30 June 2006


Lots of exciting things happening over at V/Vm Test Records at the moment, not least the continuing revival of Belgian New Beat - that cruelly overlooked/forgotten/brushed-under-the-carpet/dirty secret of Dance Music. I discussed V/Vm's first New Beat maxi-single in my genre overview last year, and now there's another vinyl 4-track EP released on WeMe Records, straight outta the Benelux, which means that V/Vm's James Kirby has finally fulfilled a life-long ambition to release a record with the legend "Made In Belgium" on the cover. Check my friend Kek's blog for a full and accurate description of this EP. There's good news too for all the old closet New Beat fans who don't have a turntable anymore - V/Vm has just released a CD called "Sabam", compiling most of the tracks from the two vinyl EPs plus several other new tunes, resulting in a 13-track, hour-long, journey to the heart of the Belgian porno-acid/sub-120bpm stomp, with "Fuck My Pussy" being a prime example of that unique aesthetic whereby outrageously full-frontal female sex-grunts combine with turgid, doom-mongering sequencer riffs and clumpy 4/4 beats, resulting in a sound that is simultaneously frigid, horny, uptight, sexually liberated/inhibited and all the other weird sensations that we loved about the original New Beat movement ( I say 'we', but I guess that just means a few old bloggers based in the south-west of England). "Antwerpen Nights" adds resonant, detuned slabs of synth-sorrow with Kraftwerkian percussive blips and freeze-dried waves of spine-chilling strings, while over-stimulated lovers fornicate in an endless pleasure-loop somewhere in the background. The (ham) fisted electro beats and sickly, staggering riffs of "Space Bunny" make me feel weird and unbalanced everytime. I'll leave "The Acid Sausage" to your imagination. Do you dare to explore the sleazy underbelly of this distinctly European post-acid phenomenum? "Sabam" is a great place to start....


Just returned from The Digital Recitals evening. It was certainly an interesting change of vibe. The venue was like an old fashioned working men's club tucked away in a quiet side-street. My mate Mike tagged along and said he used to come to this place with his dad for skittles nights when he was younger. Of course there was no proper stage, but a makeshift performance area had been set up, with a home-made PA system, encased in hand-painted wooden boxes, along with a couple of tables for the artists to set up their gear on, and some nice graphics projected behind. We arrived quite late, but in time to catch Micheal J. Rocks live set, which was like mad breakcore stuff. I enjoyed the quiet bits. It was a bit too frantic for the occasion though, I thought. There was no dancefloor. Everyone was sat around at tables, just drinking, chatting and soaking up the sounds. Not a huge crowd by any means, but a nice intimate feel nonetheless. I enjoyed my hour behind the Numark cd decks, even though they insisted on turning the lights on just as I got started. A small handful of punters hung around to listen to what I was playing and I thought I did a pretty good set, with only a couple of minor cock-ups, although Mike reckoned the set got a bit too horizontal in the middle. But what does he know - he's 37 for christ's sake. Oh, hang on - so am I!

Can't remember exactly what I played, cos I was making it up as I went along, but definitely kicked-off with Bass Clef's "Welcome To Echo Chamber", followed by the Burial mix of Blackdown's "Crackle Blues". Other sure-fire dubs included "Descent" by Headhunter, "Trenchtown" by Wedge, "Rubber Chicken" by Caspa, "Time Off" by Secret Agent Gel and Gatekeeper's "Tomb" (which prompted a 'what the fuck??!' moment from Jack). The PA seemed to cope pretty well with the bass frequencies, although I could hear stuff rattling and buzzing around me during the particularly heavy tunes. Apparently, Jack's mate had designed and built the PA to withstand the rigours of dubstep, and I was more than happy to road-test it for him! Oh, and one of Jack's other mates handed me some cd-rs of his own stuff (sorry, can't remember his name right now, but his producer name is Soundbox) and I played one of his at the end without any idea what it sounded like. The bassline was phenomenal. Apparently he's already signed for an EP with Boka Records, so definitely a name to watch out for. It was a lovely, mellow evening. I doubt Jack recouped his expenses, but I hope he has the belief and determination to do it again sometime. Big-up you, mate...

