The Weekly Buzz – 18/01/2021

Originally rooted in the unmistakeable sounds and influences of dubstep, like a flourishing garden of colour and diversity, Manuka Records have since blossomed into a unique label that indulges in sounds from across the electronic underground. Following Biome‘s techno driven ‘Kora’ EP and Ternion Sound‘s aptly named ‘Exploration‘ EP, they return to Manuka this week, planting more seeds of creative nourishment alongside label heads Hypho and Xakra for a stimulating, dancefloor-rousing selection.

Man of the moment Hypho ignites this mini compilation, reuniting with the multitalented Rakjay on mic duties. Following collaborative tracks on Swamp 81 and EatMyBeat, Rakjay‘s grime powered vocals once again flow effortlessly on Hypho’s progressive dancefloor mobilising designs. From the dark dubstep inspired lows to the body moving patterns of swampy electro, ‘Lowe It‘ is sure to even get those that reside in the dark corners of the club bussin’ moves. Similarly, the prolific Ternion Sound follow with ‘There Is A Cost‘, a shoulder swinging, two-step heater that’s impossible not to throw a shape to whilst it shakes the ground beneath, gripping the feet of the dancefloor. Like their previous effort on Manuka, the Ternion boys prove yet again that they’re not just purveyors of dubstep, but powerful cutting-edge bass music in general. And crucially, like ‘Exploration‘ EP, the trio develops a palette that’s still unmistakeably Ternion flavoured even though they’re not within their usual 140bpm comforts.
Fresh from a big release on Deep Dark & Dangerous, the veteran Biome steps up with ‘Guilty‘, the dark atmospheric tune of the four. It’s eyes down as big spacious kicks and fuzzy reverbed textures sit amongst layered percs, some rattle subtly beneath, others skip confidently above the moody soundscape.
Finally Manuka co-founder, Xakra, deals the psychedelics with ‘Some Of Us‘. A trippy late-into-the-night tune with the kind of mind bending pads, chattering synths and sweat inducing rhythms that’s destined to do damage deep into the dance.

This latest project from the Manuka gang is yet another refreshing take on the unending realms of dark underground bass music. If you’re familiar with H&B, you’ll know I’m pretty much a boring 140 purist, but this selection of thick, moody productions designed across a range of tempos are still just as alluring to me. Encouraging myself (and hopefully others) to venture further afield.

MNK011 is out now and available to download from the Manuka Records Bandcamp.

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