Category: Music


Voodoo Dred – Racine

As I type these words I’m listening to a lossless audio version of Voodoo Dred’s debut album Racine through some relatively high spec headphones with absolutely no distractions whatsoever. Whilst this might seem to be pretty unremarkable to you readers, sitting at home with your amazing 5.1 surround sound high fidelity stereo and surgically enhanced ears, this fact is pretty significant considering today’s first attempt at listening to the tracks; specifically an attempt that took place in my car (which has shit speakers), through an FM transmitter plugged into the cigarette lighter socket (which tends to make everything sound shit) in the form of 320 mp3’s which I converted myself through a questionable program that I got free off the internet (I can’t vouch for the effect that this had, but it probably made everything sound incrementally shitter).

Don’t hate me, I had good reasons for this aberration; I only managed to get the tracks downloaded late last night because the internet in Australia is rubbish and at the time of writing the album is due to drop in approximately 48 hours, 20 of which I intend to spend sleeping. So I took a shortcut or two, no harm in that, usually anyway. Then as I sat listening to the flat, compressed noise that reverberated tinnily around the spartan interior of my rapidly depreciating Honda Jazz I had a revelation; music of this calibre deserves better.

So here we are, and may I say by the way of a proper opening statement – this album is awesome. After the first Voodoo Dred E.P I was expecting big things, but by that I was thinking dancefloor moves, heavy hitters, balls out shit. You know, using the momentum of the first E.P to launch a full on assault on the waiting listeners in the style of a rookie of the year who comes out all guns blazing in the first round of his sophomore season in whatever nondescript sport this analogy seems to be referencing, much to the delight of sportscasters and fans who will brand him as the next Joe DiMaggio, or Michael Schumacher or Ronaldo or whatever. I think that made sense, anyway the point is that Voodoo Dred has taken an altogether different path. The beats here are incredibly refined and indicative of massive amounts of love, care and attention. The congas, tribal riddims and womping bass of the original release are still present but there’s a subtle, elegant craft to each of the productions that give them so much more impact than the ten tonne heavy approach ever could.

I didn’t even bother to look up what individual tracks were called whilst listening through this time around, it’s that tasty. Sometimes an album will catch you like that, leave you spellbound and content without making you go “awwww sheeeeeeeeeeit, puuuuuuulll uuuuup, Reeeeewind” etc, because you’re enjoying the experience so much that there may as well be no track markings at all (incidentally I rarely actually shout any of those things, but will admit to thinking them quite a lot). Anyway for this reason exactly I’m not going to spoil any of the tracks for you by trying to paint a vivid word picture or analogise them to ‘smoking a bowl with a troupe of monkey’s riding elephants into a strangely pixelated sunset’ or something similarly overhyped, because I probably won’t do them justice and if I’m honest this is the sort of album that should be sat down to and digested in its entirety. Like a fine meal, rather than chopped up into a subjective highlights reel.

So that’s it, go get this album, download it right now and find some time to listen to it where it won’t be prey to interference or degradation. I’m not saying that a casual listen won’t be gratifying, by all means chat or smoke or drive or do whatever you please over the top of it, but both it and you deserve some alone time together, so make sure you make the time and I promise you won’t regret it.

Racine is out now on Dub Temple Records
Artwork By Warren Handley



Drokk: Music inspired by Mega-City One

Whilst I’ll admit to a fair bit of geekery I can’t claim to have ever really been into comic books. Some have caught my attention for a while and I do have a bit of a soft spot for more weighty offerings like The Watchmen or Tekkonkinkreet, but for the most part I’m largely ignorant. Not so it seems for Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and BBC composter Ben Salisbury who recently dropped this Capenter-esque gem that honours and references the home of Judge Dredd ‘Mega City One”.

I never read any Judge Dredd comics, nor have I seen more than the first five minutes of the live action film starring Sylvester Stallone, but this album actually saw me scouring the internet for background information about the series thanks to its hugely evocative and resonant effect. I’m not going to go too far into describing the music as I lack the requisite knowledge of the style and subject matter to be able to pass educated comment. All the same, suspenseful bangers like Scope The Block and Miami Lawgivers could floor you on a good surround sound system and the warm, diffused ambiance of Iso Hymn could lull you to into the most beautiful futuristic dreams. All said though Drokk is best appreciated as a complete album, probably more so if you have an idea of what the references mean. One for the Sci-Fi heads.


