This month's collection features street racing, robots eating robots and a statement of intent from some bass music behemoths. First though, let's all reminisce for a second...
Rockwell ft. Kito + Sam Frank - Childhood Memories
Rockwell's latest offering sees the Shogun Audio beatsmith exploring some interesting new ground. Produced with the assistance of Kito, the track sees frequent Skream collaborator Sam Frank providing heavily vocoded vocals over a funky, stumbling beat that has very little to do with drum and bass. The video is of an equally left-field lean, with a playful montage of kiddie idols and colourful geometric shapes giving way to an image of two baby photos (presumably Rockwell and Kito), a pretty retro looking camera and then Frank's lament that "Yesterday was sooooo long agoooo". What follows is a potentially seizure-inducing kaleidoscopic blend of colours and toys, kind of what you'd imagine the dreams of a ten year-old raised exclusively on Pokemon cards and Pop-Tarts might look like. Pretty good, then.
Doctor P ft. Ce'cile - Galaxies and Stars
Speaking of sugar-fuelled immaturity, the latest offering from Doctor P is here and, as you'd expect, carries all the subtlety of a page three model eating a banana. In all fairness though, this is music for the club and in that respect Mr P (I hope he's not really a physician) can sleep soundly, knowing that this ragga-tinged, Major Lazer-esque sound explosion is bound to make people come over all silly on the dancefloor. On the evidence of the video, however, the good doctor's dreams are anything but tranquil, as a relatively serene (albeit very weird) cartoon scene of space soon gives way to a visual barrage of exploding heads, shaking alien booty and boobies that fire lasers. Funny? Yes. Clever? Certainly not.
Lorn - Weigh Me Down
Fresh off the back of his first album release on Ninja Tune (the follow up to 2010's Nothing Else on Brainfeeder), US producer Lorn's latest offering is one of the most unsettling pieces of music I've heard in a long time and also one of the best. I'll keep the words to a minimum on this one because it simply doesn't need them, but I will say that the video is also absolutely fantastic as well. You should watch it right now.
Virus Syndicate vs. North Base - Home
Manchester is proving to be a veritable Mecca of underground and urban music as of late, with the likes of Dub Phizix, DRS and more dropping some killer releases over the past 12 months. Virus Syndicate and North Base's new collaboration continues this purple patch with a truly stonking track, a mind-bending blend of grime, dubstep and jungle that really shouldn't work but does. The video is of a similarly frenetic nature. Interspersing footage of the two crews MCing into the camera, working in the studio and performing live with that of a high octane street race, it is, just like the music that accompanies it, big, brash and bullshit-free.
P.O.S - Fuck Your Stuff
Doomtree co-founder and part-time punk vocalist/guitarist P.O.S' new album on Rhymesayer promises, according to the label's website, to step away from his noisy past in favour of "futuristic beats fit for a Berlin nightclub". While the rest of the album may well be in that vein, a few eyebrows would certainly be raised if you dropped this at the Berghain; part rant against consumerism and part call to arms, Fuck Your Stuff is actually very noisy indeed. The video features P.O.S, surrounded by his crew (who, he assures us, are all "on some shit"), generally going around and fucking stuff up. Although all brands in the video are pixelated, you can at one point distinctly make out someone cutting up an OBEY hat. That, coupled with the fact that he somehow manages to reference Christopher Hitchens, makes this easily worth four minutes of your time.
Matta & Niveau - Riot
This cut comes direct from Berlin courtesy of the Ad Noiseam imprint. Echoing the style of 16-bit's 2010 remix of Noisia's Machine Gun, it's a relentlessly pounding piece of club weaponry in its own right. The video intercuts footage of ravers going a bit loopy in a club with images of bacteria going a bit loopy in their mouths. Suitably disgusting.
Dusk + Blackdown - Apoptosis
As statements of intent go, this release from Keysound Recordings bosses Dusk and Blackdown is up there with the boldest. The track itself is a shuffling, ominous UK funky number with a few chopped up vocal samples drifting in and out of the mix. The statement, however, is in the title and the video. You'll probably have to watch it to find out what that means, but I think it's safe to speculate that the duo have something to say about certain elements of the UK scene.
Brackles - Chasing Crazy
Coming fresh off the back of his first full-length for Rinse, this track from Brackles is an absolute banger. Occupying that hazy area between UK funky and two-step, it features the sublime vocals of Cherri V wonderfully juxtaposed against a dark and moody bassline, thus ensuring that this one will work equally well in a club or a set of headphones. The video is admittedly fairly standard fare, though does fit the song's sultry aesthetic perfectly.
Flying Lotus - Putty Boy Strut
Flying Lotus' first release off his forthcoming album on Warp is a predictably weird and wonderful collection of beats and bleeps, the kind of unique and forward thinking music we've come to expect from the Brainfeeder head honcho. The video that accompanies the song is similarly bonkers, featuring a cartoon world where robots eat other robots… need I say more?
Hybrid Minds ft. Katie's Ambition - Fade
Mainly due to the sheer quality on offer elsewhere over the past month, this list is distinctly lacking in entries from the world of drum and bass. It is perhaps fitting then, that we finish on what could be a contender for d n b tune of the year. Hybrid Minds seem to be going from strength to strength and this, taken from their latest EP on Mainframe, is one of their most enchanting tunes yet. Featuring the stunning vocal talents of Katie's Ambition, it is, quite simply, a beautiful piece of music, with an equally elegant video to match. Tragically not available on vinyl, I suggest you snap up the digital release ASAP.
Words: Jet Vevers
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