Dubstep never 'went away', it never 'died', it's always been there bubbling under the surface, seeping out through the cracks. These monthly 140BPM Bass-weight articles will be focusing on all aspects of deep dubstep, old and new, bringing you various flavors from across the globe.
1. Mr K. – Spooky Dub (VCEP007) – Mr K. has been building tune after tune recently, with various releases on labels such as Version Collective and Wheel and Deal Records (N-Types label) you just know he’s got so much more to bring to the table in 2017. ‘Spooky Dub’ has been titled so perfectly, it really is a haunting riddim.
The intro is chilling with some deep, crisp drums. Then momentarily just before the drop a croaky male voice says the words, “its real dark and spooky” then smash, the drop cuts right through you in such a violent way, biting at you with every kick and flick of the bass. This tune is clearly built for real sound systems and I am very hyped to hear it through a real rig. If this tune is on your level then the other 2 tunes (Lion & Holding) that are part of his forthcoming E.P will definitely be up your street. Don’t forget to check Mr K’s soundcloud for all new and forthcoming releases. Spooky Dub is being released as part of his E.P on Version Collective (VCEP007) at the end of February. Don’t forget to purchase it.
2. Hebbe – Flute Song – This is a very beautifully crafted piece of music. The intro is very slow and harmonious, with lots of rich reggae sounding instruments placed perfectly in time. The drop creeps up on you like a monster and almost feels like a slingshot the way it jumps back and forth. Hebbe is a producer and DJ from Rotterdam, he was my ‘one to watch for 2017’ on Radar Radio’s Sicaria Sound show and mark my words, he is definitely going to blow up in 2017. His production style is mesmerizing and his productions sounds enormous. Be sure to check out Hebbe’s soundcloud for any forthcoming new music. Two other tunes that I am really feeling by him at the moment are ‘Fire Starter’ and ‘A8X’. ‘Flute Song’ is being released on Subway Music around March time so look out for that. I cant wait to hear more stuff by Hebbe in the future.
3. Sub Basics – Horus (IFS005)– I first heard ‘Horus’ on Jack Dats Radar Radio show w/ Killa P and Trim last year sometime. It standardly got 2 wheel ups and since then I have desperately wanted to know who it was by and what it was called. I only found out by chance when I was chatting to Sub Basics last year and he linked me their forthcoming E.P. I was majorly taken aback when I realized it was by him. It was one of my tunes of 2016 so I was gassed to finally hear a full mastered version.
‘Horus’ starts off subtly and almost feels like its incoming from a distance, just before the drop, it all fades away into total silence. The drop is very hypnotizing and almost feels like its being played under water. It starts with a crisp, defiant kick and some rare experimental bass instrument, now this tune is minimal but it also bring a lot to the table production wise, I haven’t heard any kind of song remotely like it, and its perfect for an MC to jump on. ‘Horus’ is out on Infernal Sounds IFS005 as a 12” Vinyl with ‘Cartel’ on the flip which is easily just as special. Keep up to date with what Sub Basics is doing through his soundcloud, other tunes to look out for are ‘Vigour’, ‘Northern Lights’ and the ‘Hindzy D Bootleg’. Really hyped to see what more creations he has lined up for 2017.
4. Dbridge – Fashion Dread (SEN001) – One of the darkest tunes in this months review and I’d stretch to say one of the heaviest tunes I’ve ever featured. Released on January 20 2017 as vinyl & digital on Youngsta’s own ‘Sentry Records’ SEN001, their first release for the label and what a release it is.
The intro is very tranquil, with a far away sounding kick and some Rastafarian vocal sample that talks about certain individuals that don’t have dreads for the right reasons. Then the vocals die off and the drop bursts through. Its deep, minimal and the definition of weight, the way Dbridge has used space within the tune works perfectly and give's the whole tune a boost of enormity. Every time the bass drops it cuts deeper into you, I really cant wait to hear it on a proper sound system. The flip is Digital Dread which is of equal quality. Head over to soundcloud to check out what else Dbridge is doing musically, and don’t forget you can catch him at the next SYSTEM night in London on May the 5.
5. Compa – Take Control feat. Mc Fox (ARTKL023) – Compa has been unstoppable in the past few years going from strength with various releases on labels such as Inner Riddim Records, Deep Medi Musik, Moonshine Recordings and many more. His approach to production and DJing in general is so organic. He’s able to switch from genre to genre creating absolute class with every production. I have been lucky enough to know him on a personal level for many years and it’s been special to see him rise up through the ranks and become the artist he is today. I know just how much this meant to him all those years ago. He’s roped in one of Manchester’s greats and Level'z key member MC Fox to add yet another dimension to the tune with his melodic and versatile vocal ability.
The song starts in a very calm way with Fox’s lyrics slowly echoing in. The drop and general bass line rift is a mashup of trap, grime and dubstep, add that with Fox’s unique flow and the partnership between these two artists is pretty exceptional.
Having already toured the globe with his many Dubplates and holding down his own 'one off' night at Boiler Room, you just know this young man will go very far within music scene. Make sure you check out his Soundcloud here for any news on forthcoming tracks. I’m excited to see what he’s cooking up for 2017.
