One of the few positives to come from lock down is the ability to stay up to date with new releases and being able to dig further into what’s out there. So with that said, lets see what the month of April brought. It didn’t disappoint!
DUPLOC WAR DUBS
There’s no chance I wouldn’t begin the round up without focusing on DUPLOC‘s latest project, ‘War Dubs‘. The pioneering blog turned label curated what must go down as one of the compilations of the year. ‘DUPLOC War Dubs‘ features twelve frighteningly good remixes by a plethora of super talented producers. All of which are remixes of DUPLOC classics. When you see names such as Ternion Sound, ColtCuts and ENiGMA Dubz on the track list, you know they mean business. But for me, Absrakt Sonance‘s remix of ‘One Man‘ by SBK and Sam Cosmic‘s remix of Noclu‘s ‘Poseidon‘ are my personal highlights. Although all twelve must be listened to thoroughly!
Alix Perez – Ravana EP
Of course no introductions are necessary for the legendary Alix Perez, especially after his 140 masterclass last year with ‘Last Rites‘ EP. This month he bought more dubstep mastery to 1985 Music with ‘Ravana’ EP. Although I think last year’s EP still beats it for me, ‘Ravana‘ still went above and beyond. Perez put together four more slick, super high quality, high energy productions with chest crushing bass-lines in his own recognisable style. We were spoilt even further with a dream team collab featuring the mighty Headland on ‘Ends‘ to conclude the record.
Xakra & Klippee – Circles EP (SMD039)
I can’t remember the last time US label Silent Motion put out anything remotely forgettable or sub-par. Their hot streak continued this month with a killer combo of Xakra and Klippee, two names on the rise. Following the wicked title track ‘Circles‘ featuring the legendary voice and lyricism of Ill Chill, Xakra and Klipee came through with two more rough ‘n tough productions, ‘A Mart‘ and ‘Realities‘. Like many of Silent Motion’s releases, we’re treated to selection of unmissable remixes to conclude the release. And this time, the EP features three very respectable and widely appreciated names. Hypho puts his spin on ‘Circles‘, Dalek One does what he does best on ‘A Mart‘ and the mighty Le Lion reworks ‘Realities’. Like all of Silent Motion’s releases, ‘Circles’ EP is yet another well thought out, well executed project.
Taiko – Giant Big Man EP (IFS020)
Another label that continues to come through with the heat each and every time is Infernal Sounds. Continuing to welcome the finest talent around from the likes of Bukkha, Sepia and DPRTNDRP, IFS captured three characteristically filthy tracks by Taiko this month. From the creepy tones of the title track ‘Giant Big Man‘ to the stifling lows of ‘Pen To Paper’, Taiko once again proves his mastery in texture and detail. It’s the middle tune ‘Slingshot Dub‘ that does it for me however, with it’s infectious rhythm and throbbing low end design.
DJ Squarewave – Last Train EP (VTR004)
As a certified veteran of the genre, every time you see a new Squarewave release incoming, you know it’s going to slap, and this latest one courtesy of Vantage Records certainly didn’t disappoint. Where the EP’s title track ‘Last Train‘ does the business, a solid Squarewave track that would go off during any set, for me the following collab with label bossman LX One ‘Cali Cartel‘ is an absolute shut down tune. I was instantly hooked after hearing J:Kenzo spin this on his Rinse FM show multiple times, quickly becoming a tune that may well stay as one of my 2020 favourites. None other than Sukh Knight jumped on his bros’ track ‘Last Train‘ to conclude the EP with a killer remix.
Ourman – FKOF043
French maestro Ourman has quickly become one of my favourite producers over recent years. His catchy melodies, signature smooth low end designs and his sound as a whole never ceases to captivate. He demonstrated this further for his latest release, a debut on the prolific FatKidOnFire. Ourman shows off his shape shifting capabilities throughout four fresh tracks. From the chilled out opener ‘Out Here‘, he moves to the grimier ‘Phantom‘, the weightier ‘Nirdsong‘ and finishes with the spacey, atmospheric ‘Lost Winds‘.
