Archive for November, 2009

November Dubstep Mix

Posted in General News on November 24, 2009 by joeki2000

Yet more dubstep!
I return with another edition of my monthly mix. This time I wanted to go for a more old school vibe but I couldn’t help throwing in some of the nastier tunes of 2009 as well.  The tracks range from bits released back in 2005 up to as recent as this month. I’ve tried recording it as loud and heavy as possible and that pretty much worked with the raw file but I feel that it’s lacking a bit in that department after the conversion. Unfortunately I messed up one mix a little bit (you’ll notice which one…).  Anyway here is the track list and the download link and I hope you enjoy it.
This one goes out to the Heist Dubstep Alliance. You can drop us a line right here or on facebook if you feel like it ( group Dubstep Heist-op-den-Berg). Cheers and see you soon (perhaps this weekend at Leuven where Bar 9 is performing ??) .

Tracklist :

01 : Loefah – System (tectonic, 2006)
02 : Skream – Chest Boxing ( Tempa, 2007 )
03 : Cyrus – Bounty ( Tectonic, 2005 )
04 : Skream – Wiggly ( Southside Dubstars, 2009 )
05 : Slack – Kick in the Floor ( Dark Circles, 2009 )
06 : Rob Sparx ft. Zurcon – What U Gonna Do ( Migrate, 2009 )
07 : Rob Sparx – In Love ( Sparx, 2009 )
08 : Skream – Just Being Me ( Southside Dubstars, 2009 )
09 : Skream – Rutten ( Tempa, 2006 )
10 : Ed Solo – Watch Your Eyes  ( Sludge, 2008 )
11 : Skream – Filth  ( Tempa, 2008 )
12 : Skream – Simple City ( Tempa, 2008 )
13 : Mala – Changes ( Deep Medi Musik, 2007 )
14 : Mala – Lean Forward ( DMZ,2007 )
15 : Coki – Spongebob ( DMZ, 2007 )
16 : Loefah – Mud  ( DMZ, 2006 )
17 : Marlow – Bandwagon Junglist ( Boka Recordings, 2009 )
18 : Hyetal – Neon Speech  ( Soul Motive, 2009 )
19 : Sub Focus – Coming Closer ( RAM Records, 2009 )
20 : Pinch – Attack of the Giant Robot Spiders ( Planet Mu, 2009 )

Download Here

(You can also stream it at that location!)

November Dubstep Update : Full Albums

Posted in Review on November 18, 2009 by joeki2000

After a little break, I decided to return to writing with a little dubstep update. I’ve decided to zoom in on some of the full albums that have been dropping in the recent months. 2009 really has been the year of full albums I suppose as more artists than ever have chosen this medium over the more traditional single and EP formats. And with good reason. Full albums might not be the appropriate format for mixing and DJ’ing, it is the appropriate format to answer to the rising demand of dubstep. As usually, quality and variation sprout from this process. Here is a look at some of the full albums that have coloured the year so far. With only one month left in 2K9, this will also serve as an introduction to my upcoming ‘End of Year’ feature which will have an elaborate section devoted to dubstep of course.

2562 – Unbalance (tectonic)
Dave Huismans’ (aka 2562) debut full length album, Aerial, was a perfect synthesis of Bristol inspired dub/garage and (minimal) techno. It was a very accomplished album that also had a few big tunes on it (Techno Dread). I was less pleased with this sophomore album. It has more swirly rhythms and has less of a direct dubstep sound to it. The techno elements have also been reduced and it feels just that little bit abstract. It is no surprise that the single, Love in Outer Space (out on tectonic), is probably the best thing this album has to offer. It still is about 50% two-step and 50% techno/house so it keeps a middle ground that will appeal to a bigger audience than the rest of the album does.

Boxcutter – Arecibo Message (Planet Mu)
You will find plenty of Mu releases in this list. Boxcutter’s effort, though in my opinion one of the weaker ones out on Mu, still deserves mentioning here as it is a daring and experimental effort at retracing the history of dub into one single album. Analogue synths, guitar pedals and delays herald a new direction for Barry Lynn on this album. Loads of rave influences, two-step and even deep house shows the variety of this album, but it just lacks that little craftmanship to set it apart from many other releases.

Cloaks – Versus Grain (3by3)
You can find the review of this album on this blog (browse the archive section or use the search function) so I will not go into details about this album here.

