Marten Horger x Neon Steve
You Don't/Hands Together (The Remixes)
Last year's most blistering club double-header is given a fresh workout from some of the baddest names in bass music. Jay Robinson slinks tidily into view with a typically slick and minimalistic reworking of 'Hands Together', while Taiki Nulight delivers a moody, introspective take on the same track. Donkong and Karol Tip both mess furiously with 'You Don't's infamous jackhammer drop, but it's Wuki's hybrid breakbeat/house rerub of the latter that's the real find here, the audio equivalent of trepanning on ecstasy, a simply monumental slice of grade-A muscle-bass.
Fork and Knife
Londoner Fork And Knife had me digging out my old Plank Records vinyl after hearing 'Baby Squid', a pleasingly lo-fi slice of breakbeat whimsy that would not have sounded out of place on Matthew 'Bushwacka' B's legendary late '90s/early noughties imprint. On the flip, 'Canyon' is even more off radar, throwing Asian flute samples and brass stabs into a wonderfully boisterous 145bpm grime/breaks frenzy that will probably have a lot of people looking confused but delighted on the dancefloor.
Deekline and Fish
'Beats For The Jeep EP'
Hot Cakes Bass
Here's a blend of US and UK sounds that will have bodies shifting on both sides of the pond. 'Hydro' combines a ravey New York club aesthetic with brazen bassline vibes on the drop, the four-four occasionally dropping into Deekline's more familiar breakbeat rhythms. 'Back Of My Jeep' is more of the same, with Miami bass style vocals sitting on top of fizzing bass and fearsome womps. Finally, 'Sugar And Spice' sends down euphoric Orbital-style vocals and keys before all hell breaks loose with a rambunctious high-octane drop.
Lady Parts X Isenberg
'Don't Do Drugs'
Raw and bruising two-step flavours are the order of the day on this lively little number, hailing from the breakbeat mecca of Dallas, Texas. 'Don't Do Drugs' might not have quite the same impact as the cast of Grange Hill's famous 'Just Say No' single, but at least it's a lot more likely to get dropped in the kind of environment where its tongue-in-cheek message might actually get heard.
Minimalistic breakbeat flavours here from the mighty Stantons, throwing technoid vibes and low-slung 808 bass together for a stretched-out 3am groove that's guaranteed to take the party to the next level.
Despite the absence of a four-four beat, 'Maharaja' somehow screams Detroit. A huge kick-snare break takes centre stage, accompanied by a plodding bassline that builds tension until audacious analog acid leads swoop in to take you to the next level. A record that simply oozes class.
Hot Cakes Bass
Coming in hard with some super-dark UK funky vibes is this dirty and destructive little EP by Bristol's bass goddess Sherry S. Lead track 'Relentless' blends perfectly-pitched percussive vibes with muscular b-line action and tightly-edited vocal snatches, while Sherry's remix of Deekline's 'Flute Ting' is a darkling, sinuous reworking that sits right in the middle of bass and techno. Finally, Sherry & Fish's 'Panic Charge' sounds like the soundtrack to a slasher flick set in the West Country's scariest nightclubs.
Anyone remember early nu skool breaks? Or breakstep? Or 1997 tech-step drum & bass? All three sub genres saw producers compete to create the most preposterously dark and soulless soundscapes, the sonic equivalent of being thrown headfirst and helpless into a giant heap of long-dead insects, lifeless eyes, limbs and carapaces scraping against your skin as you sink further and further into the depths. Something similar seems to be happening once again in the more noisenik corners of bass music, and UK producer Vellum is at the heart of it here. 'Scriptures' and 'Bombs' are a couple of hard-jacking industrial monsters, with drops to gently fillet your ears and serve them up on a platter.
'Vault Of Glass EP'
Bun The Grid
The ultimate New York technician is back to bless us with his uncompromisingly authentic bass music. Treading the line between techno and breaks, blending driving sub bass with wonderfully programmed percussion and hypnotic atmospherics/vox, this whole EP is full of late night anthems that thud deep in your chest where you love it.