The inimitable 3024 label is back with the third instalment of the ‘FYE’ series. Headed by Martijn Deijkers, aka Martyn, the latest offering is a various artists four-tracker, and includes his first single of 2019, following the exceptional 'Voids' album that dropped on Ostgut Ton last year (one of DJ Mag’s top 10 albums of 2018). 'Recon' is Martyn at his finest; think punchy off-kilter drums, a shuddering sub-heavy kick and bassline combination with a groove that is forever in perpetual motion. The first breakdown may take you off-guard in the best possible way, with the introduction of deep Rhodes chords reminiscent of Detroit deep house amidst the subtle warmth of vinyl pops and crackles. Jacques Greene's contribution 'Say Nothing' is also a standout — a sombre affair rooted in minor chords, with his trademark emotive breakdowns. The final offerings come from Djoser and NKC and it's clear that each track encompasses a defining factor that sits them so naturally together; superbly executed percussion that veers outside the usual four-four formula with exceptional results.
Rue De Plaisance
Alec is somewhat of a shapeshifter, a producer that can move between classic-style house, to minimal 2-step and melodic UKG seamlessly. For French label Rue De Plaisance he adds further forms to his growing discography. 'Flicker Zone' is a beautifully crafted motif transcending electro, while 'Les Violets' is a more stripped-back affair with plenty of sparse, pitch-bending atmospherics. 'From The L2' provides emotive landscapes across ever changing 303 acid lines, and 'L3D 1213' is reminiscent of early ‘90s IDM and jungle aesthetics.
Mat Playford is back, and judging by this, it's as if he's never been away. These drums pack a punch, and with plenty of drive in the low-end 'Kic 8462852' is ideal for the club. Playford provides a synthesizer masterclass, shifting from dreamy harmonics into urgent reoccurring chord stabs. Dynamic polyrhythms weave seamlessly throughout the track, alongside exuberant melody lines in the breakdowns. The first single of his forthcoming album on Carl Cox's Awesome Soundwave, complete with a remix by Octave One.
J. Wiltshire's early work, such as 'False Awakening' on Hypercolour, displayed his singer-songwriter talents as well as his production. His latest EP focuses more the rhythmical side of things, tracks like 'Semuta' honing in on slow-building synth lines. 'Lemon Squash' is a vortex of talking machines, while 'Hundred' slows the pace a little with soft pads and funk-inspired bass. 'In Your Belly'’s analogue square wave bassline takes centre stage on the B1, and 'Cymek' provides an atmospheric ending after that.
‘Chaos Come To Conquer’
Former DJ Mag cover star Dax J is back on his own imprint with four rampaging cuts. The lead track is all rolling b-line, swirling acid bleeps and noisy percussion. Machinic stomper ‘Tenshun’ is soaked in growling overdrive before descending into a clip of Dax himself recording the piano featured in the track. The highlight, though, has to be roaring beast ‘Speedball’, with its modulated high pitched oscillation that swings around the mix like a particle accelerator on the brink of explosion.
Any label that describes itself as the ““international supernatural spooky music detection agency” has our attention, but when that label is also a collab between Spooky J, pq and Hakuna Kampala’s Ehke… well, then we reserve the right to completely lose our shit. The debut comes Spooky himself, delivering five slices of 160 footwork, all looped vocal snippets, jittery percussion and booming kick bass. Highlights come from the prominent halftime punch of ‘La Nu Fond’ and ‘Chky Mvs On’, and ‘Fr. wnk’’s mischievous minimalism.
French producer Le Dom has always ridden the jagged boundary between instrumental grime and broken bass music, in the past landing music on labels like Liar’s sci-fi orientated Tessier-Ashpool. His latest brings even more clattering club-ready sound design into the mix. Check the pneumatic reversals of ‘Primal’; the brutally repetitious autofire of ‘13 Layers Of Stone’; ‘Side Quest’ — an IDM version of the West End hit Stomp; and the title track, which pays most direct homage to grime, via rapid claps and square wave bass.
Acid Lab x Ahmad
The Repertoire crew are specialists in hunting down tracks that’ll either have you trembling with fear, or just outright tear you a new one. Here they combine the two: Ahmad’s three efforts (two of them collabs featuring Artilect and Akinsa) take the first route, all booming kicks, dubbed out FX and brooding menace by the bucket load; Acid Lab, meanwhile, goes for the latter, bringing clattering amens on the title-track and obscene bass stabs on our percy, ‘Planets’.