'Headtop ft. Lady Ice'
J Fresh enjoyed a busy past year for someone who only just made their production debut. On this single Lady Ice gives a spirited performance over J’s ricocheting, steely beat, and it’s a welcome joint effort.
P From Lee
'Busy (ft. Yizzy)'
Moments after the drop of ‘Zebadee’ from South East London’s Ammi Boyz, formative member P From Lee has hooked up with the startlingly talented Yizzy. On ‘Busy’ the pair assault a clunking, heavy duty beat, and are equally matched in their verbal dexterity.
Six slices of roughed-up Timbaland instrumentals with a rude grime attitude – what more could you want?! Ontario producer MPIR has shaken up Lil’ Kim, Jay Z and Aaliyah on this special tape that’s a record bag essential for any R&G heads.
Rolling like some long lost Autonomic-era stonker, Kym Sugyru’s ‘Ophelia (Floriography)’ finds a groove and abso-sodding-lutely nails it in place. Those reverbed scratching noises and the rather comical bass synth stabs are a bit of a neat touch too.
Squane x Delo
Jelly Bean Farm
The standout on an EP of collaborations, Squane X Delo’s ‘The Vanishing’ is a well executed darkside stepper. The type of thing I’d roll into about two-thirds of the way through a two-hour radio set. Resets the dread quite nicely.
'Like I Need You'
Friends Of Friends
I’m not the first to note it and I’ll never be the last, but there really is something about California music that just drips contented sunshine. It’s all over this album pre-empting four-tracker from Sweatson Klank. ‘Bamboo King’ is smothered in it.
Dancing in the dark realms, ZeroZero show us their dangerous side. The fierce, pounding low-end on this one steals the show, accentuated by the tight, quick drums and weighted further down with growls and rumbles. It's a beast.
'Monster Black Hole'
This second single from the forthcoming album showcases all the things we heart about Pythius. Demonically dark twisted basslines, rolling, sub led neuro percussion and layers of itchy, glitchy dystopian metallics.
Think Tonk vs Spyda
This weird and wobbling halftime with solid ragga cut is sure to have you bussing that one foot skank. It's ready for the summer and bringing all the heat with its slow, distorted beat and deep syncopated bassline. Plus, jungle legend Spyda’s vocal: big!
The SoundCloud content at https://soundcloud.com/think-tonk/think-tonk-vs-mc-spyda-black-tarantula is not available, or it is set to private.
A dash of '90s-vibed UK bass here from Dom 877, who throws down pitched up vocals and a speed garage-style dropping bassline (not to mention the odd time-stretched sample) over workmanlike four-four beats. The production is nice, but the track would need a little more variation to really smack.
Top Drawer Digital
Blending half-time rhythms with junglistic breaks and underpinning with darkling low-end, Strange Rollers continues his seemingly endless mission to explore the moodiest reaches of the bass music universe. 'The Hunted' sounds like the soundtrack to some long lost art-house sci-fi/horror hybrid, starring and directed by Vincent Gallo as both the terrified target of a serial killer and the brutal beast himself.
An epic progressive bosh with all the trimmings, Musumeci throws down a rollicking record for Bedrock that juggles a tunnelling hypnotic energy with big washes of trancey indulgence.
All the ingredients of a Sudbeat classic in the making. Sumptuous ambience, solid basslines and grooves, plus a sexy side of Latin percussion to help it all go down.
'Fake ID (Jay Robinson Bootleg)'
I don't usually review bootlegs, but this is Jay Robinson we're talking about. Stripping back Riton's vocal anthem to its bare essentials, the UK bass don delivers a beefy four-four outing that perfectly shows off Nigerian singer Kah-Lo's super-sexy vocal.
'Dance Trax Vol 9'
Shadow Child's focus has been on his Food Music imprint recently, but he furnishes DJ Haus' Unknown To The Unknown with four electrifying club bangers that slam from the get-go.
The domineering duo unleash one of their finest EPs to date. Heavy on sampling, from sung vocal lines to spoken news snippets, a gamut of heritage rave sounds supported by their trademark pounding bass and beats. Et voila!
Brame & Hamo
Brame & Hamo
Three tracks of pure energy from the Irish duo, who go from strength to strength on their self-titled label. 'Club Orange' is all about chunking club beats, airy atmospheres, string ensembles and a disco-infused nod to Roy Keane.
“Terminal Flow is a four track EP of fragmented piano pieces composed from 100 years of Norwegian glacier data.” Not the most exciting sales blurb of 2018, granted, but nonetheless, this is music with a message. For fans of Glass and Stockhausen.
'Dear Future Person'
It’s hard to put your finger on just exactly what it is within Cornelius’s productions that make them so special. Simultaneously lush, polished and fastidious in their arrangement, yet somehow unassuming, naïve and completely laid-back in their delivery, they offer a special almost contradictory peek into the creative mind of one of Japan’s best loved musical exports. ‘Dear Future Person’ (from Keigo Oyamada’s first album in 11 years) is all of the above, and heralds yet another triumphant excursion into beautifully constructed electronic pop.
Carly Foxx lets Detroit don Terrence Parker loose on her track 'Love Thing', and the results are every bit as solid as you'd expect them to be.
'Dance Trax Vol 9'
UTTU Dance Trax
Hard to argue with this. Shadow Child drops tough, distorted old school house vibes by the metric ton for UTTU's Dance Trax. Just buy it.
