Liminal Sounds announced their arrival back in January with a series of cutting edge takes on Youngstar's iconic 'Pulse X' from the cream of up-and-coming grime-leaning producers that turned heads the world over. Although they've had to wait a little while, their latest foray is equally as exciting, with Arctic, fresh from releasing his debut 'Shook' EP with me at Coyote, presenting the 5-track 'Three Stripes' EP.
What I've always admired about Arctic is his ability to turn his hand to a multitude of styles without losing an ounce of credibility; with Shook he demonstrated his flair for making high-end 8 bar grime but Three Stripes gives a more well-rounded overview of just what he's capable of. 'Off Peak' for example, eski breakdowns aside, sounds more in line with some of the rolling club stompers Artifact has come with over the last year, whilst 'Seeps', to quote Oli Grant, 'sounds like robots lightsaber duelling in a k-hole' - I couldn't really put it much better myself.
Title track Three Stripes sees a return to more familiar grime banger territory, although, in similar fashion to Seeps, pushes that unique, de-constructed, almost disjointed style that Arctic manages to work so well into every track. His use of vocal rips is also always remarkably on point. The VIP cut of Off Peak also makes a welcome addition whilst Breen, himself one of 2013's most exciting breakthrough producers, does all sorts of damage with his fiery, 8-bar rework of Three Stripes.
All in all, a great outing for Liminal and one that will enhance the reputations of both label and artist. Chuffed for them both.
Three Stripes is out August 5th on both 12'' and digital.
Merky Ace, fresh from the release of his storming debut LP 'All Or Nothing', is back with a video for his third release from the album. 'Are You Mad x Unlimited Flows', filmed on set in Prague, is another barnstorming effort full of the gritty swagger that is fast becoming his trademark. I wrote a few words about it over at Sonic Router.
Arcade-themed grime instrumentals are some of my personal favourites but not since Royal T's breakthrough, Mario-inspired cut '1UP' have I come across another as bold as DJ Cable's 'Cartridge'. Harnessed by stateside grime hub 'Slit Jockey', the single also features a vocal take from Virus Syndicate's Goldfinger but it is the instrumental that really sings here.
Cable channels a flurry of arcade sounds that meet eski synth lines and a storming pulse-esque bass line at full tilt, sharing similarities with Kahn & Neek's 'Percy' in it's composition. It's a particularly bold effort considering Cable is famed more for his prowess on the decks than dexterity on the buttons too and one that bodes well going forward. Great stuff.
In my latest 'Life at 140' column for Clash Music, I took a look back at grime throughout June and picked my top five tracks of the month to boot. Look out for Visionist's incredible rework of grime classic 'Functions On The Low'.