Tag Archives: bok bok

EP Roundup: Munchi / Bok Bok / Skream

Three major names in underground electronic music released EPs, and each deserves a close listen. Don’t sleep on any of these future grooves.

MunchiRotterdam Juke

Ever since his remix of Nguzunguzu’s “Unfold,” bassheads have eagerly awaited more juke from Munchi. With the release of the Rotterdam Juke EP, Munchi delivers: over six tracks, Munchi presents a unique view of Chicago from a Dominican living in Rotterdam.

After a few months of hardship, Munchi announces his triumphant return with “Mi Ta Bek,” which features the iconic “guess I got my swagga back” sample (Jay Z by way of Datsik and Excision). The track, along with “Mamajuana,” have the same type of colliding beats of “Murda Sound,” off the EP of the same name.

As always, Munchi’s melting pot style is on full display. The sweet sorrow of Dominican bachata compliments the rapid-fire toms of juke on “Andando,” and only Munchi has the audacity to sample Rage Against the Machine’s “Bull On Parade” – and the ability to pull it off – like he does on “Paperchase.” “Straat Taaki” (“Street Talk”) has less overt juke influence, but the raw, uneven traphouse beat is straight gangsta. The stand out track is “Yazzer Tin Air Max,” which is pure, uncut footwork.

Bok BokSouthside EP

Night Slugs co-founder Bok Bok takes a break from running the world’s hottest electronic label to release his first ever solo EP. With an 808 in one hand and a 303 in the other, Bok Bok is at his finest, crafting dark, sexy soundscapes that push the boundaries of post-dubstep/post-UK funky dance music.

On “Charisma Theme,” airy synths permeate a sensual beat that has that Night Slugs je ne sais quoi. “Hyperpass” is unrelenting tech house, and “Reminder” has exotic synth lines that give it an Eastern feel. Southside closes with the sinister grime of “Silo Pass” and “Look Dub;” the former is a more dense composition, but the latter imbues the empty space with eeriness.

SkreamSkream EP

While Bok Bok takes a break from his, Skream disengages from Magnetic Man for a major release on his own label. The self-titled EP on Disfigured Dubz brings together four tracks that Skream has been annihilating audiences with. “Heavy Hitter” and “Rigging” have the midrange wobble of “classic” dubstep; while done to death by other producers, the technique still feels vital in Skream’s hands. “Sea Sick” does the same, with descending synths that perfectly capture the feeling of the song’s title. The best track is “Hats Off,” where he returns to the well, combining a Loleatta Holloway vocal and the “amen” break into something more ravey than his breakthough hit “Burning Up.”

Night Slugs: the label that owns the night – and the future

2010 belonged to Night Slugs. In just one year, the London-based record label and club night, run by L-Vis 1990 and Bok Bok, released nine EPs, a handful of singles, and a compilation album (the ironically premature greatest hits collection Night Slugs All Stars Volume 1). While the quantity is impressive, the quality is even more so.

The (still developing) Night Slugs sound is zeitgeist-defining, forward-thinking dance music. Tracks from the labelheads, along with those from similar heavyweights, put Night Slugs at the forefront of London’s dance scene with a vibrant hybrid of house, funky, and bass. 2011 finds the label moving to bigger and better things, but let’s take a look at where it’s been.

Things started, appropriately enough, at Mosca’s Square One EP. The title track is the prototypical Night Slugs offering: a juxtaposition of dance music sounds and styles, assembled in new and exciting ways. For “Square One,” it’s the descending tones of dubstep, the surging power of UK funky, and forays into dancehall toasting and soulful R&B vocals. Remixed by A-listers Bok Bok, L-Vis, Julio Bashmore and Roska, the remix by Greena builds slowly but packs a punch, like a prizefighter shaking off a haymaker.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/mosca__square_one__GREENA_remix.mp3″ text=”Mosca – Square One (Greena remix)” dl=1]

Egyptrixx’s The Only Way Up picks up where Square One left off, and was followed by the first offering from the steadily-rising Girl Unit, IRL. On Night Skanker, Lil Silva gets even more grimey and aggro than Girl Unit, blending soca rhythms with metallic synth lines, these synthetic horns that push into the red.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/lil_silva-golds_to_get.mp3″ text=”Lil Silva – Golds to Get” dl=0]

Leave it to one of the original Night Slugs to capture the label’s essence. On his Forever You EP, L-vis 1990 re-visits the spoken word house music tribute of Jason Jinx’s “Your First Time” with pure 303 acid. Fast forward a decade, as L-vis does on the title track, to diva-driven house with hints of wobbly bass.

Night Slugs is quickly becoming the home to a dance music revolution. The juke bass of Kingdom, the synth funk of Velour, and the future grime of Jam City have all been released by the label, and none feels out of place. Same for the Baltimore club remixes by Pearson Sound (the new alias of dubstep wunderkind Ramadanman), released earlier this month. And on Night Slug’s first LP, Bible Eyes, the aforementioned Egyptrixx pushes the label’s sound into new territory – namely, darkwave. With releases like these last two, 2011 just might belong to Night Slugs, too.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/let_me_see.mp3″ text=”Rod Lee – Let Me See What U Workin’ With (Pearson Sound edit)” dl=0]

Download: Egyptrixx – Chrysalis Records (feat. Trust) via XLR8R