In the Corner feat. Stush
This is just on fire. Blending broken-beat bass music mechanics with Stush's lively ragga vocal stylings, 'In the Corner' has all the good stuff: clippy snares, rudist bass and an absolutely sick drop featuring the most unexpected vocal switch-up. It even has time to throw in an old skool cowbell loop and sirens for good measure. A booming, instantly unforgettable blend of upfront futurism and classic dancehall vibes.
'Evolution Album Sampler'
Second To None
Two radically contrasting cuts here from the man Mikey B's new album. 'Firing Shots' is grimey rudist bassline action, the producer hitting us with a barrage of wonky wobble vibes, while 'Love Me For Who I am' is your standard two-step vocal garage anthem, elevated to something more interesting by B's intelligent pitch-processing, killer breaks and classy string/key combos. On the evidence here, the full LP should certainly be worth a listen.
It's the jazzy keyboard licks and knack for silky chord progressions that make this latest EP from south coast UK producer Moony stand out. Title track 'Fiesta' throws in a firing kick and clap riddim, ultra-funky synth-work and even some piano and organ trade-offs for good measure, while 'Give It All' is a 2-steppy little number cut through with diva vox, a full piano progression and rowdy bass on the drop. 'Playing' sends down pitch-processed vocals, percussive synths and moody low-end, while 'Rain' opts for a tougher bassline approach on the drop, with intros and breakdowns centred on yet another flourish of keyboardwork and vocal gorgeousness. This is hugely classy stuff from a mad talent.
Francois & Louis Benton
Hot Cakes Bass
UK midlands duo Francois & Louis Benton get stupidly silly here on a bassline-vibed tip that makes full use of Benton's killer vocal. The drop will have 'em bouncing in the place, but there's a cultured insouciance to this engineer + MC combo that suggests the pair could stick around when many of their peers have long since melted away.
New York's Tony Quattro is all about the jazzy Latin attitude here on opener 'Brookstown Bamba'; sax samples, whistles and rolling bass setting off some sick ghetto vocal samples. 'Igbese', featuring Nigerian MC Magugu, plumps for similarly percussive territory, Quattro's synth licks and b-line grooves sitting pretty over four-four beats. 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' is a brooding, muscular Afro-tinged drum workout, while 'Tiger Paw', featuring ADY, adds trappy synth hits and half-heard vocal shouts into the mix. A bravura exercise in eclectic, street-level tribalism.
Top Drawer Digital
Not sure if Londoner Pressa's glittering new EP is inspired by the classic 1927 Fritz Lang sci-fi movie about a sexed-up robot who goes on the rampage (Weimar Republic Germany was an interesting place to say the least) but every track here is machine-honed to within an inch of its life. 'Back Bend' recalls the digital soulfulness of mid-'90s drum & bass, while 'Perdu Dans Paris' is an exercise in cultured muscularity; a classy little rave-up that showcases a spectacular knack with programmed and sampled breakbeats. Completing the selection, 'Those Rollers' is a silky trip into surprising four-four territory; a Reese-fuelled tribute to the halcyon days of 1993 when 140bpm riddims first ruled the roost.
Here's a darkling slice of ferociously curdled breakbeat from Brighton's Bushbaby, all fizzing b-line energy and washed out, heavily-reverbed synthwork, half-heard snatches of vocal and relentless drum work. Brutal, intense and gloriously atmospheric, it's the soundtrack to your freakishly disturbed nightmares about bathing in a pool full of writhing insects every night.
'Start Again (Common Underground Mix)'
Aussie duo Common Underground send down a lissom, heady slice of cultured bass music with a heavy techno influence. This one is all about the slow-building crescendos that rise and rise before crashing down into a wash of synthy goodness. Lovely stuff.
'Vicious Cycle EP'
Rowdy B-Boy bass music here from Leicester's Tyler Clacey, one half of currently-hyped duo Midnight Phulin striking out on his own. 'Dodgin Fedz' riffs off a looped rap vocal, then throws thunderous kick patterns and brooding low-end into the mix for an effortless blaze of ghetto cool. 'Hold Me' plumps for atmospheric vocals and gnarly b-line menace over two-steppy breakbeats, while title track 'Vicious Cycle' sort of wanders off a little into wigged-out weirdness. Still, there's more than enough here to suggest that it will be worth keeping an ear on Clacey's solo efforts.