Benga's debut for Planet Mu. Comb 60s provides dancefloor devestation in the shape of deep hollow sounding sub bass and spine tingling stabs and chords, with jaunty pizzicato breakdowns..
Killers About meanwhile sustains a paranoid and dangerous chase scene atmosphere with 70s electric piano riffs, 80s electro percussion, and a contemporary twisting bassline.
1. Comb 60s
1. Killers About
Planet Mu Records
At a party in the late 80s in The Hague, a local DJ by the name of DJ Moortje accidentally dropped a dancehall twelve-inch at 45RPMs, causing chaos in the audience. Not the kind of negative heckling you get when a record is skipped, but the kind of excitement that happens when a movement has been started. This beautiful mistake resulted in Bubbling, a cultural expression of immigrants from The Dutch Antilles and Suriname, a genre that would take these communities by storm in Holland in the 1990s. Jamaican exports such as the Fever Pitch and Bam Bam riddims were double and half-timed, with Cutty Ranks on one hand sounding like a prepubescent chipmunk, the other hand sounding like an evil duppy. Its sound borrowed slave rhythms from Curacao (DJ Moortje’s origin), creating a new Caribbean style of music in Europe that ran parallel to London’s Jungle scene.
This excitement eventually died down in The Netherlands, and Dutch House became the dominant genre in the late 2000s. There was more money to be made, and bigger parties to be played when your music didn’t consist of pitched up dancehall, and bubbling became reserved exclusively for the black and Latin crowds, especially teenagers. However, House in Holland was littered with Caribbean influence, and eventually a new generation of DJs would pioneer a new sound, known as Bubbling House. A group of cousins, DJ’s Shaun-D, Master-D, Daycard, and Deschuurman who loved Dutch House but couldn’t shake their traditions created a new sound, with hyper Fruity Loop synths over pitched up Dem Bow drums. The sound could be found all over Youtube and regional social media sites, the same way the rest of the global youth were distributing their music from Chicago to Luanda.
Anti-G a.k.a. Kentje'sz Beatsz, an 18-year-old producer from the South Holland city of Delft is of the current Bubbling House generation, but his music often stabs at other realms. Like many of his peers, he takes in the popular styles of the black and Latin communities of Holland: Bubbling, Reggaeton, Dutch and American Hip-Hop, and House, and loads those influence into Fruity Loops on his PC. This often results in all of those genres crammed into 3 minutes of audio, though occasionally he singles one out. The atmosphere is cold and industrial, not-unlike the sound created by UK Grime producers, but with polyrhythms that swing like Funky House. His tracks often can’t decide if they’re for a rave or a rap show, but in the end sound like the soundtrack for someone getting stabbed in space.
Anti-G Presents 'Kentje'sz Beatsz' is a collection of material made between 2009 and 2010, showing all of the faces of his work. Bubbling Cause Trouble and Crack The Glass! tap into the current club scene of Holland, while tracks such as Reggaeton Man! are his own mutant Dem Bow riddims. It’s a trip through Dutch social networking sites such as Hyves, and an example of the experimentation brewing with the current digital youth of the Surinamese and Antillean communities of The Netherlands. These drums may come from the Caribbean, but the synths belong on a space station.
Planet Mu Records
Planet Mu Records
Barry Lynn has already dropped a couple of albums that looked at dubstep from fresh angles before everyone else started to do the same. This time around, on "The Dissolve", things are different, and he’s taken off in a direction that leaves dubstep behind entirely.
The title is a reference to a common video art effect, where one image gradually transitions to another. The album has an unpolished hue to it, created with keyboards, drum machine, echo and tape and sometimes even electric guitar. It sits in a world of its own, but with a stronger affinity to things like Theo Parrish's productions or hypnagogic pop than the latest fashionable electronics created on the newest software - the devil is in the details with this album, it’s rich in twists and turns.
