Quest & Mutiny
Stick Up Kid/One Big Rhyme
Yet another storming release from Quest & Mutiny, and as you’ve come to expect from these two, it’s big and very nasty. Stick Up Kid is a dark monster of a breaks tune that tears it up with a gnarling bassline and a rolling beat. It’s a big tune for those who love their breaks to come with teeth – and just check the breakdown… Tight as fuck. One Big Rhyme is a huge track. Stepping away from the boys’ normal nasty, biting breaks, this sees the duo smoking a phat one and dropping break-stepping basslines for a more progressive/nu skool vibe. The synth lines are slender, silky and sexy, but the bassline still bites – just not like a great white. And the smooth beats added to the ‘from the soul’ vocal make this a real gem. Big ups.

Robot Disaster
Guitars Are Over Rated

Robot Disaster are a five-piece electro pop band from the Midlands. While the original does very little for me – apart from the use of the C-word – the remixes are where it’s at. And with five mixes to choose from, you’re bound to find something you might like. For me, the stand-out mixes are the Polymorphic mix and Urchins’ mix – both are nice and tight, and come with teeth. The others are for fans of the electro sounds, but for this elderly reviewer, they just don’t tickle my walking stick.
Gash Digital

Drumattic Twins
Hammer & Tongs

Finally the Drumattic Twins drop their long anticipated new album, and fuck me if it’s not been worth the wait. The Twins are part of electronic music royalty, ruling the scene back in the day as Shades Of Rhythm, and releasing many a seminal track. Hammer & Tongs seems them continuing that trend. It kicks off with the massive Don’t Be So Drumattic – which has smashed many a dancefloor already and hit number-one spots on Beatport, Buzz and Cool Cuts. Then comes Hyperspeed, a classic Drumattics track released in 2007 which has become a big feature in their live decks and FX show. The Twins take it down a gear and catch their breath with the smooth grooves of Heartbreaker, which takes things back to the old skool with its piano keys and rolling break. There’s a misty-eyed, ‘92 vibe to this one. Next up is current single Back To The Old Skool which hits like a tonne of bricks. Deep Throat vibes up next and shows that the boys still have that dirty sexy disco groove that drew then to Finger Lickin’ in the first place. Elsewhere we have Under The Lights, which drips with P-funk attitude and a smattering of MDMA glowing eyes; Fly Young Canaboids which features a tripped-out synth track that bites like a tiger on speed; and Pick Me Up Baby with its laidback grooves, big lush keys and super-slick vocals. This is one of those tunes that sounds amazing at full volume – just ask my neighbours. Finally there’s the slow tempo of Antique Vinyl that digs up James Brown and infects him with that Drumattic voodoo. This is an album you will not want to miss.
Finger Lickin’ Records

Specimen A
Hazardous Material Pt 2

Breakspoll 2009 winners Specimen A return with a sick fucking set of tunes. Hard Times creeps up on you like Nosferatu, slowly building and rising before BAM! It sinks its teeth straight into your jugular. Full-on basslines, synth wobbles and raw beats kick in the adrenalin and will have the floor rocking. Exodus RIP is a reworking of the 2007 track Exodus. The rework is another ferocious beast with buckets of twins turns, horror stab onslaughts and screams that rattle over the top of machine-gun guitars. Fucking A+.

Acting Wrong/Girls, Money Drink And Drugs

The Breakfastaz return to destroy all that came before them. This time they team up with Irish soul sensation Mechach Broderick to combine a monster tune with some sweet vocals. Acting Wrong is already a hit with all the big DJs, and it’s rocked every single floor there is with its deft mix of basslines, thundering drums and Mechach vocals. In short, it’s a classic Breakfastaz tune. The flip sees Ctrl Z unleashing his version of the big track Girls, Money, Drink And Drugs – and he really takes the filth to a whole new level. This is bound to get you sweating in a few intimate areas.
The Breakfast Club

Rico Tubbs
Knuckle Sandwich EP1 + EP2

Stop now. Get down to your local record shop and buy these now. EP1 has 12 – yes 12 – remixes on it, ranging from booty, electro, rave house and whatever you wanna call it. But they all are killers. Born 2 Bounce gets two healthy remixes by Mikix The Cat and Supra 1, going from old-skool vibes (Mikix) to some evil evil bassline house (Supra 1). Ghetto Funk Baby gets mashed up by Jacksaw, who tears the hell out of the original and adds some thunder and heavy wobbling bass. It Gets No Better is mixed by B.Rich and Klaus Hill, who deliver two hands-in-the-air, show-stopping mainroom mixes. Slap The Bass gets done over by the Audio Stalkers and has to be my fave tune on the EP. With its stuttering bass and massive breakdowns, this track really gets the floor rocking. Breakdown take on The Party and add a sawing bass and rolling beats. Then come three mixes Unbelievable, with HETS, Mr Miyagi and the Treks all muscling their way into the action with some uptempo, bad-ass fidget house. And that’s just EP1! If that wet your whistle, EP2 is really going get your blood pumping. There are three mixes of Gangsters, by Jay Stewart, Muffler and Tes La Rok – heavy breaks from Jay that tears your speakers apart; solid drum’n’bass from Muffler; and sick sick dubstep from Tes. High Rankin remixes Ghetto Funk Baby and takes it more jump-up dubstep, before Vent takes on It Gets No Better with an evil nu-skool breaks masterpiece that has had so many people asking: “What the hell was that?” Finally, Splitloop hits us up with a machine gun of a synth line and sawing bass on The Party. Total dancefloor madness.
Menu Music