Top ten time! Its a bit late, started it at new years but got really really distracted. Anyway here’s ten albums/EPs and ten tracks that I really dug this year (plus some linkage for other albums that were also awesome but I couldn’t be arsed to write about). Enjoy!











Anstam – Dispel Dances

Dark, uncompromising and hard as fuck. I went into this expecting intelligent and finely crafted minimal techno and subsequently dropped my yoghurt (and preconceptions) all over the place. Its brooding and dexterous 3am rave shit of the finest sort and an excellent debut album to boot!










Old Apparatus – Old Apparatus

Despite the utter lack of press about this release, the accompanying art and Deep Medi catalogue number was reason enough to give it a listen, and if you did you ought to be as glad as I am that you gave it a go. Much like LHF they have a whole slew of unreleased stuff to come and despite having just two releases under their belt they’re already causing a stir in a number of musical circles. Mysterious, devastating music of the highest pedigree.











Pinch and Shackleton – Pinch and Shackleton

Words escape me on this one. Well not entirely. I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard such a complete, compelling and captivating album in all my days. That hyperbolic alliteration should be taken seriously, throughout this labyrinthine masterpiece the Dubstep luminaries explore a myriad of sonic spaces that defy convention and expectation at every turn. I could continue in a similar vein but you really ought to listen for yourself, personally speaking this is the album of the year by some way.











LV & Joshua Iden – Routes/38EP

Routes is a bit cheeky, incredibly well thought out and more intelligent than you might give it credit for. Iden’s suave delivery is perfectly offset by LV’s dynamically swung productions, each track telling its own fleshed out story rather than a mere snapshot. Although its tongue is lodged in its cheek at times there’s also a fair bit of sincerity and passion that has gone into this record and it made me thoroughly homesick on the first few listens. 38Ep is an excellent accompaniment, focussing on the characters you might meet on the eponymous bus route, both compelling and bracing, sometimes a little bit scary, and brilliantly judged throughout.











Kuedo – Severant

Like many others I’ve been hanging out for this album since hearing the Jamie Vex’d remix of Starkey’s Miracles, the wait was certainly worth it but the results were somewhat different than anticipated. Regardless its was one of the most individual and best received albums of the year, encapsulating everything from toxic Sci-fi dystopia to skittering trap rap beats. Although there are stand out tracks Severant sounds best as a complete album, representing one artist’s vision and dedication to pushing the boundaries and conventions of his sound.











Loops Haunt – Ark EP

Alright, it’s a bit ridiculous and overblown but it fairly kicks the shit out of everything else of its pedigree, if indeed it has a pedigree. Considering that Loops Haunt has stated that this is the final release under this production moniker Ark EP serves a suitable tour de force. The title track sounds like that Daft Punk spaceship careening into an electromagnetic storm, being torn apart then reformed into a huge planet destroying robot. Chalk Knots and Eagles Fated Pillars serve as a suitably intricate counterpoint to the breathless charge of the opener, it’s safe to say that you’ve probably never heard music quite like this before. The former is an unspeakably epic technoid dreamscape, the latter sounds like an alien orchestra scoring the death of a solar system. Utter madness.











Machinedrum – Rooms

The last Machinedrum album was a thoroughly excellent affair, but if it could be faulted you could say that it was a little too unfocussed, a little too eclectic. Not so with his sophmore release which comprehensively redresses the balance, as well as carrying so much inertia that it could induce limb flailing, bruk out madness in the most sedate listener. From the massive kicks of Now You know tha Deal 4 Real to the washed out rave dream epic Where did we all go wrong the infectious needle sharp intensity never lets up. Certainly a contender for album of the year.











The Haxan Cloak – The Haxan Cloak

As with most shadowy, occultist music this one had me at hello. There’s something to be said for producers who eschew popular taste to make something grippingly theatrical instead, and in a year of several similar efforts from Paul Jebanasam, Roly Porter, Ben Frost etc, The Haxan Cloak just about comes out on top. As an album its relentlessly cinematic and wholly unsettling, sounding much like you’d imagine it would if Amon Tobin gave up on silly things like drums and electronics to write orchestral scores for silent horror movies instead. Terrifyingly good!











A Winged Victory For the Sullen – A Winged Victory For the Sullen

A suitable counterpoint to the Haxan Cloak, this albums shares a similarly cinematic aesthetic and epic scope, but to quite the opposite effect. The whole thing sounds like its moving in slow motion, as though its being inhaled and exhaled in deep breaths. Strings wash in an out in a soporific rhythm that threatens to overwhelm the listener before the first track even reaches its zenith. A Winged Victory for the Sullen is unutterably lovely and well worth repeated listens whether in transit, in bed or in a late night blissed-out haze.











