10.MR MAGEEKA – FLEX
(DISKOTOPIA – DSK013)
More freshness from the Tokyo-based Diskotopia label, this time in the form of the four track ‘Flex‘ EP from Mr Mageeka, who most of you will know from the stellar ‘Different Lekstrix‘ single on Numbers back in 2010. Following a prolonged radio silence, the London-based producer is back and in fine form delivering a slick set of bumpy grooves and space age synths.
9.DEECH – URNITE
(ACTIVIA BENZ – BNZ001)
Slugabed launches his new album ‘Activia Benz’ with an impressive EP from Belarusian producer Deech. The four tracks that make up ‘Urnite’ display a deft hand at creating smooth, sensual and bumping hip hop, while Slugabed himself remixes the title track in inimitable style. Watch out for releases next year from 813, Arm Wtchs Fngrs and Eloq.
8.DON’T PANIC – YOU
(ZOO MUSIC – ZOOMUSIC002)
Monki’s Zoo Music imprint returns for its second installment, leaving proceedings in the hands of rising Midlands duo Don’t Panic. ‘You’ and ‘Empty Space’ have already found support from Redlight, Huxley, Dusky and more with their raw, stripped back and seductive take on house.
7.JESSE BOYKINS III x Melo-X – I’M NEW HERE
(NINJA TUNE – ZENDNLS345)
‘I’m New Here’ is the latest single taken from Boykins’ superb collaborative album ‘Zulu Guru’ with Melo-X; the original is a brilliant slice of modern soul, while the remixes superbly bring it into a club context. Jaques Greene pulls off yet more dance floor alchemy as he creates a mournful house epic, Machinedrum injects it with a playful swing and lush synths and Ango completes the package with his minimal take on ‘Better For You’.
6.KOMMUNE1 – MOTUS / SHADOWKICK
(MAGIC WIRE – MAGIC05)
Kommune1’s debut release comes courtesy of Lone’s Magic Wire imprint off the back of support from the likes of Blawan, Ben UFO, Pariah and Happa. Lead track ‘MOTUS’ is led by a jacking 4x4 groove layered with chopped vocals and metallic riffs while on the flip ‘ShadowKick’ is driven by a similar motor, using its lurching 2 note bass line to surge the track forward over a pummeling rhythm.
5.THEFFT – FOCUS WHAT
(MADTECH RECORDS – KCMTDL007)
Hotly tipped talent Thefft rounds off Madtech’s standout inaugural year with the two-track ‘Focus What’ single. The title-track is a slick house groove backed by a pulsing bassline and shifting chords while ‘Third Year’’s jittery drum pattern works in unison with the tight stabs and deep bass to great effect.
4.JEAN NIPON – PUT IT IN THE TRUNK
(CLEK CLEK BOOM – CCB008)
Next up on the burgeoning Cleck Clek Boom label is fellow Parisian Jean Nipon with a trio of intricately crafted bass heavy house mutations that nestle themselves nicely alongside CCB alumni like Chaos In The CBD, French Fries and Manare. Whether it’s the clipped finesse of ‘Put It In The Trunk’ the low slung bump of ‘Black Things On Desk’ or the powerful lurch of ’35 Thieves’, there is enough here to make this another worthy purchase from the label.
3.DUSKY – CALLING ME
(SCHOOL RECORDS – SCHOOL001)
In-demand duo Dusky come off the back of the success of ‘Flo Jam’ and ‘Henry 85’ with some of their darkest offerings yet to inaugurate the new School imprint. The title track is a deadly club cut fuelled by an insistent groove and pulsating bass. Vinyl only track ‘Muriel’ is sparser but no less effective offering an infectious bounce while the digital only ‘What I Do’ injects 2-step swing into the techno syncopations.
2.LAUREL HALO – SUNLIGHT ON THE FADED
(HYPERDUB – HDB068)
Following her divisive ‘Quarantine’ LP for Hyperdub in May, Laurel Halo has sneaked in a new 12” for the label before the end of the year. ‘Sunlight On The Faded’ is a more direct offering awash with romance and soul, stretching itself out across a bed of warm pads over which the skittering barely-there percussion flutters along dripping in the honeyed tones of the repeated vocal refrain. On the ‘Dub’ version things get weirder as Halo pares it down to a cavernous bass rumble and a sharper rhythmic edge.
