Album Reviews

Review: Louis Lingg and The Bombs: Kiiroichurippu (Hopeless Love in the Age of the Glitch)


Louis Lingg and The Bombs on the web:

Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Facebook

Release date: April 2nd 2018

Bandcamp: Kiiroichurippu (Hopeless Love in the Age of the Glitch), by Louis Lingg and The Bombs

I’ve been following these Anarcho Pop Punk Rockers, since 2008, but they’ve been actually been around since 2006. Their music is infectious and they’ve always made me want to smile, want to sing and want to dance. Named after German-born American anarchist, Louis Lingg, this Parisian (where else!) 6-piece radiate huge amounts of energy. From their magnum opus, Conspiracy, in 2010, through to 2017’s Favela Ninja (now available in blue vinyl!) they have crafted perfect pop songs sometimes infused with powerful political messages.

Kiiroichurippu (Google tells me), translates as Yellow Tulip, but it’s also the name of a sofa at Is this intentional? Nothing would surprise me with Joshua Hudes, the leader and sole British contingent of this fiery (otherwise) French bunch.  One of the tracks on this 3 track EP is called Onigiri, which is a type of Japanese rice ball. The lyrics of the tune are, in fact, the recipe required to prepare the dish.  They just discovered that their French lead-singer knew some Japanese and took it from there. The result is the most perfect piece of J-Pop, this side of Tokyo!

The opening track Sheena Is Too Old, is a lament on age, loneliness & despair in a world of alternative facts, lies and a loss of hope. Sheena may have been a punk rocker in 1976, but now she’s dumpster diving and all her friends think she’s dead. But is this a depressing song? Nope. You’ll be singing along by the second chorus whilst lamenting your own lack of hair, bad back and middle-aged fashion sense.

The final track on the album is Prehistoric Man, showcasing the band’s electro-pop credentials, juxtaposing Prehistoric Man with today’s gadget-centered society, where no-one cares. Not the kind of tweet prehistoric man would be used to.

As they have done previously, the band have released instrumental versions of each of the tracks, under an Attribution-NonCommercial Creative Commons license, allowing film-makers to e-use the tracks for YouTube videos and the like. Love it!


Review: Louis Lingg and The Bombs: Kiiroichurippu (Hopeless Love in the Age of the Glitch)2018-06-01T20:33:07+00:00

Volfoniq – Ernest [LCL30]

It’s no secret that Volfoniq holds a special place in my heart, because his collaboration with Organic on Volforganic Dub was the first track I played on the first ever Dub Zone way back in May 2007. Since then, he’s gone from strength to strength, combining traditional tunes with dub mixes that delight and inspire.

His new album, Ernest has just been released by the excllent LibreCommeLair netlabel, also home to other great artists such as Arrogalla, Volatil, Mastermind XS & Mildtape, to name just a few who have featured in other Dub Zone mixes.

The new album features collaborations with Volfoniq’s listeners, who were encouraged to submit their own greetings via a soundcloud dropbox. These have been incorporated into the “Bonjour” and “Au Revior” tracks.

Aside from collaborating with listeners, almost the whole album is a series of collaborations with the best of the best in the online reggae community. The opening track is “Autobahn Garten”, featuring Tribuman, which starts with Volfoniq’s trademark accordion, with a nice rootsy groove and classy horns, which is augmented by a lovely wobbly bassline. Tribuman, Control Tower and Benjamin Leska collaborate later on the fabulously jazzy/rootsy “Magnesium”, and Benjamin Leska returns on the penultimate  track  “Memori”, & Control Tower returns later with “L’amour Est Enfant Dub”, both of which are delicious accordion-led grooves.

“Taiwan Massala” is a collaboration with Kou Chou Ching and Jambassa, mixing up bhangra-style tablas with raps from the Taiwanese masters.  “Libre Comme Dub” is a love affair with the LCL label featuring Mildtape and Ebsa, with some more wobbly basslines.

The track called “Balkan Banghra” was always guaranteed to get my attention, and it’s the only track on the album accredited only to Volfoniq. It delivers exactly what the title says, augmented only by another great wobby bassline, and it’s magnificent!

Perhaps the most exotic “collaboration” on the album is on “Hypnos”, which features Jean-Paul Sartre (yes the long-dead French Philosopher), which has a great driving beat.

All in all, it’s been a long wait since the last full-length Volfoniq album. In fact he says on his website that it’s taken 7 years to gather together all the fragments to make this musical diary. It’s definately been worth the wait. This album already makes it into my top 10 albums form 2011, and I strongly encourage you to download it.

Volfoniq – Ernest [LCL30]2018-04-20T12:45:54+00:00

Madame – Lies And Sunsets [MV018]

Pol Duno Ruhi (aka Madame) has released no less than 21 tracks in 8 EPs and albums for the Barcelona and Berlin netlabel Musica Vermella . The latest; Lies And Sunsets , is a 6-track EP, which, accordingly to the label, blends dubstep, wonky beats, IDM, and classical music with pure electronic sounds.  OK, that sounds like the sort of ingredients I’d like to see in a recipe, but it’s the quantity and blend of the ingredients and the skill of the chef that make this a truly great feast.

