03 May 2006


As mentioned last week, this month's Gutterbreakz FM is an extra-long special, celebrating the 1st Anniversary of its existence. I started doing this for a laugh one year ago, but somehow it just kept on going, and now its actually starting to become what I always wanted it to be. Although the mixing is hardly perfect, its getting towards a reasonably high standard in places. Over the course of 80 minutes and 30 tracks, there's only one outright trainwreck (sorry about that, Pete!), retaining the gritty live feel of a genuine pirate broadcast, whilst aspiring to a level of accuracy that would've been completely beyond me just a few month's ago. The whole thing was, as usual, recorded live as it happened in real time. I think the mixing loses its way a bit around the 45-60 minute mark, but I managed to regain my focus towards the end for a really satisfying conclusion. Despite the extra duration, this is probably the purest show I've done so far, being almost exclusively dubstep. I guess I wanted to make a bit of a statement this time, although will probably be more eclectic next month. It also features more unreleased material than ever before, and this is a trend I hope to continue with in future.

This is also the first GutterFM to be hosted by SmokeRing. My own server space is pathetically small, but with some help from my friends I'm now able to bring you a longer mix at a slightly improved sound quality, 96kbps, and this will continue for future transmissions, which will be 60 minutes every month from now on.


Delia Derbyshire - Happy Birthday (BBC Records)
Forensics - Warm Storm (dub)
White Boi - Abel Sinner (dub)
Cogent - Dirt Bag (dub)
Secret Agent Gel - Banker (dub)
Appleblim - Fear (dub)
Tech Itch - Implant (Ascension)
Skream - I [Loefah Rmx] (Tempa)
N-Type - Ghetto Yout Rmx (dub)
Bass Clef - Untitled Strings (dub)
Mathhead - Stagger (forthcoming on Pitch Black)
Starkey - Strike Now (Werk)
Kion - Nusrah (dub)
Elemental - Deep Under (Hotflush)
Takomo - Bomb Man (dub)
Amit - I'll Hunt You (forthcoming on Commercial Suicide)
Atomly - Hotdougs Riddim (dub)
J@kes - 3.09 v.1 (dub)
DJ Distance - Temptation (forthcoming on Tectonic)
Atki 2 - Guilty Pleasures [Pinch Rmx] (Werk)
Monkey Steak - Lighthouse Dub (dub)
Moving Ninja - Alien (dub)
Peverlist - All this talk of blood and iron is the cause of all my shaking (dub)
Serantis - Senseless Riddim (Senseless)
Forsaken - Thunder (dub)
DJ Wedge - Dogtown (dub)
Boxcutter - Hyloz (Planet Mu)
Emalkay - Frequency (Boka)
Headhunter - Final Cut (dub)
DJ Kudos - No Man's Land (Soundproof Recordings)
Skuba - Dream (Hotflush)

I haven't the strength to write a blow-by-blow account of all the tracks and artists featured here, but I've added links for anyone interested in finding out more. Links attached to artists/labels will take you to a website, blog or Myspace page relating to them (where known), and links attached to track titles will take you somewhere that you can buy them (where applicable). There's so much that needs to be written about this music, and I know I'm not doing enough. Its getting to the point where I could easily have a full-time job running this blog, but until someone figures out a way of earning a living from blogging, I just have to muddle on as best I can with the little time and energy I have at my disposal. But here's a few quick thoughts and special mentions for some of the music that is currently (or immanantly) available to buy...

Two labels really working hard at the moment are Hotflush and Werk Discs. Hotflush in particular are killing it at the moment, with recent releases from luke.envoy (as featured on last month's show) and Elemental, who's debut "Deep Under/Sparkle" finally found its way into my collection recently. Although I used the A-side in my mix, I actually think the flip might be even better, with a much more subby bassline and spooked-out lashings of electric piano floating around a strong breaks-inflected riddim. Then there's the latest release from Scuba, which again features a really strong B-side in "Dream", with its unashamed display of poignant emotion and serene melodic flow. Beautiful music. There's another Scuba EP on the way on a rather different tip, but I'll talk about that another time.

Werk Discs have two new 4-track EPs out in quick succession, the first from Starkey, of the Philadelphia-based Slit Jockey collective, which really shows-off his wide range of influences. "Strike Now" is the killer cut, a filthy, industrial-strength grimey hybrid that will surely destroy any dancefloor, whilst "The Heat Vulnerable" reveals a more introspective, experimental hip hop approach. "Almost Now" seems to be coming from the Aphex school of drill 'n' bass, which isn't a sound I'm in any hurry to re-appraise, but Starkey's delicately applied melodic touches give it enough emotional impact to work. Then there's the new Atki2 EP, featuring some of his most essential tracks to date. There's still plenty of beat-splicing trickery afoot, but the grooves are rock solid. "Guilty Pleasures" features the wonderful vocal acrobatics of Indi Kaur, which provides the focus for DJ Pinch's characteristically stark, pensive remix. Play side A all the way through and you've got the essence of Bristol's Grim and Dubstep sounds in a nutshell. Landmarks, mate. The flip side is well worth your time too, with "Duty Paid" being one of my personal favourite Atki 2 numbers, mainly due to that playful riff, that could be a pure 'pop' sound in an alternative universe. Take note kids, that's what a decent hook sounds like. I like the new Werk Discs label designs too, along with the customised disco bags. Looks propa!

