WEN - EPHEM:ERA
Where his previous album Signals was fully locked into the underground sounds that were ripe in 2014, EPHEM:ERA is very much taking place in an alternative present that we are a long way off reaching. Created during a flourish of activity that saw WEN sculpting beats as an adverse effect to the fleeting and momentary consumption of music, one that the modern world’s Internet-driven approach creates, in his own words, "a restless cycle of distractions". EPHEM:ERA switches things up a gear or five, choosing to focus fully on bold new blocks of sound that, while succinct with the original sounds of early 00's grime, are sure to carry a serious weight and dread that ensures premium longevity. Cut with a clear aim to draw in any that consume this spectrum-spanning, bass-driven style, WEN's music moves with a heavy, tectonic-like bass rumble that has been shot over the edge with some spiked arpeggios, giving the music a fully sculpted textural quality that sounds so futuristic we are surprised the vinyl hasn't been delayed until the year 2020 plus.
TSVI - Inner Worlds
Using the album as a vehicle to reconnect with 'his true self and the discovery of the inner worlds' TSVI goes about this soul-searching mission with an arsenal of bass-heavy sounds, the sort of gear that have come to characterise the no-nonsense approach to crafting future-proof bangers that is core to the Nervous Horizon sound. Swerving from the rain-soaked Terminator techno of 'Jinn', which comes across like a head to head between DJ Mujava and Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, we are led down roads that stem from the Middle Eastern percussion pressure and weightless trance of 'Realm of Jabarut', to the locked in and loaded 'Prana Riddim' double drop, where TSVI squares up to the empty spaces lurking within grime and dubstep with a tactful and proper shocking Gqom Oh! rhythm.
Walton - Black Lotus
The strong whiff of Orientalism that was present on Walton’s recent Tectonic/Kaizen drops snowballs into a full-length indebted to the sounds of East Asia. Black Lotus floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. Sinogrime, dubstep and a little techno combine here to make a sound that carries itself with great poise and grace yet is still capable of shelling down the room at a moment’s notice. The likes of ‘Angry Drummer’ and the Wen-featuring ‘Vectors’ are loping square-wave DJ tools that bring to mind the work that the Pennyroyal and Nervous Horizon labels have been putting in of late. Riko Dan guests on ‘No Mercy’, a hell-raising banger that recalls his seminal Rabit collaboration ‘Black Dragons’.