It’s the way in which classical music is incorporated, that makes this EP special.  It’s not just a series of classical samples, arbitrarily stitched together with a predictable dubstep drop at the prerequisite interval. This is a properly conceived fusion of the various genres of music, and it’s magnitificent.

If you listen to the opening of Alkhimia, or Verd you will assume this was a classical album, but then the various broken beats start, followed by low-frequency dubsteppy growls and finally an organ and you know you’re into different territory.

Deep Moon is less classical and more electronic in it’s delivery, but the classical instrumentation returns (albeit in a hip-hop style) with Love CuisineSide Chain Sunset is more of an IDM beat, but the dubsteppy bass wobbles are in attendance throughout. Finally, No More Lies rounds off the album. Beginning with an almost childlike lullaby the piece expands with vocoder vocals and then takes a darker, classical twist before opening out into a nice electronic groove and then repeats the process again.

It’s hard to instrument the classical and electronic music fields together into something coherent and something that will appeal to lovers of both styles. Lies and Sunsets is a very good attempt to do just that. It’s well worth a download, along with Madame’s back catalogue from this excellent netlabel.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Madame – Alkhimia (excerpt)“]


Link to Release Page[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Madame – Lies And Sunsets [MV018]2018-04-20T12:46:08+00:00

Dubsalon – Durban Chamber [iD.068]

I first heard Dubsalon at ReggaeDubWise and immediately fell in love with his dub. When I heard from Volker, over at Id.EOLOGY that Dubsalon was making and album, and it would come out on the netlabel, I knew that would be something to look forward to.

That time has now come and Id.EOLOGY presents Durban Chamber: an 8-track album featuring some of the best dub you’ll hear coming out of Argentina.

There’s nothing minimal or dubtech going on here. It’s full-phat dub, from a master. As soon as you hear the driving bass of In A Dream, you know you’re going to be “in the zone” for the duration. Shifting Mood, lives up to it’s name by synthesing bleepy electronica, accordion and wobbly bass drops.

There are the typical dubby vocal samples spread through the album, but essentially the album is instrumental. Although staying true to dub throughout, Dubsalon plays with dubstep, downbeat, electronica and jazzy influences. Yes, there’s harmonica, yes there are bleeps and echos, but this is true “magpie music”, and every track brings in a new influence.

There’s a surprising lack of a Latin American feel, considering Dubsalon comes from Argentina. Not to say that it’s missing entirely, just subdued. By the time you get to the last track, From The Sea, there’s a definitely a “watery” vibe going on.

Not content with 8-tracks, the album also contains an additional 7-track mix put together by Saetchmo. He is of course is the resident DJ of the Berlin #tassebier posse from Kreuzberg Berlin’s Blogrebellen, with whom I had such a great time when I was last in the city. Not only that, but producer of the weekly Echochamber show, which is a must for all dub-heads.

So, have I said enough?  Have you downloaded the album yet and plugged it into your ears?  What are you waiting for?

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Dubsalon – Green Dub”]

Link to Release Page

Dubsalon – Durban Chamber [iD.068]2018-04-20T12:46:08+00:00

What do you want from an album review?

I’ve been attempting to write some album reviews for the last 4 months.  However I’m not sure I’m doing it right. Perhaps, dear reader, you can help me?

One of things I’ve been trying to avoid is some of the senseless, egocentric bullshit that I came to expect from Sounds, NME, Melody Maker and other printed media that I used to read when I was a teenager.  Most of it was pure rubbish invented by hacks who, quite literally, would go off to a ganja filled office to dream up some hitherto unexperienced musical landscape to accompany the review of “Tales from Topographic Oceans” by Yes.  Yeah Baby!

Nor do I want to produce the time-honoured, but completely overused metaphor: “Bastard Son of Thin Lizzy meets Lady GaGa at a trucktop owned by Acid Jazz freaks from the 1980s”.  That said, the metaphour does offer the ready some idea what the music actually sounds like. Unlike some of the lines presented by some of the bands on this year’s Great Escape Festival Programme…

“The pick of the crop from this years Rotherham Rumble, this 5 piece give as good as they get.  Expect the unexpected and then some more. They come from Leeds.”

WTF does this say about the music? What does it say about Rotherham or Leeds for that matter?  More importantly it gave me and my compadres no idea what to expect to hear, and so I’m sure we missed some artistic gems. All for the sake of a little clarity.

So, what I’ve focused on so far is a description of the tracks – the musical genre, the vibe I get when listening, the track’s narrative (as I see it).  Seems pretty obvious, innit! However it has been pointed out that a review should be more than just summing up the different tracks of an album, and should present some insight or analysis from the reviewer. For example….

