Tuesday, 29 June 2010

George Fitzgerald – The Let Down/Weakness [Hotflush Two]

The debut release from George Fitzgerald comes in the form of two slinky deep house/garage hybrids that keep it slow and emotional, rewiring the circuits between genres in that neverland that the dubstep scene has created in its search for dance floor bliss. He shares similarities with Joy Orbison, which is no surprise since he’s been picked up by his Doldrums label as well as sitting next to him on the Hotflush roster. They both have a way with melody and a meditative slinky bump to their music. Its pretty smooth stuff that comes alive in sets with its bitter-sweat emotional pull and punchy, bumpy beats.

Organic rhythms and warm, soulful tones usher in the first track ‘The Let Down’, it’s like a mini melodrama in the way it builds with the focus on melody and dance floor sadness before releasing that tension through big house stabs and bumping drum patterns. The flip opens with teasing melancholy pads ‘Weakness’ and a slight dub techno air before a bumpy groove slips into its stride with a head nodding smoothness that flips and twists as it rolls making you move without even realising. Its subtle stuff that builds to a nice meditative drop where things get a little bumpy with chopped up vocals taking a more prominent roll, weaving between ascending synth tones and bursts of deep bass that reach out of the grooves and really give some impact.

Two really quality, slinky little numbers from what looks to be an already pretty accomplished producer. Look out for this one, he’s bound to have more where this came from.


Sunday, 27 June 2010

Blawan – Jackel Ter9’s/Ste Shine - Mid-life Crisis [Folk Wood]

Double-header featuring Blawan and Ste Shine taking a side each. Blawan came out the blocks hard with his first release on Hassle Audio, tough and percussive, just the way we like it. Hard tribal beats got chopped and flipped into rolling grime-like approximations of garage and dubstep via a rolling techno sensibility that hits in the perfect place between dance floor prowess and deep propulsive head nodding energy that verges on the meditative if you weren’t so busy catching those rhythms. His second release comes on Folk Wood with Ste Shine, whose deeper vision balances out the 12” nicely.

The lazer guided synths blips on ‘Jackel Ter9’s’ ride the rolling grooves like a twisted sibling of grimes past with smeared synth textures taking over adding a twisted energy that really bursts out the speakers. Vibes of Kode9’s ‘Black Sun’ can be heard in the down tuned synth squiggles, but its taken into a different place. Plus the rhythmic patterns echo the tough tribalism of his first release, a garage dubstep hybrid that does that dubstep thing of balancing space and time to create dance floor tension that oozes pent up energy.

Ste Shine drops an altogether deeper and more spaced out track, ‘Mid-life Crisis’ harness melodic synth patterns and the original dubstep vibe that gets twisted into a tense almost sinogrime shape that gets crossed with this early Warp-like energy. Drum hits get tweaked and dubbed into orbit, bass pulses hit the chest and the synths get seriously hypnotic with their melodies.

There is a stripped back simplicity to these tracks that keeps the energy tightly wound and raw. Blawan brings the energy and really kills it yet again and Ste Shine takes it deep. Solid 12”.


Originally written for Sonic Router.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Xplodersessions on the road…

…Kind of, I’m rolling over for a Yardcast with Ste Shine [Folk Wood] and Blawan [Hessle Audio] may be passing through too. You can join us later tonight, sometime after 8:00pm or so on:


Streaming live video by Ustream
Expect dubstep, funky, garage, grime, wot-u-call-it? and back-to-back action.

Saturday, 12 June 2010


Back once again with the renegade run down… of 12” from my record bag, which I haven’t had chance to chat about elsewhere. You can catch me dropping a few of these in a mix on my last Xplodersession if you like. But here are some words if you’re deaf and still like collecting 12”s. Lock in to Sonic Router on Hivemind.fm this Sunday night 10-12pm with MLR for some fresh jams too… Words!

T.Williams – Afric/Anthem/Flooring [Local Action]
Tough, dark and techy UK funky vibes from Deep Teknologi’s T.Williams: Anthem and Flooring slay it, the former building tension and hitting hard while the latter brings a smidgen of almost Detroit sense of techno melody into the mix. Afric dubs things out a bit more leaving plenty of space between the tight funky drums.

Marcus Price & Carli - Mat Bira Kvinnor Weed EP [Palms Out Sound]
Heavy remix package featuring loads of Night Slugs related producers flipping the Dutch duo’s tough electro-tinged floor shakers. Bok Bok is the one for me, a tripped out drum machine workout close to Girl Unit’s juke inspired IRL. Girl Unit Features too with a cracker alongside Double Dutch and Kingdom.

MJ Cole – Riddim EP [Prolific Recordings]
Big riddim’s built to take over dance floors, MJ Cole flexing his crossover muscles blending grimy UK Funky and want sounds like a mad-mans vision of minimal techno and electro. The Volcano and Thekla riddims destroy it with shape shifting bass lines that keeps you on your toes and tons of energy, they turn heads.

