South London MC Phoenix Da Icefire unleashes his debut mixtape Baptism Under Fire and it's a welcome dose of street level hip hop which displays both intelligence and maturity. As part of the Midas Touch crew and affiliated to the excellent Triple Darkness (who's M9 is on hosting duties) Phoenix is part of an exciting breed of young rappers who pride themselves on lyrical depth and dexterity but are about as street as it gets. Definitely one to watch...
The mighty DOOM (previously known as MF Doom) offers up another single from his amazing Born Like This album with Gazzillion Ear produced by the late great J Dilla. A typically complex, intricate rap from DOOM is underpinned by a melodic, lolloping beat from the master. Also featured on the EP are a set of remixes which include a version from Radiohead's Thom Yorke which cranks the moodiness factor up to 10 and an exclusive DOOM instrumental.
Serving as a precursor to his forthcoming debut album No Struggle, No Progress, D. Gritty tells it like it is on Real Talk over a moody, low slung beat. Hard hitting, honest lyrical content from Mr Gritty sets him aside from a large number of his UK hip hop counterparts and heavyweight rotation from DJ Semtex (1Xtra) should ensure success for this promising rapper. The aforementioned LP will feature contributions from the likes of Baby J, Skinnyman and Million Dan.
Party starting beats here from Swindon based producer Para who funks things up on his debut album Fallen On Def Ears due out on Breakin Bread. After a number of 7” releases and a whole host of mixtapes and battle weapons, Para comes with thirteen tracks of authentic musical vibes, a dizzying mash up of all that's good about funk, soul and hip hop. Featuring the massive single Rescue Me, this is music to make you move your feet.
Straight outta Barry Town, Wales come the Squid Ninjaz, an eight man hip hop crew repping hard with their Revenge Of The Blowfish LP. Make no mistake, this is no lightweight Goldie Lookin' Chain frivolity, this lot mean business. The beats are, in the main, dark and stripped back which brings the crew's excellent rhyming skills to the fore. Squid Ninjaz feature among their number the already established Metabeats and Joe Blow but it won't belong before the other members are popping up all over the shop. Welsh Wu-Tang anyone?
Veterans of the UK scene Diversion Tactics are back with their Careful On The Way Up album and it's yet another example of hip hop at it's finest, with tough beats from Jazz T and Zygote and straight up tales of pissed up adventures from rapper Chubby Alcoholic. Includes contributions from US underground luminaries J Zone, Tim Dog and Percee P alongside features from Blade, D Gritty and beats from The Last Skeptik and Tommy Koi.
Formerly with Kids In Tracksuits, Nottingham based Lone has been knocking out his own brand of tripped out beatsmithery on a solo basis for the last couple of years. Rather like his excellent and beguiling Lemurian debut, his brand new Ecstasy & Friends LP is a woozy collection of warped and lopsided beats which retain a warmth and melody that mark him out as a truly unique producer. Music for a hazy summer day in the park. On lots of drugs.
Aussie drum & bass producer Safire drops by for a chat and reveals where to download his Innerspace Audio track for free!
Check The Foundation With David Heartbreak
Brooklynite David Heartbreak is launching the Foundation EP on OWSLA, and reception has been hot so far. Blending hip hop with dance vibes, we wanted to investigate from the man himself.
Philth Pours Out His Heart Songs
More well known for his, well, filth, Philth has gone all romantic on us for his new EP. We chat basslines, waistlines and inspirations right here.
Goodlooking Meets Spotify
One of the most groundbreaking labels in the history of UK dance music has teamed up with one of the leading streaming services online. We bring you the info right here.
Digital Soundboy Set Sail For Boat Party
Digital Soundboy are at it again. Ship ahoy for a summer boat party, we've got the details here.
Emissions Festival 2013 Review
We check out 'West Coast Bass Culture' festival Emissions...
Love Saves The Day 2013 Preview Mix
In anticipation of what promises to be an awesome event, Hodge & Shandy have put together a preview mix for Love Saves The Day.
Clima Guest Mix And Free Track
Spanish production duo Clima have some big releases coming up, and to celebrate, they have a guest mix and a track to give away.
One World Many Cultures With David Boomah
He has gone and done it. The new album from David Boomah is out now, and of course, Kmag wanted to get the lowdown from the man himself.
Empress Guest Mix
Best known for her marathon genre-bending sessions behind the decks, Empress checks in with a heavy-duty guest mix and broad-ranging interview that spans the course of her career.
Swindle Lives For The Jazz
Swindle's new album is coming out on DEEPMEDi on June 16th. We caught up with the bass music jet-setter to discuss his work and the sense of achievement of the album's completion.
Bassclash Meets Dubstar
Leading dubstep label Dubstar is teaming up with Bassclash for a huge compilation album, out now. Find out more here.
With interest peaking in their upcoming London night, we find out more about the Innersoul crew, and what they are up to.
CM Sounds Competition
CM Sounds have some amazing music technology courses on offer. They are now teaming up with Kmag for a competition. We give you all you need to know right here.
Aural Imbalance Comes Out Of Plato's Cave
Aural Imbalance is one half of Out Of Plato's Cave, who have recently dropped an album on the Greta Cottage Workshop label. We speak to him about it here.