Lotus decided to celebrate the release of Cosmogramma and enjoy 420 with an epic live session that went on for hours from his crew Brainfeeder and anyone else that was in town. It was pure vibes all night long.

Darkstar Mix for 20jazzfunkgrates and Fact Mix # 200
This mix came right at the top of the year and showcased Darkstar’s vision, it was some kind of utopia with plenty of soul and space filtered through twenty-first century machines. If you book end it with their Fact mix last month ( you get some kind of insight into a group that created one of the best slow burning albums this year

Club Autonomic’s Layer Podcast Series
This was one hell of a series that set the tone of Autonomic’s moves this year. Headed by Instra:mental & dBridge the crew unleashed genre bending blends of techno, d’n’b, house, indie, old school electro and god knows what else in a seamless mix of new and old wearing their influences on their sleeves and reaching out into the unknown all at once. Oh yeah they also ran one of the best labels around Nonplus+

Braiden’s Journey Home Mix for Low End Spasm
One of the best DJs around is on Rinse most weeks, right now he’s showcasing an irresistible melting together of sounds that range from old school electro to UK bass variants via house and techno. He does it like no one else. This mix from earlier in the year gives you an idea of what he’s been about, but tune into his Rinse show for further reaching up to date selections they can’t be messed with. His breakout single ‘The Alps’ isn’t to shabby either.

Elijah & Skilliam Mix # 175 for Xlr8r
The Butterz crew killed it this year bringing fresh new life into instrumental grime, making moves as DJs and by setting up a label they showed there was still a raw party vibe hiding in grime’s underbelly. They kept it upfront with talent new and old, Terror Danjah, Swindle, Starkey and DOK feature heavily as well as up and comers like Royal T, SRC, TRC… Pure energy. This mix showcases their sound as well as any other they dropped this year.

Geiom’s mix for Planet Mu
He always puts out a solid mix, here we get a quality blend of sleek techy funky and many of its hybrids. It’s the mix that introduced me to Stella Om Source too. Quality producer, quality label, quality DJ.

Terre Thaemlitz Mix #188 for RA
A laid-back mix of ambient material and other quality selections from DJ Sprinkles, Terre crosses genres and spans many years here to great effect, it’s a beauty.

Since this list has been mostly about Internet downloads a shout out needs to go out to all those inspirational cats on the radio who week in week out turn in incredible moments of musical bliss: Dusk & Blackdown, Oneman, Brackles, Bok Bok, Elijah & Skilliam, more Petchy and any time Jackmaster reaches.

Not to mention all the Sonic Router mixes. My personal favourites have to be: Blawan, Non Person, Pariah, Clubroot, SRC, Dynooo, Orphan101, Icicle, Hypno, Distal, Desto, Oli’s bleep and Hivemind’s and Always Everything’s too, Eighteen, oh and Xpldr #1/#2/#3 by me if I had to give myself a shout…

Monday, 13 December 2010

Golau Glou – Myrrh & Myth

My favourite mysterious silver pop duo Golau Glou have made a Christmas EP for you all, you can grab it for free below, plus they’ve made a video for each track. At some point there will be a remix EP featuring the likes of Ghost Box’s The Advisory Circle and the wonderful Worriedaboutsatan. They’ve also been working hard on an album I for one can’t wait.

Yew from Golau Glau on Vimeo.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Richard Skelton

I wrote this for my friends over at Always Everything a while ago but its perfect Sunday music so have it again and check them out too, AE is a new website you should keep an eye on. They’re operating in a fuzzy sonic landscape joining the dots between disparate locations a bit like this review right here…

Proper murky, greyed out Autumnal colours. Fog. Landscapes. Richard Skelton thrives in an area where dense collages of sound and that organic shape shifting nature of, well nature takes hold… just look at that artwork, its pretty much what comes into view out of my car window every morning as I transcend hills and look over plateaus. Spectacular views obscured by atmospheric other ideas... Bleak, ghostly landforms fighting for attention through the cloud and fog, plants echoing a vague hue of green in the meagre repressed light they’re offered. I swear the atmosphere is against the whole idea of photosynthesis… Skelton takes these fogged-out instrumental sessions of cello and string and plays them relentlessly. Building layers of sound like some sort of post-rock, ambient beast thriving in the freedom that only the modern classical, boomkat sphere can bring him. Niche as it sounds Landings deserves an audience outside of that. Big time, it’s the soundtrack to the mornings you missed while you where busy sleeping or waiting for the light to come up. It’s the country flexing itself in the morning dew while those early shimmers of light slowly start to energise the life around it. You can feel the cold fresh air fill your lungs, the deep warm breathe filter out slowly. Its like the whole album takes place in that transitional period between light hitting the ground and you actually feeling the heat of the sunlight. Cold shivers of strung instruments itch urgently into loops and layers, carving out dramatic glimpses of landscapes you’ve passed through. The unyielding atmosphere is urgent yet blissful, like you’ve come to a halt in that car journey I vaguely mentioned above and got out.... You stop and see that this previously fleeting set of landforms, colours, climate, is a new existence, a harsh yet strangely beautiful place that echoes calm as much as it does hostility. In short, you’re going to get cold but if you look a little further you’re going to find a whole different experience that’s rife for exploration.

Richard Skelton has Clouwbeck on the way soon hear fragments of ‘From Which the River Rise’ here…

Clouwbeck ~ From Which the River Rises by sustain-release

Originally written for ae.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Xpldr #3

Its been a long time since I left you, without a dope beat to step to...