'Rhyme Goes On'
Hip-house smashes particles with lo-fi vibes here, to devastating effect from German producer Georgi Barrel. Low slung and slinky.
Disco wunderkind Kiwi has a crack at Lalo Schifrin’s camp electronic disco classic ‘Amityville Frenzy’ from the score to the classic 1979 chiller ‘Amityville Horror’. The EP features a DJ Tennis remix that does very little (and seems superfluous to the release), but picks up the pace again with the '80s soundtrack pastiches ‘Warriors’ and ‘Paco’.
'Track Deleted (Remixes)'
Me Me Me
“Remixes for a track you’ll never get to hear, from an artist who will forever remain nameless,” apparently. Concept aside, there are decent EBM and mutant disco remixes from artists such as Cocktail D’Amore’s Discodromo, Honey Soundsystem affiliate Bezier and newcomer Vyvyan.
'The Sequential Mind EP'
Propulsion Records (USA)
The lead cut on Miami group Code Rising’s new EP, ‘1984’, is a celebration of electro’s birth in the selfish decade. With sci-fi blips and chattering beats, plus lyrics extolling the movement’s spread across the US, it’s good fun. But ‘Syntheticism’ is of more interest to DJs, with its minimalist aesthetic and abstract FX.
New Hotflush signing TML hails from Minneapolis, and his broken beat techno mutations on the ‘Machine Bias EP’ are most engaging. But head straight for ‘Cell ID’, a grotty, grimy piece of deconstructed acid electro with plenty of fuzz and crunch.
I don't listen to Planet Asia to hear the cutting edge, I listen to PA to FEEL the cutting edge of his rhymes, always a totally arresting presence who demands your attention. 'Fireworks', the first single from his new 'The Golden Buddha' set, does exactly that, even if Izznyce's rocky production is a total throwback. Feel the burn.
The Noble Six
Pure Trance Recordings
By degrees, Noble Six gets more remarkable with every track. Generating floor-power from midrange thump alone (and almost to excess), ‘Black Star’ pulls off one of trance’s trickiest production practices with aplomb.
'Learning To Live'
Close encounters of the tougher, spacier kind are ‘Learning To Live’s order of the day. Proof, if it were needed, that cosmic atmospheres aren’t the exclusive preserve of prog-trance.
'Hold Me/Drive Anywhere'
Fantome de Nuit
A deep '80s boogie/silk suit soul homage from Lebanese producer, Nesta, ‘Hold Me’ has a modern shine, but the vocal and tempo are throwbacks to the golden era of Alexander O’Neal and co. ‘Drive Anywhere’ juxtaposes this vocal style against a minimal, techy groove.
Smoovth & Blacastan
'Don't Judge Me '
Stu Bangaz & Blacastan's 'The Uncanny Adventures Of Watson & Holmes' was as dated and delicious a drop from 2017 as Meyhem & Muggs' 'Gems From The Equinox' (high praise indeed). Here Bangaz stays on production while Smoovth and Blac swap the mic and basically bitch about new rappers for the entire duration of the track. It's hilarious, the beat is banging and the cuts from 7L of Czarface seal a rollickingly retrograde treat.
Pete Cannon on the mix, and unlike most producers confronted with OW's lightspeed flows, he actually tries to match the pace with a hyperkinetic breakbeat production. The leaks from the droolingly-awaited 'Wizville' keep coming, and keep ramping up the intrigue. If you're giving up smoking, take off your patch when you hear this or you might just have a coronary. Fierce.
An industrial techno banger coming out on this NYC based record label. A little more downtempo than most of the stuff on this page, but what it lacks in tempo it makes up for in crunchy distortion and heavy bass.
Australian happy hardcore DJ/producer [email protected]
teams up with American vocalist Ceci to deliver this fun and energetic dancefloor stomper. Ceci’s vocals are always very strong and powerful, so cut through a busy track well.
Da Rick & Pat B
'Break The Silence'
This is just a super fun and happy dancefloor track, and it does its job effectively. Stylistically sitting somewhere between hardstyle, jump and EDM, this one will have a very wide appeal — and best of all, they gave it away for free!
The fine Italian techno label showcases the work of a new producer, Andrea Bertolini. Like previous releases, these are streamlined, '90s-referencing tracks characterised by relentless snares and hypnotic tonal sequences: ‘7B’ in particular has a touch of Hardfloor or Secret Cinema to it.
The SoundCloud content at https://soundcloud.com/platformrecofficial/sets/andrea-bertolini-platform-7/s-GdD9y is not available, or it is set to private.
'Pedal To The Metal And Don’t Look Back'
Bordello A Parigi
The prolific but consistent Bordello A Parigi welcomes Curses to the fold. Moving from wave and punk funk tracks into Terr’s electronic disco take on the title track and the esoteric ‘Knife In Teeth’, this is a fine, diverse record.
A collaboration between Pomelo’s Dan Lodig and Martin ‘Dibek’ Sovinz, ‘Lap AM’ starts off with a cavernous acid workout and moves into the murky, dense rhythms of ‘Mix 2’, before Erdem Tunakan brings the house down with his breakneck speed, hardcore piano remix.
'Limited Perception EP'
Serious heat from Paso on Leeds' own Fina Records. 'Fuzy' is heavy with static and electric pianos, but seek out 'No Matter Where You're From'. Just blazing.