"The Dissolve" opens with the spacey funk and marimba of 'Panama', into the floaty synth and bass of 'Zabriskie Disco'. Things start to take on more gravity with 'All Too Heavy', one of three tracks featuring singer Brian Greene, that mixes a hazy, dubbed out funk abstraction with Greene’s effect laden vocals. 'Cold War' featuring Ken and Ryu gets heavier still, with a slow dancehall kick drum and grimy metallic claps, over which mourns a sad 8-bit melody and slip-slide strings.
'Passerby' uses an echoed 808 and a guitar melody to make something that sits at the border between Eighties funk and Steve Hillage hippy grooves, while the next track, 'TV Troubles' takes that idea even further, wrapping echoey riffs into a lo-fi funk vamp which rewinds, slows down and distorts on a tape reel, it’s incredible.
Title track 'The Dissolve' is even more lo-fi; jump cut edits and a sound that’s frayed around the edges, everything bathed in tape wobble and hiss which finally slows down to a stop.
'Moon Pupils' restarts the album again from an airy 2-step perspective with melodic, hollow bass sounds, echoes and reverse edits, whilst 'Factory Setting' mixes off-key metallic synths with a bassline and funky galloping drums, which gives the album a rare moment of darkness.
'Allele' brings things into the open again, building from echoey drums into a tight Juke influenced drum pattern, before adding a vocal that hints at old school hardcore, all wavering chords and drops, before the whole thing finally resolves into a restrained but ravey breakbeat. 'Topsoil' mixes a gliding synth melody with hazy synth stabs and dusty drums, before 'Little Smoke Remix', collaboration with Kab Driver, wraps hard offbeat drums in cascading synth arpeggios.
The album ends in the broken funk of 'Ufonik', and by then you definitely get the feeling, as an album, you’ve been transported and dropped off somewhere else entirely.
Planet Mu Records
The last few years have seen Chrissy working hard on the optimum formula for getting down and having non-stop fun. 'Women’s Studies' is an album of party starting, populist mutations with vocal contributions from the Dancehall mcees MC ZULU, Rubi Dan and Warrior Queen, plus rappers Popeye, Coool Dundee and Johnny Moog. It's made with a brazen and unashamed love for dance music, mixing energetic tropes into a sticky tropical punch.
The influence of Ghetto House and Juke from his chosen home of Chicago hangs over the album. From the off, things get fleet-footed on ‘Break You Off’ with it’s night-time atmosphere built from Rhodes chord progressions and sexy vocals over tight, subtle rolling footwork drums and bass; it’s like a 160bpm musical massage. Later on ‘Bussin Down’ continues the footwork influence with a sped-up grooving funk sample, over which DJ Spinn gives the orders. Elsewhere 'Heavy Butt’s' seesawing bassline and 8-bit melody gets the message across loud and clear, while the impressionist footwork of 'Jiggle' is probably the most jiggling piece of music ever recorded.
Other tracks such as ‘New Juke Swing’ mix crunchy drums of the kind you might find on a Teddy Riley production with a bassline of an early grime record while Rubi Dan acts as master of ceremonies… ‘The Vibe Is So Right’, featuring MC ZULU, pits chopped breakbeats against big basslines at funky house speed, which quickly intensify into sharp junglist patterns. On ‘Bump Uglies’ Chrissy mixes cute girl vocals chopped up over a flat dancehall beat while MC Popeye rides the rhythm making his intentions clear, while the album's poppiest moment ‘Sweet Thang’ features Coool Dundee and Johnny Moog in an inspired high speed mix of jungle and electro with soul vocals and mcing.
Things get decidedly early 90’s with Warrior Queen on ‘Under Dress’ a strange amalgam of acid and (more) New Jack Swing, with Warrior Queen dropping some filthy lyrics. The 90’s revival continues with the ‘U Got Me Burnin Up (Club Cirque)’ which mixes high speed ravey piano and diva samples with crackin 160bpm juke and hip house vocals from Coool Dundee.
On 'Women's Studies' Murderbot manages to twist underground music forms into a new kind of high quality pop music that's a joy to listen to.