Review: Hyperdub kick off the vinyl side to their ten-year celebrations with this weighty four-tracker from some of the leading lights from the label's story. Mala is in a strident mood with "Expected, Level 10" carrying through that extra touch of melody from the Mala In Cuba LP. DVA cuts loose with the leftfield scattershot groove of "Technical Difficulties", reveling in tonal experimentation and jagged rhythmic flair to a stunning end. Still locked into the sci-fi trap tangent that characterised Severant, Kuedo turns out the haunting "Mtzpn" and Helix pops up for a remix of Kode9's "Xingfu Lu" that strips down to bare essentials with a little starlit soul rubbed into the framework.
Review: After his Room(s) long player for Planet Mu confirmed him as an unsung hero amongst US beatsmiths, Travis Stewart follows up that gargantuan effort with this turn for Ninja Tune. It's a deeply atmospheric album that works Stewart's palpable love of jungle breaks into richly atmospheric pieces that move through sometimes mournful, sometimes dreamlike spaces that hang together like all the pieces of a creative puzzle should. At times the tone is blissful, as on "Center Your Love", while the immaculate breaks give way to strung out coldwave balladry on "U Still Lie". His sense of adventure as intact as ever, Stewart happily follows up such contemplation with the feisty tech-step precision of "Eyesdontlie", ensuring there's never a dull moment across the ten tracks.
Review: In the three years since the release of his last full-length as Machinedrum, Vapor City, Travis Stewart seems to have done some soul-searching. Whereas that set was a punchy and occasionally punishing mixture of juke, D&B, and UK garage sounds, Human Energy looks towards new age sounds and ideas for inspiration. Of course, Stewart hasn't completely abandoned skittish rhythms and bass music influences, it's just that these come wrapped in cheery, off-kilter synthesizer melodies, sparkling electronic flourishes, and repeated nods towards ambient, R&B and experimental synth-pop. As a result, it's a hugely entertaining and imaginative set, with just enough club-ready fodder to keep DJs happy.