“XXX… rings out as a cry from deep within for personal understanding and comfort. A rich tapestry of sounds is woven with a sense of abandonment and loss and the struggle to make sense of these feelings as they unfold for the listener.” Or

“Each melody, much like the landscapes they represent, still holds the memory of a time when it thrived bountifully.”

These examples are taken from beautifully written articles, I agree, but the problem I have is that I’m none the wiser about the music. I’m still required to click on the “sample track” to make my own judgement. In the case of the above examples I was disappointed.  For me, the music failed to live up to the message.

So, dear reader, what do you want from an album review? I want to learn how to do this properly, and unlike podcasting, it’s not “intuative” to me. Please make a comment below or drop me an email. What floats your boat?

What do you want from an album review?2018-04-20T12:46:09+00:00

Various Artists ―HARUTA EP [A Lowfers Records Sampler]

You’ve got to smile when a new netlabel advertises itself as “Second Original Rudest In The Infants from JPN“. Anyone that makes a reference to Underworld’s classic album “Second Toughest In The Infants” has got to be worth checking out.

The HARUTA EP is a sampler album, the first from new Japanese netlabel Lowfer Records. The collection of tracks is categorized as “dubstep” but there’s a lot of variation here, which is nice.

From the opening track, Soda Float by Mononofrog_4sk, you know there’s something slightly retro about the feel. There’s a central section that I swear is like New Order’s 1963. Really nice happy poppy and dubstep tune at the same time. Cool!

In fact I’d say the first 4 tracks of the album all have the same happy feel, which doesn’t mean they’re all the same, but just all have the same feel good vibe.

By the time you get to Hit Me! by Yasterize you get more of the dub influences coming through, before the classic dubstep drop hits. Metastep by Dominik is equally dark and wobbly, but the mood turns upwise again, and by the time you get to Where Is The Sun, by Kard, you’re almost in trance-dubstep territory.

It’s not until you get to Miss Pararel World by Theory of Relativity that you hear some of the wacky, perhaps kitch Japenese-ness coming through, in between the wobbles.  The final track, Forest Bath by DJ Sea is a much more subtle piece and a fitting way to end a varied album.

I wish there was more to say about this album and this new netlabel, but there’s not a lot more on their website to say. My ears are thankful in any case!

Link to download the album.

Link to the netlabel homepage.

Link to a sample mixtape on soundcloud.

Various Artists ―HARUTA EP [A Lowfers Records Sampler]2018-04-20T12:46:09+00:00

Review: Remembering Machine, by Secret Archives of the Vatican

Secret Archives of the Vatican - Remembering Machine

Remembering Machine, by Secret Archives of the Vatican

Secret Archives of the Vatican on the web:

Bandcamp | Broken Drum Records | Facebook

Release date: February 1st 2009

Bandcamp: Remembering Machine, by Secret Archives of the Vatican

by Pete Cogle | June 25th 2011

Having just reviewed Secret Archives of the Vatican’s, Barbary Lion album, I was thinking about their last major release and how this was a pivotal moment in the band’s direction.

Remembering Machine came out in February 2009, and was relatively hot on the heels of their June 2008 album Babylon Halt. It was, however, a completely different proposition. Whereas Babylon Halt was produced over a 10 year period, involving many members of the collective and came from the live-set period of the band, Remembering Machine was the rapid outpouring of new studio ideas over about a four month period. It’s entirely instrumental, different, and trend setting.

Beginning with “Cryptonomicon”, the new mood is set. Broken, almost DNB beats are supported by strange tonal wobbles overlaid with string orchestrations and a faintly heard lone voice.

“Stainless Steel Cat” begins with a complex broken beat overlaid with a string echo, which leads into more or the tonal wobbles that we now know are going to morph into kick-ass bass in later EPs and albums.  “Before Beauty” starts with the drum and string riffs that are the signature of the band, but this is later added to by a funky bass and eventually more string orchestrations.

“Beloved” lays down a complicated beat pattern over which a simple guitar (perhaps oud) riff is introduced and allowed to develop.  It’s simple, yet complex, all in one piece. The eponymous “Remembering Machine”, like “Cryptonomicon” before it, has an almost mathematical beat structure, overlaid with strings and a subtle, jazzy organ over the top.

“Gangs Of New Earth” has a simpler, almost bhangra beat, with oud and vocal samples on top, leading on to “Overground Resistance”. Again this uses the complex, mathematical beats, over which tabla and DNB breaks are allowed to swirl around over a bass, and sitar mix.

“Pity The Fool” has just about the simplest drum pattern on the album, giving the bass, tabla and some scratch DJ work room to move. “Dread” is the final track and is led by the bass and tabla. This time drums are less complex and it’s the keyboards that invoke the melody.

I did have problems understanding this album when it first came out. Not because the album was lacking, but because I really wasn’t ready for the change. It took me a while, but I finally got the message. Since then the band have produced numerous singles and three further EPs that have refined their musical direction and enabled the excellent Barbary Lion to be born. I’ve adapted to the change and it’s been good. I encourage you to do the same. You’ll not be disappointed.