Shlohmo – Bad Vibes

Since his perfectly judged debut Shloh-Fi, Shlohmo has gone from strength to strength, demonstrating a level of craft and maturity that belies his age. Following the excellent Places Ep earlier in the year, he then went on to make a massive impact with his debut album proper, a vast and emotional epic that probably surprised as many people as it delighted. I takes as much from Post Rock and drone as it does from his beat music roots and will devastate listeners from either background, something very few people lay claim to.


Some other marginally less fortunate albums:

Roly Porter – Aftertime

Blue Daisy – The Sunday Gift

Paul Jebanasam – Music For the Church of St Paul

Jacaszek – Glimmer

Ulrich Troyer – Songs for William

Bibio – Mind Bokeh

Peter Broderick – Music For Confluence

Andy Stott – Passed Me by/We Stay Together

Consequence – Test Dream LP


Synkro – Memory (From Presence, Questions, Memory)

Loops Haunt – Eagle Fated Pillars (From Ark EP)

Machinedrum – Where did we go wrong? (From Rooms)

Shlohmo – Forgot I was Here (From Places EP)

Pinch & Shackleton – Levitation (From Pinch & Shackleton)

Kuedo – Salt Lake Cuts (From Severant)

Consequence – Lovershell (From Test Dream)

Holy Other – Touch (From With U)

Lee Scratch Perry –  Disco Devil (Syntax Footwork)

Trim – Confidence Boost (Harmonimix)

After much discussion, several self imposed false starts and an exceptional amount of procrastination, I recently got round to interviewing Dub Temple Co-Founders 8Man and Grimes, also known to many of you as the two man dancefloor destroying unit Science Project.  The conversation was suitably informal, interrupted by a BBQ and a number of digressive tangents, no doubt assisted by liberal amounts of whiskey. As such apologies if the interview meanders somewhat towards the end;  I was forced to make so editorial cuts to some of the more extraneous conversation and  may have partially fabricated a number of the later questions as I’m fairly sure that my mumbling enquiries in no way matched the comprehensive answers provided by the interviewees. In any case what follows is at least mostly genuine.


This year has seen an explosion of releases on fledgling Brisbane label Dub Temple, both from label bosses Science Project and from an ever growing roster of upcoming artists. Following the drop of their first EP Alchemystic in mid 2010, Science Project have backed it up Singles Magic Monkey and Waves. Feat Billie Weston (including remixes from Hope One and Walrii) and a superb sophomore EP Under the Sun. They’ve also created and curated a Beat Tape Series that has thus far seen Bob Marley and King Tubby classics getting reinterpreted by a number of artists from Brisbane and beyond. Its proved to be  hugely popular both here and abroad and promises to go from strength to strength with two more instalments slated for early next year. Last month also saw 8man’s solo début Loops EP which marked a shift away from their long standing association with Dub into more of a post Dilla hip hop stance, something which has been matched by increasingly future leaning releases from 1988, Voodoo Dread and Blood Dunza.

Grendelcakes: In light of this year’s cluttered and increasingly varied release schedule what can we expect from Dub Temple over the coming year?

Grimes: 2011 still isn’t finished yet, we’ve still got two releases per month for the rest of the year, starting with our Vodoo Science One collab with  Vadim (Voodoo Dread) and Fergie (Hope One).

8Man: November’s gonna be another good month for music, we’ve got our podcast from Arku and Walrii, the next beat tape, Kirvy’s new ep; that one is gonna be a guaranteed killah release. Next months DTR podcast guest DJs are Dela Haye & Samedi Sound System, this summer is gonna be well hot! (laughs) Expect some hot fiyah riddims from those two.

Grimes: Early next  year though we’ll have another instalment of the beat tape series after which we’ll be dropping my solo debut.

Grendelcakes: Sounds pretty hectic, nice to see you guys are putting out your solo stuff as well. 8man your Loops EP was well received when it landed last month, the tracks are nice and raw, sort of reminiscent of 14 KT or Sugio Sounds.

8man: Man they’re just raw, straight up Hip hop loops. I made most of them whilst Grimes was away in Indo. When I looked back through I realised that I’d made a lot more of them than I originally thought so I dug through, picked out the best ones and tidied them up ready for the release.

