Locus Sound, one of the brightest leading lights in today’s Dubstep landscape. A label unafraid to venture down different avenues while maintaining it’s distinct identity. The Bristol based imprint exhibit their extensive taste this week, returning with a second feature length compilation that’s bursting with genuine 140 treasures. Such is the nature of their entire catalogue, Locus Sound reach across the UK, Europe and beyond to manifest a collection of fifteen cutting-edge tunes that shine a light on all corners of the genre, whilst keeping things heavy hitting and downright filthy throughout, including today’s premiere, Sedan‘s contribution, ‘UV’.
Rising German mastermind, Yoofee, raises the curtain on LOCUSLP002 with his brand new and quite frankly amazing track, ‘Plot Twist‘. A couple of listens deep into the record and I’m already convinced that ‘Plot Twist‘ is not only one of the best tracks on this record, but potentially this year. The unique, breath-taking arrangement of percussion remains the focal point; the rolls, the kicks, all so tribal and energetic. But it’s the blinding synth notes that attempt to steal the show, reminiscent of various Sci-Fi soundtracks of recent past, from the likes of Arrival and Annihilation. A truly hypnotic, mind-altering roller steeped in progression and ingenuity. It’s a tough act to follow, however it’s never in doubt when Koma steps up to the buttons, picking up the baton for the brighter, slow burning ‘Step Two You‘. A lazy Sunday morning tune, with funky low end grooves and hints of sunshine melody that contribute to the boundless variety on this release. Take the following track ‘Rough‘ for example, where the mood drops and makes a full 180 turn as the unstoppable Pharma shares another characteristically deep and nefarious creation. Conceived in the cold, drafty corridors of the dungeon, listen carefully, beyond the intimidating shape-shifting frequencies, and you can hear the cold winter breeze whistle through the darkness.
A host of familiar names continue to do damage on the album, most returning to Locus Sound following their own solo masterpieces – the label has built quite the roster over three years of regular activity. Canada’s finest, SBK, delivers the heavy goods with the stomping ‘Power‘ and the always impressive Ourman demonstrates his signature 808 chaos on ‘Skeletons‘, another masterclass in balancing the rough with the smooth. Lord Jabu experiments with vibrant, charismatic synth lines throughout ‘Shy‘, before today’s premiere ‘UV‘ sees Sedan return to Locus for the first time since LOCUS009. The Austrian whips up one of the craziest, rapid fire bass-lines on the album, until we’re hit by a heart attack switch, descending into some ruffneck steel-like toughness. This is the deepest, darkest side to Sedan we’ve seen yet!
LOCUSLP002 also gives a platform to those simply etching their name onto the Locus roster for the first time, like Aussie native ESP, Estonia’s q100 and Belgium’s EKSTR, all equally making some notable first impressions.
Like Yoofee, Locus Sound continue to involve names destined to make moves in the near future, Nizth and Niche being the two most likely suspects. Both Russia’s mystery man Nizth and Bristol’s rising producer Niche deliver their own distinct bass-driven formulations. Two differing, exciting prospects we’ll be hearing a lot more of moving forward I’m sure.
And what compilation would be complete without a couple of killer collabs? Between Quasar & Qant‘s ‘Insidieux‘ and Photon & Ome‘s ‘Scratched Back‘, we’re treated to flavours of nostalgia laced, break-heavy jungle and a nutty, psychedelic trip respectively.
One thing that’s become apparent in recent months is Locus Sound‘s open mindedness to other genres, which became particularly evident on Roy Bar‘s recent genre blending release, ‘Icarus‘ (LOCUSM001) . The label hasn’t ditched that mindset during this latest instalment either as LT, a producer previously unknown to myself, shifts the vibe slightly with the dance-floor focused breaks of ‘Biome‘, concluding this exceptional release in energising fashion.
For the second year on the bounce now, Locus Sound has knocked it out the park when curating an end of year compilation. LOCUSLP002 is a smorgasbord of everything great in the genre of Dubstep right now and presents an optimistic view of what’s to come.
LOCUSLP002 is out this Friday (20th November) and available to download here.