Manchester’s Idle Hands-associated duo Szare return on their home city’s Project 13 label with a storming outing comprised of two doggedly rugged club cuts. Right from the off Szare throw their production weight around, stamping out a mantra of booming kicks, subs and simple snares cleverly deployed to hint at a swing that is actually never really there. Both tracks come super-tough but ‘Scored’ could sit alongside some over-saturated 130bpm grime stuff neatly.
'Elec Pt. 1'
The Kelly Twins’ latest signing, the very German monikered producer, Andreas Gehm, delivers three acid-flecked DJ tools for the Bristol label’s seventh release. Sounding like they’ve been recorded straight from the hip, the tracks on 'Elec Pt.1' might sound simple: an array of boosted drum machine lines draped with acid basslines and swirling synths, but the effect is anything but straightforward. Listen to them once; then go straight back and listen to them again.
Dego & Kaidi
Dego & Kaidi’s ‘Black Is Key’ perfectly epitomizes exactly what Alex Nut and Flo Po’s Eglo label stands [out] for. Power drums meet infectious bass grooves, soulful stabs and vocal hooks that sound like they were recorded on the fly in a London bedroom on a hot Sunday afternoon. There’s melancholy there, warpped up in the melody but the music’s got an unbridled joy to it too. It’s absolutely infectious on tracks like ‘Man Made’ and ‘The Vault Descends’.
Ah shit. Someone just wrote ‘post-grime’ and it’s already started to colour my opinion. As much as I agree, these three tracks from Cassini are driven by the same sort of proponents as the London-born genre — weird stuttery rythmics and overtly accessible laser sounds, it’s still a tag that gives me chills. And it’s only really ‘Fermi’ that sounds at all grimey anyway. The rest is more rolling, and I really do like it.
'Lost My Marbles/Kid U'
It’s probably quite a pertinent thing that label boss Mr Mitch introduced his latest signing by warning dudes that it’s a little different from the raft of wayward and emotive, grime-formatted music that Gobstopper’s been home to of late. But that’s not to say Tarquin’s duo of cuts are really straightforward, because they’re not. Bolshy 4x4 stomps, half-time switches and stuttering sample chops abound over two tracks that are full of impressively intricate rhythms.
I get it. Like, I love the look, feel and gloss of marble too; all those rich snaking veins of colour trailing through a body of rich glistening smoothened stone. But as much as I love it, I wouldn’t want every surface of my flat covered in it. It’d just be… impractical. And that’s kinda how I feel about Krueger’s weaponized club constructions: they’re rugged, purposeful and pounding but their formularity is their ultimate downfall.
Quietus Phonographic Corp.
The respected music portal The Quietus follow up releases from East India Youth and Grumbling Fur with a hard hitting 12-inch of analogue techno from Chrononautz. Having followed co-editor Luke’s head-first lunge into the world of 4x4 through his writing, I fully expected to find something that’d lurch, roll, bubble and stomp into being, but these two near 18-minute epics more sort of drill, pound and thunder their way though. Relentless is a keyword.
I do love how transparent Wen can be. When the sampled clippings of emcees start saying “a new vibe” on ‘Pace Myself’, it’s simply because these six tracks for his mate Parris’ label sound a little different to his previous material — and he’s very conscious of that. Using his stylistic vocal calling card to reinforce that these new bare and dissected tracks are a new direction is clever, but it’s the strength of the material that really convinces.
'Wonder Woman EP'
In adapting his hip-hop steez to a house and techno mindset, The Maghreban’s bought the static, crunch and character of his rough shot-sampling to the dancefloor. And his command of a four-four groove feels like it's only getting stronger on his second outing for the Versatile label. ‘Kung Fu’ is the highlight on this 12-inch, tucked away casually on the B-side like it wasn’t one of the most infectious tracks he’s put out to date.