Hoping (Jay Robinson remix)
Jay Robinson has played back to back with Laurent Garnier and released on the legendary AC Slater's Nightbass label, but 2016 looks like the year the Wales-based producer will be stepping out on his own, big time. This supremely cultured, heads down reworking of the mighty Stanton Warriors' forthcoming single combines spine-tingling hands-in-the air piano chords and destructive diva vocals with a drop that's pure haunting, dusky insouciance. Supreme remix skills from a name to keep an eye on.
Spekktrum & Spookz
Low Pitched Records
Low Pitched Records kingpins Spekktrum and Spookz go in hard on a grime tip, destroying bassbins with the filthy, washed-out atmospheric riddim 'Gatekeeper' before dipping into kick and clap territory on the percussive, rave-fuelled wrecking ball that is 'Hustlers' and finishing us off with the kung-fu-movie-sampling, '80s-influenced jackhammer UK bass of 'Poison Dart'. All three are well worth digging out and letting loose in the rave.
'Square Waved EP'
Bristol-based badman Fish sends down a booming EP of gnarly four-four UK bass stompouts with one ear firmly on that whole dungeon sound. 'Bad Luck on Dem' is a rowdy grime-influence number with some tidy half-time business part way through, while 'Square Waved' (with production partner Sherry S sharing studio duties) adds some rave diva vox into the frame. Rounding off the EP, 'Brick Top' features rambunctious pitch-bend bass motifs and a cheeky sample from Guy Ritchie's noughties gangster classic Snatch to send the whole thing into distinctly nutty territory. A trio of dancefloor whoppers you won't want to be throwing back any time soon.
'Take Me/I Don't Care'
That UK dungeon bass sound is everywhere right now. The smooth breakdown, the moody drop, the rinse and repeat. But Birmingham's Tuff Culture is fast suggesting he's a cut above his competitors. The lead track here, 'Take Me', has the gnarliest glitched out drop, recalling prime Tipper or Si Begg-era Fuel Records, and the most stunningly lush interludes you'll hear all year. Its companion piece, 'I Don't Care' also slips from intro to dancefloor mayhem with all the machine-honed technical excellence of a Lamborghini Countach. Two tracks of breakbeat/four-four splendour from the Midlands man.
Darkling, dubbed-out atmospherics and sinister beats are Manchester badman Hypho's current thing, and this latest EP keeps the fires burning nicely. 'Wartime' is a brooding half-time journey into the dystopian urban jungle, all twisted string hits, gnarly sub and stabs of grime lyricism. 'Pinch' keeps the vibe cannabis-fuelled but adds a laidback kick and clap combo plus industrial-influenced percussion and ghost in the machine FX. Remixes come from grime kingpins Vital Techniques, who give 'Pinch' a little more blood and thunder for the dancefloor, and Bristol's Majora, who takes 'Wartime' into lilting, otherworldly territory.
'Work On/Hurry Up'
French producer Badjokes ploughs an intriguing furrow part-way between the UK and US breakbeat vibes of recent times. Electroid beats and buzzing bass motifs underpin peaktime floorfiller 'Work On', which is topped off with heavily-processed, intelligently-spliced snatches of pitched down hip-hop vocal. On the flip, 'Hurry Up' plumps for brooding trap stylings, a killer barrage of eastern-tinged synth-bass and a booming half-time breakdown — these seem to be coming back into fashion fast. Yet another promising new find from the team at Punks.