If anything positive is to come from a dreary January, it’s the regular supply of fresh music we’ve enjoyed. Record labels and artists alike have signalled how active they intend to be throughout the next twelve months and for the most part, the high quality material they are able to create. This month certainly didn’t disappoint with some of my personal favourite labels and producers putting out brand new material so soon into 2020. Here’s some of my favourites…
Hypho – Revenge Porn EP (CNCPT008)
There’s no stopping Hypho right now as he continues to pump out high grade material whilst spreading his sounds across the United States. His latest release courtesy of CNCPT Collective is some of my favourite productions from the Mancunian producer to date. Not only does the title track ‘Revenge Porn‘ knock your socks off, the following track ‘Terps‘ is one that screams for a reload, instantly recognisable from the distinct voice and flow of T-Man complimenting the scintillating instrumental. Following the two previous vibrant, energetic tracks, ‘Fake Ass Thugs’ bounds into more of a shadowy realm, where Hypho flexes his dark side.
Roklem & Sebalo – March Of Waves EP (SMD038)
German duo Roklem & Sebalo‘s music has quickly become a staple in my rotation. Not only is the quality always there but their consistency has been unfaltering also. Following releases on FatKidOnFire, Instigate Recordings, Dirty Beats Music and their own label Sub Garden last year, the duo instantly opens up 2020 with this killer four track EP ‘March Of Waves‘ on US label and H&B favourite, Silent Motion Records. Like many of their past releases, ‘March Of Waves‘ features two heavyweight collaborations and a solo track each where the pair, both solo and together, display their unmistakable brand of dubstep with its bottomless depth and expansive, intergalactic atmospheres.
Eva808 – IMX005
You don’t need me to tell you that Eva808‘s releases are always unmissable. Literally, her records rightly fly off the shelves at an instant. Blink and they’re gone. Especially if the music comes courtesy of Innamind Recordings who have a habit of putting out the most in demand material. For Eva808‘s third record on the imprint, she brought three mouth-watering tunes to limited wax. Across three tracks Eva displays her chameleon like qualities, journeying through areas of Jazz on ‘Exchange’ featuring the vocals and lyricism of Flowdan‘s ‘Welcome To London‘, to the grimy/trap infused ‘It’s Me Bitch’ and super wavy late night listener, ‘Too late‘. Of course dubstep still sits at its core, but when it comes to Eva, genre doesn’t matter, it’s simply Eva808 spilling her emotions onto wax, resulting in a record that oozes with purity.
Rygby – Halcyon Days
Speaking of producers with the ability to avoid being boxed in by genre, Rygby‘s self released mixtape ‘Halycon Days‘ landed on his Bandcamp on New Years Day, a refreshing new years gift. Rygby made sure to flex his experimental side on this one, travelling through and array of different styles and in turn, different areas of emotion. Across the bumper seventeen long track-list, there’s an evident flow from track to track, the clear thought of track placement is apparent and always appreciated. And along the ‘Halcyon Days‘ journey, Rygby brings friends from across the field along for a handful of surprise collabs. Most notably Samba with ‘OOM.’, my stand out track off the mixtape. Other highlights for me include ‘2birdsonestone’, ‘Neurosis’ and ‘Watch Your Back’, a solid vocal track with Griz-O. However with that said, ‘Halcyon Days‘ is definitely a record to listen to from start to finish.
Bengal Sound – Culture Clash Part II (BS002)
Similar to Eva808, Bengal Sound has become one of those genre blurring producers that possess that magic touch, resulting in insta-cop records, usually selling out at an instant. It was no different in regards to his second ‘Culture Clash‘ mixtape, available only on limited cassette and thus completely sold out. Bengal Sound took his distinct sounds to another level on this one, featuring incredibly smooth sampling, rapid grimy rhythms littered with eastern cultural influences in true Bengal Sound fashion.
Colt Cuts – Thank The Lord / 100% Herb (DDD059)
Exploding onto the scene in the last couple of years and coming out on top on DUPLOC‘s Dubstep Awards as ‘best breakthrough producer’, it’s clear Colt Cuts has gained quite the reputation. And what better way to build on that than another appearance on the hugely popular and genre leading label Deep Dark & Dangerous? Colt Cuts delivered two mammoth tracks suited both to the basements, the big rooms and the festivals. ‘Thank The Lord‘ is great for sure but ‘100% Herb‘ is one hell of a tune, and a tune that I’ve had on repeat ever since release day.