29 June 2006


Picked-up this lovely little 7 inch from new label Blossoms Kitchen, featuring two tunes from Madtone. I have no idea who any of the people involved are, but the contact details are clearly stated on the label, for anyone who feels inclined to communicate with them. Side 1 "Dark Dread" is the killer - a slow-burnin' dub mantra with eerie vocoder'd vocals...the sort of thing that really should be at least 10 minutes long, but this format doesn't permit such a thing. "Emerald" on the flip is more of a downtempo breakbeat thing, with odd tuneless electronic hums and warbles floating over the groove. But how did I find out about this record? What convinced me to part with my hard-earned cash to obtain a copy?

John Eden's "RSI Radio" of course!

Podcasts by bloggers sell records, official. Speaking of which...

weareie: Blogariddims


A couple of weeks back I received another surprise package from the mysterious Various Production, containing two 12 inch singles and, as usual, no cover note or press release. The four tracks on offer are all instrumentals and they're all heavy-duty dubstep workouts of epic proportions. So I thought I'd better tell everyone to buy them...but then I checked at Boomkat to discover that these are strictly limited editions of 100 copies each, that they have already sold out, and will probably never be available again in this form! I gather that vocal versions will appear on their debut album, forthcoming on XL Recordings. On the strength of these 'backing tracks', its gonna be a mind-scrambler...


This arrived this morning - literally in the nick-of-time for tonight's set at The Digital Recitals (though too late for Gutterbreakz FM, which was recorded last night). What we have here is a choice selection of forthcoming releases from the Ammunition stable (Tempa, Soulja and Dump Valve labels). Just listening through the tunes now...wow, this is gonna put a whole new spin on my planned setlist. You'll notice a couple of cuts from Bristol's Headhunter in there, which confirms his meteoric rise to fame. You'll also find two of his tracks on the next Dubstep Allstars mix CD...

Vol.4 is a double-disc extravaganza, with dubplate dons Hatcha and Youngsta taking a disc each to display their own distinct take on where Dubstep is heading in the next few months. Youngsta stays in typically deep halfstep mode, as usual focusing on a small handful of artists - namely Skream, Loefah, Digital Mystikz and D1; the only producers able to deliver the vibe that Youngsta requires, which makes Headhunter's infiltration into this inner circle even more remarkable. Hatcha keeps to a similarly tight selection of producers, although he focuses more on the work of Benga and newcomer Kromestar. His groove is a little more varied, kicking-off with some energetic skankers before moving into sublime Martian-bassline territory. This serves as a timely reminder to those who have discovered dubstep in recent times of Hatcha's vital role in shaping the sound. These dubs are not to be missed! Street date for Vol.4 is 17th July. Don't miss...

Just thinking about what else I'll be playing tonight. Not sure what sort of audience I'll be entertaining - general electronica heads, I guess. Definitely be spinning some cuts from this H.E.N.C.H. disc which I accidentally acquired a while back, featuring various exclusives from Tech Itch, Jakes and Headhunter. I don't even know what half of them are called!

Definitely be dropping some cuts from the forthcoming Skull Disco releases. I now know who Gatekeeper is, by the way. Or perhaps I should say I know who the Gatekeepers are, for this is a two-man operation. One of them is a well-known name in the dubstep scene, the other not so. I'm sworn to secrecy on this for now...

Hopefully find some space to represent the Stateside sound - I've got some wicked tunes from artists like Starkey, Drop The Lime, Mathhead and Secret Agent Gel. Pinch's "Punisher" (forthcoming on P.Mu) is a must, too. Depending on how I feel on the night, I might even play a couple from this disc as well...

(note: this post 'disappeared' for nearly two years, owing to objection from Ammunition who didn't want any mention of their promo discs on the blog. gutter - 23/05/08)

28 June 2006


There's been quite a bit of mourning over the death of that Great British Institution called "Top Of The Pops", but as I said in the Dissensus thread, it don't mean nothin' to me, baby. True, I'm the sort of person who always hopes that Pop will prevail over Rock (a 'Popist', then) though neither do much for me these days. So I absorb myself in abstracts like rhythm, texture and frequency...is that form or content, I wonder?

