This Month In Electronic Music (January)

Expanding on the previous format of our ‘Reviews…in Brief’, we have decided to give you guys a brief overview of what we’ve found interesting in the world of electronic music this month. So we’ll be covering releases, events, announcements and news. Check it out!

Contact @ Vox Warehouse, Leeds

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Youngsta took his futuristic 140 night far north this time, gracing the modern home of Subdub – the Vox Warehouse. I’ve spent many evenings behind these shutters but this time was one of the special ones. Following stellar opening sets from Nomine and J:Kenzo, System:Sound boss V.I.V.E.K took us through his usual acetate musical journey. From 2 until 3, Youngsta took the stage and understandably blew minds with his seamless mixing abilities.

One of the sets I’d been most excited for was Commodo, who brings such a unique and varied style of music to the table it’s nearly impossible to predict what he might play. F*ck Mountain tore the roof off though. As the night drew to a close, Icicle and Skeptical both took to the stage and played 140 into 170 sets which brought together another perfect night at the Vox. Watch this night, it’s going big places.

Shackleton – Freezing Opening Thawing (SEPTIC05)

Without a single release in 2013, it’s good to see Shakleton back on the scene. The press release for this EP speaks about the use of synthesis over sampling and I think this is the main thing that can be taken away from his recent releases. This is Mr Shackleton trying out new things and seeing what he can develop and in many ways reminds me of Tangerine Dream, particularly the minimalism and psychedelia of ‘White Flower With Silvery Eye’. ‘Silver Keys’ really stands out to me as it is the most reminiscent of the meditative sounds of his earlier work, with that deep, swelling bass line.

Purchase available here: http://boomkat.com/vinyl/906844-shackleton-freezing-opening-thawing

Outlook Festival Line up announcement

The biggest thing in soundsystem culture is back again for 2014, taking over their usual spot on the Croation coast and bringing the bass to those sun kissed shores. The festival has continued the trend of bringing big hip hop names to the party; with the announcement of the legendary Busta Rhymes. The lineup is crammed full of quality artists but the most telling sign of this quality is from the stage takeovers. These come from the likes of Youngsta’s new night Contact, the Shogun Audio Crew and Alexander Nut’s Eglo records. The takeover which piqued my interest the most, however, is from Tectonic x Keysound Recordings. This promises to highlight some of the grime/dubstep/techno/jungle/hardcore hybrid sounds these labels are pushing and will certainly be a highlight of the festival.

Seedy Sonics Outlook Festival Launch Party @ Rainbow Warehouse, Birmingham

Following on from this, it’s now time for the promoters of this incredile festival to tour the world putting on a string of launch parties. The centrepiece of the night was festival favourites Gentleman’s Dub Club; their rousing blend of ska, dub and reggae had the packed main room in high spirits and singing about the ‘High Grade’. The night also saw Swamp81/School Records’ Klose One ignite the stage with an incendiary set of the techno sounds those labels have become known and loved for. Marcus Nasty and Amy Becker also featured in the main room with their distinctly UK sound and the heavy dnb stylings of Break and Xtrah had the second room skanking.

Las & Mikael EP (IMRV008)

Until recently, Las had been quite a quiet name in the dubstep scene, although always lurking in the shadows. This brilliant joint EP with similarly inconspicuous Mikael really amplifies what I already thought about him. These tunes are deep dub hybrids with lots of atmosphere. “Dem Break” is a really lean back slow tune, whereas “Need Fire” sticks to similar style but injects a really upbeat feel. The final track, a Mikael solo piece named “Drain”is dark and weighty, this guy’s one to watch.

Purchase available here: http://www.beatport.com/release/las-x-mikael-ep/1225083

Wen announces forthcoming album, ‘Signals’

One of the most exciting talents in UK bass music has announced his debut album, we literally cannot wait to hear this when it comes out on the 17th March. Check out the tracklisting and the first track below:

01 Intro (Family)
02 Galactic
03 Lunar ft. Blackdown
04 You Know
05 Persian
06 Swingin’ (LDN mix)
07 Vampin’
08 Time ft. Parris
09 In
10 Signal
11 Nightcrawler (devils mix)
12 Play Your Corner ft. Riko

DubApes – FatKidOnFire (Fkofd004)

The FatKidOnFire catalogue continues to bolster in depth and talent, this time with the addition of Austria’s shining light, DubApes. The duo have been pushing the boundaries with their productions lately, diversifying their direction and creating tracks involving numerous different styles. This EP is certainly no different, with ‘The City’ bringing an aggressive synth crazed structure, ‘Feel the Tribe’ continuing in the same vein with an eyes-down 170 piece. The EP switches up in style with my personal favourite ‘Jah No Dead’ displaying DubApes more subtle and spacey approach and finally ‘Endangered Dreams’ leaves on a light note, formulating a beautiful piece through the main use of piano keys and violins.

Purchase available here: http://www.junodownload.com/products/dubapes-fkofd004/2366590-02/

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