Dubstep 2010 : the Update

Posted in Review on September 28, 2010 by joeki2000

So 2010 is again nearing its closing stages. With only the fall and winter releases left, I figured it was time for another update on the essential releases of 2010 so far.
I’m only going to focus (briefly) on some of the big plates out there. There is a lot more music that needs to be discussed but I’ll recap that in two or three months time elaborately in the end of year feature. So here we go for now focusing on the bare essential (in alphabetical order!)

Addison Groove ( aka Headhunter ) released an essential plate on the new big label Swamp 81 (run by Loefah). His juke (a chicago-based 160 bpm electronic music genre) inspired dubstep on the Footcrab / Dumbshit 12 inch conquered many hearts. It’s not hard or dark, but extremely danceable and is a welcome breeze within the dubstep sound.

Burial also has a new essential track out. It was created some time ago though. I’m talking about the Commix – Be Tru (Burial remix) of course.  It appears on cd format on the Re:call to mind CD (along with remixes from D-Bridge, Instra:Mental, Pangaea and many more). The single sided plate is available separately on twelve-inch though. One of Burial’s most ambient works to date.

No list is complete without mention of Digital Mystikz of course. Mala provided the first double LP (with another announced featuring Coki later this year). All six tracks are solid old school atmospheric dubstep with a fat sub underneath. Indeed Return II Space is essential material. My personal favourite on this one is Living Different with its melancholic touches and intricate sub bass rhythms.

For the dark half-step lovers, there was plenty of action on Distance ‘s Chestplate label. It featured some of his excellent own productions ( Beyond and No Warning stand out). But Tunnidge was also added to the roster and his twelve ( 7 breaths / fear ) is as good as half-step dubstep is ever going to get.

Icicle is a new player on the 140 bpm thing. He has made a flawless transition to this new genre though. His twelve on the Shogun Audio label ( Xylophobia / Minimal Dub )was no small feat. But he delivered his best performance on the Tempa Allstars Volume 6 compilation with Anything being the standout track on there.

For the melodic / Deep heads, there was much rejoicing as well. Late ‘s new two-part EP called The Phantom Papers brought out the best in ambient and UK Garage influences and merges those with the heavy subs of dubstep.

Pinch proved he still runs things (his Tectonic label also saw a slew of good releases) with the eagerly awaited release of The Boxer. The flip side contains a very tasty Darqwan remix as well.

Experimental heads will find a lot of comfort in Stringray313 ‘s debut release for Irish label [Naked Lunch]. Originally a house/techno oriented producer, these influences shine through in the Sphere of Influence / Sentiment plate. But there’s also beautiful ambient melodies and drum & bass rhythm’s present. Varied release indeed.

A new label in town is Boxclever. Its debut release featured the return of Synkro Reservoir is a very dark track that hits several levels, while the flip side ( Just Say ) features more traditional garage infested dub in true synkro style.

I will review some of the full-albums in the near future!


Dubstep Recommendations : 2010 : Part I

Posted in General News on June 1, 2010 by joeki2000

Well, we’ve reached June and as I’m extremely busy in June, I will break down the first half of 2010 in dubstep for you with some excellent recommendations for you just a little bit early.

To put it simply, anything on this list should be in your discography after you’ve read this post!
Here we go, in alphabetical order (and I’ve also added a top 10 at the bottom!)

The best of dubstep (and related) of 2010, Part I :

  • Addison Groove – Footcrab / Dumbshit ( swamp 81 )
  • Benga – Phaze One ( tempa )
  • Breakage – Foundation ( digital soundboy )
  • Clubroot – II : MMX (double CD edition)  ( lo-dubs )
  • Dark Sky – Something to Lose / Ghost Notes ( black acre )
  • Dead Fader – Corrupt My Examiner ( 3 by 3 )
  • Distance – Menace / Beyond ( chestplate )
  • DJG – Avoid the Noid / Duality ( pushing red )
  • DJ Madd – Flex’d (ikonika rmx) / Detroit Skank ( boka recordings )
  • Egyptrixx – The Only Way Up EP ( night slugs )
  • El-B – The Dirty EP ( night audio )
  • F – Energy Distortion (7even )
  • Guido – Anidea ( punch drunk )
  • Headhunter & Djunya – El Presidente ( surefire sounds )
  • Instra:Mental – Let’s Talk / Vicodin ( naked lunch )
  • iTAL tEK – Spectrum Falls / Giga ( atom river )
  • Jack Sparrow – Terminal / Torment ( tectonic )
  • Jakes & Giant – Scanners / Drumstick VIP ( h.e.n.c.h. )
  • Jakes & Mensah – Rhythm / Pulse 80’ies ( h.e.n.c.h. )
  • Joker – Tron ( Kapsize )
  • Kavsrave – Quotes EP ( numbers )
  • Kryptic Minds & Youngsta – Cold Blooded / Surge ( osiris music )
  • Kuedo – Dream Sequence EP ( Planet Mu )
  • Scuba – You Got Me / So You Think You’re Special ( hotflush )
  • Sepalcure – Love Pressure EP ( hotflush )
  • Swarms – Swarms EP ( subdepth )
  • T++ – Wireless EP ( honest jons )
  • Truth – Burglar / Dead Silence ( aquatic labs )
  • VA – Deep Medi Music Volume I & II ( deep medi musik )
  • Vex’d – Cloud Seed ( planet mu )
  • Von D & DJ Madd – U / It’s Over ( boka recordings )
  • XI – Atomspheric Pressure EP ( surface tension )

