Posted on January 10, 2022
FRESH JUICE: HAZMAT Compilation (Hazardous Materials Vol. 001)
Next up under the Plant Bass'd microscope is a riveting compilation from Australian label, Third Degree Records.
Words by Oisín Campbell/ Design by Michael Savage
Fronted by Nora Zion & Super Flog, the Hazardous Materials V/A brings together a selection of organised chaos with entries from a host of Perth producers alongside some friends from the UK.
The sound of the Third Degree label/platform can be best described under the umbrella of garage, UK funky, jungle, jersey club, footwork and beyond. HAZMAT VOL001 gathers together an atmospheric collection of these sounds.
Opening track 'Sunblush' from Sterlo dilutes cloudy melodies with a choppy break, creating a sense of calm but well gritted euphoria that inevitably draws you in. Resy's 'Skin Tight' follows a similar suit though establishing more of an edge with a warning bass line and skewed vocals which set the tone for the rest of the compilation.
CRUSH MOOD TRAX delivers a punching funky sound on 'Butler Ave' with a melodic dancehall undertone that echoes throughout. It is greatly reminiscent of a Livity Sound production. It is then the turn of label queen bee Nora Zion. 'They Don't Know' thrusts a silent footwork killer at us which quakes further at each turn.
By the time you've arrived at the fifth track, it becomes very clear that each delivery is going to throw you in a different direction. 'FEEL U' does not even try to hide it's impending devastation with R15+ sending out a weather warning right from the get go with its shuffling breaks and basslines. In keeping with this change in bass direction, Glasgow's Casement loudly introduces himself on 'Cloudstepper', flirting with UKG, bass and dubstep in a dark and stormy fashion.
It feels as though the worst of the storm has passed, but there is no getting past the debris that has been left behind on Classic Mistakes' cheeky, wobbly two stepper, 'Backfire'.
We can run but hiding is not an option when facing OSSA on the crashing dubstep/grime hybrid groove that is 'Palpitate', which chases us into the end credits. Calm Stiege's 'Moody Eye' signs off with an enthusing piano melody and sharp filtered breaks, teasing us as to what may come next from the Third Degree family.
A stirring collection of tracks which ought to be kept away from any naked flame. Third Degree have succeeded in illustrating further their hazardous and deadly sound direction with this release. Club ready weapons that don't take themselves too seriously. Another fun release from the Boorloo based crew that peaks their discography to date. We are ready for more.