The Dreamer Recordings – Synth Ethics – ‘Do & Die’ EP – [Review]

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Leaning into our inbox like the Tower of Pisa but with a B-boy stance is an avant-garde release coming from Italian imprint ‘The Dreamers Recordings‘, which has spanned 12 years influencing the scene with event organizing until crossing over to the label side of things. Upon this release, we’re treated to a vehement four track EP sculpted by also Italian duo, Synth Ethics, namely Tommaso & Nicolas, who have also dished out some tunes on imprints like ‘BNC Express’ as well as ‘Critical Records’. Not being their first release on ‘The Dreamers Recs’, ‘Synth Ethics’ present us with the ‘Do & Die’ EP.

Drawing the curtain on this display is S/E’s take on ‘By Polar’s‘ ‘Deep Down‘ tune which originally is a more chilled electronic vibe which is then switched up to a more brooding baseline and a little menacing percussion work. The title track ‘Do & Die‘ makes it’s stance as the second offering on this EP draped in all of the funk and sinister with the vibes, guaranteed to always find its way into people’s sets. Stunner of a tune! Which is then followed by ‘Recognize‘, which is a take on retro vibes tinged with a modern touch to it. Then lastly is ‘Ragtag‘ holding down a stellar closing to this EP with well orchestrated chaos in it’s mellow like but still aggressive nature. Big up to the mandem, this EP is pure gold!

Words: Toan

Kinetik Records – Kursiva – Waveform Shapeshifter LP – [Review]

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Waveforms shapeshifting all the way out of Spain from man like Kursiva, who’s been seen incorporating some of his turn-tabling into his DnB productions. Delivering a 12 track LP of uncompromised production, the “Waveform Shapeshifter” LP is presented by Belgian label “Kinetik Records”.

The LP is unapologetically Neuro driven but so well curated which sees kursiva fully flexing his production finesse, and really non-monotonous. Featuring tracks like “Shattered” which come hissing at you with a thick, grounded bass that’s well designed to crack ribcages. And “Press 2 Play” with torn synth worn work and a piercing groove is well crafted to have you pacing up more than normal. To rolling tracks like “Speedline” sprinkled with some mad funk in them & halftime breakdowns. Definitely, something in this for everyone to include in their sets. The track “Hydra” is a monster with an insatiable appetite of obliterating dance-floors with its menacing drum work. And of course, the title track which has dumbfounded me. This is one number which will definitely have heads turning and inducing screw faces of note! Fresh album from man like kursiva.

 

Soul Trader Records – Dave Owen – Ridin’ High EP – [Review]

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Hailing from Queens, NY in the United States, comes Dave Owen with his four track EP titled “Ridin’ High” which is completely immersed in the lushest liquid DNB I’ve personally heard coming from the states. The EP is showcased on Soul Trader’s magnificent roster of releases.  Breaking the ice is a track called ‘Hydro Soul’ which is led by a flute-like sound that’s looped up, which pretty much runs throughout the entire track and then followed by quite a stand out of a tune “Little Impulses” which tugs at them feels with the right motion and timing just to have you swell up in some deep vibes.

Thirdly comes the title track “Ridin’ High” which is rather much smoother and deep, one set to alleviate the stresses of everyday living and cruise you onto cloud nine. The EP is then sealed off by “Soul Mates”, a track which boasts a beautiful violin that paints delightful sceneries in your mind. A Very pleasing piece of work on the entire EP to mellow out on. Really love the work that went into this production. Big up!

Words: Ant

Audio Porn Records – Benny L – Fire In The Sky EP [Review]

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Benny L returns, and brings with him Fire In The Sky via the perversity that comes out of Audio Porn. There are four tunes to engage the ears with, and it is the record label’s seventy-fifth release which is basically a milestone reached.

The title song, as if to go perfectly with the theme features an artist called Firefly gracing the vocal support on it. Indeed, it is fiery and full of energy throughout its course. And then, the next track to come through is ‘Backlash’ with its catchy hook, and laced with a speech sample, as well as some thunderous horns that reverberate with a force. The track is also complimented with some added spacey FX sounds that give it a nice effect. Track number three sounds exactly as what the title says it is i.e. ‘Freight Train’, and moving really fast on the track. The bass line pulses with an electric shock, and the beat is compulsive with a jump up & down vibe. Thereafter, ‘Unorthodox’ starts to kick in, in a similar manner and comes as the final track on the short track list. What is nice about the EP overall is that, the style of production is consistent in all four songs, with that simplified via 1-2 breaks with punchy and well-compressed kicks; dope FXs and synthesis; as well as the deep, loud hums of the bass lines.

Fire In The Sky EP is another majestic display of Benny L’s conceptual play with destructive ideas centred on high altitudes, just like he did with the likes of ‘Thunder’ (2015) for instance. All of these ideas in this instance are just transmitted in the form of banging D&B music.

Words by Tsheola Asavela

http://www.junodownload.com/player-embed/3427525-02.m3u/?pl=false&pn=false&jd=true

Notion Audio – PRTCL – Scrap Yard/Traction [Review]

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Notion Audio is a new label from Berlin, Germany run by producer/DJ, PRTCL. This record comes after just two releases from Notion thus far, and they are all compliments of the founder himself.

 ‘Scrap Yard’ is the title of the first of the two singles that the release contains. The rampant clatter of the metallic triangle speaks in its own, distinct voice as the song goes through the necessary transitions from start to finish, with the solid acoustic sound lightly echoing throughout. Following behind, is the deep gloominess of the smooth and simple composition of the low frequencies that make up the bass; and there is also this unique-sounding effect, a raw sound worth of interest layered therein. The other, titled ‘Traction’ is collaboration between PRTCL and fellow Berlin producer, Survey and; is made up of an Apache Break; dark horn-like sounds that give it a serious, sinister mood; and has a bouncy vibe to it, summing up into something relative to Jungle in simple terms. All-in-all, there is no mistaking the quality of production, and the recognized creative identity of the artist.

It is critical for a new label’s music to impress listeners, and so judging from what we’ve heard here, we definitely reckon that Notion Audio has made the cut in that department so far, clear and simple.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela

31 Recordings – Current Value – Scalar EP – [Review]

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Scalar EP is the title of Tim Eliot’s A.K.A. Current Value’s freshest release under 31 Recordings. It is 31’s twenty-seventh release thus far, and it contains four tracks in total that weigh heavy on the scale.

 The theme that we are looking at here is possessive of mystical and dark atmospheres in the sound. Things kick-start with the title song, ‘Scalar’ with its dizzying start via some lingering synth sounds on a 1-2 beat, dropping on to a heavy bass line that dominates the track. This is nicely complimented with a smooth, clean production. Track two; ‘Bigger Picture’ is quite an energetic and kinetic one, with interesting play of the bass and the support from the other elements. ‘Major Fracture’ simply put, is an auditory epitome of violence in my perception, for it expresses the rage and the satisfaction of relieving it as well. Also, it screams like some alien creature from a sci-fi flick. The last track is interestingly titled ‘Reconsider’. It must be the most laid-back one of them all, and it is a sort of infusion of Neuro-Funk and Intelligent Drum & Bass, arguably enough. It is definitely a unique song. There is also the realization after listening to all four that; not even a single track in the EP has vocal some activity, all is strictly and absolutely instrumentals speaking in their own sonic voices.

The German DJ/producer has consistently been raising the D&B flag for years with breath-taking releases such as these. Owing to that, Scalar EP is definitely recommended for the seasoned heads who like their stuff intricate like this.

 

Words by: Tsheola Asavela