Vainqueur - Rangers – Extension [Scion Versions]
Airehead – Paper Street (Nick Høppner Remix) [BRAiNMATH]
John Roberts – Ever or Not [Dial]
Wbeeza – Boom [Third Ear]
Omar S - Solely Supported [FXHE]
Mood II Swing – Sunlight In My Eyes [Core]
Actress – Always Human [Honest Jon’s]
Bakey Ustl – A Tender Place [Unthank]
Kassem Mosse – We Speak To Those [Non Plus+]
Kyle Hall – Osc2 [Third Ear]
Levon Vincent – Woman is the Devil [Deconstruct]
Tazz – Lost [Underground Quality]
Braiden – The Alps [Doldrums]
Elgato – Blue [Hessle Audio]
Even Tuell – Workshop 11 Side A [Workshop]
Stellar Om Source – Copper Dream [Olde English Spelling Bee]

All wax, one take, two beers, one pasty, some snow and a beard…

Clap your hands if you want to fuck.



You may have missed…

Xpldr #1: Stream / Download

Xpldr #2: Stream / Download

More from me…

Sonic Router:

Sonic Minefield:


Saturday, 23 October 2010

Silkie - City Limits Vol 1.2 [Deep Medi]

Since at least Christmas last year a Silkie track has been running around my head, the video bellow captures when I first heard it, Anti Social where having a crimbo-spesh on Rinse FM and played a track I’d never heard before that was so full of vibes it just kept playing on my memories ever since. It turns out that track was ‘80s Baby’ a track you can hear on City Limits Vol 1.2 the bridge gap between last years fantastic City Limits Vol.1 album and the follow up Vol.2. A series of 12”s you wont find on the next album or the last and by the sounds of it Silkie isn’t messing.

This is the one I’ve been waiting for: ‘80s Baby’ has a rolling street soul feel to it like a London variant on Detroit techno, midnight machine funk that just keeps coming. Sweeping pads, bumpy rhythms and funk stabs made from plastic sax, lounge piano and 80s tinged funky synth keys that sound like they’ve been beamed in from a forgotten Cameo record. It all comes together with a hypnotic loved up vibe that’s just irresistible. The flip ‘Bass Junkie’ sounds like the tougher brother of ‘80s Baby’ it hits hard instead of rolling. Rattling breaks shimmy over bass pulses and funk’d up synth lines that sound like aliens chatting each other up. It keeps some of that blissed-out funk but twists it into gnarly shapes that are pretty relentless.

Keep the 12”s rolling, when Silkie hits his stride there isn’t anyone like him ‘80s Baby’ is pure vibes, hi-tech London soul through and through. With three more platters of material on the way before the second album Silkie will keep us doing that gangsta boogie right the way through.

Originally writen for Sonic Router.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Peverelist & Hyetal – The Hum/rrrr [Punch Drunk]

Massive collaboration from two of Bristol’s finest, it comes off the back of their two solo releases: Peverelist’s ‘Better Ways Of Living’ and Hyetal’s ‘Phoenix’ 12”s both of which wont leave my bag in a hurry. The two producers first melted their sonic sensibilities when Peverelist remixed ‘Pixel Rainbow Sequence’ to great effect, twisting the original into a trippy number that still sounds like nothing else around. This time the two hook up for some original productions. With Peverelist’s knack for hypnotic techy dubbed-out sounds and Hyetal’s bittersweet melodic sensibilities it’s a collaboration just aching to happen.

The two tracks ‘The Hum’ and ‘rrrr’ feel like early electro experiments that where forgotten but dug up, rearranged and lovingly finished especially to move some dance floors. There’s a retro feel in there somewhere but one that’s brought on by the melancholic melodies and synthesized sounds rather than any kind of revivalism, because nothing really sounds like this collaboration. You never know who did what in collab’s like this but you can hear Peverelist’s swirling dubbed-out percussive ticks and bumpy rhythms and Hyetal’s knack for shimmering synthesized melody in both the tracks. They’re hypnotic and introspective but the bright synth tones and subtle funk keep them from being ultra deep eyes down material. There’s an uplifting quality to the tracks that hits that magic bittersweet spot which gets me every time.

Punch Drunk is a buy on sight label already and this 12” is just sublime. It’s the sound of two artists flexing their production skills and it coming together so on point that it makes me wonder if there’s more.

Originally written for Sonic Router.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Xpldr #2

Xpldr#2 by Xpldr on Mixcloud

It’s been about a month since my last Xpldr Session and even longer since Xpldr#1 so its about time you got something fresh. Welcome to Xpldr#2 I’ve gone for some dark dubbed-out funky flavours diffused with techno tangents, hyper-coloured house and some major curveballs.

Commix – Be True (Burial Remix) [Metal Headz]
T.Williams – Afric [Local Action]
Cooly G – Phat Si [Hyperdub]
Fris-T – Deep Mover [502]
Bowly – Idee D’un Tropique [Berkane Sol]
Ill Blu – Dragon Pop [Hyperdub]
Lil Silva – A Million [Night Slugs]
Robert Hood – Clash [M-Plant]
Dexplicit Feat. Sweets – Follow Me (DJ Naughty Remix) [DXP North]
Apple – Siegalizer [White]
Martin Kemp – Wot U Got [Blunted Robots]
Swag – I Need A Freak (Freaksbusinessasusualredo) [Version]
Mr Oizo – Last Night A DJ Saved My Dog [F-Communications]
Ikonika – Aqueous Cream [Hum & Buzz]
Simon/off – No Pills [Immerse]
Likhan’ – Boxin [7even]
Los Hermanos – Quetzal [UR/Los Hermanos]
Dopplereffekt – Myon-Neutrino [International Deejay Gigolo’s]

One take, all wax.



