Civil

Artist:Starkey
Title:Space Traitor Vol 2 (12" + CD)
Label:Civil
Space Traitor Vol 1' is the first of two EPs from producer Starkey. This intergalactic expedition closely follows his acclaimed 'Ear Drums And Black Holes' album for Planet Mu and marks another step forward in the expansion of his high definition, sci-fi 'street bass' sound. Whilst the most obvious bracket for Starkey's output is the burgeoning post dubstep and contemporary bass music scene, the emotion and depth of his painstakingly constructed arrangements and parallel career in classical music helps to explain his fresh and unique output which is equally as energising on dancefloors as it is revelatory on headphones. Starkey unites robo-funk, hard-edged hip-hop and future dubstep to devastating effect throughout 'Space Traitor Vol 1'. The opening atmospheric sounds of the EP's lead track, 'Robot Hands', give way to juddering beats and scything bass, inspired by the early grime sounds the starkbot holds so dear to his studio heart. The digi-industrial feel continues on the more minimal 'Playing With Fire', complete with glorious skyscraping synths, and intense head-nodder 'Holodeck' where an elephantine bassline underpins crazed, looped strings. Demonstrating his increasing range and versatility as a producer, Starkey then depressurizes the cabin for the blissful, free-floating 'Paradise'. The song features the angelic voice of Brighton-based vocalist and previous collaborator Anneka. The final Starkey composition is the shimmering, widescreen 'Lenses' ... but it doesn't end there, as this Super-Extended-Play release is comprised of both 12" vinyl and CD plates, the latter containing all the wax tracks plus a short story (written and narrated by Starkey) set to music which acts as a loose prologue to the EP's themes, and adventurous remixes by Egyptrixx, Kaiser, Rudi Zygadlo, ARP101, + Verb, and Ital Tek.
Artist:Darling Farah
Title:Berline EP
Label:Civil
A living embodiment of the internet's new production generation, Darling Farah is like a shot of adrenalin, administered by his own mind to escape from the anesthetized music scene of his home, the United Arab Emirates. Despite living in one of the most club-barren countries in the world and a city that prohibits live music to be played in public, the talented 18 year old has managed to master the art of production and spawn an underground scene all on his own. Originally from Detroit, Farah was born into this world with techno already sewn into his DNA, something that despite his reclocation, came to the forefront of his mind as early as 16. Now regarded as the leader of a new, curious underground scene that resists the lock-down of the the UAE's mainstream culture, Farah has truly positioned himself as the ultimate innovator, and already has an extensive web-based following tapping into his work. His debut EP signals the arrival of this go to producer on European soil. 'Berline', like Farah himself, draws on a variation of musical styles to bring a sound totally of its own. The stripped down beat and subtle swing of minimal is given a fresh electro sensibility from the distorted chords and cut up vocals. Fused together with the sophistication of house and even a hint of dub, 'Berline' is the perfect way for Farah to introduce himself to the rest of the world. On top of the original version, a tasty trio of vinyl remixes add volume to Farah's new breed sound; Funkineven (Eglo) delivers a futuristically-styled big acid mix ("is fierce! am supporting" - Erol Alkan), renowned Austrian microgroover Clara Moto takes the track into wonky minimal house territory, and the package closes with a deep and stylish techno rework from Christian Martin, Claude Von Stroke's right hand man at Dirty Bird. Limited pressing in high quality textured / spot-varnished picture jacket.