Review: Remembering Machine, by Secret Archives of the Vatican2018-04-20T12:46:09+00:00

Secret Archives of the Vatican – Barbary Lion

Barbary Lion is the first release from Secret Archives of the Vatican, since the Dreams and Visions EP in October 2010, and the first full-length album since Remembering Machine in February 2009.

This loose collective of musicians describe their music as Transglobal Breakbeat Dub Science as it contains elements of many genres: breakbeat, dub, dubstep, drumstep, triphop, drum and bass, with Indian, Arabian and Turkish influences. It’s certainly an exotic blend.

The album begins with “Veiled Beauty, Dark Magic”, which starts subtly, and then hits you with with the bass-kicking funky groove that drives the track. Arabic strings, tablas, and drum & bass beats are all added to excellent effect, but it’s the bass that sets the tone for the rest of this album.

“West of Eden”, starts with the same arabic feel, but then morphs into a groove that The Prodigy would be proud of.  Secret Identity” lulls you into a false sense of security with it’s quiet opening, but there’s a lovely bass wobble that’s just waiting to get you.  “Mesopotamian Homesick Blues” is a track that’s been around for a little while now. This carries on that lovely bass wobble from “Secret Identity” and overlays some arabic samples on top.

Whenever I hear “The Empty Quarter” I always think I’m playing a video game and have just entered a new land, complete with Palm Trees, Orange Groves and houses with those distinctive blue doors. In the distance a holy man is in deep contemplation, As you get closer, he rises to his feet and begins to spin. Slowly you join the bass fueled dervish and find your own groove.

“Hunter’s Moon” is a track that simply must be played loud on decent headphones or on a decent hi-fi with a sub-woofer. Playing this on your iPod on the train will simply not do the track the justice it deserves.  Check your speed if you’re playing this in the car – you will be driving too fast.

“Radagast in the East” harks back to the earlier influences of SAotV, with an arabic infused reggae groove, that will have you skanking in no time. “Enter Unseen” is about as close as SAotV ever get to “traditional” dubstep with it’s 2-step beat, but it’s never about the obvious with these guys. They have their own unique sound and it’s just great.

“Summer Lightning” begins with a musical call that could almost have come from a muezzin, which then fuelled by that signature bass wobble, calls you to sway to the beat. The final track is “Ravens Will Feed You”, which starts off with a dub reggae feel and then overlays with arabic strings, pipes and piano to round the album off to an excellent close.

Like all musical collectives, SAotV’s music varies along with the musical influences and strength of input from the musicians. Like a well-crafted blend of spices from the bazaar in Marrakech, this album brings together those influences and mixes them into that perfect marinade to spice up your musical mealtimes.

Time to play the album again? Oh yes!

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Secret Archives of the Vatican – Veiled Beauty, Dark Magic”]

Link to Release Page at Bandcamp

Link to SAotV at Broken Drum Records

Secret Archives of the Vatican – Barbary Lion2018-04-20T12:46:10+00:00

Tha Silent Partner – TSP Does Italy [bsmx0017]

Around 2009 an artist named Esa A.K.A. El Presidente (A member of the Milan based Funk Ya Momma Crew) started work with Tha Silent Partner.  After a while they lost touch, and the project was locked away in a vault. Now, thanks to Blocsonic Records, TSP has made the “lost album” available to the world.

Based primarily on tracks from film soundtracks the album has that lovely 60’s retro feel that reminds you of cigarettes, sharp suits and very cool, mafia connected glitterati.

“Cops (Part 1)” hits with some crisp heavy beats, sounding more like New York than Italy. This contrasts completely with “Holloween” which is a more subtle piece led by a couple of 60’s downtempo “italian” samples.

“Thinkinboutyou” uses a glitzy 60’s film soundtrack as it’s base and could easily be used for a cheesy remake.  “No Sleep Till TSP” uses a broken vocal sample in a very simple way, leading into “Cinema”, which sounds like it’s been lifted from a classical piece used for a soundtrack.

“Cops (Part2)” is uses harpsichord to give that classic 60’s movie feel.  Imagine Michael Caine in Milan getting into a Mini.

OK, this is an unfinished album, but it’s a nice piece of work and something I think you’ll like.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Tha Silent Parner – Holloween“]


Link to Release Page


Tha Silent Partner – TSP Does Italy [bsmx0017]2018-04-20T12:46:16+00:00

Review: Racing With The Sun, by Chinese Man

Chinese Man - Racing With The Sun

Racing With The Sun, by Chinese Man

Chinese Man on the web:

Soundcloud | Chinese Man Records | Facebook

Release date: April 11th 2011

Chinese Man Records: Racing With The Sun, by Chinese Man

by Pete Cogle | May 31st 2011

I was lucky enough to have picked up a promotional copy of this album at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton.  I’d never heard of Chinese Man before and had no idea what to expect, but the lady behind the desk at the French Music Party said I would really enjoy it.   She was right.

