Bass mutations unveiling the next gen of robot wars from the ‘smoke
'20/20 LDN Volume Two'

A year after volume one and sensing that recovery time for your ears is over, dubstep and bass savagery from the capital’s headhunters brings another edition of the London fight club putting you one and one in the backstreets with the best heat-seeking, bloodthirsty technology has to offer. The poisonous Ivy Lab clan, mad scientist trio Sabre, Stray and Halogenix for whom there is no speaker stack too tall (earphone buds get laughed at), are what last year’s killer clown craze should be listening to.

Familiar hip-hop/ragga samples, jungle/tech-step body armour and twisted metal and machinery, carry over synths unlocking future gateways and infinite ammo responsible for a sidewinding snarl of unfathomable sinkholes. Only killable by silver scuds (Ivy Lab’s ‘Ghee Butter’), sometimes it sounds so primal, Fixate’s ‘Rickety Cricket’ and Phazz’s ‘Caution’ are akin to ram-raiding the cutlery drawer as means of percussion turned tools of war. At near enough hip-hop tempo, Balatron’s ‘Poseidon’ grabs gut wrenching glory, followed by Ivy Lab’s ‘Socket’ that definitely sticks a wet fist where it shouldn’t. Footwork aftershocks from Fracture and a revisit to volume one’s ‘Shamrock’ will bring out hostilities in the meekest of mild mannered moochers.

The main difference between volumes one and two? Apart from opening its doors to all before bloodily blowing them off, the debut goes at it, foot to the floor, pretty much for the duration. The follow-up has the likes of Shield’s ‘Slang’ and Havelock’s ‘Untitled Brock’ just holding back slightly — and that’s not to say by adding a thoughtful, considered edge, even with a 10% drop off there’s a meandering and sinking of teeth into something of a wee cul de sac.

Whatever, the abrasions are sure to have you bouncing ‘til you pop a couple vertebrae; and there’s still the threat of Ivy Lab’s full album to look forward to as well.

8/10

Words: Matt Oliver

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