Besides, my interest in Pop ends roughly where the '80s end, so its probably all just mixed-up with nostalgia anyway. Paul Morley hit it on the head in his book "Words and Music", when talking about Alvin Luicer's "I Am Standing In A Room". Paul loved the piece, but only how it sounded in his head, replayed from memory by the iPod in his mind's eye. He feared listening to it for real, in the present, because it might diminish the music's power. That's how I feel with Pop music. My memory plays it back sounding the way it was delivered to me originally - ie, from a grainy medium wave signal emanating from the tinny mono speaker of a transistor radio; the sounds wafting from the kitchen as my mother prepared dinner, etc. I have no use for a shiny digital version of, say, "Sad Sweet Dreamer" by Sweet Sensation, or "Oh Lori" by Alessi. They sound beautiful in my head, accompanied by warm, yet half-glimpsed, memories of the past. If I actually heard them now, in real time, the disappointment would no doubt be crushing.

So Pop remains archived in the complex biological stereo system of my mind, the sound reproduction degrading in minute increments with each passing year, its sheen now tarnished by the effects of time - currently a nice yellowy-brown colour, but soon to become a mottled, indistinct shade of green...


More thoughts on the Burial album from Tim Finney here and good ol' Marcello here. Some interesting points, and another comparison to Tricky. But play it back-2 back with Basic Channel's "The Climax (Basic Reshape)" and it's like the same record....

14 June 2006


Kek-W reviews the "Roots Of Dubstep" doublepack 12", which precedes the immanent release of a CD compiled by Ammunition and Blackdown. My copy of the 12" arrived this morning, so haven't had chance to write a report yet, but no need cos Kek pretty much nails it. But here's an excerpt from the press release to wet your appetites...

The very first of its kind, "Ammunition & Blackdown Present The Roots Of Dubstep" is the only compilation to definitively document the early years of dubstep. Lost white labels and overlooked gems, dusty dubplates and unreleased underground classics have been tracked down and put together into the definitive early dubstep document.

It doesn't give an exact date of release for the full compilation, but I think its tied-in with the big FWD>> night at The End next Friday. In the meantime, there's still a few promos of the 12" doublepack in stock at Rooted. Go get 'em. The only track I already had was Artwork's "Red", from the first Big Apple EP, although before it had to share groove-space with "Rolex Riddim", so this reissue actually has a superior sound. The original EP is still worth tracking down, though - "Round Sound" is amazing! The ultra-rare Hatcha mix of Benga's "Star Wars" sounds like it's been mastered from a crackly old dubplate, presumably because the digital master was lost when Benga's harddrive crashed!

It's great to finally have "Sholay" on vinyl, and El-B's "Buck & Bury" is of course a shining example of those 'cold drums' that Burial is so in awe of. Speaking of which, Doppelganger (not usually known for his music critique) comes out with his personal reaction to Burial's album here. Glad you're feeling it, mate...

Oh yeah, check out the new-look Riddim.Ca, too. Good work, Paul!

13 June 2006


sleeparchiveOver a year ago I tentatively dipped my toes into the world of new minimalist techno via Sleeparchives' "Research EP". My review suggests conflicting emotions - slight bemusement mixed with pleasure. One part of my brain was asking "why?" and the other part was just saying "wow, this is fantastic!". Anyway, I thought it was time to check out the latest offering, the double 12 inch "Radio Transmission EP", released in February this year. And guess what - I fucking love it! I totally 'get' Sleeparchive now, I'm 100% into it. Drop the needle on side A and "Bleep" is a work of art that doubles as a hi-fi test record, featuring terrifying levels of pure, unmodulated sub bass of a kind I haven't heard since the old days of Sweet Excorcist and the first wave of Bleep music. There's no point in listening to this on earphones. Like dubstep, you need to physically feel the bass frequencies pushing through the air and resonating within your body. Unfortunately I don't know any clubs playing this sort of music where I live, so I have to wait until I've got the house to myself, crank up the volume as much as I dare and just stand between the speakers, absorbing the nutritious frequencies as best I can. All the frequencies are in the extreme hi and lo...there's an almost complete absence of mid-range. The arrangements are lean and minimal, every little percussive hit seems placed for maximum, devestating effect. When the string melody appears near the end of the title track, it's almost an unwanted distraction. This is sonic fetishism of the highest order.

The records are peppered with little lock-grooves, which, once you've figured where they are, make excellent mixing tools. I spent about an hour the other night just mixing Sleeparchive tracks together, using the little 1-bar lock grooves extensively. Next-level vinyl science. What a mind-fuckingly great idea! This record was made in Germany. I wanna hear the youth of Sheffield taking inspiration from this music, rising up to reclaim their sonic heritage. Someday, all minimalist techno records will be made this way...