There are few albums where you just know they’re going to be an important part of your life. Albums you cannot do without and that cut across and inform your musical tastes for years to come.  Leftfield’s “Leftism”, for example, is as fresh today as when I first heard it in 1995.  In 2005 “Demon Days”# by Gorillaz, gave me that same vibe.

I’m going to stick my neck out hereand say that “Racing with the Sun” by Chinese Man is one of those albums. Infusing hip-hop, scratch turntablism, dub, dubstep with oriental, french, african and middle east genres juxtaposed with samples, live locals and some of the best beats, this album pushes all my buttons. Chinese Man is a collective based not far from Marseilles, France, but the music is from far and wide.

Introduction (Morning Sun) is  a relatively simple hip-hop piece, layered with some oriental strings and samples. This leads into One Past, which is overlays piano and xylophone melodies over nice phat beats, morphing seamlessly into some trombone-led dub. If you Please starts with some full-on Chinese instruments, which morph into middle east sounds on top of some hip-hop and African drums.

Miss Chang starts with a sample of an old Chinese song, on top of a lovely dubby beat, leading into some live vocals provided by Taïwan Mc & Cyph4, which reminds me of that Leftfield groove.

Saudade begins with some stand-up bass jazz, before ushering in a hip-hop beat and simply plucked guitar.  The skill of the “ambient hip-hop” pieces is the excellent selection and juxtaposition of samples.

Stand!, mashes up American civil rights speeches, north African influences, dubstep wobble, and big beats in a melange that I’ve only ever heard before from Secret Archives of the Vatican.  They even managed to turn a civil rights speech into a call-response, before Plex Rock comes in with some live vocals. Very clever indeed.

Racing with the Sun cleverly samples an old country song and layers this on top of a nice dubby beat.  Simple, but very effective.  This leads into Down, featuring Scratch Bandits Crew and is another hip-hop styled piece with a simple acoustic guitar-led riff, phat beats and some excellent samples.

In my Room lays down a rich beat before overlaying a fragile voice sample, which makes you sit up and notice.  Then there’s Get Up, which features Ex-I, Lush One & Plex Rock, but the killer sample is an “Irish/Disney” snippet that makes you laugh out loud and look forward to it’s reprise.

Ta Bom (feat. General Elektriks), brings in some latin beats, to this seemingly simple track.  Then there’s J.O.G.J.A which features M2MX , DubYouth & Kill the DJ, providing live vocals over north African samples, and again reminds me of what Leftfield did with “Afro Melt”.  And finally, The King, which is a much more downbeat track, rounding off the album with just enough interest to make you want to listen to it again.

This is my album of 2011 so far. I recommend you listen to it.

Here’s a sampler.

And checkout the video for Miss Chang.

Review: Racing With The Sun, by Chinese Man2018-04-20T12:46:17+00:00

Various Artists – Dub Tentacles III [FPR057]

This is the long awaited third compilation album from Fresh Poulp.  13 new artists from 7 different countries (Malta, Italy, UK, Poland, Canada, Croatia & France), and featuring dark dub, dubstep, electro dub and steppa dub. Most of these are new and exclusive tracks.

Drydeck’s “Black Sand” opens with some very dark dub sounds, which leads into some lovely wobbly bass-infused dubstep provided by Waitapu, with a track called “Truckin”. Secret Archives of the Vatican make their debut on Fresh Poulp with the excellent growling bassline of “Friendly Artificial Intelligence”.

Lightening the mood slightly we have the harmonica-led “Don Dub” by Minds’s Eye Dub, leading into the Steve Steppa-led vocal tune “Holy Mount Zion” from Ackboo. Then we have “Darker, Stronger, Dubber” from Mahom leading into “Duballah” by A Man Called PJ and “Babylon Lamb” from Injham. All great dub tracks in their own right.

Sushidread gives us some east-meets-west dubbiness with “Rise” which leads into “Western” by Nomatx Bass Drive.  Earlyworm’s “My Girl Clone” is the only track I’ve heard before (from Reggaedubwise), apart from an early mix of the SAotV track.

Jah Billah meets up with Pupa Congo to give us “In Ruff A Dubb” which blurs the boundaries between dub and dubstep, before chilling with final track “Praises” from Roots Revival Soundsystem.

Fresh Poulp have the knack of curating and releasing high quality dub albums, and “Dub Tentacles III” is no exception.  A must for all dub lovers, and fuel for my Dub Zone Podcast in the coming weeks!

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Mind’s Eye Dub – Don Dub”]


Deep Link to Release Page



Various Artists – Dub Tentacles III [FPR057]2018-04-20T12:46:18+00:00

Various Artists – Recopilatoire II [MV015]

Recopilatoire II has taken a year and a half to get together, and features a whole load of existing Música Vermella artists, such as: Xtrngr, DjCode, KaostapesKain, Icebreaker, Yarkouy, 4cantons, Pisu, Madame, Wermonster, Spectateur and Ocoeur, as well as two new artists : Alphabetsheaven and Fatkut.

