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Various – Soul Jazz Records: Future Bass review

Future Bass is the sound of right now, all new music, all exclusives. Compiled by Soul Jazz  A&R Nicole McKenzie with the assistance of Deep Medi Muzik’s Kris Jones, it’s a comprehensive induction into the many strands of music that have splintered out of dubstep in recent times. The preceding vinyl sampler consisting of Mala and Four Tet will have set the tone for what unfurls on this selection. The contrast between the more traditionalist melodica heavy steppas riddim of Mala’s “Don’t Let Go” and Four Tet’s “Nothing To See”, a nine minute organic sounding house groove is echoed in the tracks that follow after they open Future Bass. For example, Hemlock’s Untold, no stranger to Soul Jazz, follows with the glacial future retro electro funk of “Fly Girls” which sounds a world apart from Coki’s “Ransom”, a track that delights with its rusted bass twists and jack hammer half step crunch.

Somewhere in-between there are tracks such as “Bass Music” from vinyl fetishist Ramadanman, which mutates superbly from a descending spiral of woozy vocal edits wrapped around typically crisp syncopation into an all encompassing low end thrust. Space is made too for rising producers with tracks from V.I.V.E.K, Distal and Randomer. The latter’s “Puzzled” provides one of the many highlights here, with a Gameboy melody expertly shifted around by the menacing bass patterns and layers of metallic percussion.  Special mention is reserved for “Air” a track from Kevin Martin’s new project Black Chow. A dizzying combination of narcotic torch dub atmospherics and Kiki Hitomi’s cavernous spectral vocals make for a truly captivating listen and proof enough of the potential for crafting songs within the admittedly expansive parameters of Future Bass.

Tony Poland