• Vex'd - Degenerate

    Reviewed by Adam Anonymous (Undercover, Aug. 05)

    <b> Vex'd </b> - Degenerate

    Dubstep is a micro-genre that provides rich pickings for obsessively knowledgeable heads, yet corsses over so closely with grime in fanbase terms that any wax-spinner could drop it between Dizzee and Kano without a raver blinking. Vex'd suck up all that and more, spewing forth an ominously black portion equally indebted to jungle's nihilistic rush and the cold precision of experimental electronica. In the rubble of a dozen influences, however, the London pair of Jamie and Roly have crafted a distinctive noise instantly recognisable as their own. Like a gargantuan industrial machine fitted with a big bore exhaust, Thunder revs and splutters randomly before clicking into a mechanical groove, while single Gunman breezes along for the best part of a minute then goes supersonic, sublow levels swinging dangerously close to a meter reading of 'Paralysis'. The second disc collates their perviously available singles released on Destructive and scene-defining Bristol imprint Subtext. As might be expected, it's more succient, merciless stuff, from the voicebox-crushing Canyon to End Of Line, which is reminiscent of Godflesh struck by a desire to dance. The only critism Vex'd could attract is that in creating their own sonic airspace they've almost pigeonholed themselves as one-trick ponies, and the lack of variety becomes erosive over a dozen tracks. Home listening isn't entierly the point though - for best results, fire up a floor-to-ceiling party system and let Degenerate rudely destroy an entire neighbourhood.

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