The Hive – October 2019

After having to skip last months edition, it’s good to crack one out this time round as October has seen so barnstorming releases.

Thelem – Clickbait / Backchat

Ever the independent pioneer, Thelem dropped two characteristically massive tunes out of no-where this month, swooping in like a fighter jet leaving a trail of sonic carnage. When you hear a Thelem track, you know it’s a Thelem track. Over the years his sound has become untouchable as this latest effort demonstrates; the endless textures, the colourful consistent sound palettes and addictive head banging rhythms, it’s all there to enjoy over and over. If like me you still enjoy his 2018 ‘Informers‘ EP, you might want to check out these two classic Thelem slammers.


Glume & Phossa – ENV023

I think this might be the third time this year I’ve said this about a Glume & Phossa release but this might actually be my favourite record of 2019. It’s no secret that the duo have taken over this year with stand out releases on the likes of White Peach and Subaltern Records, plus some features both individually and as a duo, and still they have what seems an unlimited amount of golden material stashed away. I’m pretty sure the guys at Encrypted Audio deliberately kept this one back, knowing they’re about to put out Glume & Phossa‘s hardest record this year and that goes for the label also. I can’t be alone in saying the leading track ‘Bat Country‘ has been my favourite track for the best part of two years, instantly recognisable from it’s ingenious sampling from the 1998 classic ‘Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas‘. I’m not one to explicitly rank artists and records, but to match this track with two more of Glume & Phossa‘s finest productions in ‘Yucatan‘ and ‘Apogee‘, it’s hard not to put this at the top of the ranks for 2019.


Hebbe – Downtown Dub / Tumble (SYSTM028)

Another producer at the top of the game, Hebbe also brought an unmissable vinyl exclusive this month on the legendary SYSTEM Music. SYSTM028 offers two of Hebbe‘s typically creative cuts but with his undeniable versatility, each track offers a different flavour. ‘Down Town Dub‘ focuses on a stripped back constriction, fleshed out with an animated low end, a lively wobbly melody and explicit obscure textures with a clear old-school feel. However on the flip, Hebbe heads down a more future-esque industrial route with ‘Tumble‘. A roller that ‘tumbles’ through an industrial soundscape with various reverb heavy elements, particularly with that huge snare and that panicked android-like lead, rapidly oscillating with the intense bass-line. Just when you think the Dutch producer has shown his best, he comes up with two more bangers like this that can also be thrown into that bracket.


Chad Dubz – Dope Sh*t / Aaliyah (HOTPLATES004)

What’s that? Another vinyl exclusive? Another producer who cannot stop putting out killer material? Bristol future legend Chad Dubz debuted on vinyl focused Hotplates Recordings this month with two tracks that, like Hebbe‘s latest effort on SYSTEM Music, differ from one another. Where ‘Dope Sh*t‘ comes in with no holds barred; huge 808’s, crisp rapid hats and a vibrant shimmering synth to boot, the flip side ‘Aaliyah‘ is a little more subtle, a little deeper but still goes hard. Like the last instalment on Hotplates from Glume, I’m gagging for the digital copy of this, but I guess that’s the point of a vinyl exclusive and what makes them so special.


MRSHL – You Know EP (FA041)

Rising producer MRSHL debuted on Chad Dubz‘ prolific Foundation Audio, a label that’s successfully put out not one, not two, not three but four records in two months without a single dud track. And that includes ‘You Know‘ EP from MRSHL, an artist who featured on my ‘producers to watch’ post earlier this year. Landing on labels such as Subaltern Records and Encrypted Audio, he certainly hasn’t disappointed. ‘You Know‘ EP brings four of MRSHL‘s most colourful and varied tracks, exploring sounds between dubstep and grime, a style that MRSHL has become a master of. The opening title track ‘You Know‘ thoroughly encapsulates his multi-genre influences as does the following ‘Fuccboi‘ where the lively wubs and wobbles of both the lows and mids are greeted by an inspired addition of a sample taken from Dizzee Rascal‘s ‘I luv U‘. Things completely switch on the arrival of ‘Lovesick‘ which sees the weirder, more experimental side of the west coast producer before the EP concludes with ‘In The Rain’, where MRSHL returns to those grimey licks but with a wavier, more atmospheric edge.


