Texas badman Left/Right magicks up a bruising little roller that's all lilting synthwork, insouciant drums and abstract snatches of vocal. This man now has a sound all his own, one of destructive, darkling b-line energy combined with an uncanny knack for delivering the most brutally perfect melodies. These are the heady 3am moments when the dancefloor suddenly feels as one, the club and the DJ locked together in the intensity of the rave. This is the earworm you'll be trying to recall for the next year and a half at least. Save yourself the pain and go grab.
'Break It Down Feat. Dread MC'
Dread MC is killing it right now and here he teams up with London and Warsaw-based duo Negativ for a slice of ravey breakbeat darkness, undercut with a deliciously Giorgio Moroder-esque B-line, on lead track 'Break It Down'. On the flip, 'Killa' plumps for a ruder junglist take on the UK bass vibe, throwing 'Think' breaks, fearsome claps and snatches of ragga vocal into the mix for a bruising sashay to the heart of the dancehall.
A double dose of raw and rugged four-four bassline action here from London-based Skue K. Lead track 'Criminals' combines dystopian synthwork with jackhammer bass and snatches of hip-hop vocal, while 'Full Whip' rocks synth stabs, gnarly low-end and some killer builds. On remix duties, Brent Kilner takes the latter track and adds ghostly atmospherics, snappy snares and bass that's wobblier than Theresa May after 10 pints of Special Brew.
'Gunfingers In The Air feat. MC Pean'
Second To None
Three tracks of grimey four-four bassline with a side order of smooth two-step here from Leeds crew Vital Techniques. 'Gunfingers in the Air' is the one for the raving crew, MC Pean's lively vocal sitting pretty over intense horns and orchestra stabs before the inevitable drop into full-on rudist low-end. 'Get Down' is a B-line sucker punch to the solar plexus topped off with snatches of energetic rap and atmospheric synth stabs, while 'No One Else' ups the tempo for a 140bpm venture into low-end silliness. Finally, 'Prisoner' shows off the Vital lads' more subtle side with a diva vox-led garage slick-out.
'Keep Going feat. Vianne'
Teenage prodigy Little Ant is being mentored for success by Birmingham bass heroes Hybrid Theory themselves, and this dose of sonic quicksilver suggests it won't be long until he's playing the big rooms. 'Keep Going' reminds me of the long-lost breakbeat act Kasha, featuring BLIM, Chris Carter and Massive Attack's Shara Nelson. This one rocks a similar blend of tough diva vocal (from Vianne), bruising bass and tight breakbeat drum work. One to keep an eye on.
This is actually a pretty passable attempt to blend UK bass vibes with a funkier breakbeat aesthetic. The old-skool kung-fu movie samples are sick and DNKZ smoothly fuses fight sounds with snatches of rap for an offbeat number that sort of broods along nicely in a weird little groove. Quite possibly this month's most original-sounding track.
Fast-rising breaks & bass ingenue Barely Royal has dropped a typically spun-out slow-burner on My Nu Leng & Friction's Maraki Records. Alternating between synth-drenched sections and a drop centred on fizzing B-line energy and two-steppy beats, the title refers to a "one, two, three, fuck it" vocal refrain that sets things up nicely for dancehall devastation. On the flip, Turno delivers a moody d&b remix that's heavy on the noisenik intensity and meaty drum work.
Funky business here from Bristol's Motu, who plumps for quirky call-and-response vibes, classy tuned percussion and detuned bass motifs. The final effect is a deliciously skewiff groove that stands apart from the crowd.