As anyone who’s listened to my podcasts know, I’m a sucker for those fragile sounds you get from Xylophones and synths that mimic them; so I was hooked by track one: Xtrng’s “Bell Mountain”.  DJCode then gives us the disco-oriented “Up1”, before Madame gives us some glitchy/RnB/abstract hip-hopwith “Distressed”.  Pisu, provides a surprisingly mellow track “Teletechno” before we’re back in the dubstep groove with Yarkouy (a.k.a. TSO) and “Human nature is so deceiving”.

KaostapesKain and Alphabet’s Heaven provide some mellow broken beats and then Fatkut takes the musical high-ground with an electro-acoustic piece “Anna”. Wermonster gives us “Underground Continental” a classy hip-hop track served with some broken rap.  There’s a classic 8-bit games influence in “Scherer8″ by 4Cannons and some more hip-hoppy goodness from Spectateur.  The final two tracks of broken beats are from Icebreaker and Ocoeur. 12 tracks in all of high-quality netlabel goodness.

Also checkout the excellent artwork by Turkesa.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Xtrngr – Bell mountain”]

Deep Link to Release Page[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Various Artists – Recopilatoire II [MV015]2018-04-20T12:46:19+00:00

Fancy Mike – Sigma Chi Primavera [KING004]

Sigma Chi Primavera is the fourth release on Canada’s King Deluxe netlabel, a sister to Peppermill Records. In fact it’s a companion to the first release on King Deluxe, Madison Square Gardner, which was released in December 2010.

There’s a variety of styles of electronic genres on this album, featuring collaborations with Pixelord, Alphabets Heaven, Jack Contra, Montgomery Clunk, Satanicpornocultshop, Stephen Farris, Constrobuz, Starfawn, Bugseed, and ages.

Beginning with a subtle and dreamy “Twin Peaks” the album’s journey takes you through some chiptune inspired and positively bleepy tracks, before we hear the first of 5 remixes by 5 different artists of “Ramachandran” which first appeared on KING001.

My personal favourite track on the album is Jack Contra’s Pagliacci Reprise mix of “Lazer Opera #58008″ which does seem to cram in just about as many musical influences as it can into 4 minutes 40 seconds.

As always with King Deluxe and Peppermill you get excellent (if slightly disturbing) images to accompany the music, and for the first month of this release192kbps versions of the album will be available free.  No doubt, you, dear listener, may want to go straight for the 320kbps versions. Check it out.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Fancy Mike – Lazer Opera #58008 (Jack Contra’s Pagliacci Reprise)”]

Deep link to Release Page[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Fancy Mike – Sigma Chi Primavera [KING004]2018-04-20T12:46:19+00:00

DADUB – Backward forward [aqbmp028]

This is the second release on A Quiet Bump netlabel, for the Berlin based Italian duo Daniele Antezza and Giovanni Conti, aka Dadub.  It’s a 4-track EP, centered around opne track, but it has the usual A Quiet Bump vibe: stripped down, “less is more” dubby goodness.

The main track is “Keep on Struggle”, which has a deeply chilled dub groove overlaid with melodica by Ivan Antezza and vocals by Stefano Fusillo.  “Dub on struggle” is unsurprisingly a dubwise interpretation that retains the same well spaced vibe. “Keep on struggle (Melodica version)” dispenses with the vocals entirely and allows improvised melodica to take centre stage and take charge. “No struggle” is a remix featuring AQBMP stable-mate, Peak, with a white-noise inspired version.

You know what you’re getting when you download A Quiet Bump releases, and for me, that is quality, minimalist, chilled and expertly crafted dub. I commend this release to you! Irie.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”DADUB-keep on struggle”]

Deep Link to Release Page

DADUB – Backward forward [aqbmp028]2018-04-20T12:46:19+00:00

Good Netlabels Compilation – Break Asymmetry

Good Netlabels has just celebrated it’s fourth anniversary and has released a compilation album:  Break Asymmetry. It’s a great collection of jazzy, abstract instrumental hip-hop, downtempo, chillout & trip-hop pieces.

My personal favourites from this 17 track collective include the album’s opener: Printempo’s “40000 words”, which is such a subtle groove, and leads into the excellent hip-hoppy “Booby Trap”, from Crookram. Bandfx gives us a delicious dubby, jazzy piece called “Babydub (VIP 2011)”.

Then there’s the excellent, and very quirky, “Story of sad human”, by B.R.O., which includes some lovely voice samples, and leaves you wanting more.

I’m still quite a n00b when it comes to abstract hip-hop, but this album is a good start for those of you like me, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Crookram – Booby Trap”]

Deep link to Release Page

Good Netlabels Compilation – Break Asymmetry2018-04-20T12:46:19+00:00

Strobotone – Flashback Forward [iD.067]

This is Martin “Strobotone” Dombrowa’s debut album on Germany’s Id.EOLOGY label. “Flashback Forward” is designed to propel the listener back and forth through the major dance grooves of the last few decades.

