Release Date: 4th December 2020
The latest drop on Sneaker Social Club comes from D&B standard-bearer Jasper Byrne, aka Sonic. While he’s been active in the scene for over 20 years, in many ways Byrne’s strong artistic identity and omnivorous spread of influences embodies the current rude health of creative D&B. In his refined, detailed and dynamic productions you can hear ideas that reach far beyond playbook genre totems to arrive at something genuinely fresh and unique.
Across his career Byrne has brushed up against some of the most important labels – Metalheadz, Reinforced, V Recordings, Infrared, Hospital, RAM and scores more, as well as operating his own Space Recordings. Finally dropping a debut album last year on the excellent Western Lore, Byrne demonstrated the depth and breadth of Sonic in jaw dropping fashion, and we’re thrilled to be presenting a swift follow-up with Eye of Jupiter.
Byrne’s confident grasp on melody comes to the fore throughout this album, but crucially these phrases, lead lines and hooks are delivered with a subversive slant that surprises and delights in equal measure. The swaying choral tones and MIDI strings on the lead in to “Prince Of Cambridge” land somewhere between Art Of Noise sample-a-delia and new age splendour, offset by the rugged, rolling break. There’s equally a grandiose quality to the organ breakdowns in “Accidental Junglist”, albeit one poured into a blender with echo chamber acrobatics and a generous dose of phaser-based manipulation (calling to mind A Guy Called Gerald’s pioneering work on Black Secret Technology).
Tracks like “The Bells” move into bolder territory still, swerving obvious structures for something altogether more experimental and expressive, all while grounded by harmonic principles and with space to welcome a break when required. The sound design on “20 Yr Riddim” equally reaches beyond the usual confines of D&B to reach a percussion-heavy peak of invention with the capacity to bang as hard as any straight-up track you care to think of.
Even with the space and skill to roam into intriguing pastures, Byrne’s art lies in his ability to make the wildest ideas accessible, and his most accessible tracks still brim with individuality. There’s an immediacy to opening track “Stranded 2019” which draws you in from the off, balancing emotive swoon and a perfectly pitched bleep lick with the rudest, roundest bass and some especially dexterous drum science. That it sounds so easy on the ears and yet so unlike any other tracks in current circulation is all the proof you need that Sonic represents a high watermark for modern drum & bass.
a1. Sonic - Stranded
a2. Sonic - Eastside
b1. Sonic - Prince of Cambridge
b2. Sonic - Accidental Junglist
b3. Sonic - The Bells 2018
c1. Sonic - 20 Yr Riddim
c2. Sonic - 357
d1. Sonic - No Rest (Stealing Voice)
d2. Sonic - Rolling Hills
d3. Sonic - Aila
Available: 20th November 2020
a1. Pessimist - Intro
a2. Pessimist - Bloom
a3. Pessimist - Grit
b1. Pessimist - Spirals
b2. Pessimist - Glued feat. Loop Faction
c1. Pessimist - War Cry
c2. Pessimist - Peter Hitchens
d1. Pessimist - No Matter What feat. Overlook
d2. Pessimist - Through The Fog
d3. Pessimist - Outro
Release Date: 20th November 2020
Following a jaw-dropping LP on Ghostly International in 2018, multifarious rave authority Tadd Mullinix reanimates his hi-tek junglist guise X-Altera for an EP on Sneaker Social Club. It’s a perfect fit between project and label, as Mullinix exercises his fearsome knowledge and grasp of foundational jungle and drum & bass on an imprint with strong form in the field (from seminal Foul Play works reissued to contemporary cut ups by Dead Man’s Chest, Etch and more).