Monday, 27 September 2010

James Blake – The Bells Sketch [Hessle Audio] / CMYK [R&S] / Klavierwerke [R&S]

Where to start with James Blake? He’s a unique talent making seriously twisted synthesized gems that can range from full on dance floor movers to bittersweet introspective soul. One of my blog projects Sonic Router was probably one of the first to interview and get an article on him via Oli’s column at The Quietus right after before he dropped the ESSENTIAL ‘Stop What You’re Doing’ remix and after the sublime first 12” on Untold’s Hemlock label. A release that is still in my bag and a firm favourite sounding as fresh as it did when Distance first dropped the dub on his Rinse show that got everyone’s attention. Ever since he’s been making waves, getting attention outside of the scene and dropping some seriously good 12”s/EPs. A low-key collaboration with Airehead on BRAiNMATH, one for the always on point Hessle Audio, whose quality control is just insanely high and another for legendary old school techno label R&S who seem to be making a return to my radar for the first time in years after dropping a brilliant few records from Pariah and now the guy in question.

For some reason I’ve not got around to writing much on him here so a rundown of his last three EPs is in order because I can’t stop playing them. He shows some range over the three from the stripped back percussive elements on The Bells Sketch EP to the shape shifting R&B sampling gems on CMYK or the mellow eerie bedroom soul on the latest addition Klavierwerke.

The Hessle release has a percy on it in the form of ‘Buzzard & Kestrel’ the rhythms are irresistible, they subtly roll out with a heavy groove before the synths are unleashed in a sudden flourish. It’s the paired back minimal clicks and booms of the percussion that do it for me here. The title track and ‘Give A Man A Rod’ are something else too, both melodramatic synthesizer jams that make people move in strange ways when they’re dropped in the dance. The collision of laid back funk and twisted synths on ‘The Bells Sketch’ is a killer combination, it’s a huge sounding track with so much pent up energy its unreal. ‘Give A Man A Rod’ is a subtler affair, a spaced out funk number that seems like its been beamed in from an intergalactic cocktail bar.

The two R&S EPs come from different angels CMKY plays around with that popular production trick of taking slinky R&B vocals and twisting them into new shapes. But instead of re-treding that post-Burial emotional landscape Blake morphs the likes of Aaliyah and Kelis into freaky funk jams like the anthemic title track with its looping mantra of ‘Look I found her, red coat, look I found her’ over bleepy melodies reminiscent of Peverelist’s ‘Roll With The Punches’ a track which he’s also made a cheeky remix of, but its the twisting euphoric synth rushes that lead into the big bass drops that really shake things up. The rest of the EP is a more low key affair reaching for subtler highs and drops that are designed to tug at your heartstrings rather than make you loose your shit.

It’s the latest EP entitled Klavierwerke that takes that mellow side and really runs with it though. James has hinted at his paired down vocal side for sometime with covers of Feist’s ‘Limit To Your Love’ with him accompanied by piano. Here he doesn’t go into full on vocal mode but hints at it by using his voice as another instrument, chopping bits in and out here and there. It’s all pretty chilled out, haunted and melancholy, really introspective. The title track has a late night deep house feel running through it that’s channelled through a hazy bedroom soul. At many points in the EP like on ‘Tell Her Safe’ when the hazy piano and vocal loop intro takes hold you think he could break out into full song at any point, but it’s the restrained mellow vibe that wins over and it’s a killer EP for it. The fragments of song get twisted into these new shapes and contexts that’s way more interesting than straight up song craft, but then that’s a talent he no doubt has somewhere too.

Who knows what else he’s got up his sleeve, go and see him DJ and you’ll see yet another side to him. As well as fresh dubs from the guy taking in all those vibes mentioned above you get some seriously adventurous combinations in the mix. It’ll make you wonder why Coki doesn’t produce for Beyonce for one… Plus if you’ve never experienced his remix of Untold in the flesh on a crowded dance floor you’re missing out big time. Now my catch up session is over you go and do the same.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Pamelia Kurstin and Seb Rochford duo @ The Shed, Brawby Village Hall. 25 September 2010

The Shed goes back to its original home of Brawby for a special show from Pamelia Kurstin and Seb Rochford who come together showcasing an interesting project; one I’d never thought I’d witness, let alone in a Shed… Pamelia Kurstin on theramin and Seb Rochford on drums. Plus Seb Rochford went on the road the day before in a van taking in hotspots such as Kirkbymoorside and Helmsley, pulling up and playing with the doors shut. Something I missed unfortunately but this lot didn’t… But tonight its time to head to Brawby for some Shed Bitter and a good show, what to expect? No idea.

Pamelia Kurstin hails form California has a background in upright bass, a skill she adapted and really ran wild with to create a unique and creative theramin playing style of her own. The sounds she creates is something else, I’ve never heard anything like it. One minute she’s creating low-slung slow motion funk by messing with frequencies and looping them into new shapes with pedals, synths and effects. The next its eerie b-movie soundscapes via a Aphex Twin–esq Selected Ambient Works collage of sound or a Herbie Hancock electro-funk. Whole tracks were created live with such control and precision. Seb Rochford accompanied her with some seriously creative drumming; accenting the compositions with anything from incidental meandering through lilting funk and intense shed rattling drum workouts. It was a hypnotic experience swimming in layers of theramin built from the ground up infront of you.

My prediction is that drum & theramin will take off just like drum & bass did, expect to hear it take over soon. The pair have an album on the way for the Slowfoot label and after tonight’s performance its one I’m keeping an eye out for. As always The Shed continues to be one of the most inspiring and entertaining venues around, bringing something new to the table with each season.

*Photo by Susan Balf in Kirkbymoorside market place, 24th September 2010.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

T.Williams – Chop & Screw EP [Deep Teknologi]

T.Williams’ EP on Local Action is a personal favourite; he’s rolling on a dark, techy flex that gets pretty addictive. After the last two quality releases on Deep Teknologi from Zander Hardy and J.Bevan recently the label boss steps up with a three track EP all of his own that picks up where the Local Action EP left off and even shows off a bigger room sound on one track.