Khanum – Mirage EP (CNCPT

With his name already featured on the likes of Deep Dark & Dangerous, Dubs Galore and DUPLOC, Bristol producer Khanum continued the process of building a solid back catalogue, landing on CNCPT Collective with ‘Mirage‘, featuring three tracks that’re capable of shutting down any dance in their own right. My pick of the three however goes to ‘Tectonic Shift’ hosting a perfectly balanced snake charming flute with a lovely bouncy low end and powerful drums, a trend that runs through the majority of his productions.


Here’s a few more worth checking out…

Nosq – Mind Games EP (VCEP033)

If you’re familiar with Honey & Bass, you should be familiar with Nosq. Having featured on my ‘producers to watch’ list earlier this year and contributing to the Sessions series, the Dutch producer hasn’t let me down, particularly with this latest effort on Version Collective, Mind Games‘ EP. Nosq presents four tracks of characteristically dark and powerful material with the title track being my pick, displaying his typically chaotic approach to his creations.


Cartridge – Like Gold EP (RWLS001)

It goes without saying how Cartridge has smashed it in 2019. Having landed on labels like Manuka Records and most notably Foundation Audio, plus what seems to be endless features including one forthcoming on DUPLOC‘s compilation, it’s actually been rather tricky to keep up with his consistency. This latest release on Romulus Records however features one of my favourites from the rising producer ‘Like Gold‘, plus a killer remix from Taiko for good measure.


Alienmade – Treant Protector EP (DBM008)

Rising Romanian producer Alienmade, another producer who’s left a mark on 2019, followed a wicked EP on Silent Motion a couple of months ago with this equally killer four track release on Dirty Beats Music. ‘Treant Protector‘ EP focuses on Alienmade‘s deep, distinctive rolling bass-lines, subtle melodies and minimal yet solid percussion work. It’s always a pleasure to hear upcoming producers embrace their style and begin to come to the forefront. Alienmade is a perfect example of this.


Retina – Slip Upz EP (FA040)

Right before the previously mentioned EP from MRSHL came along, Denver based producer Retina debuted on Foundation Audio with ‘Slip Upz’ EP. Retina strays away from the seriously gritty, dungeon sounds that featured on his ‘Corpus Edimus’ EP on Fringeworthy a few months ago and offers four tracks that are a little more conventional in a sense, yet still demonstrates Retina‘s power and creativity, particularly in his varied inventive synth and melody work plus his sharp, dynamic percussion patterns and palettes.

Tinky – The Clan Of Empty Sevens EP (INSTi022)

Tinky is one of many producers to come onto my radar this year, producing very exclusive material and clearly abiding by a quality over quantity approach. His work materialised this month with an EP on Instigate Recordings entitiled ‘The Clan Of Empty Sevens’ featuring three of the frenchman’s finest cuts. All three tracks, most notably the title track and personal favourite ‘The Clan Of Empty Sevens’ journeys through mystical worlds and powerful vibrations designed to test the sound system. Tinky is definitely one to watch out for in months to come.


Here’s some free downloads I’ve been feeling this month…

HØST – Sustain Attack Release (STRTEP073)

Illektré – Woodwork (IFSD029)

Eater – Ghost

Parrotice – Cycles (Makak & Vibe Emissions Remix)

As always, don’t forget to check out the records that made it onto the Weekly Buzz feature throughout this month.

Following the rare instalment of Dub Buzz this month, Subaltern Record‘s latest record landed with full force as Ill K unleashed ‘Warp 6‘ EP featuring Chad Dubz and Koobas. A huge record that cannot be overlooked. Check out SUBALT022 here.
MOREOFUS brought his second record to White Peach Records. ‘Games‘ EP perfectly blurred the lines between dubstep, grime and trap. Check out WPR042 here.
Finally Juan Forte unveiled their own label with a heavyweight 12″ from Fearless Dread. The duo brought two foundation shaking tracks perfect for the system. Check out JUAN001 here.

Big shouts to all the artists and labels that featured on this months edition of The Hive and especially to you for taking the time to check out my recommendations!

– Tom