Various Artists - Time Is Now Allstars Volume 2 [screen printed sleeve]
Label: Time Is Now
Genre: 2 Step / UK Garage
Release date: 5th March 2021
A1 Bakey - Dismantle
A2 Interplanetary Criminal & Hypho - Talbot Road
A3 DJ Crisps - Ready Salted
B1 Yosh - Over and Out
B2 DJ Crisps feat. Ell Murphy - Arms Around
B3 Main Phase - Special Occasion
Barely a year old and already well-established, Shall Not Fade's bassier sublabel Time Is Now dishes up a plate of deliciously fresh forward beats, from slick R&B vocal pieces to tracks which pack a punch. The six-track compilation features familiar faces from previous releases, with some featuring artists new to the label.
Freddie Baker, releasing under the moniker Bakey, got his first ever label release on Time Is Now last year and has been non-stop since, recently copping a spot on the Rinse FM Garage Hour. His offering for Allstars Vol.2 is a weighty stepper built on a growling bassline. "Dismantle" knocks you off your feet, luckily the second track (a collab between Interplanetary Criminal and Hypho) lays low in the intro before hitting you with a deep, wobbling drop, chopped up vocals skipping across the staccato rhythm. While relative newcomer Interplanetary Criminal (Zachary Bruce) has specialised in pretty upbeat garage, Hypho (Louis Richardson) has been experimenting on the bassier side of club music for nearly a decade, and his dubstep influence shines through in the depth of "Talbot Road". DJ Crisps - Julio Soewandi - closes out the A-side with a comparably bouncy "Ready Salted", dropping a warped bassline for added flavour. Soewandi is joined by South London singer-slash-producer Ell Murphy on "Arms Around", Murphy providing soulful vocals on a slightly dubbed out instrumental - Murphy, one half of UKG duo NITEWORK, lends a proper garage classic vibe to this one.
Joining them on the B-side is London-based Mark Ramsey (AKA Yosh), just a month after the release of his debut EP on Time Is Now. "Over and Out" uses adventurous sound design to build a cheeky roller. Topping off the star-studded comp is Copenhagen's own Main Phase. Adam Schierbeck uses this alias to put out high-octane breakbeat garage and homages to the 90s rave - "Special Occasion" twists and contorts, its monumental bass and MC samples an ode to soundsystem culture.
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