Artist wise, we see Jakes,  DJ Madd and Jamie Vex’d make two appearances so they’ve had a good and consistent year so far. Headhunter has been probably the best name so far (he’s also the man behind Addison Groove). He’s also got some mad tunes forthcoming on Orca, Pushing Red etc.  .
I’ve made a very varied list :

  • There’s obviously going to be dance floor bangers ( Jakes, Joker, Benga, Breakage…).
  • There’s also room for the dark skankers ( Distance, Truth, Kryptic Minds, Jack Sparrow…).
  • The deeper department is also represented (DJ Madd, Swarms, Clubroot, iTal tEK, DJG…).
  • Can’t forget about the funky styles… (Dark Sky, Egyptrixx, Kuedo, Guido…)
  • Techno/dub cross-over I adore too (Scuba, T++, F…)
  • Got to have some old skool too ( El-B,  Deep Medi Musik…)
  • And of course experimental as well (Addison Groove, Dead Fader, Sepalcure, Instra:M…)

If I was to make a provisional top 10, then this would be it

  1. Clubroot –  II : MMX
  2. VA – Deep Medi Musik Volume I & II
  3. DJG – Avoid the Noid / Duality
  4. XI – Atomspheric Pressure
  5. iTAL tEK – Spectrum Falls / Giga
  6. Distance – Menace / Beyond
  7. T++ – Wireless EP
  8. Jakes & Giant – Scanners / Drumstick VIP
  9. Von D & DJ Madd – U / It’s Over
  10. Vex’d – Cloud Seed

That was it, hope this was usefull to you, get those 10 releases at least, you won’t be dissapointed!
(Note that the Clubroot II :  MMX double Cd edition is sold out so good luck with that!)

New Mix : The Anthem Drops

Posted in General News on May 19, 2010 by joeki2000

Hi everyone,
I’ve uploaded a new mix of mine. It’s a very commercial project this time with basicly only anthems in the mix. It’s only around 30 mins. and deffo worth your attention if you are into party dubstep. You can check it out and download or listen here.
For a full tracklisting, go the soundcloud page (by clicking on the mix name) and download the artwork, or view the mix information on soundcloud. Any feedback welcomed.

The Anthem Drops @ Soundcloud (click on this to download artwork or view full tracklist)


Untitled! May Edition Review

Posted in Review on May 11, 2010 by joeki2000

The 2nd edition of the Untitled! dubstep one-nighter took place yet again last weekend. It seems each time the line-up is getting more impressive. Ticket prices have rise each time the line-ups get bigger, but for 15€ you get a night’s worth of the biggest UK names, a good venue and solid organisation. For me this remains the main dubstep event in Belgium.

We arrived at the venue later than expected. Police had the neighbourhood on lockdown and I was stopped twice for substance check. Fortunately, I’m a responsible driver . The place seemed less packed than last time around which was actually a good thing. A full house but there was still some skanking space available.
I arrived in the main hall just as Starkey (US) was laying down his first beats. His set was everything I had expected : very varied with a lot of attention to funky and hiphop inspired dub.  Him rinsing out his own big tunes (Rain City, Stars & Fidelio amongst others) was of course a big plus. All in all, a good set to start off the evening : not too aggressive and enough attention to proper mixing. It has to be said Starkey is also quite the podium presence : very energetic to say the least.

One of dubstep’s godfathers, Kromestar, was up next. I was really looking forward to seeing him at work for the first time. The man who gave us dubstep classics such as Coca-Cola, Kalawanji and many more, constituted a complete change in style from the previous DJ. Slow, heavy and murky tunes made up the first part of the set. The first skanking highlights were set. The second half of the set upped the tempo and aggression level a bit.  Indeed, the build-up and tune selection was quite ok. But the man clearly had a few too many drinks.  Perhaps I overlooked some technical difficulties, but in my opinion the mixing was quite poor at some times. Also, not playing earlier mentioned classics was a bit of a let down. The pace and tone for the rest of the night was set though.