Rather than straight-up revivalist sounds, as X-Altera Mullinix is more concerned with the original pioneering spirit of early jungle, hardcore and 90s techno. He absorbs and channels the sounds and processes of these influences with a razor-sharp attention to detail, but crucially he stitches his tracks together in a truly idiosyncratic way. Far from linear rollers, the pieces on New Harbinger EP play out more like suites that follow unpredictable paths and take in some stunning scenery en route. Doused in Detroit’s hi-tek soul, chiseled with the avant-garde angles of jungle’s breakbeat science and weaving a tangled narrative to rival a sci-fi epic, it’s a divine blend of rugged and raw rave music that can draw you deep inside and take you far away.
X-Altera is but the latest in a long line of crucial projects from Mullinix, who has been transmitting mind-boggling electronics from Ann Arbor since the late 90s. He’s previously delved into the ruffest ragga jungle with Todd Osborn as Soundmurderer & SK1, dropped devastating acid house bombs as James T Cotton (now steered towards a more focused strain of techno as JTC), delved into EBM and industrial as Charles Manier and helped set a blueprint for leftfield hip hop beats as Dabrye. With an unerring quality barometer matched by his studious knowledge and understanding of rave culture, his work is a continuous gift to many different strains of dance music.
In many ways X-Altera feels like the logical summation of all Mullinix’s prior investigations; unrepentantly futuristic music sporting the best qualities of the past, clad in proudly ‘ardcore body armour and thus ticking every box going for Sneaker Social Club.
a1. X-Altera - Maximum (Love Eachother)
b1. X-Altera - New Harbinger
b2. X-Altera - Ribbon on a Bomb
-Release Date: 30th October 2020
Scuffed Recordings line up their second vinyl sampler, featuring four heavy-hitting club tracks spanning the last year of the label’s output. The release sees tracks from Dubrunner, Heritage, Stones Taro, and Joe Craven pressed to vinyl for the first time, in a limited run of white labels.
Kicking off the release is Dubrunner’s ‘Zoya’s Trip’, originally released in December 2019 on the Scuffed Presents 003 release. Zoya’s Trip has become one of the most popular tracks in the Scuffed catalogue, spending six months in Beatport’s Leftfield House & Techno top 10, and seeing DJ support from the likes of Anja Schneider, Moxie, and Oneman.
Up next is ‘The Revelation’ from Brighton-based duo Heritage, taken from their EP of the same name. With its bass-heavy, breaks-driven beat, The Revelation picked up plays on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Boiler Room, and saw coverage in Mixmag and DJ Mag.
On the B-side Scuffed veteran Stones Taro steps up with the weighty ‘To Rave’. As one of the most long-standing members of the label’s roster, Kyoto-based Stones Taro has become a firm fan favourite with his idiosyncratic take on UK rave music.
Closing out the release is Joe Craven’s ‘Staring At Your Feet Or Mine’, a percussive UK techno stepper originally taken from the Bristol-based producer’s debut release.
a1. Dubrunner - Zoya’s Trip
a2. Heritage - The Revelation
b1. Stones Taro - To Rave
b2. Joe Craven - Staring At Your Feet Or Mine
Release Date: 6th November 2020
Hardcore has survived three decades. Will it never die? Mutate to survive, as the saying goes. There were outliers back then who remain misfits now, and it’s hard to tell whether what they’re making now is so different to what they were making then. Maybe the machines are slightly smarter, but they just find ways to rough the sound up elsewhere in the signal chain. What rings true is the sound hasn’t aged – in the right hands it still jabs at the frontal lobe and tickles the pleasure receptors with ferocious precision.
If anything the passing of time has only helped filter out the filler. True ‘ardcore evangelists have had longer to ruminate on the sound – what maximises the potency, what dulls the impact. Tempo and aggression are not the only tools to devastate a dancer – they rushed in an upward curve for years, to dubious ends. Now you might as likely be rolling at a sedantry 130 as tearing your face off at 180.
The clattering of breaks remain an imperfect vessel for these weird juxtapositions. There’s no standard backbone, no unanimous groove. Depending on the angle of the edit, the same two boom-baps can come out looking so different as to be unrelated. There might not even be any original breaks left in there. An amen begat a tramen begat the sound of a chair being thrown down the stairs. The pool of cultural codes remains open and accessible though – the call of the loom bird is not off limits, and neither are any of the unlicensed licks that hit the streets on the first sample CDs. Make the tune hot enough, you can use what you like.