Clubroot – Clubroot (Lo-Dubs)
What an amazing debut album this is. It’s not very renewing indeed. All influences are easily recognisable. There’s a big chunk of Burial in there (or garage in general). Sections influenced by drum & bass dj’s like Ed Rush & Optical make an appearance as well. Dark dubstep bass, present on earlier releases by iTAL tEK etc. form another key ingredient. But all this is brought into a perfect mix suitable for home listening. Don’t expect dance floor crackers on this album. But it’s a very ambient and moody listening experience. One of my favourite albums of the year.

DFRNT – Metafiction (lo-dubs)
DFRNT’s debut full length is a nice mixture of dubstep rhythms, ambient features and typical dub techno harmonics much in the vein of  artists like G.R.I.T., Quantec (who also contributes a remix on disc two). It’s not dance floor dub, but it’s surely an amazing listening experience and the opening track Wake Up is a true gem. Not all content on the double CD is of equal standard, but overall it will be worth your money. Some big names contributing remixes as well (SYNKRO, iTAL tEK,…).

Falty DL – Love is a Liability (Planet Mu)
One of the years early releases, this one has stood the test of time. The opening track Human Meadow should be enough reason to acquire this. The rest of the album doesn’t quite reach that quality (except for maybe Winter Sole or Dyonysis). It’s atypical dubstep with a lot of garage, deep house and even electro mixed into it to form a unique mixture. He’s also one of the most essential non-UK producers of the year in my opinion. (check his 12″ on Ramp Records!).

Kryptic Minds – One of Us (Swamp 81)
One of the contenders for full album of the year. Broody, dark and atmospheric dubstep, sounding quite old school (no compromise on the bass). In fact, Kryptic Minds are one of the artists of the year as far as I’m concerned, and this killer album is probably their best piece yet. The quality is not just in the singles (Six Degrees) but every track has some section or part that is worthwhile. And the entire cd is just such a cohesive final product. Can easily listen to all of this in one go. Great album.

Legion of Two – Riffs (Planet Mu)
More action from Planet Mu. LoT are duo from Ireland who have made the switch from heavier industrial productions (like Scorn) to the dubstep playing field. It’s a decent and very dark work, unfortunately the single featured on Marry Ann Hobbes’ Wild Angels (And Now We Wait) is probably the most impressive track.

Martyn – Great Lengths (3024)
Review featured on this weblog, use the search function or click on the ‘review archive’ to find it.

RSD – Good Energy (A Singles Collection) (Punch Drunk)
This isn’t exactly new material. It contains all the singles from RSD on one disk. Which still makes it an essential buy (not just for Punch Drunk Records fans like me). It has all the big tunes from the past years (Jah Way, Speeka Box, Pretty Bright Light, King Fisher…) and adds the 2009 12″ + a few bonus tracks. RSD combines heavy bass perfectly with Jamaican riddims and even techno. One of my favourite producers.

These are the full albums that have coloured my year so far. Yes I’m aware I’ve missed out on Silkie – City Limits and a few others, but that particular album will see a seperate review soon, as for me it is the best dubstep album from 2009. In the next edition I will make some room for Mixed releases and releases by Various Artists (for example, 5 Years of Hyperdub, Dubstep Allstars vol. 7, Wild Angels,…).
See you then .

Untitled! 3 year Anniversary Review

Posted in Review on November 9, 2009 by joeki2000

Yes, another edition of untitled! was held this past weekend. 3 years of Untitled! parties were celebrated on friday night with an impressive line-up, the likes of which Belgium has rarely seen.

Digital Mystikz (Mala & Coki) are arguably the most influential artists in the scene with their DMZ label and parties in London.  Pinch has his own renowned label (Tectonic) with some of the strongest releases out this year and is known for his darker and epic sets. Noah D has the party anthem of the year under his belt (seriousss!) and untitled! was the first stop on his European tour.  Headhunter performed a live set (only the second time in Belgium I believe) with visuals. On top of that, we had residents Hijak & Dice & Kastor providing the resident beats. Science are a new up and coming talent from Belgium and were given a shot at closing the event.

