Emperor – Dispositions – The Remixes [Critical]

Material from Emperor’s recent Dispositions LP gets the remix treatment on the latest release from Critical, and true to form the label have delivered a really interesting selection for the EP. For our money you should just ignore the Phace remix; as weighty as it is it’s predictable fare and far from the most interesting work we’ve heard from the German neuro powerhouse.

Klax on the other hand have absolutely excelled themselves with their remix of Made of Light, taking the original’s moody vocal and setting it to a halftime beat punctuated with grime-tinged synth swells and some serious bassweight. This one positively swaggers along as the synth lines stalk through the mix, and the energy levels are kept high despite the plodding drum pace; top notch mid-set switch-up material.

Ivy Lab are next up and once again on a half time flex, flipping Jounce around from a full roll neuro workout into a hypnotic, bouncing slice of intergalactic hip-hop that just oozes character. Smooth melodies and warm low end reverberations make for a serious head-nodder. Last up we’re treated to the softest of renditions as Made of Light gets the accoustic treatment, stripped back to nothing but Solah’s beautiful vocal and a moving piano line. Something a little different from the usual Emperor material! Check out the clips below and hit up the Critical Store to grab the EP on vinyl or digital now.

Klax – Systems Vol. 3 [Critical Music]

Brighton production trio Klax are kicking off their 2016 in a big way with their entry to the Critical Music Systems series, following on from the previous volumes by Halogenix and Fre4knc.

Systems Vol. 3 continues the Critical trend for genre-blending experimentations, bringing together the energy and intricacy of D&B with the influence of hip-hop and the wider world of bass music for a potent selection of sonic weapons. The appropriately titled Ritalin leads the charge with an onslaught of off kilter drum rolls, hard metallic snares and ADHD vocal chop ups. Hotline continues this theme, slowing the roll slightly to focus on a hip-hop swagger and the influence of trap and footwork, while The Level brings more of a carnival vibe to the table.

Just to switch things up a bit we’re treated to a thoroughly tasty remix of previous Klax/Critical outing Blackball with Foreign Concept lending the tune his own distinctive touch. The distinctive bassline remains but the previously stark arrangement are replaced with a more rolling breakbeat and some extra pads to pack the tune out a little. Last but by no means least Wait For Me provides one last hefty halftime stomper, and stomping it is with massive kicks, echoing claps and some pretty badass synth action on the go.

As we’ve come to expect now Critical continue to push the envelope of what D&B can and should be, while keeping it firmly dancefloor focussed. We’ll have plenty more of this please; check out the clips below and hit up the Critical Store to grab the EP on vinyl or digital now.

Do They Know It’s #Critmas? [Critical Music]

If you feel like doing something charitable this festive season (and you think that Bob Geldof should do one) then Critical Music have the answer! Kasra’s label have collected together a full album of tracks from the label’s usual suspects and all you have to do to get your mits on it is head over here and donate some money to Oxfam.

The LP features a selection of stomping new tracks from Enei, Mefjus, Foreign Concept, Halogenix, Emperor, Kasra, Hyroglifics and Klax, and the quality is every bit as high as you’d expect from the Critical stable. Check out the clips below and give generously!

Klax – Binary Vol. 2 [Critical Music]

Critical continue their Binary series with a brand new three track EP from Brighton trio Klax. The boys only have a small handful of releases but with output on Renegade Hardware and now Critical expect big things in the future.

The EP showcases a knack for clean but hefty techstep, with crisp drums, dirty bass and plenty of groove. All the tracks are well worthy of your attention but Cornerstone stood out for me for pure weight and vibe; rolling business! Check out the clips below and grab this from the Critical Store now.

Compound One [Renegade Hardware]

Hardware start a new chapter for up and coming producers with the first in their Compound series of EPs. Trillo turns in an accomplished dark stepper with Defer and Minor Rain delivers an energetic neuro workout on Regenerate.

For me though the highlights come on Klax’s Vendetta with its heavy half-time tribalism and Subtension’s big bad MC led stomper Break The Rules. I’ve been looking forward to more from Subtension since his excellent release on Samurai Music last year so it’s great to hear new beats landing on the mighty Hardware!

Check out the beats below and grab this one from your favourite digital outlet now.