Of course tired snobbery prevails amongst revivalists who would sneer at anything made after 1996 (or 1994, or 1992 – choose your flavour), but as a cultural movement hardcore (and its many wayward offspring) is as inclusive as it’s ever been. It’s about the joy of splicing, bricolage, the cheeky punt that leads to something profound. But more importantly, it’s about the culture of those who made it – an honest expression of the times, which go in cycles outside the sound not dissimilar to the ones within it.
e1. Horsepower Productions - DREAMWITHINADREAM Pt.2
e2. Ashford Knights - Sinkhole
f1. SHD - Drop
f2. Interplanetary Criminal - Loss of Self Identity
f3. Soundbwoy Killah - Something Special
g1. Konx-om-Pax - Shibuya Sunset (Hardcore Mix)
g2. Appleblim - Limbic Riddim
g3. Coco Bryce - One
h1. Dead Man's Chest x Sonic - Sneaker Rhythm
h2. Hooverian Blur ft. Slarta John - Highgrade Music
h3. Anz - Rave Casual
Release Date: 13th November 2020
Mark Boombastik is a human beatbox with advanced technics. Early in his career, he added guitar effects and bass synths to his live sets to push his vocal art to a new level. Mark Boombastik is mostly known for his astonishing crossover pop-song "Putzen" which was licensed for german TV shows among other crazy things. Through this novelty hit he caught the attention of the Berlin record label Shitkatapult for which he produced the long-player "Adios Berlin" together with Eduardo Delgado-Lopez. Lesser known but extremely sought after are his releases on Meeuw Muzak and Gagarin Records. With Gagarin Records chairman Felix Kubin he did countless live and studio collaborations. After a brief release-hiatus, this 7" on Sozialistischer Plattenbau presents two recent tracks. The record comes in a cover that was designed by Hamburg artist Thomas Baldischwyler and printed in 3 punky color-layers with a middle-aged Riso printer on recycled paper.
a1. Mark Boombastik - Wasser
b1. Mark Boombastik - Vogel
Release Date: 30th October 2020
Bumpy & Bleepy UK business here from Adam Curtain with Facta & Harry Wills on remix duties.
Trouble Maker comes correct & reminiscent of old Nu-Groove records with a bumper 6 track 12"! Wisdom Teeth boss Facta, provides a wiggy and high-end remix of Doors of Perception whilst Harry Wills turns out a breaky 4x4 almost bassline version of BYOT.
a1. Adam Curtain - Doors of Perception
a2. Adam Curtain - Doors of Perception (Facta Remix)
a3. Adam Curtain - Voices
b1. Adam Curtain - BYOT
b2. Adam Curtain - BYOT (Harry Wills' Give it a Lick Remix)
b3. Adam Curtain - All the Way in
Release Date: 23rd October 2020
Alejandro Baltazar Moreno’s (Alex M) debut EP “New Culture” manages to be simultaneously haunting and childlike. The artist pulls inspiration from a multiplicity of cultural anchors- from Marxist class theory to 80’s/90’s video game soundtracks; from Situationist International to social isolation. He creates a sound outside of geographic boundaries that projects vibrations meant for a hidden observer at the edge of a dream. Alex credits artists like Paul Johnson, New Order, Daft Punk, Kraftwerk, and DJ Deeon as some of his earlier influences that helped shape his sound. Despite being from Texas, Alex constructs his own sense of identity through his productions and that is directly reflected throughout his work.
