Donation Dubs 008: May 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 and the other for releases that have a fixed price but that are an absolute bargain.

You can also check out our Donation Dubs 008 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:

Skelecta – Skelective Hearing Vol.2
South West London DJ and producer Skelecta has bought together some videogame-inspired productions for this 4 track EP. He balances swift electronic sequences with growling foundations on “Namco Riddim VIP”, brings the coldest sweeping bass on “Icy” and also offers two reworks of “Princess Peach”, originally released on Pear Drops back in 2017.

Biggaman – The King Jaffy EP
Out on Major Muzik Entertainment, East London’s Biggaman has released this instrumental project, The King Jaffy EP. There are a few moments that particularly stand out and grab your attention, like the sample of The Streets’ on “Hold It Down” and the intermittent twisting bassline on “No Delay”. Even so, all the tracks are formidable grime instrumentals worth purchasing, and seeing as the whole EP costs less than £1, it’s an especially good deal.

JdotKid – Sick N Twisted
Yarnmouth MC JdotKid rides dark productions and brings an evil energy on his Sick N Twisted album. There’s substance behind the savage imagery, though. Ambler Production’s work across a number of tracks is seriously impressive, and the abilities of JdotKid and the other featured MCs on mic make this much more than just shock-factor music.

GYRO! – GYRO! And The Quest For The Lost WAVs
The Quest For The Lost WAVs might at first appear like a collection of random bits and pieces from producer GYRO!, but in reality is a substantial demonstration of his unpredictable style. The tracks veer between everything from elegant flutes on “AoE2”, to a refixed sample of “Mas Que Nada” on FIFA Street, to roaring heavy metal guitars on “RUSTY KNIFE”. Just when the calmer aestheitics of “Stardust Crusaders” and “Super Saiyajin” make you think the journey is done, GYRO! throws one more bizarre curveball in the form of “The Wizard’s World!” That’s just scratching the surface, and its only £4 to complete the full 15 track quest.

Hamdi - Brazil
One of the highlights of the last Bandcamp Day, Hamdi takes inspiration from Brazilian sounds for this short but sweet EP. His impeccable sound design and creativity does justice to the samples he selects, capturing a bright, joy mood on “Having Fun” and “Freedom” but also the tenderness and vulnerability of “Teardrops”. Plus, like GYRO!, Hamdi makes use of the famed “Mas Que Nada” on “Brazil”.

Dabbla - Nobody
This album from DABBLA is produced by Sumgii, and although its not all grime, it’s more than worth a listen. Taking on a huge range of sounds and styles, it’s a stellar collection of both artists’ capabilities. “Nobody” and “Lucky” are the grimiest tunes on the release, but make sure you don’t miss out on the staggering, moody flavour of “Shimmy”, the electro-punk feeling of “Enough”, and the mesmerising, drifting “Junk” that closes the project.

Free and Pay-What-You-Choose:

Efflex – Free Up
This full 10 track release from producer Efflex walks the line between dubstep and grime. Rich, bass-driven instrumentals are supplied in bulk. Whether it’s the glitched-out, uncompromising energy of “Pukka” and “Vice Versa” or the wavy sounds of “March”, “Shocking” and “Facts”, the vivid cuts stand up perfectly as pure instrumentals.

Oppidan – Paper
Bristol’s Oppidan has mostly been putting out garage in the past, and recent took part in Kiwi Records’ Kiwi Cup. Shifting to grime on “Paper”, she brings some unexpected firepower by mashing up the 20th Century Fox fanfare, Dizzee Rascal vocal samples, and a stinking bassline.
Razor ft. Tintz - Facts
Out via Southpoint Introducing, this one from Razor is the latest in a run of sick releases this year. Featuring a verse from Tintz, “Facts” is a testament to Razor’s unstoppable workrate, delivered with conviction and intensity. It means another mention for Hamdi on this list – it’s his bouncing instrumental that the MCs jump on.

Dunman – Pink Panther Edit
Dunman posted this edit of the classic Pink Panther theme for free on his birthday. It follows the same vein as his recent self-titled series of refix EP, taking a well-known tune to cut and chop into a grime banger that still preserves the flavour of the original. This one begins calm and restrained before it swells with brass hits and frantic saxophone melodies, and it all works brilliantly.

Chad Dubz – Magnum 4
To celebrate passing 7000 followers on SoundCloud, Chad Dubz let loose this refix of an instantly recognisable Mez lyric. The Foundation Audio founder knows how to craft a 140 heater, and this is one that is sure to have some serious impact.

Enigma – Enigma Entertainment Enterprise
Working out of Sao Paulo, Enigma is a Brazilian producer that should be watched. This 9-track release is packed with quality. The bongo-and-bass combo on “Finalmente” is electric, “Shapeless” brings complex layers of organ melodies to the heavy grime beat, and “Terceira” comes like a constantly switching game soundtrack. The closing track “Conforto” tops it all off with a soulful but dancing production of sampled guitar tunes and emotive vocals. You really need to hear this.

Listen to our Donation Dubs 008 mix on SoundCloud:

Speaking of donations, please also consider helping the following organisations at this time: