There's no argument that the dark, raw, subby, broken beat that many of us consider a key component of UK derived club music, has long been at the forefront of our country's underground sound. Genres including UK/Broken Techno, Grime/140, 2-Step and Breaks have all in their own unique point in time, emerged as a new forward thinking style of bass music geared at breaking through an often oversaturated sound scape of that time. Each bringing with them new producers/DJs, parties and labels. But has there ever been a better period than now for them to co-exist and succeed as one?
Here at Earful of Wax we argue that we're witnessing a healthy cross-over of genre bending, less tempo-defined trends that are forming a hugely exciting new generation of UK Rave culture. Almost as if they’ve come full circle, caught up where necessary and together, now find themselves entering the open arms of the 2020 club continuum. This is being reflected healthily by an ongoing emergence of new productions that seemingly take components of each style and successfully amalgamate them into one - creating what can only be described as hybrid genius.
Consider this a homage to some of the latest vinyl releases that lend their sound to the hybrid ways of today’s forward thinking producers. Each selection could be categorised in a variety of the aforementioned genres, may not yet have a designated crate for them in the shops and are constantly challenging the DJ’s mixing ability and writer’s to ability to define.
Low End Activist - 19STR8BK | Seagrave
The mysterious Sneaker Social Club affiliate is well known for Grime through 2-Step and obscure Bass rhythms. The next instalment comes by way of a double LP on Seagrave with lead track featuring guest MC Flowdan. “You’ll hear spectres of culture past lurking in the shadows – a trip hop skit from a gaunt figure here, a riotous brawl of grime MCs there – and feel the decades of sound system absorption seeping off the platters”. Oli Warwick does the best job describing this one, the rest you’ll have to check out for yourselves. Pre-order now and have a listen to '19STR8BK'.
Voy-E - OICU812 | Bluff Records
The second in a series of remastered Voy-E releases from the early 2000’s. As good if not better than the first (001 has already seen a repress this year) comprised of two tracks with elements of breaks, electro, hardcore and 2-Step. By no means "new productions", more like perfect timing from label head Kelvin Vanvuuren. At the time of writing this there were a few copies remaining via Decks.de, good luck finding one now but keep an eye out...
Yosh - Pick Up Roll On | VIVID
Undoubtedly one of the most impressive records of 2020 so far is by Yosh on a new label called VIVID. Not much info on it so far other than Burnski is in some way involved. Shipping this week, this hybrid AF jungle-2-step number just about sums up the UK Bass music scene at present. Healthy collaborations between sound system culture complimenting each other to form a force to be reckoned with - the outcome being gun finger salutes all round and a screw face, skank combo that deserves to be at the festivals this summer. Fingers crossed we won’t have to wait too long for this to grace the clubs once the pandemic is over. ‘We Rewind’ is the TIP on diss one but the only clips we can find are via Juno and Coldcuts // Hotwax
LoU - Laika | The Chronicles of the Break | LoU Recordings
Italians Lorenzo Chiabotti and Hugo join forces for a new cross-genre project called LoU. 'The Chronicles Of The Break' is a fitting name for a debut EP that covers all contemporary forms of the word (break) across four tracks. One half minimal 2-step the other half electro, this EP has largely gone about it’s business under the radar. It’s material however speaks for itself, with only a few copies remaining in select stores online. 'Laika' is our pick here, with its signature 808 snares driving equally prominent synth chords that lead in to a funky electro bass line. A well balanced hypnotic groover for sure.
Jongpadawan - Believe (Magnolia Mix) | Related Concepts | Real-Time Solutions
Copenhagen based and Safe Distro affiliate Jongpadawan comes through with the 2nd instalment on RTS. The Magnolia Mix of Believe is an emotive breakbeat number who’s RnB ‘Yoncé sample pearce's through elegantly. Listen out for the Lady Chan X Teddy Bruckshot sample on the A2 as well, revealing more UK sound system culture on the current Danish sound. Add C.K, DJ Central, Sports and Main Phase to the list of producers repping. This originally came out in October! Slept on.
Ease-Up George - Smoke some Dank (Enchanted Rhythms remix) | Entity:London
We couldn’t complete this list without including something from leading London 2-step label Entity. Fresh off the back of a jam-packed double LP, 006 comes from their Berlin based affiliate Ease-up George, a producer who’s forthcoming material is some of the most exciting to come this year! The Enchanted Rhythms remix of 'Smoke Some Dank' is a particular favourite of ours, the fellow Berlin based WAYS/REEF resident adding some darker, futuristic elements that add versatility to the underground arsenal of any DJ looking to switch-up, whilst providing the broken groove that most dance floors may still be unfamiliar with. Wait til they re-open. Weaponry right here!
"Stay Locked" [Down] people... <3