Sleeparchive site.
Available at Boomkat.


sandoz in dubAnother new release from 'the Godfather', Richard H. Kirk, released this month. Following on from his EP for Sheffield imprint Dust Science comes a longplayer on the mighty Soul Jazz label, in both CD and vinyl formats. This is great, because until recently it seemed that Kirk was becoming an increasingly isolated figure, releasing music sporadically through his own Intone label, which, last year (presumably in a cost-cutting experiment) started releasing MP3-only collections via iTunes. But even Kirk can't convince me to pay money for a 128kbps MP3. Thankfully he still has support from those who believe in him, and this luxurious double-vinyl set with excellent sleeve graphics is making me very happy indeed.

"Live In The Earth" is a new selection under his Sandoz alias, which he first started using in the early '90s as a vehicle for his solo 'dubby techno' output, running in parallel with his work in Sweet Exorcist (bleeps, bass & clonks) and Cabaret Voltaire (then entering their final stage as ambient technocrats). This collection focuses on Kirk's long-standing love of dub reggae, combining skanked-out hairtrigger guitar flicks, deep chugging basslines, horn section fanfares and liberal use of sampled Rastafarian polemic with hard, repetitive electronics, crisp dancefloor beats and washes of analogue melody. Sounds familiar? Yes, but there's no dubstep influence here (apparently Kirk failed to show for the Digital Mystikz gig in Sheffield recently, which is a shame cos I'm sure he would've understood it immediately). No, this is a continuation of a project that began with "Chant To Jah", an album originally released on the Touch label back in 1998 (subsequently re-issued by Soul Jazz) and its a very personal interpretation of 'roots 'n' futurism'. As always, it was recorded alone at his private Western Works studio in Sheffield. You can practically taste the dust on his ancient mixing desk. But you only have to adjust the pitch up to +2 and these grooves will mix nicely with anything from the latest generation of dubwise producers. Not bad for a guy who must be pushing 50 years old by now, eh?

Buy directly from Soul Jazz or all good record stores.


indianheadMost of us assumed it was sucked into a black hole at the turn of the '90s, yet still divining fresh inspiration from the stagnant pond of Industrial Culture comes another collection from Leicester's Indianhead, with the rather snappy title "Trap Them And Kill Them". Although I know that I managed to hip them to Vex'd, this new 14 track CD mines a similar vein to their previous collection, which I mentioned in April last year, full of distressed/distorted textures, caustic beats and ominous ambiance. The angry, mangled vocals remain also, which I still think are the band's Achilles heel - a sonic date-stamp branded onto the music that will always be past its sell-by date, which is a shame because there's still plenty of interest on offer in other ways. The 3-part "Cromatica" suite is a fascinating study in sustained intensity, full of depth-charge reverberated kick drums and a rising tide of digital skree, whilst opening track "WWIV" is an impressive symphony of feedback drones and haunting cello. "Disco Sucks" develops into a stomping 4/4 lockdown - imagine if Tech-House was influenced by Front 242 - whilst "Complicity" is one of the more impressive vocal tracks, building a truly ferocious onslaught worthy of Swans at their peak. But elsewhere, a track like "The Feeling Still" is less successful. Although I applaud the Blair-baiting anti-war theme, it sounds terribly dated, like early '90s UK hip hop, not helped by their continued use of drum loops from Keith Le Blanc's old "Kickin' Lunatic Beats" sample CD. The strongest track rhythmically is "Wrench Withdrawn", a chilly arrangement of programmed beats and cloying synth-sludge. Drop out the vocals, bump-up the bpms and there's something I could mix with.

Feeling adventurous? Check out the band's website, where you can also order a copy of this very limited CD. Alternatively, check out the website of their associates Serial, where you can listen to various MP3s, buy the CD along with some other material, including "Letzter Atem", by Insular. This is more in the realm of melodic electronica and features some lovely pastoral interludes ...the perfect come-down after an hour's worth of Indianhead!

