Nicky D'Silva, aka Pyramid, has found his sound big time. If there were ever a track that fits perfectly into both the breakbeat and UK bass moulds then it's 'Successful', which boasts an inspired motivational speech sample that segues into a weapons-grade drop that kicks up serious dust. The beats are chunky yet progressive and the synthy, grimey b-line bravado will have bodies flying round the room in the dance. On the flip, 'Come Again' (with Kelvin 303) mashes up dancehall, jungle and gnarly tribalism with snatches of brooding ragga vocal for a killa trip into the heart of darkness.
Ploughing a darkling bass music furrow is 20-year-old North Londoner Cosmo Lawson, aka Talkre, who on this evidence is set to join the likes of Barely Royal, Left/Right and Taiki Nulight in the moodier and more cerebral corners of the global breakbeat diaspora. First up here is 'Apollo', which blends heavy kick and clap riddims, searing low-end, moon-landing samples and space-age atmospherics. Then it's on to the industrial electronica of 'Loose Ends', which combines mean-as-all-hell jackhammer bass with bruising four-four drums and a left-of-centre "Any bloody fool can pull a trigger" movie sample.
Hot Cakes Bass
Here's a hip-hop, bass and breakbeat hybrid from London-based producer Daze Prism that's as cultured as it is heavy in ghetto attitude. Lead track 'Curved' sends down pitch-bent rap vocals over classy pads and warm sub before hitting us hard with driving, gnarly drops that skip between four-four and broken beats. 'Sordidum' adds jazzy garage licks, 2-step intensity and a nice line in deep atmospherics, while 'Can't Be That' blends junglist drum-work with heady pads, harp samples and fizzing b-line energy.
Tuff Culture's elegant brand of late-night futurism always seemed a little at odds with the brash and brazen direction UK bass music is currently moving in, so it's no surprise to hear his latest EP head down a more cerebral retro path. 'Goin' On' is a jazzy, jackin' four-four jam, as smooth as Guinness and cooler than Miles Davis in a button-down Oxford. 'SuperWoman' sends down washed-out Rhodes chords and snatches of dissonant sax before hitting us with the finest diva vox and clipped synth-work over slinky housey rhythms.
Brooding four-four bass music here from Londoner Kouncilhouse, off the sampler for his new LP 'Tick Til Friday'. This one's cut through with insouciant diva vox and beefy wobble bass action for a dusky slice of classic 3am house hype.
Bristol badman Pharaoh K throws his gun-fingers up and fires off a fearsome slice of breakbeat-fuelled bass music. This one's topped off tidily with rugged rap stylings, rising FX and select snatches of percussive synth.
'Pogo Stick (The MC Remix)'
Grime MCs Example, Grim Sickers, Majestic and the original's Milli Major all get their turn to go in over Shapes' previously-released bassline anthem. Serious gully vibes with rugged low-end and more raw energy than Sizewell B.
Forged in the era of dubstep and future jungle, Pressa continues to plough deep and dark furrows at 140bpm long after many of his peers abandoned the boat. And yet it hardly matters, because these beats have clearly been produced by an artist locked to his own vision, rather than shifting with the mercurial cultural tides. 'Taped Out' is packed with machine-honed junglism, tribal rhythms firing through sped-up '70s funk breaks and rugged atmospherics that betray a welcome passion for mid-'90s d&b. 'Understand' throws in Bukem-esque synths and the sickest of half-heard pitch-bent vocal snatches for a hugely-confident paean to early Metalheadz.