Such is the nature of the ever growing, ever changing world of Dubstep and 140, there seems to be a new label popping up each week. Many are impeccably run and curated, some unfortunately never seem to make it out of the starting blocks, but there are certain ones you pick up on and think, ‘damn, this label is going to do bits!’ The latest bound to ‘do bits’ is Basskruit, founded by a dream duo of super producer Hebbe and the brains behind DUPLOC, Pieter Grauwels. Established as an imprint with a goal to support the Dutch and Belgian Dubstep, it comes as no surprise to see the imprint opening with a much demanded, long held dub by Dutch maestros Sweepa and Tosti. While Tosti has been putting out bits for the last couple of years, Sweepa had fallen silent. However it’s great to see him back with the formidable ‘Kopstoot‘ and ‘Ketel’ featuring as the leading tracks on BSSKRT001. There’s also a trio of heavy remixes to contend with; label boss Hebbe takes on ‘Kopstoot‘, with TMSV and Requake each putting their own spin on ‘Ketel‘.
Rearing it’s head circa 2018, ‘Kopstoot’ has been begging for a high profile release ever since. Driven by addictive, bouncy sub-bass movements, Sweepa and Tosti create what’s both suited for the club and for ponderous, in-depth listening at home thanks to those uncanny melancholic leads and subtle details. As we’ve all come to expect from Hebbe, the genius of the Dutchman comes through again for his ‘Kopstoot‘ remix. He lays a barrage of stomping low end grit with an eccentric take on those eerie notes, twisted and contorted as the remix continuously develops.
On the flip, Sweepa and Tosti unveil their second collaborative masterpiece, ‘Ketel‘. Firing out more invigorating low end energy, the pair venture into darker areas on this one. Abrasive alien-like shrieks and buzzes light up the mid-range before indications of catchy melody cuts in, growing into ice cold textures thereafter. With lovely shaking percs and similar to ‘Kopstoot‘, perfectly placed vocal cuts, this is another track with that perfect balance of minimalism and detail, an ideal basis for a couple of red hot remixes.
Similar to Hebbe, the continuous high quality output from TMSV cannot be overstated. So it comes as no surprise to hear his remix of ‘Ketel‘ may well be one of the craziest remixes this year. His signature, super creative drum work is here in all it’s glory; distinctly tribal and rolling like a steam train before the 808 bombs kick in. The melody, chopped and screwed almost beyond recognition, glitchy and disorientating in all the right ways. So it goes without saying that Belgian duo Requake has a lot to live up to. But fear not, as the pair go in deep on their remix of ‘Ketel‘ with thick, unadulterated low end pressure alongside ominous growls and electrifying distortion, nurturing a feeling of menace and intimidation. To have two remixes of a track on a record is one thing, but to have such differing, memorable remixes is nothing short of a refreshing success.
Lining up a dream team from label to artist is no mean feat. But for Basskruit to succeed on their first instalment whilst keeping the talent within their homeland is even more impressive. BSSKRT001 is a model demonstration on signing and releasing long held unreleased material while keeping things fresh with brand new remixes. And with both Belgium and the Netherlands seemingly oozing with 140 talent right now, I can see a lot of legs and a lot of must cop material to come from Basskruit.
BSSKRT001 is out now and is available on vinyl and digitally from the Basskruit Bandcamp.