Opening with ‘Chop & Screw’ we walk right into peak time on some hazy Ibiza dance floor, bumpy disco, funk loops build like a filter house track. A trick I wasn’t expecting to hear on a dark techy, UK funky release and at first it was hard to get on board with. But when the beats drop into a punchy, rolling rhythm with a deep flexing bassline and skittish snare hits its hard not to feel it.

Things get darker with the rest of the EP, ‘Hard Cash’ and ‘In The Deep’ sound like they’ve been carved out of heavy summer heat. They bump and flex shaking themselves free from a dense haze of bass and dubbed-out frequencies. The basslines on both of these get thing moving, ‘Hard Cash’ pulses and drones until unleashing deadly down turning rave stabs and ‘In The Deep’ has a pulsing funk to it. Maybe its T.Williams grimy side coming out again, these are dark with a restrained swagger that means business.

Another solid EP coming out of the Deep Teknologi crew, if you’re looking for a fix of that dark, rolling, techy stuff with enough flex in it to get things moving then you can’t go far wrong.

Originally written for Sonic Router.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Breach – Fatherless/(Doc Daneeka’s Mrr Snrz Rmx)/Man Up [PTN]

PTN are on it right now, the new offshoot from Ramp specialising in variants of the house persuasion from, for want of a better word the bass scene… featuring artists like Hackman, Doc Daneeka, Hypno and now Breach, PTN reaches its forth platter with the tribal anthem ‘Fatherless’, which has been hitting dance floors hard for some time. Breach is the ‘house’ alter-ego of Ben Westbeech a multi talented musician/producer who’s turned his hand to anything from d’n’b to dropping soul-addled vocals for people all over the place, but that’s another story…

It’s the raw physical power the simple elements of over the top tribal drum workouts and looping flutes combining that make ‘Fatherless’ such an anthem. Not since the Beastie Boy’s ‘Flute Loop’ have I heard such a killer hook from the instrument. It keeps rolling and rolling pretty relentlessly over the booming kicks, snare splashes and tribal percussion you can pretty much sing-along to. The icing on the cake is a quick fire sample declaring the mantra ‘Fatherless’. Doc Daneeka brings the originals almost dubstep sounding lilt further into house territory with a four four kick, relentless fizzling snares and pulsing bassline. It doesn’t add much but doesn’t detract either for that slightly different vibe. The b-side cut ‘Man Up’ is subtler but just as tribal, echoing the likes of Julio Bashmore, looping chants and swirling tabla’s that get twisted out of all proportion bring the energy before the drop.

This 12” is pure dance floor fire, big and brash and seriously addictive. ‘Fatherless’ has summer anthem written all over it’s grinning face. This track is getting rinsed all over the place and rightly so. It wouldn’t be surprising if the big room house and electro guys found it too, it’s just to much fun. Enjoy it while you can.

Written for Sonic Router.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Last Ever Mary Anne Hobbs Show w/ Kode9 & Burial

It’s was the last Mary Anne Hobbs show last night, she’s a legend and has introduced me to so much music over the years. Big up Mary!

Listen again here. It features a quality mix by these two…

Kode9 & Burial

01. Speedy J – Tesla
02. Zomby – Natalia’s Song
03. Brandy – Never Say Never (El-B version 1)
04. Brandy – Never Say Never (El-B version 2)
05. Brandy – Angel (X-Men vocal mix)
06. Laurie Spiegel – Voices Within – A Requiem
07. Alena – Turn It Around (Hard House Bantons Mandy Mix)
08. Cooly G – Him Da Biz
09. Theo Parrish – Soul Control feat. Alena Waters
10. KMFH aka Kyle Hall – Girl U So Strong (Wild Oats)
11. Terror Danjah – S.O.S.
12. Darkstar – 2 Chords
13. Prince – Condition of the Heart
14. Erykah Badu – Telephone
15. Foul Play – Being With U Rmx
16. A Guy called Gerald – Silent Cry

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

V.I.V.E.K. – Feel It EP [Deep Medi]

Four track double pack from one of Deep Medi’s finest new signings V.I.V.E.K. It comes on the back of his first Medi release last year ‘Kulture/Meditation Rock’ and countless dubplates that you can hear when you go see him play or tune into some Anti Social Entertainment on Rinse FM. He fuses digidub soundsystem deep bass culture with some seriously rolling percussion, a hint of Berlin techno and those Medi vibes, eyes down, blissed-out, heavy weight music.

The title track kicks things off in fine style, ‘Feel It’ has some of the most infectious rolling Tablas, the percussion is sublime. A vocal sample declaring the weight of your bass and the largeness of your soundsystem is all you need to usher in a chest thumping sub sonic bass tone and the track is off, there is no way back you’re sucked into that soup of sub bass frequencies. Tick-toc its ‘Grandfather Clock’ a big track, the clock counts down to a dance floor meltdown when the metronome-like sample, half tempo drum patterns and hefty bass melts into blazing techno buzzes that just keep coming, it’s those killer synths that make it, they come from nowhere. It’s one for the big rooms.

The deeply blissful ‘Motherland’ is one for the eyes down crew, subtle but weighty bass pulses roll off half stepping rhythms, Tablas and all that good stuff all accented with Indian vocals instrumentation. It’s so deep, minimal and all round good vibes. It would make Youngsta proud. The final track ‘Strategy’ is a roller with a garage kind of swing to it, it skips along with big room dub techno chords twisting in and out of the bumpy beats it really comes alive and picks up the pace. The Feel It EP is pure vibes all the way: Subtle, heavy weight music from V.I.V.E.K.

