Archive for August, 2009

August Dubstep Mini Mix

Posted in General News on August 14, 2009 by joeki2000

Inspired by the previous post, I set out to work on a small mini-mix. It’s about 25 minutes long and combines some newer tunes with some of the classics. Hope you enjoy it. Tracklist and links below.

Link : http://www.divshare.com/download/8187960-fe8

Tracklist :

01 : Guido – Beautiful Complication (unreleased)
02 : Skream – Trapped in a Dark bubble (tectonic)
03 : Distance & Cyrus – Surrender (chestplate)
04 : Mala – Lean fwd. (digital mystikz)
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 (digital mystikz)
12: Distance – Night Vision [Skream Remix] (planet mu)

Support the artists ! Glitches near the end due to horrible equipment. EZ.

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Big August dubstep update

Posted in General News on August 13, 2009 by joeki2000

A quick break from all the metal related music to bring you the big August 2009 dubstep update (just 4 months remaining to the end of year feature lads!). This time I will be focusing on some of the labels that have been shaping up the scene this year, rather than reviewing just records.  There are a few big names in there which everyone would have expected. There are also a few surprising small labels and even some disappointments.

Planet Mu :
It is and always has been one of the biggest dubstep related labels and Planet Mu has really confirmed this year. It has a slew of full length albums (a tradition that Planet Mu is keeping alive) under its belt.
Boxcutter‘s – Arecibo Message and FaltyDL‘s – Love is a Liability have been my favourite full length’s so far. Both are in no way traditional  albums but rather a statement of all the influences surrounding and probing into dubstep combined into one colorful mesh.  But there is still more to come later this year ( a new FaltyDL EP and Mary Ann Hobbs Radio 1 compilation album called Wild Angels amongst others…). There’s also been a few strong and varied EP’s on this label this year : the deeper work was provided by iTAL tEK, Jamie Vex’D covered the rougher area’s and  remix EP of FaltyDL‘s Human Meadow track was highly enjoyable. Planet Mu isn’t lacking in the singles department either :

  • Brackles – LHC
  • Gemmy – Supligen
  • Pinch – Attack of the Giant Robot Spiders
  • Distance – Night Vision [ Skream Remix]
  • Starkey – Creature

are the most noteworthy tracks out so far for me. Next to these more established names, Planet Mu also featured some new artists who are making names for themselves like Floating Points and Legion of Two who are showing great promise. Ikonika will finally see a release on Mu as well later this year.
The only really dissapointing release on this label for me has been Raffertie‘s Wobble Horror! . I can not for the life of me understand anyone enjoying this.

Hotflush / Hotflushtwo
Hotflush is the label of Paul Rose aka Dj Scuba. Traditionally he has a lot of techno influenced dub on his roster. He killed it last year with his own full length A Mutual Antipathy and this year is shaping up great as well. Don’t expect too many anthems coming out on this label though. So far, no full length’s have been released on this label. This has been compensated by two EP’s from duo Mount Kimbie. Maybes was a good EP but the latest one, Sketch on Glass even surpasses it (it is more danceable and less obscure but still genius). Paul Rose has only one release on his own label under the Scuba moniker so far, but Klinik / Hundreds and Thousands is a nice techno/minimal induced stepper. Two releases from London’s Sigha in similar style also color the discography. Releases from Pangaea and Untold are strong contenders for dubstep single of the year too. The signing of Joy Orbison will only further highten the expectations towards this label.

Deep Medi Musik :
The variaty displayed on this label is enormous. It started out with one of the dark anthems of the year : TruthThe Fatman fpllowed by more dancefloor oriented stuff (Skream and Goth-Trad). But the label also showed to have eyes for the deeper tunes, as Clouds and Calibre saw releases later on the year. The highlight release os far though has to be Silkie‘s full length City Limits Vol. 1 , strong contender for dubstep record of the year.

