Reviews…In Brief

Every month there are a shed load of releases that we don’t get the chance to give a full review for one reason or another so we’ve decided to compile a few at the end of each month and give you our opinion in brief.

Dubfreq – FKOFd001

I really wanted to review this in full, but seemed to run out of time in the build-up to the release date. However, with the direction FatKidOnFire are taking with their new release series, I’m sure I’ll get plenty more chances. The EP from Dubfreq involves everything you could ask for from 4 tracks. ‘Next to Me’ is orientated around darkness, containing a slicing mid-range and acute percussion, while ‘Selenky’ delivers all the coki-esque fuelled sound you’d ever require, with ‘Excuse Me Officer’ and ‘MSH’ pushing that dubwise sound. The next release comes from Subreachers so ensure you support the movement and go grab yourselves the tracks.

Daniel Avery – Drone Logic (PHLP02)

This 12-track album, released on Erol Alkan’s indie-indebted Phantasy Sound label, embraces everything that was good about acid house whilst completely removing any bleary eyed nostalgia trips. The sound of the album is completely contemporary despite including elements of the past. ‘These Nights Never End’ is a complete stomper with dark, growling synths and album opener ‘Water Jump’ is a rough round the edges, party bomb. The ambience of ‘Spring 27’ and the gentle sway of ‘Simulrec’ make this album the complete package; a perfect mixture of dance floor energy and contemplative soulfulness.

Thelem – Bring Me Down/False Imprint (IMRV007)

Innamind Recordings have been pushing some really interesting sounds. They are perhaps one of the most under-rated labels in the underground dubstep scene for me, as they always deliver such top drawer tracks from some of the most dynamic producers in the scene. However, everyone will stop and surrender under the weight that this next release brings, coming straight from the mind of Thelem. ‘Bring Me Down’ features T-man on the vocals, layering some vicious bars over the aggressive mid-range and bass-weight Thelem lays out, whereas ‘False Imprint’ involves a much more space orientated structure. However still maintains that sucker punching power through the complex sub-bass and siren sounding mid.

Special Request – Soul Music

It’s depressing that I have been too busy to write the full 5 page article this album deserves. Twenty three tracks of pure energy and passion; Paul Woolford has put down some of the most unique and ear catching music of 2013 and maybe even in the history of dance music. Resting somewhere in between hardcore, house music and jungle, Paul’s latest musical adventure takes you right to the edges of acceptable sounds and it is fantastic. This album features some ridiculous tunes, namely his VIP of Tessela’s ‘Hackney Parrot’. ‘Forbidden’ is a bass heavy piece with a light synth over the top, again adhering more to the 128bpm style. Breaking the mould are ‘Lockjaw’ and ‘Soundboy Killer’; two explosions of jungle energy put together to do nothing less than destroy every dance floor they hit.

Joe – Slope / Maximum Busy Muscle (HES025)

Hessle Audio continue to push the boundaries with this one; a release that is as challenging as it is rewarding. The gurgling bass line of Slope builds up amongst disjointed, garage infused percussion and leads to a warm, slow burning roller. Maximum Busy Muscle is a lurching slab of house which as it develops more rhythmic elements builds into an impressively stomping number with slight tinges of the UK funky sound. With every (admittedly very rare) Joe release, my admiration for him grows.

Livity Sound – Livity Sound (LIVITYCD001)

Since the formation of the Livity Sound imprint in 2010, Kowton, Pev and Asusu have been pushing boundary melting 12”s that take in influence from techno, dub and jungle amongst others. This CD sees them finally released digitally with the Hessle Audio release from earlier this year by Pev & Kowton and four new collaborative tracks. Complex rhythms and heavy sub bass are the key ingredients throughout. This compilation is a clear statement of intent from a label which will continue to flourish due to the trio’s hard work and talent.

Uprise Audio – Live From The Future (UACD001)

The latest release from the Uprise Audio family is one everyone has been eagerly anticipating from the outset. It includes 12 tracks (two of which were released prior as an LP sampler) from a selection of talented artists in the scene, giving you the perfect taste of what the future of dubstep sounds like. The album is an umbrella of different styles, covering every corner – from light to dark, with ‘Zero Gravity’, ‘Stratosfear’ and ‘Walter White (Truth Remix)’ all giving you that typical Uprise dosage, while ‘Part of Life’ and ‘Lost Highway’ brings a lighter element to the entire release, which hasn’t yet been present on the previous releases on the label. Every track is a joy to listen to and mix with and just fills me with anticipation for the next run of releases from the label.
Dusky – Careless EP (Aus Music) AUS1315

Anything Dusky put out has a habit of being fire from first track to last and the latest piece on Aus Music fits that description perfectly. The title track ‘Careless’ is instantly recognizable as a Dusky piece, the pounding 2×2 intro with teasing synths and looping vocals leading to a weighty fist pumping main drop. Dusky are truly professional at creating euphoria, as displayed again in ‘Words Later On’. Combined with the light drums and pounding sub, Dusky have produced another winner. ‘Esperanto Juggler’ sees them satisfying their dark edge more with the repetitive vocal every few bars and deep weighty bass to bring it all together. The final tune ‘Rise for Love’ brings together what is another jaw dropping EP from dusky with its dark synths and general aggressive complexion.

Written by Andy Brennan, Drew Jones and Michael Thomas


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