Originally written for Sonic Router.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Xpldr Sessions #4

Live session from the attic with special guest Farlie my sister, it’s a send off special as she’s moving to Bristol. She’ll be hosting, picking some of her favourite tracks for the mix and giving shout outs. Tune in @ 8:00-ish bellow or here: Stream videos at Ustream

The Hundred In The Hands – Dressed In Dresden (Kyle Hall Remix) [Warp]
Martyn – Seventy Four (Redshaped Remix) [3024]
SCB – 20_4 [SCB]
Al Tourettes – Sunken [Apple Pips]
Roman Lindau – Keppra [Ostgut Ton]
MMM – Nous Sommes MMM [MMM]
Egyptrixx – Everybody Bleeding [Kingdom Remix]
Kode9 ft. Spaceape – You Don’t Wash [K7!]
Altered Natives – Believe In Me ft. Sacha Williamson [Fresh Minuet Music]
Karizma – Necessary Madness [R2]
DJ Rush – Cruising [Dance Mania]
DJ Naughty – Firepower [Roska Kicks & Snares]
Jam City – Ecstasy Refix [Night Slugs]
Ramadanman – Grab Somebody [White]
DJ C – Jump Up & Bounce [West Norwood Cassette Library]
Lady Saw & Cecile – Loser (Bubblez Refix) [White]
MJ Cole – Volcano Riddim [Prolific]
Bowly – Idee Dun Tropique [Berkane Sol]
Kidkut – Ilove04 [Apple Pips]
El-B – Lyrical Tempo [Tempa]
FaltyDL – Phreqaflex [Planet Mu]
Blackstreet – I Need a Dub (Jeremy Sylvester Remix) [White]
Basement Jaxx – Red Alert (Steve Gurley Remix) [XL]
Geiom ft Marita – Sugar Coated Lover [Berkane Sol]
SBTRKT & Sampha – Break Off [Ramp]
Shortstuff – Herb Face [Ramp]
Ill Blu – Dragon Pop [Hyperdub]
Bakongo – Amhara [Brainmath]
Jackal Youth - Let Me Be [Reduction]
A Made Up Sound – Alarm [A Made Up Sound]
Ramadanman – Work Them [Swamp 81]
DVA – New World Order [DVA Music]
Martin Kemp – Fix [Blunted Robots]
Mr. Mageeka – Different Lekstrix [Numbers]
Marcus Price & Carli – Var E Näääken (Girl Unit Remix) [Palms Out Sounds]
Girl Unit – IRL [Night Slugs]
Addison Groove – Dumb Shit [Swamp 81]
Ramadanman – Glut [Hemlock]
Joe – Claptrap [Hessel Audio]
James Blake – CMKY [R&S]
Guido – Mad Sax [Punch Drunk]
SRC – Ryouku [No Hoods No Hats]
Joker – Gully Brooke Lane [Terrorhythm]
Terror Danjah – Space Traveller [Planet Mu]
Starkey ft Durtty Goodz – Gutter Music [Keysound]
Kuedo – Star Fox [Planet Mu]
Maniac - Thug [Terrorhythm]
Zomby – Kaliko [Hyperdub]
The Bug ft. Killa P & Flow Dan – Skeng [Hyperdub]
Blawan – Iddy [Hessel Audio]
Mala – Eyez [DMZ]
Effdem – Acid Bells (Martyn Bitter Sweat Remix) [Curle]
UR – Transition [UR]
De La Soul - All Good (MJ Cole Remix) [XL]

Friday, 20 August 2010

Pariah – Safehouses EP [R&S]

Pariah drops a double pack on the recently refreshed and vibrant R&S records, six tracks of pure Pariah. He shows us some breadth and flexes his production muscles in all directions, from tribal dance floor workouts to deep house textures and tweaked out hip-hop variants all with a slight garage strain rolling through it.

Percussive roller ‘The Slump’ drops hard, from tribal accented beats into an almighty bass pulse that would make Untold and Ramadanman proud. Eski-like beats stomp under the building layers of percussion and bass weight until a release comes in the form of melodic soulful vocal samples and twilight pads. Like a garage cousin of Rishi Romero’s 'African Forest' in a head on collision with Pulse-X and a healthy does of melancholic melody. It’s a big one. With its deep and housy vibes ‘Prism’ is a welcome addition to the front end of this EP, where the dance floor takes front stage. It’s a subtle number mind, keeping it close with a tight and bumpy percussive roll. Synth’s refract and spin off in different directions over building wide screen pads before a pulsing bass line gets things moving.

The late night vibes of ‘Railroad’ get things nice and blissful, Pariah flexes his off-kilter atmospheric hip-hop muscles. He merges that vibe with a slinky garage bump with ease, its like you’re stuck on a bus mid summer, heavy with sweat. Sweeping melodies with an emotional pull get pushed into shape by deep bass flourishes and junglist breaks before it all melts into field recordings and the next track ‘Crossed Out’ which takes off where ‘Prisim’ left but with a rattling garage bump more prominent… you could fit it next to recent efforts from George Fitzgerald or Hyetal with ease.

The final two see Pariah in atmospheric mode, first up is ‘C - Beams’ where he brings out his inner Dilla, which he plays out under field recordings, bittersweet soundtrack pianos and computer game lilted funk. Things go deeper still with atmospheric drones on the closing track ‘Safehouses’, its almost reminiscent of GAS in some ways, its layers of sound wrapping itself around your ears before it engulfs you in a bed of looping tones. A solid EP that has range and scope, taking in different moods and atmospheres, the dance floor tracks will be in people’s bags for a while yet and the rest will mesmerise on those late nights.