Artist:Reso
Title:Heavy Arms EP
Label:Civil
Grotty, liquid, dark, brutal and lush are all words used to describe the music of 25 year-old Alex Melia aka Reso. Such contrasting adjectives may be hard to reconcile, but after a listen to this EP, you'll begin to understand. A drummer at heart, these natural patterns of 'skin hitting' are ingrained within his brain and shine through on his digital programming and productions. After the underground dubstep smash 'If Ya Can't Beat Em', Reso returns with another equally huge tear-out face-melting12' for Civil, cementing his stature in more than one genre in the process. 'Beasts In The Basement', boasting huge driving monster bass and bonkers heavyweight machine sounds, is a jawbreaker of a track that keeps its tongue firmly planted in its cheek. Meanwhile, AA side 'Busted Crunk' is as crazy as it gets; reminiscent of early Planet Mu releases but as much de nos jours as Rustie's 'Zig Zag', it's a technoid android constructed from old school jungle, wonky bass, rave building key changes, Reso's unique hard electro-step touch... and a big big drop. Reso's aural identity is a densely layered, high octane tapestry, rich with musical texture and colour, which really sets him apart from the minimal sparsity of many of his fellow producers. Mary Anne Hobbs has been a fervent supporter of the young producer, along with Rusko, Starkey, Burial, Freq Nasty and so many more. Reso is certainly one of the most technically gifted producers to have sprouted from the dubstep scene and is fast gaining recognition from the wider techno, glitch and breaks community for his own twisted take on the dubstep /130bpm-140bpm sound. Like the soundtrack to a robot genocide, the 'Heavy Arms' EP is set to be one of the biggest dubstep releases of the year so order up big.
Artist:Kotchy
Title:Sing What You Want
Label:Civil
A talented musician in his own right, respected Brooklyn-based producer Kotchy is fast forging a reputation based on combining great song writing and stunning production with inspired results. Crunk, funk and soul, 'Sing What You Want' is Kotchy's slick second single. His groove, beats and captivating vocals deliver a slip-hop affair with a top line that oozes style, as clipped out beats are laced with synth leads, melody and a vintage NYC feel. On the remix, bass wizard Rusko replaces his trademark LFO basslines with a happy, feel good version, influenced by his love of Skwee, the new synth-pop sound coming out of Scandinavia. Next up, MRK1, one of the originators of the dubstep sound and producer of Planet Mu's Virus Syndicate, delivers a dance floor destroyer remix that's already getting rewinds by the boatload, with his signature beats and electrobass sequences dominating a mix that retains the beauty and adds the beast. By contrast, the engaging and anthemic 'One For The Money' has a melancholy nostalgic feel. Heartfelt vocals, eloquent cuts and samples intertwine while Kotchy shows his prodigious talent with his drum kit. Slower and woozier but no less detailed, this is intelligent, deconstructive, dub-conscious dance music. Starkey's refix delivers an audio delight that licks the whole inside of your ear and morphs into a dancefloor cluster bomb. Wonky pitch-bent synths and acid drenched bass spatter the track as it strips ever-downwards on a ne-way ride down into jacksville. Press, radio and club support for Kotchy and these new mixes is growing by the minute, making this 12" an undeniable must for the bass generation.
Artist:Reso
Title:If Ya Can't Beat 'Em / Spooky
Label:Civil
Grotty, liquid, dark, brutal and lush are all words used to describe the music of technoid robo-bass-smith Reso, whose richly textured and twisted take on the dubstep 130bpm-140bpm sound strikes right between the eyes, then moves straight on to chest, legs and ears. Stepping out of the shadows of releative obscurity, he delivers a stonking slab of vinyl that is sure to infect the airwaves and clubs across the globe. On 'If Ya Cant Beat 'Em' (already heard on Freq Nasty's FabricLive CD), Reso is making a statement about all the "wobbly bangers" clogging up the scene, in his own way creating the right kind of banger without resorting to obvious tricks, using high screeching synths, tight drums and gob-smacking programming to blow the so-called competion clear out of the water. Less dubstep, more ramraidercore, it's the still-ripped morning after to Benga's 'Night'. 'Spooky' is another aptly named-monster, already getting played by the likes of Rusko and Diplo. The bass and beats that seem to fall over each other get even scarier when the blipped out synths begin to melt your face. Two tracks, ten minutes, and a thousand pounds of atmospheric pressure emerging from your bassbins.