Review: Various – Batty Bass In Retrograde


About 7 years ago Batty Bass used to happen in the slightly grimey confines of the Star of Bethnal Green, and it was exactly what you want a good club to be; a messy mix of gay/ straight, boy/ girl, posh/ hood and black/ white, 90% of the crowd off their nut and 100% raving all night long. Unlike a bunch of nights that have followed, the music would flick between tough house, classic acid and unashamed bass heavy tear outs at will – it was one of the few places I've been where I could hear old jungle bangers from V Recordings lined up next to the latest Dirtybird bomb, andif I'm honest I miss those Star of Bethnal Green parties. This six tracker tries to bring back some of that Batty Bass eclecticism, with pretty decent results. The opener from Mama is a shuffly vocal number, a neat walk between disco sleaze and deep house. Shaun J Wright & Alinka follows with, for me, the stand out track, channeling the soul of Jamie Principle into a bleepy, spooked out rhythm cut, sleek futuristic soul that taps into the spirit of Chicago house while heading it somewhere entirely unexpected. Quality gear.

The next two tracks are from The Carry Nation and introduce a healthy dose of breakbeat to preceedings. First cut Believe This isn't a million miles from Bicep's recent, all conquering Just, albeit in camper form. Space Rage is a tougher number, like a rigid carnival banger reminscent of tight fury that ran through Breach's early releases. 

Closing the comp is Batty Bass head honcho Hannah Holland, first with Body Bold, a classic house jam that tramples in on scuzzy kicks, fizzy, nervy percussion and euphoric pads. Finally she drops Night Bend, a sinister, Eastern sound burst of 2 step, made from the soul of nocturnal bus rides through silent ghettos.

6 tracks then, a not a duffer amongst 'em. It's pretty rare you can whole heartedly recommend a compilation, but right here that's not a problem. Get on it. 

Released August 3rd via Batty Bass.