Have you ever looked forward to an absolute banger to be released, only to find the tune on the flip side actually slaps just as hard or even more so? I’ve experienced it frequently over the years and not only do I sometimes find it a shame to see a banger hidden on a B-side, but for it to also be forgotten. Well they shall be forgotten no more as with this, the first edition of ‘The ‘Bee’ Side’, I take a look at some of my favourite tracks that stand up to their overshadowing A-side.
Disclaimer – I’m only looking at releases with two or three tracks on the release, so the tracks are ‘proper’ B-Sides, rather than tunes taken from a four/five/six track track-list.
Hebbe – Galata (CRUCIAL016)
A-Side – Madhatter
Throughout 2017 and 2018, the unmistakable sounds of Hebbe‘s ‘Madhatter‘ was undoubtedly one of the most in demand tunes throughout the genre. So when the mighty Crucial Recordings snapped it up, it’s wild and unusual sounds perfect for the imprint, I was taken back by how great it’s sister track ‘Galata‘ turned out to be. So much so, I’ve almost certainly played it twice as much as the the A-side over time and in the process, become one of my favourite tunes in recent years.
D-Bridge – Digital Dread (SEN001)
A-Side – Fashion Dread
Unlike the previous selection where I find the flip side to be slightly stronger, D-Bridge‘s debut on Sentry Records features two tracks that for my money, are equally killer. However where ‘Fashion Dread‘ was and still is an indisputable banger, the powerful roller on the B-Side ‘Digital Dread‘ is just as strong and very fun to mix with. Subsequently, SEN001 still remains as one of my favourites to be released on the imprint!
District – Street Knowledge (CHST039)
A-Side – Drowsy
After putting out several 12″s over the years on Chestplate, veteran DJ and producer District featured on the label once more for 2016’s CHST039 and remains as his last feature on the label to this day. ‘Drowsy‘ garnered a load of attention at the time with support from the likes of Compa and label boss man himself, Distance. But where the rough and energetic sounds of ‘Drowsy‘ did the damage, it’s B-Side ‘Street Knowledge‘ countered with sharp shooting minimalism, deep lows and that classic NWA vocal cut opener. A track that is now considered a classic of it’s own.
Kryptic Minds – Rule Of Language (OSMUK023)
A-Side – The Divide
Similar to District‘s Chesplate release, 2012’s OSMUK023 also turned out to be a final appearance from Kryptic Minds on a label they regularly featured on throughout the years, Osiris Music. ‘Rule Of Language‘ still remains as one of my all time favourite tunes, even though it was released as the B-side to ‘The Divide‘. The cold atmospheres and the dark brooding bass-lines still invoke shivers to this day and I can’t ever imagine a time when it wouldn’t.
Helktram – Iron Box (TRSK008)
A-Side – Suggestive Effect
Following a couple of oldies, we head forward to the more recent years. 2019 saw Japanese producer Helktram make quite the first impression courtesy of the consistently great imprint, Trusik. His debut EP ‘Suggestive Effect‘ featured three crazy cutting-edge tracks with harsh industrial palettes and a wide range in sound design. But following the intense A-side ‘Suggestive Effect‘ and fellow B-side stomper ‘Insecure‘, Helktram really knocked my socks off with ‘Iron Box’. Thanks to it’s infectious low end groove and simple yet ear-worm inducing melody, it turned out to be one of my favourite tracks of the year.
Fearless Dread – Double Red (JUAN001)
A-Side – N4
Staying in 2019, Juan Forte bagged two killer, long awaited dubs from UK duo Fearless Dread for their label’s opening release. Whilst I’m sure the thick, authentic sounds of ‘N4‘ won over most and lead to a very quick and deserved sell out, it’s flip side ‘Double Red‘ really stuck with me. From the 100ft drop into mighty sub-bass wobbles to the powerful percussion, it’s an absolute beauty of a B-side and a beauty of a record.
Foamplate – Cargo (CRUCIAL003)
A-Side – 7.5
For me, Foamplate‘s debut on Crucial Recordings is what really kick started his now highly respected reputation. But where the record’s opener ‘7.5‘ already got me on board with Foamplate‘s chest-rattling productions, the raw, minimal sounds of ‘Cargo‘ put CRUCIAL003 firmly into future classic territory. Ever since my first listen before it’s release in 2015 courtesy of J:Kenzo‘s Rinse FM Show, it still remains as one of the tunes that completley reignited my love of Dubstep.
J:Kenzo – Asutoraru (ARTKL028)
A-Side – Shark Eye
Speaking of J:Kenzo, now’s a good time to include my personal favourite of his (after ‘Ruffhouse‘ of course). After an absolute rinsing ‘Shark Eye‘ took throughout 2017 by a plethora of DJs, it was destined to take a central spot in a future Artikal release. But upon it’s release in January 2018, it was matched with ‘Asutoraru‘ on the flip. A track that, for me, knocked the A-Side out the park. From the incredibly atmospheric, world expanding synths to the mammoth drums, not only is one of Kenzo‘s most underrated tunes, but one of his biggest.
DE-TU – Sippin’ (WPR033)
A-Side – Koshi
DE-TU‘s White Peach debut came as an introduction to the Bristol duo for myself and I’m sure for many others. 2018 saw the pair rise to new heights with their slick system focused productions, with this EP being the pinnacle of their work at the time. After WPR033’s crispy A-Side ‘Koshi’, DE-TU‘s long awaited, attitude filled ‘Sippin” followed. Not only does it feature their signature suffocating weight, but also an unveiling of their own vocal and lyrical capabilities. A track that turned WPR033 from a must cop into a must rinse.
Darkimh – Gin Swing (IFS019)
A-Side – Tell Me Nothin’ Ft. T Man
To finish, I thought it would be right to pick out a very recent one to cover all areas. Darkimh‘s recent return to Infernal Sounds certainly left an impression. The Irish whizz kid was back and ready to deliver some serious heat. But not only is IFS019 notable for it’s wicked A-Side featuring T-Man, but also for it’s equally wicked B-Side track ‘Gin Swing‘. Unforgettable for it’s catchy, aggressive lead hook and booming 808’s. A track that’ll be in my rotation for a while.
BONUS B-SIDE – Loefah – Goat Stare (DMZ:006)
A-Side – Root
Considering I ended with a very recent release, why not add in a super-classic? I don’t know how controversial this may be, considering the infamy of all of Loefah‘s productions, but 2005’s ‘Goat Stare‘ still finds its way into my rotation to this day as opposed to it’s A-side ‘Root’, even though that track itself is an outright classic. However throughout my adventure through the world of Dubstep, ‘Goat Stare’ has remained a very important track.
So what you think? Agree? Disagree? Any other B-sides that instantly come to mind? Let me know what you think on the socials and maybe I’ll include it in the inevitable second volume!
Also, big respect to Pieter from DUPLOC for giving me this idea some time ago!