Sonic Router Mix

Originally written for Sonic Router.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Onra – Long Distance [All City]

Shimmering 80s nostalgia channelled through off-centre hip-hop beats and an infectious wave of boogie enhanced synth funk. This is the latest album from French producer Onra, Long Distance echoes the late night cityscapes on its front cover. Hinting at DâM-Funk’s retro boogie, but with hip-hop beat tape style rather than a live jam, or Hudson Mohawke at his least ADHD, maybe even an off-kilter Discovery era Daft Punk if they kept up break-dancing a lowered the tempo. Onra likes a concept, his last LP Chinoiseries was made up of samples he picked up on a trip to Saigon and this one switches it all together to concentrate on a wave of 80s funk, boogie and R&B.

The cosmic mantra ‘I want to hear future funk’ on ‘My Comet’ ushers in the first wave of spectral soul. ‘Rock On’ brings the boogie, with crunchy snare hits and lilting bass. ‘Send Me Your Love’ manages to both sound like Phil Collins soaked in cheese and woozy nighttime cool all at once, straggling the line between the two brilliantly. Another highlight, ‘Moving’ feels like a DJ Screw take on Cameo, mellow slowed down syrup funk.

When Onra works with vocalists it all comes together brilliantly, ‘High Hopes ft. Reggie B’ echoes new jack swing and 80s soul. ‘The One ft. T3 of Slum Village’ spits some verses over old school clattering electro breaks. Its Hudson Mohawke collaborator Olivier Daysoul that stands out with his Outkast-esq soul, this works best on title track ‘Long Distance’ where we see him at his most subtle.

The woozy-tape-warp soul of ‘Don’t Stop’ is another highlight; you can just sink into this one and vibe off the space and funk of it all. The phasing hypnotic soul of ‘Wonderland’ keeps driving forward, windows down, sleeves rolled up into the sunset. ‘L.I.A.B.’ keeps the cut-up grooves coming that’ll make your head nod before oozing into the final cut ‘Cherry’, which shimmers with a late night vibes.

Long Distance is a fine album Onra commits himself to the 80s R&B boogie concept and pulls it off in fine style. Put this on during a hazy summer evening, put on some shades even though its dark, it’ll protect your eyes from all the umbrellas in your cocktail when you’re nodding your head to these jams.

Onra - Long Distance - New Album (Teaser) from enozoib on Vimeo.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

V/A – Dark Matter: Multiverse 2004-2009 [Tectonic]

You may know Multiverse without even knowing it, they’re an umbrella organisation and studio in Bristol that has helped many artists and labels get their music out there. The network of labels alone is pretty special, with: Pinch’s Tectonic that’s been rolling deep at the forefront of dubstep since day one and it’s diverse sister label Earwax, Joker’s Kapsize with its purple hyper-funk, October’s techno offshoot Caravan and Baobinga’s rough house imprint Build all on the roster. As you can imagine a lot of ground is covered on this Dark Matter retrospective.

Storming out of the blocks comes Vex’d with their tough, breaky style. Ravey bass pulses with a ton of energy and dub accents. It’s an early highlight. October shows an early dubstep production off by remixing Circuit Breakers, if you ever caught that Immerse 12” last year where he really goes in with two grimy hard hitting raw slabs of it you’ll know what to expect here. Later on the compilation you’ll catch more of his techno-oriented stuff he’s doing at present… You’ll be in for a treat. Pinch makes his first appearance with a weighty number in collaboration with P Dutty, its full of space, bass and a pent up aggression. Skream turns in a big dubby production with some serious bass weight. But its Joker’s ‘Stuck in the System’ that really grabs you, the grimy favourite twists computer game strings and a dirty south aesthetic into a twisted synth workout, it’s a real peak. He smooths out that style on his collaboration with Ginz on ‘Purple City’ here too, with real sing along synths. A personal favourite of mine ‘Techno Dread’ by 2562 still hits hard, with its relentless bass line and skippy, addictive drum patterns. Bristol legend RSD offers up his sublime remix of Pinch and Yolanda’s ‘Get Up’, the smooth vocals ride his dubbed out basslines perfectly, it’s a track that keeps rolling with a joyful soulful vibe. The first CD ends on the tough broken house of Baobinga & ID which really pops and swings.

The second disc really takes off with Vex’d dropping ‘Pop pop’ a heavy skippy number. Loefah & Skream come together on the fantastic ’28 Grams’, which has a weightlessness to it, the wobbly bassline ricochets off into orbit while a solid slab of sub keeps it tethered to the ground. Cyrus follows that up with the sublime ‘Indian Stomp’ with, as you’d expect Indian samples and killer percussion that rolls and bumps hard, its one of the highlights of the compilation for me. If that wasn’t enough already Pinch comes and drops ‘Qawwali / Brighter Day’ which is just pure bliss. Its got that deep meditative vibe about it that’s so addictive and appealing about early dubstep. The bassline drones and pulses with a weighty pressure that draws you in deep as the drums, pads and melodies get your head nodding. Loefah turns up on his own this time with the spacious and powerful ‘System’. ‘Uranium’ by Moving Ninja shows off similar space but with added atmosphere, they really know how to build it from raw field recordings and synth pads. October is back and in techno mode, tough four to the floor kicks and microscopic samples get cut into bumpy shapes all over the place on the addictive ‘Three Drops’, which drops into as the name suggests a three drop synth loop that really gets things moving, and when it melts into wide screen synths its something else. He pulls off another highlight with ‘Euro Dance Hit’ which comes on like a lost Daniel Bell production fighting its way through a crowded room, its all space and tension. A killer 2562 track from his last album ‘Unbalance’, which is full of colour and presence gets book-ended by two impressive productions from Emptyset to finish off the compilation, the dub techno duo really bring it with the heavy ‘Gate 4’ which sounds like it could flatten a house and the more laid back ‘Demian’ which is so smooth and full of vibes its unreal.