Due to an appearance at the local DJ contest (which was won by the way by our local D&B/dubstep heroes Triple C crew (myspace.com/tripleccrew)  we arrived a bit late so apologies to the resident dj’s for missing them. We were just in time to hear Headhunter’s opening beats.
I had seen his life act before (I believe in February when supporting The Bug) and was very impressed with that set. Not long before that, his Nomad LP had dropped on tempa records so the set was filled with stuff from that great LP and some darker tunes (for example from the recent Kryptic Minds Album).  On this occasion though, there was a lot more emphasis on techno influenced dub. Maybe there were some technical difficulties in the beginning of his set but he messed up his opening two mixes I believe. But I’m not one to judge, especially if it’s a live set. After that things smoothed out. Personally, I enjoyed his set. All credit to the man, but I quite enjoy this style as a warm up for the nastier stuff.  ‘Prototypes’ remains one of my favourite dub tunes out there.  The visuals were cool but not essential.  Also, they work a lot better in a very small enviroment of course (which was the case last time I saw him.)

I was very much looking forward to seeing Pinch. Some of his early releases on Planet Mu are what made me fall in love with heavy bass music. There were no real surprises for me as to the quality of the set and the tune selection. Murky and heavy on the sub bass.  Opening with a VIP (?) version of my favourite dubstep tune of all time (‘Rolling with the Punches’) instantly grabbed my fullest attention.  After this I slipped into the party zone for the next several hours.  My only regret is that he didn’t rinse out some of his own tunes. ‘The Punisher’ (another one the best tunes ever) was probably hoping for a bit too much but I did have my heart set on ‘Attack of the Giant Robot Spiders’. Better luck next time! Great performance.

Digital Mystikz are legend. Everyone knows this.  Their records, sets and parties are all essential. It was with much regret that I quickly realised that it was going to be a Mala solo performance.  We had some of the crew dressed up in Spongebob t-shirts and everything (the plan was the bring a large spongebob doll to the party and hand it to Sgt. Pokes, good thing we didn’t bring it in the end.) But Mala just flat-out nailed it.  It was hard, intense and the tune selection was monsters. Loads of dubplates that sounded absolutely bonkers. VIP version of  ‘Changes’ too. It was so intense that I only recorded a single movie during the entire set (look for the link below).  I am not sure yet, but perhaps for me this was the best set I have heard all year (and I’ve heared quite alot this year believe you me).

Hijak was up next providing an intermezzo with jungle tunes from yesteryear. Great break after such an intense set and great time to show off the old dancing moves. Loads of things going on in the venue too with flying balls (this was probably during Mala’s set I don’t really remember). and exploding ribbons and free stuff. Great vibe in there and to everyone who left : Your Loss!
On a side note : people : you’re supposed to knock the balls backwards into the rest of the crowd and not slap it straight back  onto the decks…or atleast that’s how I perceived it.

As much as I enjoyed that break, I couldn’t wait for Noah D to get on stage.  It was worth the wait because Noah D too hit all the right buttons.  VIP version of Serious! and the Untitled! anthem from The Others (forgot the name…) set the room on fire. That thunderous Skream! dubplate also does it time and time again.  The crowd response was great during Noah D. See the movie below.  That’s all I can say really.

I was ready to leave after Noah D , but then Science went on and opened with I think was a VIP version of Breakage – ‘Higher’ , a tune I also always put in my mixes and this convinced me to stay. At first, the mixing was on the slow side but It felt like they speeded it up as the set went along. Great tune selection (am I right when I say they were the only ones that actually played ‘When I look at you’?). And so again we stayed untill the very end. I think we can expect much from these youngsters in the future.

Coki not showing up, it has to be said, was a big disappointment. But after that set from Mala, I can’t say that I’m feeling disappointed right now. The set probably wouldn’t have been much different with Coki anyway (it couldn’t have been much better either). Noah D was a great addition the line-up and I hope the rest of his tour goes as well as the opening party. With Pinch I got what I expected and Headhunter (though not all of the crew agreed with me here) was a great starting act for the evening.
The only real bad thing is, that the next untitled! won’t be until February. But already looking forward to it.
Great night out.

Links to movies :
Mala at Untitled!  Link

Noah D at Untitled!  Link

I still have a movie from Pinch too and a lot of stuff from some of the previous editions (and some d&b stuff too) which I Haven’t got round to uploading yet. I’ll do it as soon as I can anyway.