Two thousand & eighteen is finally here and Flexout Audio is already hitting the ground running full speed right out of the gate. With an astounding total of seventeen releases last year and the introduction of their second sister label, ONYX, Flexout Audio has proven themselves as one the strongest providers in the Drum&Bass/Halftime market. For their first signing of the year we have Mystic State stepping up to the plate on WAVE010, Flexout’s Halftime Bass imprint. The South West English duo is no stranger to Flexout having released a number of tunes spanning all the way back to 2014 while also landing spots on labels such as Dispatch, Addictive Behaviour, Demand, and Influenza.
WAVE010 is phenomenal three track EP that specializes in fat gritty basslines and sparse drum rhythms. While “Whole Half” lends it’s self to the classic pioneered sound of the 20/20 LDN, “Zoo,” featuring the mighty Jakaboski, is a stellar representation of the WAVE sound and is, in my opinion, going to be the single off this EP. On the last track, “Effwatya,” Mystic State is joined by Third Degree to give this EP a fitting finale of gruesome, deep hip-hop flavour.
“Whole Half” leads us into halftime bliss with repetitious rhythmic lyrics and creeping atmospheric synth work before we’re lifted by swelling bass rollers and pinging metallic leads. This track’s kick and snare drum follow a classic formula that will quickly grab any fan of the sound but the percussive beauty of this tune resides in the perfectly placed high hats and shaker rhythms that really give this beat a sense of swing.
Up next is my personal favorite on the EP, “Zoo,” which features Jakaboski who is one third of the UK hip-hop collective, Strangelove. Mystic State’s rendition of Jakaboski’s “Zoo” is a dark and grimy take on the calm and tribal original. With a steady rocking drum beat that’ll get any head groovin’ and a bassline big enough to shake the foundation of any club, it’s Mystic State’s choice decision of toning down Jakaboski’s vocals which brings this vibe together. For any fan of beats in the 80bpm-85bpm range this is surely not one to miss.
Closing off the EP are the stuttered beats of the aptly named tune, “Effwatya.” Third Degree & Mystic State lay it on thick in this track with rumbling basslines, interchanging leads and rhythmic highs, tasteful synth distortion, and an infectious vocal hook. The attitude from this beat ends the EP in flair as this is without a doubt the hardest tune on the EP and if you disagree, “Eff what ya heard” cause it’s “got the illest flow in sight.”
Flexout’s WAVE imprint has been reinventing the halftime game since 2016 and now in 2018 it’s a sure thing that they don’t plan on stopping their innovative nature anytime soon. With this quality extended play from Mystic State and friends, it’s just another reassuring notion that Flexout Audio is a label that should be on the radar of any bass music fan. Don’t forget to let us know what you think of this EP and which track is your favorite below in the comment section.