Here at AC we present to you our top picks for a busy first month in 2016, with the best of digital and vinyl releases in dubstep, grime, 2-step and much more.
A big thanks goes to the record labels and artists featured here, for bringing the heat each and every time!
JT The Goon & Dullah Beatz – The Midnight EP – Edgem Records (EDGEMR003) [LDN057 & OILGANG012]
Edgem saw their first outing of the New Year released on the stroke of midnight, bringing in 2016 with label-runners JT The Goon and Dullah Beatz at the forefront. The EP is a merging of the pair’s own unique styles and their superb take on grime-infused dubstep, fit for the dance and most especially for MCs to rhyme over.
JT The Goon and Dullah Beatz clearly have been getting busy already this year, notching up solo releases with Keysound Recordings pressing JT’s Oil On Ice EP, and Oil Gang debuting their very own sound engineer Dullah Beatz with his Ballys On EP.
DyAD ft. LifeSines / DyAD / Basscatz & Balkansky – Scarlette EP – Platform Music (PTF018)
Bulgarian outfit Platform Music introduce DyAD and Lifesines by adding to their already impressive label roster, boasting the likes of L 33, Commit and Kantyze in their short span as a Platform for up-and-coming producers. After putting Reading on the 140 map on the back of M.U.D and Abyssal Audio releases, the duos of DyAD & Lifesines link up again to follow up their freebie single Triventure with more tearing reeses and legions of low-end goodness.
Spacedrome – No Way – O’clock Records (OCR010)
The production quartet from Rome make their debut on a customarily techno-based O’clock Records, accompanied by two remixes of the title track from Bangalore and Shanti. A melodically sung, “Exploring uncharted territory with completely open eyes” whirs around the elegant backdrop of No Way, whereas Samana veers into the club regions by use of its relentless sub pressure and dizzying low frequencies.
Pinch – Screamer ft. Riko Dan / No Justice – Tectonic Recordings (TEC090)
Following up on two full-length releases by Ipman and Acre, Pinch begins his label’s 2016 in an exceptionally potent demeanor. After the success of last year’s team up with Riko Dan on Big Slug alongside Mumdance, this time Tectonic‘s head honcho demonstrates a stripped-back techno-meets-2-step arrangement on Screamer for the London City Warlord to execute in his uncontestable Patois fashion.
ARtroniks – Run Dem – Surfase Records (SURF029)
Minzo – Unknown Forces / Unknown Forces (ARtroniks Remix) – DUPLOC (DUPLOC009)
Sub.FM mainstay and Belgian bassboy Arne de Meyer has been pushing his sound in the dubstep realms for more than a hot minute, clocking up EPs for Phantom Hertz, MindStep Music and more recently Biscuit Factory Records. RDG‘s Surfase is already home to Cessman, Digid and Spacedrome, as ARtroniks rolls out two fierce bottom-heavy originals whilst Encrypted Audio‘s Mershak takes up remix duties for the title track.
Make sure to also check out Minzo‘s Unknown Forces single which saw a release on DUPLOC in the same week as Run Dem, featuring ARtroniks on the flipside with the rudest of remixes.
Kloudmen – Abduction / Coral / Divad Nitram / Shattering – Encrypted Audio (ENC013)
Being championed in dubstep don Hatcha‘s DJ sets to then signing music to his own Hatched imprint, Kloudmen have been making serious moves with their music from day dot. The Swedes are also part of the Encrypted Audio family, an international team of producers whose fast grasp on the scene esteemed followers all over in recognising the talents of those such as Eva808 and DMVU. Kloudmen are very much included in that band, initially being discovered by Content and Deafblind they’re now collaborating with heavyweights such as Teknian and must surely be carving up music for the label’s vinyl-only series. As such, Kloudmen’s second Encrypted EP casts a strong balance between a minimal approach to the heavier influence of their sound, as is their fine appeal, almost as if 16bit and Cyrus joined forces.
D Double E – Like This (prod. Killjoy) – Formula Records / Bluku Music (FRMD005)
Originally a VIP production of Killjoy‘s Turnt Ones which first featured on Formula‘s F=BASSA, lieutenant D Double caught wind and thought, “I like this”. It therefore comes as no surprise that the Newham General fully merks the beat on hand, debuting the track at Rinse’s Boxing Day bash and chalking up another anthem after his sell-out Street Fighter Riddim VIP re-release on vinyl in December.
