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.