Review: The London-based Modern Ruin Records label arrives with a mission statement to showcase some of the most talented and innovative artists making moves on the juke and footwork scenes around the world, and the label's first EP gets things off to an incredibly strong start. Pawn kicks off with "Do U", a dancefloor destroyer melding footwork textures with punishing D&B-influenced rhythms and bass, while The Renegades' "The Warmup" offers a jazzier number which places deft amen breaks throughout. On the flip, Sideswipe's "Be With U" offers a gospel-influenced, funky take on footwork with its vintage sample, but it's Vorres' "One Of These Old Days" that takes the crown, with delicate 808 rhythms fluttering across more soulful vocals. Essential stuff from a label to watch.
DJ Rashad/DJ Spin/Taso - "Roll Up That Loud" (3:37)
DJ Rashad/Gant-Man - "Get Fuk'd Up" (3:01)
DJ Rashad/DJ Manny/DJ Spin - "Let's Roll Out" (3:48)
Microglobe/Machinedrum - "High On Hope" (4:13)
DJ Rashad/DJ Phil - "Come Close" (4:25)
DJ Rashad/DJ Earl - "Wear Her Pussy Out" (3:53)
DJ Rashad/DJ Spinn - "Oh God" (4:51)
DJ Rashad/Gant-Man/DJ Manny - "Ratchet City" (3:02)
DJ Rashad/Dj Taye - "Get You Burnt" (4:22)
DJ Rashad/Tripletrain/DJ Spin - "Pass That" (3:14)
DJ Rashad/Boylan/DJ Manny - "Tony Montana" (2:51)
DJ Rashad/DJ Tre - "Yeah We Do This" (4:49)
DJ Rashad/Traxman - "Lost Worlds" (3:38)
DJ Rashad/DJ Spinn/DJ Paypal (RSP) - "Do You Wanna B Mine" (5:26)
DJ Rashad/DJ Manny - "Roll A Tree" (4:49)
Review: This debut release from footwork crew Teklife's label sees them pay tribute to DJ Rashad, the late, great innovator who passed away in the spring of 2014. Afterlife gathers together a collection of DJ Rashad tracks co-produced by Rashad's close friends and associates, including DJ Spinn, Traxman, DJ Manny and more. As the label themselves state, this 14 track album really conveys the wealth of musical influences and knowledge Rashad possessed with soul, hip-hop, house, techno and many more all brought together at 160 BPM. "Afterlife is our tribute to our friend and our inspiration. Rest In Peace DJ Rashad," Teklife write. Enough said. A must for all fans of Rashad.
Review: It seems fitting that the hundredth and final volume in the "FabricLive" mix series should also be its most hotly anticipated. Coming from heavyweight heroes Kode9 and Burial - whose previous back-to-back mix for Mary-Anne Hobbs' show eight years ago has reached near mythical status. The album is a wonderfully full-throttle and mixed-up affair, with the shadowy bass lieutenants giddily flitting between quick-fire sections focusing on South African gqom, footwork, Juke, vintage hardcore, early jungle and more contemporary dancefloor experimentalism, each broken up by typically blazed and paranoid ambient interludes and the occasional surprise selection. There's a lot going on throughout, but that only adds to the fun. In other words, it's a triumphant finale to a landmark mix series.
Review: Before Hyperdub get round to showcasing the more song-based side to their ever -growing discography with the upcoming Hyperdub 10.2 compilation, the label ushers in a second edition of the vinyl only Decadubs series that also forms part of their multi faceted anniversary celebration campaign. Extending the format to two platters, Decadubs 2 is largely a footwork affair with a good chunk of the exclusive material that featured on the double CD Hyperdub 10.1 compilation featured. A track from the sadly departed DJ Rashad commences proceedings (his "Acid Life" collaboration with Gant-Man") and the frenetic pace doesn't let up from there, with DJ Spinn's "All My Teklife" and DJ Earl's "I'm Gonna Get You" stand out contributions. The D Side switches up focus from footwork to showcase the hyperactive synth heavy stylings of Japanese producer Quarta 330, Champion's superb editing skills and Ikonika's peerless bassweight stylings.
