Over the last couple of years I’ve come to realise that you can always count on DUPLOC to sign the year off in the best way possible. Throughout 2019, the fellow blog turned record label has brought us new music from the likes of ColtCuts, Khanum and 207 plus Ternion Sound, Rygby and ENiGMA Dubz featuring on the label’s ‘Dupplates‘ vinyl series. And now, for a second year in a row, DUPLOC caps off 2019 with a stacked ten track compilation release, featuring a host of names from across the globe. ‘DUPLOC Selects – Chapter Two‘ doesn’t stick to one particular lane as each producer brings their own flavour to the record, with many appearing on DUPLOC for the first time.
Veteran producer Ghostek has the pleasure of opening up proceedings and setting pace with the intimidatingly titled ‘Seek War‘. As the names suggests, it’s straight into the deep end. The melody alternates seamlessly between an aggressive flute, a crazy 8bit section and a combative, attack heavy mid range synth. All this on a bed of deep low end frequencies that uniformly and rhythmically follows the interchanging leads. It’s quite a belter to kick this showcase off.
From one full bodied belter to another, and probably one of the most popular names on the record, Absrakt Sonance introduces his massive sounds to DUPLOC with ‘Mangladesh‘, where he displays his larger than life production style that can work in both dark club nights with a small crowd of dedicated heads or a festival, entertaining a rowdy crowd of 5,000.
What’s great about compilations such as this is more times than not you can be introduced to names that you’ve completely slept on. Sam Cosmic is solid example here. A name new to me, he makes a first impression with ‘Astral Dub‘, one of the more dance floor focused tracks; vibrant and energetic with a wavy bass-line. It’s a track to get the crowd moving and hopefully won’t be the last I’ll hear from the Dutchman. Two more names who I’m yet to become accustomed to and hope to hear more of are Surreal and Somah, who contribute the only collaborative effort on the record. It’s certainly one of the more unique productions out of the collection; laced with quirky sampling and a variety of synth injections across it’s minimal structure, ‘Gibberish‘ is one of the more memorable tracks as the pair carve out a wacky, unconventional arrangement. Which, halfway through the playtime, leads nicely to my personal favourite ‘Lost & Direct‘ by Feonix. Compared to some of the previous heavier sounds, ‘Lost & Direct‘ switches the vibe a little with it’s melancholic, wistful synth line, producing rather solemn emotions. Growing into the track however and becoming the main attraction is the incredible percussive work that features rapid rolls, fills and powerful kicks. The way it ebbs and flows is subtle yet powerful, like a calm sea with the odd choppy wave crashing through. Feonix has come out with some killer material for some time but this might just be one of his finest creations.
If there’s a producer you can bank on to continue the quality after a track like that, it’s Honey & Bass favourite Ourman, who supplies more of the melodic formulations he’s become known for with the angelic, celestial sounds of the aptly named ‘Harpy‘. Not only are his signature melodies to be admired once more, but also the super slick low end that compliments the lighter frequencies so well, with just enough power to keep that face screwed up. Chicago based Mistah introduces his sounds to my ears for the first time with ‘Shook’, another personal favourite from the album. Possibly the toughest track with the most striking percussion work, it’s certainly an attention grabber and one I’ve found myself playing regularly.
Another Honey & Bass favourite Cartridge manages to find the time to contribute this next beauty between his recent releases on Romulus Records, Foundation Audio and his forthcoming masterpiece on Albion Collective. ‘Cumulus‘ is another mental track to add to his already stacked arsenal. More killer melodies and more tough sub-zero frequencies, like many of his creations, it’s perfect for both the dance-floor or simply jamming in the car. What ever mood you’re in, Cartridge has got a beat for that! With no time to catch your breath, London’s Drumterror and Minneapolis based Dalek One provide a track each to round off the compilation with ‘Mineral‘ and ‘What Are You Saying‘ respectively. Both distinctly demonstrate their own personal tastes whilst staying in the deep, dark realms. Drumterror‘s usual light melodic work is apparent on ‘Mineral’ and then Dalek One switches the vibe one last time where his rougher, grittier sounds come through on ‘What Are You Saying‘ to conclude the compilation the way it started.
Pieter and the DUPLOC crew have done it once again, possibly topping last year’s inaugural instalment of the ‘Selects’ compilation series. Similar to the rest of the label and their ‘Identity Of Dubstep’ mix series, DUPLOC has compiled some of the best talent from across the globe and throughout the scene, giving each producer a platform to showcase their individual sounds and skills. Which in this case, every producer has successfully done so, with each track genuinely worth checking out, where you’ll find yourself rinsing again and again.
‘DUPLOC Selects – Chapter Two‘ is out now and available to download from the DUPLOC Bandcamp.