Mani – Baka (DOD12) [HNYBSS Premiere]

We’ve been treated to some fantastic compilation projects in recent months and now one of my favourite and most underrated imprints are next to add to the collection! For Dread Or Dead‘s twelfth instalment, we’re blessed with eight brand new tracks on an international scale, all of which capture that dark and sub-driven DOD style. Today I have the pleasure of presenting one of my favourites by the illusive Mani, entitled ‘Baka‘.

Dread Ascending’ EP sets the tone with a couple of swampy cuts that beg to be pumped out of a stacked system. After Hungary’s Töki crushes the bass bins with his murky opener ‘Zimmy‘, Cel delivers some homegrown New Zealand sub with the coarse distortions and the clean minimal drum work of ‘Stage Four‘. A more familiar name to the blog, Volume A, explores the Dread Or Dead dungeon from the beautiful shores of Malta with his wild ‘n wonky contribution, ‘By The Order‘. It’s a welcome injection of energy before today’s premiere rolls in with even more gusto. It’s a debut appearance on the label for the Berlin based Mani and an absolute blast! ‘Baka‘ is a contemporary roller doused with lively synth leads that simply refuse to give up on the energy!

The unknown entity that is TLL introduces themselves with the unnerving and off kilter lo-fi melodies of ‘Amygadala Complex‘. Whoever it is, through the pounding lows and the fucked up circus energy, they leave just enough obscurity to make you want to hear more TLL creations as soon as possible. Czech based upcomer Myca$h follows with his sharp and minimal LFO tricks of ‘Against The Law‘, and Blazid takes the reigns for the penultimate ‘Morbid’, melting the brain with a barrage of disorientating sub throbs.
And for a powerful finale, one of my favourite underrated producers reminds us of why we should be hearing more from him. The fledgling Dutch mastermind Kusmo, sees off the compilation with the huge ‘Kraft Dinner‘, probably the hardest tune of the lot. There’s a lot going on here and I don’t even know what’s going on myself, it’s a bonkers must listen tune.

I’ve found compilation projects in the past to be rather forgettable, not for the lack of quality but simply down to saturation. But what ‘Dread Ascending‘ EP does well is demonstrate that compilation records can serve their purpose as treasure troves of hidden gems and a chance to be reminded of the global shadow-dwelling talent that’s waiting to be discovered.

DOD012 is out 11/11/2022 and available to download here.

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