'Mazza ft. Scrufizzer'
Wiley’s rate work of late has been mad, and between all the warring and shooting videos it's impressive that he’s been able to knock out singles, too. ‘Mazza’ isn’t him at his best, but it’s a solid bit of trap-leaning grime.
'Cause A Commotion (ft. Skip Marley)'
Journeying to Jamaica to tap up Bob Marley’s grandson on the feature, Bugzy opts for a light, Afrobeats-style beat with plenty of feelgood flava.
Moteur Ville Musique
Sterling work as ever from Jay Tripwire, with this muscular jam for the rapidly-becoming-essential Moteur Ville Musique. Highly recommened.
'Do You '
Stones Throw Records
If the fact that both Khruangbin and Thundercat have new albums about to drop hasn't tantalised you enough, here's Knxwledge's first transmission from his as-yet untitled new album, set to drop late spring. A gorgeous, jazzy, funky cut conjured from rippling piano lines and tremulous soft-touch drums, it's a 'taster' that leaves your pupils dilated and hungry for more.
'Neva Give A Front '
Camoflage Monk's latest collaboration is with Pro Zay on 'Slump 2': 28 minutes of madness that, like all the best UK and US rap at the moment, sounds like it's been fed a shitload of heavy, heavy barbiturates and THC-packed weed. Blissful baleful brilliance.
Hey, I miss ATCQ. You miss ATCQ. Luckily, these days, every month seems to bring a new single that sounds a fuck ton like ATCQ — this month, this natty little banger from Illajide (yup the guy from the similarly Tribe-obsessed Clear Soul Forces) which bounces and glides and brings summer a few months early. Get on it.
Friends Of Friends
Sweatson lives in Cali, and the sun blessed lifestyle simply oozes through this steppy cut from his forthcoming LP, 'Good Days'.
As the title oh-so subtly suggests, Gage’s new music harks back to big riffs at small raves in green fields.
'Burning Wood Ship'
The first leak from The Heliocentrics’ new album is as gloriously mudded and dusty as you’d ever want it to be.
Like Textasy and Jenson Interceptor before him, Mutant Joe mixes speedy electro with profane trap. On ‘Hokus Pokus’ with Freddie Dread, it works spectacularly well.
Tucked away on the techno focused ‘01383’ EP from Forward Strategy Group’s Patrick Walker is the excellent ‘Ghetto Love’, propelled by an acid bassline and classic airy electro strings.
This new EP on Electronic Leatherette sub label Heretic Electro has two artists focusing on the Drexciyan style. Both score highly, but MSRG wins with the boogie bass of ‘Rak Funk’.
'The Drift EP'
Undulating deepness from Underground Quality's main man Jus-Ed. Various versions of 'The Drift' appear on this first release of 2020, each more unctuous than the last.
'La Cite Des Etoiles'
Fans of sprawling, emotive house are strongly advised to seek out Blutch's latest. The title track is arpeggiated perfection, while there's a version from some dude called Michael Mayer too.
Dutch stalwart Estiva discreetly dropped a new artist album ‘Metamorphoses’ at the end of last year, filled with his trademark high quality progressive trance. This gritty double A-side represents the perfect taster of the polished excellence you’ll find on the LP.
'Tangerine Dream (Petar Dundov Remix)'
Dundov seeks the deeper melodies on his rework of the new Glenn Morrison single, retaining the hook of the original while pitching down its progressive trance energies somewhat. There’s some nice, lush detail in his soundscapes, plus a killer rolling bassline.
'Days Like These'
Progressive legend Grum launches his Deep State imprint in early 2020, labelled as a home for passionate upcoming producers. Its debut release from Kane is a straightforward offering that’s very much in the key of Prydz or Kappa, though hopefully a sign of exciting things to come.
Serum & Benny V
'Let's Go feat. Harry Shotta '
Can’t really go wrong with Harry Shotta and double trouble label heads on Souped Up can you? A subtle and beautifully understated track to really let Shotta’s bars be heard, and we love the xylophone touches. For us, the vocal mix is designed for headphones, and the dub for the dance.
Bad Taste Recordings
This track strikes an interesting balance that we can’t put our fingers on — is it cool and funky, or creepy and menacing? We just can’t tell. It is, however, a robotic-sounding stepper with intoxicatingly glitchy drums and a wicked halftime breakdown.