8Man – Nova by Dub Temple Records

Grendelcakes: We chatted a while back about the hypnotic effect of looping music in the context of Dub and Drone, was this a deliberate nod to that idea?

8Man: To some extent, I’ve been really intrigued by the rise of the whole loops thing, in LA now they have a loops festival where its nothing but loops being played. I guess for the most part though I just really like rugged and raw hip hop loops and its nice to get to release some of my own. Its like sometimes you put something together really quickly that just works, no need to go back and work on it, it just works as it is. I think there’s something to be said for music like that.

Grendelcakes: Yeah I know what you mean, the same thing happens with short story writing, sometimes that simple concept you just filled a page with works so much better than something you spend days or weeks drafting over and over again. Grimes whilst we’re on the subject of Solo work, what can you tell us about your debut release?

Grimes: I’ve been going over my parents old research tapes listening to chants and drum patterns from when we used to go out with them to meet the tribes in Indonesia. We lived on and off in this village Wa’ ha’ Olon on Buru island where we lived there on and off for 8 years. I’ve been transferring the tapes over to digital and cutting out the bits that I like. My mum was an Anthropologist and my dad was a Social Linguist so they used to take us on their trips out to meet the tribes. It was my first experience of music in a participatory sense; my brother learned to war dance with a spear and all that, I learned to drum.

Grendelcakes: Wow, quite an introduction to music. Would you say that this release is a sort of statement of intent then, a marker of your musical identity so to speak?

Grimes: Yeah I’d say that those experiences are where my roots lie musically and it’s something that I’ve stayed true to in our productions thus far. Most of our stuff as Science Project has tribal layers to it and with Dub Temple as a whole too. It seems to have always been there whether we were making Dub or Hip Hop or whatever, there has always been this innate tribalism that works its way into the music.

8 Man: We seem to have gravitated towards other like minded artists in the course of running the label thus far. Everyone takes a similarly organic approach to production. For us and for our label mates our musical identity has been  a big part of expressing who we are. Me and Grimes are both first generation Aussie so we’ve brought our heritage and cultural influences with us, its important to stay true to that especially in a country that has drifted so far from its own cultural roots.

Grendelcakes: Do you think that Brisbane as a city has had an effect on the way this has happened? What you were saying about like minded people gravitating towards one another is pretty on point, our social circle as a whole is largely comprised of first and second generation Aussies who have somehow come to be associated with one another despite there being no intention to purposely seek each other out. Then again I suppose it helps that everyone is into the same sort of music to some extent.

8Man: I guess if you look at Brisbane compared to cities like Melbourne or Sydney, the cultural diversity here hasn’t always been so broad and as a result integration is less advanced. Its not so much a segregation thing but it does lead to more of a distinction between different groups of people, however recently its given rise to a small but really vibrant and fertile music scene with a broad range of influences. With the label so far it seems to have worked the same way but for the most part Brisbane hasn’t had much to do with it, seeing as we met a lot of them through the great nation of the internet. This said a lot of the guys over here that make up the Dub Temple roster like Green Nose (aka Potato Masta) from Japan & Vadim from Haiti, both are 1st generation and I  suppose helps that we’ve all found ourselves in similar situations, both geographically and musically.

Grendelcakes: With regards to the non-Australian based contingent of the label, have you had a chance to actually meet these guys or has all communication been internet based so far.

8Man: Only through the internet thus far, we do a fair bit of chatting through Facebook and email, Blood Dunza and 1988 discovered us through myspace, others through the Bandcamp page and Facebook. That said we’re planning a tour of South East Asia at some point next year so I guess we’ll be meeting them then.

Grimes:The tour will start off in Indonesia, move up through The Phillipines, Vietnam then on to Hong Kong for a couple of shows. It’ll be wicked, taking our sounds back to the places they came from and were inspired by. The whole thing will be like coming full circle, uniting our music with the places and people that inspired it, as well as tying together all the elements and inputs of the label. Blood Dunza will be hosting one of the gigs in HK and we’ll be playing with Kirvy for 8Man’s home gig in Cebu City, maybe Hope One in HK too.

Grendelcakes: Shit sounds dope, I might have to start saving now and come with you guys. With regards to your widely dispersed artist roster perhaps you could tell us a bit about the Beat Tape series and how you got together so many talented and like minded artists. Was this a prearranged thing or did you just put the idea out there and wait to see who wanted in?

