One of the true pioneers of the hardstyle scene delivers a three-track EP from his latest album, ‘All Around’ — now flying solo with Bas taking the reins of the project. This is his first album as a solo act but believe me the quality hasn't changed at all with epic melodies, forward thinking ideas and impeccable production throughout. My pick from this EP is ‘Always Orange’, a euphoric beast of a track proving you don't always need a sing-along vocal to make a big hit.
"ONE OF YOU TURDS IS ABOUT TO GET SMACKED IN THE MOUTH" — hell, I'm a sucker for a great intro and I'm loving this daffy, goofy, B-movie-rap little gem. The last thing I'd expect from Toronto but there it is, backwoods-bound space-age boombap, Timbuktu, Chokeules and Savilion swapping rhymes with a beautifully nonchalant ease and charm that you can't buy or pre-program, but that oozes from every groove. Gonna go check out their latest 'Outer Limits' opus on Bandcamp right now and strongly recommend you do exactly the same. Oh Canada.
Cannibal Ox have been elliptically travelling the solar system a while now, but their 14-year orbit is nearing its next pass of earth — 'Iron Rose' is the first probe they're dropping before the release of their newest opus 'Blade of the Ronin' and it's... nuts. As you'd expect. Antarctic-cold, as jagged and rugged as a meteor-belt, Doom side-eyeing Vast Aire and Vordul Mega to the point where you can't tell if he's a willing participant or a terrified hostage. No-one else sounded anything like them. No one else sounds anything like them now either. Superb and a cold fuzzy to all psychonauts who remember. They're back.
Nailing the Madtech sound like an absolute boss here is Ben Mono, previously of Munich's venerable Compost Records, and latterly unleashing deepness through Gomma and Strictly Rhythm. Title track 'Why?' is a pulsating, serpentine groove, all metallic percussion and off-beat stabs. It's solid, as is Russian producer Xandi's scything, occasionally acidic version. Over, 'Rather Kill Me' brings the garage, wobbling its way through a lean four minutes, delivering all that's needed and nothing more. Bravo.