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Singles - Bass - Issue 603

Walton

Abyss EP

Tectonic

9.0
On the verge of its 15th year putting out records, Tectonic unleashes another four-track EP from Walton, the Manchester-based producer who's quietly defined a sizeable part of the label’s latter day output. Much like Tectonic itself, Walton’s fusion of modern techno tropes and pirate radio’s DIY ethics — namely the rawness of its associated sonics — is what has come to define him. From the chunky, cavernous slow broiling ‘Scooped’ to the tear-out dread bass of ‘Smashed Crabs’, he’s hitting upon a lot of recognisable touchstones in his own inimitable way, riding different tempos and properly using rave stabs on ‘SBWYS’.

Kercha

'Broken Illusions EP'

DNO Records

8.0
Hailing from a town on the coast of the Black Sea, Russian producer Kercha details the depths and sparsity of his immediate surroundings through a distinctly dubstep lens. ‘Eagle’ is a warping of choral swathes and nicely stunted drum work, ‘Frozen’ is a delightfully solid half-stepper, and ‘Broken Illusions’ lurches more in the vein of early 2562. In the best way, it’s bare bones stuff that sounds fucking ace at great volume.

Azu Tiwaline

'Draw Me A Silence Part. 1'

I.O.T Records

7.0
I distinctly remember going to see Dylan Carson’s Earth band at Islington Town Hall and being severely affected — in a very positive way — by how slow and purposeful the drummer was. Azu Tiwaline’s sense of pace on tracks like ‘Itrik’ has the same pull for me. It’s all so purposefully sluggish and precise, and these kinds of driving, hypnotic, tribal rhythms seem to hit harder because they run slower.

Herman

'Maglamah EP'

Fine Grains

7.0
If you think I don’t sometimes wake up at 5am and over analyse my off-the-cuff, tongue-in-cheek, funny-only-to-me one liners in some 70 word review that I wrote months ago, then you’d be wrong — don’t worry producers, my subconscious has all of your backs. So when I say Herman’s been listening to classic Pearson Sound, just know that I mean because it’s very syncopated and it’s really rather good. Cheers.

Wen

'Mmhmm'

GD4YA

8.5
Yo, this is the sound of me, ringing the ‘NEW WEN’ siren, because three new tracks from the sultry producer have just appeared on the fledgling GD4YA label — an outlet which is already home to work by titans like Benny Ill and El-B & Sully. As you might expect when among such dark garage luminaries, Wen gets real choppy and steppy with it too. ‘Blitz’ has the swing, but ‘Mmhmm’ has the vibe.

Various Artists

'Mother’s Finest Compilation'

Mother’s Finest

7.0
Boasting highlights from bona fide dudes like Mosca, Batu, Laurel Halo, Otik and Hodge, Mother’s Finest fires its introductory shot as a record label with a 15-track compilation that reflects the musical style of the party of the same name at Berlin’s Greissmuehle. Sure it’s bold, but it beams confidence and a slew of good techno influenced, bass diaspora music out into the world, so…. I’m all kinds of here for it.

J-Shadow

'The Astral Series'

Beat Machine Records

6.0
There are some things about J-Shadow’s work that I’m really quite taken with (the bass work on ‘Acid Genie’ and the stuttery percussive evolutions of ‘Contact’). Other bits… like the whole of ‘Orlov’s Casket’... not so much. But that's the beauty of modern life, innit? You can just mute everything you don’t like and float around in a bubble of your own making. Nothing’s ever gone awry through blanket general ignorance now has it?

Otik

'Wetlands EP'

InterGraded

7.0
Can you ever, really, hand-on-your-heart, knowingly accuse someone of using too much melody? The answer is no. No you can’t. It’s either the main focus of your tune, or it's the shading around the drum parts... so shit, I’ve once again, answered my own question. Otik’s work on Midland’s InterGraded displays a penchant for working both ways, i.e. endlessly looping chimes on ‘Wetlands’ or hinting at a tuneful pad on ‘Gravel’.