Compilation Review: ‘Aquasky presents Bring The Ruckus’ (Passenger)

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Bass — a twin stroke turbo of skidding past your ears and shuffling your vital organs. Booty-hunting ragga — brought in to hype the party until the cops shut it down. And dusty dub — sent bouncing into a saw-toothed spotlight. Even if you think it’s a 19-track statement featuring a lot of familiar sounds, faces and samples — as big a rush as Bring the Ruckus provides, there’s no denying some same old stories — it seems to be filling a nice gap between EDM and bro-step through its big dipper of BPMs. See The Autobots & Dead Audio joining forces to get hands raised, and MadRush’s “Get Ya Vs Up” creating an elbow-skinning sea of two-fingered salutes.

Hectic yet schooling some of dubstep’s in-yer-face projectiles when the likes of RadioKillaz add the rave string to the bow, breaks shouldn’t start marketing itself as some intermediary third wheel. EDM’s sap and smiley simplistics aren’t up for discussion either. Rennie Pilgrem’s fireball “One By One” heads a pack constantly breaking the back of wack parties and revelling as the energy drink-mainlining renegade, with 601’s “Strobelight” looking for the nearest china shop to clatter into. Aquasky remind everyone of breaks’ energy levels that are never found dropping to show it won’t get left behind in the bass trends race. That title repels what others throw at it, creating some fearsome bottom end monsters as retaliation.

File under: Far Too Loud, Black & Blunt, Breakfastaz

Album Review: Deekline & Ed Solo / ‘Bounce n Shake’ (Rat)

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Deekline and Solo’s constant of putting the ass into bass is one long car chase up and down San Francisco-style slopes, revving through box-strewn alleyways and doing perfect figure of eight skids right in front of the camera. Get to the heart of the matter and the here and now of the rave first, without going on about it over and over like numerous EDM soothsayers; and, save for “Can’t Hide It,” get in and out at the double.

So, rapid firestarting for a 21-track double-pack with a taste of the familiar – Zhane’s “Hey DJ,” Dawn Penn’s “No No No,” Boris D’Lugosch’s “Hold Your Head up High” to name three sources. Dubstep, breaks, drum ‘n’ bass and the cooperation of all three at once makes the album disappointingly close-knit, going on to make the ragga-house option “Champion Number 1” a lonely cliché. However, driven by ragga rough riders joining up to kick the party up the backside (“Dancehall Tribute” is simple, skankable fun) and girly orchestrators of weekend hatchet jobs around handbags, every possible convention/back catalogue check, emphatically whacks the nail on the head. Despite rushing through, the pair barely leave a soundsystem skidmark in what’s a digitally-brushed typhoon speckled with cheese.

An album that gives itself every chance of spanking festival tents and stages while working the crossover vote (“Weekend Lover”). Unoriginal, yes — clean bassy fun, more so if you’re balanced on someone’s shoulders.

File under: Aquasky, Freefall Collective, Skool of Thought