Demand Selects #1

Following a quiet few months, Swiss label Demand Records are back with the first volume of a new EP series entitled Demand Selects. The series aims to showcase new talent and Demand veterans alike, and judging by this debut instalment we’re due for some sonic treats over the coming year!

Taelimb kicks things off with the stripped back, ominous halfstep vibes of Depth Charge, while Bulgarian producers Robustus & Moody switch gears with an understated liquid roller on Falling. Bristol’s Mystic State team up with Dutch wunderkind and Critical signing Signal for the driving, atmospheric delights of Seven, and last but not least Austria’s RoyGreen & Protone team up with Dual for the crisp and playful Ridestep.

Tons to enjoy here with producers from all over Europe stepping up to represent the Demand sound. Check out the clips below and hit up Beatport to grab a copy right now.

Art of Deception LP [Authentic Music]

Authentic Music are now well and truly back; after a lengthy hiatus from releasing music and a couple of retrospective EP releases, the Czech label returns proper this month with a various artists LP in the form of Art of Deception.

It’s worth noting at this point that I’m not a big fan of compilation LPs. Certain labels have taken in recent years to releasing ever bigger and bigger albums packed with twenty, thirty or even forty tunes loosely bound by rough subgenre and largely lacking in vision or purpose; sure, there are often some good tracks to be found, but who wants to listen through dozens of beats to find the gems? Quality before quantity should be the maxim, but more and more in this ADHD digital age that maxim is being ignored.

Enter Authentic Music, a label that has always striven to provide that all important quality. In the three and a half years of its existence, the imprint has moved slowly but steadily, releasing only tracks which pass the tests of both production sheen and innovation, and thankfully that ethos hasn’t changed for their latest outing.

The slightly old school approach shines through in the release of samplers, a-la vinyl LPs of yesteryear; there might not be wax in the offing, but a handful of tracks have been selected from the main body to lead the pack, and in that fine tradition of samplers they feature some of the LP’s strongest material, with remixes from A-Cray and ArpXP sitting alongside originals from Revaux and Kusp.

Tone-wise most of the album holds true to the Authentic aesthetic; techy vibes fit for the dancefloor but featuring strong sound design and enough of an experimental edge not to be forgettable club fodder. There are some surprises to be found too such as Revaux’s uplifting remix of Mr. Magician and the playful rolling melodies of Dephzac’s sublime Sum Is Wrong.

I could spend time picking out favourites from the selection but with the quality so high you’re better off just listening for yourself. Wicked vibes through and through; hit up Beatport to grab the lot right now.

Mystic State – Clockwork EP [Nurtured Beatz]

We picked out Mystic State earlier this year as one of our top 5 to watch, and their latest EP for Nurtured Beatz adds another solid release to their already impressive catalogue. If you like your beats deep, moody and groove focussed then this one should hit the spot nicely!

Clockwork lives up to it’s name with a steady halftime groove built around chiming percussion and a distinctly mechanical feel. Submerge continues the halftime trend but takes things darker, with bassline and heavy snares evoking brooding, murderous tones.

The second half of the EP ups the ante with full-roll collaborations with Howz & D-Side; the murky aesthetic is still present and the style remains stripped back, but the sludgy halfstep beats are swapped out for a crisp, insistent 2-step. The Room 2 heads will definitely be feeling these!

As usual you can pick up the whole EP direct from Nurtured Beatz via Bandcamp at a reduced price, or grab them from all the usual digital stores. Check out the clips below and go cop the release right now!

Mystic State – Tactic Systems EP [Flexout Audio]

Mystic State are back with a really varied EP for Flexout Audio showcasing the duos ample talents. The vocal talents of Lucy Kitchen open the EP over the beautiful melodies and deep atmospheres of Slip Away, a track which feels more aimed at the armchair than the dancefloor. Gremlinz collab Don’t Start switches the tone, heading for darker territory with Megatron MC on the mic.

Far Cry continues that trend with more weighty halftime shenanigans that ooze dark atmosphere. Last but not least, Faded heads back to warmer and more musical territory, with a playful back beat, hypnotic melodies and a hint of dub. It’s great to hear the duo pushing the envelope in terms of what the 170 sound can encompass! Check out the clips below and look for this at all good digital stores from Mar 30th.

Mystic State – Lingua / Rainmaker [Blendits]

Dutch club night/label collective Blendits drop another pair of excellent beats for their seventh release, continuing the label’s excellent selection of deep yet still dancefloor worthy tunes. A-side Lingua sees the Mystic State boys teaming up with fellow production duo Monoscript for a driving, subby number with plenty of tasty percussive details and a dubby vocal hook. The flip sees the Mystics back to solo duties, blending jazzy licks with junglistic breaks for a big booming stepper. Check out the clips below and grab this one from your favourite digital outlet now!

Alchemic Breaks 001

Apparently running three D&B labels and finding time to produce and DJ just wasn’t enough for Leeds-based D&B obsessive Altered Perception, as we’ve just gotten wind of a brand new imprint from the Terabyte/Transmission/Sub:mission boss in the form of Alchemic Breaks. Judging from the first release the label’s MO will be focussing on the deeper and more experimental side of D&B, with minimal stylings at play throughout the tracks.

Jaydrop serves up a tidy slice of tribal half-step business on Camo, while Transmission/Terabyte alumnus Automate brings the dark drumfunk vibes on the appropriately titled Breaksrus. Xsetra delivers the EPs heaviest hitting track with a showering of hard kicks and snares set to a backdrop of warping bass modulations, while Mystic State and Hidden Life team up to close the EP with the dub and IDM-tinged vibes of glacial halfstep number Defrost. Check out the clips below and watch out for the release dropping at all good digital stores from November 22nd.

Enorme – Stoneface [None Decay Music]

Blackdub Sessions host and all around bass badman Enorme makes his debut on None Decay Music with the hefty, tribal sounds of Stoneface. Fans of the halfstep sound are in for a treat here, with a deep, detailed riddim and a huge wall of sub bass providing the backdrop for a plethora of little sonic details.

On the flip, Mystic State up the ante with a slightly more insistent refix, swapping the plodding half-time beats for a tasty stepper’s break. The essence of the original remains intact, but the duo have monkeyed around with the elements enough to keep things interesting. This one dropped today so head to your favourite digital store and grab it now.

For anyone wanting a bit more from Enorme you can hear his fine selections every Tuesday evening 19.30-21.30 GMT/BST on UK Bass Radio. Head over here for a Soundcloud archive of previous shows.