Bristol’s main purple man Joker was probably the biggest name of the bill this time around.  He also lived up to the expectations. The typical Bristol style was present throughout the set, with a few London sound escapades (tunes by skream amongst others). The place went off during Tron and Purple City. Joker was also on the game with mixing, double dropping bombs everywhere. Great experience and a flawless performance. I’ve also rarely seen the crowd this active at events (probably the best atmosphere since the party moved venue to this bigger place).

It’s almost unbelievable, but N-Type upped the levels even still. It was big anthem time and the mixing was at hyper  speed whilst still almost flawless. I had trouble breathing at times because one big tune followed up the next at an unbelievable pace. N-Type is clearly one of the best DJ’s out there (evidenced by his mixing of Dubstep Allstars Y and Rinse 9).  Anthems released this year (Gravity, Seerious VIP, Sweet Shop VIP etc.) were followed by mad dubplates. One of the best performances I’ve seen in the past years (along with Skream and Mala to name a few).  For me N-Type was the highlight of the night. Kromestar didn’t seem to bother as he wandered around the stage drunk out of his mind occasionally mumbling something through the mike. He can be forgiven because he is a badman after all.

Trolley Snatcha was the big surprise for me. I had expected a filthy chainsaw dub set. Sure, some of that was present, but again some near flawless mixing and a good selection of other tunes really made up for that. And of course, tunes such as The Future, Cirkle K and We Rock The Forest do bring the crowd alive, which was still very much alive and kicking at 5 am. Pleasantly surprised by this man!

The good line-up, which lived up to expectations, and the good crowd response made this for me one if not the best editions in the new venue. Some flaws have become apparent though : the venue is much too light. Big lighting set-ups are impressive for d&b or other genre’s. But when it comes to dub, a little darkness once in a while doesn’t hurt. But that’s my only remark really to a very good night out.
See you next edition!

Also : here is a compilation movie I made from the night :
It includes tunes performances from Kromestar, N-Type and Joker and has tunes and dubplates from Joker, Doctor P, The Others, Kromestar amongst others, enjoy!

Untitled! Compilation Video by myself!

Dubstep : March Full Album Reviews

Posted in Review on March 23, 2010 by joeki2000

It’s been a busy few months concerning dubstep. Here is a little update to keep you informed on what’s been moving about in bass country.

Full Albums :
A few essential full albums, a format that is  clearly gaining in popularity within the ‘scene’, have been unleashed ‘pon the masses already. Here are the ones you should keep your eyes peeled for :

Breakage – Foundation (digital soundboy)
Breakage is one of the hottest artists in dubstep right now. 2009 was a very constructive year for him with a few album teasers, regular twelve’s and remixes released on various labels including his own Digital Soundboy Recordings. But with this full album he really has come forward and nestled himself at the forefront of the dubstep massive.
A few of the dance floor classics released in 2009 ( Hard feat. David Rodigan & Newham Generals, Higher, Run ‘Em Out feat. Roots Manueva etc.) reappear on this full length. But it doesn’t stop there. Foundation and Olds Skool Ting see Breakage reconnect with his drum & bass roots in an enjoyable fashion.
A few more wonderful collaborations ( Vial feat. Burial, Speechless feat. Donnae’o and Over feat. Zarif) make this a very complete and essential full length. My secret favourite though, is the intro track Open Up which is trademark Breakage stuff and will fit in almost any kind of set. The man has also proved he can handle the pressure of performing live and I thoroughly enjoyed him at Untitled! February edition (browse site for event review).

F – Energy Distortion (7even)
F has been a steady value within the techno/cross-over spectrum of dub for the last two years. But this first full length is surprisingly more uplifting than his previous releases. Indeed some tracks even edge towards ‘funky’. A healthy dose of teched out dubstep remains the main ingredient though.
The main pieces on the album are also the stand-out tracks. Energy Distortion was released earlier as a teaser (with an amazing Untold remix on the flip) and Spacewalker was also available on vinyl earlier this year. Hidden gem on the release is the funked out and spacey Shift which merges the styles of artists like Scuba, SYNKRO and  Hyetal. Another interesting and new take on F‘s sound is the track 0907, arguably the darkest track on the album with heavy hints to artists such as Martyn or 2562. Another essential album if you ask me.