Tectonic :
Tectonic bring a mix between classic dubstep and techno crossovers. 2562‘s –  Love in outer space and MartynYet are schoolbook examples from this.  But they also dug in a little deeper this year, combining the deep tunes of FlyLo and Joker on the Glendale Galleria/Untitled_rsn 12″. Jack Sparrow‘s single on tectonic was more trademark stuf and the dancefloor crackers were provided by Skream & Benga Tectonic Plates volume 2 mixed by Pinch is a compilation album of sorts so you can basicly catch the label’s whole catalogue from this year and get a bonus mix by Bristol badman Pinch.

Hyperdub :
Hyperdub has been one of the most exciting and consistent labels over the past few years, but their output this year has been disappointing so far to me. A lot of  “experimental” stuf sure and they deserve credit for that. But I’m missing the big tunes.  It started out good with Joker & 2000FDigidesign / You don’t know what love is : summer dubstep classics. A few mediocre releases followed (Cooly G, King Midas Sound and L.D. to name a few). Mediocre is perhaps not the right choice of words. Renewing certainly, but not that memorable. Perhaps the highlight so far has been Kode9‘s own release on the label. There should be some interesting releases lined up for the fall and winter though.

Tempa :
Traditionally another big label, Tempa’s output so far has been lacking in 2009. Benga released a mediocre 12,  I’ve never really liked Horsepower Prod. and El-B‘s album can’t save the label from simply underachieving this year.

Hessle Audio :
Another underachiever as far as I’m concerned. The two highlight releases are 12’s from Joe and Untold. I think Untold has released a lot of quality music this year, but Anaconda is not one of those.

NakedLunch :
NL could just become the label of the year if they manage to get some more releases in before years end. This small Irish label has some quality lined up this year. Releases from Insta:Mental, Breakage and Jus Wan really put this small label on the map this year.

There are a few more labels that deserve mention, but I’ll wait for them to get a few more releases in. The dubstep year end feature is going to be a sticky affair with a lot of good tunes out there or in the process of being released. Can’t wait for some more dub to come my way! Each and Every.


Fragment. – The Game is Over EP

Posted in Review on August 10, 2009 by joeki2000

The fact that this is the third Fragment. record I’m reviewing in two months tells us two things. One : this man is very prolific. Two : this man makes quality music worth reviewing. Fragment. has a plethora of limited EP’s under is belt, but I chose his latest EP The Game is Over, because it’s probably the best and most diverse EP he’s done to date.

I was a bit surprised when I opened my mailbox. This is an EP pressed on mini-disk. Any computer or laptop should accept this format, but my car radio refused it. The packaging was pretty nice I suppose.
The release opens with the title track. This is a monolithic masterpiece much in the vein of the self titled release. Ethereal vocals, melancholic heavy guitars, blissful repetitiveness and heavy bass : it has it all. This track alone is worth the purchase of this release.
The other two tracks are what makes this release good AND interesting.
Your Golden throne (remix)” has very heavy electronic beats mixed underneath it and reminded me of the Jesu and Envy split EP. The vocals are again top notch. This too is perhaps a little  repetitive but that really is it’s only flaw. Fragment. proves he can handle electronic induced pieces as well.
In Your Heart (remix)” has a very distorted opening as more ambient and electric features work their way through the mist. Again a melancholic melody sets the background for this piece. Once the programmed drums and discordant guitars join this becomes a very melodic Godflesh-like tune. The vocals betray that this is perhaps an older song as they are much in the vein of the debut EP Cavity. Past the midway point the melody changes and becomes even more melancholic. The highlight section of this EP for me.

Though being diverse (it has both strong electronic influences and references to earlier works) it is still trademark Fragment.  and I can listen to it for ages. Again the right balance between melodic/melancholy and power/heaviness is found. This release is rather repetitive though which might be less pleasing to some. For me  this is in the running for best EP of 2009 so far.

