Monday, 19 September 2011

DJ Magazine reviews issue 501 - Sept 2011

My September 2011 reviews for DJ Magazine.

King Midas Sound
Earth A Kills Ya - Mala Remix (Hyperdub)

This has a Kuedo remix of of KMS's 'Goodbye Girl' on the A-side, which is nice, but essentially unremarkable. Toss it over and you'll find a much richer province. Mala, one half of the legendary Digital Mystikz and owner of Deep Medi, opens up the guts of the tune and yanks out the meaty organs leaving the essentials for life: heavy dread vibes dialled down further into a steppah's funeral march.

Haymaker (Chestplate)

Bowling in from the Midlands comes a new face with a heritage sound. It's no wonder Distance picked this up for his label, these three tracks could easily be a shared 12-inch from himself and Cyrus. As Youngsta, Tunnidge and Jack Sparrow are all supporting this, you'll get the sound architecture right away: icy, overcast and mordant angles that only really strike a chord when your head's fuzzy with weed and buried in the scoops.

Swarm/Shift/Sequence/Spawn (Ramp)

Yes, that is the title and confusingly not the title of the four tracks on this EP. So, with that cleared up, let's pop the surgical gloves on and get up to our elbows in this new offering by Mr Teeth from Helsinki. If you stitched the tracks together they would make a nice little quartet, as 'Frequencies' and 'OJ' build layers of drums, 'SW' flips the light switch with rays of blinding synth work and '19eme' is all washy emo mulch.

Admiral Bailey
Jump Up (Terror Danjah Remix) (Greensleeves)

The last few remixes of the Greensleeves catalogue have been OK, but not overly scintillating. Here a dancehall legend gets treatment from the grime overlord to great effect. A profusion of beat patterns fly abound un-tethered and often at odds in true dancehall style: a Mala-esque bassline, replaced by a pastiche hardcore Amen, betwixt a funky poke for a truly bashment experience. Shame the dub doesn't go to town on the effects, but otherwise pretty damn ire.

Pyramid/Chip (3024)

As if it is a dirty, hellish peculiarity, the 3024 label announce their first split 12-inch. Wait! Has the world ended? The harpies flown from the cracks of Dante's Inferno? Nope. Good, carry on. Gracing us on the A is that pesky duo Instra:mental who have clearly missed each other on their solo pursuits as Boddika and Jon Convex and now nuzzle, reunited, to produce this electroid, clemently acidic arpeggio beasty. Some chap called Trevino pops in further electro nostalgia on the flip.

Yogi feat Ayah Marar
Follow U (Ministry Of Sound)

Oooooh, big vocal dubstep. What a fuckin' anthem. And you know it's really good when the label gets five remixes made. Trolley Snatcha doesn't hold back on the stadium-esque vibes, as emo as a gaggle of lanky bi-polar goths. Xilent clearly got the same brief as Mr Snatcha: nice, sensible radio-friendly dubstep. But before I fetch the rope, Submerse and Mike Delinquent chip in something remotely interesting … but not quite.

Pritch & Trim
Stereotype (Planet Mu)

I nearly wet myself when I saw this pairing of beatsmith extraordinaire Mark Pritchard and probably East London's finest MC, Trim. And whilst the quality of delivery from both is unquestionable, I find myself a little disappointed when listening to it. 'Stereotype' sounds too flippant and 'Kiss My Arse' a little vulgar. These two are both at their best when they're working in darker corners of their subconscious.

Visions (Deep Medi)

Never one to get swept up in the trends or pressures of modern day dubstep, Cyrus stoically continues to plough his own field in straight, symmetrical and tidy lines churning out uncompromising music. On 'Visions' the magic is in the subtle detail, counterpoint percussion intertwines with the subtlest of smokey whispers and an insistently pulsing bassline. Minimal dubstep doesn't sound much purer than this. 'The Calling' is slightly more pedestrian, but still offers plenty for those who like to listen a bit deeper.

Ridin EP (Keysound)

I like the fact that Damu fills his music with so much colour. Every track on the EP explodes with its own rainbow personality.

Akira Kiteshi
Transmission (Afterglo)

The last thing I heard from AK was very blunt wonky dubstep. Now it sounds like they have discovered girls and started making cool, mildly syncopated, melodic-type stuff you can actually dance to… to get in their pants, I expect.

Jack Stat
Acid Step (Lucky Break)

This grotty little rodent of muted dubstep aggression gets chased around the house by Afghan Headspin, who tries to bash it with a two-foot dildo - the remix violated it, and me!

Sarah Williams White
Hide The Cracks (Minds On Fire)

This has the classic hallmarks of a bored producer knocking out a 'dubstep' remix for some non-descript vocal track. Very average.