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Reviews: Bass


Review: The Bug London Zoo

Label: Ninja Tune

As soon as you try to grasp The Bug’s latest, London Zoo, it careens off in unexpected directions, with beats, lyrics, reverb, and bass recreating themselves in endless new permutations with each consecutive track. By refusing to be nailed to one genre, The Bug has created a blazing, blistering document that’s true to the bass ethic while smashing its boundaries. Is it dancehall? The Tippa Irie-voiced “Angry” might sway you in that direction. Is it dubstep or grime? Read more » 

Review: Télépathique Last Time on Earth

Label: The Control Group

The trio of producer Erico “DJ Periferico” Theobaldo, vocalist Mylene, and an Apple laptop, Télépathique has been active in their hometown of São Paulo, Brazil for several years. Only now is the group seeing the North American release of its 2006 debut, with its 11 tracks of guitar- and synth-striated robo-funk. The human duo excels in sounding like patch chords and live PAs–the pleasurably forward tones come across as quarter-inch stereo, not 96 kHz digital. Read more » 

Review: Anthony Rother My Name Is Beuys Von Telekraft

Label: Telekraft

Veteran electro producer and Datapunk label chief Anthony Rother easily slips the bonds of 4/4 structures and descends into sinuous beat labyrinths via his double-CD Telekraft-label debut. My Name Is Beuys Von Telekraft douses Rother’s minimal rhythms with lo-fi textures and robotic vocals, lending the feel of a nightmarish cloning factory. More than anything, Rother is a mood sculptor: Atmospheres ranging from the darkly sinister to the exuberant waft off these tracks like gasoline fumes. Read more » 

Review: Turbo Trio “T3 Make Move (Ya Body)”

Label: YB Music

Turbo Trio hails from São Paulo and blurs the line between funk carioca and Miami bass. Bnegao, Tejo, and Alexandre Basa make beats to move you and lyrics that make you think. The programming is fresh, and the vocals are deep, sometimes reminding me of OutKast. “T3 Make Move (Ya Body)” is what was missing in Brazilian clubs.

Review: Lowfish Burn the Lights Out

Label: Satamile

Toronto's Gregory “Lowfish” De Rocher survived a childhood hearing problem and the demise of Canadian-manufactured 12” vinyl (a costly complication for his and partner Jason Amm’s Suction label). De Rocher brings his accessible breed of electro to his new Satamile LP, steeped more in dubby, early-Detroit beat structures (“Torsion”) and catchy, big-room trance overlays (“Wahawa”) than the lean, techno-driven styles of other electro greats like Anthony Rother. Read more » 

Review: Eliot Lipp The Outside

Label: Mush

Nomadic beatsmith Eliot Lipp has wandered and recorded all across the States, absorbing regional sounds with ease. Now living in Brooklyn, the Tacoma, WA-reared act is back with The Outside, an album that’s both futuristic and gritty. Pushing the limits of his old-school synths, Lipp draws from a range of glitchy and gleaming effects. And when he’s at his most speaker-conscious he taps into classic Brooklyn bounce, backing tracks like “The Machine and the Wind” and “Baby Tank” with body-rocking riddims. Read more » 

Review: Various Round Black Ghosts

Label: ~scape

Round Black Ghosts is a solid primer for dubstep’s post-techno side, as seen through the lens of Berlin label ~scape.Elemental’s “Raw Material” best captures that sound where irate, acid synth lines run into faint, dubby guitar riffs. Pinch’s digital knick-knacks stalk the listener on the eerie “136 Trek,” while Pole’s dubstep experiment, “Alles Klar,” waits ominously just around the corner–however, its hiccuping rhythm tends to go nowhere. Read more » 

Review: Zero T Cheap Shots

Label: C.I.A.

Once known as Zero Tolerance, Dublin‘s Cian McCann makes the fiscal year‘s second major drum & bass statement with Cheap Shots. (The first was Commix‘s Call to Mind.) BBC 1xtra DJ Bailey joins McCann on “Robots.” In a nice flip of the genre‘s status quo that aggressively sidesteps on a beautiful dub-, jazz-, and hip-hop-influenced path. With a Timberlake-esque falsetto, Steo lends class to multiple tracks, including the single “Walk Away,” while accomplished scene diva Laura Pacheco's “Gota Touch” is full-figured R&B. Read more » 

Review: Radioactive Man Growl

Stepping out of his demanding role as the other Lone Swordsman, Keith Tenniswood is finally able to release his latest solo effort on his own Control Tower imprint. Growl stacks up 11 cuts of machine-driven electro, analog to the core and step-sequenced like nobody’s fuckin’ business. With the exception of Andrew Weatherall’s cameo on “Double Dealings” and Dot Allison’s marginally tolerable murmuring on “Nothing at All,” the album is built with the kind of box-banging electro Tenniswood is known for. Read more » 

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