6. Thelem X Sleeper – Squeeze Me (CRUCIAL010) – When I heard two of my favorite artists in the Dubstep scene had linked up on a few tracks together I was majorly gassed to hear the outcome. ’Squeeze me’ cant be faulted, the way the two artists have created such a minimal piece of music, not clogging it up with too many instruments, is to be applauded.
For me, the track is a hybrid of Dark Dubstep and Trap, it begin’s with a very brassy instrument and quickly works up to the drop then suddenly all the brass dies away and the tune drops with a great deal of force. A deep sub and simple yet heavy hitting drum beat makes this tune what it is. About a quarter of the way through the brass seeps back into the tune layered on top of the sub adding yet another level to the riddim. It is being released on Crucial Recordings soon along with 3 other absolute riddims (Strawberry Cough, Ghettonimics and Fukka), you can pre-order the vinyl through both Unearthed and Redeye. i'm really excited to hear more from these 2 massive producers. Dont forget to check up on what both Thelem and Sleeper are up to music wise through their soundcloud's here.
7. Kahn & Neek – Got My Ting (Bugas Remix) – ‘Got My Ting’ by ‘Kahn and Neek’ is up there as one of one of my most favored tunes by the duo. So when I came across this bootleg/remix on soundcloud I was instantly skeptical how someone could improve or change up such a classic. My skepticism quickly subsided as the intro began to roll out.
Bugas has crafted this remix perfectly, changing the whole tone of the tune by adding a much longer intro and placing in a grainy drum beat that comes in just before the drop. The drop is, in essence, the same, however there is a lot more going on in this bootleg than in the original. I kind of like it. Even though its in no way as minimal as the original I think its been executed really well. You can go over to ‘Bugas’ soundcloud now and give the tune a download for free and be sure to check out his other tunes.
8. Mesck – Bad Future (GB007)– It feels like ‘Bad Future’ has been plucked straight out of a horror movie. The whole feel of the song from start to finish is very chilling. The intro is very slow, almost creeping along with a mix of sirens and distant sounding deep instruments seeping through gradually with every bar. Then just before the drop some words are spoken in a kind of American accent, “What I think about the future, there aint no future, that’s all there is to it, no future at all’.
At that moment it drops with a ferocious sub bass that grips you tightly and throws you around until what I can only describe as an extraterrestrial siren runs along side the sub bass. Then what follows is another crazy sounding brass instrument until it all turns into a mad mixture of murky darkness. The outcome is exactly what Mesck was hoping for, an eerie, spooky riddim that will knock you for six if you ever heard it on a proper sound system. Being one of the only non-UK artists on the Chestplate (Distance’s Label) roster, you just know Mesck is packing the firepower within his productions. ‘Bad Future’ is being released on ‘Joe Nice’s’ well respected record label GourmetBeats as GB007 on vinyl + digital, be sure to go out an purchase a copy. Look out for future releases from GourmetBeats this year too, Joe has been stacking the dubs.
9. OH91 – Meditation (BS005) – Up until recently I only knew ‘OH91’ though his grime ventures (Stealth, Blackberry, Renegade, Shuttle etc). However, thanks to my brother Olaf at Signalfire/FatKidOnFire, I was introduced to a proper heavy weight riddim that OH91 had produced.
‘Meditation’ starts of in such a euphoric way, its almost uplifting with an eclectic array of synths and high end instruments building up towards the drop. There is a vocal sample that starts up as well then a loud, crisp kick is sounded just before the tune drops. The drop is completely different to anything within the intro and this is what draws me to this tune. The contrast of the intro to the main drop is crazy. Sub heavy bass that jumps around from side to side, just perfect for in the dance. The drop is so dense, I never get tired of listening to it. ‘Meditation’ is being released on Banana Stand Sound as BS005 along with 3 other massive tunes, (Aerotonin & Nights – Jazz Lick, TryTryDieDown – My Boo and Crix Saiz – Warriah). You can pre-order it now. I cant wait for more from OH91 this next year, shouts to him though because this tune is straight bonkers.
10. RDG & Eshone – Khemistry (IMV001) – Eshone from USA and RDG from Copenhagen have linked up and created a very hard hitting dub. The first release from Indigo Movement with RDG feat Cessman – 3000 on the flip and their not to be taken lightly.
‘Khemistry’ starts off with calmness, it almost sounds like a clock ticking. The odd kick is heard, drawing up towards the drop. When it drops the bass is like some dark squawking noise, shouting out at you after every drum beat. There is a lot going on within this track but every instrument compliments each other perfectly, from the dry thud of the drums, to the influx of computer crackle that covers a few parts of the tune. I really like how parts of this tune are a bit experimental and you don’t really know where the journey is going, or where its going to end. Be sure to check out both Eshone and RDG’s soundclouds, and look out for future releases from Eshone on Gourmetbeats too, both these guys are killing it at the moment, really looking forward to hearing more from them both.
There will be a Strictly140 guest mix dropping on the 24th Feb by Mr K, so keep your eyes out for that one also look out for my next grime article that should be live within the next few weeks, Peace.