Review: The mysterious Macker returns to the scene of the crime. Previously spotted shaking up the dancefloor two years ago on a similarly anonymous release, here he's back and armed with more sonic treacle. Dark, thick, swampy with just the right amount of drone, "Faust" is a cathedral creeper that's weighted by insanely heavy kicks while "Isolation" takes us even deeper down Macker's rabbit hole with grainy depth charge bass plucks, samurai samples and that crucial overall sensation of a cosy graveyard picnic somewhere on another planet. Crucial; don't slack on the Mack.
Review: Last spotted on Encrypted's Codedinsound V/A album in 2017, Denver's Malleus returns with his first full EP for the label. If you've been following his sounds on the likes of Gourmet Beats and Foundation Audio, you'll know exactly what's up here; swampy, otherworldly textures, trippy aesthetics, warped and weirded out sound designs. "Damien" takes the lead with demonic graveyard arpeggios and pressurised kicks while "Dragging The Lake" is swampy, grotty and gloopy in consistency but poignant and barbed in emotional energy. For maximum wonk jump on "Grinn" while militant nightmare heads should jump straight onto the finale "To Kiss The Witch's Flesh". Filth.
Review: Encrypted follow up Mesck's incendiary "ENV020" with two warped and woozy cuts from the enigmatic Manta. "It Lurks" switches the standard MC vocal for a crow screech and spoken word from the devil himself. Gloopy and swampy, this will lock your floor down in slo-mo like gorilla glue. "Zealot" takes us even deeper into the darkness with a wonky off-beat kick palpitations and big graveyard washes lapping over the top. It lurks, it lives, it bangs... The devil's music never sounded so good.
Review: For their debut 12", freshly minted label Reflektion Tapes has pulled off something of a coup by signing up Von D, a storied producer who has released killer material on such imprints as Apron, Trojan Audio, Sub Freq and Black Acre. On this outing, the Frenchman showcases a pair of collaborative tracks. On the A you'll find "Dub Compulsion", a deliciously soulful, organic sounding hook-up with Deep Medi and Eglo sort Mizz Beats. While the crispy beats and bassline and suitably heavy, it's the wavering vocal samples and sparkling keys that really catch the ear. Former Diagrams man Mr Lager lends a hand on side two's "Some Other Place", a deep space fusion of delay-laden percussion hits, ultra-deep bass and swirling, intergalactic atmospherics.
Review: Dirty in both name and delivery, Mr K offers up two tracks of deep, low-slung, venue-rattling dubstep that pays homage to the formative half-time years before people started using words like 'post' and 'not' to try and define the genre's development. Skankers of the world unite, if you catch the drift. 'Ol Dirty' threatens to ruin subs with its reverb'd lows and loose, easy going drums, reminding us of why dubstep should start with dub. 'Forever' is a more complex outing, smoky piano keys lolling over the top of a lazy rhythm, top end brass stabs jazzing things up before slow and sexy wind adds to the impressive musicality. Throw in a timeless spoken word sample and the result is an accomplished piece that'll sound equally intoxicating at home, in your headphones or setting late evening vibes.
Review: In the words of Mystik himself... This has been a long time coming. The shimmering chords and heavy rolls of "Misty In Roots" were written between the two antipodean modern day dub dons years ago but it's remained on dub until now. It's back by two more heavy system testers; "Sabu" takes a deep breath before coiling up with percussion then springing into action when the kicks skip in. "2 Steps Backwards" takes more of a trad dub stance with swaggering spaced out beats and a delicious array of old school FX work in the mix. Misty in roots; clear in message.
Firm & Strong (feat Murray Man & Ganja Tree - Disco mix) (7:07)
Firm & Dub (3:35)
Strong Dub (3:32)
Review: Get comfortable, light something fragrant and settle in for the night: Von D and Moresounds are back with more dub-wise dancefloor selections. Ragga/dancehall MCs Murray Man and Ganja Tree star on headline attraction "Firm & Strong (Disco Mix)", a hot-stepping, dub-fuelled dancefloor romp that sits somewhere between deep dubstep and the 4/4 stomp of UK steppas. The track's dancefloor dub roots are explored further on "Firm & Dub", whose ricocheting, delay-heavy musical flourishes ride an even tougher variation of the duo's killer groove. "Strong Dub" is, as the title suggests, an even wilder and more high tempo dub style revision that sounds like a mid '90s Iration Steppas jam.