The biggest tunes on the underground this month

Paul Woolford

These days, it doesn't take very long for a tune to become a ubiquitous club anthem. All it takes is the latest DJ du jour to drop it on one of danceland's most prestigious rooms for it to instantly get picked up, ripped and spread across YouTube, Facebook, Soundcloud, you name it, before — hey, presto! — it's gold-encased dancefloor dynamite. Every man and his disco dog want a piece of it. And that's before it's even been released.

This month, the case in question is Paul Woolford's latest bass bombshell, 'Untitled', on Hotflush (out 3rd August). Smashed by the likes of Ben UFO, Joy Orbison and Bicep, it's already been named Ibiza track of the summer by We Love... Space, and unless you've been buried under the sand at “Ket Cove” over the past month, no doubt you'll have heard it.

After dropping that freak-out jungle effort on the 'Hardcore EP' ('Broken Dreams') under his Special Request alias onto Houndstooth toward the end of July, 'Untitled' sees Wooly return to familiar 4/4 territory, reinforcing a broken hi-hat and pounding bassline with the “wump” of a slamming beat eight bars in.

Not far off the nose-bleeding force conjured by an early '90s techno act like Hardfloor, the guttural, undulating bassline and cracking hi-hats pack a punch like Blawan but with the swing of Bashmore. Then there's the metallic chords and echoed female vocal hints that open out into full blown David Morales ('Needin' You') piano riff territory. Cue the chest-clutching refrain (“I'm 'a calling out your name”) completed by a brow-beating drop, and you right there have yo'self an anthem. Haven't heard it yet? You will do...

Real Connoisseur
'Jungle Jakarta EP'
Purp & Soul

It hasn't taken long for 19-year-old Connor Lloyd to tinker on the brink of underground stardom, and 'Jungle Jakarta' on Purp & Soul has nudged that stock up a little higher. Slo-leaning house that breaks into sunny chords and a stretched vocal sample, it drops into a sick-as-a-Hackney-parrot onslaught of 120bpm jungle percussion before a bridge back into classy Kerri Chandler chords. 'You Don't Love' — straight-up US garage with a twist of belly-gurning UK bass — ain't any less impressive.

dbridge & Skeptical
'Move Way'
R&S Records

Exit boss dBridge is no stranger to shaking up his influences into a pitch-black broth. His latest effort alongside Skeptical is yet another stepping stone. The ruffneck d&b of 'Move Way' is Metalheadz with an outside coating of soot from the engine rooms of Berghain. On the flip, 'Death of a Drum Machine' is a metallic drum-y roller retracing early Ram roots, while 'Plain To See' reinvents the half-time formula, embarking on a moody voyage that's more Drexciya than DJ Hype.


 Daniele Baldelli & DJ Rocca
'Podalirius Remixes'

The Italian DJ credited with birthing the loosely defined genre of cosmic disco in the early '80s (named after the club night he played at in Verona), and his protege Rocca delivered a decent album last year, but these new remixes of key tunes really take the cake. Andrew Weatherall delivers a slow chugging, arpeggio-laden delight, with the post-punk guitars of his Asphodells project, Prins Thomas reclines horizontally to stare at the stars, and Luke Solomon delivers a disco-punk rendition that could almost be Jane's Addiction-meets-Bush Tetras.

'Get Deeper EP'
Southern Fried


Already making a little noise on the underground with releases on Andy Blake's In Plain Sight label and some delicious club-ready bootleg edits, he's about to make a lot more with this first EP for the on-form Southern Fried. The South London producer's locale permeates his warehouse flavoured tracks, with the breakbeat house vibe, transcendent pianos and warm bass of 'How Did I Get Here?' and golden age rave flavour of 'Lewisham '92' perfectly conjuring the heady haze of UK dance's height with crisp modern production. Going places, fast.

'Q Bass Trax 1'
Q Recordings

DJ Q has his name, and Sheffield bassline sound, stamped all over this new label. But by dropping the tempo, alongside some familiar samples, this could be his crossover moment. 'Big' is, in fact, colossal, looping up Biggie's take on the Isley Brothers for maximum summer vibes before the b-line drops. 'Come With Me' is our pick though, jazz guitar and snippets of Pin Up Girls's 'Take Me Away' morphing into an 808 break that introduces even rowdier dancefloor ruffage. 

Lil Silva
'The Distance EP'
Good Years

Last heard dropping a pair of superb white label (and white vinyl) monsters, Lil Silva spreads his wings this time around. 'Mask', 'One Twenty' and 'The 3rd' are similarly essential grime/house instrumental weapons, but Sampha lends his silky soul inflections to the refined bassline house of 'Salient Sarah' while 'No Doubt' sound like a genuine lights up anthem, Lil Silva's vocals somewhere in the hazy mix alongside Rosie Lowe's. Radio 1, tell us you're listening?