That swarm of earthquakes you’re feeling in SoCal isn’t the end of the world; it’s Mother Nature getting worked up and ready for the two-day Never Say Die takeover this weekend, presented by Bassrush. The crew touches down at Bassmnt in San Diego Friday, October 14, with heavy hitters Eptic, MUST DIE! and label founder SKisM. The madness continues the next night (Saturday, October 15) for a sold-out show at the Belasco Theater where LAXX, Megalodon and Trampa join Eptic, MUST DIE! and SKisM.
For those who don’t know Never Say Die, and for those who just want to get their neck-snapping form down early, we’ve got an essential selection of off-the-chain cuts from the label that should have you thumping your chest and banging your head in no time.
Eptic ft. MUST DIE! “Ectoplasm”
Taken from Eptic’s Immortal EP last year, this one crossbreeds the producer’s 8-bit illness with the cinematic soundscapes MUST DIE! crafts so well. This untouchable mind meld between two of the crew’s finest not only sets the tone for the entire EP to follow, but raises the bar on just how dirty the NSD fam would have to get in order to keep up.
Zomboy “Like a Bitch”
Zomboy went all out on this bone-crushing head-cracker, taken from volume four of the eponymous Never Say Die compilation album series, as he harnesses the full power of his sound engineering background and dials it in perfectly for the dancefloor. Everything Zomboy touches turns to gold, and from the cinematic intro to the vocal hook at the drop, this one digs its teeth in before turning it loose with a funky, lurching groove that can’t be fucked with.
SKisM & LAXX “Hostile” (Eptic Remix)
When word went out that Eptic was giving the already-heavyweight “Hostile” the remix treatment, we knew we were in for a treat, but we didn’t have any idea just how stomping his version would turn out. Surfacing in a number of official and unofficial mixes before finding its way to the imprint for a proper release, this one had mad hype surrounding it as one of the “most requested dubplates of 2015” and helped secure Eptic’s seat on the throne as one of the leaders of the new school.
SKisM X Habstrakt X Megalodon “Jaguar”
Taken from the debut CRXSS Series, this cross-collab between SKisM, Megalodon and Habstrakt has yet to be challenged for its ability to swarm with a kind of barely restrained violence that broods and busts through with an untouchable gangsta lean. The sound design here brings on the epic vibes, as the ragga influence lends a dark and dirty touch to what is otherwise an otherworldly robo-skanker of the highest order.
Zomboy “Terror Squad” (Bro Safari & Ricky Remedy Remix)
When faced with the opportunity to remix this classic Zomboy cut, Bro Safari and Ricky Remedy knew the odds were stacked against them in terms of outdoing the original. As Bro tells it, they were faced with the dilemma of “going in a completely different direction from the original” or just staying “faithful to the original” and adding their own unique flavor to the mix. Choosing to “keep it simple,” the twosome produced an 808-fueled remix that has since become a classic in its own right, and with good reason.
This is where it all came together for the burgeoning “twitch” sound with which LAXX has come to be synonymous. Never one to shy away from pushing the boundaries and adding his own genre-bending touch to the proceedings, LAXX lets off this monster cut, featured on his TWITCH EP, and merged trap, techno and dubstep flavors into a dome-blowing, face-melting anthem that still gets hype on the dancefloor.
Zomboy “Lights Out”
Straight from the Neon Grave EP, this pop-tinged thriller opens with a deceptively upbeat intro that made some of the Zomboy faithful worry he might have gone soft. But have no fear: The ever-impressive Zomboy showed his true colors by smashing it up against the wall and reassembling the pieces into a shivering, glitched-out banger that has more than enough juice to split that dome when you least expect it.
Hop in the time machine with this one and go wayyyy back to 2012 with this classic drumstep hybrid burner from the big boss himself, SKisM. With an angry blast of drum & bass–influenced flavors creating a dark and heavy atmosphere, this one sticks and moves in all the right places, right up until the floor falls out beneath you. SKisM hits the switches and drops the tempo into an unholy dubstep groove that still brings on the shivers.
Eptic “Space Cats” (Trampa Remix)
Here’s another one from Eptic’s 2015 Immortal EP; we’ll include it here with good reason. While harkening back to the early days when Eptic was cutting his teeth in the scene, this update from Trampa brings on the absolute murderation in an untouchable way. Stripping it down to the bare bones, Trampa takes the skeleton of this beast and builds it back up bar by bar with hints of the original peeking through to get the crowd amped before the tune drops in proper and shreds on the earth-shattering tip.
SKisM X Trampa “Black Hole” (Midnight Tyrannosaurus Remix)
Recently released as part of the Black Label XXL compilation series on the newly launched Never Say Die: Black Label imprint, this beast from SKisM and Trampa gets a primordial remix from newcomer Midnight Tyrannosaurus. It’s the perfect way to close out this playlist, as it takes the past, present and future of the label and rolls it all up into an apocalyptic flaming ball of dancefloor fiyah. If you like your beats filthy, dirty, aggressive, and straight jacked, this is the anthem that will accompany you through the valley of death and bring you out the other side like a boss.