General Midi
Operation Overdrive

The Midi man returns with Operation Overdrive, a massive new album that takes you on a trip through the mind of one of the most respected breaks producers around. Paul Crossman has great ears – he knows how to get a tune sounding just right whether it’s for home listening or smashing the floor in some dirty sweaty night club. With 12 tracks to choose from, this LP holds nothing back – we get tracks that cover dirty electro, guitar-licked Pendulum breaks, huge bass-shaking sounds, smooth sexy grooves and huge dancefloor winners. In short, this album is just perfect, and I canny stop listening to it, on my iPod, at work, in the house… And when I’m playing out, tracks like Audio Assault, 4 Million Ways, Kickbox and When I Rock have all smashed the shit out of it. If you love your breaks, you’re gonna wet yerself over this record. Pass the nappies.

General Midi
4 Million Ways

Here’s the opening single from the new long player, Operation Overdrive, and it’s a beauty. Handling the first remix is Paul Crossman himself, and this track finds him in a take-no-prisoners mood. His mix pummels the daylights out of his own original the synth line, as he saws through the massive grooving beat and cheeky hooks, and drops in edits of the vocal. Heading straight for the dancefloor is Dee Zed’s remix, a blasting bass-heavy house track that starts as if its a full-on metal tune and then twists and turns into a Twooker monster. Ginz takes it more along the dubstep path, keeping the vocals heavy, and adding nodding beat as well as a string selection. Finally there’s the album version to finish this top package off.

Zodiac Cartel
We Don’t Play That/El Maestro

Jesus, this is hot hot hot! Two tracks of stunning production and blistering tech house. We Don’t Play That has a huge 4/4 beat, off-kilter percussion and vocal edits that stutter over the top of the most infectious sawing bassline I have heard ever. El Maestro is another masterwork of heads-down tech house. Smooth beats give way to a dark, dirty, smoldering synth. Then a warped vocal gives this track an altogether eerie feel. Zodiac Cartel and U&A Recordings are definitely ones to keep a very close eye on in 2009.
U&A Recordings

Hyper Vs JHz
Pitch Bitch

Right, get your rock heads on. Hyper and JHz team up and drop what can only be described as a big rock-out breaks tunes. Pitch Bitch kicks off with a serious guitar riff while a incisive beat crunches into play. Mixed in with that are a selection of warped vocals and cruddy synths. On the mix, Dopamine drops the breakbeat in favour for a thumping 4/4 beat to create a techy feel. Editing the synths, vocals and guitars, and applying a rolling house bassline, this is a tune that builds and builds.
Kilowatt Recordings

Tim Healy vs Marco Adamo
Ghetto Blaster

I’ve had this for a while now, and I’ve been playing just about all the mixes. The original is a monster of a sub-bass house track that will have your insides doing summersaults and your feet a moving to the savage beat. Hatiras drops a more conventional-sounding house track – or at least that what it feels like until the wobbling bass hits. Then it just goes off – what a bassline! Calvertron drops another bass-fuelled ass-kicker that sees the bassline metamorphose into the big feature of the track. This also features a breakdown that is just classic – it’s a mix that lives above and beyond all the hype about Calvertron. The breaks master Krafty Kuts takes the track to breaks land, throwing in a big old break beat, lifting the tempo and dropping a goddamn monster of a breakdown. This, I’m sure, will be in Krafty’s and many of the other big breaks DJs’ sets for a while to come. Brilliant.
In-Stereo Recordings

Deekline & Wizard
Back Up, Coming Through

Deekline should need no introducing – if he does, where the fuck you been? He’s had top 10 hits, toured the globe more times that a US spy satellite and is more of a B-Boy than you could even dream of. Now comes Back Up, Coming Through, a serious LP that just shows Deekline & Wizard at their best. Always ones for the strong vocal, the boys have locked down the talents of Yolanda, DJ Assault, Navigator & Hadouken and IC3 to name just a few. The result is not your straight-up dancefloor work-out – it’s a major listening record. Stand-out moments include Ready For You Love – with its sassy beats, dark bass, light floating keys and a sexy Yolanda vocal – The Stanton’s rub of Handz Up, and the big Dancehall Thrilla with Navigator on vocals. Deekline & Wizard, take a bow for one of the most rounded LPs of the year.
Against The Grain



June 13: Fake Vs Bass Syndicate @ Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
July 25: Wickerman Festival
August 22:
Bass Syndicate with Zinc (electro & house set) and Cyantific (drum’n’bass set) @ Faith, Edinburgh

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Reviews by
DJ Believe, resident at Bass Syndicate, Split and Switch Up! in Edinburgh.
He can also be found every Monday in Underground Solushn record emporium, Edinburgh, and at Tribe Tattoo, Edinburgh, throughout
the week