8Man: We’d never met a lot of the artists, still haven’t in most of those cases, but the whole thing was a mixture of the two. There’s this guy called Bunda whos got some mad beats he got in touch and wanted to get involved but we still haven’t met him despite the fact that he lives in Brisbane too. We also had people like Monk and Voodoo Dread that we’d known from before, having played gigs with them when they were in The Black Jesus Project and Culture Connect.Blood Dunza got us through myspace as I said, he was mad keen to get involved. Then on top of that we already knew a few others that we knew were keen from the Brisbane Beat Sessions, Dank Morass and Ender crew like Puzahki, Elroy, Walrii etc.

Grendelcakes: Yeah you guys have been heavily involved with the Brisbane Beat Sessions, with a fair few of them cropping up on the beat tape series so far. Hows it been working on a grass roots level as part of a beat collective?

8Man: The great thing is that there hasn’t been any friction or any egos getting in the way. Everyone is on their own individual tip but no one takes themselves too seriously so it just makes the whole process relaxed and enjoyable. Its also good seeing people who are coming up like Sauce, Sinister Taxonomy, Provi$ & Walrii working with established heads like Speaker Wrath and Puzahki.

Grendelcakes: Under the Sun saw you guys really stepping it up production wise but it took seeing you performing live to properly appreciate how much work had gone into making those tracks sound so tight. I know you’ve both been working really hard to make the live set more dynamic and cohesive, was this practical approach helpful in honing your skills in the studio or was it more a case of taking the studio tracks and deconstructing then reassembling them into what became the live set?

Grimes: A bit of both. Not all songs deconstruct well, figuring out the best tunes to deconstruct and the best way to deconstruct tracks is definitely a process, and at this stage we have the luxury of a lot of trial and error under our belt. But there’s also routines that we do live which have evolved entirely as live tunes, just messing around with samples and stumbling across interesting things. We’re starting to translate some of these into studio tracks, but you can always pick the ones that started as live jams cause they always swing different.

8Man: Yeah with the productions it depends; sometimes we get the right sound right away and sometimes it takes a lot of experimentation & trial and error. Under the sun EP was a really interesting musical journey, lots of new discoveries, technicalities and more of a philosophical approach to music, we spent a whole lot of time organising sounds during that time.

Grimes: Man putting the EP together was pretty crazy experience. We had a version that was in the process being mixed down, we were pretty satisfied with it so were just tweaking bits here and there when this massive magnetic storm rolled in and scrambled the session; it fucked up all the timings so we had to go back through and painstakingly put the whole record back together again. It worked out alright though, the version we ended up with was better than the original mix so it was a bit of a blessing really.

Grendelcakes: You mentioned Voodoo Dread just before, a fair few people, myself included, were thoroughly impressed with his recent Self Titled release on Dub Temple. I’m also well hyped for the Voodoo Science One EP you guys have been working on with Voodoo Dread and Hope One; the sampler for it is ridiculous and I was lucky enough to hear a few demos that you guys played me a while back. How did you first link with Vadim and how did the collaboration come about?

Grimes:I met him when I was in Darwin. When I was in high school he was playing in Culture Connect who were pretty big on the scene at the time. The music scene in Darwin, while vibrant, is not very big and so there was a lot of shared history. When I moved to Brissie I started drumming with Culture Connect though at that time Vadim was in Melbourne playing with Drum Drum and Gorilla Step. Vadim’s been producing for a while now and he’s got heaps of killa tunes and a few independent releases. We talked about releasing on Dub Temple and the rest is history.

Grendelcakes: Having seen you guys play together at Horse Bazaar in Melbourne and here at Alloneword, I figured you’d all been performing together for years, you guys put on a pretty cohesive show.

8man: (laughs) Nah we were just jamming, but this Voodoo Science collab is an attempt to capture the energy of those sorts of live sets. Following the release we’ll be playing a few live shows where it’ll a back to back set like we played with Craig (Puzahki) at the Nosaj Thing gig earlier this year. We want to try to represent the live sets with the E.P and visa versa, with all three of us on the pads, loops, drums, vocals and beatboxing. Playing the set at with Craig was a really good feeling and we got a really good response so we’re well up for smashing it up again.

Voodoo Science One – Smoke by Dub Temple Records

Grendelcakes: On the strength of the promo for Voodoo Science One EP, as well as the 8Man, Voodoo Dread and Blood Dunza EP’s, you guys seem to be taking a more future leaning approach to both your own output and that of the label, letting the Dub elements retreat into the background somewhat. Considering that Dub and Reggae were such formative influences for you both their overriding influence is conspicuous in its comparative absence in these more recent productions. I was wondering whether you feel you’ve done all that you can to push that aspect of your music, or are you just sidelining it temporarily to let your other interests and influences take over?