Here’s some more of what I’ve been feeling this month…
GHAST – ENV024
Ghast has certainly enjoyed an active start to his year, unleashing two big releases already. Before his monstrous ‘Mothership‘ EP on Overdue, of which we had the pleasure of covering in the form of a premiere, the Denver based producer returned to Encrypted Audio with a vinyl exclusive featuring three heaters, including a collaboration with Binary entitled ‘The Abhorrent‘. This came alongside Encrypted Audio‘s 25th release special on the same day which featured a handful of EA all-stars from Hypho to Samba & Chokez to Argo. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already!
Sam Cosmic – Cooled / Steam (DUPLOC032)
After a feature on ‘DUPLOC Selects‘ late last year, upcoming Dutch producer Sam Cosmic returned to the label, adding to the imprint’s digital catalogue with a solid two tracker. Fairly unknown (at least to myself), these two dance floor destroyers is one hell of a way to announce your arrival as a producer to take note of. ‘Cooled‘ in particular caught my attention thanks to its easy listening qualities. I can imagine this one dropping anywhere and even the none dubstep heads would find it enjoyable.
Distinct Motive – Hamburg / Haste (NC012)
Canadian banger factory Distinct Motive conjured up two more stellar pieces of bass-driven music this month courtesy of J.Sparow‘s growing label ‘Navy Cut’. Both ‘Hamburg‘ and ‘Haste’ are equally in need of giving a spin on the sound system, with ‘Hamburg‘ already been given a battering by many DJs throughout the scene, ‘Haste’ follows in similar fashion with unstoppable throbbing sub-bass pressure. It was always going to be a mean feet to match his last appearance on the label with the insta-classic ‘King‘ (NC005), but boy does this come close!
WZ – FKOFv003
Rising Czech producer WZ landed a large debut vinyl on the great FatKidOnFire imprint, keeping their ears to the ground as per. WZ brought four fat tunes to FKOF‘s third 12″, including a grimy remix of the already powerful A-side track ‘Headcleaner‘ by Bristol bad boy Ishan Sound . The middle tracks ‘Know That’ and ‘Dossier’ also lets WZ demonstrate a low end masterclass; super catchy rhythm amongst sheer weight and thick atmospheres. Keep your eyes and ears on WZ.
Here’s some free downloads worth grabbing!
1137 – Gnashing
Feonix – The Mindless Mind Less
Cartridge – On The Rooftops (MRSHL Remix)
Mungk – Masquerade
Dopel – Jude’s Kingdom EP
This month has also seen some first class records feature on The Weekly Buzz. In case you have, here’s what you’ve missed…
We began the year with a long awaited slammer from Oxossi. ‘Blackhorse‘ finally got the release it deserves thanks to Banana Stand Sound alongside two other of his finest. Check out ‘End Your Light‘ EP here.
Dubstep veteran and Belgian pioneer BunZer0 debuted on Indigo Movement with two superb heavyweight hitters. Check out ‘We Are Not Looking For Accuracy‘ EP here.
LSN gave us an insight into their dystopian, A.I dominated future with a hyper-dynamic four track EP on the mighty Artikal Music. Read more about ‘Automation‘ EP here.
Finally West Coast wizard Saule unleashed two long sought after tracks on growing vinyl focused label Hotplates Recordings. Check out HOTPLATES005 here.
I’m very grateful that more and more artists and labels are trusting me in a premiere or two via the Honey & Bass Soundcloud feed. So don’t forget to follow and check back on those. This month we had the pleasure of unveiling ‘Mothership‘ in full, taken from Ghast‘s EP ‘Mothership‘ on Overdue (OVDVLK001) and last week Mae‘s ‘Bokoba‘ landed on our feed in full, taken from his huge EP ‘The Fury‘ on Locus Sound (Locus011)
Big shouts to all the artists and labels featured on the first Hive of 2020 and especially to you for taking the time to check out my recommendations! Here’s to a prosperous, bass-driven 2020!