Thousand Million EP
A decade on since Dizzie’s eponymous debut and now in the shadow of Wiley/Wretch kingpins troubling the No.1 chart positions on the regs, the grime diaspora couldn’t be in ruder health. And it’s always providing fresh influence, neatly encapsulated here by Finland’s Twwth; raw grime energy mixed with an urbanised and contemporary techno aesthetic softened by plenty of chopped and distorted R&B vocals: hits the spot!
A crackin four-track EP here from Oli Brand, delivering a package that satisfies all your musical needs in one go. First up is the rough, filtered techno-meets-UK bass music hybrid of ‘InDisguise’ with its hint of acidic intention that should be in any self-respecting DJ’s set this winter. ‘Killjoy’ drops a few kicks and snares to connect with the dubstep heads but sounds much fresher, whilst ‘Subconscious’ and ‘Timelapse’ meander off into delicately textured electronica.
Two absolutely killer remixes here from Djrum’s critically-acclaimed debut album, with both remix artists choosing the same track to take the power tools to. Longtime friends and collaborators of Djrum’s, Akkord deliver a menacing version which interprets the shifting time patterns of the original by introducing evolving percussive and drum elements to awesome effect. Felix K, owner of Berlin’s superb Hidden Hawaii label goes subterranean with his interpretation, a subliminal techoid infusion at 173 BPM.
'Naked Truth EP'
With previous releases on Somethinksounds and Meltdown Records, EVM has already pricked a few ears pon the electronica scene, and is well set to do even more with this EP. Featuring the vocals of Daiva it’s a superb blend of modern soul and bass music. It’s the original all the way, as the 'Garage Remix' is ruined by a terrible dubstep-esque bassline. Check ‘Beyond’ for some slappy bass funk and 'Dibi Dibi' for some polyrhythmic dancehall pressure. One to watch.
Whilst nothing wildly original here from the Sub FM resident DJ, there is a certain meditative element to this pair of tunes which raises them above the ordinary. ‘Narabeh’ clearly takes inspiration from the Iranian city it is named after, with subtle application of Middle Eastern instrumentation entwined in an equally subtle dubstep roller. Alpha channels a more European schematic, but is still heavy with the esoteric vibes. One “for the heads” as they say.
Sleeper & District
Six unreleased dubstep growlers from the dungeon duo of Sleeper & District on Distance’s Chestplate label. It’s a powerful and oppressive mix of trollish stompers often laced with a lashing angry venom, and rolling darkside numbers which explore percussive nuance and filtered dread in equal measure. This style of dubstep will always sound at its best leeching out of a huge stack of 18-inch scoops in a dark, weed-scented basement.
Ten Thousand Yen
Bumpy and thumpy manoeuvres from Presk here, on the ever-consistent Ten Thousand Yen imprint. The 'Saluki EP' opens with a funky synth workout, which feels like a gentle prelude to the skippier and scratchier ‘MOD1’, before descending into the deeper house realms of ‘Rais’, culminating in the upbeat ‘Vigor’, with its contrasting dub chords and noodling keyboard lines.
'Why They Trippin' EP'
A decent slice of booty bass-come-electro from Santero, with the usual combination of hip-hop soundbites and punchy drums, and a fistful of remixes — check Ursa Major, a resident at Trouble & Bass for a stripped-back roughneck remix of 'Why They Trippin'' and The Elementz’s slightly tropical treatment. But sadly the deep house towards the end and Warp Records-inspired 'Warped' just feel too disjointed for the EP to make sense.