Grimes: To me these later releases have been about exploring and expanding tribal rhythms and sounds through dub. If you understand dub as more than a style of music, but rather a philosophy, you can see the continuity of Dub in these tunes. Where instead of dubbing straight reggae rhythms we’re playing with tribal sounds and sample based hiphop, but approaching them the same way. You build variation by removing sounds as opposed to adding more, its about creating space so the drums and bass can be the centre of attention. Its about celebrating the foundation, not the flashy shit.

8man: The Dub is always gonna be there, it’s the foundation. If you know the music,the culture, you know that it’s there. Dub is the space in music, Dub is a philosophy, it’s how you approach music. You can push Dub as far as you can. Who knows what we can do next with new crazy technologies, Dub is jus gonna go crazier. What the Jamaicans were doing in the 70s was dub and what we’re doing now is Dub as well, with a future twist!

Grendelcakes: Excellent answers, on that note I’ll wrap things up. Out of interest with you guys collaborating, curating, working on solo material and running the label can we expect to see another Science Project record any time soon?

Grimes: Yeah of course, we’re gonna put out another EP in December and tackle our first LP next year.

Voodoo Science One is out Friday on Dub Temple Records

All Dub Temple releases are available for free download from


Right, its been a bit quiet recently but rest assured I’ve got a few bits of spiralling hyperbole and mumbling nonsense coming your way shortly. In the mean time here’s an ambient/downtempo/experimental beat tape that I put together for my friend Joshy Bug (see the image for an example of his work) at some indeterminate point in the last year or so. As I’m admittedly rubbish at mixing these were pretty fun to put together, being as how largely beatless music doesn’t sound abysmal if you get two tunes out of sync, additionally they’ve been a good soundtrack  for some quiet reflection and for aiding deep concentration whilst working, I hope they prove equally useful to all youse lot.  If anyone wants them to download hit me up with a message and I’ll see what I can do about uploading them somewhere.

Side A: A bit like how it might sound in the future

1: Nah Teeth – Dem Hunger

2: Feathers – Asura

3: Stress Waves – Oneohtrix Point Never

4: Shimmer – The Sight Below

5: Root Hands – Hudson Mohawke

6: Marrying Maidens – Rooflight

7: When we parted my heart wanted to die – Leyland Kirby

8: Part II/IBM 1403 Printer – Johann Johannsson

9: Untitled #1 – Akira Kiteshi

10: All Hallows Eve – Demdike Stare

11: Sadly the future is no longer what it once was – Leyland Kirby

12: Stagger – The Sight Below

>> Nightbus – Burial

13: New Crossings – Shigeto

14: 12:18 – Global Communication

15: Dedal – Access to Arasaka

16: Untitled – Shankles


Side B: The Post Breakfast Road to Recovery

1: ? – Mark Pritchard

2: Pondlife – Bugskull

>> Ghostly Hardware – Demdike Stare

3: Schloerb – AK Kids

4: Through the cracks – The Sight Below

5: Dog Shelter – Burial

6: Embrace the Cold – Shigeto

7: Subterranean Life – Bugskull

8: Desert Fairy – Ras G

9: Shutter Light Girl – Kuedo

10: Zodiac Shit – Flying Lotus

11: Galaxy in Turiya – Alice Coltrane

12: Auntie’s Harp – Flying Lotus (Rebecca Raff’s Remix)

13: Nag Champa – Miguel Atwood Ferguson

14: Lady Nebula – Fingathing

15: Part III/IBM 1402 Card Read-Punch – Johann Johannsson

16: Communication – Bugskull

17: Happy Summer Solstice – Carlos y Gaby

18: Minjo – Kidkanevil (Blue Daisy Remix)

19: Run into the light – Brokenchord

Dexian Racking


Something deeply unnerving and particularly awesome surfaced on the internet recently and as such it deserves your full and undivided attention for at least the next hour or so. The supremely sinister Dexian Racking  site launched earlier this week and its patiently lying in wait for you to stumble into its arcane lair where it will devour your soul and make every effort to ensure that you have nightmares for the rest of the week. Excellently curated by Dank Morass’ Brad Swob, the first volume entitled The Swamp, contains a seething mass of submissions from a variety of artists, writers and musicians from a whole range of backgrounds and disciplines. I submitted a short story called Excerpt which I hope you enjoy, but there’s also a whole heap of high quality work on there from some very talented people. The premise is as follows, in Brad’s words….