Emalkay might not be a name that is familiar to everyone, but on the strength of his latest offering on Boka Records, I think this Birmingham-based producer is gonna be in the news a lot in future. He released the "Grimecore Vol.1" EP on Morphic Sounds last year. That was a weird little experimental grime 4-tracker that I never got around to writing about, although I did use one of the tracks from it in my Dubloaded set back in March. But for this new release, Emalkay is focusing on dubstep, and the results are impressive. "Gut Feeling" is a dirty half-stepper which I know has had a lot of airtime on the pirates, whilst "Frequency" marshals an irresistible bass riff with trickling ambient synths and swooping, glassy textures. Mouth-watering stuff. This one's selling fast, so grab it while you can!

I don't know much about Soundproof Recordings, or DJ Kudos for that matter, but I came across "The City" EP in Rooted recently and was hooked from the opening modulated riff of "B-Town", which develops into a monstrously oppressive subsonic soundtrack to your worst nightmares. Its a bit like a Coki tune, but without any joy, just brutal horror-flik vibes. Seriously evil shit, although I chose to use b-side "No Man's Land" in the show as it fit in with the mood at that point. The final track, "There's A Party", is a nice little vocal grime number (MC unknown). I don't know of any web pages specifically relating to Kudos or Soundproof, but you can see his email address on the label if you wanna say hello.

Another Rooted discovery was the first EP from Senseless Records, a five-tracker by Serantis, who I know absolutely nothing about whatsoever, apart from being based in Leeds. This is really a Grime record, but coming more from the dubby end of the spectrum, with some heavy sub pressure, particularly on "Low Riddim", although I selected the "Senseless Riddim" cos I find that horny riff simply irresistible. This is just one example of the sort of odd little grimey records I come across in Rooted every month. I've got loads more here that I haven't mentioned at all yet. I'll get around to it eventually...probably when they're long out of print. Sorry, can't be helped.

I've received a few test pressings recently, including Ascension Records 001, the first dubstep release from Tech Itch, combined with Headhunter's vinyl debut - the magnificent "7th Curse". Although its not due for full release till later this month, a few white labels have been circulating. About fifteen copies appeared at Rooted Records last week, but were sold out within hours. I received a complimentary copy as well, although it arrived after I recorded this mix, so "Implant" was spun in from a cd-r. I'm saving "7th Curse" for next time, but Headhunter is represented here with the equally impressive, and highly exclusive "Final Cut". This boy is gonna be absolutely huge, trust me!

A couple of other white labels appeared in the post, but there's no point scanning the labels cos they're just, y'know, white. Incidentaly, do most djs just annotate the labels themselves when they receive these things? I just can't bring myself to do it, which means I'm always holding them up to the light to read the run-out grooves. It's that collector mentality, you don't wanna deface your records. Anyway, first is the new release from Tempa, featuring two Loefah remixes of classic Skream tunes. "Monsoon" has been played out on dub by the leading djs for what seems like forever. Actually it was conceived two years ago - one of Loefah's earliest halfstep experiments, and as such it's a vital slice of history. His refix of "I" is utterly deadly too. In your shops this week!!

Then there's the new album from Amit Kamboj. I'm not sure why the distributers at S.T. Holdings wanted to send me this...maybe it was cos I played a load of d'n'b in my last Gutter mix, and "Never Ending" is definitely a drum 'n' bass album, although I wasn't sure what speed it was supposed to be at when I first played it! It transpires that its definitely supposed to be played at 45rpm, although I was quite enjoying it at 33. In fact, I found that if I adjusted the turntable's pitch to +9, some of the tracks mixed in well with dubstep, and to prove it I did exactly that in this mix. But its not just about matching bpms...some of these tracks have a particular feel that suggests a similar textural/rhythmical approach to dubstep. For instance, the opening tune, "Unholy" (a collaboration with Outrage), functions like a halfstep riddim, except its at 180bpm instead of the usual 140. And it seems to aspire to similar sonic realms, with lots of space in the mix for some deep sub bass, creepy atmospheric pads and echo-chamber dub environment (perhaps that's why they wanted me to hear it?!) . "Unholy" is a really good track, actually! I might play that one at correct speed in next month's mix. If anyone wants to send me some similarly non-conformist, dub-spacious d'n'b stuff that I can mix-in with it, be my guest (could be letting myself in for it there, mind!). The album comes in either 3 x vinyl or CD format, released by the Commercial Suicide label on 29th May. I might have some more thoughts on it by then...

Finally, just a few quick notes about some of the exclusive tunes on offer. Takomo are a production team from Helsinki in Finland. Their track "Bombman" is on a heavy breakstep tip, and I think they're from a d'n'b background. Its really well produced and apparently they have some serious interest from a couple of UK labels, so fingers crossed for them. N-Type has been extremely generous recently, giving me three exclusive tunes, one of which, "Ghetto Yout" has been a firm favourite of mine since he first started playing it on his Rinse show last summer. I'm playing the remixed version which features a busier riddim pattern. Not sure how many people have heard that, so I'm really pleased to be able to include it here. I also got advance digital versions of the next Tectonic release which, as notified at the Rooted blog recently, will be the first of a mini 10" series this summer. One side will be Skream's "Bahl Fwd", coupled with Distance's "Temptation", which featured in Pinch's mix last year, but I wanted to get it fresh in people's minds, cos its a beauty. There'll be another 10" after that, followed by a CD album thing, but I don't have any firm details on that one yet. Stay tuned...

Finally, thanks once again to all the producers out there sending me bare beats. I tried to represent as many artists as possible here, but it still wasn't enough time to include everyone I wanted. Next time, I promise...