There’s a clinical sheen to this LP – and I mean that in a good way; that feeling (and chemical smell) you sometimes get when you open up some brand new gadget or pair of kicks you’ve had your eye on for ages; the boxfresh, straight from the factory moment. Also a monastic, almost martial art simplicity and restraint to a lot of the beat and bass mongering (that in the wrong hands is just plod, like say Youngsta’s schtick, but here attains the finesse of handcrafted Japanese blades), a deliberate pacing for the subs to really breath and hit lower. ‘Point Blank’, ‘Mad Zapper’ and ‘Angry Drummer’ are my top tunes here.
1. Abstrakt Sonance: Hatched 13 (Hatched)
2. Opus & Loudcutta: : ENC031 (Encrypted Audio)
3. Dalek One: ENC027 (Encrypted Audio)
4. Diggerz: Esoteric EP (Untied)
5. DubDiggerz: 40hz Burn (DeepEnd!)
Been getting deep into this all this Grey Area business lately.
Plenty to explore if you haven’t already. And note the new rules of the game; a lot of it in 3/4 time signature, all phasing polyrhythms, long slow release pressure builds, some of it keyed in precisely to 127.51bpm (don’t ask me why?), most at 85/170bpm.
Sadly for me, most of my music listening these days is done in my single cab pick-up on long boring commutes, but having a new monster sub-woofer put in recently (under my seat, the only space for it) has totally transformed the experience. It’s now a monstrous, enclosed bass chamber! and all this Grey Area stuff seems made for it. Actually turns my drives into a full on psychedelic trips, where I float at high speed on this magic carpet of sub bass while the tracks undulate and progress like the contours and camber of the motorway. Probably more dangerous than drink driving heh, but it’s even better driving home at night.
Pugilist smashes it again on Kenzo’s Artikal. He’s going to be one to watch if he keeps this up. ‘Raindance’ drops dessicated, concrete block beats and such hugely compressed bass weight you feel like you’re levitating a few inches off the floor on a magic carpet of low frequencies. No idea how the kid does it? but it’s special!
‘Murmur’ is the other standout for me, with a quirky stagger and lolloping swing to the groove; more slimey, rolling, more organic and wastelandish.
This is more like it. If you’re going to slavishly emulate and/or reference an all out Dub aesthetic you may as well come correct and get heavy with the business, rather than faff around with all this tasteful, fussy, calibration and twee restraint. Here we have the convincing, unforgiving smack, thud and pummel of a running-it-red, booming rig at peak witching hour, absolutely wiping the floor with the tepid likes of aforementioned Karma and other lightweight wannabes. I mean it’s not hard to do, if you set your dial to it, so better cut it professional with thick and oily ganja fug, and not fuck around, knowhaddmean?
To be honest I think this is a raw nerve within the Dubstep ‘community’. This blog has more tumbleweeds rolling through it than an abandoned desert western film set most of the time, ya get me? so when I posted some knocked off, rambling thoughts about Digidub v Dubstep last year, I was more than a little surprised to have more reads/visitors in a few hours/days than I get in a couple of months!? Go figure. I should re-write that piece properly and flesh out my argument coherently (if and when I can be bothered) because I was clearly on to something?
One of those accidental finds where I was simply attracted by the name of the label; ‘Monsters of Doomcore’ (yeeeah!) and had to investigate…
Although when I looked up TPROE on Discogs and saw that he’s already supposedly released 25 albums(!?!) in the last 16 years I had to laugh. It’s surely impossible, for multiple reasons, to take any artist who makes that claim seriously (unless they’re maybe The Fall or the Melvins…and even then…ya get me?) That discussion aside (and unfairly perhaps? having little or no interest in exploring his back-catalogue as a result) there are definitely a couple of stand out warehouse-sized crowd smashers here.
I don’t really want to know or speculate what “Densely Packed Hitlers” is about? (especially with the label press-release touting over-population and that a “great culling is coming”…) however, the production does have expertly crafted, massive, crushing low end, clearly built to level huge space arenas in a cold rush vibe.
Hench tunes always make me feel tired and old (and I mean that in a good way). I find it strangely reassuring that there are young men out there wasting their youth on this thoroughly unpleasant, bleak sonic battering ramage. It takes a certain mettle of character to stay unwavering on this particular path and there’s scant reward at the end of the day, let’s face it. Certainly in technicality it’s far superior to the idolised non-entities of “craft” (the Jeff Mills, the Hawtins, and any other cretin variation thereof). So I find and hear hope in it.
‘Death Dealer’ is ultra tech, crisp, choppy stop-start, gnarled wobble business. Functional to the point of pitiless and everything tight and right in the mix. ‘Vortex’ is little more than an angry, mechanistic loop running on and on, filtering nastier as the track progresses. Again expert tech construction. There’s some respite in a sticky, false Trance nirvana halfway before it boshes back into the machine hell.