Release Date - 14th December 2018
Following an earth-rattling release from Gramz, the Crucial Recordings imprint returns to administer generous doses of its characteristically standard-setting and ever-expanding sonic offerings with CRUCIAL020. Standing as the second compilation release from the label, CRUCIAL020 features the stylings of new Crucial family members TMSV and Van Dam as well as tracks from some of its longer standing lineage Causa, Opus and label-head Sleeper. The highly prolific and bass-centric label has build themselves a resounding reputation within the underground scene for pushing their unprecedented mission for delivering multifaceted and boundary shattering bass music, with CRUCIAL020 proving as the newest groundbreaking addition to their vision.
Introducing the unorthodox and infectious 020 compilation are Crucial newcomers TMSV and Van Dam with their collaboration entitled “Qanun Fodder,” oozing with musical aptitude, raw baseline energy and a rugged aesthetic. Mixing organic and electronic elements, “Qanun Fodder” boasts a sub-powered, percussive-rich personality not confined by one specific genre. Causa continues to unlatch the release with “Are We,” a highly original dancefloor detonator that boasts strong roots in dubstep’s foundational sound. While “Are We” delivers proper traditionally meditative sound system might, it doesn’t shy away from delivering a fresh and dark perspective that strives for innovation. Standing as a climax to CRUCIAL020 is labelhead Sleeper’s “Ginger Root.” Wielding an infectious melody and impossibly heavy sub bass presence, “Ginger Root” showcases Sleeper’s years of technical and creative prowess coupled with his irreplicable knack for exploration and freshness. Culminating CRUCIAL020 is Opus’s “People,” laden with his signature percussion and dynamic melodic heat, echoing the producer’s history as a classically trained musician. Confined within its four rousing tracks, CRUCIAL020 is bursting at the seams with weighty and innovative beats that abandon all stylistic expectations with its addictive, future-facing grooves.
a1. TMSV & Van Dam - Qanun Fodder
a2. Causa - Are We
b1. Sleeper - Ginger Root
b2. Opus - People
Release Date - 26th October 2018
Following his two-track, debut vinyl release with Youngsta’s Sentry Release, on top of a slew of prior, hard-hitting free downloads, Gramz makes his official introduction into the Crucial Recordings family. Taking a hard left turn into the more aggressive, distorted and experimental territory of the dubstep genre, Gramz’s well-crafted output is known best for infusing dance floors with undeniable attitude and furious energy. With a heavy emphasis on flowing hip-hop beats and an inherent drive for forward-facing sound design, Gramz constantly sports an innovative, assaulting swag that can’t be matched or duplicated. Offering an unconventional yet highly welcomed addition to bass music’s overall perspective, Gramz entices listeners with detuned and distorted textures, loose drums, unfamiliar bassweight structures, bouncing grooves and weighty sub pressure.
Standing as the introduction to Gramz’s Crucial release Joken/Get Them Bags (CRUCIAL019), “Joken” slowly and unassumingly unfolds with a mushroom cloud of bass and swaying beats. However, the sonic tides change in an instant as the tune silences and then quickly escalates by unleashing a fit of true sound system damage led by seething midrange might. A true dance floor detinator. CRUCIAL019’s b-side “Get Them Bags” utilizes the impact of clever vocal work, low frequencies and sparse yet effective instrumentation to convey sophisticated, low frequency conviction. Offering itself a refreshing culmination to the release, “Get Them Bags” proves the genuine power of intelligent restraint and an understated approach to bass music production.
a1. Gramz - Joken
b1. Gramz - Get Them Bags
Released 27th July 2018
This past year has seen the steady rise of Opus; a budding producer who has undoubtedly begun making waves within the dubstep scene for continuously crafting versatile, dynamic heat amidst his ever-evolving, idiosyncratic soundscape. Opus stands as no stranger to engineering a slew of notable beats, thanks to his seemingly intrinsic musical prowess coupled with a knack for reaching far beyond the constructs of conventions and expectations. This sort of ravenous creative mentality has earned Opus a debut release on White Peach Records as well as a subsequent release with Encrypted Audio, not to mention play support from the likes of scene heavy hitters such as Noisia, Bukez Finezt, Goth-Trad, Sleeper, Commodo, DIstance and Jack Sparrow.
