No Master Dynamics
Personally, I thank Yeezus himself that the pomp and tongue-in-cheek slap and dash of skweee music is alive and well in the fingers of Adaadat signee Joe Germlin. His latest 12” (which features 11 tracks) is littered with the wry sense of humour and gilded funk of those early Flogsta Danshall records (‘Chainscooter’, ‘I’m Selling Molly’), but it’s also riddled with cuts such as ‘Tricorder In Sneaker’ which would drop perfectly in the midst of all these current, techno-leaning drum tracks.
"Nuri really blew our mind. This track is amazing and the live version is also superb."
"The percussion programming is insane on this one."
'Ahh Fff Sss'
I know I sound like a proper dill weed saying it, but Pinch has long been a cat to watch; the type of dude who learns, adapts and masters in his own time. His Tectonic label is a prime example of that evolution, but his new music is a physical reflection of that outlook. ‘Walking With Shadows’ is tricksy, all flanged bass arpeggios, spaced out drum work and drones, while ‘Ahh Fff Sss’ is a hardass; a blown out four-four stomper.
The second plate on Troy Gunner’s eponymous imprint is pretty much a straight continuation of the first, but that’s not a bad thing. Here’s three techno influenced, dancefloor cuts that each lean in a slightly different direction from the other and, as regular readers of this page might predict, the weirdo, offbeat one, ‘Esperenza’, is my pick. Full of overdriven percussion and sci-fi surges, it’s stylistically way ahead of the pack. Extra points for the conga sounds used throughout.
'Hard Food EP'
A true milestone any way you look at it, a label reaching 100 releases is an achievement of real wonder — that's a hell of a lot of time, effort and craft right there. Bristol’s Tectonic label hits triple figures with a bolshy six-track EP from the warlord vocalist Riko Dan. Pinch, Joker, Mumdance, Ziro and Walton ensure that the sonic dread palette the label’s worked hard to establish is adhered to, with five original cuts — but Riko is the absolute star.
Boylan & Slimzee
'No Cure EP'
Adhering to a grime trope isn’t a bad thing, especially if you and your collaborator have already proved yourselves to be relevant masters of the style, but I find there’s something too repetitive about the long protracted bass stabs on every single track on Boylan & Slimzee’s 'No Cure EP'. Yes, it creates acres of space which they illustrate and decorate perfectly with percussion and transient little melodies, but it’s a tad one dimensional. They’ll crush through a mix like a halftime hammer though.
'RH/This One Is Moon Grown II'
The Little Corner label kicks off 2018 with another duo of tracks from label owner G3. And while they certainly retain the drum cleanliness and playfulness of his previous work, ‘RH’ is something of a eureka moment. Made for the late DJ Rashad, ‘RH’ sees G3 infuse a synth boogie feel into his arsenal that's never really been heard before. It’s a steez he should definitely delve into further — there’s a richness to the synth work that's just so easy to enjoy.
Dengue Dengue Dengue
'Son De Los Diablos'
Dengue Dengue Dengue are such a singular proposition that the duo named themselves thrice. Signed to the Portuguese Enchufada label begat by members of Buraka Som Sistema, you’d be right to expect a slew of organic, almost tribal percussion, off-the-wall woodwind melodies and a very individual approach to making music that forces you to dance. Imagine some of the catchier Murlo melodies set to the kind of rolling rhythm tracks you’d expect Gilles to play, and you’re almost close.
Seemingly obsessed with channeling the warm caress of the sun’s rays in this bleak and grey London January, K15 drops three nuggets of UV dappled, fast paced, jazz flecked broken beat on his Eglo 12” 'Sunbeams'. Impassioned and infectious, they’re simply smiley, good time jams that ripple with a very Latin sensibility. The Rhodes keyboard-driven title track is a fuzzy peach, ‘Starburst 3’ is a happy little shuffler and ‘Escencia’ pares it down a touch for the sunset. Blissy.
In an astoundingly impeccable show of force, Dabrye completes his album trilogy for Ghostly with the innovatively named 'Three/Three'. Featuring rap titans such as Guilty Simpson, Ghostface, DOOM, Jonwayne and Danny Brown, it’s pretty much the most perfect thing. Channeling old school sampladelic production with post-quantized drum patterns, Dabrye makes the whole thing feel effortless, and whether it’s the steely menace of ‘Electrocutor’, the lush piano loops of ‘Pretty’ or the buttery groove of ‘Honey’, he proves the master of his craft.