Here’s some other releases I’ve been feeling this month…
Chad Dubz – Weed Mountain LP
Staying very active as both label runner and a consistently solid producer, Bristol’s Chad Dubz dropped a surprise self released album ‘Weed Mountain‘ earlier this month. Available to download from his Bandcamp, ‘Weed Mountain‘ features eleven tracks of typical Chad Dubz fire; plenty of wubs ‘n wobbles, from dubstep to grimier moments. Things even get a little wavy and sombre on the concluding ‘Sorrow‘, one of my surprise favourites on the record.
Feonix – ENC047D
Feonix has remained a long time ‘go to’ producer for me, both solo and as part of LSN. After a little down time as a solo producer, it was great to not only see him return with a knockout EP, but a knockout EP on the mighty Encrypted Audio! Throughout four tracks, Feonix really pushes the boundaries of his recognisable sound. Super fresh, super versatile.
FLO – Endgame EP
FLO‘s recent history of self released titles has quickly turned the Slovenian into a force to be reckoned with. Following that wicked collaborative effort ‘Saratoga‘ EP with Gisaza a couple of months ago, the mysterious beat wizard returned again with ‘Endgame‘ EP. Another flawless set of smooth, bass-driven tracks.
Grawinkel W/ Busted Fingerz & Quasar – Reckless / Data Dungeon (ARTKL049)
Leipzig based Grawinkel has really been making moves recently and this month saw him make a huge leap onto Artikal Music. He brought some friends to help produce two enormous collaborative efforts for ARTKL049. Fellow countryman Busted Fingerz helps deliver ‘Reckless‘ and France’s Quasar joins Grawinkel for ‘Data Dungeon‘. Two seriously heavy tunes made to shake the foundations.
Leo Cap – Lost In Rave EP
Always looking to feature new names to the blog, I thought this would be a good opportunity to introduce Leo Cap and his latest record on Russian label Dub’Raw. Originally accustomed to the realms of DnB under the alias Black Barrel, Leo breaks into the world of 140 with ‘Lost In Rave‘ EP, featuring four original heavyweight tracks.
Here are some free downloads worth grabbing!
Beatsforbeaches – Crystal
Hypho – Why Are You Here?
wxstedfxntxsy – Purge
Zimbu – Abduction EP (SM022)
Dank ‘N Dirty Dubz – 4/20 Free Compilation
We also had some very solid releases to feature on the Weekly Buzz feature throughout April.
Fiend began the month with his wicked debut ‘Glow‘ EP on Chord Marauders. Check that out here. Headland landed on SYSTEM Music once again with two more killer tunes. Check out SYSTEM031 here.
Romanian label and promotional platform Dirty Beats Music brought the goods with a fantastic free compilation. You can check that out here. And finally Juan Forte knocked it out of the park with a second future-classic release by Truant. Check out the instantly sold out record here.
The Honey & Bass Sessions also made a return this month! The wonderful Howl took us on a journey for HNYBSSSSNS012 before UK’s upcoming selector Chapo did the business on HNYBSSSSNS013.
I was also stoked to feature on Subtle FM earlier this month with the first ‘Honey & Bass Showcase‘.
More HNYBSS Premieres landed on the Soundcloud feed which you can check out here.
Unable to fit everything in, honourable mentions this month goes to some of the producers putting out self released singles. For me, I’ve found myself having Distance‘s ‘Beyond Isolation‘, Drone‘s ‘Ransom Note‘ on repeat and of course Bukez Finezt‘s ‘Speed Of Light‘ which finally dropped after all these years!
And I mustn’t forget to point out the release of two Loefah classics courtesy of Version. ‘Natural Charge‘ and Loefah‘s remix of D1‘s ‘Crack Bong‘ is available here.
Big shouts to all the artists and labels featured on this edition of The Hive and especially to you for taking the time to check out my recommendations! Stay safe, stay at home and enjoy the tunes.