a1. Alex M - Realism in Balance
a2. Alex M - Hypnotic Behaviour
a3. Alex M - Hypnotic Behaviour (DJ Chap Hypno Remix)
a4. Alex M - Hallucination
b1 .Alex M - Automize Reality
b2. Alex M - Hypnotic Behaviour (Phyzical Trax Remix)
b3. Alex M - Hallucination (Steve Poindexter & Kevin Durkin Jackers of the Midway Mix)
b4. Alex M - Hallucination (Bok Bok Remix)
Release Date: 23rd October 2020
Paris based Vitess dons his Vytamin alias for 4 tracks for sub-aquatic deep-breakbeat-house for UTTU - backed with a Nemo Vachez remix. Tip!”
a1. Vytamin - Bi-Polar
a2. Vytamin - Bi-Polar (Nemo Vachez Remix)
b1. Vytamin - Intervilles
b2. Vytamin - Chasse Taupe
b3. Vytamin - Uzy Jet
Release Date: 23rd October 2020
Cosmic techno made between 1994 - 1997 by Quiet Men, an old alias of Italian techno duo, retina.it. Mastered by Neel and on vinyl for the first time.
a1. Quiet Men - Doubled
a2. Quiet Men - Deep
a3. Quiet Men - Brain
b1. Quiet Men - Brain (soothing effect)
b2. Quiet Men - H.E.
Release Date: 6th November 2020
Childsplay presents The debut EP from mod-r. A 4track summary of the emotional state of youth 2day. equal parts breaks, acid, electro and angst. If you don't like it JUST FUCK OFF
a1. mod-r - Shegz
a2. mod-r - Thegeneralpublic
b1. mod-r - Unemployed
b2. mod-r - Shottaz
Release Date: 9th October 2020
London-based Kouslin's Le Chatroom imprint presents LCR003; a percussion-heavy release of four tracks from close friends and affiliates.
Taking inspiration from rhythms around the world and the uproar within the new-gen UK Funky scene, Le Chatroom once again exhibit their ethos of eclecticism that has found them in the record bags of the likes of Ben UFO and Call Super.
Big Brothers' frontman Amor Satyr (also of Parisian collective Boukan Records), channels heavy baile funk on 'Hohohoi', with razor-sharp low-end separation and haunting harmonies.
Soreab (Baroque Sunburst/BeatMachine) serves up a hearty cut of low-slung, tribal drum funk with a groove synonymous of Hessle Audio sets.
Having recently featured on an R&S Records compilation, plus a release on More Time Records, rising artist DJ Tess presents her new “Mala Femmina” alias and offers up a triplet-based 4x4 groove with relentless icy blows and rotating polyrhythms.
Livity Sound's Cando close out with a remix of Soreab's 'Cave Walk'. Racing away with dancefloor panic, the intricacies of the remix shine through via its claustrophobic and pristine mixdown.
a1. Amor Satyr - Hohohoi
a2. Soreab - Cave Walk
b1. Mala Femmina (DJ Tess) - Ruff
b2. Soreab - Cave Walk (Cando Remix)
Release Date: 9th October 2020
Is this the sound of the future or fragments of the past coming back to haunt us? Is a remix of a classic thirty years after the fact an exercise in hauntology or a time loop closing? When hardcore came bowling out of the UK underground, it was sci-fi postulating rendered on wax, but it also reflected an inescapable reality at street level. Idealist, escapologist music that said as much about decades of inner city pressure as it did about outer space fantasies. A sweet refrain underpinned by a necessary ruffness, the elegant ballet of a break dissected 16 different ways over 16 bars, the protest pulse of the subs carrying the torch from one soundsystem culture to another.
What hardcore successfully struck on was so definably alien it set a new paradigm which has been cast back and forth in dialogue ever since. Whole scenes have risen and receded around these principles, and the constant remains – masses of bass carrying angular rhythms, unnerving echo chambers of disembodied voices and moments of staggering beauty and masterful ugliness. These principles have a universal appeal that burns bright generation to generation, never seemingly diminishing but rather fortifying with time. Sometimes a surge of inspiration finds the principles reinterpreted in head-spinning new ways, but the ethic remains the same.