Sleeper – Burn Finger EP – Crucial Recordings (CRUCIAL004)
Chockablock of gritty bass tones, lo-fi atmosphere and dubbed-out grooves, Sleeper returns to his very own imprint for a third time following Foamplate‘s 7.5 release. The Coventry beatmaker’s Crucial dub tip has resulted in now four colossal EPs in ten months, to go with a solid production sample pack and three free tracks as well as his podcast series – Sleeper is certainly not sleeping.
Duckem / Duckem – Blanks ft. Monika Emat / Dismay – Audio Theory Records (ATRLTD005)
Having released drum & bass and dubstep records on Audio Theory for a number of years, Bradford’s Duckem is back for the label’s new limited release series. The A-side’s rollicking of percussion and Distance-esque FX merge atop of Monika‘s soothing vocals to deliver a paranoid but brutal piece. Dismay on the other side marks a more cavernous form, in line with its namesake and dripping in dark energies – this one’s for the heads-down crew.
K-Lone – Crunch / Rude / Cellar Door – Badimup Records (BP006)
Known previously under the Baitface guise, Maribor re-establishes Badimup Records after a two year stop-gap with the Chord Marauder K-Lone. Venturing into dark 2-step territory on Crunch, Rude’s rugged and bouncy grime aesthetic leads into B-side Cellar Door as the most disciplined of the three, yet still composed with more than enough swagger to rumble any dance. K-Lone shows off his versatility expertly with each track, the reasoning behind this being the chosen ‘comeback’ release one would believe.
Jodo Kast – Zillah’s Groove / Luna Rossa – Roska Kicks & Snares (MR054)
The man of many a record label as well as aliases, Guttershake, Sound Control.. or J:Kenzo as we know him best, has mustered up a new moniker for his garage/house leanings; Jodo Kast. Following up on last year’s Start the Chase EP on Roska‘s Kicks & Snares label, Kenzo picks up where he left off as Zillah’s Groove treats us to a bubbling stepper which teases 90’s rave synths neatly topped with razor sharp percussive rhythms. Whereas Luna Rossa stands as Jodo Kast’s most “club friendly” effort yet, a skippy and infectious garage house jam that is ready-made for the rave. Who would’ve guessed that J:Kenzo had this side to him!
Perverse – IO / Aye Aye – Infernal Sounds (IFS001)
The New Zealand heavyweights mark up their first 140 release since 2014’s Champion Dub to duly crown Infernal Sounds‘ debut release. Drew & co. at Infernal Sounds have been busy preparing for their launch of the label after building the brand through the prominence of their YouTube channel, so what a way to kick things off. Brett and Alex have laid down two weighty dubstep grooves to accompany the digital-only drum & bass gem that is Rustic, altogether providing a strong statement of intent from Infernal and hopefully signalling that there’s more to come soon from Perverse too.
Digid – Revolution Sound / Dub Mix – Lion Charge Records (LIONCHG7002)
Coming correct again after the Ganja Leaf single in 2015, Digid is welcomed back to Lion Charge with the label’s 2nd release on its 7″ plate series. The Belgian dub master has appeared on a myriad of labels since first making waves on Warriorz Records, going on to sign music for Sukh Knight‘s New World Audio, Crises‘ MindStep and RDG‘s Surfase to note just a few. Dubbed out vibes are aplenty with a chorus of horns, off-beat guitar strums and warm sub frequencies which all encompass Digid’s own recognised sound – uplifting dub & reggae meets contemporary bass music.
Biome – Griddled / Squelch / Bush – Kaizen (KZN001)
Another UK bass record label debut forms its first release after much anticipation as Manchester’s former 1Xtra presenter & deejay Madam X and the prodigious Biome team up for the curation of Kaizen. A vinyl-only outfit with music forthcoming from Silas & Snare and Walton, Madam X is making serious moves as one of dubstep’s finest producers takes a distinct direction into lower technoid tempos. Biome applies those clinical styles of which many by now are so fond of and familiar with, recognised in that restrained but almost scientific edge which is ever-present throughout the entirity of this release. A handsome beginning to a very promising new label.
Originally written for Albion Collective.