Taking large strides forward, Opus’s music is poised to find an apt home with Sleeper’s boundary shattering Crucial Recordings imprint with the release of his Sharpie EP (CRUCIAL018). Echoing the philosophies of Crucial Recordings’ standard-setting and ever-expanding output, Opus’s Sharpie EP stands as a perfect addition to the imprint’s multifaceted and boundary shattering catalogue. The release unlatches with its title track, “Sharpie,” laden with an undeniably energetic melody coupled with puncturing percussion and indistinguishable yet highly effective vocal sampling. Sharpie’s equally robust B-side boasts the powerfully dark, dizzying and volatile “Peel,” packed with a surprising dubby twist, culminated by “Newspeak;” a vigorously twisted, string-driven conclusion to a truly distinct and exceptional collection.
a1. Opus - Sharpie
b1. Opus - Peel
b2. Opus - Newspeak
Released 27th April 2018
Expounding upon its already stellar release schedule this year, with previous collections like Samba’s Malignant Remixes featuring Bukez Finezt and Crucial Recordings’ first compilation release overflowing with underground royalty, Crucial continues to strengthen its resounding reputation with its next release from the labelhead himself, Sleeper. Referencing years of technical and creative experience as well as sonic exploration within the 140 sound and beyond, Sleeper has extended his tastemaking musical palette onto his very own imprint, allowing other artists the chance to echo the philosophies of the label’s forward facing, trailblazing values with their own musical outputs. Now, the labelhead is poised to undertake the mighty voice of the label himself with the release of CRUCIAL017, featuring four highly anticipated, dance floor ready tracks that simultaneously teeter the lines between simple and complex in all the right areas.
CRUCIAL017 clearly demonstrates that while the darker styles of dubstep will always reign supreme in Sleeper’s extensive output, he’ll never shy away from flexing his production muscles, as he’s been known more recently for taking his forward-thinking creativity and sound design expertise to new heights while always allowing for his own personality to shine through. Infectiously blending the eyes down, experimental personality of dubstep with the heavy impact of beat driven bass music, the multifaceted nature of CRUCIAL017 shatters boundaries and challenges conventions with razor sharp melodies, perfectly broken percussion, wicked basslines and an overall unforgiving attitude. Sleeper’s openness to and curiosity for exploration through a multitude of musical worlds has enabled him to fuse all areas of his taste to cultivate a unique sound system focused style that is clearly felt through CRUCIAL017.
a1 Le Goonz
b1 Smoke & Mirrors
b2 U Take L's
Released 16th March 2018
Founded in 2015 by dubstep forefather Sleeper, Crucial Recordings has continued to develop and strengthen its undeniable grip on the dubstep world with each release; never failing to act as an unyielding beacon within the scene for unearthing fresh, standard-setting talent. Leaping from strength to strength, this highly prolific imprint constantly delivers multifaceted and boundary shattering bass music through ingenious and unprecedented ways.
The latest addition to the label’s ever-expanding vision for multifaceted bass music comes from Rotterdam-based Hebbe, who has truly emerged from the shadows recently through releases on Subway Recordings, Artikal Music, DUPLOC and Version Collective. Regarded as the most promising up-and-comer in the Dutch dubstep scene, Hebbe sports an obscure, sound driven flow that aims to inject diversity and progress into today’s musical output. Keeping within a similar spirit, Hebbe’s CRUCIAL016 boasts two far reaching tracks, “Mad Hatter” and “Galata” that convey trailblazing bassweight through two very different formats. While “Mad Hatter” cuts through to the core with simplicity and impact, “Galata” equally enchants with smokey darkness and trenchlike depth, building upon Crucial Recordings’ irreplaceable position within the dubstep circuit.
a Hebbe - Mad Hatter
b Hebbe - Galata
Release Date: 17th November 2017
Sleeper’s Crucial Recordings imprint comes bearing generous sonic offerings of its characteristically standard-setting and ever-expanding output with their newest release, CRUCIAL014; a compilation comprised of Crucial’s own family lineage. The highly prolific label has build themselves a resounding reputation within the underground scene for pushing their unprecedented mission for delivering multifaceted and boundary shattering bass music, with CRUCIAL014 proving as the newest groundbreaking addition to their vision. Featuring the stylings of Saule, Moonstones, Mesck, Oxóssi, Samba and labelhead Sleeper, CRUCIAL014 is bursting at the seams with four weighty, innovative, unorthodox and infectious beats that abandon all stylistic expectations with its addictive, future-facing grooves.
