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.
Listen: Three phat tunes from the new Dub FX album
Hold onto your butts ‘cos we’re about to get HUGE. The new Dub FX album has just dropped and it’s a barnstormer.
Melbourne born Dub FX has been an underground fan base that spans the four corners of the club. A pioneer of live looping, Dub FX fuses beat boxing, soulful vocals and lush basslines to create a raw, edgy sound that warms the cockles. Thinking Clear is Dub FX’s third album and we’ve been giving it a good listen. You need to get on it!
To whet your appetite and get you in the mood, hear are three tunes from the LP for your listening pleasure. Real party vibes pieces of music. Enjoy!
The album is brought to you by CONVOY UNLIMTED and Membran.
ROAD TO BABYON
WHERE I BELONG
Intelligent fusion: Mantis rain fire with new EP
It’s a tricky path producers of metal-influenced EDM walk. How do you keep the production values high without sounding cheesy? Thankfully that’s not a problem Mantis have to worry about because their new EP is raw as f-ck. In the span of just five tracks, the two lads from Atlanta explore the rugged side of drum n bass, dubstep and metal. The Avidity EP is a clear attempt at breaking the mould — and it pays off. We wanted to find out more so we went straight to the source to ask the lads a few questions.
The new tunes are doing damage. What made you want to put out an EP that explored so many genres?
Well to be honest, we were tired of just writing an EP that was just an assortment of songs. We wanted to do something with more substance, so we opted for the mini album structure where all the tracks flow continuously as one piece of music. Want to send a big thanks out to Crime Kitchen for letting us do our thing on this record and not nitpicking the songs!
How big a milestone is this new EP for you?
We definitely feel it is our most mature work to date, it’s got something for everyone on it. So, that being said we are very proud of it. The reception thus far has been really good!
You’ve got a show coming up in London soon (April 16). What can people expect from that?
Man, so fucking excited for that one. When we first started out, we would always see the ERGH lineups and drool. Now we get to go and headline it, it’s very surreal. People can expect a no holds barred audio assault though, per usual.
What do you say to people who say dubstep is dead?
Starting as they mean to go on: CLOAKS – Wraith
Label spiel: After remaining in the shadows for quite some time, the bass rooted duo CLOAKS is ready to enter the light as they make their debut with the heavy single “Wraith”; out now on Pantheon. in what will be the first of many, the ominous pair of Joey Fisher and Chris Curran make strong first impressions with the moniker as “Wraith” provides an old-school dubstep feel with cutting edge contemporary approaches; providing a trailblaze of a pathway to a new mantra of bass music. And with plenty in their arsenal moving forward, these two are ready for the world to be enraptured in their sound.
Our take: This tune is sweet little surprise. What we love about this one is the fusion of styles, with this kind of dreamy, trancey intro, somewhat Eric Prydz-esque, that builds up to a gargantuan, unforgiving drop. It gets a little happy clappy in the mid-section but then they pull it back with the second drop. It’s that bass and those wicked synths we wanna hear more of in future offerings. Nice job!
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