Donation Dubs 007: April 2020

We're back again with another instalment of Donation Dubs, sharing some of our favourite tracks found while digging online each month.

Like last month, there are two sections: one for free or pay-what-you-choose downloads as per usual, and the other for releases that have a fixed price but that are an absolute bargain. The aim is to supply you with low cost, high quality tunes, while pushing to help artists in these challenging times.

You can also check out our Donation Dubs 007 mix on SoundCloud, exclusively featuring tracks from this list, at the bottom of the page.

Have a scroll, have a listen, and support the artists who catch your ear!

Fixed Price Bargains:

Kyeza & Ken Samson - Rare Sight
This powerful mixtape made between 2017 and 2020 is full of varied tracks courtesy of Nottingham collaborators Kyeza and Ken Samson - the smooth instrumental and shifting flows on "Skibdiboo" let you know that this is the real deal from the outset. "Her" is a sweet, wavey wifey riddim oozing with a confident swagger, and "B.I.G" brings the dancefloor energy as a fat, off-beat bassline is paired with icy strings and light-stepping percussion, finished with Kyeza's electric party bars.

Peman - Quarantini
Czech producer Peman has fused elements of grime, drill, trap, dubstep and more to create these two massive instrumentals. "Heavyweight" is exactly what the name suggests, with blaring bass and slamming kick patterns intermittently interrupted by breaks injections. "Lockdown" has a darker mood, placing ticking rhythms and twisted vocal samples on top of its deep low-frequency core. 

Draconian Audio - Lineage
Born out of Bristol, Draconian Audio have released this 4 track compilation that showcases a contrasting styles of bass music. PAS1's "Crofters Dub" fuses signature grime aesthetics into bouncing techno and Sempra's "Ifritah" draws for tight, intricate layers of plucked instrumentation. Meanwhile, Orwell leaves "Lilypad" raw and unsettling in its creeping minimalism, and KØDE-1 cuts through the drifting atmosphere of "Outerworlds" with snapping rhythms and rolling subs.

Karnage Whamblama - If You Don't Know Me
This project from Karnage shows the Derby MC to be an absolute monster on the mic. Every track hits on point. Check out the constantly switching flows on "No Respect", the skin-crawling combination of tense strings and frenzied, threatening bars on "Virus", and the suspenseful drop on "Motive" that leads into the broken-down, unpredictable patterns in his delivery. Do not make the mistake of underestimating Mr Whamblama.

Monkstar – Lockdown
Across these 6 instrumentals, Monkstar supplies varied takes on grime production. Each track offers a different angle. The abrasive texture and stripped back structure of "Annoyance", the rising and falling brass stabs and melodic vocal samples on "Number 1", the unsettling metallic clinking and horror-tinged organ on "Chains", and the layers of vibrating synths and electric guitar on "Sucker Punch" all bring something distinct to the lockdown release. 

Kayne Stamp - Sweetboy FM: Vol 1
Just this month, Kayne Stamp has dropped 4 releases on Bandcamp, and they're all sick. This is the first of them, Sweetboy FM Vol.1. The project brings a balance of restraint and heavy impact through his mashup of drill and R&G styles. Sometimes it's dream-like and pure like on "In The Name of Love" and sometimes, like on "Skeng", the bliss is sacrificed for a more unnerving, jagged listening experience. Don't forget the remixes at the end of the tracklist either, as he adds Capo Lee, Jammz and FFSYTHO's vocals to a selection of his instrumentals, bringing a new sound to each. 

Free and Pay-What-You-Choose:

Frisco – 64
At the start of the month, Frisco dropped this free to download freestyle on SoundCloud. Spitting over an icy Preditah production with his unmistakable voice and tekky flows, the BBK member let us know he can still hold his own against the competition.

Johnny East – Virus EP
These 5 instrumentals from Johnny East are full of carefully crafted details that lift each track to another level. There's the unexpected melodic flourishes in "Jack In The Box 2", the soft, almost breathless choral backing that gives depth and balance to "Trench Warfare", and the peppered, stuttering build up before "Lucozade" opens up with its full snapping force. All quality cuts well worth copping.

Blood Lotus Beats - 1 Step Further Remix
This remix wastes no time taking these incredible vocals and adding them to a heavy, bouncing production for a result that hugely contrasts with the frantic electronics of the original. Doing real justice to grime royalty like Wiley, Ghetts, Icekid and Devlin is sometimes tricky, but Blood Lotus Beats nails it with this one.

CREEP N00M - Midnight Remix
Russian producer CREEP N00M's remix of Loefah's dubstep roller "Midnight" is rotten in the best way. Turning up the intensity, the rebounding, lurching rhythms morph this understated sub-destroyer into serious rave-wrecking ammunition.

Freeza Chin - Man Remix
Freeza Chin has taken JoJo's latest single and swapped R&B for R&G, melding the sounds that currently dominate female-sung pop with a skippy grime beat and drilly bass. The result is sweet, laid-back and beautiful.

The latest in Antennaterra's Free Download series, "Sundown" is rich and warm, with constantly shifting chords that weave and glide over one another. Taking a more ambient approach to grime works well for John Brown The Rebel, creating a sense of drifting in a vast space that enthrals you as you listen.

Listen to the Donation Dubs 007 mix on SoundCloud: