Release Date: 30th July 2021
Further 160 hybrid ingenuity from Brain Rays & Quiet, and another 1.21 gigawatt fly-by from the future-past-future-present: opening with an abject shock to the portions of your brain that recognise time, the monstrous 'Slacker' comprehensively dysregulates you with its undeniable poly-rhythmic intensity and properly galactic scope, prior to the comparatively lush and sensual footwork vibes of 'Tigress Canisha', an edit of which featured in a short film for Vogue Italia by Stella Asia Consonni in 2019.
Alongside a re-mastered version of 'Ataru Flip' from their full-fat 'Butter' album of last year, a fleet-footed Coco Bryce remix powers through on the B-side, before an indulgent Pesh remix rounds things up in abstract footwork style as a digital-only exclusive. Despite invoking Robert Zemeckis' 'Back to the Future' and Richard Linklater's delirious lo-fi sentiments of more than 30 years ago, Brain Rays & Quiet prove themselves to be increasingly synonymous with a thoroughgoing species of future funk, which is to say, with a post-generic hybrid vibe that is somehow properly timeless, infectious as shit and undoubtedly full of spunk. Enjoy it in your ride in motion, rub it on your skin like lotion.
- Fissure Pryce
a2. Tigress Canisha
a3. Ataru Flip
b1. Creeps (Coco Bryce Remix)
b2. Hemlock (Pesh Remix)
Release Date: June 2021
The hardest hitting track from Drumskull's blazing debut album of last year gets the full 12" and digital EP treatment, re-mastered and cut here by Beau Thomas at Ten Eight Seven, and followed by a high pressure 'Nosebleed' remix by the brilliant ETCH. On the flip, solid reworks from Benny iLL of Horsepower Productions and the prolific Coco Bryce supply contrasting takes on the Drumskull album tracks 'Battle Stations' and 'Interlocked' respectively.
Whether dancefloors and other party spots prove to be accessible this year or not, these four sure shots offer all the pressure and intensity you might require to continue to negotiate your way through the current global shit storm. Whether you are seeking escape in whatever vehicle you might have to hand, or are just getting down creatively, this EP should no doubt keep the imagination lit.
a1. Negative 7
a2. Negative 7 (ETCH's Nosebleed Remix)
b1. Battle Stations (Benny Ill Remix)
b2. Interlocked (Coco Bryce Remix)
Available: 30th July 2021
Slick jungle, low-slung broken beat and even a deep house banger, 'Interlocked' assembles 8 tracks of some of the purest old-school vibes by a veteran of the scene under a brand new alias for a frustrated and precarious (post)-lockdown summer. Tapping the drama and energy of the largely pre-generic party days of '91-94 - a halcyon time of transition in which Drumskull himself, as a life-long skater otherwise stoked on the the raw energy of 80s skate video soundtracks - to Black Flag, JFA, Minor Threat, Stupids et al, to Primus, Gang Starr and Meat Beat Manifesto, made the passage into syncopated machine funk, to sub bass, time-stretched breaks and automated beat production.
Physically drumming in a couple of skate punk bands in the early 90s, exposure to hardcore and early jungle tapes in '93 by DJ Dimension and DJ Rob (Leeds Orbit, UK), amongst countless others, inspired an archetypal move to sell his drum kit so as to land a set of Technics 1210s. Spinning techno and jungle on the local free party scene and clubs as part of a DJ collective from '94-96, crafting early tunes on Amiga ProTracker software, and shortly after running club nights in mid-90s London with Mo' Wax and Ninja Tune artists, Drumskull expresses the eclecticism of the era across 8 big tracks of previously unreleased material. Evoking all the energy and excitement of being involved in those early years of dance culture, 'Interlocked' powerfully yet playfully connects then to now, reveling in a sense of timelessness, mutation and hybridity.
Album photography by Amir Zaki from his book with legendary Skateboarder Tony Hawk and author Peter Zellner 'California Concrete: A Landscape of Skateparks (2019). Graffiti lettering by original UK stylemaster and beatmaker REQ TDK.
a1 Battle Stations
b1 Broken Rinse
c1 Negative 7
c2 Unarmed Opponent
d1 Information Society
Release Date: 3rd September 2021
4 more quarters, 4 more contrasting expressions of global bass music culture: Barefoot sound originator and G-stone Afrofuturist Stereotyp teams-up powerfully with Malaysian rap legend Arabyrd on 'KEK', delivering a massive dose of Malay shudder trap that does not relent in either its growling bass attack or husky lyrical humour. Next up, the crisp and clean mid-90s DnB vibes of Bristolian producer K-65 ups the energy and tempo with the steadily rolling rinse-out of 'In My Mind', lightening the mood momentarily prior to the first cut on the B-side, with which we descend once more into the increasingly familiar Badman-isms of Low End Activist, who opts for a mutant strain of hardcore UKG on this outing, all scuffed swing and first light maneuvers. Finally though, it's all about the transparency of the groove, with the lush closing tune by Sentinel 793 emanating masses of UK Bruk style and charm, delivering another solid, low-slung workout from this hardworking and charismatic producer. Confined to quarters or not, get these 4 new sound pieces for the meantime, downtime, time being etc... as you like, want or need.
