Bass Music . Future Beats . Nu Garage


Genre pick of the week Cover of Killing Season EP by Kode9 & The Spaceape.
Sadly the arrival of the first collaborative release from Kode9 & The Spaceape since their 2011 album "Black Sun" has been overshadowed by the tragic news of The Spaceape's passing after a lengthy battle with a rare form of cancer. That this release sees the MC focus on the emotional, spiritual and psychological effects of living with illness only heightens the pathos and emotional poignancy of the situation. As ever The Spaceape is on another level, dissecting his condition through wry asides and brutal imagery, while Kode9 explores trap rhythms, rumbling drones and stark minimalism to mirror the bleak subject matter. On the A-side "Chasing A Beast" and "Devil Is A Liar" offer a first hand experience of apocalypse, with all the noise and chaos that entails, while the three B-side cuts drift into subdued ambience and honest lyricism. As strong as any of the material either party has released alone or together in the past, this is a fitting epitaph for The Spaceape.

Cooly G returns with ‘Wait 'Til Night’, an album of sensitive, lo-fi bedroom music, its lyrics sketching dreamy scenarios of seduction, lust and sex. The moody South London house of her debut album 'Playin Me' and her DJ sets has given way to a near-horizontal, sometimes melancholy and highly original take on R&B. The tracks swing effortlessly with no-fuss musical arrangements that are filtered through reggae sound system culture and US R&B in equal amounts, with a slight hint of dark synth-pop wound throughout. The pace has come down from the deep, tribal house she's known for so far, with the only constants that run through the album - her intimate vocals and smokey synths - cross-hatched with her characteristic broken rhythmic sense.

Opening with title track, Cooly coos about a date, over an infectious synth lead that wouldn't sound out of place on a Depeche Mode song. 'Like A Woman Should' is twilight music, synths rolling out like clouds over pulsing drums, while the vocals whisper invitations. 'Your Sex' is a fantasy with synths and surprisingly stabbing, hooky and distorted rhythm guitar. 'I Like' feels like the opening of an especially dreamy jungle track stretched into a full pop song. 'Dancing' rolls out drums and a mini guitar figure into a gently dizzy waltz, while 'Quick Question' plays out the scenario after the dance. 'Want's' barely-there song structure of drum and occasional bass with a wiry synth lead, is accompaniment to a near-whispered vocal. The pace steps up with the smouldering 'So Deep', with a deep synth bassline and a muscular hip hop beat. '1st Time' is all depth charge bleeps, guitars and piano. 'Freak You' is spacious and guitar driven, with Cooly beaming in directives through a distant voice transmission. The album's final honest, angry and forlorn track, 'The 3 Of Us', comes down hard on an absent parent, a full stop on the romance that the album narrates. It also reveals Cooly G as a skilled rap artist, something she’s kept hidden until now, with double-time flows casting off a missing babyfather. ‘Wait ‘Til Night’ finds Cooly G casting her net wider than her debut album, with songs that are more confident, accessible and stylistically consistent. The album comes laced with Cooly's unique honesty and charm and is sure to win her new fans with her catchy melodies, slow-jammed stories of blighted urban romance, and engaging lack of pretension.

Fantastic Mr Fox Feat. Kid A

You-Turn - Visionist Remix

He’s back, in the run up to 2015’s longplayer dropping another slice of broken electronic pop this time teaming up with US isolationist and icey voiced songwriter Kid A. Here FMF delivers his trademarked frosted heartbreak chords with a grime lilt on the drums and low-end. For this super limited 10" Black Acre enlist the deft remix skills of Grime royalty Visionist, who adds his own low slung mood take on FMF’s fractalised funk.


10" Info: Limited one-sideed 10" white label.

You know the clocks must have just gone back when Blawan and Pariah start up their machines and start making noise under their Karenn guise again. Yes, the onslaught of winter usually comes with a plethora of filthy techno releases, the darker days and shorter sunlight hours allowing the vampire mutants of the underground time away from their coffins to release music and party. Sheworks set a new blueprint for 'wallshaker' way back in 2011 with a whole new sound that took techno's frenetic tempos and meldied them to a sonic demolition ball and highly caustic recording mediums. 'All-hardware muscular techno jams' as they were then penned. Karenn is Blawan and Pariah together, two already established stalwart of the scene. On this, their third record for Sheworks the pair unleash that frenzied demon of sound they've kept locked up throughout the Summer. Speaking of which "Summer" churns and pummels like a Soviet-era factory line, that squashed and saturated kick drum present from the offset while eerie, discordant melodies circle overhead. "Nelly" lets loose the beasts for a carnival of voodoo. Rampant, uncompromising and really quite scary - this sounds like your dancing around a gremlin campfire with pitchforks in hand and human on the fire! Both medieval and alien at the same time! "Ballast" deploys those clever concentric beats to a droning sonar hum and futuristic machinery sounds. Surely a mid-session bleeper that Surgeon would dominate in the mix. Recommended.

Real Lies

North Circular / Dab Housing

London three piece Real Lies build on the success of last year's "Sweet Exile" single with this massive double A-side on Marathon Artists which perfectly showcases the band's versatility. The driving house rhythms of "North Circular" suggest the band have learned a thing or two from the remix experience (Pariah and Bey LF went in hard on their last single), providing a tough and insistent basis for the swooning emotional pop of the spoken vocals and euphoric piano chords. This is "Weak Become Heroes" for a new generation of sophisticated and urbane youths freed from genre constraints. On the flip, "Dab Housing" is a simmering hit of dubby dream pop with plenty of Jamaican flava adding spice to the yearning indie vocals. Watch this space. 

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