Well this is novel – a (follow-up) compilation album that sounds nothing like a compilation album. And I mean that in an unequivocally positively light – I tend not to be a massive fan of their ilk. Now! 25 excluded, obviously.
Let’s move away from any notions of ‘prog-rock’ please. Yes ‘Sunburst’’s ambrosial cover art could come straight from Hipgnosis’ back catalogue. But it’s probable that if Rustie had decided on cute pink bunnies instead, ‘Sunburst’ would have been described as pop. The word ‘progressive’ has often been a fairly lucid, ephemeral beast, and ‘Sunburst’ showcases his 23rd century aural collision using an expansive sonic arsenal.
The roaring, unstoppable freight train that is the inimitable FABRICLIVE series, from London’s finest super club, thunders on with its 53rd edition – this time with 25 year-old New Yorker Drop The Lime at the helm. Weighing in at 26 songs and just over an hour long, DTL’s new mix for fabric is, rather appropriately, a strong reflection of the state of bass music at the moment. And, with a heady amalgamation of varying styles, Drop The Lime (real name Luca Venezia) has taken a decidedly schizophrenic approach to this mix. Eschewing his trademark, 4/4 bass-heavy sound for the majority of the record, Venezia instead delves into a plethora of genres, delivering a mix suitable for headphones and club-slaying at the same time.
The announcement of a Guido album was an unexpected delight, much like the Tories failing to secure a full electoral majority, or the delicious taste of dipping fries in strawberry milkshake. Even though the lad has been around since 2006 cutting Bristol grime plates, recently it has been his west-coast luminaries Gemmy and Joker who have established themselves on the production and live circuit. But that means diddly-squat when faced with ‘Anidea’, proving that Guido’s steady ascendency to the ivory tower of purple is within touching distance.
In as far as drawing away from the conformist and traditional, our iconoclastically name-derived heroine’s debut LP ticks all the boxes. Broadly speaking, it’s ‘instrumental dubstep’ but, not exactly being a fan of genre classifications, labelling it so coarsely seems myopic. Envisage an album drenched in synth, splattered with awesome melodies, videogame blips and, moreover, coin-op inspired track naming (which, let’s face it, is always a bonus) and you’re getting closer to the truth. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I came across a song entitled ‘Final Boss Stage.’ Genius.
Ross Birchard is just full of surprises. Skip back to early 2009, and the beatmaker – also known as Hudson Mohawke – has just signed to Warp Records, unleashing his ‘Polyfolk Dance EP’. Chock full of dope, pompous beats and an array of intricately engineered synths and effects, the world understandably goes wild for the young producer’s particular brand of music.
First we get seminal genre baiters Mount Kimbie, now we have nostalgic 2-step raver Joy Orbison. Hotflush are the shit at the moment, and nothing has justified the gun fingers and underground dance floor serenity more this summer than ‘Hyph Mngo’. 2 evocative chords at 1:23 minutes in and a fractured female vocal loop reminiscent of samples in early 90s acid house (back when it didn’t matter what they said, they always sounded sexy) is all it takes for the sun to come out, the vibes to kick in and the party to take off.
Pinch is well revered in dubstep circles as a gentleman willing to push the boundaries of an emerging scene allowing it to grow organically, evident with his harnessing of the local Bristol talent through releasing tracks by local top boys Joker and Peverelist, and running regular club nights Dub and Subloaded. His label Tectonic, and their desire for releasing innovative dubstep albums brimming with quality and depth have once again turned other-locality and otherworldly with 2562’s ‘Unbalance’. Debut album ‘Aerial’ introduced the world to Dave Huisman, which channelled the monochrome surroundings of his native Hague postal district into a full length exhibition of dub BPMs laced with minimalist techno, stirring two distinct genres and cooking them perfectly. ‘Unbalance’ is the ‘difficult second album’ that instead seems effortlessly spellbinding and evolutionary; the busy marinade of colour and dance floor to compliment the spacious greyscale head nod of his debut. If ‘Aerial’ was scanty, ‘Unbalance’ is positively heaving with sounds, loops and futurism.
Never one to sit bone idle whilst trend after electronic trend changes quicker than David Cameron’s story, bastion of discovery herself Mary Anne Hobbs has somewhat of a reputation as a demon selector. Ever since she introduced me to those aural masters of sludge and debauchery, Raging Speedhorn on the Radio 1 Rock Show in 2000, yours truly has often hung on her every – and increasingly seductive sounding – word. Wild Angels, her new slice of future selections features tracks from the fresh crop of next hype producers from the UK and US, including beat-match extraordinaire Brackles, Brainfeeder’s creative wonder-kid Teebs and Bristol bass master Gemmy – arguably the strongest member of the much coveted Purple Trinity. Oh, and some dude called Hudson Mohawke makes an appearance too. There really is a tonne of face-meltingly deep music here.