The first full working week of the new year. No matter how ambitious and vibesy you’re feeling about a brand new year and the many ways you’re going to smash it, these next five days might smart or sting a little as you ease yourself back into conventional non festive reality… Especially if you went to Andy C’s XOYO season two launch party on Friday.
But here are 20 ways to soften the blow; a fat stack of killer free downloads flexing across the bass spectrum from bassline to D&B via dubstep all given away during the Christmas break by artists and labels to say thanks to their fans and hopefully score a few new ones along the way.
Some are cheeky bootleg style bangers, others are hefty EPs with originals and there’s at least three album-sized projects buried deep in the list, too. And that’s not including the beautiful Christmas present we got from Doc Scott and dBridge: their legendary first ever (and so far only ever) b2b set from Sun & Bass last year was uploaded on December 25. Featuring Fox on mic duties, it’s total D&B bliss and will already soothe two hours of this roughhouse week you’re currently staring down the barrel of. Then when you’re done with that here’s a load more hours of musical low end soul soothing.
No more chocolates for breakfast, no more getting wavey at lunch time, no more small country sized cheese boards… Time roll your sleeves up, polish your gun fingers, blaze into 2019 the way you mean to by finding and following loads of great new music, artists and labels to be inspired by. All totally free. Happy new year. Happy new stinkers….
12 Dubs Of Christmas
Now an annual festive tradition for London soundsystem enthusiasts Nice Up, the 12 Dubs Of Christmas series is an album sized collection of versions, bootlegs and mash ups that comprised daily track releases running up to Christmas Day and stays online for a few weeks before disappearing, never to be released again. As always, this year’s runs the dancehall gauntlet with a whole range of heaters and beaters before engaging top gear for a little jungle and D&B finale. Our favourite is the ludicrously sick Eek A Mouse twist by Danny T & Tradesman embedded above but the whole package demands your attention… And any donations people pay for the downloads go Centrepoint, a charity for young homeless people. Salute.
Bou – Poison (Unglued bootleg)
The M, the A, the S, the S, the I, the V, the E… Unglued’s second cross scene supported bootleg of 2018 got a boost from Bou himself this Christmas. Just when you thought the memes were the peak, Bou’s biggest breakthrough tracks gets bigger again. POISON!
Not just a sticky, sweet condiment good for moistening up that big dry slab of meat you only like to throw around at Christmas, Cranberry Sauce is also a three-track treat from low end roustabouts Saucy Music. Comprising cuts from Ado Woodz, Tom Pradz and Blvckmore, the EP packs a dark, spacebound electroid vibe as the cuts range from the gnarly techno noir grit of Ado’s Hypno to Blvckmore’s swampy sub-soaked 4×4 chugger Panzer by way of Pradz disto scorching riff flinger What’s Up. Darker, pensive and fiercely focused on bass house’s future, with this EP Saucy have signed out of the year in a very tasteful way…
Data 3 – Back In The Day (Rowney Remix VIP)
Back in the day, like two weeks ago around Christmas time, Rowney & Propz dropped this toxic update on Rowney’s 2016 remix of Data 3. Now loaded with a different variation in the bassline, it’s still just as much of a bulldozer jam as it always has been and packs a punch strong enough to send you back in time. Need more Data 3 in your life? They gave away their old bootleg of Dub Phizix & Strategy’s Buffalo Charge earlier in December too.
DJ Profile – Watch Your Mouth (Jaydan Remix)
Massive 2016 laser blazer from don Profile gets a smokin’ switch up from fellow longstanding chaos conjurer Jaydan. Flipping the bass riff into more of a distorted harmonic texture and adding a whole new layer of high voltage buzzes, this one does more than rip faces off….
Euphonique – Dem A Chat
Continuing the Dangerous vibes from her recent EP on DJ Hybrid’s Deep In Jungle imprint, Christmas Day saw Manchester’s Nikki Euphonique lively up the post dinner lull with one of her own persy dubplates Dem A Chat. Talk about festive fire.
Heavy1 – Pulse (All Crew Remix)
A two-step treat, courtesy of Iris, Quadrant and Kid Hops who conjured up this dreamy UKG remix way back in 2012. Flipping switches in all directions, both the original and the remixers are best known within a D&B capacity, but this 125BPM version adds a whole new level of space and groove. Clocking in at seven years old, this still sounds ageless and relevant.
Kahn – Abattoir (Nectax Bootleg)
Kahn’s 2015 Deep Medi blunderbuss gets an almighty switch up from Serial Killaz affiliate Nectax. Maintaining all the gloom and foreboding feels of the OG but delivering them a blistering 170 roll, Nectax has paid full respect while adding his own unique twist. Meaty.