12 June 2006


abikuThe other new release from Seattle's Autonation Records is the debut long-player (unless you count the five privately released cd-r albums) from Abiku, called "Location". Originally a four-piece act from Philadelphia, they slimmed-down to a duo, Josh (keys and programming) and Jane (vocals) , before relocating to Baltimore. The album gives me another glimpse into the small but significant world of the US Electropunk scene, featuring fourteen short, sharp electronic shocks over the course of 26 minutes. Jane's vocal style veers from a bleating John Lydon-like whine to full-on deranged screeching, which, combined with Josh's pummeling beats and nagging detuned synth onslaughts makes for an intense listening experience, though frankly I don't think I could endure it for more than half an hour at a time, so the album length is just about perfect. I think my favourite track is probably "Horns", which has a vague '80s electro-funk feel in the beats. There's lots of interesting textures and ideas, but they usually only get used in the intros or breakdowns, providing a welcome counterpoint to all the mayhem, apart from a couple of quieter moments - "Folded" is a dreamy ambient sketch and final track "Serendipity" features some nice resonant synth drones. Its an interesting little album, though not quite as good as Metalux, the female duo who's creepy, haunted sound stole my heart a couple of years ago. As far I can tell, Abiku are almost constantly on tour (average 100 shows a year), so look out for them coming to a city near you (if you live in the States, that is).


Received a couple of CDs from Stateside underground label Autonation Records recently, here's the first one...

cexThe first full-length album for three years by Cex is called "Actual Fucking" and sports a rather striking cover illustration of a silhouetted young couple in the throws of coitus - basically, he's ejaculating all over her backside. Remove the booklet from its case, and inside are eight 'true life' cexually explicit (and very well written) stories by some of Cex's friends. You wanna know about Danielle's taste for getting "fucked in the ass and pussy back and forth", or consider the unique cexual politics of three-way sex? Lot's of eyebrow raising anecdotes on offer here, although being a male I don't find them particularly arousing (us blokes only get off on pictures, right?) but what about the music?

Cex of course is a well-known figure in the US underground, having released all sorts of odd records (some of which I've actually heard, most of which I haven't) as well as co-founding the influential Tigerbeat6 label with Kid 606. For "Actual Fucking" he's taken another sharp creative turn, travelling across the USA to collaborate with various musicians who he's met during his career, including Portland experimentalists Nice Nice. The resulting collection is song-based, with an emphasis on vocals and live instrumentation - a sound that Cex himself cheekily describes as "BSSM-era Red Hot Chilli Peppers crossed with Low". Not really my kinda thing in general, so I'm probably not the best person to be reviewing it, but it certainly has some good moments, such as the muscular electric piano-driven groove of "Covington", which also features some startlingly extreme vocoder effects, and the doom bass and crunchy drums of "Chapel City", sounding a bit like Radiohead in places. The live sound is combined with subtle electronic treatments, loops and beats throughout, and concludes with an impressive instrumental called "Tucumcari", a gorgeous string-swept, trickling Fender Rhodes mood-piece. The lyrical themes, combined with the printed stories, are intended to make a stand against "the oppressive morality of the Baby Boomers". So its a concept album, then.

Available in all good music stores. Possibly.


Johnny Dark

Synchronisity strikes. Or have I just been embroiled/manipulated/coerced by shadowy puppet-masters? I recently received a copy of Woebot's rather spiffing "Noir Desire" mixtape, which has been reminding/educating me on the pre-history of dubstep and grime, back when it was all about the gravity-defying jitterfunk of Two-Step, awash with digitally sculpted diva-edits (that 'feminine pressure' that many of my blogging comrades still hold dear) creating an odd juxtaposition of radio-friendly upward mobility with scientific sonics. Roll back the clock, rewind through Burial, DMZ and El-B, shedding the 'weight' of masculinity, dub and d'n'b influence and you end up back here. And I've been thoroughly enjoying it. A change is as good as a rest, as they say.

Then, only a few days later, I receive a promo of the forthcoming EP from Johnny Dark, which seeks to rediscover the essence of that era, with its hyperactive beats, hiccuping splatters of ecstatic femininity, and basslines that shudder, ripple and writhe at deliciously fresh angles. Johnny was a founding member of the Junior Boys, and his old colleage Jeremy Greenspan makes an appearance on the final track, an aerodynamic refix of the Junior Boys classic "Hard Come Down", giving a nod to his roots, even if it does mess-up the concept a little. Interestingly, Woebot gave this EP a very favourable review, and another blogging colleage of mine, K-Punk, wrote the press release. I'm not suggesting that they were conspiring to get me 'on board' with this one, but it does seem a bit of a strange coincidence that Matt's mix should arrive in time to get me in the right frame of mind before hearing it.