This mighty compilation reveals itself through Saule and Moonstones’ “Triple Threat;” an alluring web of enchanting melodies juxtaposed with undeniably thunderous, militant power that evoke exceptionally contagious primal energy. Mesck continues to fuel the highly volatile flame of this release with “Johnny, Are You A Ghost;” boasting an unmistakably powerful, highly original and explosive sound that blurs the lines of headphone and dancefloor listening. The B-Side to CRUCIAL014 commences with Sleeper’s contribution, “Holy Guacamole;” a mixture of the earthy meditation of dubstep’s powerful roots and unmistakable percussive sway while keeping the energy dark, moody and forward-facing. Lastly, Oxóssi and Samba’s “Orbitals” draws this complex and eclectic musical roller coaster to an exciting climax; offering a collaboration brimming with angry growls and guttural midrange melodies. Encased within its four tracks, Crucial’s latest collaborative release, CRUCIAL014, offers a multifaceted buffet of sounds, styles, textures, moods and emotions that demonstrate the far reaches of Crucial Recordings’ diversifying and irreplaceable personality.
a1. Saule & Moonstones - Triple Threat
a2. Mesck - Johnny, Are You A Ghost?
b1. Sleeper - Holy Guacamole
b2. Oxossi & Samba - Orbitals
Release Date: 25th August 2017
Claiming a highly original sound that boasts strong roots in dubstep’s rich history, Causa’s musical output delivers a fresh perspective on sound system music that holds true to tradition yet strives for innovation; a recipe that with undoubtedly help dictate the unwritten narrative of the genre’s future. With productions having already graced global dubstep labels such as Surfase Records, Circle Vision, FatKidOnFire, Artikal Music and Infernal Sounds, this German badman continues to prove himself as a force to be reckoned with amongst the underground circuit. On top of his impressively nuanced and steady growing catalogue, Causa’s productions have also received play support from prominent scene heavy hitters, with multiple tracks featured on J:Kenzo’s Rinse FM guest mixes as well as on Vivek’s Rinse FM mix and Mesck’s Chestcast mix.
Causa makes a bold introduction to Sleeper’s highly prolific Crucial Recordings label with his new, three-track EP entitled Juce (CRUCIAL013); the latest addition to the imprint’s standard-setting and ever-expanding vision for pushing multifaceted bass music. Laden with laid back, minimalist vibes and understated swag dictated by massive bassweight pressure and infectious percussive patterns, Causa’s release delivers the earthy meditation of dubstep’s powerful roots while keeping the energy dark, moody and forward-facing. Each of Juce’s three tracks: “Minerals,” “Struggle” and “Juce” work together beautifully to orchestrate the creeping and commanding story of Causa’s Crucial EP; a story that sheds light onto the darker shades of dubstep production while simultaneously celebrating the significance of the genre’s foundation.
Released 4th November 2016
Bassweight from Sleeper’s Crucial Recordings label, an imprint that has been one of the more prolific dubstep labels on the scene since its inception. Samba is an artist who recently had his debut on the Encrypted Audio label and his since impressed Sleeper with a sound that fits perfectly for his label, beats with a kind of half-time Hip-Hop swagger but with the supreme bass that you’d expect from Crucial.
Released 11th September 2015
Crucial Recordings proudly presents the third release on the label – one whose stock is growing and growing. The 7.5 EP comes courtesy of Brighton-based producer Foamplate who has already earned the support of big names like Distance, Mala, J:Kenzo and N Type.
This three-tracker from Foamplate, who crafts his cuts in his studio by the sea, represents a fresh wave of offerings from the artist. He is bonafide vinyl head, he still cuts dubplates and this one right here is his first solo 12” release.
Kicking off the EP is the title track. A nod to the earlier days of dubstep, '7.5' is a dubby, roomy roller. The playful pipes give a festive feel, but we’re not talking about Christmas here. We’re talking rounded, caressing bass notes coupled with murmurs lurking in the sub-region, beneath a stripped-back drum track. Part jungle, part Jungle Book, 7.5 unfurls into a more eerie, sub-canopy echo chamber, scattered with menacing FX.
A clear cousin of 7.5, Cargo is first up on the flip. More of that round, sporadic bass play highlights an artist with a clear vision but the swinging percussion and hi hats of Cargo give the track its own discernible qualities – the track is both cerebral and ethereal. The short, jagged snare cuts through the foggy, flabbier bass notes like a rusty knife through a speaker cone.
Like the top track, teasing pipes flirt with hypnotic rhythm before transforming into more mischievous yet enticing, percussive melodies. Oculus Rift has the feel of an unplaceable exotique, drawing and conjuring from several of the darkest corners of the subconscious and delivering a world for the conscious to get lost in.
a. Foamplate - 7.5
b1. Foamplate - Cargo
b2. Foamplate - Oculus Rift