The music speaks for its self really, a diverse bunch. Many of the tracks sound as fresh as when they first dropped. It’s a retrospective you can really get involved with and a good jumping off point for exploring the artists and labels involved. The Multiverse really shows what presence it’s had in the scene with this compilation; it runs deep to the roots of the genre and all its factions as well as showing how important it is to the city it occupies.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Mix: Xpldr # 1

Last Friday I dropped a mix over on my mini blog xpldr. And its been getting a really good reaction from the odd blog big up Simon, and forums all over the place, so here it is on the main site…

Mount Kimbie – Mayor [Hotflush]
MMM – Lets Git It On [MMM]
Altered Natives – Crop Duster [3024]
T.Williams – Anthem [Local Action]
Jackal Youth – Let Me Be [Reduction]
A Made Up Sound – Alarm [A Made Up Sound]
Ramadanman – Work Them [Swamp 81]
DVA – New World Order [DVA Music]
Martin Kemp – Fix [Blunted Robots]
Ramadanman – Fall Short [Swamp 81]
Peverelist – Better Ways Of Living [Punch Drunk]
Amen Ra & Double Helix – Steelz [Keysound]
Joe – Digest [Apple Pips]
Blawan – Iddy [Hessle Audio]
Mala – Living Different [DMZ]


From 120-odd to 140-ish in 45mins, all wax, one take, live.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Mount Kimbie – Crooks & Lovers [Hotflush]

Just two EPs in and you knew Mount Kimbie would be an act you’d love to hear an album from. Dom and Kai emerged almost out of nowhere into the dubstep scene and never quite fit in sonically at least; they just got embraced into the fold for making quality music. Crooks & Lovers their debut full length sees them spreading out a little from the EP format with ease and creating a cohesive and diverse record. There sound is hard to pin down; they float from ambient found-soundscapes full of twisted field recordings to rhythms that pop off like mutated strands of R&B from a parallel dimension. They sonic contemporise could be anyone from Boards Of Canada to Timberland via the UK bass scene. You never know quite where the tracks are headed or what’s coming next, you could be drawn down a path that leads to bliss or a busy dance floor. This all comes together in one Mount Kimbie shaped package that never feels forced.

The woozy opener ‘Tunnel Vision’ bumps with a hip-hop shuffle, that brews under spaced out guitar strums, distant vocals and field recordings of what sounds like a summers day in a park. It all melts seamlessly into ‘Would Know’, which cuts through a wind tunnel of noise with big bass tones, clicks and bleeps before releasing some soulful vocal cut ups into the mix before it steps it up a gear a little with quicker loops and beats. It’s a mesmerising piece and an early highlight: the video isn’t half bad either... ‘Before I Move Off’ starts like something from Druqks before morphing into a slinky guitar led number with the off-key Druqks-esq dissonant loops creating a freaky background to a funky little lick and popping R&B drum hits, vocal snippets and anything else they can get their hands on. It sounds like they’ll make percussion out of anything from found sounds to vocal ticks. There is an almost post-punk vibe to this track when the live bass and guitars start rolling, like they’re channelling 80s synth pop, post-punk and Two Lone Swordsman all at once.

The electro-esq ‘Blind Night Errand’ sounds like the most dubstep thing Mount Kimbie have committed to wax. It rolls into action with a tweaked out driving bass line that gets more and more twisted as it rolls along and block rocking electro beats, when that breathless little vocal tick hits its sublime. Guitars spring back into action on ‘Adriatic’, a folky aesthetic run along side more propulsive hip-hop ones in a way you wouldn’t really expect. It’s a little sketch that flows into another highlight from the middle of the record ‘Carbonated’, like a laid back variant on Terror Danjah’s ‘Air Bubble’ it pops and fizzes like the name suggests. With filtered airy tones and reverberating beats that roll through an almost James Blake-like organ/keyboard melody that has a sweet laid back gospel feel to it. They pack so much melody into every element of the music they make, its like everything sings off each other perfectly. ‘Ruby’ is he most like anything from the Maybes EP here along with ‘Field’, its got a slight post-rock twinge to it. Droning atmospherics find their way through lilting beats, low-down bass tones and subtle synth flourishes before switching up into a more upbeat flow. ‘Ode To Bear’ is an almost folky inclusion, its sunny and pastoral in a Mount Kimbie kind of way, laid back and subtle with shuffling beats and bitter sweat melodies.

The one two punch of ‘Field’ and ‘Mayor’ is one that keeps me coming back to the album time and time again, the pulsing techno build of ‘Field’ just keeps coming before it all twists into a sunny guitar jam as if out of nowhere. But the album really peaks with the wonderful ‘Mayor’, it filters and bumps into action in a mutated soulful house kind of fashion, with percussive clicks and bubbles bringing some energy before the synths really take off, glowing and twisting from arpeggiated flourishes to a tough head nodding crescendo. The way the bass plays off the beat and synths is pretty sublime, its low and funky and hits you just right. Closing with the melancholic ‘Between Time’ gives the whole thing a bitter sweat end of the night kind of feel.

With Crooks & Lovers Mount Kimbie pull off something that is tough to balance, its an album that’s both easy to get on board with and keeps you tuning back in, it’s a slow burner but easy to digest. It’s an intimate album that flows from mood to mood with ease, peaking and dipping again before it makes the transition again into a higher gear… Its chilled passages compliment the more twisted dance infused elements brilliantly they melt into each other with ease. You don’t quite know what’s coming next, the tracks twist and fold into shapes before your ears.

