Thursday, 25 August 2011

DJ Magazine reviews issue 500

I've not been blogging here lately due to work commitments and running the label. But I will start popping up my reviews page from DJ Magazine on a monthly basis at the very least! Music forward>>

Masks (Brainfeeder)
The Dutch rascal who dwells in the USA is one of the most successful artists to cross genres and scenes with seamless finesse, outgrowing each of them at their peak and opting to forge new paths with pioneering fearlessness. This single drops well ahead of his second album 'Ghost People' (out in October), and barely moves the goal-posts, but 'Masks' is still a cracking fragment of angular bass music that needs to be owned.

Deco and Linker
Verus (Deceast)
The fourth release on this Californian imprint comes from label honcho Deco and fellow West Coast hombre Linker, and boy can you hear the Cali heat oozing from these two. If Dr Dre had G-funk, then these two have dub-funk: check 'Greenthumb Funk' for some seriously purple vibes similar to Silkie and Quest. On the A-side, 'Verus' locks a tight riddim and rocks out a decaying technoid half-step flex, a very tidy affair.

Overwhelmed EP (Ninja Tune)
Since the good ole days of his equaled "crunchier than a mouthful of glass and gravel" hip-hop, to the past couple of years where it has meant a very skewed take on psychedelic electronica, Daedelus's inventiveness and character has always shone through. This remix package welcomes three soldiers of fortune in the guise of Manchester's Star Slinger, London's Raffertie and New York's Sepalcure for a confection of bass-laden treats.

Fire Everyday feat Dub FX (Illskillz)
Drum and bass stalwarts DKay and Rawfull, aka Illskillz, offer up a triplet of dubstep tunes before their new album drops this summer, just to prove they can mix it up with the best of 'em. 'Gold Streams' and 'Memorizer' are both piss-weak efforts, leaving 'Fire Everyday' to mop up the effluence, luckily avoiding the emo-stained melodies for balls out beats and a bassline that punches the wind from your chest.

Mermaid (Local Action)
The sixth release on the Local Action label sees Mancunian new boy Damu get his first pair of long trousers with a snug four-track EP featuring three originals and one zeitgeist-channeling Juke remix from the legends of Baltimore, Rashad and Earl. But before we get too erect, let's saunter back to the rather heady 'Mermaid', which sounds like classic broken beat with a dose of nitrous-boosted euphoria, a very pleasant conclusion to an evening's waltzing.

Saint Rider
D.A.T. (Section 8)
As always, a number of these records start off in a promising manner and 'D.A.T.' is no exception; washy synth lines, a few stabby piano-esque bits and a smattering of nifty claps build up to a frankly slag-infested drop. I have no doubt this goes off in the "rave" and sweaty teenagers from across the world are losing their small, underdeveloped minds to it, but it just pummeled me into a spiraling abyss of despair because of its obvious lack of originality.

You Take Me There (Passenger)
If you were a joyriding, feckless little teenage shite tearing around council estates in less salubrious parts of Berkshire 19 years ago, then you'll probably also remember when massive gurn-inducing piano riffs dominated the (pirate) airwaves, and rave flyers promised never-ending psychedelic blow-jobs in a smiley-faced hinterland. Yes, Aquasky capture 1992 with aplomb, only for Cutline to take it by the greasy ponytail and slap its slack-jawed chops with a dubstep back-hander. Irritatingly infectious.

Lots Of Calls From No One Part 2 (Deep Medi)
Flying well under the radar for some time now, the reclusive Finnish duo have popped one or two bits out over the past few years, but are far from prolific. Thankfully this can be forgiven, as they have clearly shut themselves away in a dusty, vinyl-filled basement wigging out to Dilla and Davis whilst imbibing chronic quantities of cheeba cheeba. Please buy this two-tracker as it will take you to delicately fuzzy and moodily whimsical places.


Waterfoul (Echodub)
A syrupy four-track EP from the Italian producer who explores blessed out dub with syncopated techno aesthetics.

Gerry Read
Untitled (Fourth Wave)
A bright talent, this Home Counties lad is a prolific producer and is banging out raw, unadulterated house music with a hollow tip edge. Keep an eye on this one.

Colourblind (Transducer Records)
Did someone put the wheels back on my tricycle wonky? That's exactly what Actress does to 'Colourblind', expect spasmodic electronica with high levels of umami.

2 Bit Thugs
Keep The Faith EP (Corrupt Music)
Terrible name, but boy do they make brilliantly nostalgic (2-step) garage/house music to shake your fillings out. Pop this on, get loaded and have a good time.