Scuba – Triangulation (hotflush)
Scuba is another artist working in the techno/dubstep cross-over field. He is also a guarantee for quality (see his previous full-length, A Mutual Antipathy, 2008). The heavy and obvious synths and melodies of the previous full-length have gradually made way for a more subtle approach. The beat section is both clinical and complex.
Three Sided Shape
and Glance merge solid beats with subtle melodies ever so effortlessly. Lights Out takes a slower approach but the complexity of the soundscapes is staggering. Minerals is the exact opposite as the rhythm of this track works in a hypnotizing fashion. Finally, there is still room for experimentation on this album, as So You Think You’re Special touches drum & bass ethics with female vocals added to the mix. Not a single weak point on this album and yet again an essential purchase for 2010.

Various Artists – Deep Medi Releases Vol. 1 (deep medi musik)
This is the first collector CD for the deep medi musik label (run by Mala of course).  Volume 2 to follow later this year. For anyone who’s been into dubstep for more than a few years, none of these tunes will be new. Most of them are out of print classics so this is the perfect occasion to finally get your mitts on some dubstep legend. Disoc Rekah, Kalawanji and Changes need to be in everyone’s discography. Long forgotten classics such as Dally and Babylon timewarp by Skream‘s brother Hijak also make an appearance. And finally, Goth-Trad‘s first two releases for the label are also included. I can’t wait for volume two featuring my favourite Deep Medi release : Geddeon/ Face Melt by Tunnidge. Deep.

Vex’d – Cloud Seed (planet mu)
Three or four years in the making but finally it is here : the follow-up to 2005’s Degenerate. It’s better to let this beast of an album just speak for itself. If you aren’t familiar with Vex’d, get on them now. Essential piece of dubstep history. The bass and epic soundscapes will not be for the faint of hearted though. Perhaps this new album though, is just a little bit more accessible than its predicates.
Take Time Out feat. Warrior Queen is a shaky start to the album in my opinion, but after this it’s all goodness.
Slug Trawl Depths brings the intricate and trademark Vex’d onslaught. The soundscapes of Oceans teleport me into far and unknown realms. Out of the Hills is a sober yet perfect blend of all the influences that have shaped this duo’s sound over the years. Dispositions feat. Jest even merges hip-hop successfully  into the mix. There’s also a new version of the classic track Killing Floor to be enjoyed.
Other than the aformentioned highlights, there’s still plenty more : a collab with Anneka ( who herself is quickly rising through the dubstep ranks) for one is a very interesting undertaking.
The album really is a journey into the crushing depths and epic peaks of dubstep’s history. Again, essential purchase.

Out, hope you enjoy it.

Untitled! February Edition Review

Posted in Review on February 21, 2010 by joeki2000

Another edition of Belgium’s finest dubstep one-nighter is again behind us. This time the Untitled! crew had set-up a varied night with a major headliner to top it off : Caspa. Indeed, it was the first time the event had sold out at the doors (or at least the first time I can remember and I’ve been to a lot of them). The stage was set for another raging night of dubstep.

We entered the venue when resident Hijak was setting himself up to play. Last time around, he had treated us to a nice set filled with beats and breaks in true jungle/2 step style. This time he stuck with plain good old-fashioned dubstep. It was a very consistent set : hard and dark with the an anthem or two, three creeping in to make sure the crowd kept their fullest attention. Indeed, crowd appreciation was there and personal favourites of his set included Skream’s – What did he say? and Doctor P’s – Sweet Shop (which was rewinded only once, I will explain below why I mention this now…).  Hijak always plays a very decent supporting set and today was no different. Kept my fullet attention.

Breakage was the man I came to see. His new full length, due next month, is shaping up to be the album of the year. His 2K9 productions and remixes too were some of the best around. In a sentence : Breakage is the man of the moment and untitled’s booking of this guy was just perfect timing. Breakage did pack the big tunes for this event. Sometimes the flow disappeared a little from his set as he experimented with genre’s a bit (which was to be expected from a top-tier DJ, keeping to strictly 140 tunes can get boring). I’m not a big favourite of ‘Riverside’ or some of the other earlier rave songs he selected.
His mix of Nero – Innocence into Giant – Drumstick had to be one of the moments of the night for sure though. He also unleashed plenty of his own dark low to mid level steppers onto the crowd (‘higher’, ‘hard’, ‘together’) and he got some deeper tunes in there as well (‘over’ & ‘someone’ remix were personal favourites).  Great set and great vibe.

Caspa up next then. Not a big fan here, but some of his harder tunes can even get me going. Indeed, some of the dark mid-range squelchers he churned out were well worth it. But overall, the mixing was poor. The amount of rewinds was rediculous and generally there was very little flow in his set. Most of the crowd seemed to love it though, I guess I know who they came to see. Not me though. If I consider all untitled! events I’ve been to, or just big dubstep nights in general, I was perhaps least impressed to date with this performance by such a ‘big’ name. Oh yeah : the triple rewind of ‘Sweet Shop’ (vip?) almost made me go home in frustration.

