A project dedicated to the art of hip-hop production for its own sake, S-Type returns to LuckyMe for the first time in some three years, toting a new gang of monster hip-hop jams, like the hyper-fidgety ‘Fetch’ and the squalling, gargantuan ear-worm ‘Station’. As a collection, the tracks are short, sharp, exciting, outrageous, excessively colourful and wonderfully arrogant all at the same time. Unexpectedly grandiose, their consistency and rhythmic drive is fucking inspiring, like the first time you ever heard Hudson’s 'Heeters'. Listen again to ‘Station’ and tell me S-Type’s scope has levelled waaaay up?
I’ve definitely written before about how the first record on a label is a truly exciting prospect (for the label), because it provides an opportunity to create a brand-new framework. Novac Music turns to Bespoke Cutter for its debut transmission, with a set of five gnarled-up, odd and tooly electronic bits that feel steppy and yet awkward all at once. Kinda like when Spatial snuck out some of his first 10”s.
Call Super & Parris
A duo of collaborative cuts from two experimental producers like Call Super and Parris was bound to be a bit more than you gambled for, and admittedly, there are moments on the A-side ‘Chiselers Rush’ that feel a bit predictable (it's like the bleeps evolved organically from the four-four drums up), but then there’s ‘Majenta’, whose stuttering false start and swung pulse evokes Roska levels of percussion envy. It's an instant reloader.
Low End Activist
'Low End Activism'
Sneaker Social Club
With its source material mined from a VHS recording of an Oxfordshire carnival from 1988, there’s a sense of a celebration of everyday humanity to the music on 'Low End Activism' that extends way beyond the snatches of the emcees toasting. This human context, rather than the sample concept, elevates what, on a cursory listen, could just be a collection of sparse, rather chunky steppers. ‘Neighbourhood Nationalism’ is the tip...
Harbouring blissful contributions like Sharp Veins’ ‘Aviary Chirp At Me’ and Daffy’s ‘Eyes 4 U’, Boxed’s 'MMXX' is a 24-track pay-what-you-want compilation that collects the producers and styles currently orbiting the London club night of the same name. It’s a very useful guidebook to the new talent surrounding a space where wonderfully odd, Megadrive sounding melodic bits like Poundshop’s ‘Jiggance’ can exist alongside hard bassline aggression from producers like DJ Garna and DJ Atavist.
Roska (here making music under his trackier, more tribal drum workout leaning Bakongo alias) and Livity Sound is a combination you might think you never knew you needed. But, much like a staunchly organic, crunchy peanut butter and a five or six year matured West Country cheddar, their flavours work together perfectly. Like many, I’ve long lauded Roska’s conga work, but across these three cuts his command of rhythm is just, well... exemplary.
Absolutely brimming with intricacy, thematic arcs and concepts, Nikki Nair’s debut on Mr Mitch’s Gobstopper imprint features five cuts that are all built around sounds made by the human voice. A couple of them bop along to those kinds of recognisably infectious electro drum lines, but the more interesting parts are later on, on the more sprawling tracks like ‘Joan’, when synth lines appear and disappear seemingly at random.
Vern & Milla
Initially a war dub that existed simply as a 90-second retort, ‘Untouchable’ was reportedly extended, moulded and shaped by Keysound boss Blackdown into the arrangement that appears on this EP. And while its aggressive, post-Club Constructions attitude stems from the simple context of its genesis, other standout cuts like the hardware jam ‘Shokata’ prove Vern & Milla’s depth of production styles.