It is bloody freezing in London. Morning commutes have become the stuff of nightmares and don’t even get us started on the pain of queueing to get into clubs and bars at the moment. But it’s not all doom and gloom. While most people are winding down towards the end of the year, December has seen the release of some serious quality music. We’ll have our top 20 of 2014 podcast for you in the next week or so, but until then, warm yourselves on these awesome bits of bass from the world of dubstep and beyond.
Atomic Drop – Laundry Tim
We kick things off with a forward-thinking slab of future garage from the Brighton-based duo of James Anthony and Ken Barrett, better known as Atomic Drop. This is a deep, dark journey into the genre, opening with haunting bells before a a crisp 2-step beat kicks in and the pads are put to work. It feels very gothic, with stretched vocals echoing and reverberating around what might be a huge, derelict church. The bass is on point and while the vibe may be shadowy, it offers comfort in the precision with which the music has been composed. Top effort.
Noclu & CoMa – Smile
Noclu and CoMa are back again with another beautifully twisted collab that captures the transcendental mystery so often projected by CoMa’s magnificently unconventional vocals. There’s a dash of playful irony in the vocals, too. “I have a smile, stretched from ear to ear, but all the while, this feeling’s insincere.” CoMa’s “sincerity”, if you like, is felt most strongly through her music, rather than her public image. Her work so often encapsulates feelings of introspection and introversion, taking listeners to new and unexpected places where nothing is ever quite as it seems. There is so much mystery around the CoMa persona. The track itself is called “Smile”, perhaps a nod to the repressed emotions this kind of music invites us to explore. But before we get carried away, let’s not forget the top-level production work of Noclu, once again. These two have done some fine work together this year. Hoping for more in 2015.
Culprate – In The End
Culprate waited to right at the end of the year to release Deliverance, a monster LP that came about after a crowdfunding drive on Indiegogo. Deliverance is easily a late-contender for album of the year and we just hope that the late release doesn’t mean it will get overlooked. Culprate comes at it full swing, with all the dirty, choppy breaks and stomach-churning bass we’ve come to expect from his previous work. In The End is one of the standout tunes on the album for us, meandering through eerily distorted piano sections and raw-as-fuck drums before veering off in an entirely new direction, leaving your head positively spinning. It’s pure Culprate through and through.
Imagined Herbal Flows – Clouds
One of the standout discoveries for us this year has been Imagined Herbal Flows, so when we heard he was dropping a new EP in December, we got right on it. A couple the tracks, Autumn Leaves and Breeze, we picked up earlier in the year. Both of those appear on the EP along with four other beautifully crafted pieces of ambient, dreamy music that will make you long for spring. Clouds is a fantastic tune and we can’t wait for more from this guy next year.
Joker – Midnight
We probably don’t need to say too much about this one. Joker is back. His new album, The Mainframe, drops in February, but until then, we have the new single, Midnight, to enjoy. It is a return to form for one of our favourite producers of all time. Get on it.