Loko – Friday Funk / Endless Love
Fresh in over the weekend, Loko dropped two sun-kissed soul shakers to kick off the new year. Now working with Viper, the Bristol producer who broke through on Program has been in studio hibernation over the last few years. But if these vibe-stacked liquid nuggets are anything to go by, this year will see a whole new slew from Loko. Let’s hope so…
Mr K & Rygby – Bare Bones Xmas 2018
Two warm-as-toast 140 jams from on-point Leeds-based stable Bare Bones; Mr K and Chonk Mob’s Rygby celebrated the festive period in style. Both taking a tune a piece, K dusts off some classic dub samples before stripping things right back to an elastic bassline and a cavernously roomy slo mo break while Rygby lays down something a little creepier and mischievous. Both kill it. Bare bones? Bare boner more like…
Pendulum – Tarantula (Akov Bootleg Remix)
Wrapping up his most high profile year so far, Akov brought forth a little festive bacteria with this filthy halftime switch up one of Pendulum’s most iconic tunes. Tastefully done. Now come fe get some…
Prophet – Champion Sound
Salt Lake City’s Prophet isn’t shy of a free download or two as he rises up the ranks, honing his warm, rootsical signature but this one given away over Christmas really captures his system primed sound. Understated, heavy, to the point and tailored for big rigs. You’d be a bumbaclart not to cop this.
Rizzle – Scanner
Wrapping up a remarkable breakthrough year with releases on the likes of Dispatch, Invisible and Vandal, Rizzle signed out of 2019 with this eerie stripped-back gem. All sinewy, buzzy and understated, this signed Rizzle out of a great year… And sets him up for an even bigger 2019.
Sam Wills – Walking Under Water (Soul:motion Bootleg)
Context Audio signed out of 2018 in tender style with this stirring babymaker bootleg from Soul:Motion. Soft focus soul, all tender and delicate but barbed with enough weight to keep it well away from the confines of simple chill, the rising artist (who was recently spotted on Kusp’s debut album on Lynx’s Detail) has given Wills the D&B boot up the jacksy he never knew he needed. Sublime.
Southpoint Presents, Vol 6
No less than 20 fresh power jams from the genre-melting Brighton collective ranging from broadsword bassline to introspective electronica by way of sorcerous instrumental grime; here’s yet another reason why Southpoint was in our best labels of 2018 list last month. Rolling deep with the likes of Bushbaby, Tengu, Freddie Martin, Inkline, Daze Prism and label co founder KXVU (to name but a few) one minute our bones are being shaking by the atmospheric breakbeat breezes of Daze Prism’s Vault, the next they’re being broken by Tengu’s Dreams. With all vibes and styles in between, this isn’t just a vital snapshot of where Southpoint is at, but also where contemporary bass music is at, too.
The Dreamers – Old School Tools
Unrelenting Italian crew The Dreamers just keep on cooking up cuts as tasty as their country’s dishes. Within days of their Dreamcatcher album and Trex’s stinking Smokehouse EP they dropped these six updates of 90s bangers. From Qua Rush’s slippery sci-fi take on Crystal Waters to label founder Neve taking us right back to the Trax source with This Is Acid, this collection bumps with both future and foundational fire. Essential tools for the craft, there’s a reason we shouted them as one of the most exciting labels of 2018.
The Widdler – Cubes (Pushloop Remix)
Long standing mystic low end wizard The Widdler sees his 2012 eastern adventure get a premium update from Pushloop. Building on last year’s Back To Basics tour they did together, and their Abydos EP on Truth’s Deep, Dark & Dangerous, it’s yet another harmonic gesture between the two kindred souls. System primed, warm and totally immersive. Don’t be square, grab Cubes now…
TMSV – My Head
Longstanding Dutch bass meddler TMSV capped off another exciting year of releases on the likes of Crucial, Innamind and White Peach with this woozy jazzy odyssey. Eerie in a 50s sci-fi way, heavy in a trippy, directionless way, alluring in all directions, it’s the latest in a long line of more narrative, deeper musical pieces he’s been uploading in recent months. All of which are well worth investigating.
Tyke – If This World Were
The absolute state of this! Pure uncut jump up gully from Tyke, this long-demanded Dennis Brown sampling scud of a track was originally a free download in 2011 before getting lost in the internet sands of time… Until last month. Seven years old and still biting hard like a whole pack of angry buzzards, grab it while you can.
Vowel & Creatures – Oppress
Oh gosh. New-gen Bristol boys Creatures and Vowel reunite for this insane techy workout on Lifestyle Music. With a bassline that simultaneously staggers, melts, pulsates and calls your whole family nasty names, the power and creativity here massively belie the free download status in a massive way. Follow both acts and Lifestyle Music if you don’t already.