AHEE - "Tech No"
AHEE is the turnt-up alter ego of one of the producers (and the DJ) for the mind blowing avant-garde circus troupe Lucent Dossier Experience. When he isn't producing heady bass jams and performing on stage with the psychedelic big top act, he's pushing the subs to the limit with his chart-topping Breaks and self-described Nu Bounce. With remix work for KJ Sawka and an EP on Play Me under his belt it only seems natural that this West Coast bass-smith would get noticed by the mighty Punks crew, the undisputed heavyweights of UK bass.
"Tech No" is a dirty 808 answer to Eminem's now infamous swipe at dance music. Minimal and driving, he's used a distorted 808 to incredible effect and created a driving pumped up bassline that sounds insane on a large system. It's all held in perfect balance with booty tech vocal clips, siren-like synths (that may or may not be a nod to a certain 80's talking car) and trap-inspired squeals of delight.
This is just one cut off the latest in the Punks Music's outstanding Selections series. The Plump DJs have pulled off a massive hat trick with this one, with cuts from some of the finest in broken bass and forward thinking house.
4B & Azaar - "Pop Dat" (Mervin Mowlley Flip)
Hailing from the Indonesia, Mervin Mowlley has become quite prolific in recent months due to his command of heavy, ass shaking rhythms. He's amassed quite an impressive list of supporters including Diplo, Dillon Francis, and Laidback Luke as well as a signing to the celebrated bass music label Illeven:eleven Records. He's put his signature spin on this already hyped up 4B tune by giving the tempo a more club friendly groove and a heavy dose of spicy vocal chops. The result is a Breakbeat/Jersey Club hybrid that bangs just as hard as the OG, with more emphasis on that funk.
Panic City & Miles Medina "Ball Is Life"
When I saw that the two of the Bay Area's finest players were getting together on a tune, it was enough to sell me in itself. Panic City has risen through the ranks in recent years due to his finely tuned ability to rock a bass line like no other. And even while he's released on some of the biggest labels in the game (Mad Decent and Dim Mak to name a couple) he's never forgotten his Bay Area roots, and always finds a way to inject just the right amount of hood into his beats.
Miles Medina is an institution in the DJing game in San Francisco. Having cut his teeth at a young age, he was already legendary around these parts before he was even old enough to get into the club.
The boys have flipped a JAY-Z sample into a bone crushing low-end slumper that bounces back and forth from trappy minimal breaks to bouncy bass house, without missing a beat. Let's hope that we hear more from this dynamic duo.
Smookie Illson & CLB - "Yella"
It's always a pleasure to see the old school and the nu skool finding a space together on some sick beats. Smookie Illson's Keith MacKenzie and DJ Fixx are legendary figures within the breakbeat realm and CLB is the new kid on the block who's Jersey kicks have been felt far and wide due to frequent releases on labels like Main Course and Punks. "Yella's" wall of 808 commands the bottom end, anchoring the beats for the precisely tuned percussive high end. With just a note of old-school flava, the track impressively pulsates through several body poppin' themes in just under three minutes.
Hybrid Theory - "Atomic Bomb"
The boys from Birmingham have been steadily on a tear since they founded their 440 Records imprint back in 2010. The label has been at least partially responsible for shedding light on the talents of Chris Lorenzo, Jamie George and Billy Kenny. But in the last few years, the duo has been shining the light on themselves and for very good reason. Tunes like this, exemplify why they've gained widespread support from dance music titans, radio DJs and punters alike. Featuring a swinging drum break that undercuts a warped mutant bass line, the subtle breathing FX create an eerie almost evil atmosphere. Hybrid Theory is known for some of the rudest bass lines in the biz, it's clear why.
Bromley - "Luggin' "
There's something truly wonderful that happens when an artist can move you with nothing more than drums and atmosphere. Bromley proves his mastery of rhythm and crispy clean production once again with this minimal workout. Impeccably timed percussive edits swirl around a pounding central drum line while a shower of vocal cuts and sweeping fx wash over you.
Sir Rosevelt - "Sunday Finest" (Gazzo Remix)
Multi-instrumentalist Gazzo (he plays nine of them) has made the cross over into Indie Dance in great fashion. He now sits on the cusp of fresh and funky dance music and straight up pop. He always finds a way of sneaking organic instruments into his productions, and as such, even his remixes have a natural feel. He's transcribed the upbeat bluesy rock of the original tune into some hyped up disco funk. The rich upbeat chord progression will surely take you to your happy place.
21 Savage - "X" (Austin Maddox Remix)
Truth be told, I didn't want to like this tune solely for the inclusion of 21 Savage vocals. But it works, fabulously. Austin wraps the vocals up in his dark and twisted claws and squeezes every bit of hood rich funk out of it. The timing of the lively sample cuts and unusual edits add a layer of excitement that makes the vocals fun, and drive the tune forward.
Why So Serious - "Familiar" (Broady Remix)
It's been fantastic to see the resurgence of Garage in modern bass music. Melding the old school sounds with the new has brought danceable grooves back to the stage and given kids the drive to seek out their dance music roots. France's Broady get's the equation correct in this one with a big wompy bassline that is balanced in the bridges by a more subtle approach. The half time breakdown takes the tempo down without losing any of the energy, and the drums are bright and bouncy. Solid floor filler material.
Little Ant ft Vianne - "Keep Going"
I think it was the sharp juxtaposition between the soulful breakdowns and dark basslines that drew me to this one. There's something magic that happens when the sweet vocals wash over you only to lead into a disgustingly dirty bassline.
Check out all of the songs in one playlist.
Alexander Dias is a breaks fiend. Follow him on Twitter.