Fortunately, Tes La Rok more than made up for these flaws. This was a dubstep set right up my alley. I was afraid Tes would play too much Jamaican-influenced dub but I was very wrong. A straight-forward, hood-on-head skank fest unfolded before me. And without a single re-wind. Great flow, great tune selection, great set. I was truly impressed by him (or maybe it was because Caspa was dissapointing?)

Brussels main crew, The Grimelock, finished off the evening for me. Great stage presence, some good tunes were rinsed and the lads were genuinely having fun on stage. Grimelock crew, much like Hijak, is always good decent dubstep.

After that we, the HD-Alliance (check us out on facebook haha) called it a night. A bit disappointed with Caspa to be honest, but I really enjoyed Tes La Rok’s set (burned a lot of calories during this one hehe) and Breakage had some amazing tunes. I will be seeing him again in April along with Mala (yes!), N-Type, and Kryptic Minds (double yes!). Oh, the next line-up looks daunting again : Joker, Kromestar, Trolley Snatcha just to name a few.

Out! Recorded video’s on my youtube account as usual


My Dubstep Remixes : Revisited

Posted in General News on February 2, 2010 by joeki2000

I just wanted to take the time to gather all my recordings into one post with all info included.
So here goes .

August 2009 Mix :

01 : Guido feat. Aarya – Beautiful Complication (dubplate version)
02 : Skream – Trapped in a Dark Bubble (tectonic)
03 : Distance & Cyrus – Surrender (chestplate)
04 : Mala – Lean Forward (dmz)
05 : Sukh Knight – Cop Killer (nasha)
06 : Saviour – Scaffold (stainage dub)
07 : Rusko – Sound Guy is My Target (sub soldiers)
08 : Coki – Square Off (dancing demons)
09 : Mode – Recall (z-audio)
10 : Kromestar – Coca Cola (southside dubstars)
11 : Mala & Coki – Haunted (dmz)
12 : Distance – Nighvision [skream rmx] (planet mu)

link (21.21 mb)

October 2009 Mix :

01 : Breakage – Higher (digital soundboy)
02 : JSL – Fight Dub (kraken recordings)
03 : Trolley Snatcha – Scattah (dub police)
04 : Skream – Filth (tempa)
05 : Skream – Simple City (tempa)
06 : Mala –  Changes (deep medi musik)
07 : Mala –  Lean Forward (dmz)
08 : Mensah – Not a Shy Girl (lo-dubs)
09 : Jakes – Rock tha Bells (h.e.n.c.h.)
10 : The Prodigy – Take me To the Hospital [rusko rmx] (hospital)
11 : Joker & Ginz – Stash (hyperdub)
12 : Gemmy – Rainbow Road (planet mu)
13 : Hyetal – Neon Speech (soul motive)
14 : Joy Orbison – Hyph Mngo (hotflush)

Link (24.24 mb)

Chestplate Mutilashun Mix ( November 2009 )

01 : Loefah – System (tectonic)
02 : Skream – Chest Boxing (tempa)
03 : Cyrus – Bounty (tectonic)
04 : Skream – Wiggly (southside dubstars)
05 : Slack – Kick in the Floor (dark circles)
06 : Rob Sparx – To be in Love (sparx)
07 : Rob Sparx – What u Gonna Do (migrate)
08 : Skream – Just Being Me (southside dubstars)
09 : Skream – Rutten (tempa)
10 : Ed Solo – Watch Your Eyes (sludge)
11 : Skream – Filth (tempa)
12 : Skream – Simple City (tempa)
13 : Mala – Changes (deep medi musik)
14 : Mala – Lean Forward (dmz)
15 : Coki – Spongebob (dmz)
16 : Loefah – Mud (dmz)
17 : Marlow – Bandwagon Junglist (boka recordings)
18 : Hyetal – Neon Speech (soul motive)
19 : Sub Focus – Coming Closer (ram)
20 : Pinch – Attack of the Giant Robot Spiders (planet mu)

Link (33.12 mb)

Everything can also be streamed at those locations.  Remeber to either purchase the records you like on vinyl. For some however this is impossible since they are sold out or currently out of print. A digital download is your awnser. Check juno download or any other quality website. Some tunes are also out on CD which are more widely available than some of the vinyl only releases. Some tunes (like many of the DMZ releases) are just generally out of print. Enjoy them in this mix.
Support the scene! Cheerz.