Joe – Claptrap/Level Crossing [Hessle Audio]
One of my favourite Hessle releases has to be Rut/Grimelight, they get regular plays and this 12” is set to stay in my bag just as long. Claptrap is the deep percussive dubstep lovers ‘Hey Mickey’ with full on clap-along action, coughs and splutters aplenty and some of the most addictive drums around. Level Crossing takes things a little deeper with soca-addled rhythms and bursts of bass that cut through the subtle plucky melodies.

Orson – Madness/808 Dub [Version]
One of Berlin’s original dubstep heads drops a couple of deep bass workouts on his own label: Madness is the one here, teasing you with a long atmospheric build and pulses of sub before dropping some hip shaking tribal percussion its almost Loefah/Digital Mystkiz-esq in its execution. The flip works that drum machine into big half step patterns and wobbles the low end in subtle ways, a fine 12”.

SRC – Gold Coins [Numbers]
Grime producer SRC is coming with pure fire on wax this year, bringing those 8-bit Gameboy boogie vibes into the mix that got him noticed with the mad Mario sampling Goomba and twisting it into new shapes. Deep bass, hyper-funk synth bleeps, Technicolor grime textures that leave the dance floor with a vibrant glow.

Ramadanman – Glut/Tempest [Hemlock]
Massive 12”, subtly hitting the middle ground between Hessle’s deep percussive dance floor vibes and Addison Grooves Juke inspired dubstep manoeuvres. Glut bangs and beeps, which Tempest takes it a little deeper with a bittersweet spaced-out breakdown. Bring on the Swamp 81 12”, Work Them is fire…

A Made Up Sound – Alarm/Crisis [A Made Up Sound]
2562 slips seamlessly into his other moniker with two deadly shattered techno tracks that pack a punch and keep rolling despite their broken nature. Twisted synth lines shimmy through deep bass and techy accents on Alarm and Crisis rolls on a more straight forward house groove with jabbering energetic bass leads before it all melts into an intense spaced-out more melodic affair.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

DJ Naughty – Firepower EP [Roska Kicks & Snares]

UK Funky has been lighting up dance floors outside of its scene more and more this last few years, branching out of its thriving London underground roots with great success. Names like Lil Silva are getting picked up by Night Slugs, Ill Blue have a Hyperdub release on the cards, Altered Natives should be dropping something on Martyn’s 3024 label and Roska is always keeping a steady stream of releasing from himself and others on Kicks & Snares like this one from: DJ Naughty, he’s been around for some time doing his thing and releasing funky gems that get the dance going and this 12” is no exception.

Roska steps up with a remix of ‘Quicktime’ adding his trademark sonic signature and tough syncopated drum patterns that just roll under a fully loaded sub bass line designed to make you shake it. The melody pops in and out all dubby and funky, reminiscent of music I’d expect to hear in Cuba or something. Roska strips back the original to its rawest elements, taking away the ravey bass but it still works a treat. The highlight here has to be the soulful soca roller ‘Firepower’ bumps and shimmies at you like a subtle variant on the foundations DVA laid with ‘Jelly Roll’, its less loony tunes than that track and more meditative utilising a dub vibe alongside some sine wave synth bass workouts to create a slinky track. The low down and funky drum workout on ‘Gearshift’ makes your hips move even before the dubbed out samples and bassline drops. It’s a minimal roller that just keeps going, ready for the mix.

Download: DJ Naughty – Quicktime (Roska Remix) [Via. Rinse.fm]


Originally written for Sonic Router.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Zander Hardy – Hard EP [Deep Teknologi]

This is some seriously dark and techy UK funky, it’s the sound of a dark basement with a big soundsystem, no lights and plenty of slinky dancing. West-Londoner Zander Hardy drops the second release on Deep Teknologi in the shape of the three-track EP Hard. This Zander Hardy 12” follows in the wake of T. Williams and Cooly G who have been making similarly dark and stripped back UK funky material of late, keeping things simple, rolling and dubby all while keeping one eye firmly on the dance floor.

The bumping industrial clatter of ‘Attack’ manages to stay rolling and slinky while keeping its menacing darkness and wide-screen bass pulses all via a sinister sci-fi Blade Runner-esq atmosphere. The harder, ‘Signalling (To The Chosen One’s)’ buzzes with a frazzled digital dissidence above driving UK funky drum patterns, like a warning signal that the party will self destruct if you don’t keep moving. We get more soulful on ‘Get Away’ with its eerie atmosphere and smoky chords over big pulsing drum kicks and bass tones that just keep rolling and make you shake like only UK funky can.

This darker end of UK funky is keeping me interested right now: Deep Teknologi and Zander Hardy hit the right buttons. Alongside other UK funky mutations from the likes of Altered Natives, DVA and Night Slugs to name but a few they hold their own and keep things diverse in your record box.

Deep Teknologi - Mary Anne Hobbs Mix - BBC Radio 1 by deepteknologi

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