'Gravity feat. Pilth'
Voice of Venakula Recordings
New year, new label. Voice MC launches Voice Of Venakula Recordings with A-side 'Gravity', which showcases his Mike Skinner-esque, nonchalant though insightful flow, backed by a warping, dirty roller created by Pilth.
Hoga Nord Rekords
Superb coldwave revival from Berlin-based Dame Bonnet, capturing the mood of that distant, European DIY sound of the early '80s. One for the fans of France’s Excès Nocturne or UK heroes Oppenheimer Analysis.
'Incapable (inc. Crooked Man Remix)'
Wicked disco pop from the brilliant Roisin Murphy, co-written with Sheffield legend DJ Parrot, who provides the remix on the flip under his Crooked Man guise.
Simple, effective disco rhythms/club tools from the faceless Apparel Wax crew. Support from the likes of Horse Meat Disco, Black Madonna, Demuja and Harvey Sutherland.
'Man Like Star'
Yulia’s deep and joyous, grooving original is treated to a pair of remixes: Farid Odilbekov strips it deep and tougher, while August Artier gives it an energy boost.
'The One EP'
Hardt Antoine’s style on this EP isn’t centred on a sub genre; instead, he melds colourful ideas in and around house with electro and techy rhythms.
Big room styles rarely feature on this page, but this one bangs from Miami-based Ucros. Doof doof.
Serene soundscapes blossom into deep orchestral bliss. Lay back and melt into your sofa listening to this. Afterparty gold.
Swathes of low-end energy are driven home via a smacking 808 kick. The bleepy lead line will rip your head off in the dance.
'A Separation Of Being'
Always approaching his music obliquely, Canadian experimentalist Jay Crocker uses visual compositional techniques to make Riley and Reich-esque psychedelia.
'A Dozen Things To Do In Limbo'
An “audio postcard” from Bristol’s adventurous producers, this is surprisingly rich and essential background research for what goes on behind the beats.
Dropped alongside a downloadable sample pack, Chevel’s music is a deeply varied and colourful experience — bass-heavy beats with glistening psychedelic textures.
'Someone (Giuseppe Ottaviani Remix)'
Nicely played revision of a lesser-remixed classic here. Messing with Joanna Law’s vocals would’ve been foolhardy, and Giuseppe leaves them cut-glass clear, but adds a bleepy melancholic topline to emphasise ‘Someone’s lyrical lament.
Vlind, Asteroid & Gary Leroy
‘Trinity’ heralds a meeting of the new (Asteroid), the not so new (Vlind) and the debutante (Gary Leroy). The result’s a lively, upliftingly effective trancer with psy asides and some true trance grit.
Twenty-nineteen was the year Garuda wiggled its toes back into the trance pond. December’s ‘Out Of Sight’ from Solis & Sean Truby was impressive fare, and here, Eximinds (seemingly ditching the last of their trouse affectations) lend the label a persuasively energetic firestarter.
This is a fine follow up to 2018’s ‘New World Order’. A barrage of primal, jacking workouts — including the title track’s panning vocal samples — followed by the acid-flecked electro of ‘Ghetto Love’ ensure all ears are on User Engine.
Kontrapunk delivers a diverse compilation that veers in sound from Doc Sleep’s tough tribal techno to the atmospheric downtempo work of Humanoid. The standout track, however, is the Legowelt-style synths of Carmel & Nikita’s ‘Nebenan’.
Kleft vs Ten Years Lost
'Crash Reserve 003'
Top remix swap action on Crash Reserve, as Ten Years Lost turns Kleft’s ‘CMBR’ into a wild, sub-bass driven roller. In return, Kleft delivers a brutal industrial version of TYL’s ‘Every Single Sound’.
'2 Roads 1 Destiny'
Kronos exploded onto the scene with a lot of hype quite a few years ago now, and his continued high quality production output justifies why we were all so excited. This latest offering on Scantraxx’s harder label is one of his best tracks to date. Brutal beats getting support from all the big players.
This legendary UK hardcore techno DJ is back with another EP. 'Murdered Out' is 180BPM of chunky, fun, yet aggressive beats. Never directly following the European trends of hardcore, this release is a modern-sounding track that still contains the essence of the underground UK scene from which Dolphin emerged.
One of the founding fathers of the hardstyle scene is back again with another track that pays tribute to the early sounds which he helped create, but with a fresh new twist, making it perfectly relevant in the most cutting-edge, upfront sets.