1.THROWING SNOW – ASPERA
(SNOWFALL – SNFL002)
Rounding off an impressive year, Throwing Snow returns with the second EP on his newly minted Snowfall imprint, the follow up to the acclaimed ‘Clamor’ EP earlier this year. The four-track ‘Aspera’ EP is imbued with the same mastery of atmospherics and rich melodies that characterized the last release while drifting at an easier pace. The EP is a beautifully expansive affair that layers lush pads, icy arpeggios and warm bass notes.
BEST OF THE REST
ZANSHIN – MUDDLE IN THE MIDDLE
(AFFINE RECORDS – DIGAFF002)
Austrian producer Zanshin drops two slices of wondering, astral euphoria on Affine.
DENSE & PIKA – CRISPY DUCK EP
(HOTFLUSH – HFT027)
Dense & Pika’s debut EP for Hotflush comes packed with big grooves and dance floor nous.
STICKY – PEDAL RIDDIM
(BIG DADA – BDDNL223)
Sticky returns to Big Dada with an infectious cut of rubbery house backed by a deadly 2-step rework in the form of ‘The Sequel’.
3. STARKEY – ORBITS
(CIVIL MUSIC – CIV052)
Ever prolific, ‘street bass’ exponent Starkey returns with his third LP ‘Orbits’, this time for the London-based Civil Music label. Now largely removed from dubstep, ‘Orbits’ retains the hallmarks of Starkey’s sound melding grime, hip hop and more experimental structures into an expansive and heady cocktail of lush synthwork, big drums and rounded bass lines.
2. KRTS – THE DREAD OF AN UNKNOWN EVIL
(PROJECT MOONCIRCLE – PMC108)
‘The Dread Of An Unknown Evil’ is the debut album from NY producer KRTS, released this month courtesy of Project Mooncircle. Over ten tracks the album explores KRTS’ emotive, organic and compelling style of electronica, touching upon hip hop, dubstep, house and jazz along the way.
1. RUFF SQWAD – WHITE LABEL CLASSICS
(NO HATS NO HOODS – NHNH1005CD)
No Hats No Hoods have taken upon themselves the massive task of collating and repackaging some of seminal grime crew Ruff Sqwad’s seemingly endless vaults of instrumentals as ‘White Label Classics’. Showcasing the pioneering style of their productions, the album takes a journey through their unique vision of grime, stopping off at countless classic tracks on the way.
OWSLA Debut For Phonat
Italian producer Phonat has recently dropped his debut EP for the massive OWSLA label. We talk Identity Theft with the multi-genre musician right here.
Chroma Knock Knock On CIA
Consisting of Phobia, Sato and Tyrone, Chroma are making some serious noise in the drum & bass world. We chat to them about recent single Knock Knock/Intermission and more.
LeeFest 2013 Preview
South London LeeFest returns for its eighth edition in July and has also made history by securing its independence by securing £5,000 on Kickstarter.
Teddy Killerz And Jade Talk Violence
The next huge release from Eatbrain features Teddy Killerz. Here, alongside label boss Jade, they break down the Violence EP.
DJ Vapour Guest Mix
More amazing new music for your ears. We chat to DJ Vapour about new music on 36 Hertz and much more. He treats you to a booming guest mix into the bargain.
Symptom Guest Mix
One half of soundsystem killers Savage Rehab, Symptom is a respected producer in his own right. We catch up on all the news from him, including an exclusive mix.
Artist. Musician. Snowboarder. Eveson is all over at the moment, with his unique blend of skills and passion. We speak to him about upcoming live dates, upcoming releases and more.
Antics Records Unveil Collateral Damage
The Antics Records crew are behind a new LP, which has been getting some major support from the big players. We discuss the project with the label right here.
Congo Natty on Outlook and New Album
We caught up with Congo Natty in Spain to discuss this year's Outlook festival and his forthcoming release on Big Dada...
DJ Upzet Guest Mix
Coming at you live and direct from Germany, DJ Upzet talks about his contribution to the scene, and delivers a firing guest mix.
Soulculture Continue To Spread Their Wings
Soulculture seem to be everywhere at the moment. The duo have a load of exciting plans right now, which they explain to Kmag.
Numark iDJ Pro Review
Numark's sleek new controller the iDJ Pro certainly looks the business but how does it perform? We take a closer look...
Youthman Drops Some Bangin Music
No doubt one of the best French producers in the game, Youthman delivers the scorching Bangin Music EP for Under Pressure.
Scientia Continues With The Carbon Remix EP
J-Science's Scientia imprint is embarking on yet another journey with the Carbon Remix EP. We talk to the Science man all about it.
Detail Guest Mix
Ukraine's Detail is part of the new Utopia release. We talk to him about his track right here, and he drops a guest mix on us.