Download: Mount Kimbie – Field (Via. Xlr8r)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

LHF – EP1: Enter In Silence… [Keysound]

The LHF collective are made up of many but this four track EP, the first in a series or two for Keysound before they drop a full length comes from Double Helix, Amen Ra and Low Density Matter. Filling in the blanks somewhere between Digital Mystikz, Dusk & Blackdown and Flying Lotus: LFH are a wide-ranging project that takes in not only London’s diverse culture but a global sonic pallet and offsets it with pirate radio sensibilities. It’s hard to pin LHF down. If you’ve been following their Sub FM show United Vibes where they often take up the airwaves with dub after dub or the showcases on Dusk & Blackdown’s Rinse show you’ll know what to expect here, if not you’re in for a surprise.

The first two come from Amen Ra and Double Helix, they head the group co-ordinating it all as far as I can tell. ‘Steelz’ is a heavily rhythmic number with chimes, bongos and god knows what else playing off field recordings, voice samples and a grimy synth lead to create a real roller. On a similar tip comes ‘Broken Glass’, with its choppy drums that lilt and roll in hypnotic ways around Indian chants and tension filled synth loops before descending into a wormhole of bass.

Double Helix ventures out on his own on ‘Deep Life’, which chills things out a little with widescreen pads and diva samples echoing through the night with a bitter sweat call ‘deeeeeeper’ that ushers in a big snare and punchy kick over a buzzy bassline. The only track on the EP not to come from the above is ‘Blue Steel’ a Low Density Matter production that is pure vibes. Trickling water, sci-fi accents, late night jazz stylings and a killer sample or two that you may well recognise from early rave hits that have echoed through the ages one pretty obvious another not so much... ahem. They’re two little dance floor ascents that have been used so much by dance heads and they still sound fresh today and really make this track. It kind of sums up LHF’s skill at taking the vaguely familiar and filtering it through a prism so it refracts and comes out twisted into new shapes and colours slightly removed from the reality you expected.

Enter In Silence… is a quality EP that only shows the tip of the iceberg of what LHF has to offer. They thrive in a parallel universe of their own that runs alongside dubstep culture, a niche they’ve been working for some time and the fruits of those late night pirate radio session and studio freak-outs have been worth the wait. Bring on the full crew and more releases.

Download: LHF - Who Are The Keepers Of The Light? Group Mix

Saturday, 17 July 2010

C.R.S.T. – Revival EP [Well Rounded]

Well Rounded follow up some pretty addictive releases from the likes of Deadboy and Hackman with another bumpy offering from new crew on the block C.R.S.T. who are picking up those garage vibes and really running with them. Where some ‘Wot Do U Call It?’/’Future Garage’ doesn’t have that slinky garage bump or anything resembling 2-step C.R.S.T. really do. They vibe off the old school for sure, you can hear Armand Van Helden’s speed garage or DJ Zinc’s rave-adled broken garage from years back on Bingo as much as you can MJ Cole or EL-B but its kept vibrant from the sheer rawness and dance floor energy, its four bumpy ones from here on in…

Phone lines bubble into action on the opening number ‘Dial The Operator’ with simple bleepy melodic stabs and snappy garage beats before a big old Bingo era Zinc-esq bassline pulses underneath it all. Things get a little more four to the floor on ‘May Not Be Real’ bit it gets funk’d up with skipy percussive accents and bitter sweat diva samples bubbling over it all. Things get kind of Armand Van Helden on ‘Need You’, its reminiscent of his hit ‘You Don’t Know Me’ in the drums at least, it bumps along in fine style before dropping some plastic jazz samples for good measure. The ultra skipy ‘Walk On’ lilts with little percussive flutters that play off the one note bass pulse that sounds like an alien species of frog trying to get your attention, its all held together with chopped up samples and loops.

The Brighton label is making moves and dropping releases that keep on creeping up on you. Deadboy and Hackman are so musical and slinky that reaching for them in a set just puts a smile on your face and C.R.S.T. does the same in a different way. They do it a little bit tracky and with a stronger garage flex. This is one for the mix when you want it fun and bumpy.

Originally written for Sonic Router.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Sepalcure – Love Pressure [Hotflush]

Duo coming right out of NYC joining the dots between deep house nostalgia, the faint echo of garage and today’s dubstep variants. Chunky, wood carved rhythms balance toughness with a slinky rolling sound. Chopped and screwed house diva’s bring some spectral soul through the hazy sub and twisted synths. Sitting somewhere between recent material from Joy Orbison, FaltyDL, Scuba and Fantasitc Mr Fox, Sepalcure fit in nicely but with an edge all their own. It’s the depth of it all coupled with a visceral sense of emotion and atmospheric space that runs through the tracks that shows they’ve got their own niche.

The airy tones of ‘Love Pressure’ open up the EP and spread out into sweeping chords layering themselves under tweaked diva samples that ooze a melancholic, cathartic presences though the whole track. It’s the bumping kicks and lilting percussive accents that play over the deep bass that keep things moving though. ‘Down’ moves in a similar fashion, with the vocals pitching up and down, this time over more colourful, smeared synth tones that bridge dissonance and melody all at once. Yet again it’s the rolling percussive licks that bring movement to the space and dissonance of the bass and synths. Seplacure use the treated diva samples brilliantly too, in the wrong hands its another cliché used in so much dance music and especially in a post-Burial dubstep landscape but its pulled of in style here.

The flip rolls out in a similar fashion; ‘Every Day Of My Life’ is a slow grooving, blissful roller. With jazzy accents, subtle wobble bass and those chopped and screwed vocal hooks. Laid back, late night vibes. ‘The Warning’ fizzes into action with more of those bitter sweat, soul drenched melodies before driving right into some half stepping house grooves that balance a smooth, slow kick with some seriously infectious tribal percussive bubbles. Sepalcure do their thing on this 12”, its all so subtle but has a kick to it with some large bass grooves and irresistible drum patterns that just keep things rolling nicely. I’d like to hear what else they have up their sleeves.

Sepalcure - Every Day of my Life from sougwen on Vimeo.

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