The album begins with “Ultimate”, a nice dance groove worthy of anything done by Underworld. Track 2 “Kites” has a nice retro feel, reminiscent of work from Swedish producer Voide.

By the time we make it through “Fission Precision” into “Good Dressed” the grooves are picking up Hip-Hop influences, and by “Paperworks” there are breakbeat and experimental soundtrack themes competing.

“Artificial Intelligence” brings in jazzy & funky beats and “Insensate” lays down a strong techno/house beat that is hard to resist. “Theoretical Romance” has a different house feel and is the last of the full-on tracks, before leading into the more downtempo “Terraform”, which almost breaks into some DnB before gliding into the mellow “Venusian Clouds” to (unfortunately) bring you back into reality.

As an experiment in juxtaposing and interweaving different genres this album is very accomplished. Sure I’d like to have heard something that tips its hat towards dub or dubstep, but that’s my personal preference, not Strobotone’s. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this album whatever your preference.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Strobotone – Ultimate”]


Deep link to Release Page



Strobotone – Flashback Forward [iD.067]2018-04-20T12:46:20+00:00

Various Artists – La Boite A Sons [LCL26]

Remix competitions can be great fun and typically take a month or so to complete. Not so the La Boite A Sons album, which has just been released by Libre Comme Lair. LCL opened their sound bank of samples in Summer 2009, and many of the best creative commons artists placed their samples there for re-use:  Arrogalla (Sardinia), Disrupt (Germany), Jambassa & Peak (Italy), Kou Chou Ching (Taiwan), Vinilette & Volatil (Spain) and Volfoniq (France).

After months of dilemma a Jury from FreeMusicArchive (U.S.), Notheen (Hungary), Subflow (France), DivergenceFM (France), INQ (Spain), Netwaves (Belgium), Netaudio Berlin (Germany), AQuietBump (Italy), iD.EOLOGY (Germany) and Dogmazic (France) finally decided on 10 winning tracks, which have been included on this album.

Those of you, like me, that tap into the reggae remix community regularly either at Soundcloud, ReggaeDubWise, Dub Ark or countless other sites will have heard these samples and riddims before in other tracks. The Jury’s choices included tracks by Dub Riots & Lowkee (Greece), Dub One, Zengineers & Hotfire (Germany), Tony Dubshot (Netherlands), Caballo & The Mothafu Kings (Canada), Brandy Alexander Project (UK/Italy), Uffe (Sweden) and Mildtape (Italy). It doesn’t take a genius to work out these are excellent remixes.

And, if you want to go the extra mile, you can find 10 more “runners up” on the soundcloud page for the project. Here, there are tracks by Cagey House & Sugar Prince Ijahman (US), Lata (Chile), Electronischebasisgeluide (Spain), Resistive (South Africa), Kohlensäure (Germany), Nakatano (France), Money Pallet, Jah Henchman & Triple D (Jamaica). Well worth a visit.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Tony Dubshot – Drumsong Riddim (Dubshots Boombastic Redub)”]


Deep Link To: The Release Page

Various Artists – La Boite A Sons [LCL26]2018-04-20T12:46:20+00:00

Kosmo Compilation – Vapors Of Dub [KOSMO 076]

To be honest, some dubtech EPs can leave me underwhelmed. I’m often left with the feeling that far from the great musical journey I was hoping for, the magical mystery tour bus just breaks down, leaving me exactly where I started.

Thankfully this isn’t true of the Compilation just put together by the Kosmo netlabel, called Vapors of Dub. There’s enough here to satisfy the dubtech purists and those, like me, who like their dub a little more “full phat”.

Galler’s “Return Of The Gamma Dub” starts in pure minimal dub style until the first drop and then it gives us a lovely dubby bassline before settling into a nice smooth groove, with Fabio Scalabroni’s “Chains”. Re-drum’s “Theme For The Lonely Sheep” is the closest to the reggae dub genre in this compilation, with its use of live instruments. This gently builds to the first drop and then delivers a nice fat groove which are complemented by layers of spacey xylophone notes. Triton’s “Dumont” is more trance-like, but with some nice dubtech touches, before leading into “Blue Snow” by Fingers In The Noise, which keeps the groove going. Dublicator delivers a nice beat in ”Unstable Manifolds II”, overlaid on top of some sonic waves, before we head back into “Jah Head” by J. Gillett, which crosses over between minimal and reggae dub quite successfully. Fabian Kempe’s “Dub Varmt” is a very dark, atmospheric piece, so stripped down it’s almost devoid of beat, leaving Interanima’s “Square Raindrops” to re-establish a subtle groove palate on which to paint some delicate nuances. The closing track, Isotroph’s “Aveni” starts off initially with a dubstep beat construction, before leading into a more driven trance sound, followed by a chillout section to leave you refreshed.

