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COMPILATION OF THE MONTH
Modeselektor pres Modeselektion Vol 2 (Monkeytown)
Its got to the point where we’re so bombarded with tunes that it’s refreshing to return to the humble format that is the unmixed compilation. We love sifting through Soundcloud accounts and searching through mixtapes, but we also really dig it when comps like ‘Modeselektion Vol 2’ arrive loaded with quality cuts for us to devour. The Modeselektor boys have really surpassed themselves here, putting together 16 tracks that bend the rules of bass music – lively snares, two-step rhythms, oodles of low end, fat drops, warped sonic ideas – into unpredictable shapes. Slightly dark and just a little experimental, this is quality, innovative, of-the-moment dance music.
TUNE OF THE MONTH
90 Years (Local Action)
’90 Years’ sounds like ten rounds with a burly bareknuckle boxer tanked on Stella and speed. Be warned: you’re going to take a battering. It’s from Slackk’s ‘Raw Missions’ EP, a record that totally warps eski-style grime. Led by a rubber-thick bassline and cold-hearted drum shots, it’s evil and muscular but agile too, making for a tough groove that’ll knock your lights out. But Slackk’s also got a sensitive side, and the other tracks here are flights of astronomical fancy, star-gazing synths making magic across sharp 140bpm beats. Brilliant.
Lambrini/Forget U/Hard Drive (Unkown To The Unknown)
There’s a real taste for old-skool flavours in the air at the moment, and this bangin’ EP from Doncaster duo Mista Men hits the spot perfectly. Treading between uptempo house and speed garage, these three tracks summon the spirit of ’95 and come complete with uplifting chords, cavernous basslines and wonderfully bright percussion. Proper heavy and very fun, this is ammo that’ll detonate in the dance. Spot on!
Astro Girl/Back To Phalon/Dolphs Vision (Immerse)
We’re suckers for some lush bass-heavy house. Last month it was Leon Vynehall, this time round it’s Bristol duo Outboxx doing the business. These tracks deliver a supreme feeling of wellbeing and are the perfect sound-track to high times with good friends. You’ll find sun-dappled keys, hazy wafts of synth and luxurious subs all wrapped up in a vintage, brushed metal vibe. Instant gratification guaranteed.
Tempted (F+ck) Tonto/ Softly Softly (Ten Thousand Yen)
Mickey Pearce is the bastard child of the UK dancefloor in 2012, the personification of the point where techno, old-skool electro and funky start to bubble and spit at one another. Here are two demented drum tracks full of clicks, bumps and buzz that are designed to make your body twitch. A whirlwind of clattering rhythms spin around a killer 808 stomp on what might just be the most untamed 12” of the year so far.
Mustard Parasol/Decaying World/Flat Rate/Three Days Of Entropy (Wavey Tones)
The second release from promising London label Wavey Tones is by DMX Krew (real name Ed Upton), a producer with a consistently off-kilter touch. This one contains acidy electro jams that could easily soundtrack a vintage sci-fi video game or a trip on a giggly psychedelic like 2C-I. Part colourful, uplifting experience, part exploration of itchy paranoia, this is perfect for those times when you fancy something weird but dancey.
Can’t Take This No More feat Daddy Freddy (Acid Ragga)
The new project from The Bug is pretty nuts. He’s gone and started a sub label called Acid Ragga that’s dedicated to smashing out digital reggae made on a Roland TB-303 and a TR-808. He’ll be releasing these frenetic joints throughout the foreseeable future, and the first one sounds like a gloopy, bastardised version of the ‘Sleng Teng’ riddim with Daddy Freddy delivering a ferocious vocal on top. This a no-nonsense take on dancehall that’ll send sound-
systems into meltdown. Keep an eye on Acid Ragga!
You probably know him from Julio Bashmore’s retro ‘Father Father’, but there’s much more to Javeon McCarthy than retro house. This, produced by Two Inch Punch, harks back to late 90s/early 2000s r’n’b: think ‘Bills Bills Bills’ or ‘Cry Me A River’ rhythms given a trippy post-dubstep makeover, with Javeon’s bittersweet voice
on top. It’s sultry, sexy and pretty superb.
Desire/Spooky/The Bumps (DPR)
It’s a happy day indeed when Lewis ‘El-B’ Beadle returns to the deadly garage riddims that made his name and inspired the early dubstep movement. These three are up there with his Ghost classics: ‘Desire’, with its gutsy female vocal, ‘Spooky’ with signature “I’m a ghost!” sample, and ‘The Bumps’... well... bumping like nobody else can. Pure joy.
Daedelus/Om’Mas Keith/Om Unit
LA Refixes (All City)
The man like Om Unit is unstoppable right now (look out for his ‘Edits’ 10” too), and here he turns his skills to two of the founders of the West Coast beat scene. Daedelus’s ‘Vous Êtes Stéréo’ becomes a loping, film noir synth jam, while ‘Girl Is A Player’, by Sa-Ra Creative Partners’ Om’Mas Keith, brings an industrial edge to bear and shows just how sinister autotune r’n’b can get.
3rd World/Hit It From The Back (Blank Mind)
Before the intricate footworking sound of Chicago came the pounding sound of ghetto house, and here are two crisp examples. Maybe too crisp, in fact:
while glossy production suits the intricacy of footwork, this kind of rugged 4x4 funk is better suited to the raw production you’d hear on Clent’s 1998 Dance Mania release. Still, it’s all good, dirty fun.