a1. Stereotyp - KEK (feat. Arabyrd)
a2. K-65 - In My Mind
b1. Low End Activist - 4am (Park End Refix)
b2. Sentinel 793 - Hat Rocks
Release Date: 6th August 2021
Each of the artists assembled here steps up with a banger: on the A-side, peak-time ragga hardcore meets low end, BADMAN UK Funky; over on the flip, moody mid-90s drum n bass chops precede a pristine hybrid jungle-juke workout. A couple tunes for the party, perhaps, a couple more for the after party, maybe, but all of them bump perfectly in the jeep don't they. Whether you get back to the raves this summer or not, drive a Wrangler, an 80's Ford Capri or a pale green '71 Caddy hearse, this is a big EP from 5 solid producers, intended for inspiring, vibing, and above all, movement.
a1: Sicknote & Justice - Neon Fizz
a2: Low End Activist - Code of Codes
b1: Mani Festo - Hours
b2: Drumskull - Phase Velocity
Release Date: 7th May 2021
Debut release for The Fear Ratio's Mark Broom and James Ruskin under their 'Deadhand' alias, which proceeds on a strictly experimental hip-hop tip, accompanied as they are here by 4 x world scratch champion DJ Prime Cuts (of The Scratch Perverts) and illbient rap legend Sensational, who brings his characteristic broken charm to the EP's itchy, spartan production vibes: "Step into my office, now we sparkin' it... I spit the isms in yer ear... you better recognise it's raw shit from orbit."
This pairing with Sens makes total sense: Distinct from Mark and James' work as The Fear Ratio, their Deadhand project delivers something closer to 90s illbient in any case: extending the boom-bap era of hip-hop production with elements of hallucinogenic dystopianism, the energy of the EP nevertheless vibes playfully: Given the dispiriting global situation at present, the EP title 'Meanwhile' might simply refer to getting on with things in spite of all the cultural and political misendeavor the era will no doubt be long remembered for. Despite the global health pandemic and the looming spectre of wide-scale environmental collapse, little despair or surrender prevails here, but rather a hankering to attempt a few tripped-out experiments.
Three remixes bring further twists of the screw: A cosmic break flex from ETCH resituates Sensational amidst the magmic glow of Reaktor bass ensembles, while DJ Prime Cuts repurposes 7" soul gold by way of a more 'traditional' SP1200 approach. 90s trip-hop pioneer and graffiti legend REQ steps up with all the painterly flair he is rightly renowned for, obliterating the Monster Orchestra's classic 'I Can't Stop' stab towards a double dose of galactic melancholia.
a2. Wanderer (feat. DJ Prime Cuts)
b1. Meanwhile (feat. Sensational)
b2. Touch (feat. DJ Prime Cuts & Sensational)
b3 .Layout (feat. DJ Prime Cuts)
c1. Skitty (feat. DJ Prime Cuts)
c2. Touch (ETCH's Pink Ladies in Space Remix) [feat. Sensational]
d1. Meanwhile (DJ Prime Cuts Remix) [feat. Sensational]
d2. Touch (REQ's Dub) [feat. Sensational]
d3. Touch (Instrumental) [feat. DJ Prime Cuts]
Release Date: 15th January 2021
Further skirmishes at the Tosche Station from Planet Mu label boss Mike Paradinas, whose first Tusken Raiders EP on Clear Records 25 years ago brought an infinitely more-dusty-than-digital vibe, delivering a rugged, electro-infused uptake of the type of battered machine funk produced and enjoyed by Tatooine's indigenous, Bantha-riding tribespeople.
Hailing from the latter part of Mike's 'Lunatic Harness' sessions in 1998, these 8 previously unreleased, largely-breakbeat tracks deliver a salvo of scuffed sonic rinse outs and mutant house jams from a figure who has done so much to bring about and support experimental electronica, breakcore and footwork scenes over the past three decades.
Art by SODA, with graff handstyle by Ben Drury and REQ TDK. Compiled by The Fissure Family.
a2. Rinse Up
b1. Raiderz Skank
c1. Bantha Dreams
c2. Sea Dweller
d1. Generate Tusks
Release Date: 2nd April 2021
Brand new album of pure bass and breaks ingenuity from the consistently brilliant Brighton, UK-based producer, who has had previous releases on Sneaker Social Club and is tipped for forthcoming work on Moving Shadow and Planet Mu shortly. Featuring art by RAYS with handstyle track titles on the vinyl edition by REQ TDK.
a1. In A Monochromatic Wilderness Of Pain
b1. The Man With The Other Face
c1. Naitsri Complex
c2. No Sided Shape
d1. Mokujin Ballet
d2. Red Moon