This album is definitely one to listen to, if you want to let your ears experiment with crossover dub genres.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”J.Gillett – JahHead”]


Deep Link To: The Release Page

Kosmo Compilation – Vapors Of Dub [KOSMO 076]2018-04-20T12:46:21+00:00

Kosmonaut – Utopia EP [iD.066]

Returning with his first release of 2011, Stefan “Kosmonaut” Mader, brings us his new “Liquid Drum & Bass” EP, Utopia, out now on Id.Eology.

It’s no coincidence that the artwork is of a spaceship, as there’s a “spacey” feel to this EP with long atmospheric harmonics forming the backdrop to all the tracks. The EP opens with “Atmospheric Flower”, a smooth, dreamy, piece, which starts slowly and develops a nice DnB groove, starting your journey of Kosmonaut’s utopian vision. ”Sky at 7″ is not a DnB piece, but retains that spacey feel and a slower, funkier bassline and his signature audio clips. ”These Wings” is a slower piece that is still held together by driving beats and bleeps. ”Flying To You” dispenses with any up-front beat and just administers a lush space-age cocktail between your ears. ”Youth273″ starts delicately with synthesized human voice samples, before giving us a solid DnB groove on which layers of atmospheric sound are built.

Utopia is more of a classic DnB collection than Kosmonaut’s last EP, the much more dubstep-oriented “Photon“, but there’s no mistaking its creator.  Close your eyes and imagine taking a high-speed inter-planetary ride to the edges of the solar system and back. This EP gives you the soundtrack.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Kosmonaut – Atmospheric Flower”]


Deep Link To: [iD.066] Release Page

Kosmonaut – Utopia EP [iD.066]2011-03-20T11:24:11+00:00

Dub One! – Blow Dubs EP [iD.065]

Berlin’s Dub One! returns with a varied and genre-bending new solo EP on the iD.EOLOGY label.

The EP opens with some jittery twitches, and transitions into a skanking good groove called “Massive Dub Job”, before settling into a slower, trip-hoppy “Yoni Yogi Dub” that leaves you completely relaxed, like any good massage. Track three is an excellent spacey remix of Jambassa’s “Them Never Love The Flowers” which leads into a flamenco and piano spiced “Salsa In Dub”. The EP ends with “Soundbwoys Shot”, which is like an audioscape of the city at night, infused with swirling brass notes and the sound of an accordion drifting on the breeze.

It’s clear that Dub One! is exploring jazz, jazz-rock and funk in this release, as well as the dub and trip-hop that you get with his early releases in conjunction with Authist. He says “this e.p. will not only stimulate your loins and brains but also affect your hearts and souls, it will in fact be just as fulfilling and satisfying as good sex. Aural sex, that is.” Will it give you a happy ending?  You bet!

[wpaudio url=”!-massive_dub_job_(rubber_mix).mp3″ text=”dub One – Massive Dub Job (Rubber Mix)”]


Deep Link To: The Release Page

Dub One! – Blow Dubs EP [iD.065]2018-04-20T12:46:21+00:00

Mikuś – Remembrance Dubs [PLANET28] & Brass Islands of Dub [TERRA02]

It’s not often you get two albums released by the same artist on two different labels ate the same time, but Mikuś has just done this with his Rememberance Dubs, out on Planet Terror Records and Brass Islands of Dub, out on his own new label, Terra Incognita, which he has just set up with Sixty Six North.

Mikuś says Remebrance Dubs is “dedicated to the loving memories of Mirka Gorecka, Alicia Wisdom, Eileen Davies and all those no longer with us who live on in our hearts”.

It’s a delicate “nighttime” album, beginning with Dub For Alicia, which is a slow organ-infused groove, bringing calm, whatever chaos prevailed beforehand. A sad solo trumpet takes the lead in Lament, and again in Ephemeral Dub before we encounter the drums and pipes of Tian Tan Dub, influenced presumably by the Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong. This album will leave you calm at the end of a stressful day.

In contrast, Brass Islands of Dub explores slightly different territory, primarily thanks to the trumpet and flugelhorn talents of Kevin Robinson (Jazz Jamaica All-Stars/Jazz Warrior/Incognito), who features prominently on all the tracks.

The album starts with Heavy Load, which is a slow lament that could have featured on Remebrance Dubs, but with a more stepper beat.  This leads into Isla La Juventud, which has a more latin (Cuban) feel which should get you swaying nicely, before the Way Things Used To Be will have you dancing for sure.  The last track, Highlands, goes back to a Jamaican style that will keep you on the dancefloor for just a bit longer.

Although there’s always been brass in reggae and dub, it’s particularly nice to hear the real thing make a resurgence, rather than the synthesized versions that I’ve heard rather too much of these days.  Both these albums celebrate the brass sound in different ways. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

[wpaudio url=”″ text= “Mikuś – Dub For Alicia (PLANET28)”]


[wpaudio url=”″ text= “Mikuś  – Way Things Used To Be (TERRA02)”]


Deep Link To: [PLANET28]  Release Page


Deep Link To: [TERRA02]  Release Page

Mikuś – Remembrance Dubs [PLANET28] & Brass Islands of Dub [TERRA02]2018-04-20T12:46:23+00:00
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