J Rose: Discover this producer!

J Rose

You don’t see too many ladies repping this heavyweight in the production department so I thought she warranted a post of her own. Definitely got a very unique, cold, meticulous, heads-down, huge bass weight vibe of her own. Barely a duff track on her Soundcloud….Killing it!

The other stand out track on Under Surveillance Vol 1 is definitely her “5 AM” – all demonic sighing, burbles and bass wobble; almost as good as her horror dub “Hidden Walls” from back in March, again on USV Recordings, with the unforgettable “What did your Mother do to you?!?” sample.

Dead Noise System: Time Lapse


Losing chronology here, but too many tunes to big up. I’m looooving this gnarly tune off the Under Surveillance Vol 1 compilation on USV Recordings. Painfully hard, metronomic, industrial snares with a haunted, blasted, no man’s land mood. Call for the rewind!

Rabit: Straps


A surprisingly straight structured (for Rabit) and somewhat elusive 4th track on the mixed bag Baptizm EP on Tri Angle. Stripped bare to the essentials once again, but a spatially vast, jack hammering, soundsystem tool to crush the dancefloor with. (Shades of Centuria’s ’96 leveller ‘Kelotrene’ perhaps?) Hints of distortion surface through the wall of bass, enough to give it grit and edge but not resort to Gabber solutions. And the short lived sonar bleeps are so good they’re almost criminal. One of my favourites of the last few months. Deceptively simple but so finely crafted.

DMVU: Tough (dub)


My previous moan about MCs segues nicely into my further irritation over the “deep dubstep” cliches and fetishisation of spliff aesthetics and general Rasta nonsense (“Jah Man Rastafari!” and any variant thereof). It’s a worn out sonic trope as played out as a Camden Market Bob Marley t-shirt (and yes, one that I myself, unfortunately, dabbled with liberally in the past). So what is the continuing appeal of allegiance to the the Rasta tricolore and so-called “roots”? Discuss in less than 3,000 words using academic referencing, but certainly not here….

Needless to say the cover provokes a deep groan, but this new producer from Denver squeezes more sub out of his bass than I’ve heard in a long time. On proper headphones (not iPhone buds) this batters the eardrums, so I can only imagine what this sounds like over a fat rig. Probably floor quaking and lank heavy? This second cut off the EP is finely sculpted stuff too; all staggering, lurching groove, ambient texture, indeterminate skittish wooden/metallic percussion and pitching, tape echoed soundbwoy (yes…) babbling. Worthy of the track title for sure.

J Kenzo: Straight Defeat (instrumental mix)


I just don’t have time anymore for ANY tracks feat bloody MCs, “spitting” or chatting their shit about “murking” their rivals/”bwoys” better-not-testing/running tings/smoking marijuana blah blah blah. Over it. I find it utterly tedious, lumpen and steeped in testosterone cliches. For sure there’s a time and place for it in the live context (pirate radio sessions and for working certain crowds) but laying it down in the studio for repeat listening….no thanks. I just don’t get why producers feel they have to succumb to the temptation or trend? It never improves the beats. It’s invariably just Rent-a-Ragga nonsense. I haven’t heard a convincing or vital MC track for years (decades possibly, not since Prizna’s “Fire” feat Demolition Man!) which is why I always go straight for the instrumentals.

Case in point, this is a fine slice of slow burning, creeping dread Trap, replete with enough late night urban paranoia to forgo any generic MC shite spoiling the vibe. It builds precisely and scientifically and then the bleep riff rachets it up into a truly hypnotic, head banging, masked-up curb crawl, locking you in for the ride.

Gramrcy: Ruffian


This came out in the summer on Ancient Monarchy. Absolutely no info on the artist and no leads on discogs either? Whoah! A proper howling, dank, cavernous, 131bpm slice of breakbeat ruffage dripping with funky old skool vibes, from the bowling bass to the scratchy hiss of bit reduced samples. The pitched down gunshots seal the deal. Nothing new, but a total dancefloor vibe controller to stick in the bag and drop at peak hour with the strobes going and everyone with their gurn on.