Whatever, I'm really surprised at how much I'm enjoying Johnny's music this week. Its really great. Seriously. The EP is released on 3rd July on the KIN label. Look out for it...

10 June 2006

in case you forgot...

Kid Shirt: Genius Of Modern Blogging

06 June 2006


Well its certainly become a big part of my life again in the past couple of years, but looks like the trend for vinyl music sales is more widespread than that...check this article (thanks to Chris at Hijack for the linkage). I try to remember why I stopped buying vinyl in the first place. I'm convinced that vinyl records started sounding much worse in the late '80s - coincidently the time when CDs first made their mark in the industry. I reckon it was deliberate sabotage - the records were mastered and pressed lousy at the behest of the industry bigwigs to forcibly turn people off the sound of vinyl, to make way for the new digital technology that they'd spent millions developing. But with me it was a gradual transition, and I guess the CD became prominent in my collecting habits by the mid-late '90s. Then a couple of years back I got really into the MP3 download format..mainly cos I'd just bought an iPod. But I'm over that now. Its funny, cos now I'm back to vinyl 100% and loving every minute of it. Just bought the milky-white vinyl edition of the new Boards Of Canada EP - the first time I've ever purchased a BoC release in that format. Feels good. Another point made in the article is the ongoing collectibilty of vinyl, and that's part of the appeal too - you feel like your investing in something, rather than some throwaway digital file. I reckon I'm back to stay. Looks like a new generation (not necessarily djs, either) feel the same way, which must be irritating for the major corporations, as they've been busy trying to educate everyone that all the old 'tactile' formats are dead. Looks like the consumers are making their own minds up on this issue. The only problem for me now is that I desperately need more storage space for my records!

01 June 2006



Once 11 - Bottled Paycheck (The Agriculture) Buy
Burial - Wounder (Hyperdub) Buy
Blackdown - Lata (forthcoming on Keysound Recordings)
The Herbal Medium - Patch (dub)
Geiom - Shock On The Rocks (Berkane Sol) Buy
Upstart - Subtrank (dub)
Narcossist - Terrorist (dub)
Tech Itch - Know (forthcoming on Ascension)
Kion - Yard Music (forthcoming on Clandestine Cultivations)
Headhunter - 7th Curse (Ascension) Buy
Skuba - Plate (Hotflush) Buy
Slaughter Mob - Born Under Cow (Halo Beats) Buy
Warlock - Cellar Door (Rag & Bone) Buy
N-Type - Way Of The Dub (Dub Police) Buy
Digital Mystikz - Earth Run A Red (forthcoming on Soul Jazz)
Kope 9 & Space Ape- Backwards (Hyperdub) Buy
Digital Mystikz - Ancient Memories [Skream Rmx] (DMZ) Buy
D1 - Baboo (Road) Buy
Caspa - For The Kids (Dub Police) Buy
Grim Feast - Metropolis (dub)
The Kilimanjaro Darkness Ensemble - Lobby (Planet Mu) Buy

I almost didn't do it this month. Still feeling a bit self-conscious after the recent MP3 debacle, plus the fact that last month's mix has had nearly 6000 downloads so far, which I find completely terrifying. But then I realised I'd be crazy to undo all the goodwill that I've built-up over the past year, plus there's just too much great music needing to be promoted, so here we go again.

After last month's heavy emphasis on exclusives, this time I'm playing 'catch-up' with all the excellent tunes that have been released in the last couple of months. Let the Dissenters argue and whine amongst themselves - we've never had it so good! It's starting to reach the point where the amount of new dubstep releases is outstripping my budget! Time to start getting choosy...

The Dub Police label is on monstrously good form right now, to the point where the quality totally eclipses that of it's parent label, Storming Productions. N-Type's "Way Of The Dub" EP is an essential purchase - the title track a brooding halfstepper overlaid with watery, filtered breaks and scorching waves of analogue texture, underscored by a tremulous bassline that writhes and squirms with impatient malice. Two similarly impressive cuts on the flip too. Hard on it's heels is the first EP from Caspa - a mystery artist. Well, I know who it is, but I'm not gonna tell you this time. I've got a bad reputation for doing that sort of thing. On first listen, opener "For The Kids" could almost pass as a D1 cut, filled with similar urgent electro-percussive textures , whilst the amusingly-titled "Cockney Flute" , with its deep sub-bass, wailing ethnic flutes and ocean of space, sounds similar to Cyrus of Random Trio. But it's neither of them. The only clue I'll give is that its someone I've actually interviewed for this blog, although I haven't kept in touch with him since then.

