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Singles - Drum & Bass - Issue 601

Dubble D presents Moodymanc

Chicago Blues EP

Well Cut Records

9.5
Majestic, low-slung funk here from the man Moodymanc — aka ex-2020 Soundsystem mainstay Danny Ward — on his own Well Cut imprint. Title track 'Chicago Blues' turns a mere two chords into purest house music hypnotism, with howling, deep blues vocals accompanying a spoken word tale of inequality in ghetto life, as mournful strings make the case for change. Simple, but totally devastating. On the flip, 'Love Like' grinds its murky, churning percussion beneath more emotive strings. This is salve for the soul.

NCHX

'B.O.M'

Plastic Horse

7.0
FYI, NCHX is Catford’s own NOCHEXXX (just without the vowels and two of the Xs); so if you're hip to his work, you can expect a ton of bruising, caustic analogue beat jams (‘Teflontuan’, ‘Hunting Hides’ ) on this new six-track record. ‘Cyber Tush’ and ‘Location Scout’ are definitely the bleepiest parts on the 12”, and without them, 'B•O•M' may be too much of a sprawling greyscale stomper. Variety, eh?

Various Artists

'Ghost Phone 002'

Ghost Phone

8.0
The second instalment in this (hopefully) ongoing melange of weird, droopy, R&G edits from a crew of unspecified artistes features a crawling R&B edit, a bubbly garagey refix and a blunted steppah. And honestly, the whole point of Ghost Phone seems to be to let the music do the talking, so with that in mind, I’d suggest you get gone and bosh a few keywords in your search engine of choice.

WZ

'Headcleaner'

FKOF

7.5
Stepping out with a rock-solid slice of dubstep, Fat Kid On Fire have enlisted Czech producer WZ, who has a style I really want to describe as... gaseous. The all important, requisite sense of dread seems to leak out of it slowly rather than in any kind of big, arrogant clouds. Of the three originals, it’s the top line of ‘Dossier’ that’s the hookiest. The Ishan Sound remix bangs too.

Oval

'Oxagon'

Thrill Jockey

7.0
Already a bit of a legend in some circles for his experiments in electronic soundscapes that date back to the early '90s, Oval’s ‘Oxagon’ — taken from his new record 'Scis' — could easily be aligned with some of the more organic weightless experiments from labels like Gobstopper. Sure, it feels a bit more classically loaded, but its freewheeling nature, and string melody, underpin it all in a delightfully similar way.

Ivy Lab

'Space War'

20/20 LDN

8.5
Cuts like ‘Wideboi’ and ‘Suburbia’ show precisely why the Ivy Lab duo’s cement-strong position as kings of ‘this UK beat shit’ should be maintained at all costs; but the titular track of Ivy Lab’s new EP kinda comes as a disappointment. Not because it’s not slamming, but because I love Onoe Caponoe’s older, more wandering storytelling raps. Still, it shows a collective willingness to colour outside the lines I’ve painted for him (in my own head).

Squane

'Vesta'

Jelly Bean Farm

6.5
Squane’s new four-tracker for Jelly Bean Farm ticks a lot of boxes. Sure, there are those skulky, kick drum dominant constructs with junglist snatches riding the space between defined snare hits (‘Vesta'), and there are techno influenced stompy bits (‘Crossed Wires'), but that’s the void he’s chosen to straddle. ‘Peculiar Duality’ is the hollow-point tip though, morphing its way through its evolutions with regiment and efficacy.

Sumgii

'Who Is Genre Anyway?'

Swamp81

8.0
With an arsenal of simplistically stark and hollow rap beats, he’s long been the standout producer for the Cult Mountain trio; but now Sumgii’s brand of chunky, beat-forward music has found a neat home on Loefah’s Swamp81. Honestly, it's not like he’s switched up his offence one bit: a cut like ‘Skanker’ would still be a sick backdrop for Trellion. But as it is, it’s cold and machinic and awesome.