DJ Rashad - "OTS" (fea Spinn, Taso & Manny) (4:25)
Heavee - "8 Bit Shit" (4:39)
Tripletrain - "Never Could Be" (part 2) (3:19)
Durban - "I'm So" (3:13)
Taso - "Drop That Thang" (2:49)
DJ Chap - "Glacier Bae" (4:26)
DJ Paypal, Feloneezy & Jackie Dagger - "U Should No" (3:49)
Review: The Teklife crew get busy in every direction for this epic RSD collection of which all proceeds to do DJ Rashad's family. Solid steppy juke and footwork flavours through and through, highlights include the rifle modem chitter of "Do This Again", J-Dub's R&B flexing stop-start jam "All I Feel", Sirr Tmo's psychedelic slo-mo soliloquy "Live In Chicago Subway" and DJ Paypal's madcap mangled disco, tape-stop fondling "F M Blast". 21 tracks in total, each one primed for the dance, there's no better way to pay respect to DJ Rashad's legacy.
Atoms For Peace - "Other Side" (Stuck Together remix)
Anstam - "Feed The Pigs"
Truncate - "Switch"
A Made Up Sound - "Malfunction (Despair)"
Addison Groove - "I Go Boom"
Cosming TRG - "Sommer"
Review: The quality of the 50 Weapons output is always supreme and our German friends really do know how to pull together a diverse and extensive collection of their latest catalogue signings - a sure buy for anyone wanting a glimpse into the world of the most cutting-edge bass music around. Among the twelve stormers we have Dark Sky's "Shutter Speed" which pulls together wacky basslines and rolling tech beats; Addison Groove's usual footwork magic represented here as "I Go Boom"; "Malfunction (Despair) by the nuttiest technoid producer known to man - A Made Up Sound - and even Marcel Dettmann's foreboding "Linux" monster. An essential collection.
Review: Of the three Double 12" releases tied in with Mosaic Vol 2, it's probably this last one that stays closest to the Autonomic sound that's become synonymous with the Exit Recordings label run by D Bridge. It's the operation's overseer that sets the tone with his second production of the compilation "My Night Sky" which ripples along pensively at 170BPM, and whilst the mood might shift from here the tempo largely doesn't. Highlight's include the 808 rimshots of Fracture's "Sick Wid It" and the murky beat abstraction of the Consequence & FIS collab "Cultural Trauma" whilst D Bridge should be applauded for coaxing Stevie Spacek to return to his Black Pocket project for final cut "After Beris".
Review: Delivered a year after Ivy Lab's inaugural volume, the trio's frontier-beat stable supersizes once again with a full crew ensemble: label regulars such as Deft, Shield, Havelock and Ivy Lab themselves are joined by infamous halftime murkers Fixate, Mr Frenkie, Sinistarr as we gear up for another futurist exploration of beats, space and bass. Highlights can be found on every track including the seasick swoons of Sinistarr's "#Accidental Deathing", Havelock's gully-galvanised juke stepper "Badbwoysound" and the tumbling, cascading almost drunken drum arrangement of Phazz's "Caution". Welcome to the future.
Review: Deep on the Prague underground, founded by local don DJ Alyaz, Sapyens super-size with a limited vinyl collection of the agenda-setting digital album they kicked off the year with. Finding all the sweetest spots between juke, Jersey via techno, ghetto tech and freeform bass experimentation, the whole album shakes with innovation: WZ's slo-mo sedative UKG "Apache Way", Dryman & Pelikann's lo-fi eski-breaker "What", Jimmy Pe's sludge-wave sucker-slap "PBLC" and Tuco & Allmostt's insane amen ghetto punch up "Crazy Joe" are just some of the highlights. Grab it while you can.