Dexian Racking is an online multimedia project created and curated by Brad Swob.  It’s a website that publishes mixes of music, short stories and digital art in thematically linked volumes.  Each volume starts with a mix of music and an object selected by Brad Swob.  Writers are encouraged to submit short/micro (600 word limit) loosely inspired by the mix of music and the selected object.  Graphic designers, illustrators, photographers and video artists are encouraged to submit work based on the same.  All submissions are required by a deadline and the entire volume of work goes live on the Dexian Racking website shortly thereafter.  A new mix and object is posted and the process repeats.

Complimenting the periodic volumes is a section of Dexian Racking called Addendum.  This part of the website houses non-fiction articles and reviews from a team of regular writers.  Topics explored in these pages represent the vibe of the whole project – sinister, kooky, dark and weird art.  This section is perpetual with new articles posted regularly in between the main themed volumes.

It is envisioned that Dexian Racking will be an online hub for original writing, music and art in the stylistic tradition of things like The X-Files, horror films, pulp fiction, murder mysteries, ghost stories, science fiction, film noir, Edgar Allan Poe, gonzo and other, Lynch-esque moody weirdness – with varying degrees of blood and silliness.

So there you go, what are you waiting for? Click the link, download the mix from the music section, put your headphones on and immerse yourself in Dexian Racking.

Dubstep lives!

Recently there has been a fair bit of noise about the demise of Dubstep. For the most part you’d be hard pressed to find a stalwart fan that isn’t despairing of the apparent decline of what, until quite recently, was still considered to be a fledgling genre. Whilst its myriad offshoots  may be going from strength to strength, it already seems as though the core of the genre itself has become lazy and idiosyncratic, apparently falling foul of the entropy that infected Drum and Bass in the latter half of the noughties. However all is not lost, there is hope on the horizon and the torchbearers thoroughly know their shit.

LHF – EP2: The Line Path

Anyone familiar with the previous Grendelcakes will already be well aware of my near pathological obsession with LHF. Their masterful blend of all things UK bass related is outrageous; seamlessly weaving infectious drum pattens around a tangled mass of foreign yet familiar samples and devastating bass. Every track is so perfectly realised and clinically executed that its almost criminal, seeming as though each of them went from concept to finished product in one swift and seamless movement so as to cut down on any dilution of the sound. The Line Path continues where the  Enter the Keepers of the Light left off, transmitting four pirate signals that sound as though they should somehow be forbidden from human consumption. It must be difficult choosing which tracks to release considering their vast archive of unreleased music, but these four cuts provide an excellent cross section of the wealth of material displayed in their various mixes and radio shows (see this FACT mix for a fitting example).

Chamber of Light is rolling and epic, carrying an endlessly pulsing conga line alongside unsettling bass womps and dread jungle breakdowns.  Bass 2 Dark breathes new life into a much loved sample, sounding like proto-garage rave being hijacked by a tribal drum circle, endlessly shuffling drum patterns imbued with enough percussive swing to warp your sense of gravity. Candy Rain starts off in an overwhelming burst of coarsely defined colour, jarring the senses before slipping seamlessly into a punch drunk head nodder complete with Mount Kimbie-esque ephemera. Trifle closes out the E.P in a whirl of samples,  perfectly edited beats and a growling synthline so tightly wound that it could induce panic attacks in anxiety sufferers. All said however these tunes still don’t seem to represent the extent of what their talent has to offer, and with the impending release of their album on Keysound later this year it probably safe to say that LHF will be turning heads and defying expectations for some time to come.

Old Apparatus – Old Apparatus

Providing an suitably fitting counterpart to LHF’s enigmatic bass mastery, recent Deep Medi signings Old Apparatus served up this slice of genius a couple of months back. Comprising of two extended sides, each featuring what roughly equates to two  complete tracks interspersed with chasmic intermissions of unidentified noise and distortion, their début record provides an incredibly ambitious and vastly intelligent expansion upon Dubstep c.2011. Its easier to look at the tracks as a series of movements than individually defined entities,  blinkered moments of lucid insight filtering in through an oppressive claustrophobic morass of static and ambient noise. Its a perfect demonstration of how to make formula defying, mould breaking music; exactly the sort of direction that an overstuffed scene needs in order to re-establish itself as a credible source of creativity. Its by no means a radio friendly sound, clocking in closer to dark techno and hypnagogic drone  than to the music of their peers, but it goes a long way towards resurrecting deeply mysterious, future leaning focus that early Drum and Bass and Dubstep once adhered to.