Those shaky, intrepid years of lo-fi samplers and narrow band broadcasts were defined by their lack of definition. Take a punt on a rare groove lick and work out how to get the low end louder. Then everything got organised – in the face of mass appeal scenes started splintering and preferences catered to. It may not have been a force for unity, but it engendered more intensive investigation. Years of scenes, styles, subgenres, niches, furrows, corridors, avenues, detours, each more hyper-specific than the last. Eventually though, everything breaks down so much it all becomes one mass again – a constant cross-contamination between these intensely cultivated strains, creating ever more potent hybrids that simply feed back into the temporal swirl.
a1. SK-1 - Shockout Fass (X-Altera remix)
a2. Etch - Monoxide
b1. ZULI - 3ankaboot
b2. Manix - Special Request (DJ Guy version)
b3. ELLLL - Sooty Tern
c1. Peder Mannerfelt - Small Faces
c2. Christoph De Babalon - Where Are You Going?
c3. DJ Butterfly - Shorty
d1. Clouds - Can't Anticipate
d2. Forest Drive West - Para
d3. Dream Cycle - ESP
Release Date: 9th October 2020
Following his debut outing on our most recent compilation, Delay Grounds is back with three bass heavy submissions, each bubbling with effervescent melodies that twist and transform into the imitation of their phonetic namesakes.
On the A-side, Coruscant builds and modulates with glitching rhythms and glittering synths, leading us onto the storming tantrum of Stompy; both tracks demonstrating the innovative intricacy we’ve come to expect from this burgeoning producer.
On the flip, Clatter’s playful yet introspective trajectory completes Delays Grounds’ solo excursion with fellow newcomer, Suze tapping the brakes in their explosive “Heeley Mix” to round off the EP.
Onomatopoeia's inviting digital landscape offers us an uplifting, yet ponderous escape during these times of uncertainty and change.
a1. Delay Grounds - Coruscant
a2. Delay Grounds - Stompy
b1. Delay Grounds - Clatter
b2. Delay Grounds - Clatter (Suze’s Heeley Mix)
Release Date: 2nd October 2020
No messing around with this one folks. I guess I must have been feeling some pent up intense emotions from the lock down because when I went to write this EP four steam rollers came flying out of me. These tracks are definitely up there with some of the peakiest peak timers I’ve written so strap on your seat belt and get ready for the turbo thrusters to kick in.
OK enough of my blather. Go and listen to the damn things yourself and decide if you like them, rather than trying to work it out from reading a bloody press release you weirdos.
All four tracks are produced and sculpted for the club. They want big sound systems and dark rooms.
Close your eyes, hold hands and experience transcendental space flight...
a1. Desert Sound Colony - The Darker The Room The Bigger The Tune
a2. Desert Sound Colony - Pulled Through The Wormhole
b1. Desert Sound Colony - Echo Shaper
b2. Desert Sound Colony - The Gobbler
Available From: 2nd October 2020
*RSD DROP 2 RELEASE - DOUBLE GATEFOLD LP*
Pitch Black’s “Electronomicon”, a landmark album in New
Zealand’s electronica scene, finally gets pressed on vinyl.
First released in 2000, “Electronomicon” shows Pitch Black
developing their deep dubby sound further by creating long
and involved song structures that traverse a range of sonic
experiences. The resultant album journeys from organic
ambience and layered soundscapes to skanking keyboards,
cutting acid riffs and thumping rhythmic grooves, with dub
being the glue that holds it all together.
“Electronomicon” reached 28 in the New Zealand album
charts and led to a sell-out 30-date tour of New Zealand and
Australia. It has since gone on to become one of the duo’s
most popular albums, regularly finding new fans around the
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release, the band
dug out the original audio files and Angus McNaughton has re-
mastered them for this vinyl release. Hamish Macaulay has
also adapted the original artwork, creating a brand new
collage for the centerfold out of pictures taken at the time.
a1. Reptile Room
a2. Electric Earth Pt. 1
a3. Electric Earth Pt. 2
b1. Data Diviner
c2. The 48 Skanks