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Singles - Garage - Issue 558

Ivy Lab

Fortuna

20/20 LDN

9.0
The Ivy Lab gang manage to effortlessly hold fast and maintain the sort of levels we’ve heard from everything on their 20/20 LDN imprint to date. 'Fortuna' is a six-track transmission that also features dudes like Alix Perez, NTS DJ Tim Parker and Roses Gabor but honestly, the tracks I keep coming back to are by the core crew: ‘Berlusconi’ is a straightforward jagged-head nodder and ‘Spooky Dub’ is trap done right. Further evidence of Ivy Lab’s dominance.

Facta

'Alsatian/Scotch Mist'

Bloc

8.0
Now then, Facta’s actually been my personal tip for a little while now. The music he’s produced and released on his co-run Wisdom Teeth label should be enough of an explanation as to why, but this new 12” for Bloc feels like he’s purposely throwing curveballs. Both ‘Alsatian’ and ‘Scotch Mist’ have a slowed and contorted electro base to them but there’s a massive weight to the drum work that makes his simple edits really stand out.

Lloyd SB

'Boida Flare'

Nervous Horizon

6.0
With a tune featured on the first 'Boxed' compilation, it’d be easy to preemptively categorise Lloyd SB’s music in the instrumental grime box, but with the kind of tempo explorations featured on his 'Boida Flare EP' for Nervous Horizon that instinctive pigeonhole is off the mark. It’s a little evident that this is the sound of Lloyd SB toying and trying to find his feet but there’s some solid ideas to jump off from next.

Various Artists

'BOXED002'

Boxed

9.0
The second release from the London-based Boxed conglomerate builds on the expectations they’ve dutifully carved out of the their [slightly] irregular club night — the one which is widely appreciated as the LDN home of instrumental grime. There’s hard-ball gun chat from Logos and dreamy-mood setting and the consequent annihilation of it from Iglew on the A side while the B comes with a more traditional menace with cuts from Spooky and Boylan and Jawside.

Ruutu Poiss

'Kiiged'

Levels

8.5
Local London DJ Jon Rust’s LEVELS imprint returns with another wonderful sidestep, a duo of extraterrestrial cuts from the Estonian producer, Ruutu Poiss. Exposing the glut of dancefloor direct, machine-made bizzaro house emanating from Tallin seems to have become something of a hobby for Rust lately but Poiss nails the triptych of identifiers that I assume LEVELS runs off perfectly utilising driving hi-hats, otherworldly ambience and oodles of originality to fantastic effect. Tip.

xxxy

'No Matter'

Ten Thousand Yen

7.5
There’s a welcome bouancy to xxxy’s ‘No Matter’ that I’ve not heard from him in a while. Hi-hats trickle along in the breakdown while he studiously explores the pitch ranges of a vocal stab and then he drops effortlessly into this little electro drum-roll out that works out so nice it feels like it wrote itself. Elsewhere there’s 4x4 almost-acid workouts on ‘Piano Touch’ and ‘FWP’ and really nice buildy-buildy one in ‘Short Wave’.

Vester Koza

'OVR'

Houndstooth

7.0
The latest Houndstooth-signing Vester Koza comes primed off the back of a run of incredibly well-received self-released 12”s. He’s already set out his stall as an astute, aware and technologically obsessed producer who’s atmospherically paranoid brand of techno has already won the record-buying public over. So his first HTH release is the perfect opportunity to reach a wider audience and with cuts like ‘ZRPT’ and ‘ROBOCow.eve’ he’s sure to charm the ears of everyone he reaches.

DVA

'Take It All'

Hyperdub

8.0
I dunno about you, but I’ve sincerely missed Scratcha. No one does his ballsy, skewiff brand of dancefloor music because, technically at least, it’s kind of impossible to layer such disparate elements and ideas and have them work in the way ‘Take It All’ does. Distended one note bass lines, diva vocal hooks and a single snare drum every two bars…? Mate, it’s simply very off-key but it’s very on-brand for a producer who’s always been wonderfully different.

Alphabets Heaven

'Wander'

WotNot

7.5
The ripening of Alphabet Heaven’s low hanging fruit has been happening very publically for a while now but it’s his blossoming relationship with WotNot Music that appears to be harvesting his very best (just listen to his recent Trim edit). Diving headlong into the void between his previous organic introspection and his more energetic beat-based live shows tracks like ‘Some Movement’ and ‘Atomic’ showcase that vital balance between dope rhythm and his lusciously-crafted melodics.