Not satisfied with simply unleashing their dread laced music upon us, the shadowy producers have packaged the whole release in so much mystique and ambiguity that without saying a single thing about the record, they have created an alien and wholly unsettling narrative world to be further explored over the course of following releases. If you need convincing check their website, where ancient images of machine headed people and illegible documents  provide no insight, just more questions. Also whilst you’re there download the promo mix which contains sections of this release alongside a whole slew of unspeakably good unreleased material. I probably wouldn’t be alone in saying that this dark, unnerving appeal was one of the major influences upon my infatuation with bass music in the first place and its comforting to know that whatever derivative nonsense the larger scene churns out, there will always be  devoted few keeping things unsettling and  sinister. Whilst everything on display here is utterly captivating, the pick of the bunch has to be the first part of Side B which sounds like digital whales chanting an oscillating mantra over scuffed, Aphex-sharp woodblock  beats. Ridiculous.


After a confusing morning of downloading unnecessary programs and being baffled by terms such as SQLserver and webmatrix , Grendelcakes has now successfully moved to WordPress, an exciting development as I’m sure you’ll agree. Anyway, its been a while so to get the ball rolling here’s a bunch of words about a couple of things.

Downliners Sekt – Meet The Decline

Finishing off the run of three peerless E.P’s, Meet the Decline takes on an altogether more reflective and restrained approach than its predecessors. The opener All I Can Hear Now ties a  hymnal wash to delicate guitar flourishes and light, almost breathy percussion. Although considerably more subtle and understated than anything they’ve released before it maintains their unearthly sound with carefully placed snatches of the ghostly refrains and technoid machinations that have come to signify their music marque. Despite its contrary direction its the sort of music that could only have been made by them, a delicate statement of intent that opens up an entirely new galaxy of possibilities and defies all expectations.

Rising Saudade is  deeply ingrained with their future gazing ephemera and decidedly more recognisable, but it begins with more of an introspective take on things, as though caught in a lucid dream about their path through the music scene thus far, before launching into a stuttering charge and crashing through layers of sound that shatter around it before fading into its wake. Locked Faces seems to be an expansion on the muttered and distorted phrases that littered their earlier work, giving the lead to a distant voice that carries a pervasive air of discord as it winds its way around a skeletal framework of clicks, glitches and clipped beats. Hockey Nights in Canada closes out proceedings in breathtaking form, sounding like Mount Kimbie’s Maybes being reinterpreted by Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor. Dense layers of sound, lightly brushed, loose sprung snares and Ice Hockey commentary that seems to echo in from another dimension, all combining to form a devastatingly resonant cry that sounds like the sort of music you might have once heard on the periphery of a dream.

Seekae – +Dome

I’d never even heard of Seekae before catching them supporting Mount Kimbie at a White Rhino gig earlier this year, but it immediately became apparent that they were a little bit special. The set ran from crisp trickling beats in the mould of Mount Kimbie and James Blake, to yawning chasms of crackling dissonance more reminiscent of 65 Days of Static. The album +Dome stands as a fair counterpart but here the song structures and themes are far more gentle  and introspective. For the most part it unravels beautifully, avoiding dancefloor impact for jaw dropping loveliness and turning inwards onto itself to create intricate colourful patterns.

What is possibly the most impressive thing (among a whole raft of other impressive things) is the way in which the songs develop, often starting out with a jarring or staggered build that seems to be heading nowhere before suddenly unwinding into something jaw dropping and awesome. A perfect example of this being Mingus, which spends half of its duration building somewhat ambiguously until the long awaited crescendo suddenly transitions into  an immaculate rhythm of clicks, claps and vocal stabs before heavenly arpeggiations come in to power the tune to a breathtaking close. Yodal and Reset Head are other particular highlights but for entirely different reasons. The former, comprising the most  dancefloor focused joint on the album, comes from a seemingly Amon Tobin influenced hip hop slant; moving from crackles and digital detritus to chest thumping beats and serrated stabs in a matter of bars. The latter is a perfect exercise in how to unite aspects of the Dubstep fringe with the vast expanses of post rock soundscaping, and as with the aforementioned Downliners Sekt closer, provides an poignant, mournful counterpart to Mount Kimbie’s seminal Maybes.