My go-to Dubstep label for at least the past year or so. Mainly specialising in a normally monthly and regular turnover of digital releases over the past four years and an (understandably) slower vinyl schedule, label bosses Content (UK) & Deafblind (USA) seem to have a keen A&R ear for sourcing some of the freshest, foward thinking producers around at the moment. From all over the globe too. I nearly always buy a tune or two off each release and can’t fault the quality control. They started using the term ‘Loose’ last year to describe a certain style gradually coming to the fore, or more probably one they’re trying to form (as opposed to ‘Deep’ or the now considered, old school ‘Dungeon’) – I guess they mean the more broken, staggered, wonky beat grooves, polyrhythmic wubs and bass wobbles. It’s a micro tweak really, but at least it’s incremental progress. Rather predictably, my favourites always seem to be the more brutish Grime tinged blurters! Darkraqqen (DE) & Ramsez’s (USA) ‘FLM’ is top notch filth, as is Karnage’s (JPN) ‘Death Proof’ which is about as subtle as a sledgehammer smashing up the dancefloor. Just the way we like it.
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!)
I won’t even go into ‘Terrorist’… but the other two slices are bong session, doomy, dub chamber hoodoo, shaved down to the barest plod-stepper framework (all pitched down, clanking, temple gong snares and hissing reverb schtick). Firmly stuck-in-a-rut generics without a single element daring to be different or out of place, which bizarrely seems to get the youth frothing ‘n’ fighting over copies??
‘Vacant Mind’ says it all really, drifting on the edges of consciousness, teasing images from the carefully calibrated layers and detailed construction but never letting anything off the lead. Expertly and obsessively (and pointlessly) crafted for sure, but so self-consciously ‘dubwise’ and tastefully minimal you just want to kick it, hard.