Jesu – Infinity

Posted in Review on August 2, 2009 by joeki2000

A few remixes aside, the last real Jesu material dates from the 2008 split cd with Envy. Later on, Hydra Head Records and Daymare Recordings released the “Why are we not Perfect?” CDEP but again that material dates back to 2007. The split with Envy was arguably the most electronic Jesu had sounded to date (JKB himself stated it was sort of a tribute to Donnacha Costello‘s “Together is the new Alone”).
After almost a year of anticipation Infinity finally hits us.  This is a one song undertaking (the vinyl version has the song split over two sides, the Japanese version contains one bonus mix of the second part) totalling 49 minutes and 31 seconds.

The intro  hints back at recent electronic swayings of Jesu. It brings back memories of the “Silver” EP for me, specifically “Dead Eyes“. Elements from the more electronic tracks on “Pale Sketches” come to mind as well.   The guitar noodling between the layers of electronica is simply sweet and these opening 2 minutes set a great atmosphere.
This is where most resemblance to previous works stops. What develops next is a new page for Jesu. The elements are still there but are produced differently and this gives the record a very organic sound. Other than the programmed drums there is almost no electronica remaining.  The clean vocals and drums are the furthest back in the mix they have ever been. Down tuned guitars and bass still form a noisy mist with a high pitched guitar peeking over it forming the melody lines. The opening 12 minutes are like this and for me those turned out to be the best. They retain the melancholic vibe of  Jesu but without the snail like pace of some of the earlier works.  Perhaps this could be called  more accessible.
At around the 12 minute mark a second segment begins. the drums have become more prominent and so has the bass. The tempo shifts back a nudge as well.   Early Pelican, their former roster mates on Hydra Head, came to my mind. The sludgier sound is a forebode for thing to come in the third part of the track.
Slowly a very Godflesh like sound begins to emerge from the sludgy foundations. Surely the harsh shouted vocals will send memories of Godflesh through a lot of people’s minds. I for one didn’t find it fitting within this song. There’s little need for it (also within the lyrical content). It fits within the sound of the segment  but not within the entire track.  An ambient outro reminiscent perhaps of the track “Heart Ache” on the debut EP, flows into the intro of the next segment.

On the second half of the LP Jesu showcase yet another new sound. This time it’s very slow and psychedelic with live drums.I found it interesting, but not necessarily the sound I was looking for. This might be the slowest Jesu has ever gone and it is quite depressing (a change from the opening segment). Bands like Mare or Neurosis or even noise rockers Boris come to mind.  The vocals continue to be solid and are now way upfront in the mix. The vocal/lyrical part really makes this segment so it’s a real shame they are so sparse. I just feel that with more vocals, the slow tempo and psychedelic outburst would not be so emphasised.
The segment plods away and becomes more noisy and psychedelic towards the end before the vocals take over one more time giving the segment the sort of climax it deserved.

Again a noise and reverb drenched part in between serves as outro for the third segment and introduces the final one (It is remarkable that all segments are about 12 minutes long). The final segment is recognisable as “traditional” Jesu, minus drums.  The guitars play a very nice melody  but the drums or vocals never make their appearance and I really feel that there is something missing to keep this interesting. This  is really not much more than a post rock outro stretched for 12 minutes and even though it is pretty, it is far from attention grabbing. Even when the dowtuned guitars and bass make an appearance it couldn’t prevent me from wanting to fast forward to hear the first segment again.

It is remarkable to see this being advertised as a one song 50 minute behemoth, which it is not.  You can easily listen to the four parts seperately.  The most positive thing about Infinity is that  Jesu again is going forward and finding new sounds. There are a few less interesting parts along the way unfortunately but being such a lengthy undertaking, I kind of expected that. The first 12 minutes are awesome and the third segment has some  good moments as well. The middle part reminicent of Godflesh was interesting addition to the track but doesn’t really stand out for me. Too bad the final part is less appealing.

This won’t be my favourite Jesu record but I think it’s a worthy addition to the discography and again leaves me in anticipation where the project will evolve to on the next release.