Speaking of D1, his new 3-tracker appeared on the revived Road label recently. I love the 'street-map' design that adorns all the releases on this label, which just call out to you from the racks and cry 'take me home'!! This release features the sort of high quality sounds we've come to expect from D1, although with a more grime-orientated flavour on "Golden Bullet" , which is propelled by a galloping cello riff and urgent, sweeping strings. Similarly, "Mucky" is an icey squarewave riff-driven monster that recalls grime at its most compellingly brutal and synthetic. But it's "Baboo" that is the absolute killer track, focusing on a plaintive descending flute-like melody and deep analogue-style timbers, combined with subtle flickering suggestions of the Orient. Think Wiley- meets-"Oxygene"-era-Jean Michel Jarre. Yeah, its that good. It goes without saying that the drum programming and choice of biting percussive sounds is absolutely first-class throughout.

Look out for the extraordinary new release from Geiom, who, perhaps bolstered by the inclusion of "Overnight Biscuits" on Dubstep Allstars Vol.3, has set-up a new label to release it. With it's pensive piano chords and soaring, haunted melodies, this one packs a heavy emotional punch. When the lads played it at Noir last week, it was like everyone just drifted into a deep reverie...a really fucking beautiful moment in time. I've elected to use the flip-side here though, which mines a similar spine-tingling vein, but with a little more emphasis on beat-bending dynamics. Wicked, although it did prove to be tricky to mix with, as you'll hear. Whoops, well what do you expect from a rank amateur?

In other news: The second release from Halo Beats features two slabs of Martian halfstep from Slaughter Mob, and its their best new material in ages. The mighty DMZ keep 'em coming with "Ancient Memories", with Skream's incredible remix on the flip. Look out for two further Digital Mystikz EPs coming very soon from the Soul Jazz label (unless, like me, you managed to bag one of the test pressings) - big tunes!! Warlock continues on his distinctive path with a fresh 3-tracker on Rag & Bone, including the creepy atmospheres of "Cellar Door" tucked at the end of side b. Hotflush continue to pile on the pressure with the latest release from Skuba. The a-side is an unusually riff-heavy piledriver (fans of the 'classic' DJ Distance sound will love this), although I'm more partial to the spacious, dubby flipside, "Plate"...possibly my favourite Skuba tune to date.

There's a handful of up-and-coming tunes here too, including a track from the second EP from Blackdown on Keysound Recordings, a brooding, atmospheric four-tracker that includes Burial's remix of, appropriately enough, "Crackle Blues" (and apologies for the extra, unintentional crackle that crops up occasionally - my cross-fader is playing up). Check the clips at Blackdown's blog. Should be in the racks sometime this month.

Regular listeners will probably be familiar with the name Kion by now, as he's made several previous appearances in my mixes, but now, with "Yard Music", he's finally getting something in the shops, via a various artists EP from new label Clandestine, showcasing some of the fresh talent coming out of Brighton and the south east, which should also be in stores later this month....

Then there's Tech Itch's "Know", featuring one of the nastiest breakdowns I've heard in a while (feel the 'dub-rage'!), from the second release on his Ascension imprint, backed by Headhunters' "The Arrival", which should also be available later this month. And don't forget that Ascension 001 is available to buy right now.

Managed to squeeze in a handful of exclusives from some fresh producers, including two from the burgeoning Manchester scene - The Herbal Medium and Narcossist (I assume they know each other?). Then there's a track from Upstart, based in Melbourne, Australia, plus another tune from Poland's finest Grim Feast, rocking-out proud.

The show is bookended by two non-dubstep(!) tracks, opening with some blurry downtempo dub from Once 11's album "Smile Hunter", out now on NYC-based label The Agriculture, and finishing with an excellent track from the all-round excellent album from The Kilimanjaro Darkness Ensemble, a nocturnal electronic jazz-odyssey involving Bong Ra, also out now on Planet Mu. Seriously recommended.